May 3 has been designated as World Press Freedom Day in recognition of a "free, pluralistic and independent press" and its essential part of a democratic society. Indeed, the purpose of journalism, said Chicago newspaper columnist Peter Finley Dunne in the early 1900s, is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Although modern journalists have often been the targets of severe criticism, it is also true that throughout the centuries, and even today, journalism has been a force for making America a better place to live.
The 600th year celebration of the birth of Joan of Arc is being celebrated in 2012. Born in France in 1412, she is considered a national heroine and one of the country's patron saints. Nicknamed the "Maid of Orleans", she was a peasant girl who claimed divine guidance when leading the French army to several significant victories during the Hundred Year's War. Captured by the enemy, she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake when she was only 19. Twenty five years later the pope cleared her name and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
Joan of Arc: a Penguin life by Mary Gordon
Look for these films based on popular books in your local theater in the coming months:
Anna Karenina: a novel in eight parts by Leo Tolstoy — Starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Release date: September 2012.
Chicken with plums by Marjane Satrapi — Starring Mathieu Amalric and Eduouard Baer. Release date: August 2012.
Easy money by Jens Lapidus — Starring Joel Kinnaman and Dragomir Mrsic. Release date: July 2012.
The theme for Earth Day 2012 is Mobilize the Earth. Try some of the following titles from the Library's collection to help you get started!
Attracting birds, butterflies and other backyard wildlife by David Mizejewski
Backyard wildlife: how to attract bees, butterflies, insects, birds, frogs and animals into your garden by Christine and Michael Lavelle
Bats by M. Brock Fenton
We can all observe Earth Day this year by educating ourselves about the challenges that face our environment and what we can do about it. Try some of the titles suggested below to get started:
The age of stupid [videodisc] — Pete Postlethwaite stars as an archivist living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, who spends his days looking at old footage from the years leading up to 2015 - when a cataclysmic climate change took place.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its new members for 2012 on April 14. Among the inductees are Guns n' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, Small Faces, Beastie Boys, The Crickets (of Buddy Holly fame), The Famous Flames (of James Brown fame) , The Blue Caps (of Gene Vincent fame), and The Miracles (of Smokey Robinson fame.)
The autobiography of Donovan: the hurdy gurdy man by Donovan Leitch
Buddy Holly: a biography by Ellis Amburn
Casablanca, one of the greatest American films, celebrates it's 70th anniversary this year. When it was released in 1942, it was just one of many films produced that year, and although it won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it wasn't until years later that its reputation among both critics and viewers has consistenly placed it on lists of the greatest films of all time.
April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury liner RMS Titanic. The largest ship afloat in the world at the time — and widely believed to be "unsinkable" — the Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City on April 10. Four days later, the ship collided with an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, and sank in the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 2:20 in the morning of the 15th.
Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth I of England. Florence Nightingale. These remarkable women are well known to most of us, but there are many others in history just as remarkable whose names may not be as recognizable. In honor of Women's History Month we should all make some time to learn about them by reading some of the many biographies to found in the library's collection:
Bella Abzug: how one tough broad from the Bronx fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, pissed off Jimmy Carter, battled for the rights of women and workers, rallied against war and for the planet, and shook up politics along the way: an oral history by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom — Bella Abzug, American lawyer, congresswoman and social activist
Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy: a life by Jean Bethke Elshtain — Jane Addams, American social reformer, suffrage leader and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Anna of all the Russias: the life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein — Anna Akhmatova, Influential Russian poet