community

Dec 31, 2018

Working in a public library has, by and large, broken me of the habit of just meandering through the stacks, open to whatever strikes my fancy. This is unfortunate. Fortunately, though, working in a library also frequently involves my being in those stacks, whether it's making a beeline for a book a patron wants, pulling a book to fulfill a hold, or seeking out books to fill a gap in a display. So I still get those moments of serendipity, even if I'm not roaming the stacks looking for my own next read.
It was one such occasion that led me to the serendipitous find of Notes from a Public

Aug 17, 2012

While reporter Adam Carlson is on assignment in Barrow, Alaska, he stumbles across the story of three trapped whales.  Big Miracle, a movie inspired by a true story, happened in 1988.  It shows actual footage of the events that unfolded in this remote part of Alaska. Footage includes Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace.  It was a lot of fun to see these three icons from 24 years ago.  It’s a story about diverse groups who band together to help save, Wilma, Fred and their baby, BamBam.  There were a few parts that looked forced and uncomfortable but, aside from those, this movie is

Mar 18, 2012

Gone is a "what if" story. What if everyone over the age of 14 suddenly disappeared? What if this phenomenon was localized, affecting a small slice on the California coast? What if there was no visible way to escape the affected area and get back to the "normal" world? The story sounds a bit like the Lord of the Flies on a larger scale with boys and girls of all ages, from babies up to age 14. But there is a twist. Even before all the adults disappeared some of the kids were experiencing...something strange, developing unusual powers that ranged from mild to deadly. What these new talents have

Whiter Than Snow

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Rated by Judy R.
Sep 1, 2010

whiter-than-snow.jpgWhiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas isn’t one of her best, but I still enjoyed it. I’m game for most books that take place in the early 1900’s, in the mountains of Colorado. Dallas knows that time and place well (Prayers For Sale). Whiter Than Snow is a story of love, tragedy, forgiveness, despair, and resilience.

At 4:10 P.M. on April 20, 1920 something triggers an avalanche above the small mining town of Swandyke, Colorado, at the very moment children are walking home from school. Nine of those kids are swept up in the thundering snow. Four children survive. As Dallas introduces us to the

May 21, 2010

essential-dykes-to-watch-out-for.jpgI think of myself as a counterculture aficionado. But somehow I was oblivious to the existence of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For until I read the masterful graphic memoir Fun Home and became interested in Bechdel’s other work. The strip originated in 1983, published in alternative newspapers across the country, but the characters didn’t start recurring until 1987. From then it evolved into “half op-ed column and half endless, serialized Victorian novel” as Bechdel describes it.

Unfortunately it is not actually endless. When I found out the strip went on hiatus in 2008 so Bechdel

Jan 29, 2010

Sirianni, Carmen and Lewis A. Friedland. The Civic Renewal Movement: Community Building and Democracy in the United States. Kettering, 2005.

Authors Sirianni (Brandeis University) and Friedland (University of Wisconsin), who also wrote the earlier Civic Innovation in America (2001), argue in this well-researched book that civic renewal – which they define as developing capacity for public problem-solving and citizen participation in governing – is growing in the United States. They give examples of various types of civic groups, such as watershed associations, neighborhood associations, youth