Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All Ages Anime

Friday, March 27 • 2–4:30 p.m. • All ages
Celebrate the season of cherry blossoms with Japanese crafts, snacks and a screening of
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (PG), another beautifully animated film from Studio Ghibli.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gordon Parks

Today I learned about African American photographer, Gordon Parks. While working as a railroad porter, he happened upon a magazine photo story about migrant workers. He was so moved and inspired by the images that he bought a used camera at pawn shop. That purchase changed his life forever. Gordon Parks became the first African American photographer for Vogue and Life magazine. In his most famous photo, as seen here, he conveyed the contradiction between segregation and freedom in America in the 1940s.

To see more of Parks' photography, click here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

So long, Uncle Terry

This really hurts.  I just learned of the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, a writer of, really, just some of the best books. No other author makes me laugh, think and feel quite like he does. His books are like literary hugs, with little pokes, winks and tickles thrown in to keep you on your toes. I'm not a fan-girl type, but if I'd ever been blessed to meet Sir Terry, I'm certain I would have been sporting tears cascading into a silly grin. I really wish I'd had the chance to embarrass myself thusly. (Shut up, that's totally a word.)

I'm sure you all have authors in your life like this. Sir Terry's aesthetic insinuated itself right into the core of my brain, into my very being, after I read just a couple of his dozens of books. His voice is formative to me; it is fundamental. So much so that I often forget to declare him when I am asked to name my favorite writer. Terry Pratchett just IS, right? Except, now he is no more. And how the world will miss him.

Dude wrote more than 70 books. 70. Books. He kept writing even after he was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease seven years ago. I'm pretty sure that his various molecules are still writing wherever they are now. I'm grateful for every single one of those books, and I grieve for all the ones that never made it out of his brain on to the page. Some would say that's greedy. 70 books is a more than adequate legacy. Sure, for any ordinary writer, but Sir Terry was supernatural. To produce so many works, each one unique yet singing with that consistently kind, clever and singularly perceptive voice... (Here's where I admit that of course I haven't read them all, and I'm sure Sir Terry would be the first to acknowledge that there were probably clunkers among the pearls.)... this is not the feat of a typical human, even of a typical genius. Without this mind, we are now less than we were before. And I feel cheated.

I started to feel cheated back in December of 2007 when I heard about the Alzheimer's diagnosis. I thought I'd seen the last of what that mind could produce, but then, like an actual freaking miracle, an Advanced Reader Copy of a new Tiffany Aching book landed on my desk. Dude kept writing, and writing, and writing. And I realized what a fool I was for thinking that Alzheimer's could destroy not only a mind so great, but any mind. Change it, yes, but imagination is infinite, and will make mischief until forever.

So, if you haven't yet, for the sake of your soul, please, start reading:

Sir Terry, I love you. Thank you. I hope you don't mind that I call you uncle.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ready? Set. College!

Your high school graduation cap hasn't even been placed on your head yet, but there it is, looming on the horizon:college. It's most likely the next step in your school life. Make the most of it, get the most out of it, fund it the best you can.
Somebody on Pinterest has their thinking cap on. Ready? Get set. Go!

Maybe you're not sure if college is right for you. Are you even ready for college right now?
Take a look at what the Otis Library in Connecticut put together. It's excellent.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Test Prep Workshop

Monday, March 9, 5-7pm. 
Teens grades 10 and up, getting ready for college entry tests? Learn from the pros. Teachers from the Huntington Learning Center will share tips and tricks and answer your questions at this beginning test prep workshop. Discover the difference between the ACT and SAT; new features of the SAT; testing dos and don’ts, and how best to prepare. Registration required. 
Stop by the Children’s Reference Desk or call 503-718-2656.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Visit A College Campus! Virtually.

It's really never to soon to think about where you will go to college. By the year 2018, over half the jobs will require a college education. Not sure where to go? Want to visit a bunch of campuses so you can make and informed choice, but definitely don't have the funds to travel to them all? Take a virtual tour! has too many virtual tours to count! Chances are there are a few that will help you decide where or where not to go to college. There's also videos on career choices and college life.
Think about it. For less time than it would take to fly to several campuses and tour them, you could tour all of them!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Good Can Come From Evil

For those of you who know me, you know how much I love graphic novels. Not manga, mind you, though I don't begrudge the back-to-front-manga-loving-readers. And I'm not crazy about comics of the Marvel oeuvre. Nor am I all that interested in reading the other kind of comics: the Sunday Funnies comics. Too short and disjointed for my taste.
It's those graphic novels that provide amazing individualistic artistic style combined with a heartfelt or thought-provoking story. 
One such graphic novel is Stephen Collin's The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. 
Collin's artistic style is more artistic than your average illustrator. You'll find lots of hatch marks, shading; a nice use of gradation. I also liked the way told the story through creative paneling.
So, if you're in the mood for a thought-provoking, artsy graphic novel, look no further. You'll find it all in this one. 



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