August 28, 2013

Churchill and Lewis Carroll

Distance learning has exploded which means you really can stay in school forever. And you can make new school friends by joining us for our live, in-person, Sunday afternoon discussions.

The final counts in our "what MOOC do you want" poll were very close. No statistically significant differences. (BTW, MOOC means "massive open online course." List of some current MOOCs.)

Our winner was the philosophy/history/art class Ideas of the 20th Century, although the two edX science courses under consideration scored almost as high, so we may do one of them next spring or fall. They are The Science of Cooking and Introduction to Human Evolution.

And literature was right up there. We plan to add a second class this fall, Coursera's Science Fiction and Fantasy, for which you get to read the Brothers Grimm and Lewis Carroll, Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells. And more. (Including Cory Doctorow, stalwart supporter of public libraries.)

We will consider Comic and Graphic Novels for a subsequent semester.

We also want to group-study edX Shakespeare: On the Page and in Performance but that doesn't start until October 2014

The Ideas of the 20th Century chat, coffee, and mutual commiseration society will meet Sundays at 12:30 beginning September 22nd. The course itself begins September 15th and lasts for 13 weeks. You can
 Ideas of the Twentieth Century Sign up for the class here (If you have previously registered previously for edX you are already in the files, just sign in and register for the class itself.)
Sign up for our Sunday sessions here, not required but it gives us a way to contact you with additional information about the get-togethers.

Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World will meet Sundays, possibly at 4, beginning some time in October. The class itself begins October 7th and lasts for 11 weeks.
 Fantasy and Science FictionSign up for the class here (Again, if you have registered previously at Coursera, don't repeat unnecessary steps.)
Sign up for our Sunday sessions here to get additional details.

Everything is free, and we make the coffee.

Below the fold: reading lists

Reading List for Fantasy and Science Fiction:

Grimm — Children's and Household Tales
Carroll — Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Stoker — Dracula
Shelley — Frankenstein
Hawthorne & Poe — Stories and Poems
Wells — The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, "The Country of the Blind," "The Star"
Burroughs & Gilman — A Princess of Mars & Herland
Bradbury — The Martian Chronicles
LeGuin — The Left Hand of Darkness
Doctorow — Little Brother

We have almost all of these books and stories here at the library, even Herland.

Supplementary Reading for 20th Century (We'll add to this as we learn more)

Churchill, Winston S. The Gathering Storm. Mariner Books, 1986. On the shelf here at 940.53 CHURCHI v.1

Posted by library at 03:29 PM

Labor Day Weekend

The library and computer rooms will be open Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
The history of Labor Day.

Posted by library at 10:30 AM

August 26, 2013


100 years ago women in Maryland, in much of the U.S., were not yet allowed to vote. They marched, they demonstrated, they picketed the White House, they were jailed. They raised a mighty roar. You could validate their struggle by remembering to register and to vote. You could even run for office.

We have registration forms at the library.

1917 Maryland Suffragettes picket White House

Isn't one of those Maryland suffragettes on roller skates?

The history of women's suffrage in Maryland is particularly shameful. The 19th amendment was introduced in Congress in 1878. It didn't pass for 41 years, not until 1919. Ratification was then swift, and by 1920 Maryland women could finally vote. (Thank you Tennessee.)

Maryland itself did not ratify until 1941 and that wasn't certified until 1958.

Of course in DC women are still waiting for full suffrage.

Who marched in the great 1913 parade in Washington? Nellie Bly, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Helen Keller, and at least 8,000 others. They were abominably treated by both the DC police and the crowd.

Look through some of the primary sources. (You will need your library card)
Read an interesting blog written by the granddaughter of a suffragette.

Posted by library at 10:53 AM

August 23, 2013

636.7 Dog Party

Update: Sorry, we've been told the Lions Club had to cancel Bark n' the Park.

10 AM, Sat Aug 24, Lee Jordan Field st the Middle School, Bark N' the Park
Contest entry $15, which benefits the Lions Leader Dog Program for the Blind. And there will be all sorts of contests. Longest catch distance, fastest tail wag, best costume, etc. etc.

Additional information : contact Jeremy : barkinthepark at
Sponsors include Dale's Dog Grooming, The Big Bad Woof, The Dog Stay.

