Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Musical Interaction @ Your Library

When I was a kid, my mom and dad took me to as many music-for-kids programs as they could find, and God bless them for it. I didn't know it at the time, but these were the seeds that would bloom into a colorful centerpiece to my life, eventually ending up my life's main focus and therapy still twenty-something years later (NO, I will not reveal my age!)

I was not trained as a traveling troubador or a singing monkey or even a musical storyteller (not that there's anything wrong with that :) What I do know how to do is write music and play instruments and, I think, how to bring people together using this universal language. I've also taught music theory and music lessons to make extra money in college so I could pay for textbooks. So, I will be trying out some really fun interactive music programs at Watha T. Daniel Library in August, starting next Tuesday and every following Tuesday at 10:00am.

So I've put together a bunch of homemade percussion instruments to hand out, I'll be playing guitar and drums and who knows--maybe we'll start a band and get a record deal! :) I guess I am a sort of self-taught music therapist. If you've ever picked up a hand-drum and played around, you've probably felt the energy I'm talking about, and that's what I'm hoping to do with these programs. It's an experiment, but I know it'll work--it worked for me! See you there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

This Week at Watha T. July 28 - Aug 3

Good Morning Neighbors!

Here's what we've got going on this week at Watha T.

Monday, July 28

4:00 p.m. Anime Club

Tuesday, July 29

1:30 p.m. Catch the Reading Bug

Wednesday, July 30

10:00 a.m. Story Time for 3-5 year olds with Miss Tracy
6:00 p.m. Youth Chess Club
6:00 p.m. Classic Film Series - Singin' In The Rain

Thursday, July 31

9:45 a.m. Mother Goose On The Loose for Toddlers

Saturday, August 2

10:00 a.m. Youth Chess Club

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Watha T. Daniel Is Famous

Well at least Eric and Tracy are famous. :)

A little while ago we were interviewed by the Gannett News Service, who produce news pieces for news papers across the country, USA Today among them. The article was about the changing face of the Public Library and what we're doing to make the library relevant to today's information society.

Check out the video of Eric and Tracy on the Gannett News Service

And here's a copy of the article from The Leaf Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My new addiction: Dennis Lehane

Every summer my family goes to Cape Cod (Provincetown to be exact) on vacation, and every summer I try to find something captivating to read on the beach. Should be pretty easy, right? But what could captivate the attention of a twenty-something man in a place where people are basically lying in the sun in their underwear with a gorgeous beach only twenty feet away? So many distractions... However, this year I was introduced to an even bigger distraction--Shamus Award-winning author Dennis Lehane.

If you've seen the films Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, or Shutter Island, then you've had some contact with Lehane, whose novels these movies were based on. Before taking the ferry from Boston to Provincetown, I was looking through the many fluffy paperbacks on the rack at the bookstore kiosk. Stephen King? No. Dean Koontz? No. Danielle Steele? Absolutely not! And then I was drawn to the cover of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island, a faux-pulp neo-noir murder mystery taking place on an island that houses an insane asylum. Yes! Something I can really sink my teeth into! Something that will keep me up at night! So off on the ferry I went, Lehane in hand, and once on the Cape, beachward.

Mr. Lehane has that rare gift for prose that envelopes the reader, especially New Englanders like myself. I spent my first day on the beach inside Shutter Island's dark, twisted world and loved every minute of it. In a couple days I was trolling the used bookstore for more by the author, and found Mystic River. Once again I opened the page and fell in, not to return until the surprise ending.

I'm not sure why I'm drawn to that darker, more sinister New England, but Poe would be proud. Lehane, a Boston native, paints in eerie detail the seediest parts of Boston life -- crime, corruption, melancholy, violence -- and I can't get enough! So if you haven't gone on vacation yet, I highly recommend picking up one of these novels. I only hope for your sake you can put it down.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This Week at Watha T. July 21-27

Good Morning Neighbors!

Here's what we've got on tap this week at Watha T.

