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May 17, 2013
by Peter SM
The Criterion Collection is widely known as one of the most eclectic film collections ever assembled. For close to 30 years, theyve specialized in showcasing and curating cult, foreign, and critically acclaimed films, from classics to contemporary cinema. In a day and age where special features on a movies DVD or Blu-ray release really arent always so "special" anymore, Criterion was the original pioneer of presenting special editions of films with the correct aspect ratio for home video viewing (i.e. "letterbox" / widescreen format), theatrical trailers, documentaries, bonus materials (deleted scenes, alternate takes, production stills, and artwork), and commentary tracks endorsed by and involving the filmmakers themselves. Heres a "Friday Five" of some of the weirdest, funniest, trashiest, most "out-there" films in the Criterion Collection: Repo Man (1984) The very definition of a "cult classic," Alex Coxs Repo Man ups the weird factor by mashing together sci-fi, comedy, action, Reagan-era politics, consumerism, nuclear war, punk rock, and... car repossession in desolate downtown L.A. Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez play off each other like the Odd Couple version of a buddy cop flick, both with enough quotable lines to last a lifetime ("The life of a Repo Man is always intense!"). Special features include a restored digital transfer of the film approved by the director, new audio commentaries and interviews with cast and crew, and a booklet featuring essays an amazingly illustrated production history by Cox. Lastly, this movie was produced by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees! The Blob (1958) One of the classic creatures of the 50s sci fi and horror movie boom, The Blob is a gooey, gelatinous being from another world that crash lands in a small town in Pennsylvania (Phoenixville, represent!) and basically runs... er, slimes amok. Only one man in town can stay cool enough to save everyone, the "King of Cool" himself, Steve McQueen! It should be noted that another cool character wrote the groovy theme song for this film, legendary composer Burt Bacharach. Special features include a high-def digital restoration of the film, audio commentary with director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., the theatrical trailer, and Blobabilia!, a gallery of stills, posters, and props from the movie. This movie is so loved, the town of Phoenixville holds a Blobfest every year to celebrate! Videodrome (1983) David Cronenbergs Videodrome is a surreal sci-fi horror film about a cable access video feed showing extreme scenes of sex and violence that when watched not only takes over your mind, but also transforms your body (sometimes in grotesque fashion, a theme through most of Cronenbergs films). But is it real or is it all a hallucination? And whos behind the "Videodrome" signal? The mystery and madness draw Max Renn (James Woods) into a global conspiracy to find out. Years later, the film has become eerily prophetic with its social commentary on media. Special features include a high-def transfer of the unrated version of the film, audio commentaries with the director and stars James Woods and Deborah Harry, a documentary on Rick Bakers groundbreaking video and prosthetic makeup effects, and photo galleries featuring rare behind-the-scenes production photos. "Long Live The New Flesh!" Slacker (1991) The very essence of D.I.Y., no-budget filmmaking, Slacker takes the viewer on a weird trip through an underground scene of artists, musicians, poets, and all around bohemians in Austin, Texas during the alternative heyday of the early 90s. Theres really no plot in this movie, per se, but more a bunch of quirky vignettes featuring crazy characters that weave a larger narrative. Director / writer / producer Richard Linklater shot the film on 16mm for a mere $3,000, helping to launch the prolific independent film movement of the time. Special features include audio commentaries with Linklater and members of the cast and crew, casting tape auditions from the over one-hundred-member cast, a copy of the "script", and information about the Austin Film Society. Rushmore (1998) This highly entertaining and inventive film from Wes Anderson is a coming-of-age drama that plays like a slapstick comedy, and vice-versa. Private school student Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is a legend in his own time--at least in his own mind. Hes on the verge of getting expelled from school, until he meets a cantankerous millionaire (the hilarious Bill Murray), falls in love with a school teacher twice his age (Olivia Williams), and writes his magnum opus (yet completely and inappropriately over the top) play based on Vietnam, "Heaven and Hell". The soundtrack to the film, full of British Invasion-flavored garage rock, totally compliments the teenage loudness and adolescent awkwardness of its protagonist. Special features include a directors cut of the film, audio commentary featuring the director, co-writer Owen Wilson, and actor Jason Schwartzman, a "making-of" documentary, audition footage, and Andersons hand-drawn storyboards for the film. Search through over 500 Criterion Collection titles in our catalog and have yourself a movie marathon that would make a film school student jealous! Leave a comment below and let us know some of your favorite cult films.
