More From DBRL...
If Emily Dickinson never came out of her room, how does everyone know about her? The answer lies in the 1,775 poems the recluse in white left behind when she died in 1886. Only a few were published during her lifetime. But thanks to the efforts of her sister, Lavinia, the world came to know Emily and her verse posthumously.
From around the age of 30 on, Dickinson limited the physical range of her world to the confines of her Amherst, Massachusetts home and a wardrobe of white dresses. But she kept a connection to society through prolific correspondence with a number of people. Many of her letters included poems; more than 100 went to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly. But editors of the day were not ready for the ways in which her poems broke with convention.
Though she lived a largely intellectual life, her poetry shows richness, depth and a grounding in concrete realities. She wrote of death heralded not with trumpets but the buzzing of a fly. She describes a snake as “the narrow fellow in the grass” and the feeling you get when you see him as “zero at the bone.” Even hope took on a physical manifestation for her: “Hope is the thing with feathers…”
Dickinson packed acres of meaning into a few square inches of paper. Most of her poems are concise, yet speak profoundly about themes such as death, time, nature, love and immortality. Her work can be found in “Collected Poems” and in the library’s LitFINDER database.
To learn more about the poet’s life, try Gordon Lyndall’s book, “Lives Like Loaded Guns.” Lyndall explores the relationships and feuds among members of the Dickinson family. The conflicts carried on long after Dickinson’s death, with struggles for control over her work and even how the story of her life would be told. Lyndall takes his title from a Dickinson poem, one which allows Emily herself to have the last word:
“My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified —
And carried Me away.”
Missouri’s history is rich with the contributions of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and elsewhere. Today, as a destination for refugees and new groups of immigrants, Missouri has become home to people from Bosnia, Bhutan, Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, Mexico and other countries, contributing to and shaping Missouri’s economy, neighborhoods and families.
Explore the Missouri immigrant experience with these programs at the Columbia Public Library.
Faces and Places Photo Exhibit
April 5 – 25
Columbia Public Library
View an exhibit of photos about the Missouri immigrant experience on the first and second floor clay brick walls. The exhibit features historical images from archival collections and a selection of photos by contemporary photographers of immigrant communities in Missouri. The exhibit is sponsored by Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates with support from the Missouri Arts Council, the Missouri History Museum, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Puffin Foundation, the State Historical Society, the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission and Welcoming Missouri.
The Missouri Immigrant Experience Gallery Walk
Saturday, April 5 › 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Hear the story behind the photo exhibit with a gallery walk led by curator Danny Gonzalez of the Missouri Historical Society and some of the photographers who have told the stories of their immigrant communities through the images on display. After the walk, enjoy refreshments in the Friends Room and meet with some immigrants established and new.
“Welcome to Shelbyville” Film & Discussion
Wednesday, April 9 › 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
This documentary by Kim Snyder explores one community’s struggle to integrate newcomers from other countries into its rural culture, asking the question, who is American and exploring the idea of American identity. A panel discussion afterwards will include speakers from groups that help refugees and immigrants adjust to new lives here in Columbia. (Film is 50 min., rated PG.) See more at our films blog, Center Aisle Cinema.
The post Exploring the Missouri Immigrant Experience Through Photography and Film appeared first on DBRL Next.
Robison Wells, author of popular YA books “Variant” and “Feedback,” begins a new YA series with “Blackout.” This thriller starts with super-powered teens attacking Hoover Dam, and the action only gets bigger from there. These teen terrorist attacks are happening all over the U.S., and the devastation is pretty epic. (Hint: You don’t want to be a fictional character living in Chicago in this book.)
The terrorists, however, are not the only teens with powers. Teens all over the country randomly start exhibiting powers. Jack, a former student turned janitor at his old high school, is shocked to see his entire school rounded up by the government, just as his old friend Aubrey turns invisible and escapes. Jack and Aubrey go on the run to avoid the government and try to find out why Aubrey has powers, while another perspective follows the terrorists trying to pick more damaging targets. The government blames a virus–but if so, how was it transmitted, why is it only affecting teens, and why are so many of the teens terrorists? Wells provides an interesting take on powers, and he has a flair for unexpected betrayals and bad situations becoming much worse.