Monday, July 21

4:00 p.m. - Anime Club

Tuesday, July 22

1:30 p.m. - Story Teller Jon Spellman
5:30-6:30 p.m. - Special Event: Meet and Greet New Principal for Shaw Junior High School
The Watha T. Daniel Library will be open one extra hour for this special event.

Wednesday, July 23

10:00 a.m. - Story Time for 3-5 year olds with Miss Tracy
6:00 p.m. - Youth Chess Club

Thursday, July 24

9:45 a.m. - Mother Goose on the Loose for toddlers 0-2 years with Miss Tracy

Saturday, July 26

10:00 a.m. - Youth Chess Club
1:00 p.m. - Pimp My Bookcart

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mother Goose on the Loose

Mother Goose on the Loose is an early literacy program that uses rhymes and songs to help pre-reading children get ready for reading. It incorporates music, movement, ritual, repetition, positive reinforcement, developmental tips, nursery rhymes, illustrations, puppets, musical instruments, colored scarves, and book reading into a fun-filled thirty minute session for children with their parent or caregiver.
Ages Newborn to 24 months
9:45 a.m. Thursdays
Starting July 24th 2008

Jon Spelman “Storytelling at its Best”

Audiences will be fascinated by lively stories and tales focusing upon school, family, pets and other animals, journeys, scrapes and bruises, and things that go bump in the night.

Ages 5-12 and families
Tuesday, July 22nd 1:30 pm

Friday, July 18, 2008

Washington Opera presents Madama Butterfly

Veronica Villarroel as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly Photo: Washington OperaSelections from Madama Butterfly by Puccini
Presented by Washington National Opera
Saturday, July 19th, 1:00 p.m.
Ages 6-12

This Saturday we're lucky to have a performance by the Washington National Opera. Their outreach division will present a program on the opera Madama Butterfly by Puccini, including performing selected songs from the show, learning about the Japanese Fan Dance, and an arts & crafts activity. Each child will also get a Madama Butterfly student guide explaining the opera and Japanese culture more in detail.

After the performance children are invited to stay to help the library plant a butterfly garden with Miss Tracy.

Please give us a call if you have any questions: 202-671-0265

Monday, July 14, 2008

This Week at Watha T. July 14 - July 20

Good Morning Neighbors!

Here's what we've got on tap this week at Watha T.

Monday, July 14

1:30 p.m. - The Storyman, Baba Jamal Koram
4:00 p.m. - Anime Club

Tuesday, July 15

1:30 p.m. - Catch the Reading Bug

Wednesday, July 16

10:00 a.m. - Story Time for 3-5 year old with Miss Tracy
6:00 p.m. - Youth Chess Club
7:00 p.m. - Adult Book Club, Revenge by Mary Morris

Thursday, July 17

10:30 a.m. - Fast Freddy The Clown
3:30 p.m. - Teen "Any Book" Book Club

Saturday, July 19

10:00 a.m. - Youth Chess Club
1:00 p.m. - Washington National Opera presents Madama Butterfly

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pimp My Bookcart!

Pimp my Bookcart
Today 1:00 p.m.

Do you see this cart? This sad pitiful beige thing needs some work. And we're looking for you to help make it into something awesome.

Today at 1:00 we're going to be brainstorming and coming up with a really hot design to make this cart into something far more amazing than it ever dreamed of being. We're going to come up with a design, work with a budget and two weeks from now we're going to be doing some serious painting, trimming, tricking, and detailing on this bad boy.

So come to Watha T. and get in on this book cart action!

This is part of the Metamorphosis series of programs for teens.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Teen "Any Book" Club

Read any books lately? Summer reading? Fun reading? Boring reading? Come to the Watha T. Daniel Library on Thursday, July 17th at 3:30 pm to talk about them. As an added bonus, there will be free advanced reader copies ( books that haven't been published yet) to take. Refreshments will be served!