May 16, 2013
by Michelle S.
You may have noticed a few of our librarians shining faces around town lately on buses, billboards, subway placards, and more, as part of our ad campaign in partnership with ADLOOP. We thought you may want to get to know a little more about these awesome information gurus who smile back at you every day on your commute home. So without further ado, meet Adam! Your favorite thing about your job: Its very satisfying when patrons approach me with questions, curiosities, or in-depth research problems, and I am able to lead them successfully to an answer. Or alternatively, introduce them to new voices weighing in on the topic. Not only is it satisfying to help someone come to those breakthrough moments, but its also rewarding to be learning all the time with them. Your librarian superpower: Dudes, Im the peoples professor. Youve been to school. Its the law after all. Maybe youve been to university, or are taking classes now. I know for a fact that teachers and professors have wielded their own position of power against you as a matter of course. Well, my librarian superpowers include the fact that Im an educator who has no unnatural authority over you. At least no authority beyond my duty to ensure that everyone else in the community can share in the skills we have and the resources we can unlock. If you have the desire to learn, I will join you in your quest. Most pervasive (and incorrect) librarian stereotype: I find the idea that we would somehow be scared of the internet hilarious and a little bit sad. Its as preposterous as a doctor being afraid of nanotechnology or an MRI device. All technologies are tools that make us more powerful at what we do. The folks who think the internet will replace libraries let alone librarians rather than strengthen the two are living in a cave. They are mistaking the flickering of shadows on the walls for the life out in the sunshine. Or something like that. Most pervasive (and, okay, maybe a *little* correct) librarian stereotype: Shushing. For a minute it was hip in the professional literature to rag on quiet. I do profoundly agree that the library ought to be a place of collaboration, but a public space where contemplation, reflection, and quiet study can be had is essential too. Basically, Im excited to witness the conversations that are constantly sparked in the library, but Im also not afraid to ask you to take your phone call and at least some of your drama outside. Insider tip about the Music Department: First and foremost, the librarians who work in the Music Department are extremely knowledgeable and fluent masters of the full spectrum of musical discourses. When you see one of us working at the Reference Desk, please dont be shy about asking us questions. Youre never interrupting. Were all enthusiastic about questions big and small. Secondly, theres a wealth of print, audio, and digital resources behind the scenes that we can unearth for you. If you stop by to ask, we can reveal everything from lost tunes buried in fakebooks and Tune-Dex cards, to vinyl records not yet digitally catalogued, and on to print or digital journals and magazines and the indexes that get you deep into them. Finally, recently weve been experimenting with a friendly sort-of book club for musicians weve been calling Readings from the Chamber Music Collection. This collection represents complete part sets for about 30,000 or so works from the across the chamber music repertoire. Musicians have been forming impromptu groups, checking out the music to take home, and then gathering once a month at the library to read through works or movements of works. They form new connections, put together new ensembles, and then the process repeats. Audiences are welcome to check out the Readings. The next one is Sunday, May 26, after that its the second to last Sunday of each month 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Room 108 next to the Home Page Caf.
May 16, 2013
by Michelle S.
As part of its 21st Century Libraries initiative, the Free Library will be holding a series of forums to welcome feedback from community members about how they use and value their neighborhood libraries. Attendees will also be able to view and discuss images of modern libraries from around the world. Feedback from the forums will inform and help to shape future renovations to these neighborhood libraries. Community forums will be held at the following libraries: Lillian Marrero Library 6th and Lehigh Avenues Thursday, May 16 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Tacony Library 6742 Torresdale Avenue Monday, May 20 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Logan Library 1333 Wagner Avenue (just off North Broad Street) Thursday, May 23 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Lovett Memorial Library 6945 Germantown Avenue Monday, June 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
May 15, 2013
by Jamie W.
