Monday, June 29, 2009

This Week at Watha T. June 29-July 6

Omekongo DibingaHappy Fourth of July Neighbors!

In observance of the Fourth of July holiday the Watha T. Daniel Library will be closed on Friday AND Saturday. Hey, we all have to get our grill on!

Here's what's happening this week at Watha T.

Monday, June 29

2:00 - American Sign Language Class

Tuesday, June 30

10:00 - Preschool Story Time

Wednesday, July 1

6:30 - Omekongo Dibinga - Spoken Word Poet for Teens

Thursday, July 2

9:50 - Mother Goose on the Loose

Friday, July 3


Saturday, July 4


Sunday, July 5

2:00 - Heroes : Season 1, Episode 1

Monday, July 6

2:00 - American Sign Language

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Week at Watha T. June 22 - June 29

Good Morning Neighbors!

We've only got one movie left in our Paul Robeson Film Series. Make sure that you stop in this Sunday to watch Jericho.

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

Monday, June 22

2:00: American Sign Language Class
6:00: Social Justice Lecture Series: Darfur

Tuesday, June 23

10:00: Preschool Story Time

Wednesday, June 24

6:00: Open Knitting

Thursday, June 25

9:50: Mother Goose on the Loose

Friday, June 26

10:00: Rock Along with Casey
12:00: Anime Club presents: Naruto Nation

Saturday, June 27

10:00: Family Story Time
12:00: Magic: The Gathering
3:00: Concert Film Series: Dancing to New Orleans

Sunday, June 28

2:00: Paul Robeson Film Series: Jericho

Monday, June 29

2:00: American Sign Language Class

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Boat Day!

At today's story time we made little paper boats. It's 3 pieces of origami paper (1 trapezoid, 1 big triangle, 1 small triangle), a popsicle stick and a piece of construction paper, and BOY the kids loved it!
The picture above is the boat that I made.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Week at Watha T. June 15-22

Good Morning Neighbors!

This is a special week for us. We'll be opening an hour earlier on Monday and Wednesday and closing an hour later on Tuesday and Thursday for the Finishing Touch event. Come and checkout the furniture, carpet and paint for the new Watha T. Daniel Library, and vote for your favorite lounge chair! I hope to see you there.

Here's what's happening this week at Watha T.

Monday, June 15

12:00: Finishing Touch Event
2:00: American Sign Language Class
6:00: History Book Club discusses: The Prince

Tuesday, June 16

10:00: Preschool Story Time
5:30: Finishing Touch Event

Wednesday, June 17

12:00: Finishing Touch Event
1:30: Daniel Barash Shadow Puppets
4:00: Urban Fiction Book Club
6:00: Book Talk: Manga for Adults

Thursday, June 18

9:50: Mother Goose on the Loose
5:30: Finishing Touch Event

Friday, June 19

10:00: Rock Along with Casey
12:00: Anime Club: Naruto Nation

Saturday, June 20

10:00: Family Story Time
12:00: Magic: The Gathering
2:00: Be Creative Saturdays for Kids
3:00: Concert Film Series: Come Together: The Music of John Lennon

Sunday, June 21

2:00: Paul Robeson Film Series: Emperor Jones

Monday, June 22

2:00: American Sign Language Class
6:00: Social Justice Lecture Series: Darfur

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Robeson film series - "Proud Valley"

Join us again for the second in our Sunday Paul Robeson film series - "Proud Valley". In this film we see an early example of Robeson's labor activism as it crossed over into his acting career. Robeson plays an American sailor/singer who joins a group of Welsh miners as they struggle for a dignified existence against the "powers that be".

The movie will begin at 2pm tomorrow afternoon in our teen room.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Naruto Nation

Starting next friday, June 19th, and continuing every Friday during the summer our anime clube is going to be showing every episode of Naruto that we've got in massive 5 hour blasts starting at noon. Watch your favorite series again from the very beginning. We'll be giving away Naruto prizes all summer long.

You know you want to be there!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Finishing Touch Event

You've seen the images of the outside of the new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library. Now come in and take a look at what the inside will look like!

Check out the new interior finishes including furniture, carpet, and paint. Get the real feel of the chairs by actually coming in and sitting on them, right here in the interim library. You also get a chance to participate and make your voice heard by picking the best lounge chair.

It's only here for four days, so don't miss this opportunity!

Monday, June 15: 12:00-1:00
Tuesday, June 16: 5:30-6:30
Wednesday, June 17: 12:00-1:00
Thursday, June 18: 5:30-6:30

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Robeson film series - "Body and Soul"

Join us today for a special showing of the silent film, "Body and Soul", starring Paul Robeson in a dual role as a corrupt minister and his rival, an unassuming inventor living in the town the minister has arrived in. The movie was controversial at the time for its underlying critique of the church and religious authority, and is the earliest extant Robeson movie.

This is the first in our four-week Robeson film series; we'll be showing a different movie every Sunday in June at 2pm, here at the Watha T. Daniel interim library.

Next week we will be showing "Proud Valley", which showcases Robeson's international status as a labor activist.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sick and Twisted Sing Along

Hey Teens,

If you're into the gross, disturbing, and twisted you better make sure and be here on Saturday June 6th at 2:00 for our Sick and Twisted Sing Along. Here's a little preview:

This program is presented as part of the "Express Yourself" series of summer programs for Teens.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Darfur: Civil War or Genocide

Watha T. Daniel Lecture Series
Presented by Librarian Paul Sweeney

Darfur has become a byword for a government’s repression of minority ethnic groups within its own borders. The suffering of the peasants of Sudan has covered the newspapers and news-sites with pictures difficult to view. The Question is what to do about this crisis how to end the suffering? The situation has been called the first genocide of the 21st century.

