By Associate Librarian – Readers’ Advisory Specialist Debbie
The Yiddish Book Center“Stories of Exile” Series concludes this February and March with the powerful novel Beloved by the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, is a moving story of an African American family in post-civil war America recovering from the trauma of enslavement.
All living things adapt to the onset of winter.1 Birds tend to migrate.2 Foxes, hares, bison and plenty of other animals grow thicker, denser coats, often in cooler, more winter-camouflaged colors. Humans bundle up in thick winter coats and gloves and complain about having to preheat their cars in the morning. Some creatures like bears, however, hibernate.
September is National Preparedness Month — a time to prepare for natural and man-made disasters and emergencies. As a library user*, this PSA gets me thinking of all the thrilling apocalypse-type plot lines and thought-provoking stories on our shelves. But Hannah, you say, very real water, fire, and wind cause devastation every day. Where’s the entertainment in that?! Well, without making light of very real situations, think of these books and movies like you would visiting a haunted house or riding a roller coaster. A part of you is scared, and in my case screaming regret, while another part of you knows this is a manageable way to experience hardship and fear in a safe environment. Studies have even shown natural disaster films might teach us to take climate emergencies more seriously while providing tips for how to act in similar circumstances. Plus, it’s cathartic and rewarding to root for a protagonist as they seek shelter and find hope.
Now set your solar flashlight out to charge as we dive into my disaster book and movie recommendations.
It’s said that Halloween is a time when the veil between our earthly plane and the spiritual world is thin. And a thin veil means it is easier for spirits to cross and walk among the living. Whether you believe in phantasms or not, telling ghost stories is a timeless, cross-cultural tradition. Even Pliny the Younger (c. 61 – 113 CE) wrote about the specter of an old man, complete with a long beard and rattling chains, haunting his home in Athens. So without further ado, allow me to share some of the latest ghost stories haunting the library shelves!
When I ask myself what I know about Istanbul, my knowledge appears limited to Turkish cuisine. Baklava, hummus, babaganoush, stuffed grape leaves, tabouli, falafel, kebabs. What I know about Istanbul extends about as far as the library parking lot, across the street to Cafe Istanbul.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month officially became an annual affair in 1992. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States in 1843 and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
So this May, celebrate the generations of Asian or Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history, and continue to be instrumental in its future success, with your Library! How? By checking out their stories in the form of books, films, and digital library resources of course!
Ah, Valentine’s Day, or as we like to celebrate Library Lovers’ Day! Whether your plans lean romantic or platonic, allow me to share several ways in which Bexley Public Library makes for the perfect valentine.
February 18th is Toni Morrison Day in Ohio. To celebrate, I’ve spent the last couple weeks rereading my favorite Morrison novel, Song of Solomon. Toni Morrison’s novels live on the top shelf of my bookcase at home, a space reserved for reverence. I first read her as a college student, and she quickly superseded the ranks to become one of my favorite authors.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a towering figure of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Today, we honor his legacy, his commitment to non-violence, and his incessant will to see America through to true societal equality. While it can be easy to treat Martin Luther King Jr. day as just another holiday or day off, I believe it is important to take action on a day like this. Ohio state Senator Hearcel Craig calls Martin Luther King Jr. Day “a day on, and not a day off, because of what Dr. King represented and his focus on service.” So, if you are looking for ways to get involved and to honor Dr. King’s legacy, I have compiled some materials, resources, and events to plan a day of service around.