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Commemorating Juneteenth

by Adult Services Library Associate Beth

Juneteenth – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States. It originated in Galveston, Texas, recognizing the anniversary of the June 19, 1865 announcement of General Order No. 3. This order freed the remaining enslaved people in the state via President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

To celebrate this historic day, Bexley Public Library, in partnership with The City of Bexley, Bexley Chamber of Commerce, Capital University, Transit Arts, and Bexley Community Foundation, will host a Juneteenth Community Observance. The day will feature a marketplace of Bexley and central Ohio black owned businesses, artists and service providers. Attendees will enjoy music, poetry, art and dance workshops and activities led by community art engagement group, Transit Arts. Bexley Public Library staff will also lead family book reads! The day’s event will conclude with a concert, Songs of Freedom, with Ohio State Senator Herschel Craig will provide the keynote presentation. The celebration will run from 12 PM – 5 PM, on Saturday, June 19 on Capital University’s Main Street Lawn.

And check out the small media list below, with books, music, and films to go along with your Juneteenth celebration! These – and so much more – are always available to you free of charge with your Bexley Library card!

BOOKS
MOVIES
  • Just Mercy / directed by Destin Daniel Cretton | DVD
  • Miss Juneteenth / directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples | DVD
  • If Beale Street Could Talk / directed by Barry Jenkins | DVD
  • Judas and the Black Messiah / directed by Shaka King | DVD
MUSIC

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Booklists Online Resources Programs Recommendations

Tails & Tales

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

This year’s Summer Community Read theme is Tails & Tales! Over the summer, you’ll be able to enjoy virtual programs like Voices From The Ape House with author Beth Armstrong, Eating Plants: The Philosophy and Practice of Veganism, and many more. 

While we have many excellent virtual programs to attend, I’d like to highlight a few animal advocacy groups to get you thinking about what you can do to help our friends in need.

Colony Cats & Dogs is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose primary mission is to address cat overpopulation in central Ohio through public awareness and spay/neuter efforts. Since 2002, their organization has facilitated spay/neuter of nearly 19,000 cats and dogs, and placed more than 15,000 pets in homes.

Specialized help for feral, stray and abandoned cats is a core element of our programs. We assist compassionate caregivers who are feeding and watching over homeless cats by providing TNR (trap-neuter-return) and other support services including food, shelter, vaccines and additional vet care for injuries/illness, as well as educational resources.

colonycats.org/aboutus

Spay & Neuter Abandoned Cats & Kittens, Inc. (SNACK) is an all volunteer organization formed in 2011. SNACK’s mission is to humanely reduce the overpopulation of homeless cats and kittens by conducting, promoting, and supporting trap, neuter, return (TNR) programs and low-cost spay/neuter programs.

Cause for Canines is a 501(c)(3) volunteer-based, all-breed dog rescue founded in Central Ohio, who’s committed to the rescue of homeless dogs, dogs given up by their owners due to difficult circumstances or those in danger of abuse or neglect, and dogs in shelters that are at risk of euthanasia.

Our mission is to find safe, loving, committed and permanent homes for the dogs we take into rescue.  All of our dogs are placed in foster care and receive any necessary medical care and treatments and are spayed/neutered and microchipped, while waiting for their forever homes.  Applicants are put through an extensive adoption process to ensure our dogs are placed in the best homes possible.  We also provide education to prospective adopters to ensure they have the tools necessary to provide appropriate pet care for their new forever friend.

causeforcanines.org

SPEAK! for the Unspoken is a registered 501(c)(3) pet rescue located in the Columbus, Ohio area devoted to special needs animal rescue and education.

We focus our rescue efforts on special needs dogs and cats, double merle dogs born with vision and/or hearing deficits due to poor breeding practices. We believe special needs dogs can live happy and healthy lives, and until the careless breeding stops, we will continue to find these special dogs the homes they deserve. We see possibilities, not disabilities. We adopted our motto “special needs and good deeds” to incorporate all the animals outside of the ‘special needs’ category that we are able to help. We are a foster based rescue so all of the animals in our program are living and cared for in a loving home.

speakfortheunspoken.com/about

Sunrise Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that provides a loving and permanent shelter for over 170 formerly abused, neglected, disabled, or unwanted farm and companion animals.

We at Sunrise Sanctuary encourage more humane and compassionate behaviors and believe that each living creature has value and deserves to live free of suffering and exploitation.

sunrisesanctuary.org

Whether you’re new to animal advocacy or a lifelong defender, we can all do our part to help creatures great and small. Check out these books to see how you can help animals in your community and across the world:  

  • Voices from the Ape House by Beth Armstrong | print
  • Happily Ever Esther by Steve Jenkins & Derek Walter | print
  • Tiny but Mighty by Hannah Shaw | print
  • Dogland by Jacki Skole | print

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Booklists Recommendations

Hot Books for Summer

by Adult Services Library Associate Debbie

Every time of year is a great time for reading but there is something about summer with it’s longer days, lemonade and lounging that is particularly inviting to curling up with a good book. Here are some of the buzziest books of the season for all sorts of summer fun!

Best Book to Throw in a Beach Bag

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry | print / digital

Alex is quiet and studious. Poppy is a wild child. But after sharing a ride home for the summer, the two form a surprising friendship. Every summer the two find their way back to each other for a magical weeklong vacation. Until one trip goes awry, and they lose touch. Now, two years later, Poppy’s in a rut and nothing is making her happy. In fact, the last time she remembers feeling truly happy was on that final, ill-fated Summer Trip. The answer to all her problems is obvious: She needs one last vacation to win back her best friend.

Best Book on a Family Vacation

The Guncle by Steven Rowley | print / digital

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits. When tragedy strikes, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect. Quickly realizing that parenting–even if temporary–isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.

Best Book to Enjoy the Summer Sizzle

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams | print

Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer. Shane Hall is a reclusive, award‑winning novelist, who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can’t deny their chemistry—or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years. Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect—but Eva’s wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered..

Best Book for Readers Who like Twists and Turns

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris | print / digital

Young, literary, and ambitious, Nella Rogers has spent the last two years as an editorial assistant at Wagner Books, a premier publishing house, where she’s been the only Black person in the room. She’s excited when she detects another Black girl on her floor: finally, someone else who gets it. And she does, at first. Wagner’s newest editorial assistant, Hazel-May McCall, cool and self-possessed, is quick to befriend Nella, echoing her frustrations with the never-spoken racial politics of their office, encouraging her to speak up. But it doesn’t take long for Nella to realize there’s something off about Hazel, even if she can’t quite put her finger on it.

Best Book While Sipping a Cocktail

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin | print / digital

For years, rumors have swirled about a secret, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: But no one knows for sure. That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she’s going to get the scoop and break into the club. But the deeper she gets into this new world, the more suspicious Jillian becomes. The women are really into astrology and witchcraft, and their lives are somehow perfect. Too perfect. These women have a secret.

Have a fun summer of reading!

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Online Resources

One of my favorite digital library resources is Hoopla. Through Hoopla, BPL cardholders have access to ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, tv shows, and music – their selection is endless! My absolute favorite thing about Hoopla is that there is no wait for any of their material – if you see it, you can check it out (how amazing is that?). 

Another thing I love about Hoopla are their collections! In the mood for a movie from the 90s? Hoopla has a list for you (https://www.hoopladigital.com/collection/9804). Want to listen to the latest new music releases? Hoopla has you covered (https://www.hoopladigital.com/collection/787)! Do the kids want to take a trip with Miss Frizzle on the Magic School Bus? Look no further, Hoopla is here to help (https://www.hoopladigital.com/collection/7014).

During this crazy and scary time that is Covid-19, Hoopla has been there not only to keep me sane but also happy! Here’s what I’ve been borrowing on Hoopla over the last few months:

You can access Hoopla by following this link https://www.hoopladigital.com/my/hoopla or by downloading the Hoopla app to your device!

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Staff Book Reviews

Boom Town by Sam Anderson

A book review from BPL team member, Jeff.

It feels necessary to start this review with a disclaimer: I have never been to Oklahoma City (OKC), nor do I have any family roots or any ties whatsoever to Oklahoma. I first heard about Boom Town from an interview with the author, Sam Anderson, on Zach Lowe’s basketball podcast, The Lowe Post. (Another disclaimer: you don’t need to be a basketball fan to enjoy this book).

The “boom” in Boom Town takes on a number of roles throughout this book: in one instance, literal sonic booms as a result from supersonic flight. In one of the book’s most entertaining chapters, Anderson describes Operation Bongo. In the 1960s, the U.S. government wanted to test supersonic flights, or more specifically, the effects of repeated sonic booms and the disruptions they cause to human lives. Oklahoma City, with its need for commerce and desire for relevance, happily agreed to become the site for these tests and Operation Bongo was born. The results are equal parts amusing and awful.

The main significance of “boom” in Boom Town, however, is that of boom and bust. It’s the idea of balancing meticulous planning and the love of the process with chasing something glamorous and immediate. This narrative thread ties the book together and is the lens that just about every aspect of OKC history is viewed through. From the chaotic “Land Run” that birthed the city and the tornadoes that threaten to upend its very existence, to Sam Presti, the scrupulous, bespectacled General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who has carefully constructed one of the best franchises in basketball and given the city a much needed source of civic pride.

Oklahoma City is not without its share of tragedies, both self-inflicted and otherwise. It is unfortunately unsurprising to learn of the city’s history of displacing both the Native and Black populations. However, as Anderson points out, OKC tends to cultivate particularly tenacious citizens such as Clara Luper, a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement whose nonviolent sit-in protests led to the desegregation of many OKC establishments. And sadly, the people of Oklahoma City were subjected to the deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in U.S. history during the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.

And yet, the city mourned and rebuilt. Throughout its 100+ year history, Oklahoma City has struggled with its sometimes misguided, perpetually optimistic dream of becoming a first-rate American city. Today, it finally resembles the bustling metropolis so many of its residents fantasized about.

As an outsider to the city, Sam Anderson treats the history of Oklahoma City with curiosity, and depending on the situation, skepticism or reverence. In Boom Town, Anderson has crafted a thoroughly engaging, wide-ranging history of a city that truly encapsulates the breadth of the American experience.

Recommended for fans of U.S. history, basketball, and easily readable non-fiction in general.