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Festivals for Local History Buffs

DBRL Next - 3 hours 15 min ago

Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism via FlickrIf you’re into local history and festivals, you’re in luck.

September 13 and 14, be a part of the Battle of Centralia reenactment weekend. Held in in Centralia, Missouri, this event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the fight between Federal troops and Confederate “Bloody Bill” Anderson and his men. In addition to the reenactment, enjoy two full days of activities, including music, crafts, food vendors, Civil War historians, dancing and night firing of Civil War cannons! Visit the Friends of Centralia Battlefield’s website for more information.

The following weekend will be the 37th Annual Heritage Festival & Craft Show on the grounds of the Boone County Historical Society outside the Maplewood Home in historic Nifong Park. This annual event will be even more special this year with tours of the completed homes in the village just behind the museum. More reenactments of the “good ole days” will also be included, with artisans and tradespeople dressed in 19th century attire demonstrating their trades and selling their wares. On the Maplewood Home’s porch will be booths sharing information about the Boone County Historical Society and the Genealogical Society of Central Missouri.

In October, the 2014 inductees to the Boone County Hall of Fame will be celebrated at the historical society’s annual reception. The Boone County Hall of Fame honors some of the area’s individuals and organizations “whose contributions of talent and ingenuity made an impact on Boone County’s past, helping it to become the progressive and thriving county it is today.” This year’s honorees are writer Warren Dalton; attorney Don Sanders, a key figure in the Watergate investigation, former Boone County Commissioner and past president of the Boone County Historical Society; and Little Dixie Construction. This event is a fundraiser for the Walters History Museum.

If you love local festivals of all types, here are some other events to add to your calendar this fall. Crafts, music, food – Mid-Mo has you covered.

photo credit: Missouri Division of Tourism via photopin cc

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Photo Contest Winner: Portrait Division

DBRLTeen - 8 hours 4 min ago
Lucas Desmit, "The Curious Dog"

Lucas Desmit, “The Curious Dog”

Did you know that with our new digital service, Hoopla, you can watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device? It’s like Netflix, but free!

Hoopla allows us to offer streaming music, movies and TV shows for the first time. Plus, you’ll never have to wait on any item through Hoopla because more than one person can access the same movie, album or audiobook at the same time.

Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers. Hoopla items can also be streamed through your computer’s Web browser. Additionally, the library provides free downloadable YA titles and magazines through our Overdrive and Zinio services!

And now, we are pleased to announce the winner among those contestants competing in the Portrait division: Lucas Desmit. He will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as his award.

Tomorrow we wrap-up our Teen Photography Contest by recognizing the winner of the “People’s Choice” award.

Gallery of Portrait Submissions


© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest Winner: Portrait Division.

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Docs Around Town: Aug. 22 – Aug. 28

Center Aisle Cinema - August 21, 2014

ifyoubuildit

August 27: If You Build It” 5:30 p.m. at  Ragtag, free. (via)

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Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 14-18)

DBRLTeen - August 21, 2014
Hunter Dougan, "Reflection that Captured Dragonflies"

Hunter Dougan, “Reflection that Captured Dragonflies”

Today we continue to recognize the winners in our “Spark a Reaction” Teen Photography Contest. The library received 40 eligible entries and contestants were separated into four separate divisions:

Contestants have been judged on the following criteria:

  • Composition, the overall arrangement of elements within the photo.
  • The use of color, light and shadow to capture the image.
  • The creative interpretation of their chosen theme (portrait, nature or artistic showcase).

And now, we are pleased to announce the winner among those contestants ages 14-18 competing in the Nature division: Hunter Dougan. He says, “I liked the look of the reflection of the clouds in the water with my shadow and then noticed the dragonflies.” Hunter will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as his award.

Join us tomorrow as we announce the winner among those entries submitted for the Portrait division.

Gallery of Portrait Submissions


© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 14-18).

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Too Hot To Cook? Then Don’t!

