Category Archives: Books and Reading

Spring thoughts of gardens, libraries & fresh ideas

Libraries are an attempt to impose order in a world of clues…They are places of redemption.  Stuart Kells

To appreciate a small selection of  library wonders, check these magnificent libraries https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/books-about-libraries-history or enjoy a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful “houses of literature here: https://twitter.com/i/moments/988539861127876608

Places to go, Things to do – a sampling

May 5 — Minnesotans will be celebrating with friends of Mexican descent the grand festival that is Cinco de Mayo.   The celebration will mean more for those who take time to learn a bit about the history and stories that shape the celebration.  History can offers an accessible primer on the how the celebration (which is not Mexico’s national holiday) came to be: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo  To learn more about happenings in this area, check this great guide to Cinco de Mayo: https://mailchi.mp/19c63e94fbfc/join-us-this-saturday-for-cinco-de-mayo

May 5 – Researching the history of your Minneapolis Home, 10;30-11:30 – Webber Park Library, 4440 North Humboldt in North Minneapolis.   An introduction to house history presented by experts from Minneapolis Central Library archives.

May 5 – Author Talk with Erik Riveness:   Dirty Doc Ames and the Scandal that Shook Minneapolis, Minneapolis Central Library, 2:00-3:00 PM

The first weekend of May explodes with energy and ideas generated by Heart of the Beast – Highlight of the celebration is the MayDay Parade, now in its 44thyear. Planners expect more than 50,000 people to fill the streets as participants and spectators.  Full details on May Day related events here:  https://hobt.org/mayday/

You know it really IS spring when it’s time for Art-a-Whirl, the celebration of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area.  For the 23rdseason AAW will be happening on every street and in every studio, library, and eatery throughout Northeast… It’s one of those events that defies description – you want to  be there, and you’ll want to tour more than once.    It’s May 15-18, open to all.  Check out the schedule of exhibits, activities and open studios as well as the logistics here: https:/emaa.org/art-a-whirl/

Starting on May 9th net neutrality activists and some sites will post “red alerts” to protest the FCC’s effort to roll back net neutrality protections.  More here: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/30/red-alert-net-neutrality-campaigners-announce-new-effort-overturn-fccs-assault-open To keep up with what’s happening on the net neutrality front, check this updated blog entry:  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/protecting-whats-ours-on-net-neutrality-day-of-action/

Again this year the American Craft Council Library is sponsoring the popular Library Salon series of presentations. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the conversation starting at 7:00.  For more information about the Library or the Library Salon Series contact the ACC at 612 206-3100 or library@craftcouncil.org  Forthcoming presentations include

* May 9 – “Reality is only a Rorschach inkblot, you know”, presented by Seattle artist Anna Miasowsky.  The artist will discuss how the many states of glass – its mutability, transformative character, and intangible materiality – have been her “alter ego.”  Mlasowsky will lead the group through her work and discuss what a material-based contemporary practice can express about our culture and perceptions.

* June 13 – Guest presenter is Dr. Heather Akou who will talk about “Creating African Fashion Histories.” Akou is associate professor of fashion design and merchandising in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design at Indiana University.  Also from the American Craft Council – Oral History Interviews with the Potters of the St. Croix River Valley – audio recordings, transcripts and photographs.  Details at www.bit.ly/accstcroix

Looking ahead – Thursday, May 24, marks the 30thAnnual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.  The grand celebration features keynote speaker William Kent Krueger and emcee Barton Sutter.  There’s a book fair and reception (5:00) followed by the Awards Ceremony * speaker and reception. Events take place at the Northland County Cub in Duluth.  Free and open (umn.edu/nemba or 218 726 7889)

Pew Research Center’s program on Religions & Public Life has produced and is making available a video entitled Being Muslim in the U.S. It’s a look inside the belies and attitudes of Muslims in America, based in part on data from Pew Research Centers 2017 survey as well as the personal stories of Muslims in the US.  The accompanying survey report is entitled “U.S. Muslims concerned about their place in society, but continue to believe in the American Dream.”  http://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/17/video-being-muslim-in-the-u-s/

Rise Up: The Movement that changed America, is a one-hour documentary from executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter.  The documentary follows the inner workings of legislative decisions that resulted, including the Montgomery Campaign, the Civil Rights and the Voting Rights Act.