In our continual effort to better serve you, a team of librarians has recently taken a fresh look at our many electronic resources and databases, and has recommended some changes. Public library services have shifted dramatically over the past few years, with not only greatly reduced budgets but also a growth in the information you can connect to online. Ultimately, we recognize that our electronic databases must be relevant to your needs and provide the excellent library service you deserve. To that end we will no longer be subscribing to a small selection of our current databases. But dont worryweve got you covered! The vast majority of the content available in these databases is also available in similar form at freelibrary.org and through other free resources, like Pennsylvanias PowerLibrary. The databases we will no longer be subscribing to include: Freegal (ending as of June 1) EBSCOhost, which includes MasterFile Premier, Middle Search Plus, Primary Search, ERIC, Novelist Plus, and Novelist K-8 Plus (ending as of July 1) Dun Bradstreets Million Dollar Database (ending as of August) These changes will allow us to focus more on the types of services you value most and continue to be a library that is responsive to your needs. In the coming days and weeks, well be posting a helpful series of blogs that details just where you can find all the information you need, so check back often to learn how you can maximize your Free Library experience. To get you started, read our post on Freegal and the many digital music resources available to you through the Free Library and online! As always, we welcome your feedback.
May 15, 2013
by Jamie W.
This is a great time for music lovers. Not so long ago, we had relatively few choices when it came to how we heard our music. We could buy it, which is ideal if youre sure youre going to like it once you get it home; listen to the radio or watch MTV, OK as long as youre content to hear what someone else decides you should hear; or go see it live, again wonderful, but depending on where you live and the kind of music you like, maybe not possible. And those examples only take into account our very recent history. Go back much further and people who wanted to hear music had to play it themselves (also not such a bad option, as any musician will tell you). Now though, anyone with access to the Internet also has access to a nearly limitless amount of music, much of it free and entirely legal. I dont mean that online music can or should take the place of buying CDs and records, seeing music live, or making music yourself, just that its awfully nice to be able to satisfy your musical curiosity so easily. So, while the Free Library will no longer be offering the Freegal database of downloadable music, there are still plenty of great ways to access your favorite tunes. Lets look at some of your options. Library Streaming Services While music on the open web is great and the amount of content is growing every day, you still cant find everything. Thats where the library can help. Check out our streaming music service over at the Download Media page. Online Music from Alexander Street Press is comprised of six individual collections focusing on jazz, classical, traditional, and world music. You can stream all day, create playlists, and more. A library card is required to login and a world of great listening awaits. Online Streaming Services Subscription services like Spotify, Pandora, and Last.fm are also a great way to hear music online. These services are free and supported by advertising just like radio except that here you get to choose what you want to hear. Spotify lets you listen to the specific songs, artists, and albums you choose without limitations, while Pandora and Last.fm offer you the ability to create custom radio stations based on the music you love. At the basic (ad-supported) level each of these services are free. Even better, all indications are that the market for streaming music online is about to get even bigger with recent reports that Amazon, Apple, and Google are all hoping to get into the market. Embrace the video wormhole! As if listening to your favorite music werent addictive enough, there is also a nearly endless stream of music video on sites like YouTube and Vevo. Vevo is sponsored by three of the Big Four major record companies and serves up new music videos and hits from some pops biggest starts. YouTube, of course, is also a great source for todays hottest videos, as well as your old favorites from the video era, but the real fun begins when you discover one of YouTubes many hidden corners of music arcana. From lost dance floor gems, to Afro-rock greats, to forgotten Philadelphia A-sides, these fan created videos offer a music wormhole too fun not to allow yourself to fall into now and then. Of course, all this is only the beginning. You can also find new music on aggregators like The Hype Machine; search out tomorrows hits on Bandcamp, or hear a little of everything on SoundCloud. Please share your favorite sources for online music with us in the comments below.
May 14, 2013
by Peter SM
The Free Library Mobile Services page has recently been updated! There are new step-by-step instructions and screenshots illustrating how to access and bookmark the Free Librarys mobile website on your mobile device of choice. By adding our mobile app icon to your mobile devices home screen, you can access all the great books, music, movies, information, resources, and services available to you from the Free Library with a tap of your finger! You can sign in and manage your library account, search our vast catalog and databases, download ebooks and podcasts, browse through thousands of images in our extensive digital collections, view the calendar of events at your neighborhood library, and even access and read this very blog. Leave a comment below and let us know how you use our mobile website and any features you might like to see in a future update!
