27 May 2011

Memorial Day in the U.S.A

Happy long weekend (fellow Americans). How are you spending your weekend? Eating? Reading? Gardening? Fishing? Working? Resting? The Big Sister is planning to read all weekend, visit What are You Reading RIGHT NOW to see what we're reading!

Here is one thing we'll be doing: Supporting our library and gardening! 
Saturday, May 28, 2011
M-137 and US-31 in Interlochen, Michigan
Join us and support the Interlochen Public Library! Support your library "use it or lose it!"  Happy Reading.

 (Originally posted 5/31/2010)

Frank Albert Daniels
January 21, 1921-February 4, 1998
World War II Litter Bearer
On Memorial Day, in the United States of America, there are picnics, fireworks and celebrations --beaches are full and there is a smell of BBQ in the air. But what is Memorial Day? The Sisters wanted to know. Memorial Day commemorates U.S. soldiers that have lost their lives while serving in the military. To us, it is a time to honor all of the men and women who have given so much in battle and to remember all those who died. 

We honor Frank Daniels.  While his new wife carried and gave birth to their first son, he carried the fallen soldiers.  The Mom's grandfather did not die in battle, but he was with many men as they did.  

We honor Howard Zinn.  Who used his experiences in World War II to build a legacy of books and stories, including A People's History of the United States.   So that citizens of the world will
Howard Zinn
August 24, 1922–January 27, 2010
World War II Bombardier
"remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."  The Optimism of Uncertainty by Howard Zinn

25 May 2011

The Books with Wings Challenge

Hello, it's me The Little Sister! (The Mom typed my words for me.) I thought of this week's challenge, here it is:

I want to know how many books you know (from your whole life, even from when you were little, like me) that have wings.

If you wonder what I mean read our comments and have fun... we sure did!
Me, The Mom and The Big Sister made
these Books with Wings aren't they fun?

Please use the following format for your comment: Title of Book, Author, and tell us more about the wings!

17 May 2011

Get the Scoop at Your Library: 1,000 Words, Pictures Speak (with a few words) about The San Francisco Public Library Main Branch

Sometimes there aren't words.

So, click the link and enjoy Wendy MacNaughton's latest work "The San Francisco Public Library Main Branch, in its own words". 

Visit Wendy's website 

Wendy's blog 

the San Francisco Public Library's website.

Click Wendy's illustration and enjoy the story...

13 May 2011

What's Your Opening Line? Challenge

First Lines have long been a passion of mine (The Mom). Last night as I began a new book --one that The Dad has been urging me to read for ages (see: What are You Reading RIGHT NOW! for more) I was sleepy, very sleepy --but the opening line hooked me. And I stayed up way too late, enjoying my new book.

Some first lines are so good, so catchy, so memorable that we never forget them, they even become a points of reference on Literature's permanent landscape. Think about it --we bet one comes to mind. 

Give your self a quick test --do you recognize these opening lines? Click on comments to check your answers.
  1. “This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”
  2. “The play – for Which Briony had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crêpe paper – was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.”
  3. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."
  4. "A few months after my twenty-first birthday, a stranger called to give me the news."
  5. “Not every 13-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty.”
  6. “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
  7. "At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin."
One LONG opening line!
  1. "Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof." (THAT IS ONE SENTENCE!!!)
  2. "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
  3. "'Where's Papa going with that axe?' said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast."
  4. "That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me."
  5. "Tamisin Warner saw real goblins the Halloween she was eleven."
  6. "It was a dark and stormy night."
  7. "This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse."
Your challenge this week: give us a good opening line. 

One from memory, search out opening lines on the internet (there are lots of great lists), go to your bookshelf and pull a favorite. 

Whichever way you choose, What's Your Opening Line? And can you guess the first line others have added?

10 May 2011

Speak Up for Libraries: National Library Legislative Day

The more we learn about libraries the more we recognize their importance and their need for help from all the library lovers everywhere. Did you know the American Library Association has all sorts of tools so that anyone can get involved? We put together some resources to help understand what ALA Virtual Legislative Day is all about, we invite you to stand up and speak up for your library!
"Virtual Library Legislative Day is part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day on May 10, when hundreds of library advocates will descend on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staffs. Library advocates who cannot make it to Capitol Hill for the event can still be a part of the effort by calling and/or e-mailing their elected officials on May 10 – or any time the week of May 9-13."

08 May 2011

Why Read? Quotes to make it clearer: Letters to the Children of Troy

How about a bunch of quotes about libraries! A continuation of the Letters to the Children of Troy in hopes that the good intentions of library lovers will help find a solution to keep Troy Library open to the public. (Click here for information and resources to help save the library! And more of the wonderful letters --including the one from Dr. Suess!) 

Letter to the Children of Troy from Olga Pobutsky 
1971 Coordinator of Young Adult Services for the Detroit Public Library
(Photos used with permission from Troy Public Library)

"It is a place to come whenever you have a question that needs answering or for your general quest for a 'good book.' It is your library get to know it and make good use of it throughout your lifetime."

This letter is heart-breakingly timely as the Detroit Public Library is looking for solutions to keep the doors open for ALL. We wonder what solutions Olga might have!

Letter to the Children of Troy from Vice President Spiro Agnew
(Photos used with permission from Troy Public Library)

"...for a library gives to rich and poor alike open access to a great store of knowledge."

Letter to the Children of Troy from Dr. Benjamin "Ben" Spock
(Photos used with permission from Troy Public Library)

"Your library is more full of good things than a candy store or a pirate's chest."

Letter to the Children of Troy from Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
(Photos used with permission from Troy Public Library)

"History books are the gold bullion of knowledge, and a library is the bank where all the knowledge is stored."