If you’re a fan of X-Men or any other superhero fiction, chances are you’ll enjoy this book. Wells sets himself apart from other superhero fiction with his unusual take on traditional powers. For instance, instead of invisibility, Aubrey actually has the power to just be unnoticed by people around her. A terrorist doesn’t have complete mind control, but he can add or change memories to get what he wants. The power descriptions were as entertaining as finding out what happens next…speaking of, read this book and then join me in waiting for its sequel!
Originally published at Books for Dudes – “Blackout”.
After two months of nail-biting competition, central Missouri teens have selected their March Madness Teen Book Tournament Champion. We began with a list of 32 finalists which included bestsellers such as “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver, “Legend” by Marie Lu, and many Gateway and Truman Award nominees. Many thanks to the teachers and school librarians who have supported this program, and to all the teens who have participated! And now, the 2014 Champion is….“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Stay tuned to teens.dbrl.org for our sneak peek at this year’s teen summer reading challenge, Spark a Reaction. Through this program, the library challenges young adults to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews, and do seven of our suggested activities. Complete the challenge, and you will be eligible to win some pretty awesome prizes. Stay informed by subscribing to our email updates!
Originally published at 2014 Teen Book Champion Is Chosen!.
Join us for a special showing of “Welcome to Shelbyville” (Film is 50 min., rated PG.) at Columbia Public Library. The film is co-sponsored by Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates as part of the photo exhibit “The Missouri Immigrant Experience: Faces and Places” April 5–25 at the Columbia Public Library. Here’s a synopsis from their facebook page:
Change has come to rural Tennessee. Set against the backdrop of a shaky economy, “Welcome to Shelbyville” takes an intimate look at a southern town as its residents – whites and African Americans, Latinos and Somalis – grapple with their beliefs, their histories, and their evolving ways of life. “Welcome to Shelbyville” is directed and produced by Kim Snyder and executive produced by BeCause Foundation in association with Active Voice.
Chances are you know someone with autism. That’s because it is very prevalent – one in 88 births in the United States with a higher rate for boys (one in 54). Autism is a developmental disability with a neurological basis and is considered a spectrum disorder, affecting individuals to varying degrees, from mild to severe. Autism limits a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Certain behaviors are characteristic of and define this disorder.
This heart wrenching article that appeared in the New York Times gives you an inkling of the herculean efforts family members make in order to understand and support their children with autism.
April is National Autism Awareness Month! Considering the relatively great number of individuals and families impacted by this disorder and the fact that lifetime supports are needed to help them, it makes sense to educate the public about issues those with autism face and encourage fundraising to further research on this disability. Increased awareness brings acceptance, which is vital to the integration of the differently-abled into our communities.
Here in Columbia, Missouri we have a phenomenal resource – The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri. This nationally renowned facility seeks to improve the lives of those affected by autism and other neurological disorders via programs that integrate research, clinical service delivery, education and public policy. Life Skills/TouchPoint is another local organization that provides training and support services to those with autism and their family members.
Your library has extensive collections on both autism and Asperger’s Syndrome (a milder form of autism), that include books on parenting those with autism, alternative treatments, guides for teachers in the classroom, memoirs written by those on the spectrum and so on. If you would like to join a local event supporting research and families dealing with this disorder, William Woods University is sponsoring a 5K run on Friday, April 18 in Columbia, and the funds raised will benefit the Thompson Center.
Photo credit: Graphic from the Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office and used under a Creative Commons License.
We recently added “Birders: The Central Park Effect” to the DBRL collection. The film played on HBO in 2012 and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from the film’s imdb page:Birders: The Central Park Effect reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. Acclaimed author Jonathan Franzen, an idiosyncratic trombone technician, a charming fashion-averse teenager, and a bird-tour leader who’s recorded every sighting she’s made since the 1940s are among the film’s cast of characters. Featuring spectacular wildlife footage capturing the changing seasons, this lyrical documentary transports the viewer to a dazzling world that goes all but unnoticed by the 38 million people who visit America’s most famous park each year.