May 13, 2013
by Michelle S.
You may have noticed a construction crane towering over Parkway Central Library today. That crane is lifting steel into place as part of work being done to the third and fourth floors of Parkway Centralincluding the Skyline Room and Rare Book Departmentwhich are undergoing a year-long, extensive renovation that will modernize and increase public access of these spaces. This work, part of the Building Inspiration plan, is made possible in large part by funds from the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Heres an overview of what the current renovations entail: The fourth floor is closed to the public as it is being transformed into a conference and special event space, with several new meeting rooms and classroom areas. A state-of-the-art kitchen is also being installed so that the Library can offer hands-on cooking demonstrations and culinary literacy classes, in addition to supporting special events and programming taking place in the Skyline Room. The Rare Book Department is also undergoing renovations to enhance its conservation and exhibition spaces, ensuring that its rare collections are stored in a museum-quality environment and also safely and artfully displayed for the public to enjoy. Additionally, the Librarys Theatre Collectionwhich contains more than one million items on the history of American theatre, early film, and popular entertainmentwill have 4,500 square feet of storage space fitted with modern preservation systems. During these renovations, the Rare Book Department remains open to the public, though the Theatre Collection is inaccessible. Were excited to be restoring and modernizing our historic Parkway Central Library! Continue to check back on the blog for updates as renovations progress.
May 13, 2013
by Alix G.
The Phillies are going to bat for literacy! On July 10, join the Free Library as the Phillies take on the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. All net proceeds from tickets purchased through this special site will go to the Free Library. To learn more, buy tickets, and help us hit a home run for literacy click here!
May 10, 2013
by Peter SM
Beginning on Saturday, May 18th at 5:00 p.m., Free Library IT staff will be performing a software upgrade and system maintenance on our online catalog. The upgrade is essential to keep our catalog up-to-date and ready to implement future features and services for our customers. Between 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18th when the Free Library system closes for the day and Sunday, May 19th at 1:00 p.m. when we re-open, the following online services will be unavailable to customers: The "classic catalog." My Account, including online renewals, fine payments, placing or viewing holds, creating tags, writing reviews, or adding items to lists. Electronic resources, including Freegal, Freading, TumbleBooks, and eBooks on EBSCOhost. The telephone renewal system. NOTE: Customers will still be able to use the VuFind catalog, as well as download any ebook holds that become available for them through Free Librarys OverDrive Digital Library. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this important upgrade!
May 9, 2013
by Peter SM
A true legend of the silver screen passed away earlier this week, and while you may not know his name or what he looks like, chances are if youve ever watched a science fiction, fantasy, or action-adventure film and been amazed at the special fx or blurted out "HOW did they do that?!", you can trace it all back to Ray Harryhausen. Much like the fans his amazing and groundbreaking work would later thrill and inspire, Harryhausen himself was a mesmerized moviegoer after a screening of King Kong in 1933; one of the first films to use the "stop-motion animation" technique, where a physical object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the film is screened together as a whole. Harryhausen would go on to be a pioneer in the visual effects world of films, a one man special fx department whose precision and dedication to his craft was legendary as noted by this entry in his bio from IMDb: "The most famous example of the kind of patience required being the exciting skeleton sword fight sequence in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) in which Harryhausen often shot no more than 13 frames of film (one-half second of elapsed time) per day." A far cry from the speed and ease of CGI effects and computers nowadays! Filmmakers such as Steven Speilberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and Tim Burton have all cited Ray Harryhausen as a tremendous influence and you only have to look at Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or The Nightmare Before Christmas to prove it. The video below brings back fond childhood memories of lazy weekend afternoons, sprawled out on the floor of the living room watching Jason and the Argonauts, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), or Clash of the Titans (1981) with my brother on now bygone UHF channels like Ch. 48 and Ch. 57. Learn more about Ray Harryhausen and check out his films at the Free Library!