Baba Jamal Koram "The Story Man"

Join us Monday, July 14th at 1:30 pm for Baba Jamal Koram "The Story Man". Using the tradition of oral histories in combination with music, books and visuals. Baba Jamal Koram promotes African-American culture in a captivating performance. Participants will learn about the accomplishments of various cultures while enjoying a positive and wholesome storytelling experience!
Ages 7 and up

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shadows, anyone?

Have you ever heard of a shadow-puppet-master? A puppeteer? Ever met one? Today, children at the Watha T. Daniel Library had the pleasure of meeting Daniel Barash, professional puppeteer and all-around nice guy. Mr. Barash wheeled his gear through the branch while Eric and I turned off lights and moved furniture in order to build a "stage". I'd never seen a professional puppeteer in action, but I can tell you it's worlds more effective than those flying birds we all learned to make in kindergarten. Please check out these photos and check out some of our upcoming programs like chess club and more!!!

Mr. Barash (above) starting simple


Mr. Barash and a young helper (above).

The artists "backstage" (above)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Dark Knight at Watha T.

As you know, we're fond of graphic novels around here. We especially love when a movie drums up interest in one of our heroes. On July 18th Batman: The Dark Knight is released in theaters. In the meantime you can read up on Batman right here at Watha T. Here's a list of some of our most popular titles featuring the Dark Knight.

  • Bruce Wayne: Fugitive
  • Batman: Chronicles
  • The Dark Knight Returns
  • The Dark Knight Strikes Again
  • Dark Victory
  • Death and the Maidens
  • Hush
  • The Long Halloween
  • Turning Points
  • Batman: Year One

Check it out!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This Week at Watha T. July 7-July 13

Mystery Machine by Welding Class, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, ILGood Morning Neighbors!

Here's what we have on tap this week at Watha T.

Monday, July 7

4:00 - Anime Club

Wednesday, July 9

10:00 - Story Time for 3-5 year olds with Miss Tracy
6:00 - Youth Chess Club
7:30 - Knitting Group

Thursday, July 10

10:30 - Shadow Puppets with Daniel Barash
4:00 - Blog Your Life

Saturday, July 12
10:00 - Youth Chess Club
1:00 - Pimp My Bookcart

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Anime Club

Watha T. Daniel Anime Club
Mondays 4:00-6:00

Do you know this girl? If not, then you need to come to the Watha T. Daniel Anime Club and get to know her. She's Haruhi Suzumiya leader of the S.O.S. Brigade and she's out saving the world looking for aliens, psychics and time travelers. But The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is just one of the FOUR anime series we'll be showing each week at Watha T.

Here's the lineup:

4:00 - Fruits Basket
4:30 - Noein
5:00 - Mushi-Shi
5:30 - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Stop by, enjoy the shows and have a chat with Eric the Librarian about anime, manga, Japan and otaku culture. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hats Off to the Maryland Science Center!!!

I grew up in a scientific household. My dad was a chemist for Corning, Inc and when we were kids he would bring home liquid nitrogen, hydrochloric acid, lasers, and all sorts of things to teach my brother and me about science (or was it to shut us up?) There is a certain look that kids get when the science experiments roll out... you wish you could bottle and sell it. But alas, if the best we can do as adults is to bring those smiles out once in a while, that'll have to do. [Enter Maryland Science Center]

Yesterday two young women showed up at our branch with smiles as their secondary objective, their primary objective being, of course, education. And what a show it was! There were Slinkys, Bunsen burners, explosions and many many bright shining smiles. I guess I could try to describe it in words, but this time let's let the pictures speak for themselves.

We have lots more programming coming up this summer for kids and adults. For more information about upcoming programs please give us a call or stop by the branch:

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Interim Library
945 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 671-0267

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hot New Magazines

A few months ago we updated our periodical subscriptions and we're starting to reap the rewards. We are now carrying subscriptions to the following new (to us) magazines:
  • Architectural Digest
  • Atlantic Monthly
  • Dime
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
  • Harper's
  • Men's Health
  • The New Yorker
  • Popular Science
  • Shonen Jump
  • Shojo Beat
  • Utne Reader
  • Wired

Stop by and check it out!