Laurie.'s blog

On Point

pink Converse high tops

A good dance critic takes risks, teases out aesthetic questions, and faces each performance with anticipation.  A great dance critic like Arlene Croce makes you believe dance is really all there is to talk about.

Arlene Croce wrote the dance column in the The New Yorker from 1973 until 1998.  I first learned of her column when a high school teacher shared a photocopied review in preparation to see Judith Jamison dance.  I was too young, too inexperienced and Croce's words were hollow.

And then I saw Judith Jamison dance.
And nothing was ever the same.

Hot Roddin'

Toyko Drift

Sure hitting the blacktop with your bike is good for the environment but sometimes you have to answer the call of a souped up hot rod.  Motor to the couch and jump behind the wheel of a custom ride adventure.

The Library has a variety of resources from hot rod flame painting to building your own but sometimes chillaxing with a good movie can be the best way to enjoy a hot rod.  Interested only in NASCAR?  Click here.

Mercury Rising

Queen A Night at the Opera

No need to wait for June 21 to announce the arrival of summer.  The sound of Freddie Mercury's voice floating across area parks is the real indicator summer has arrived.

There are plenty of new music biographies but none more anticipated than Is This the Real Life? by Mark Blake.  The book delivers and makes you yearn for more Queen, more Freddie Mercury. While you put yourself on the hold list for the book, take a tour of the best of Queen.

Sporting PRIDE

White baseball hat with PRIDE decal.

If you're a sports fan, chances are good you've heard some trash-talk at sporting events.  Athletes are now bringing their A-game to promote tolerance.

The San Francisco Giants have made sports history with their contribution to Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth with the promise that their futures will be brighter. The National Basketball Association along with its partners has promoted Think B4 You Speak during the NBA finals.

Oversized Treasures

Emily Dickinson's Herbarium. Houghton Library, Harvard University

Books, like plants, come in varied shapes and sizes. An "oversize" book requires more shelving space to insure easy access and browsing.

The Central Library's oversize collection located on the second level features many treasures including a facsimile of Emily Dickinson's Herbarium. A popular activity during the Victorian age, Dickinson notes her own work on a herbarium at age 14. Her love of flowers and their symbolic imagery is reflected in much of her poetry throughout her life.

Cotton Mill Girls

Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls

Browsing the new biography section at the Central Library led me to discover a collection of personal histories of women living and working in Southern mill towns, a surprising link to my own family history.

My great grandmother Zella was a child employee for the  Eureka Cotton Mill in Tennessee.  She was nearly 102 years old by the time I discovered this fact.  Zella wasn't tall enough to reach her work so she was hoisted on boxes and tied in place, making sure she wouldn't fall into the dangerous equipment.  Job safety being what it was, some of her friends weren't as fortunate.  She wouldn't say much about this experience other than she and her family had been grateful for the work.

Bridging the Gap

Shelly

New books on marketing are emphasizing the role of technology especially social media in helping organizations market their services. The Library knows that in addition to new technology, quality time with a knowledgeable staff member like Shelly strengthens the "unity" found in Denver's community.

Shelly, a Librarian at the Central Library, recently bridged generations making an outreach call to Drehmoor Apartments, a housing option serving the senior population in Denver. Shelly was able to field questions on the services available at the Library and help the senior attendees make the personal connection to library cards, collections, and programming. Face time with Shelly was more valuable to this community than Facebook.

Serendipity of Browsing

Sandra visits the Central Library for serendipitous browsing: scouting new authors and reigniting intellectual passions.

Sandra enjoys wandering the stacks at the Central Library on Sundays when her neighborhood branch library is closed and parking is free at the downtown meters. "If anyone ever asks me the most valuable item in my purse," says Sandra, "It's my library card."

We Read

Yi-Ting, Brian, and Nancy (left to right)

Meet Yi-Ting, Brian and Nancy, three shelvers who help support the shelving team at the Library. While library shelvers locate books that may have roamed and groom bookstacks to invite browsing, they also are avid readers. Don't know what to read next? Grab a few recommendations from the book stacks!

Yi-Ting enjoys cooking and believes you'll enjoy the cookbooks of Jacques Pépin even if you aren't a gourmand. (Take a peek at his DVDs which highlight his screen presence and c-h-a-r-m.)

Laughter in Recovery

Jeff Garlin: My Footprint

Addiction is in the news and so is recovery.

You don't have to be an addict to have addiction touch your life. Family members, friends even co-workers may be struggling with addiction to food, drugs, or other destructive behaviors. Comedians, especially those who have struggled with addiction, can often say what others would never dare to voice. They shine a light on the painful subject and infuse laughter in the darkest moments of addiction. Comedians Chris Farley and John Belushi are reminders of the deadly consequences of addiction.

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