PBS will launch the Great American Read with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22. The series, hosted by TV personality and journalist Meredith Viera, will introduce viewers to PBS’s list of the country’s 100 favorite novels. Learn much more about the ambitious project here: (http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

Style note:  Atlas Obscura must have reveled in the opportunity to share the story of “girdle books.”  (now rendered obsolete by smart phones and podcasts)   Girdle books were small and light, wrapped in leather and carried like a purse. They are commonly depicted in paintings of Medieval bibliophiles.  Read more at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-a-girdle-book)

Digital treasures:

The New York Academy of Medicine is celebrating the 20thanniversary of publication of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by showcasing rare books and objects dating back to the 15thCentury.  The books and objects reveal the history behind many of the creatures, plants and other magical elements that appear in the Harry Potter Series.  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-real-magical-texts-are-straight-out-of-harry-potter_us_59504de2e4b02734df2b33e9

The Newberry Libraryhas digitized their collection of early 20th Century Lakota drawings.  It’s an open access collection that, according to creators, “tells a curious history”.  The collection includes drawings by Sioux Indians, all images from the Edward E. Ayer Digital Collections.  Learn much more here: https://hyperallergic.com/438554/collection-of-early-20th-century-lakota-drawings/

Kudos:

Daniel Gullo, Eileen Smith, and David Calabro from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library are recipients of the 2018 Minnesota Academic Innovators Award.  The trio have developed a method to establish new authorities for under-represented communities not commonly found in LC and VIAF authority files – e.g. authors and titles from early modern and medieval Eastern Christian and Islamic writers. The award is sponsored by several library associations’

The Library of Congress has announced that author E. Annie Proulx has been named recipient of the LC Prize for American Fiction.  Proulx is author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountainhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/annie-proulx-wins-library-of-congress-prize-for-american-fiction/2018/05/01/fb6b3da6-4ca1-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html?utm_term=.d73ed5758b7a

Concerned that your carefully crafted turns of phrase will die aborning? Consider the story of “late bloomer” Zora Neale Hurston.  A mere 87 years after Hurston penned her novel The Last Black Cargo, Hurston, , who died in 1960, would no doubt be pleased to know that her masterpiece has been published, now renamed Barracoon (in some editions, The Last Black Cargo).  See “A long-unpublished book by Zora Neale Hurston” by Casey N. Cap, New Yorker, May 14, 2018 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/05/02/zora-neale-hurston-87-years-after-she-wrote-of-the-last-black-cargo-the-book-is-being-published/?utm_term=.ceb3f5178faat   

Forecast is turning 40!   In its four decades Forecast has emerged as pioneer in a growing movement of which Forecast is a powerful leader.  Public Art Review, published by Forecast, stands alone.  The 40thanniversary celebration will continue throughout the year, including a June TC’s Public Art Tour, Launch of Forecast’s Public Art Consulting Training Program and a 40thanniversary party and awards ceremony to be held next Fall.

The American Library Association has tapped Minnesota librarians Trent Brager (University of St. Thomas), Amy Mars (St. Catherine University), and Kim Pittman (University of Minnesota Duluth) for its 2018 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Innovation award. The trio developed 23 Framework Things, an “academic librarian-focused, self-paced program [that] encourages participants to read, reflect, and respond to prompts and big questions surrounding the implementation of the [Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education] at their institutions.”  According to ALA, the program currently has “more than 300 registered participants from 42 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, along with nine countries outside the United States.”

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

 

 

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National Library Week 2018 – Musings

Librarians are the true superheroes–they can help us find our best selves & carve out the future we want, instead of  what’s thrown at us. – Laurie Halse, author

This week (April 8-14) is celebrated nationwide as National Library Week 2018.  During the week, I have fervently devoted a good deal of time reading and pondering the expanding and necessary role of libraries in this, the “Information Age.”

By week’s end, I have once again concluded that what we should be celebrating is National Librarians Week.  Clearly it is people, not buildings, that shape the library experience today.  And never has the role of library workers been more essential for individual seekers of truth, for their communities, and to the fate of an informed and thinking democracy.