May 8, 2013
by Peter SM
Another resource and ally in the Open Data movement (as Ive written about in previous blog posts) has popped up online as of last week: CultureBlocks.com. CultureBlocks is a free web-based mapping tool that collects cultural data and assets throughout Philadelphia (i.e. schools, rec centers, public transportation, parks, and libraries) which can be combined with economic, demographic and geographic census data (i.e. neighborhoods, council districts, and school catchments) to create detailed and robust maps to inform individuals and organizations on arts initiatives, investments, and neighborhood revitilization. The Free Library is an integral part of neighborhoods in Philadelphia and invaluable cultural asset in the city that promotes literacy and the arts. The site was launched by the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce; The Reinvestment Funds (TRF) Policy Map; and the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SAIP) at the University of Pennsylvania; and is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace. The web-tool is being managed by the Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy, which will coordinate the use of CultureBlocks among City agencies and provide technical assistance to public users. Moira Baylson, Deputy Cultural Officer of the OACCE, says, "The vision of CultureBlocks is to use data to foster economic and social vitality in Philadelphia neighborhoods." Overall, CultureBlocks it is a very robust site and great tool to learn more about the arts and how they relate to the neighbrohoods that make Philadelphia a vibrant, exciting, and interesting place to live, work, and visit. In related news, be on the lookout for some new map updates and features from Free Library in the coming weeks!
May 7, 2013
by Jamie W.
Congratulations on your new e-reader, tablet, or mobile device! We hope you enjoy borrowing digital items from the Free Library of Philadelphia. Heres a quick guide to get you on your way. First of all, finding digital items to check out on the Free Librarys website is simple. You can start at the pink Download Media button on our homepage or by taking a look at the video below that introduces our various digital platforms and shows you how to get around our site. The majority of our best-sellers and in-demand ebook titles come from Overdrive. For an introduction on how to use the Overdrive service take a look at the video below. Now that you know how to checkout an ebook, there are basically three ways to download them. The option thats right for you depends upon the type of device you own. Find a guide for each below... 1. Downloading ebooks for tablets, phones, and mobile devices (Including Kindle Fire, Nook Color and Nook HD) 2. Downloading ebooks for Kindle (excluding Kindle Fire) 3. Downloading ebooks to a Nook (excluding Nook Tablets, Color, and HD) or other dedicated e-reader Finally, you may discover that not every ebook or audiobook youre interested in is currently available from the Free Library. Find out why here.
May 5, 2013
by Kate E.
May is here with its blossoming trees and warm, elongated days that make for the most enjoyable bike rides. Did you know that May is National Bike Month? Its a great time of the year to encourage your child to learn how to ride a tricycle or a big-kid bicycle! Reinforcing literacy concepts with play helps your child prepare for independent reading. Here are a few Free Library resources to get your little one excited for biking! Raffis tune, "Bumping Up and Down," has a catchy beat toddlers will love and its great way to introduce the concept of riding outside with your loved ones. The lyrics are easily adaptable to include different types of bicycles and tricycles! Frank Viva created Along a long road as a continuous, 35 foot-long drawing. The books beautiful retro-modern illustrations and unique pacing conveys the freedom of movement and fun one has while riding a bike. Vera, in Rosenberrys Vera rides a bike, overcomes the daunting newness all kids face when attempting to ride a bicycle solo for the first time. Here are a few more biking books: Ducking for apples by Lynne Berry New red bike! by James Ransome Red wagon by Renata Liwska Please contact your local branch librarian if you need help finding these materials.