In a short and well illustrated power point presentation, the librarian is going to explore this humanitarian crisis that has shocked the world.

Discussion Group
Monday, June 8
6:30 p.m.

Authors of the Future

Eminent futurist and science fiction author Bruce Sterling recently wrote a very interesting article for, entitled Eighteen Challenges to Contemporary Literature. In 18 bullet points, Sterling encompasses every aspect of contemporary literature. The general gist of his assertions seem to center around the rising irrelevance of printed media; it is costly, unwieldy and archaic on a number of linguistic to the cultural levels.

Digital information is not a new concept, and neither is digital literature; what Sterling is really emphasizing (in true cyberpunk tradition) is culture shift. As usual, his language is encoded in hyper-modern syntax, but the points he make are highly relevant to the relationship between libraries and technology.

Libraries are in the crux of this cultural shift - for a large portion of the public, we are the primary access point for information and literature both print and (increasingly) digital. As the information changes, so must we, and where the culture goes we follow, lest the public be left behind. Many times, I've heard the phrase "library 2.0" cropping up in conversation. In this futurist/modernist model, the library becomes entrenched in the new media, completely accessible to the media and as relevant to it as we ever were with print.

Sterling summarizes this philosophy pretty succinctly in my favorite line of the article:

15. Scholars steeped within the disciplines becoming cross-linked jack-of-all-trades virtual intelligentsia.

What better way to describe the place we need to go if we're going to keep up, stay meaningful, and make sure everyone has an opportunity to come along for the ride?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This Week at Watha T. June 2 - June 8

Good Morning Neighbors!

This week is the Week for the Animals, and we'll be having a special animal story time today. If you're looking for books to talk to your kids about animals, pets, how to take care of your pets and controlling the pet population we've got plenty to share. Check it out!

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

Tuesday, June 2

10:00: Week for the Animals Story Time

Wednesday, June 3

6:00: Comic Book Discussion Group

Thursday, June 4

9:50: Mother Goose on the Loose

Friday, June 5

10:00: Rock Along
4:00: Anime Club Presents: Deathnote

Saturday, June 6

10:00: Family Story Time
12:00: Magic: The Gathering
2:00: Sick and Twisted Sing Along with Eric
3:00: Music Film Series: Bob Marley: Legend

Sunday, June 7

2:00: Paul Robeson Film Series: Body and Soul

Monday, June 8

6:00: Adult Lecture Series: Darfur: Civil War or Genocide

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Lady and the Generals: lecture

One year and a half ago the monks in Burma protested for Democracy in the streets. It was called the Saffron Revolution and was crushed by the army after one month. We are going to review the events of the Saffron Revolution in 2007 and inquire into the causes of the movement. The Generals, called the SPDC, have repressed every attempt at instituting democracy, canceled results of elections and are now trying to force a new constitution on the people that will perpetuate their rule.
The key figure of Burmese opposition politics is Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of the general who helped found the Modern Burmese State. She has led the movement for democracy in Burma for twenty years. For the Last ten she has been under house arrest and there was a recent trial charging her with violating the terms of her internment. We will discuss her role in the democracy movement and hopes for the future. Discussion Group Meets Wednesday, June 3rd 6:00 p.m.

New Book and Memoir on the history of Burma

The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma, by Thant Myint-U. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

Burma or Myanmar as it is now called is a puzzle for human rights advocates and promoters of democracy. It remains an isolated military government that denies rights to its citizens. However all attempts so far to pressure the military regime to reform, from imposing sanctions, to UN human rights protests, and diplomatic efforts to free prisoners have all failed. In this compelling book, Thant Myint–U presents us with a personal view of the problematical history of Burma. He presents us with various personal anecdotes about leaders from accounts of his meetings with grandfather U Thant, the General Secretary of the UN, in New York apartments, to the life of courtiers who were his ancestors at the medieval court of Ava. It is also a work by a Burmese whose identity is bound up with the fate of his country. It is from that very personal perspective that he gives a sketch of the various dynasties of Burma which often illuminate the possible roots of some of these long standing problems suffered by the modern dictatorship.

He begins the story with the fall of the last Monarchy under King Thibaw and the conquest of Upper Burma by the British in 1880, an event that overshadowed the modern history of Burma. It is this gap in continuity, the loss of a center of cultural authority that has caused Burmese governments to be haunted with a lack of legitimacy in succeeding years. The shame of this defeat motivated a rather extreme form of nationalism in the later struggles for independence and national self determination. After this dramatic beginnng he outlines the various reigns of Burmese Kingdoms that led to this moment. His overall his point is to show the negative consequences for the future in many of these events. Myint-U shows how arrogant military conquests of ancient kings, ethnic civil war, colonization by the British, have all added problematic factors into the mix of Burmese society and institutions that may work against the possibility of an eventual emergence of democracy. In the post WWII world, Burma seems to have undergone a further series of disasters from, occupation by the Japanese, and assassination of the charismatic leader General Aung just before Independence, and the military coups of Ne Win and U- Nu, disasters that again set Burmese History on a difficult course.

Myint-U is a good narrator able to summarize an historical era by good character analysis and evaluation of the social conditions of the time. We are brought up to the present in his evaluation of the failed revolution of 1988 and the formation of the SLORC and SPDC military regimes. Interestingly, Myint-U is a revisionist, deviating from the usual human rights activist line of thought that seeks to directly pressure the regime to reform. He is skeptical about the chances of sanctions or external pressure working. Instead he advises a more quiet approach that accepts the conditions as they exist with the regime for fear of making things worse. I would recommend this history/memoir as a very personal view of the hope and fears of a Burmese considering his own history and an exciting read that helps fill one in upon centuries of historical events little known to outsiders in the histories of Burma.