DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

Events

May 29 2013

Mark your calendars!

by Dea Anne M

On September 23 1957, 3 years after the U.S. Supreme Court declared via Brown vs Board of Education that all laws establishing segregated schools were unconstitutional, nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The tumultuous events that preceded and followed this event have become generally known as the Little Rock Integration Crisis. Someone who played a leading role during this time, and in times to come, was Daisy Bates (November 11, 1914 – November 4, 1999). Elected president of the Arkansas branch of the NAACP in 1952, Mrs. Bates, along with her husband L. C. Bates, was a very important figure in the African American community of Little Rock. Their newspaper, the Arkansas State Press, whose first issue appeared on May 9, 1941, was a voice for civil rights well before a nationally recognized movementemerged. Mrs. Bates acted as advisor and guide to the students who became know as the Little Rock Nine.The Bates’ newspaper suffered such a loss of advertising revenue during and after these events that they were forced to stop publishing in 1959 but Mrs. Bates went on to do important work in New York City and Washington DC. In 1988, the reprint of her 1962 memoir The Long Shadow of Little Rock (which was initially banned throughout the South) won a National Bookrock Award.

On Saturday, June 8th, the Stonecrest branch of DCPL will proudly host Janis F. Kearney the author of Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Kearney, who was 16 when she met Bates, paints a vivid and compelling picture of a true legend, a woman ahead of her time during a fascinating, and for many dangerous, period of our nation’s history. Ms. Kearney, a highly respected scholar, served as Presidential Diarist to President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 2001 and is the author of the memoir Cotton Field of Dreams which tells of her childhood growing up as one of 17 children born to poor sharecroppers who encouraged their children to succeed through hard work, education and bold dreams. Funding for this very special event is provided by the Friends of the Stonecrest Library and the City of Lithonia and will take place from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Please be sure not to miss this exciting author talk!Little Rock

For more background on Daisy Bates, check out The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin and to learn more about the Little Rock Integration Crisis be sure not miss Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the crisis that rocked the nation by Elizabeth Jacoway

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Oct 5 2012

Building Common Ground

by Patricia D

I’m really not accustomed to having culturally important landmarks in my backyard.  We did have the home of Louis Bromfield near where I grew up,  as well as the Ohio State Reformatory, site of the films Tango & Cash (ah yes, such a great film) and the Shawshank Redemption.  OSR is no longer a maximum security prison but it is a terrifying Haunted House.  Folks come from all over the Midwest and Middle Atlantic and pay to get into the place Kurt Russell and Tim Robbins worked so hard to escape.  Even though organizers could get by with just handing over a flashlight and sending you into the abandoned cell block (no joke, that place is seriously creepy, and not in a Scooby Doo  way) they go all out with decorating, actors  and animatronics.  That,  on top of actually being in an old prison (lots of bad energy in those walls), makes for a really good show, if you’re into that sort of thing.  So that’s my hometown’s  claim to cultural significance .  I had to move to Georgia just to up the ante.  Now I can claim all sorts of things,  including the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, part of which is in southeastern DeKalb County.  It is one of only 49 National Heritage Areas in the United States.

There are two huge things that make Arabia Mountain so special, neither of which is that it was one of the locations for the movie Pet Sematary II.   One is the ecosystem on Arabia Mountain itself.  Animals such as lichen grasshoppers, marbled and spotted salamanders, coachwhip and hognose snakes, great- horned owls, deer and bobcats make their home on the monadnock.  It is home to the world’s largest population of  Isoetes melanospora (black spotted quillwort), a Federally protected plant.  It’s also home to the rare Small’s Stonecrop, a plant that makes a living out of almost nothing.  There are also the the less rare, but lovely,  Sunnybells, Sparkleberry, Yellow Daisy, Fringetree and Georgia Oak.

The second reason Arabia Mountain is so special is the people.  The area has been inhabited for thousands of years—Native Americans, Scots immigrants, Trappist Monks—but it is the Flat Rock community, established by freed slaves, that will be the focus of Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion, a series of programs at the DeKalb County Public Library that will celebrate the history, diversity and preservation of the community.

Flat Rock began as a small area south of what would become I-20.  It was an agricultural community  bordered by three small slave-holding farms and grew after the  Civil War into a bustling community of churches, schools, and civic organizations.  It thrived for decades, done in finally by the Great Migration and the Great Depression.  It is also the site of one of the few intact slave cemeteries left in Georgia. Today it provides a glimpse into the lives of freed slaves and their descendants.