May 3, 2013
by Peter SM
Iron Man 3 rockets onto screens today and ushers in the 2013 summer movie season. Superheroes are at the forefront of the box office again this summer with Man of Steel, the newest entry in the Superman movie franchise; The Wolverine, the continuing tales of the X-Mens most ferocious mutant team member; and Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to the over-the-top, not-for-kids, vigilante superhero series. Here is a "Friday Five" of some of the best superhero movies to ever Bif! Bam! Pow! their way onto movie screens and home video. Superman (1978 - Rated PG) Superman is perhaps the modern superhero film to measure all other future superhero films and starring the quintessential comic book superhero of all time. With a great cast, story, cinematography, and score, the film runs the full gamut of action, adventure, drama, romance, and just enough comedic relief. When Superman was released, no one had ever seen a movie like it and the special FX still hold up in todays CGI crazed Hollywood. The movie truly made good on its posters promise, "Youll Believe A Man Can Fly". The Avengers (2012 - Rated PG-13) Captain America. Iron Man. Thor. The Hulk. Hawkeye. Black Widow. Nick Fury. "Avengers Assemble!" Joss Whedon basically did the impossible with this film, juggling all of the characters and their backtstories, yet giving them all their own time to shine while also weaving them all into the larger story arc of this movie and all Marvel superhero movies to come. The Avengers is one of the most enjoyable, exciting and re-watchable superhero movies ever. Excelsior! The Dark Knight (2008 - Rated PG-13) The Dark Knight is Christopher Nolans crowning achievement in the Batman cinematic universe. It transcends superhero movies by taking these fictional comic book characters and putting them in a world where everything is based in reality, science, and physics. At its simplest its an epic crime drama and at its most ambitious its a political commentary on our post-9/11 world. Heath Ledgers Joker is truly and frighteningly unhinged, even more so due to the tragic death of the actor shortly after filming was finished (Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor). The Incredibles (2004 - Rated PG) The super powered family that fights maniacal-super-villains-set-on-taking-over-the-world together, stays together. Director Brad Birds homage to 60s spy films and the Silver Age of comic books is the perfect marriage of style and story, with hearty doses of humor and love thrown into the mix as well. Pixar does it again with The Incredibles, making a movie that is fun for kids and at the same time doesnt dumb it down for the grownups. Hellboy (2004 - Rated PG-13) A creature from hell ("Hellboy", natch!) brought through a mysterious portal during World War II who helps fight supernatural evil throughout the world, aided by The B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) which comprises a pyrokinetic (Liz Sherman), an aquatic telepathic scientist (Abe Sapien), and more firepower, cool gadgets, and monsters seen on screen since Star Wars. Based on the acclaimed comic book series by Mike Mignola and directed by genre guru Guillermo del Toro. Search our catalog to find more super heroic movies under the subjects "superhero films"and "comic book films". What are some of your favorite superhero movies? Tell us in the comments!
May 2, 2013
by Jamie W.
Yesterday, we were pleased to learn that Hachette, one of the Big 6 publishers in the United States, will now sell their full catalog of ebook titles to public libraries beginning May 8th. Until now, Hachette had limited libraries to a small selection of backlist titles. This is good news for ebook lovers. Hachette will give our readers access to ebooks by David Baldacci, Sara Zarr, Sandra Brown, James Patterson, David Sedaris, and Kate Atkinson, among others. In related news, Tony Marx, the CEO of the New York Public Library, published an op-ed in the New York Times yesterday about the state of library ebook lending. In it, he discussed a pilot project with Simon Schuster whereby New York libraries will offer their ebooks for loan. While this does not directly impact us here in Philadelphia, it is important to acknowledge this step by another major publisher. These developments mark the first time that some content by all of the Big 6 American book publishers will offer their digital titles to libraries. For those whove followed this story on our blog and elsewhere, this is surely welcome news. While we still have a way to go before we can enjoy the full access and sensible pricing terms that libraries and you deserve, it is worth remembering that publishers also face intense pressures in this new digital environment and we applaud their recent efforts. Heres a recap of where we stand with each of the Big 6 publishers: Hachette Full ebook catalog available to libraries. Random House Full ebook catalog available to libraries. Harper Collins Full ebook catalog available to libraries. Penguin Titles purchased before February, 2012 are still available through libraries that use the Overdrive ebook platform, but new titles and best sellers are available only to a limited number of libraries through a pilot program with the 3M and Axis 360 ebook platforms. Simon Schuster Full catalog available to New York libraries through a pilot program. Macmillan Offers a limited selection of their ebook to all libraries.