DBRL Next - August 20, 2014

Photo of Pan Bagnet by Kevin via FlickrOkay, admittedly, this has been one of the coolest summers in mid-Missouri in a long time, but we’ve still had plenty of hot days. Without all that summer sunshine and heat we wouldn’t have the produce bounty we’re lucky to have here in the Midwest – fat juicy tomatoes, cantaloupes, sweet corn, cucumbers, bushy bunches of basil, peaches, watermelon, okra, eggplant and on and on, all wonderfully and locally available. This appeal is obvious if you attend farmers’ markets - they are teeming with people scouting for the freshest picked and most flavorful fruits and vegetables.  That said, as the days of summer wear on and the heat and humidity debilitate, preparing meals over a hot stove and heating up the house drops way down on the list of my favorite things to do. Is that true for you? Well, if so, fear not. You can eat well without cooking (or cooking very little). When the temperatures rise, it’s time to resort to chilled soups, smoothies, saladssandwiches and other raw food recipes to feed yourself and your family. DBRL’s collection is replete with cookbooks featuring these “un-cooked” meals.

One of my boys’ all-time favorite meals is Pan-Bagnat (pronunciation: pan ban-YAH).  It is essentially a salad Nicoise (from the Nice area of France) on a crusty roll, packed with lots of goodies that can be varied – tuna, hard-boiled eggs, Greek olives, slivered red onion, tomatoes and provolone – drizzled with olive oil or pesto. It’s a complete meal in and of itself and so easy to make and divinely delicious to eat. I really ought to make it more often. We packed this treat along with some fresh bing cherries and orangeade kombucha for a recent bike ride picnic, and everyone went home with happy taste buds and satisfied bellies.

Another nice aspect to leaving the stove behind and focusing on these cooler meals is that they tend to involve less time in the making, leaving more time for other activities, like going for a swim – another great way to take the edge off the heat.

photo credit: Kevandy via photopin cc

The post Too Hot To Cook? Then Don’t! appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 12-13)

DBRLTeen - August 20, 2014
Ethan Mott, "Morning Dew"

Ethan Mott, “Morning Dew”

Our teen blog not only provides access to the library’s helpful online resources, but it also serves as a gallery for our creative teen patrons. In addition to our Homework Help databases and ACT/SAT test prep guides, be sure to check out our two published booklets of “Flash Fiction” short stories and our teen photography showcase. Subscribe to our blog updates and get news of upcoming writing and photography contests delivered directly to your inbox!

Today, DBRLTeen is excited to announce that Ethan Mott is the winner among those contestants ages 12-13 competing in the Nature division. When asked about his photo, “Morning Dew,” he explained, “Dew on grass in the early morning is somewhat unique. Seeing a dew drop up-close gives you a better look at the world in a small sense.”

Ethan will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.  Tomorrow we will announce the winner among those contestants ages 14-18 competing in the Nature division.

Gallery of Nature Division Submissions (Ages 12-13)


© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 12-13).

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Photo Contest: Artistic Showcase Winner

DBRLTeen - August 19, 2014
Megan Reed, "Eruption"

Megan Reed, “Eruption”

If you are looking to develop your skills as a photographer, the library has plenty of resources to help. We provide free online classes through our online service called UniversalClass. Learn more about digital photography, digital scrapbooking, and other visual arts. These are just a few of the over 500 courses offered. To log in, you’ll need your DBRL library card number; your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).

You should also stop by to check out our extensive collection of photography guidebooks such as:

Today marks the first day of recognizing our photo contest winners. Megan Reed is the winner of the Artistic Showcase for her photo, “Eruption.” When asked about the inspiration behind this photo, Megan said, “My brother and cousin were shooting various targets such as watermelons, water bottles, a plastic helicopter, and a newly shaken 2 liter orange soda bottle.  I wanted to capture the soda bottle exploding when it was shot.”

Megan will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as his award. Tomorrow we announce the winner among those contestants ages 12-14 competing in the Nature division.

Gallery of Artistic Showcase Submissions


© All rights to the photographs contained herein are reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: Artistic Showcase Winner.

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New DVD: “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?”

Center Aisle Cinema - August 18, 2014

isthemanwhoistallhappy

We recently added “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown earlier this year at Ragtag Cinema and currently has a rating of 91% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

An animated documentary on the life of controversial MIT professor, philosopher, linguist, anti-war activist and political firebrand Noam Chomsky. Through complex, lively conversations with Chomsky and brilliant illustrations by Gondry himself, the film reveals the life and work of the father of modern linguistics while also exploring his theories on the emergence of language.

