October 30th 2013
In honor of Halloween, some denizens of the Interwebs are indulging their list-making mania by compiling lists of scary books or movies.  Below is a brief list of my own: six works--three books, three movies that were created with one purpose in mind: to scare the bejesus out of us. Books: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This 1959 novel is the haunted house story. Hill House is a long-abandoned country residence with an unsettling reputation. An investigator of psychic... Read Post
October 18th 2013

The new biography of Jim Henson just arrived at the library and it's quite popular.  And Winnie the Pooh was published 87 years ago this week (Oct. 14, 1926). You're probably wondering what the two have to do with each other. Not much, except for the convergence of the creations of Henson and Milne in one of my favorite Muppet Show segments: Hat tip to Matthew Falk of the University of Baltimore for introducing me to this clip.

October 11th 2013
BiblioBites is an occasional series of mini book reviews - here's the latest edition! The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers This is a moving and detailed account of a soldier’s experiences in Iraq worthy of comparison to All Quiet On the Western Front.  This book is finding its way into Book Clubs and Community Reads (ex: MSU and the Town of East Lansing) with good reason.  Given the gradual emerging awareness of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) readers will come to understand that the... Read Post
October 9th 2013
This week marks the conclusion of one of our various Heritage Months that are celebrated throughout the year: Hispanic Heritage Month. The U.S. government has recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month as the days between September 15 and October 15.  This celebration started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, but it wasn’t until 1988 that was expanded to span 30 days. This designated period commemorates the anniversary of independence from Spain of various Latin American countries, such as... Read Post
October 8th 2013
To most of us the word "Cambridge" means Whole Foods and Harvard, or funky shops on Mass. Ave. But to author Sam Baltrusis, Cambridge means a lonely British soldier from the Revolution, forever wandering the pews of Christ Church looking for his brothers-in-arms, or Dr. George Parkman, a Harvard professor brutally murdered in 1849, whose restless spirit still lingers at the site of his death. Join us this Thursday 7 p.m. at the Central Library when Baltrusis reads from his book The Ghosts of... Read Post
October 4th 2013
Univision, a Spanish language TV station, is offering a a series of programs to support the education of Hispanic students, with particular focus on college access for first generation students. Next week is Univision's Semana ¡Edúcate, Es El Momento!  Click here to see  the programs they have planned focusing on a variety of subjects related to this topic. In addition, there are some online resources and programs to check out.  These include a platform with information specifically targeted... Read Post
October 1st 2013
The Government of the United States, a concern that has been running more or less smoothly since April 1, 1789, is closed until further notice.  Here's what you need to know. First, why? The House and Senate failed to agree on a bill to fund the government for the fiscal year.  In a nutshell, there's no money to pay the people who do many of the jobs that make the government work. What does this mean? Government employees are divided into "essential" and "non-essential." And some parts of... Read Post
October 1st 2013
At the Central Library and at the branches. Give us a call!
September 28th 2013
We regret to report that the telephones at the Central Library and the branches are not working. If you call your main number you will get the usual recorded message, but if you dial an extension, you will be sent directly to voice mail. The City has been notified.
September 20th 2013
The 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the greatest art theft of all time. In less than an hour and a half two intruders impersonating policemen got into the museum after hours and made off with $500 million worth of art, including three Rembrandts--and yet left far more valuable works hanging on the walls . A quarter century later the crime is still unsolved.  Theories abound: suspects have included Myles Connor, longtime art thief and musician who played with Roy Orbison... Read Post
September 18th 2013
What can you do to avoid investment fraud?  A good first step is to educate yourself about "The Three Ps": the Profile of the typical victim common Persuasion tactics used by fraudsters techniques to help Prevent fraud Staff from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be at the Central Library this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. with a presentation on all of these topics, as well as a demonstration on how to check the status and disciplinary history of investment professionals.  The... Read Post
September 17th 2013
On Thursday, September 26th at 7:00 p.m, you're invited to the Central Library to meet Sara Farizan, author of If You Could Be Mine. Pulling back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture, If You Could Be Mine is the stunning debut novel by Iranian American writer Sara Farizan about hope and love in the face of danger. Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. But being gay is a crime punishable by death in... Read Post
September 11th 2013

You can see footage of today's ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks  here. If you want to participate in tonight's vigil, it starts at 6 pm at the Cedar Street entrance to the Community Path. Middle East expert Juan Cole notes that the FBI still hasn't released documents that could demonstrate how "un-Islamic" the 9-11 hijackers are. You can examine three very different perspectives on the attacks here, here and here. And over at the Washington Monthly, they've... Read Post

September 9th 2013
Our government might be lobbing missiles at Syria fairly soon. Or it might not. In either case, what do any of us really know about Syria? In my case, not much other than it's north of Lebanon, is an ally of Russia, and that there's a civil war going on. The declared reason for an attack on Syria is the use of chemical weapons. But the assumption that it's the Syrian government using the chemical weapons may not be correct.* Here's a Q & A from the Washington Post listing things we should... Read Post
September 3rd 2013

We're very happy to announce the band Too Human will be performing at the Central Library this Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. They've performed all along the East Coast and their jazzy, upbeat music has been described as "incredible" and "full of energy" and as "some of the best darned songs you've ever heard." You can see a brief video from their concert at the Wilmington Public Library below:   We hope you'll join us.  Interestingly, the members of the band have also had a long and varied as... Read Post