Stop by tomorrow for more of these amazing letters! And don't for get to tell us What you are Reading RIGHT NOW!!

06 May 2011

Focus on Libraries: Letters to the Children of Troy

Letter to the Children of Troy from Neil Armstrong
(Photos used with permission from Troy Public Library)
Closure looms in the future of many public libraries, Troy Public Library in Southeast Michigan understands this trend very well. The library, both staff and patrons, have lived with just this threat for quite some time. According to a recent article in the Daily Tribune, "the Troy Public Library was given a reprieve by the Troy City Council from its planned April 30 closure until it is scheduled to approve a budget on May 15. Funding for the library after July 1 was cut from the city’s three-year budget last year due to an anticipated $22.3 million revenue shortfall from 2010 through 2015."

As the threat of closure became a reality patrons and library lovers spoke up and staff, well, the staff started cleaning up, going through 40 years of the library's life.  Thankfully the people were listened to and the library was given an extension, the doors will remain open for the time being. And the clean up efforts proved very rewarding as treasure was discovered. Today The Mom talked with Phillip Kwik, Head of Public Services for the Troy Library, he explained that the staff unearthed "a tremendous collection of letters. A representation of life in 1970's America... a testament to libraries." 
In 1971 Marguerite Hart, the First Children's Librarian at the Troy Library, solicited the letters from far and wide requesting "a letter to the children of Troy about the importance of libraries, and ...memories of reading and of books." And the people responded. Ninety-seven letters in total were written to the children of Troy in celebration of the opening of Troy Public Library on May 16, 1971. Including letters from First Lady Pat Nixon; Michigan Governor William Milliken; Governor of California (and future president) Ronald Reagan; first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Ben Spock, and E.B. White; and actors Douglas Faribanks, Jr., Vincent Price, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. Currently a selection of the letters are on display in the lobby of Troy Library.

Why are libraries and these letters so important in this chapter of Troy Public Library's history? They all support one thing: libraries are a cornerstone of life in America. How about former President Ronald Reagan's take on books, "a world without books would be a world without light --without light, man cannot see." (see full letter below.) In her letter to the Children of Troy Senator Margaret Chase Smith shared her view of the library "a tradition that is making available centuries of accumulated wisdom to men and women in all walks of life." She also shared this quote from President Dwight Eisenhower,

"...The libraries of America are and must ever remain the homes of free, inquiring minds. To them, our citizens --of all ages and races, of all creeds and political persuasions-- must ever be able to turn with clear confidence that there they can freely seek the whole truth, unwarped by fashion and uncompromised by expediency"

In the next few days we'll be sharing more of the letters and amazing quotes in hopes to garner a little more support for Troy Public Library. There is definitely hope that it will remain open, the library is a precious thing --as E.B. White understood, "a library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort." 
According to a recent comment on Troy Library's website regarding the last City Council meeting "there was talk about either funding the library until August when a millage could be proposed at a special election or until November during regular elections. There was also deliberation on whether a proposal would be for a full-service or reduced-service library."

While Troy Library might be threatened with closure there is no question of the value of this nearly forty year old member of Oakland County's community.  What Troy Library holds in its vast collection of information is representative of these precious letters that Phillip Kwik explained are "for children --past, present and future." The library is a tradition, an institution, worth holding on to. And in the words of of a man who knows how to take on a challenge, Neil Armstrong, "how we use the knowledge we gain determines our progress on earth, in space and on the moon. Your library is a storehouse for mind and spirit. Use it well."
  • Attend the Troy City Council meeting Monday, May 9 2011 for details, click here.
  • Watch the live web cast of City Council Special Budget Study Session at 6:00 pm followed by a regular City Council meeting at 8:30 pm, click here.
  • Send a letter: 510 W. Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI 48084 
  • Email Troy's Mayor and/or City Council: www.troymi.gov/council/
  • Follow Troy Library on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Visit the wonderful exhibit of letters in person, click here for details.
  • Learn about Detroit Area Public Libraries who are struggling with closures, click here.
  • Check out Loosing Libraries to learn about how to help libraries that are struggling.
  • The best thing to do: support your local library: stop by take out a book, pay your fines with a smile, and tell your librarian that you and the Books for Walls Project are happy that they are open!

  • What better way to celebrate Troy Library's 40th Anniversary than by using your voice to help save such a precious institution? Why not continue in Marguerite Hart's tradition and write a letter of your own and send it to your favorite library?
Now, enjoy today's selection of letters:

Letter to the Children of Troy from Dr. Suess, Theodore Geisel 
(Photo used with permission from Troy Public Library)
Letter to the Children of Troy from President Ronald Reagan 
"A world without books would be a world without light --without light, man cannot see. Through the written word a world of enlightenment has been created and has taught us about the past to enable us to build for the future.

Without spending a penny, one can travel to the ends of the earth, the depths of the oceans and now, though the infinity of space. One can learn a new trade or improve his skills in an old one, and the list is endless. The material offered by your library covers the span of interest from the youngest child even before he learns to read to the eldest of our senior citizens.

This library of the City of Troy will do all these things for you if you will only take the time to let it. You know, books are often our best friends. I congratulate your city on this new facility and wish you many hours of enjoyable reading." 
(Photos used with permission from Troy Public Library)

A Letter to the Children of Troy from E. B. White
"A library is many things. It's a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It's a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books. If you want to find out about something, the information is in the reference books---the dictionaries, the encyclopedias, the atlases. If you like to be told a story, the library is the place to go. Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together---just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people---people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book." 
Children's Author, E. B. White 
(Photo used with permission from Troy Public Library)