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Movies to Watch this Earth Day

earthday2012.thumbnail.pngWe 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.

Levon Helm 1940-2012

Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the legendary rock group The Band died April 19 at the age of 71. His distinctive voice can be heard on such classic songs as "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," and "The Weight." After the group's famed farewell performance in 1976 (dubbed The Last Waltz) Helm embarked on a solo musical career. In 1980 Helm appeared in the film Coal Miner's Daughter with Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn's father.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

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's 70th Anniversary

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.

Titanic's 100th Anniversary

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.

1940 Census Information Now Available

The 1940 Census was released to the public this morning by the National Archives. Originally taken in April, 1940, the information is now available for the first time after a mandatory 72-year waiting period. The Federal government requires that a census is to be taken every ten years so that the apportionment of members of the House of Representatives can be accurately determined.

Mad Men Returns!

After an absence of 17 months Mad Men finally returns to the airwaves on Sunday, March 25 at 9:00 PM on AMC. The highly anticipated two-hour premiere of the series' fifth season picks up in 1966 at the advertising agency of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, where the political and social upheaval of the 60s is sure to be felt. Catch up while you can with Mad Men seasons 1-4 from the Library's collection. Welcome back Don Draper!

eReader Users Group

Join library staff and other eReader users as we share eBook tips and tricks in an informal environment. The group will meet Tuesday, March 20th, 7:00-8:00 PM in the Purple Room.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women Throughout History

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

The Artist

The Artist has become the first silent film to win the Oscar for Best Picture since 1929 when the film Wings won the award at the very first Oscars ceremony. For more great films of the silent era try some of these titles from the Library's collection:

Broken blossoms [videodisc] by United Artists — A young Chinaman in London's squalid Limehouse district hopes to spread the peaceful philosophy of his Eastern religion. There he befriends a pitiful street waif who is mistreated by her brutal father.

Hooray for Hollywood

The Academy Awards are the highest honors accorded by the U.S. film industry to the motion pictures, performers, directors and many others whose work we view on the Silver Screen. When the first Oscars were handed out in May, 1929, movies had just begun to "talk," and the Oscar wasn't yet called by that name. Dig into some movie history, whether you explore the resources in this collection year-round, or just during the days prior to this year's Oscar ceremonies.

Movie Industry: Books

The bad & the beautiful: Hollywood in the fifties by Sam Kashner and Jennifer MacNair — The 1950s are often dismissed as a peaceful interval between the war-ravaged '40s and the socially stormy '60s.

eBook Basics

Join us Wednesday, March 7 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM and learn the basics of how to check out free library eBooks and read them on your Kindle, Nook, iPad or other device. Watch a live demo and try a few of the eReaders on the market today. Registration begins February 22.

David Kelly, 1929-2012

Veteran Irish actor David Kelly has passed away at the age of 82. Kelly was a familiar face in British television, as well as on the Irish stage. American audiences would most likely recognize him as Grandpa Joe in Tim Burton's adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or from his role in the Irish comedy Waking Ned Devine. For more films featuring David Kelly try one of these from the library's collection:

Greenfingers [videodisc]

Into the West [videodisc]

25 New Documentaries You Shouldn't Miss

American teacher (DVD) [videorecording] — Profiles of four teachers in different areas of the country reveal the frustrating realities of today's teachers and the reasons why so many of our best educators leave the profession altogether.

At the edge of the world [videodisc] — The story of the efforts of the controversial Sea Shepherd Antarctic Campaign against a Japanese whaling fleet.

Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

Music legend Whitney Houston passed away Saturday in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 48. The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, Whitney soared to fame in the 1980s and 90s after being discovered by music executive Clive Davis in 1983. He debut album (below) was released in 1985. This was followed by a string of Billboard No. 1 hits - including "Saving all my Love for You", "How will I Know", "The Greatest Love of All", "Where do Broken Hearts Go", and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)". In 1992 she released the soundtrack to the movie: The Bodyguard, in which she costarred with Kevin Costner. It became one of the biggest selling albums of all time, and contained the probably the most memorable performance of the Dolly Parton composition "I Will Always Love You". She is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina.