Friday, September 18, 2015

How intergrated are our personal libraries?

Most folks I know have diverse music collections.  Their CD's and playlists include a wonderful mix of music by everyone from Wynton Marsalis and Stevie Wonder to Beethoven and Diana Krall.  But how many of us have personal libraries that share the same unique and diverse blend of American creative artistry?

I wonder if we take the ease of crossing cultural/stylistic musical lines for granted and think "yes; I like a variety of music styles, so I'm a modern, open-minded person ... so I'm not a racist, blah, blah, blah."  Is that true?  Is enjoying Marvin Gaye, Najee and Snoop Dog enough?  Not to belittle music at all, but that's just music.  There's so much more!

How many Caucasians have read Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, or Terry McMillan?  To enjoy, respect, and appreciate African American culture, we need to read and try to understand their experiences and literature offers us an incredible opportunity to immerse ourselves in this wonderful culture.  I've read Terry McMillan and Tina McElroy Ansa.  I've tried to read J. California Cooper, but gave up because it was hard for me to follow and it was painful.  I have not read Toni Morrison ... yet.  Like I said, there's so much more.  Take a look at your bookshelves and grow it into a multicultural collection.  In the meantime, a whole world awaits and it's all available at your local public library.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Moments of Grace

Today I had a moment of grace.  Of course, moments of grace occur all the time, especially throughout the workday in a busy public library, but this one was uniquely special.

I was helping out at a new branch library.  I've helped the manager with some special projects over the last few weeks as she prepared to open the branch.  She graciously offered to buy me lunch to thank me.  So, she went out to a barbecue restaurant and returned with lunch for the two of us.  She set two cans of Diet Coke on the table in the staff lounge.  Both cans said "Dad" on them.  The barbecue came with two kinds of sauce:  regular and North Carolina.  I chose NC because my dad was from NC.

This moment of grace was a wink from my dad.  Here's to you, dad.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Libraries Change Lives

Public library staff make an enormous difference in people's lives.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently posted an article about Gratia Countryman, a librarian in the early 20th century who made a difference. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Busy Winter and Spring

I can't believe it's almost the first of May.  After taking a few online classes and finding myself overwhelmed (in a good way), I am trying to catch up on reading and writing.  Here's a link to some read-a-likes for the uber-popular title The Girl on the Train.  Click here to learn more.  Courtesy of OverDrive, distributor of e-books and more.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

13227454What a delightful book!  This is a sleeper - you don't realize how good it is at first and then, bam, you fall in love with it.  There are a lot of layers here and Harold's journey, while seemingly unrealistic at first, is reflective of our desire to do something drastic, to really take a stand and make a difference.  Just how his journey - the pilgrimage of the title - progresses and transforms him and others is deftly told and you'll find yourself cheering him on.  The author weaves all the layers together into a very satisfying ending.  Highly recommended.