As week’s end, I’m at a loss for words to express the urgency I feel about the challenge facing librarians – and for decision-makers who determine the fate of libraries and librarians in a political environment neither recognizes nor values truth-seeking as a priority.

And so, as I grapple with confusion and concern, I look for hope in the words and thoughts of others.   I have sought for and embraced articulate defenders, those who understand and write about the range of ways in which librarians create community, inform decision-making, and preserve American values – with gusto.

Overwhelmed by concerns about critical and independent thinking in this democracy I turn to more articulate spokespersons to share their vision and hope for libraries and librarians. Try to take time this weekend to peruse, if briefly one of more of these thoughtful essays:

And, if we have the snowfall that’s predicted, you might want to take a quick look at some past blog posts on libraries and the critical thinking skills that inform and fulfill the hope that inspires this democracy.  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/information-and-media-not-weapons-but-tools/

Democracy depends on an informed population. And where can people get all the information they need? —At the Library.” – Elliot Shelkrot,

National Library Week tradition — Top 10 Challenged Books

ALA’s ‘Most Challenged Books’ List

The American Library Associationreleased its annual Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, included in the ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report 2018, which “affirms the invaluable role libraries and library workers play within their communities by leading efforts to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.”

According to the report, libraries continue to face challenges–including the potential for censorship–to a variety of books, programs and materials. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2017. Some individual challenges resulted in requests to restrict or remove multiple titles or collections. OIF estimates that 82%-97% of challenges remain unreported. Overall in 2017, 416 books were targeted–direct attacks on the freedom to read. The most frequently challenged titles last year were:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  9. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
  10. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Life after football – Time to read, view, listen, plan for Spring!

By the time you read this post you will have recovered from the Super Bowl and gone back to shoveling, politics and thinking about life, the universe and everything.   Consider these possibilities:

Has all the political foment – or maybe it was going to see The Post – inspired you to go back to the Good Old Days of Watergate?   Now online at the Library of Congress are the Senate Watergate hearings.  The American Archive of Public Broadcasting recently published an online exhibit at LC. Gavel-to-Gavel: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television (https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-167/library-and-wgbh-acquire-historic-tv-coverage-of-senate-watergate-hearings/2017-11-03)

While you’re surfing the treasures of the Library of Congress, click on some of LC’s digital trove of resources including, definitely not limited to, these:

Or relax and enjoy this video discussion of Hannah and Sugar, the children’s book written and illustrated by Kate Berube, recently named recipient of the 2017 Ridgway Award.   Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the U of M Library’s Kerlan Collection, shares the book and background on the Ridgway Award, the annual honor presented to an author or illustrator in recognition of an outstanding debut in the world of children’s picture book.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWDVlXqxySM

Weather permitting you may want to venture out –  bundle up and explore these possibilities:

  • The new season for Talk of the Stacks which begins on February 27 when Alicia Eler, Stephanie Glaros and Stephanie Curtis will explore “identity as it relates to digital media.” See the season schedule and details here: (https://www.supporthclib.org/talk-stacks).   Friends of Minneapolis will also hold their Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 5:30 PM at the Central Library.
  • Or check out these forthcoming Club Book author talks;
    • Omar El Akkad – Tuesday, February 13, 7 PM at Saint Anthony Park Library in St Paul
    • Peter Geye – Monday, February 26, 7 PM at Rum River Library in Anoka
    • William Kent Krueger – Thursday, March 1, 6:30 at Chanhassen Public Library

Click here for information on sponsorship and full season schedule.   http://clubbook.org.  Note that Club Book presentations are podcast so you can listen at your leisure.

Sign of the times:   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/youtube-will-start-labeling-videos-from-state-funded-broadcasters/ar-BBIDpOW?ocid=UE01DHP

If the long winter has depleted your “to be read” pile, check out this listing of the National Book Critics Circle finalists for books published during 2017.   http://bookcritics.org/blog/archive/national-book-critics-circle-announces-finalists-for-2017-awards

Resistance, Resilience, Renewal — a gathering of poetry and song celebrating the enduring legacy and inspiration of Meridel LeSueur.  The special event, set for 6:30 p.m. on February 22, is hosted by the East Side Freedom Side Freedom Library and the St Paul Almanac.  It’s at 630 PM on February 22.  The program begins with presentations and performances of Meridel’s work as well as original work by established and emerging artists.  More at https://www.evensi.us/renewal-gathering-poetrysong-celebrating-meridel-lesueur-east-side-freedom-library/244411880 

Take time to mark your calendar for these special events:
  • World Storytelling Day is set for March 20, 2018. Theme of the local event is “Wise Fools – Wisdom on the Folly of War.  Again this year the local event will be at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul.  Details to follow.
  • The Spring 2018 Westminster Town Hall Forum schedule is out.  All presentations are at Westminster Presbyterian Church on the Mall in downtown Minneapolis.  Dates and speakers are: March 22 – Noon, Journalist and editor Suzy Hansen, “An American Abroad” –  April 10, Noon, Pediatrician and children’s health advocate Nadine Burke Harris “Children Adversity and Health. – May 1, Noon, Steve Schmidt, Founder of the Center for Political Communication at the University of Delaware, “A candid look at today’s headlines.” – May 22, 7:00 PM, Richard Stengel, Former managing editor of Time. “Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life.”  Come early for the music that precedes the Forum; stay for the public reception that follows. All talks are broadcast on Minnesota public radio:  Questions: contact 612 332 3421.   

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.  John Boswell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcement: Minnesota Book Awards finalists

The Friends of St Paul Public Library has just published this list of finalists for this year’s Minnesota Book Awards

***********************************************

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Sponsored by Books for Africa

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui
(Capstone Young Readers/Capstone*)

Mighty Moby by Ed Young, text by Barbara DaCosta
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group)

Round by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright
by K. L. Going, illustrated by Lauren Stringer
(Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster)

 

 

 

GENERAL NONFICTION
Sponsored by College of Saint Benedict/
Saint John’s University

Alice in France:The World War I Letters of Alice M. O’Brien
by Nancy O’Brien Wagner
(Minnesota Historical Society Press*)

The First and Only Book of Sack: 36 Years of Cartoons for the Star Tribune by Steve Sack
(Star Tribune Media Co.*)

Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy by Elaine Tyler May
(Basic Books/Hachette Book Group)

Mountain Ranch by Michael Crouser
(University of Texas Press)

 

 

 

GENRE FICTION
Sponsored by Macalester College

The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb
(Lake Union Publishing)

Nothing Stays Buried by P. J. Tracy
(G. P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House)

Sulfur Springs by William Kent Krueger
(Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)

 

 

 

MEMOIR & CREATIVE NONFICTION
Sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels

Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen
(Clarkson Potter/Crown Publishing)

It Won’t Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching by Tom Rademacher
(University of Minnesota Press*)   

Marcel’s Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man’s Fate 
by Carolyn Porter
(Skyhorse Publishing)

Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year by Linda LeGarde Grover
(University of Minnesota Press*)

 

 

 

MIDDLE GRADE LITERATURE
Sponsored by Education Minnesota

A Crack in the Sea by H. M. Bouwman
(G. P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Random House)

The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget
(Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group)

Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d
by Mary Losure
(Candlewick Press)

Rooting for Rafael Rosales by Kurtis Scaletta
(Albert Whitman & Company)

 

 

 

MINNESOTA NONFICTION
Sponsored by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

A Bag Worth a Pony: The Art of the Ojibwe Bandolier Bag

by Marcia G. Anderson
(Minnesota Historical Society Press*)

Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound
by Andrea Swensson
(University of Minnesota Press*)

Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice by Roberta Walburn
(University of Minnesota Press*)

Sights, Sounds, Soul: The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis by Davu Seru, photography by Charles Chamblis
(Minnesota Historical Society Press*)

 

 

 

NOVEL & SHORT STORY
Sponsored by Fitzgerald in Saint Paul

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
(HarperCollins Publishers)

Stories for a Lost Child by Carter Meland
(Michigan State University Press)

The Through by A. Rafael Johnson
(Jaded Ibis Press)

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
by Lesley Nneka Arimah
(Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House)

 

 

 

POETRY
Sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.