Even with my deep love for all things tall, green and leafy, I won’t generally pull out a book about trees to read for entertainment. (Give me a good murder mystery for that.) So I’m pleased to report that I have just read two nonfiction books that were thoroughly entertaining, sometimes even hair-raising – and definitely about trees.
In “The Wild Trees” (Richard Preston, 2007), the author takes us deep into the lives and minds of the original redwood canopy researchers – young men (and a few women) who, starting in the early 1990s, were the first to climb into the tops of the largest trees on earth. There they discovered a fairyland of plant and animal species, many previously unknown to science, and galvanized efforts to protect our remaining redwood forests.
This all sounds like good clean science fun, but in fact it requires both Olympic-level agility and astonishing bravery. The early canopy-climbers faced a gruesome death pretty much every day, and shocking close calls abound in this book. Publication of “The Wild Trees“ rightfully made Steve Sillett, the graduate student (now professor) who is at the center of the story, an international folk hero in the ecological community.
The hero of “The Man Who Planted Trees“ (Jim Robbins, 2012) is just as brave and adventurous – but in his own weird way. In 1991, David Milarch - a fiftyish, bar-fighting Michigan tree farmer – had a near-death experience after quitting alcohol cold-turkey. As he relates it, while in heaven he was given an assignment (by an archangel, no less). He was to save the planet from global warming by cloning the world’s oldest trees, which may provide the best genetic stock for reforestation as the climate changes.
Go ahead, scoff – but the man is doing it. Starting with no money, no college degree and no backers, Milarch has built an internationally respected organization that is advancing the art and science of global reforestation. The name of his organization? Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. (Read a 2013 interview with David Milarch here.)
Finally, if you’re not into adrenaline or angels, here are several more good tree reads for Arbor Day, available at DBRL:
The post Wild and Woody: Two Incredible Tree Stories for Arbor Day appeared first on DBRL Next.
Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2013 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share the best of these reviews throughout the year.
I was quite simply blown away by Jodi Picoult’s newest novel, “The Storyteller.” I’ve only read two or three of her books, so I don’t know how this one compares to others, but I was absolutely entranced by this story. It wasn’t instantaneous, but once it grabbed me, I felt as if I was in the world of “The Storyteller.”
As with most Picoult books, if not all, the story is told from a variety of different perspectives. So, a variety of sources tells the main story of Sage and her new 90+ year-old friend, Josef. Sage, with Jewish ancestry, meets Josef in a grief counseling group, and they strike up a friendship. Both seem damaged with pain from their past still affecting them, so they take comfort in one another. During the course of their friendship, Josef does something quite shocking. He informs Sage of his past as a Nazi officer in Auschwitz and then asks her if she will kill him.
What follows is a heartbreaking tale of the Holocaust and its costs to the world at large. A large portion of the novel follows Sage’s grandmother, who lived in Germany and was Jewish during World War II. She tells of her time in Auschwitz and how easily good people turned bad. Sage argues with Josef, herself and her own sense of right and wrong in deciding what she should do.
I think what sticks out in this story the most is the emotion behind the words and how much it touched me. As I was reading Sage’s grandmother’s words, I sat in my bed and literally cried at how her family was just violently torn apart and what she had to do to survive. I can’t wait to offer this to my book group as a possible read, because I know they will be just as moved as I was. In the end it asks the question, “What would you do in the face of such monstrosity?” A heartbreaking tale of family, life, love and the will to live, “The Storyteller” is going to stick with me for a long, long time.
Three words or phrases that describe this book: Holocaust, emotional, hidden identities
You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy historical fiction, especially World War II drama.
