If you are an adoptee born in Missouri, access to a copy of your original birth certificate will now be available to you! As of January 2, 2018, a new law in Missouri will allow those 18 and older access to a copy of their original birth certificate without the need for a court order. To help celebrate this milestone event, G’s Adoption Registry is having a special event to kick off the new law. Continue reading “Breaking the Seal: Accessing Adoptee Birth Certificates”
When my son was five, we gave him an allowance of 50 cents per week. Usually, he took his two quarters and put them in his Thomas the Tank Engine bank with all of the other coins he’d been given during his short life. There was never anything he wanted to buy. But one day when we were taking our cat to the vet, my son insisted on carrying his life savings along with him, stating he had something important to do with it. He remembered from a previous visit that our vet’s office kept a donation box in the waiting room to collect funds for a local animal shelter. He gave all of his money to help the homeless animals.
It’s a fundamental part of human nature to want to help those in need. That’s not just the view through my rose-colored glasses. There’s been research on the subject. Stefan Klein gathers and discusses much of this research in his book, “Survival of the Nicest.” He makes a case for altruism as the key to the survival of the human race. “The Giving Way to Happiness” by Jenny Santi shows that the act of giving has as many benefits for the giver as for the recipient. And Edgar Schein examines how to make sure efforts to help have the intended effect in his book “Helping: How to Offer, Give and Receive Help.” Continue reading “Giving Tuesday”
We are in the middle of NaNoWriMo, which means if you’re participating in this intense creative exercise you should have half of a new modern classic written. It probably has a rich sense of place, complex characters that the readers will love despite their flaws, romance, suspense, melancholy, hopefully a little karate and reading it will be a transformative experience. Or maybe the weight of these expectations has left you paralyzed.
If you’re stuck, I can relate. I’ve struggled with this blog post for a long time. At first I thought it would be funny to start a blog post about inspiration and writer’s block with jokes about how I couldn’t write it because of my writer’s block. Ha. After pages of hilarious riffing on that theme I realized it was trite and deleted everything. Back to the drawing board. Back to the blank screen. The screen stayed blank. For what seemed like hours I stared and the screen stared back. Then I thought I heard a voice coming from the screen. That was it! Someone discovers they have a talking computer screen and a beautiful friendship develops. No, a spicy romance. No, a professional rivalry. But what is the screen’s name? It has to have a name … Continue reading “NaNoWriMO: Halfway Point Malaise?”
“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”
Are you interested in learning about the realities of poverty in our community?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5% or 43.1 million people, which is a decrease of only 1.2% since 2014. Missouri currently has an estimated poverty rate of 15.6% or approximately 943,000 people living in poverty (American Fact Finder). In Columbia, that number is estimated at a shocking 24.4%, meaning that more than 28,000 people in Columbia are living below the poverty line (American Fact Finder).
Jim Butcher, a Missouri author most known for The Dresden Files, is coming to Columbia.
Well, I know what I’m doing on April 28.
The Dresden Files is an urban fantasy series that features Harry Dresden, private detective and Chicago’s only consulting wizard. The books are a delightful mix of hard-boiled crime drama and fantasy. These are the gritty Chicago streets … there just happen to be reanimated dinosaurs, too. If you’re looking to get started, the first book is Storm Front. Continue reading “Author Jim Butcher in Columbia”
Salman Rushdie will be the keynote speaker for the Unbound Book Festival this year. He has won more awards and accolades than I can even begin to list including the Booker Prize for his second book, “Midnight’s Children.”
I have read several books by Rushdie and I have several more on my “to read” list, and while I have enjoyed them all, the book that really struck me was his autobiography, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir.” “Joseph Anton” chronicles the aftermath and fallout from one of his novels. Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Welcome to the Unbound Book Festival!”
The Unbound Book Festival returns April 21-22 to Stephens College, with the elusive author Salman Rushdie headlining. The festival is a celebration of all things literary, with world renowned writers and poets coming to Columbia to talk about their writing. There will be panels, conversations, signings, author talks and more. Best of all? It’s free!
If you were able to get tickets to Rushdie’s talk on Friday, April 21 (which is now sold out), lucky you! If you weren’t, don’t worry too much, as there will be over 35 other, equally as talented authors for you to see and interact with. Poets, historians, crime fiction writers — even several local authors! You can see all the authors here.
We have created a few handy lists of the books by this year’s Unbound Book Festival authors: Continue reading “Unbound Book Festival: Book Lists”
Scholar and activist Angela Davis is coming to mid-Missouri! She will be hosted by the University of Missouri at the Missouri Theater on Tuesday, January 24 as part of their Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. The free tickets went fast — I think I got mine as soon as they were available! Whether you got a ticket and want to prepare for her visit, or you simply want to know more about her work for social justice, the library has you covered.
Angela Davis came of age during the civil rights battles of the ’60s. She knew all four victims of the Birmingham Baptist Church bombing. When she was an acting assistant professor at UCLA, Davis was targeted by the FBI and placed on their ‘Ten Most Wanted” list by J. Edgar Hoover. She was eventually captured, tried and found not guilty by an all white jury for her connection to the Soledad brothers and the Black Panther Party. Continue reading “Activist Angela Davis Is Coming to Columbia”
On May 28, thousands of cyclists will descend upon Flat Branch Park in downtown Columbia to embark on a soiree on wheels along the MKT and Katy Trails. Cyclists participating in the annual Pedaler’s Jamboree will make the 35 mile trek to Boonville’s Kemper Park on Saturday morning. Riders will be greeted with a celebration at the terminus of the journey complete with food, beverages and a plethora of live music, including (among many others) Flint Eastwood, The Royal Furs, Hounds, The Kay Brothers and Violet and The Undercurrents, fronted by Columbia’s own Violet Vonder Haar.
Bike decor, good times and costumes are enthusiastically encouraged. The Pedaler’s Jamboree Rider Pass is $50 and includes the transport of all bags to Boonville so that participants are free to ride at their own pace, unburdened by heavy gear. Non-Riders are also welcome and can purchase a pass for the celebration at Kemper Park for $15. For $6, cyclists can enjoy a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, during which riders can refuel before the return ride to Columbia. Shuttles are available to whisk cyclists and their bikes back to town, should they need a lift. Continue reading “Pedaler’s Jamboree: A Festival of Bicycles and Music”
From May 16 to May 22, the city of Columbia will host activities aimed at promoting non-automotive transportation. The 15th annual Bike, Walk and Wheel Week will feature festivals, group bike rides, free city bus rides and more. As always, your library can provide resources for inspiration and information.
In the first category, I suggest Ben Montgomery’s book, “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.” In 1955, 67-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood left her Ohio home, telling her children and grandchildren she was going on a walk. Several months later, she’d earned the distinction of becoming the first woman to hike the entire 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. Continue reading “Bike, Walk and Wheel Week”