An animated documentary on the life of controversial MIT professor, philosopher, linguist, anti-war activist and political firebrand Noam Chomsky. Through complex, lively conversations with Chomsky and brilliant illustrations by Gondry himself, the film reveals the life and work of the father of modern linguistics while also exploring his theories on the emergence of language. – See more at: http://dbrl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/577581018_is_the_man_who_is_tall_happy#sthash.59NCeRDk.dpuf Roger Ross Williams explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fueling Uganda’s terrifying turn towards biblical law and the proposed death penalty for homosexuality. Thanks to charismatic religious leaders and a well-financed campaign, these draconian new laws and the politicians that peddle them are winning over the Ugandan public. But these dangerous policies and the money that fuels them are coming from American’s largest megachurches. – See more at: http://dbrl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/559029018_god_loves_uganda#sthash.hmxmLNTm.dpuf Roger Ross Williams explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fueling Uganda’s terrifying turn towards biblical law and the proposed death penalty for homosexuality. Thanks to charismatic religious leaders and a well-financed campaign, these draconian new laws and the politicians that peddle them are winning over the Ugandan public. But these dangerous policies and the money that fuels them are coming from American’s largest megachurches. – See more at: http://dbrl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/559029018_god_loves_uganda#sthash.hmxmLNTm.dpuf

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Katherine Dunn

Next Book Buzz - August 18, 2014

Book cover for Geek Love by Katherine DunnGenetic modification is a hot topic, and not just because of the literal heat harbored by pumpkins inexplicably modified to cast horrifying, fiery glares our way every October. There are pluses, like massive potatoes capable of feeding dozens, talking to you when you’re lonely and even playing a competent game of checkers. Perhaps you give birth to Siamese twins with a gift for playing piano. There are minuses though, besides hateful pumpkins and repeatedly losing to a potato at checkers. Maybe you birth a child with flippers for limbs and a predilection for starting popular cults that mandate the removal of one’s own appendages. Also, as gene tampering becomes rampant, people will grow weary of picking their future children’s hair colors and which professional sport they will play. Parents will long for the days when, if you didn’t like your child’s hair, you simply shaved them bald, and if you wanted them to excel at sport, you were forced to mercilessly prod them until their vertical leaps were satisfactory.

While the profile of genetic shenanigans grows with every neon-blue tomato on our plates and Robocop on our streets, people have been obsessed with genes since the first bald man looked scornfully at his father’s bountiful locks. And 25 years ago, Katherine Dunn tapped into this obsession and combined it with another topic constantly on the minds of modern humans (travelling freak shows) into one gloriously deformed firecracker of a novel.

Geek Love” is narrated by Olympia, a hunchback albino dwarf, member of her parents’ lucrative freak show and product of her parents’ crude attempts to modify DNA for profit. Her parents, Aloysius and Crystal Lil, used drugs, insecticides and radioactive stuff to conjure strange fruit from the womb. Oly’s older brother, Arturo, is the aforementioned flipper-limbed, cult leader. Electra and Iphigenia are the Siamese piano dynamos. Fortunato is the youngest, a seemingly normal child nearly abandoned for his uselessness until his telekinetic powers manifested themselves.

The novel jumps between two eras. One covers Oly’s childhood with the carnival and the familial strife, much of it conjured by Arty and his cult of Arturism. The other era features Oly taking care of a mother who doesn’t know who she is, perhaps in part because of the radiation and insecticides, and stalking a daughter who doesn’t know who she is because Oly gave her to some nuns when she was a baby. The twin narratives race along like the most awesome and lengthy roller coaster ever, and you’ll leave the tracks dazed, queasy, having lost your sunglasses and ready to get in line for the next Katherine Dunn novel, which doesn’t yet exist as the author spends much of her time using her boxing knowledge to fend off muggers.

The reader should be warned, in addition to the reckless gene doctoring, there is content not for the faint-hearted: telekinetic pickpocketing, attempted murder, a human with a tail, murder, unnecessary amputations and, depending on how you define it, incest. But if you like words and watching someone bite the head off of a live chicken, this may be your new favorite novel.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Katherine Dunn appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

The Gentleman Recommends: Katherine Dunn

DBRL Next - August 18, 2014

Book cover for Geek Love by Katherine DunnGenetic modification is a hot topic, and not just because of the literal heat harbored by pumpkins inexplicably modified to cast horrifying, fiery glares our way every October. There are pluses, like massive potatoes capable of feeding dozens, talking to you when you’re lonely and even playing a competent game of checkers. Perhaps you give birth to Siamese twins with a gift for playing piano. There are minuses though, besides hateful pumpkins and repeatedly losing to a potato at checkers. Maybe you birth a child with flippers for limbs and a predilection for starting popular cults that mandate the removal of one’s own appendages. Also, as gene tampering becomes rampant, people will grow weary of picking their future children’s hair colors and which professional sport they will play. Parents will long for the days when, if you didn’t like your child’s hair, you simply shaved them bald, and if you wanted them to excel at sport, you were forced to mercilessly prod them until their vertical leaps were satisfactory.