Autopsy
by Donte Collins (Button Poetry*)

Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum
for Archaic Media
by Heid E. Erdrich
(Michigan State University Press)

Solve for Desire by Caitlin Bailey
(Milkweed Editions*)

Thousand Star Hotel by Bao Phi
(Coffee House Press*)

 

 

 

YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
Sponsored by Brainfuse

The Exo Project by Andrew DeYoung
(Boyds Mills Press/Highlights)

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren
(Amulet Books/Abrams)

Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers
(HarperTeen/HarperCollins Publishers)

Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

(Dial Books/Penguin Random House)

 

 

Places to go, things to do in the new year!

I find television very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.  Groucho Marx

The Water Bar & Public Studio celebrates the reopening of their great gathering place Friday, January 26, with a Winter Social and Exhibition Party.  Theme of the evening, marking the Water Bar’s first exhibition, is River Relationships: Portraits of a River and Its People.   It’s 6:00-9:00 PM at the Water Bar, 2518 Central Avenue NE.  Details here:  https://www.water-bar.org/events/2018/1/26/winter-social.

The Super Bowl inspires different strokes for different folks.  Take a Knee Nation tackles themes of “sports, social justice, labor and race” at the Take a Knee Nation conference set for February 3-4.  Learn more about the origins of the event here:  https://www.thenation.com/article/colin-kaepernick-was-mocked-and-threatened-for-taking-a-knee-hes-also-winning/  The East Side Freedom Library offers a preliminary kickoff to the conference with a free and open discussion on Wednesday, January 24 – details here:  https://www.thenation.com/article/colin-kaepernick-was-mocked-and-threatened-for-taking-a-knee-hes-also-winning/

Also opening this weekend at the ESFL is Nidoto Nai Yoni, John Matsunaga’s exhibit of photographs from the remains of WWII: Forgetting and Remembering the Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans.  The project, supported by the Minnesota Japanese American Citizens League and the Council on American Islamic Relations-Minnesota, portrays the experiences of immigrants confined in camps in Thailand, Kenya, Laos and other sites.  The exhibit opens Friday, January 26, 6:30 PM.  On Saturday, February 17, 1:00 PM there will be a discussion of the roles of artists as observers and resisters. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/representing-and-resisting-historical-injustices-through-art/

MN Writes MN Reads is a digital age program offered by Minnesota libraries.  It’s for writers interested in easy-to-use, free resources for publishing and sharing e-books, and for readers interested in reading e-books by local writers.  Learn more at https://www.mnwritesmnreads.org/ or at your local public library.

Mizna is meeting the challenge of anti-Muslim, anti-Arab and anti-immigrant sentiments by taking the renowned Arab Film Festival on tour.  Mizna will tour independent Arab cinema to six Minnesota college campuses and their neighbors.  Campuses include Macalester, Hamline, St. Catherine’s, Concordia (TC’s), Metro State and St Benedict’/St. John’s.   The tour begins this week and continue through April.  Details here: http://mizna.org/articles/events/183.shtml

You might also want to check out yet another timely event at the ESFL here: http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/events/mooz-lum-black-history-month-film-screening-discussion/

Poken Sword offers a unique and “luminous evening dedicated to the love of language” on the regular fourth Friday evening of the month, i.e.7:00 PM on January 26 at 2001: A Space, 2001 5th Street NE in Minneapolis.   Local emerging and established writers will read on works related to this month’s theme, “torment.”  The evening will begin with bluegrass ensemble Pants on a Chair and their songs of heartache and murder: https://www.pokensword.com

The Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum takes a look at an earlier time when the press was cast as the “enemy of the people.”  Independent scholar Beth Johanneck will speak about a time in the 1930’s when the Minneapolis underworld was ruled by not-so-Minnesota-Nice gangs that failed to appreciate journalists’ efforts to clean up the city.  The MISF meeting, open to all, is at 9:30, speaker at 10:00, at the Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis.  http://www.mnindependentscholars.org/node/60

 The Minnesota Genealogical Society, and several of its affiliates, have moved from their South St. Paul site to Mendota Heights.  New address: 1385 Mendota Heights Road, Mendota Heights, MN.  As more MGS library and other resources come online MGS can offer ready access to the unique resources of a host of organizations — here’s a good starting point:  https://mngs.org/cpage.php?pt=25

