February 26, 2014

Spring MOOCs

Do you want a side of pop art with that history class? Join us for American Capitalism and Warhol.

American Capitalism

American Capitalism: A History

Cornell University via edX
Lectures and readings available online starting March 17th and continuing for eight weeks.

Sundays in computer room B at 12:30.
$ign up for this class.
$ign up for our Sunday conversations.



University of Edinburgh via Coursera
Lectures and readings available online starting April 21st and continuing for five weeks.

Sundays in computer room B at 2.
Sign up for this class.
Sign up for our Sunday conversations.

Posted by library at 10:40 AM

February 23, 2014

Kay Daniels Cohen

Kay Daniels CohenWe at the Library mourn the passing of Kay Daniels Cohen, and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Jack, Buddy, and her many, many friends. We also celebrate her life and her wonderful spirit.

The Takoma Park Library enjoyed a special relationship with Kay. She was an avid and eclectic reader. Before her Council duties kept her busy, she attended many of the Friends Reading Goup discussions – bringing copious notes and contributing insightful comments about the authors.

As an active Friend of the Library – she ran the Board elections at their annual meetings, and helped at the book sales. She read at our annual Favorite Poem Evenings – usually coming in colorful costume. One such occasion occurred on Kay’s birthday. She came and read anyway – and we celebrated with two birthday cakes that year – one provided by us, and another unexpectedly brought by Kay.

Most recently – she was the person most responsible for the Library’s being able to open on Sundays. This was an endeavor that was dear to her heart – and has been enthusiastically received by our patrons.

Kay was not only an ardent Library supporter – but a believer in the power of conviction, and of the joy to be felt in active effort, and in living fully – every hour of every day.

Kay's Scrapbook from Jennifer Beman White on Vimeo.

Posted by library at 04:11 PM

February 18, 2014

School Lunch

The children are returning to school today for the first time since last Wednesday. (Two hours late as there was more snow last night.) What will they eat for lunch? If you care about the school menus and snack machines, about the health of Montgomery County's kids, watch these somewhat long, but invaluable, programs. They were recorded by Takoma Park's City TV at the Real Food for Kids Montgomery forum.

Remember. Some kids go hungry on snow days and holidays. They rely on the schools for nutritious food.

Real Food for Kids part 1
Real Food for Kids part 2
Real Food for Kids part 3 (Takoma Park's own George Leventhal)

Looking for an interesting food book? Try 97 Orchard : an edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement by Jane Ziegelman, 394.12 in the non-fiction stacks.

A game? Play Lunch Lady Legends.

Posted by library at 11:39 AM

February 14, 2014

Constitution Café

Constitution CafePlease join us on Tuesday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. when author and educator Christopher Phillips returns to share his most recent project: Constitution Café.

Phillips travels the country engaging Americans in talk about the Constitution. Following the successful format of his 2011 book, Constitution Café: Jefferson’s Brew for a True Revolution, Phillips encourages communities to generate a new, nationwide Constitutional Convention to help Americans better understand and challenge our most fundamental freedoms. Find out about the power and promise of democracy in this absorbing and challenging discussion.

Phillips is a Senior Writing Fellow at University of Pennsylvania's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and executive director of the nonprofit Democracy Café, dedicated to making ours a more thoughtful, inclusive and participatory world by spearheading dialogue groups. Phillips is also the author of the best-selling Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy.

Our Constitution Café: program is of special interest to adults, teens, middle-schoolers and curious elementary school kids. No registration required and all are welcome.

Posted by library at 03:44 PM

Happy Birthday Frederick Douglass

Celebrate by visiting the African-American History Database which is a wonderful resource for browsing, you don't need a school assignment as an excuse. Explore the maps, charts, images, videos, biographies. You just need a library card from our library.

As with all of our digital reference resources, this material is assembled, fact-checked and edited professionally. Is it free? No, the library pays for a subscription so please use it. Please note: if you are more comfortable with physical books, we also have an exceptional print reference collection on African-American history topics.

Posted by library at 01:46 PM

February 13, 2014

Snow Day

We are closed today, February 13th. Enjoy the snow.

Posted by library at 08:59 AM

February 11, 2014

Library Needs Assessment

The "Community Needs Assessment and Visioning for a 21st Century Public Library" report is now available.

Posted by library at 10:19 AM

February 05, 2014

Universal Rights and Wrongs

How much of our moral core is inherited? This is the topic of our MOOC discussion this coming Sunday.

Yale babyPaul Bloom and his colleagues study infants and toddlers. They have found that even very young babies seem to care about fairness and goodness. (Babies also show emerging bigotry, but that is for the 5th week.)

60 Minutes, segment on the Yale studies. See the tests for yourself.
Bloom 2009 The moral life of babies
We have Bloom's book, Just Babies, here in our collection
Warneken's experiments

unhappy border collieOther scientists look to animals to help untangle the role of biology. Who else practices lethal violence? War? Just our near cousin, the chimp. Who shows altruism, even to strangers? All sorts of species. And many animals care about fairness, at least when they are the victimized.
De Waal 2010 Morals Without God?
Warlike Chimps and Peaceful Bonobos

Caesar at Strabo's tombAnthropologists also explore our moral core, looking at many cultures. What do we all seem to care about? What is universal? Every group seems to have some sort of moral code concerning sex, death, purity, authority (though the details certainly differ), fairness (cheaters and freeloaders are everywhere despised) and so on.

Coming soon: How do political differences influence our sense of right and wrong?

Meanwhile, here are some links we would like to share:ice box mommies
A temporary truce in the mommy wars
The r-word
Kids React: Cheerios, Gay Marriage
How does natural selection work?
Reading and empathy
(Reading just a bit of literary fiction can increase your ability to read people.)
Violent video games and loss of empathy

Evil: Sylvia Plath reads Daddy
Good: Andreas Scholl, countertenor, Largo di Handel

And for a quick empathy boost, as well as a little exercise ...

Posted by library at 08:24 PM
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