While the profile of genetic shenanigans grows with every neon-blue tomato on our plates and Robocop on our streets, people have been obsessed with genes since the first bald man looked scornfully at his father’s bountiful locks. And 25 years ago, Katherine Dunn tapped into this obsession and combined it with another topic constantly on the minds of modern humans (travelling freak shows) into one gloriously deformed firecracker of a novel.

Geek Love” is narrated by Olympia, a hunchback albino dwarf, member of her parents’ lucrative freak show and product of her parents’ crude attempts to modify DNA for profit. Her parents, Aloysius and Crystal Lil, used drugs, insecticides and radioactive stuff to conjure strange fruit from the womb. Oly’s older brother, Arturo, is the aforementioned flipper-limbed, cult leader. Electra and Iphigenia are the Siamese piano dynamos. Fortunato is the youngest, a seemingly normal child nearly abandoned for his uselessness until his telekinetic powers manifested themselves.

The novel jumps between two eras. One covers Oly’s childhood with the carnival and the familial strife, much of it conjured by Arty and his cult of Arturism. The other era features Oly taking care of a mother who doesn’t know who she is, perhaps in part because of the radiation and insecticides, and stalking a daughter who doesn’t know who she is because Oly gave her to some nuns when she was a baby. The twin narratives race along like the most awesome and lengthy roller coaster ever, and you’ll leave the tracks dazed, queasy, having lost your sunglasses and ready to get in line for the next Katherine Dunn novel, which doesn’t yet exist as the author spends much of her time using her boxing knowledge to fend off muggers.

The reader should be warned, in addition to the reckless gene doctoring, there is content not for the faint-hearted: telekinetic pickpocketing, attempted murder, a human with a tail, murder, unnecessary amputations and, depending on how you define it, incest. But if you like words and watching someone bite the head off of a live chicken, this may be your new favorite novel.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Katherine Dunn appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Vote for “People’s Choice” Award on Facebook

DBRLTeen - August 18, 2014

Spark Burst Slogan 2The library has received 40 entries in this summer’s Teen Photo Contest. While a panel of staff judges will decide the official winners, we are asking for your help in selecting the “People’s Choice” award. Visit the library’s Facebook page now through Wednesday, August 18 to vote for your favorite photographs by “liking” them.

Originally published at Vote for “People’s Choice” Award on Facebook.

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New OverDrive Updates

DBRL Next - August 15, 2014

OverDrive Media ConsoleOverDrive recently made several updates to their site that improve your ability to find downloadable eBooks and audiobooks and manage holds. The changes include the ability to filter items by age level, automatic hold checkouts and suspending holds. Here are the highlights.

Maturity Settings
You can now exclude items from your browsing or search results based on age levels. For example, adult users are able to exclude titles for younger readers and young readers to exclude adult-only titles from their experience. This can be done by going into your account settings and choosing the appropriate range of content. You must be logged in for this to be in effect. Users can also choose to “mask” covers for “Mature Adult” items. This is also done from the account settings page.

Hold Auto–Checkout
Holds will be automatically checked out to your account when they become available. This is optional and can be done by checking a box at the time a hold is placed. If you are unable to borrow the title at the time it becomes available (because you have already reached their maximum checkout limit, for example) you will be sent the current hold notification email and have three days to make your checkout.

Suspended Holds
This feature allows you to temporarily suspend a hold in the waiting list. Your position will continue to advance in the queue while the hold is suspended, but the hold will not be filled. You can do this by going into the Holds section of your account settings and clicking on the Options button for a hold.

The post New OverDrive Updates appeared first on DBRL Next.