Building Common Ground is funded by a grant from the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute.  DCPL’s partners include the Arabia Mountain Heritage Alliance, the Flat Rock Archives and Museum and Arabia Mountain High School.  The four programs will be hosted by the amazing staff at the Stonecrest Library. You may also listen to interviews with community members on the Building Common Ground page conducted by StoryCorps.

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Sep 15 2011

Help Literacy, and Get Fit Doing It

by Laura H

Participating in the upcoming Literacy Alliance of Metropolitan Atlanta’s 5K Run or Walk in Decatur at 8 AM on Saturday, September 24 is a no brainer for many reasons. First, you can select DeKalb County Public Library as your choice to receive 70% of the $20 registration fee—a real boon for us in this year of dramatically cut county budgets.  Also, you can get some exercise with your family or friends—either running or walking all or part of the 5k route through downtown Decatur. Most importantly, you’ll help raise awareness and promote interest in the wide spectrum of literacy needs in our communities. If you won’t be in town or available at that time, you can register as a “phantom” walker to lend needed support.

What else can you do?

  • Talk up this event with everyone and be sure to tell them to check DCPL on their registration to receive the incentive funds—otherwise, we won’t!
  • Register now on-line at www.literacyallianceatlanta.org—cost goes up after the 22nd.
  • Use this opportunity to let those you care about know you are interested in supporting the literacy needs of our community—especially those of adults and families. This media moment gives us a chance to highlight the fact that work readiness and GED completion is even more critical in this economy.

If you have questions please call Literacy Services at 404.370.8450 ext. 2240.

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May 19 2010

2010 Vacation Reading Program

by Nancy M

School might be out and summer vacation here, but that doesn’t mean your child should be taking a hiatus from reading and learning.  Yes, summer can be filled with camp, vacations, the pool, movies and sheer laziness (oh, how I miss those days) but kids who neglect reading for 3 months start off the next school year a lot worse off than those who don’t.

But do not fret, DeKalb County Public Libraries are here for you and your children! Every summer DCPL, along with libraries all across the country, offer the Vacation Reading Program. This year’s theme is Make a Splash—Read! and it is a  reading incentive program for children of all ages. Sign up begins on Saturday, May 22 and will continue through July 31. Visit any DeKalb County Public Library branch to sign up. You can view sign-up instructions and rules here.

Teens can get in on the action too by signing up for Make Waves @ Your Library, the Vacation Reading Program for young adults ages 13-17 years old. Sign up and keep track of your reading online here.

To kick off the Vacation Reading Program, we will host parties at the Dunwoody Library, Wesley-Chapel Library and Decatur Library. We will have fun activities for the whole family, including a magic show by Mr. Greggy! More information and a list of dates and times can be found on the Vacation Reading Program page.

Don’t forget to check out this summer’s FREE programs for children and teens in the events calendar.

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Apr 28 2010

Are You an Open Book?

by Jimmy L

Have you ever said “I’m an open book”?  Well, for some, it isn’t just a saying.  A few people in Denmark have started a movement known as The Human Library.  Basically, these are organized events where people get to “check out” some books.  The only catch is that the books in this case are actually people.  These books/people converse and answer questions about their lives in an attempt to foster understanding and get beyond stereotypes.  I think the following video was made in the UK (thus the British accents), but it gives a good explanation:

What do you think of this idea?  The DeKalb County Public Library is not organizing a Human Library, but we thought the idea was kind of neat.  However, if you are interested in telling your story, we are organizing a series of StoryCorps style interviews called DeKalb Recorded History – Share Your Story (click for more details).  Please note that this program is geared towards seniors.

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Mar 15 2010

Blog, Blog, Blog

by Vivian A

On an unusually snowy March night I ventured out to take Laurie Foley’s free workshop called “Blogging- Who, What, Where & How?” at the brand new Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams library. The audience was small due to the weather and mostly women. (Two-thirds of bloggers are men.) We all wanted to know the same thing — how do I start a blog and more importantly how do I get readers?

Laurie Foley is an award-winning blogger and business coach.  She presented us with the history of blogging. Did you know that 133,000,000 blogs have been indexed since 2002 but ninety-five percent are abandoned within four months? 72% are hobbyists, 15% are part-times, 9% are self employed and 4% are professionals.  A great professional blog is Huffington Post and a good local one to check out (besides DCPLive) is Decatur Metro.

