Free Library in the News: February 2-6, 2015

By Samantha M. RSS Fri, February 6, 2015

VOTE: Parkway Museums District, Philadelphia
As part of its 10 Best travel awards, USA Today has nominated Philadelphia as a contender for the best art district. VOTE!


#PhillyFive Things to Do: Feb. 2, 2015
For a touch of class: Poets Kelly McQuain and Amy Small-McKinney will read and discuss their works as a part of Monday Poets series at the Free Library of Philadelphia Central Branch.


Small Talk: Libraries remain popular Philadelphia attractions
I like bookshelves. I like them even more when they’re filled with books. And I most love shelves filled with books when they’re part of a library. Philadelphia is packed with both very old and contemporary libraries. I’ve compiled a list of my favorites.


To improve city schools, consider all options
In the schools that need more help, the next mayor should build upon and expand partnerships between the district and city agencies, such as the Department of Human Services, the Office of Behavioral Health, the Police Department, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Department of Parks and Recreation.


14 ways to celebrate Black History Month
Sundays on Stage: Griots in Concert—As part of the Free Library's Sunday concert series, Linda Humes and master drummer Sanga will tell African and Caribbean diaspora stories in the griot storytelling tradition. I Am Not My Hair!—The founder of the Philadelphia Beauty Showcase National Historic Museum Shirley Randleman discusses local beauty industry pioneers and the state of the African-American hair care industry.

Q&A: Author Ben Yagoda on the Great American Songbook
Eventually, rock-and-roll replaced the Songbook in popularity, power, and cultural influence. This history is told with vivid biographical detail and passion by cultural critic and ardent fan Ben Yagoda in The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Songbook. (appearing Feb. 11)


A diva goes deep about art, weight, and addiction
The opera world's friendliest diva is about to become much more so - and not just because Deborah Voigt's new autobiography is titled Call Me Debbie. (appeared Feb. 2)


“American Greed” documentary film


Set aside ‘Little Orphan Annie.’ How do we really deal with unwanted kids?
Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train—the 2015 selection of the One Book, One Philadelphia citywide reading project—is fiction, but no fantasy. Its title comes from the real-life attempts, a century and a half ago, to solve the problem of "orphaned" children with a feel-good idea to populate the west.


The opera ‘Oscar’ finds a path to Philadelphia
Certainly, the opera comes at a moment of critical mass for Oscar Wilde awareness. The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia currently has an exhibition of rarely seen Wilde materials titled Everything Is Going on Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia through April 26.


Articulate with Jim Cotter, Episode 5 Trailer
All art comes from a single source, the heart, soul, and labors of the artist, right?  We find out how to beg borrow and appropriate, strictly for art’s sake. The legacy of Oscar Wilde’s life and literature continues to resonate today, especially, currently, in Philadelphia. (with video)


Public Management is Tougher: Tech drives increased need for libraries
Library Journal
My optimistic aging memory had me waiting for the economy to do what it used to do and recover enough so that the public and private nonprofit sectors by which most libraries are funded would catch up with the already recovered private sector. So I was a bit taken aback when Siobhan Reardon, the president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia and LJ’s 2015 Librarian of the Year, told me that wasn’t going to happen. “We will be short of money forever. The public sector will never catch up; it’s never going to happen, John!” she asserted, adding that the creative use of funds would be a key management challenge of the coming decades. “If you work in a municipally funded organization you have to be flexible, and you have to learn how to get the most flexibility with the limited amount of dollars you have,” Reardon said, adding that it helped a lot to have a library foundation that raises some $10 million a year and an engaged public that helps to make the decisions on how to spend what money there is.


A Young Composter Inspired by One Book, One Philadelphia’s ‘Orphan Train’
Curtis Institute of Music composition student TJ Cole is only 21, but she already has a string of impressive commissions under her belt. Last year she was chosen to write a piece of music based on the Free Library's 2015 One Book, One Philadelphia selection - Orphan Train, a novel by Christina Baker Kline.


Read by the Fourth!!
The Philadelphia Tribune
Explains what early literacy is and breaks it down in sections: babies, toddlers, preschool and kindergarten. Provided by The Free Library of Philadelphia. By reading, talking, singing and playing with your child you give them the foundation for literacy and success! The Literacy Enrichment After-School Program. Provides homework assistance, computer literacy, and library skills for students in grades K-12, and daily literacy enrichment activities for elementary school students. Provided by The Free Library of Philadelphia. LEAP also introduces students to the many library resources and materials that are available, free of charge, to help them with school assignments.


Around South Philly 1-29-2015
South Philly Review
Fumo Family Branch, 2437 S. Broad St., kickstarted its bi-weekly Minecraft Club Jan. 17, with eager youngsters reveling in the opportunity to build, create and play. (photo)


What white kids don’t learn about black history
Last weekend, I went to the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia at 19th and Vine streets, and walked upstairs to the history department. “I don’t know anything about black history, and I’d like to learn,” I said to the librarian at the history desk. “You—” The African-American woman paused, taken aback. “Need to know about black history?” “Yes, that’s right,” I said. She told me that if I really wanted to learn about black history, I should watch the ongoing documentary series Hidden Colors. I had never heard of it before. “We’re at the library, though,” she laughed, “so you should go over there.” I eventually found my way to another librarian, who gathered together a stack of books I could start with. I sat at a table and started reading.


Tacony Library Renovations: Sneak Peek
Funding has been secured and plans are underway to renovate the Tacony Library! (Features photos of the new library renderings)


Need a new staycation idea? Try day trippin’ to bookstores
The Daily Republic
You can also take out library cards for e-books from far-off libraries such as the Free Library of Philadelphia or Brooklyn Public Libraries. There is a yearly fee, of course, but both are alleged to have a magnificent selection of e-books that marry perfectly with all local sources.


7 Days: Regional arts and entertainment
Love of loss Scottish writer Irvine Welsh is best known for his 1993 novel Trainspotting, vernacular stories of working-class despair in Edinburgh. He reads from his new novel, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, about a body-obsessed Miami fitness trainer and her overweight client, at 7:30 p.m. at the Free Library. (appeared 2/3)


A diva goes deep about art, weight, and addiction
But what she hasn't widely discussed, and what will be explored at her appearance Monday night at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia - which will include both talk and song - is the full-blown alcoholism that sometimes follows that surgery. (appeared 2/2)


Q&A: Author Ben Yagoda on the Great American Songbook
This history is told with vivid biographical detail and passion by cultural critic and ardent fan Ben Yagoda in The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Songbook. It provides portraits of the songwriters and artists of the day and explores the cultural, social, and economic changes that led to the decline of the Songbook and the ascendancy of rock as the standard for the American pop song. Yagoda will discuss the book at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library. (appears 2/11)


Calendar: February 4-11
Philadelphia Weekly
B.J. Novak author event (appearing 2/10), African-American story quilt program at Wynnefield Library (2/4), and Scott Stossel author event (appeared 2/5)


February: What to do this month (no digital link)
Philadelphia Magazine
The man who gave the world Trainspotting brings his latest novel, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, to town.


Watch Marky Ramone at the Free Library Last Week, Be Delighted  & Merely Pretend to Work for the Rest of the Afternoon
ast week, the one and only Marky Ramone appeared at the Free Library Author Events, and by all accounts, it was a fine conversation indeed with the Inquirer‘s Dan DeLuca. So fine, in fact, that for the benefit of humankind, the Library has uploaded the whole thing so that adults and children alike can hear Marky hold forth on how the Pope digs the Ramones, how the Ramones got Phil Spector to chill out by turning him onto Italian wine, and many, many other things.

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