In case you missed the headlines, be sure to check out the new documentary, premiered at Sundance, celebrating the life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “RBG” will restore your faith in the rule of law and the wisdom of this stellar jurist.  Check it out here: http://ew.com/movies/2018/01/22/sundance-ruth-bader-ginsburg-rbg-documentary-premiere/.  More about the filmmakers here:https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/22/rbg_new_documentary_celebrates_life_of and a fun SNL spoof on RBG’s not retiring here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDXxsRB4s7Y&et=&bu=&cn=&src=&pt=

 Whistling Shade, the literary journal and small press, has issued a fun call for submissions for their Spring/Summer issue.  They’re looking for poetry, stories, essays, whatever the format on the topic “Food and Drink”.  Sounds like a creative way to spend a few snowbound evenings – and to justify some good eats.  http://www.whistlingshade.com/submissions.html

Fun read for a winter’s eve:  Unique libraries share information about their “oldest holdings.https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/oldest-library-books-small-specific-libraries-manuscripts

Should you prefer maps you might want to explore the Civil War Maps series recently digitized and available online from the National Archives. https://unwritten-record.blogs.archives.gov/2017/10/17/rg-109-confederate-maps-series-now-digitized-and-available-online/

Winter in Minneapolis brings out the best in Northeasters – The next Winter Market at the NE Farmers Market is Sunday, February 18, 10 AM-2 PM. Chowgirls Killer Catering will be there with tacos: scrambled eggs, carnitas or mole seitan, white rice and black beans with cilantro and lime spices. DJ theme of the February Market is funk/soul/disco/blues! http://www.facebook.com/NortheastFarmersMarket.

Does The Post (the movie) leave you craving more movies about journalism?  Ever aware of readers’ needs the (real) Washington Post has published a list of the ten best movies about journalism – complete with reviews by noted journalists. Seems like another winter project for an enterprising library or other seeker of truth organization.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/12/14/the-10-best-journalism-movies/?utm_term=.92733ffdd1f0

The Blue Ox Review (I love the name!) is a new blog, curated by Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota – who explains the title of her blog as “a nod to independence.”  Lisa, a veteran reviewer, is somehow  finding time – and “itch – to share her reviewing skills on her own blog:  https://www.continuum.umn.edu/kerlan/

The University of Minnesota-Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library and Friends of the Duluth Public Library are now accepting nominations for the Thirtieth Annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards.  The awards ceremony is set for May 24 –Deadline for entries is soon – February 1!  Find all of the details about NEMBA here:  https://lib.d.umn.du/about/nemba.

Conversation with Books is a tradition at St. Catherine University.  Professors and avid reader graduates will discuss the selected books on Saturday, February 2, 1:00 pm at Coeur de Catherine center on campus.  Details, including the list of books to be discussed, are online at https://www.stkate.edu/news-and-events/events/conversation-with-books-2018

First Fridays sponsored by the U of M Archives and Special Collections continues in the new year.  First Fridays are free and open to the public; light refreshments served at 11 with presentations beginning at Noon.  All are in the Elmer L. Andersen Library. For a full schedule of winter/spring 2018 offerings click here: https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/first-fridays-february-2018/

CraftBOWL is another timely winter event sponsored by the American Swedish Institute.  Focus of CraftBOWL is “The Handmade” – a broad look at what “handmade” means in traditional and contemporary, local and global terms.  It features the work by three internationally acclaimed craft artists from Sweden: Jogge Sundqvist (wood), Ingegard Raman (ceramics) and Bertil Vallien (glass). https://www.asimn.org/about-us/press-room/craftbowl-exhibition-launches-american-swedish-institutes-2018-year-handmade

Club Book announces the line-up for the Winter/Spring 2018 season. Writers on this winter/spring roster include Omar El Akkad, Peter Geye, William Kent Krueger, Laura Lippman, Ariel Lawhon, Anita Shreve, Patricia Hampl, Emily Fridlund, and Samantha Irby.  Fortunately for the homebound and many others Club Book extends the reach of the writers by podcasting the discussions soon after the presentations.  The series is funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Events are free and open to the public.  Details about writers and their books, dates, locations and more about Club Book here: http://clubbook.org

The Friends of the St Paul Public Library is the monthly sponsor of Books & Bars, a long-running series of book discussions moderated by Jeff Kamin every Tuesday of the month.  The February 6 book discussion is on Yaa Gyasi’s novel Homecoming.  It’s at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 5:00 for happy hour social, discussion at 6:15.  No registration required.  Enjoy Jeff Kamin’s description of the Why of Books & Bars here: https://thefriends.org/2017/06/28/jeff-kamin-on-books-bars-reading-and-why-libraries-are-better-than-netflix/

So much to do, so little time.