Then she recommended some good books: The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott; WordPress for Dummies, 2nd Edition by Lisa Sabin-Wilson and Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (you can find all of these titles at DCPL).  Then she wowed us with the fact that 900,000 blog entries are posted every twenty-four hours. I must say I feel a little daunted but determined.

If you missed this class, don’t worry.  Every month the Library has many other computer classes which you can check out in our events calendar.

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Oct 26 2009

Mouth to Muzzle Resuscitation

by Vivian A

It seemed like the perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday morning. I’d read all the James Herriot books at least once. ER was my favorite TV show and lastly, my Dad was a doctor. An Animal First Aid Class seemed appropriate. And it was.  I attended the First Aid for Cats and Dogs class at the Dunwoody Library on October 17th.

Our Christopher Walken look-a-like instructor (John McCarren from Paw Paws Pet Sitting Service) showed us the basics of pet first aid. We learned everything from the infamous Mouth to Muzzle breathing technique (on a dog replica that came with a heart beat and pulse to show you if you were doing the technique right).  We learned to use an old credit card to scrape out stingers and to carry a dog to the car rather than have him walk, if a snake bit him.  We learned how to perform CPR, how to stop bleeding, how to strap a dog to a backboard if his back was broken and my favorite–the doggy Heimlich manuever.

I came home from class and my dog, Sammy, knew he was safer or at least he let me take his pulse and shake on it.  If you missed this event, don’t worry–you could check out Emergency care for cats and dogs : first aid for your pet by Craton Burkholder.  Also, there are many other educational programs at the library.

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May 18 2009

Feed This!

by Jimmy L

The Library now offers calendar of events RSS feeds.  This means that you can subscribe to events by age group, event type, or branch just like you would subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed.  You will then get updates on new events in your areas of interest directly in your RSS reader.  If you are not familiar with RSS feeds, watch this video first:

What’s even cooler is that if you have very specific interests, you can now build your own RSS feed.  Simply fill out the form on that page.  For example, if you were interested in movies and also events for kids, then simply click the check box next to Movies and also check the boxes next to the age groups you are interested in.  Once you submit the form, a RSS feed will automatically be generated for you immediately.

This is a great way to keep up with library events, especially if you are already familiar with RSS readers and check your feeds daily.

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Feb 18 2009

Civil Rights on Film

by Jimmy L

Film Love is an on-going Atlanta film series at The Eyedrum Gallery and occasionally at other venues as well.  Its stated goal is to provide “access to great but rarely-screened films, and promotes awareness of the rich history of experimental and avant-garde filmmaking.”  Over the years I’ve been to many really great screenings of films that are not released anywhere on DVD or VHS.

This year Film Love is presenting a series of movies about African Americans’ struggle for civil rights.  The Civil Rights on Film series starts this Friday, February 20th and features four nights of rare films on African-American life, 1941-1967.  To learn more about the films, please visit their website.  Many of these films are not available anywhere else, so don’t miss this opportunity!  Note: the films will be screened at three different locations, so check the website for where each movie will be held.

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Feb 9 2009

Book Swapping with the Teens

by Amanda L

A couple of Saturdays ago, the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) conducted a program for fellow teens. This was the first time that the TAB members created the idea for the program, organized it and ran it. For a first time attempt, it was very successful. There were close to twenty-five teens that participated.

What is the Teen Advisory Board, you may ask?  It is an opportunity for teens throughout DeKalb County to get together at the Library and give their opinions about books, movies, the teen portion of our website and programming at the Library for teens. The Board meets once a month on a Saturday. The teens that participate are eligible for volunteer hours.  If you are a teen and interested in joining, check out the information on the teen page.

So what was the program you may ask? It was a book swap.  The teens would bring in books that they no longer wanted to trade for new ones.  You would check in at the registration desk and get a ticket for each book that you were handing in. The books were then sorted by category.  You would then go around the room and select books that you wanted, up to the number that you brought. If you did not find enough books to swap, the teens gave credit for the next Book Swap. They hope to have one every three months or so.

I, personally, cannot wait to see what the next program TAB will be presenting. They have several in the works for the next six to nine months. Check the event calendar and your local branch for future programs. In the meanwhile, enjoy the pictures I took during the event.

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