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“Glickman” on September 17th

Center Aisle Cinema - August 13, 2014

glickman

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

The HBO documentary “Glickman” (84 min.) examines the life of famed sportscaster Marty Glickman. A gifted Jewish-American athlete who was denied the chance to represent the U.S. at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he went on to become one of the most revered and influential sportscasters in history, pioneering many of the techniques, phrases and programming innovations that are commonplace in sports reporting today. This documentary directed by James L. Freedman is a companion to our One Read book, “The Boys in the Boat,” a story of the U.S. crew team 1936 Olympics.

Trailer
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Hovercrafts and Home Brews: Science You Can Use

DBRL Next - August 13, 2014

Everybody loves to apply ointment to wounds and toppings to nachos. However, did you know you can also apply science to life? Sure, knowledge is its own reward, but here are some books to get you started if you want a manifestation of your reading:

Book cover for Cooking for GeeksChemistry
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food” by Jeff Potter – Avoid kitchen disasters by learning exactly what happens when you boil an egg.
True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home” by Emma Christensen – Brew that perfect fermented drink for your next theme party.
Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home” by Sam Caligione – Or just stick to brewing beer.

Neuroscience
Boost your Brain: The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance” by Majid Fotuhi – Hone your concentration so that you can work on that jigsaw puzzle for longer than 10 minutes.
Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best From Your People” by Edward M. Hallowell – Motivate your employees without free pizza.

Book cover for the Firefly Guide to Weather ForecastingMeteorology and Astronomy
Guide to Weather Forecasting” by Storm Dunlop – Do-it-yourself forecasting beyond creaky knees and frizzy hair.
The Lost Art of Finding Our Way” by John Edward Huth – You’ll be glad to apply this book’s lessons if you lose your GPS, smartphone, Compass, and maps while trekking through the woods for some reason.

Mathematics and Statistics
The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life” by Michael Blastland – Be the life of the party during election season when you explain what those numbers really mean.
How Many Licks?: Or, How to Estimate Damn Near Anything” by Aaron Santos – Guess how many jelly beans are in that jar.

Book cover for Science InkArt and Science
Divine Proportion: Phi in Art, Nature, and Science” by Priya Hemenway – Impress a docent by rhapsodizing about the beauty of 1.6180339887….
Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art” by Arthur I. Miller – Create your next masterpiece using brain scans, artificial intelligence or gene therapy.
Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed” by Carl Zimmer – Most of these tattoos likely originated with a student’s inability to memorize science stuff before a test, but they look neat, and needles hurt.

Physics
The Physics of Pitching: Learn the Mechanics, Science, and Psychology of Pitching to Success” by Len Solesky – The average salary of a Major League Baseball pitcher is over three million dollars, so maybe it’s time for a career change.
The Physics of Baseball” by Robert Kemp Adair – Or just sit on the couch and learn to appreciate at the velocities and angles of America’s pastime.
How to Build a Hovercraft: Air Cannons, Magnet Motors, and 25 Other Amazing DIY Science Projects” by Stephen Voltz – Not using that leaf blower? Use it to build a hovercraft.

The post Hovercrafts and Home Brews: Science You Can Use appeared first on DBRL Next.

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2014 Fall Program Preview

DBRLTeen - August 13, 2014
Fall Program Preview

Submit your ideal book cover for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card, get first-hand writing tips from teen author Antony John, boogie down at our “Just Dance” competition and celebrate the release of the last “Hobbit” film.

Teen Book Cover Contest
Tuesday, September 9

To celebrate Teen Read Week, we want to see what new covers you can dream up for your favorite book. The theme is “Turn Dreams Into Reality.” Teens can submit original artwork by Friday, October 17 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. Find full contest guidelines at teens.dbrl.org or at your library. Ages 12-18 living in Boone and Callaway Counties.

Wii U Dance-Off
Wednesday, September 17, 2:45-5 p.m.
Wednesday, November 19, 2:45-5 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Think you have the best dance moves? Prove it! Bring your moves and your friends to this fun dance competition using “Just Dance” on the Wii U. We’ll have treats and other goodies. Grades 6-8.

Scavenger Hunt
Wednesday, October 1
Southern Boone County Public Library

Starting October 1, come pick up a list of challenges and clues for a library scavenger hunt. You can work solo or as a team to complete the list by Oct. 17 when we’ll compare answers at the first ever Ashland Tween Night. Be prepared for the unexpected and ready to act silly, that’s all we can say! Ages 11 and older.