 

 

Long evenings leave time to learn- Some on-site and armchair options

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall —  
F. Scott Fitzgerald 

As the nation commemorates October as National Archives Month the many faces of archival work come into focus, including on the federal government scene.  In the headlines this month is the issue of preservation of White House archives. The White House, including the temporary resident, is required by law to preserve all presidential documents, including emails and other electronic records.  Because this is not happening it has been necessary for National Archives officials to express serious concerns.  A recent [10/17] POLITICO report by Josh Dawsey and Bryan Bender describes the archival challenge in detail. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/17/national-archives-trump-documents-preserve-243888)

October 19 – 5:00-7:30 pm In Their Own Words: The Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project. Elmer L. Andersen Library, U of M.    Vignettes from the “In Their Own Words” project, artifacts, books and documents from the Tretter Collection.  Reservations https://www.continuum.umn.edu/reg/reservation-transgender-oral-history-project-exhibit-reception/

October 28 -UPDATE:  The Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum reports a special program appropriate to the bicentennial celebration of Henry David Thoreau.   Photographer and author Dale Schwie will be speaking at the organization’s monthly meeting. Dale will discuss his recent book, Taking Sides with the Sun, a biography of Herbert W. Gleason whose work includes a major collection of “Thoreau Country” photographs, now housed in the Special Collections of the Concord MA Free Public Library.  (https://www.thoreausociety.org/thoreau-country)   MISF and guests will meet at the North Regional Library, Lowry and Fremont Avenues North.  The library opens at 9:00; meeting at 10:00.  Ample parking.  Free and open.

The U of M Archivists continue to take a lead in the digital age.  New online from the Kerlan Collection is an amazing online exhibit, Children’s Book Art: Techniques and Media. (Z.umn.edu/techniques)   The digitized exhibit explores the ways in which artists explore today’s media to express ideas and delight young readers.  As with most children’s literature there’s no limit on age or enjoyment of the visual treats.

Bookish.com is launching BookishFirst, an early preview and review platform featuring new books and authors, pre-pub excerpts, blurbs, reviews and more.   (https://www.bookish.com)

Everybody needs a break! — There’s a new Nancy Drew TV series in the works!  http://deadline.com/2017/10/nancy-drew-tv-series-nbc-tony-phelan-joan-rater-dan-jinks-1202189328/

If Halloween freaks you out, the good people at Poets.org (https://www.poets.org) offer a National Archives Month celebration of poetry appropriate to the season.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/halloween-poems   Do not miss John Berryman’s Halloween, read by the poet – archived by the archivists we honor this month. (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/stanza/archive-john-berrymans-halloween-reading)

Thoughts of the Children’s Book Art exhibit, combined with the spookiness of Halloween,  focus the mind on reading and children, especially children and young people for whom books and reading offer both a challenge and a treasured opportunity.  Reading and books will help these young readers to  live the life envisioned by Charlemagne who told us that “to have another language is to possess a second soul.”

October is Bilingual Child Month

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P.S. from the Roseville Library (Ramsey County)

Fake News: a History
October 25 – Roseville: 12:30 p.m. Roseville Library – What explains the recent rise of fake news and wily accusations of “fake news”? Join University of Minnesota scholar Harshit Rathi for a different look at the news media and how we got here. Cost: Free. For more information contact them at 651-724-6022.

American Politics in the Age of Trump: A First Look at History
October 31November 7 and 14
 – Roseville: 12:30 p.m. Roseville Library – Whatever your political point-of-view, it’s time to take a first look at what will certainly be one of the major historical events of the 21st century. This series features speakers from a variety of political positions, in which will consider the first draft of a history of the Trump Presidency. For more information contact them at 651-724-6022.