Dewey lesson for the day
636 Animal Husbandry

636.1 Equines (Horses)
636.2 Ruminants and camel family (Bovines, Cattle)
636.3 Smaller ruminants (Sheep)
636.4 Swine
636.5 Poultry (Chickens)
636.6 Birds other than poultry
636.7 Dogs
636.8 Cats
636.9 Other mammals

So a Roscoe party would be 636.5

Posted by library at 02:34 PM

August 14, 2013

Back to School for Grown-Ups

MOOCs are everywhere! Even at your library

edXMassive Open Online Courses are free and readily available through edX, Coursera, and other web based education sites.

Interested in trying one out? Our computer center staff can help you get registered and help you navigate the course structure and resources.

Want to add that face-to-face experience to your online learning? We will select a class or two and host weekly gatherings to give you a chance to do just that.

We are considering the following courses for the fall:

 IIdeas of the Twentieth Century Ideas of the Twentieth Century
Learn how philosophy, art, literature, and history shaped the last century and the world today. UTAustinX. Begins Sep 15, 13 weeks

 Science & CookingScience & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science
Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in physics and engineering, and vice versa. HarvardX. October (exact day not yet listed)

 Introduction to Human EvolutionIntroduction to Human Evolution
An overview of human evolutionary history viewed through the human fossil, archaeological and genetic records. WellesleyX. Begins September 25, 13 weeks

 Comic Books and Graphic NovelsComic Books and Graphic Novels
A survey of the comic book canon and of the major graphic novels in circulation today. The governing question is simple: by what terms can we discuss comic books as literary art? In pursuit of that question it develops a theory of literary reading and time itself. University of Colorado at Boulder. Begins Sep 23, 7 weeks

 Fantasy and Science FictionFantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World
We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world. University of Michigan. Begins October 7th, 11 weeks

Interested in one or more of these courses? Let us know!
Complete our MOOC survey

Not sure? Try the edX demo, 15 to 20 minutes, just to see how the classes work.

Last spring we did the HarvardX class Ancient Greek Hero and now talk knowingly of sema and psukhe, of kleos and nostos. And we look expectantly at construction pits.

Posted by library at 06:56 AM

August 13, 2013

Great Computer Auction

On Wednesday August 21st the City will again auction off refurbished staff computers. Each has the Windows 7 operating system, Open Office software, Adobe Flash, sound, virus protection, at least 2GB memory, keyboard, mouse and a flat screen monitor. $70 and up. The computers will be on display in the rotunda area of the computer center.

Posted by library at 02:15 PM

August 10, 2013

Perseids Tonight

perseidsTonight and tomorrow night, watch the great Perseids meteor shower. And this year it isn't raining!

If you can get out of town to someplace less light-polluted, do so. Best watch time is after midnight, give your eyes a long time to adjust to the darkness, sit back and look toward the northeast, toward Perseus (though actually, the meteors come from the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle comet).

Can't remember who Perseus was and what he did? Please visit our Audiobookcloud and listen to Padraic Colum's The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles. Shield your video display and listen in the dark while your eyes adjust.

(You can also look up Perseus in The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Look for the library card login.)

NASA will have a live webcast and chat tonight, for those with too much light pollution. Or too many mosquitoes.

Update: Sorry, it was cloudy during the early AM of the 11th. According to the NSW, the best chance of some clearing will come at around 5 AM, just before dawn, on the 12th.

Posted by library at 08:05 PM

August 05, 2013

Test Prep

TERCDo you need to take a standardized exam? Want practice tests and books? We now subscribe, on your behalf, to the Testing and Education Resource Center. Please try it out. Our print copies of the books are usually all checked out, or out of date, or in shreds. Perhaps someone has already filled in the answers. Probably incorrectly.

Here you have pristine materials to help you study for well over 60 exams required for secondary schools, college admission, graduate schools, the military, or a variety of jobs,

You can even find information on scholarships here, as well as in the Career Guidance Center, another of the online tools we offer.

career centerThe Career Guidance Center not only has extensive information on college planning and financial aid, it can also help you find internships, apprenticeships and summer jobs. This is also the place to find solid, reliable information on résumé preparation, cover letters and interviews.

And don't forget the six volume College Blue Book whcih we also have in print. It is a classic reference source.

Posted by library at 11:09 AM
Recent Entries
Churchill and Lewis Carroll
Labor Day Weekend
636.7 Dog Party
Back to School for Grown-Ups
Great Computer Auction
Perseids Tonight
Test Prep
Other Web Logs
Library News
Teen Book Buzz
City News Pages
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
Call the desk at 301-891-7259
Contact the director by e-mail