Wii Olympics
Wednesday, October 8, 2:45-5 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Compete in a variety of Wii sports for a chance at a gold medal. Show us which sport you rock. We’ll have treats and other goodies. Grades 6-8.

Author Antony John
Thursday, October 16, 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Antony John is the award-winning author of the “Elemental” trilogy, “Five Flavors of Dumb,” “Thou Shalt Not Road Trip” and other great teen books. He will be visiting the library to help us celebrate Teen Read Week. Books will be for sale by Barnes & Noble and a book signing will follow the program. Ages 11 and older.

First Ever Ashland Tween Night
Friday, October 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Challenge your friends to a game on our Wii U console or to a board game tournament. If you’ve played our scavenger hunt (clues available Oct. 1 at the library), bring in your list and proof of completed tasks tonight. We’ll see who did the best as we eat some pizza! Bring your friends for this after-hours event. Ages 11 and older.

Project Teen: Hobbits

Celebrate the upcoming Hobbit movie and the Dwarven new year with dwarvish crafts and a free pizza lunch! Ages 12-18.

Columbia Public Library
Fri., Nov. 14 at 1 p.m.
Registration begins Oct. 28
To sign up, call (573) 443-3161 Callaway County Public Library
Sat., Nov 22 at 12 p.m.
No registration required.

Originally published at 2014 Fall Program Preview.

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New DVD: “The Address”

Center Aisle Cinema - August 11, 2014

theaddress

We recently added “The Address” to the DBRL collection. The film played on PBS earlier this year, and is the latest from documentary filmmaker Ken Burns who has done other series such as “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “Jazz,” “The War,” “The National Parks,” and “Prohibition.” Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

At the tiny Greenwood School in the small New England town of Putney, Vermont, its roughly 50 students, boys from the ages 11 to 17 are asked each year to memorize the Gettysburg Address. This would be a daunting assignment for any student, but the boys at Greenwood all suffer from learning differences that have made their personal, academic and social progress extremely challenging. As the students come to terms with the address’s simple message of freedom, equality and democracy, they are seen to grow in self-confidence as they confront past failures and humiliations, ultimately opening the door to what Lincoln himself described as ‘a new birth of freedom’. Interweaving the history of this most famous of American speeches with the contemporary journey of the boys at Greenwood, the film reveals the timeless resonance of Lincoln’s words, while culminating in the triumph of the human spirit.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Classics for Everyone: True Grit

Next Book Buzz - August 11, 2014

Book cover for True Grit by Charles PortisAugust is American Adventures month, as established by someone. I forget who. The point is it gives me an excuse to write about one of my favorite novels.

True Grit,” by Charles Portis, is a book that defies genrefication. It’s an American adventure semi-western coming-of-age dramatic comedic fictional memoir. The narrator is Arkansas resident Mattie Ross, speaking as an older woman, recalling the time in the 1870s when she was 14 years old and set out to capture her father’s killer, a man named Tom Chaney.

Much of the entertainment value, the thing that keeps me re-reading certain passages, stems from Mattie’s voice, which Portis has crafted perfectly. Mattie holds firm convictions about how things should be. Her love language is legal representation. She freely offers the assistance of her family attorney to those she respects. Her liberties with the lawyer’s services extend to forging his signature on her own letter of identification. Early on she says “If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.” This philosophy compels her to carry her father’s war pistol and accompany Marshall Reuben (Rooster) Cogburn, the man she has hired to track Chaney, on his manhunt in Choctaw territory, where Chaney has fallen in with a group of outlaws.

Rooster Cogburn is described by another character in these words: “a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don’t enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork.” But later events show he is not entirely without pity, especially when it comes to Mattie. And she is not entirely inflexible, making allowances for Rooster’s cursing, drinking and the fact that he himself once fled parole in Kansas. Unlike Mattie, Rooster thinks more in terms of how things are than how they ought to be. His catch phrase is “That is the way of it.” Despite their differences, Rooster and Mattie often bring out the best in each other.

But there is a third member of the party who can rile both of them, a dandy of a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (pronounced “LaBeef”). Chaney is also wanted in Texas for killing a senator, and there is a substantial reward involved. LaBoeuf has been after the killer for some time, but it’s unclear whether the ranger is motivated more by money or pride. His magnificent spurs – a symbol of his self-image – are mentioned multiple times.

As the trio closes in on the gang of ne’er-do-wells, the action becomes ever more thrilling. Each one of the three protagonists is required to dig deep into their reserves of courage, loyalty and, of course, grit. As in all good fiction, nothing comes without sacrifice. Mattie, especially, pays a large price for what she’s gained.

If you’ve been meaning to get around to reading “True Grit,” take heed of the older Mattie’s words: “Time just gets away from us.” Buckle down and get to it.

The post Classics for Everyone: True Grit appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Classics for Everyone: True Grit

DBRL Next - August 11, 2014

Book cover for True Grit by Charles PortisAugust is American Adventures month, as established by someone. I forget who. The point is it gives me an excuse to write about one of my favorite novels.

True Grit,” by Charles Portis, is a book that defies genrefication. It’s an American adventure semi-western coming-of-age dramatic comedic fictional memoir. The narrator is Arkansas resident Mattie Ross, speaking as an older woman, recalling the time in the 1870s when she was 14 years old and set out to capture her father’s killer, a man named Tom Chaney.

Much of the entertainment value, the thing that keeps me re-reading certain passages, stems from Mattie’s voice, which Portis has crafted perfectly. Mattie holds firm convictions about how things should be. Her love language is legal representation. She freely offers the assistance of her family attorney to those she respects. Her liberties with the lawyer’s services extend to forging his signature on her own letter of identification. Early on she says “If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.” This philosophy compels her to carry her father’s war pistol and accompany Marshall Reuben (Rooster) Cogburn, the man she has hired to track Chaney, on his manhunt in Choctaw territory, where Chaney has fallen in with a group of outlaws.

Rooster Cogburn is described by another character in these words: “a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don’t enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork.” But later events show he is not entirely without pity, especially when it comes to Mattie. And she is not entirely inflexible, making allowances for Rooster’s cursing, drinking and the fact that he himself once fled parole in Kansas. Unlike Mattie, Rooster thinks more in terms of how things are than how they ought to be. His catch phrase is “That is the way of it.” Despite their differences, Rooster and Mattie often bring out the best in each other.

But there is a third member of the party who can rile both of them, a dandy of a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (pronounced “LaBeef”). Chaney is also wanted in Texas for killing a senator, and there is a substantial reward involved. LaBoeuf has been after the killer for some time, but it’s unclear whether the ranger is motivated more by money or pride. His magnificent spurs – a symbol of his self-image – are mentioned multiple times.

As the trio closes in on the gang of ne’er-do-wells, the action becomes ever more thrilling. Each one of the three protagonists is required to dig deep into their reserves of courage, loyalty and, of course, grit. As in all good fiction, nothing comes without sacrifice. Mattie, especially, pays a large price for what she’s gained.

If you’ve been meaning to get around to reading “True Grit,” take heed of the older Mattie’s words: “Time just gets away from us.” Buckle down and get to it.

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ACT/SAT Test Prep Resources @ Your Library

DBRLTeen - August 11, 2014

Do you have questions about the ACT OR SAT exam? Well, DBRLTeen has answers.  We have compiled a list of resources to help you prepare for these college entrance exams.

  • How much does the ACT OR SAT exam cost?
  • Where are the testing centers in Boone and Callaway counties?
  • What are the deadlines to register for the ACT OR SAT exam?
  • Most importantly, how can I prepare for these tests?

Learn more by reviewing our online guide to ACT/SAT preparation. Young adults are also encouraged to borrow one of our many printed ACT or SAT test guides, or take free online practice exams through LearningExpress Library.  And, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at ACT/SAT Test Prep Resources @ Your Library.

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Reader Review: Code Name Verity

DBRL Next - August 8, 2014

Book cover for Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity” is a fictionalized story of the friendship of two women during World War II. The first part of the book is Julie’s side of their story and then Maddie’s account is the second half. Julie is captured and is forced to write down all of the information she knows in regards to the war (code names, airports, war plans and strategies, etc.). I enjoyed listening to this book on CD. The readers did a great job of portraying their characters. I am going to listen to the book again due to the twist at the end I didn’t see coming.

Three words that describe this book: Friendship, World War II, Prisoner

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a book about friendship, or you want to know what role some women played during World War II and what some people went through when they were captured.

-Sharon

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