May 1, 2013
by Peter SM
Here are the Top 10 ebooks downloaded from Free Librarys OverDrive Digital Library in April 2013. There were more than 850 ebooks checked out and downloaded for the month! This following list comprises fiction and nonfiction titles from across all genres. 1. The Best Man (fiction) by Kristan Higgins A humorous romance novel from bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award Kristan Higgins. 2. Bite Me, Your Grace (fiction) by Brooklyn Ann New paranormal romance series from author Brooklyn Ann. 3. Starting Now (fiction) by Debbie Macomber A heartfelt tale of friendship, renewal, and discovering whats truly important in life in this newest Blosom Stret novel from Debbie Macomber. 4. Tapestry of Fortunes (fiction) by Elizabeth Berg Four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates, and fortunes in this New York Times bestseller. 5. Lean In (nonfiction) by Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, examines womens current state in the modern workplace, offering compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. 6. Sealed With A Kiss (fiction) by Carly Phillips Latest contemporary romance novel from award-winning writer Carly Phillips. 7. All That Is (fiction) by James Salter A coming of age tale in a post-World War II setting by PEN/Faulkner winning author James Salter. 8. A Chance Worth Taking (fiction) by Carrie Weaver Drama screeches its tires and burns rubber all over the pages of this NASCAR-themed romance novel. 9. Cover of Snow (fiction) by Jenny Milchman Stylish suspense thriller from first time novelist Jenny Milchman. 10. The Reluctant Lark (fiction) by Iris Johansen New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen pens a story of classic love and loss in this romance novel. Want to begin e-reading but dont know where to start? Check out our comprehensive ebook guide!
April 29, 2013
by Aurora S.
Teen Tuesday celebrated National Poetry Month with a Spine Poetry Photo Shoot. Lets see your spine poems!
April 26, 2013
by Peter SM
"Humor is mankinds greatest blessing." - Mark Twain Did you know that besides being National Poetry Month and some other unique "holidays" such as National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (April 2nd) and National High Five Day (April 18th), that April is also National Humor Month? Well, it must be true, I read it on the Internet! ; P Heres a "Friday Five" of humorous books available at Free Library, from smart and sarcastic to side-splitting slapstick, that have put a wry smile on my face and made me LOL. What Id Say To The Martians by Jack Handey Some of the most bizarre, out-there, laugh-out-loud non sequiturs and essays I have ever read. These are the writings of one of Americas greatest humorists or the ramblings of a madman. Or both. Our Dumb Century by The Onion Presented by "Americas Finest News Source", prepare to read some of the most absurd, ridiculous, silly, and of course completely fabricated stories and headlines from satirical news publication The Onion. A collection of some of the sharpest satire currently around and the quintessential parody paper of record. Brain Droppings by George Carlin Master of the monologue and the turn of a phrase, George Carlin was a philosopher in comedians clothing. A smart, provocative, and wildly hilarious collection of essays, monologues, observations, and jokes that youll read, re-read, and try to quote to make your friends think you are smart and funny. Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Scathing, satirical commentary from the humorist heir apparent to Mark Twain. Vonneguts 1963 subversive science fiction novel takes jabs at the cold war, the atom bomb, technology, and theology with a crazy cast of characters. Dark humor at its finest. In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd Jean Shepherds voice of midwestern Americana and nostalgia are the perfect narration for some of the funniest childhood stories youll ever read. Some of the passages in this book were the basis for the holiday movie classic "A Christmas Story". Search our catalog to find more items under the subject "humor" or "comedy". Leave a comment and let us know what books youve checked out from the Free Library that have made you laugh!
April 24, 2013
by Peter SM
If you attended any of the recent Philadelphia Book Festival events, or are planning on attending any of the remaining Philadelphia Science Week or Philly Tech Week events, youve probably stopped by one of our 54 branches. Want to continue to find out about exciting, educational, and enlightening events at your local neighborhood library? Have a Facebook account? Surf on over to our Facebook page and at the top you will see a tab for "Branches and Departments". Click on that tab and you will be able to access links to all of our branches and departments that have Facebook pages. Find your local neighborhood library branchs page and "Like" it, check out the latest bestsellers and DVDs available in Philbrick Hall by "Liking" its department page or "Like" our Summer Reading page to get ready for this summers reading challenge! Comment and interact with other Free Library Facebook followers, post a suggestion or question on a branch or department page, and share posts and pictures with your friends from the Free Library pages you "Like"!
April 23, 2013
by Andrea Z.
Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of the Earth Day. Individuals across the globe took place in a variety of celebrations. "The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed." You can learn more about the movement at Earth Day Network. Google supported with an interactive doodle. What did you do? Continue on the journey by picking up one of these interesting titles in our booklists, Eating Well and Eating Good or Eco Futures Eco Alternatives.
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