We recently added “Festival Express” to the DBRL collection. This is a two disc re-release of the 2003 film which currently has a rating of 96% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:In the summer of 1970, several of the era’s biggest rock stars, including Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Buddy Guy, took to the rails for Festival Express. The show was a multi-artist, multi-city concert tour that captured the spirit and imagination of a generation. The entire experience was filmed both off-stage and on, but the extensive footage of the events remained locked away for decades, only recently having been restored.
March is National Craft Month! Work on your favorite craft, learn a new craft or make something with your kids. The library has lots of good books to help.
Do you have an overabundance of t-shirts? Give an old t-shirt a new look. “T-shirt Style: Creating Fabulous Must-have Looks” by Gabrielle Sterbenz can help. Or turn a t-shirt into something completely different. Try “Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt” by Megan Nicolay or “T-shirt Quilts Made Easy” by Martha DeLeonardis. The Internet has some great ideas also. Michaels.com has instructions for an easy necklace, and Nancy’s Couture has instructions for a fun fringed scarf.
Do you like to reuse and recycle? Read “Alternacrafts” by Jessica Vitkus or “Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have” by Danny Seo. Just need inspiration? “1000 ideas for Creative Reuse” by Garth Johnson has lots of fun photos but no instructions.
Be creative in the kitchen. “Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My!” by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson has instructions for a variety of edible creatures, some easy, some challenging. Or attend a library program, and join us for Cupcake Decorating Basics at the Southern Boone County Public Library in Ashland on April 1.
Do you love to take photos? Why not create a scrapbook using ideas from “Scrapbook Tips & Techniques” from the editors of Creating Keepsakes magazine? Would you like to learn how to edit and enhance your digital photos? You could register for and attend the library program “Working with Digital Photos” on April 30 in Columbia.
Craft with paper and make your own greeting cards. “Ultimate Handbook for Paper Crafters” has tips and ideas for over 1,000 projects. Or attend the library program “Spring Card-Making” at the Southern Boone County Public Library in Ashland on April 25.
I love crafts year round and always have a project going. I just finished a “Landscape Quilt” from “Sew Fun: 20 Projects for the Whole Family” by Deborah Fisher. Now I’m working on a rag doll version of Peter Pan for my grandson. “Rag Dolls and How to Make Them” has instructions. I also have plenty of future plans. I found some fun fabrics with a grapevine and wine theme that I want to turn into a table runner. “Tabletop Quilts: 34 Projects” has clear instructions and wonderful photographs. Someday I would like to learn to knit and crochet, so “Knitting for Dummies” by Pam Allen and “Crocheting for Dummies” by Karen Manthey are on my “For Later” list in BiblioCommons, the library’s online catalog.
No matter your skill level, have some fun making something this month. It doesn’t matter how the finished product looks; just enjoy the process. You might find a new hobby that makes you happy.
For families with children under the age of 12, visit DBRL Kids for my recommendations for activities appropriate for little ones.
The post Celebrate National Craft Month With Help From Your Library appeared first on DBRL Next.
VOTE NOW through March 31 for the tournament champion!
Three months of reading and preparation have led to this moment: the announcement of our teen book tournament finalists! Thank you to all the students who have shared their favorites with us. So far, we’ve collected over 225 ballots from dozens of area teens. With each round of voting, teens’ names have been entered into a drawing for a free Barnes & Noble gift card or an autographed copy of “Legend” by Marie Lu! Prize winners will be announced next Wednesday, April 2 when we announce our tournament champion.March Madness Teen Book Tournament Finalists VOTE for your favorite title by Monday, March 31 at 5 p.m. You may vote online at teens.dbrl.org or pick up a paper ballot at one of our three branch locations.
Originally published at 2014 Teen Book Tournament Finalists Announced.
We recently added “Our Nixon” to the DBRL collection. The film played last year at various film festivals and currently has a rating of 92% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:Throughout Richard Nixon’s presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras. Young, idealistic and dedicated, they had no idea that a few years later they’d all be in prison.
“The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry“
by Gabrielle Zevin
“A middle-aged bookseller mourning his lost wife, a feisty publisher’s rep and a charmingly precocious abandoned child come together on a small island off the New England coast in this utterly delightful novel of love and second chances.”
-Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY
by Emma Donoghue
“Donoghue returns to historical fiction in this latest offering, based on the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet, a cross-dressing frog catcher with a mysterious past. Set in 1870s San Francisco, this brilliant book includes impeccable historical details, from a smallpox epidemic to period songs.”
-Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, IL
“And the Dark Sacred Night“
by Julia Glass
“Four stars to Julia Glass for this, her best work since ‘Three Junes.’ We become reacquainted with old characters Malachy, Fenno and Walter and learn more about their life stories. The individuals are imperfectly human and perfectly drawn. A wonderful, highly recommended novel.”
-Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN
Here is the rest of the list for your browsing and hold-placing pleasure!
- “Silence for the Dead“ by Simone St. James
- “By its Cover: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery“ by Donna Leon
- “The Intern’s Handbook: A Thriller“ by Shane Kuhn
- “Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home“ by Nina Stibbe
- “The Axe Factor“ by Colin Cotterill
- “Family Life“ by Akhil Sharma
- “On the Rocks“ by Erin Duffy
Why does the term Chick Lit rub me the wrong way? Maybe it is because as a friend of mine recently said, “We don’t have Dude Lit.” I found myself asking this question because March is Women’s History Month. Female writers today, and historically, add much to our culture. One of my colleagues pointed out that four of the New York Times top 10 books of 2013 were written by women. These books are: Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life,” Rachel Kushner’s “The Flamethrowers” and Sheri Fink’s “Five Days at Memorial.”
Chick Lit is a term that caught on in the 1990s and was attributed to books such as Helen Fielding’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” However, Chick Lit is a label that can change meanings depending on who is applying the label. For some, it is simply fun, light, fiction by and about females. Others see it more as the single working woman’s fiction. Whatever you want to call them, here are some books written by female authors. These are books any woman can appreciate.
The registration deadline for the May 3 SAT exam is Friday, April 4. Sign-up online.
If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our online guide to SAT/ACT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.
Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY). If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call (800) 324-4806.
Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!
Originally published at April 4 Registration Deadline for May SAT Exam.
Did you fill out an online survey about the library’s digital branch (www.dbrl.org) or participate in a focus group? If so, we thank you for providing us with some really valuable feedback we will use as we continue into the next phase of our website redesign. Many of you voiced similar concerns or questions, so we wanted to take the time to share some of what we learned and respond to some of your comments. (Note that the redesign process is still in the early stages – look for a new and improved dbrl.org in 2015.)
Less is more.
Many of you shared a real fondness for the resources available at dbrl.org, but you let us know that its text-heavy nature and busyness make it look cluttered and difficult to navigate.
No love for multiple log-ins.
I wish that we could tell you that we are developing a magic box where you can enter a single user name and password and have access to all of the third-party services we make available to you through our website, from the online catalog and interlibrary loan service to Zinio (downloadable magazines) and OverDrive (downloadable eBooks and audiobooks). The issue is that these tools and resources all come from different vendors, and they all work in different ways. Some of them require our users to create separate accounts to download their flashy magazines, and others need us to make sure that your library card number is in our database of active cardholders. For the most part, our vendors’ services don’t play nicely or neatly with each other. We hear (and share) your frustration, and we’ll continue to advocate on your behalf for better solutions. For now, if we want to be able to offer you eBooks and digital magazines (and we really want you to have access to downloadable materials), we have to settle for less than perfect in terms of their set-up and function. We do know that we can do a better job of creating clear FAQ pages for these services, and we will be working on that. Thanks for your support and patience.
Lose the library-ese.
There are some words we library folk love – reference, database, subject guide – but that mean little to those outside of the profession. One of our goals for the redesign will be to use everyday language to help you find the information you want and tools you need.
It’s not too late to share your feedback. Feel free to send your thoughts to email@example.com or post a comment here. Thank you! We look forward to making the digital branch an even more fun, interesting and useful place to visit.
The post We’re Listening. Update on our Digital Branch Redesign appeared first on DBRL Next.