What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in September

Seems like summer just began and suddenly we’re looking at fall! It’s a busy time of year, but we hope you can make time to attend some of the entertaining and informative programs scheduled for September at CPL.

Understand Food Labels to Prepare Healthy Food

Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Learn how to read and understand food labels and learn best ways to prepare healthy food for the week. Presented by Kathryn Glendon, Public Health Specialist, Chesprocott Health District. Registration is required.

New Movie Thursday: Avengers Endgame (2019)

Thursday, September 5, 2019, 4:45 – 8:00pm

After the events of Infinity War, the remaining Avengers must muster all of their remaining strength and resources to defeat the mad titan Thanos and bring their friends back from the brink of oblivion. (Please note that due to the length of this movie there will be a brief intermission). Rated PG-13, registration is appreciated for this adult program.

Binge Watch Downton Abbey Season One

Saturday, September 7, 2019, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Join us as we watch where it all began, Downton Abbey Season One.  Downton Abbey a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion nestled in the Yorkshire landscape needs an heir. Dame Maggie Smith stars as Violet, the stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham, matriarch of Downton. No registration required, please feel free to stop in and leave at your convenience.

Author Talk: Yale Needs Women

Monday, September 9, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women’s equality in education. Or was it? Join author Anne Gardiner Perkins as she discusses her new book. Registration required.

Fisher in Connecticut

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

This presentation focuses on the history of fisher in Connecticut, an overview of fisher habitat, diet, behavior, and reproduction. It also provides practical recommendations for optimum coexistence with our fisher population. Fisher artifacts are shared with the audience. Registration is required.

Documentary: Tea With the Dames (2019)

Thursday, September 12, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Spend a delightfully bawdy afternoon with 4 legends of British stage & cinema. Dames Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright spill the tea on life, love, and art.  Tea and light refreshments will be offered, bring your favorite tea cup! Registration is required.

Author Talk: Jane Austen’s Women

Saturday, September 14, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Why does Jane Austen “mania” continue unabated in a postmodern world? How does the brilliant Regency novelist speak so personally to today’s women that they view her as their best friend? Author Dr. Kathleen Anderson will discuss her book Jane Austen’s Women: An Introduction, which touches on these questions and more. A special thank you to the Jane Austen Society for hosting this event. Registration is required.

Exercise for Healthy and Active Aging

Monday, September 16, 2019, 1:00 – 2:00pm

This hour presentation will focus on common misconceptions of strength training as we age, how to do so safely and effectively regardless of physical limitations, and how to optimize results from an exercise program to achieve strength, balance, energy levels and overall functionality.  Suitable for those 50 and older, this program is informational and features no physical activity.  Registration is required.

Something Old, Something New: CT Weddings Through the Ages

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

From colonial to modern times, how did Connecticans tie the knot? How did they celebrate? What did they wear? And how did some of our cherished wedding customs originate? This program uses CHS’s extensive collection of wedding clothing, accessories, photographs and prints to examine these questions. Registration is required.

Books Over Coffee – A Gentleman in Moscow

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Eat lunch with friends? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called “Books Over Coffee.”  This month we’re reading Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea! Registration is required.

Trivia Night ~ Special Downton Abbey Edition

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Do you love Downton Abbey? Are you a superfan? Here’s an opportunity to test your knowledge, come by yourself or bring friends. Bring your favorite tea cup, as tea will be served! Feel free to come in your finery. Registration required for this adult program, (when registering please register entire group from one person to a max five people).

JFK – Media, Myth and Memory presentation

Thursday, September 26, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

John F. Kennedy is one of the most recognized and remembered historical figures thanks to a wealth of photographic images, journalistic accounts, documentaries, books, and film adaptations of his brief White House tenure. Join Dr. Lisa Burns, Professor of Media Studies at Quinnipiac University, for a discussion of how the media have played a significant role in shaping our individual and collective memories of JFK’s life, death, and legacy. Please be aware that this adult program will be showing the footage of the assassination. Registration is required.

 

 

Three Outstanding Women of Science Fiction

Our sci-fi-guy, Harold Kramer, has some authors to recommend:

Ursula K. Le Guin

The world of science fiction and fantasy lost two of its best writers in recent years: Ursula K. Le Guin and Vonda McIntyre. Ursula K. Le Guin, who I consider one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of the 20th century, died in 2018. She published over twenty-two novels, children’s books, and volumes of poetry and essays. Her works received many awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and National Book Award.

Her novels centered around two main themes: gender and political systems. Her 1969 novel, The Left Hand of Darkness is about the effect of gender on culture and society,  It won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel.  An example of novel based on political themes is The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, also a winner of both a Hugo and a Nebula Award.  It is about two planets orbiting next to each other – that have almost no contact between them and that have totally different economic and political systems – and the scientist who tries to unite the two worlds. I recently re-read The Dispossessed and it is still relevant today, particularly in our current political environment.

The Dispossessed is the first of six books in Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle. These novels are loosely connected by a people called the Hainish, who colonized earth and other planets hundreds of thousands of years ago. The Left Hand of Darkness is a Hainish novel along with Rocannon’s World and Planet of Exile.

Le Guin also wrote The Books of Earthsea, a series that is decidedly more fantasy than science fiction. It full of magical events and it is the story of a young wizard – a sort of precursor to Harry Potter. The first book in the series, A Wizard of Earthsea, is still a great read. The Earthsea collection of novels and short stories won the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, the Nebula Award, and many other honors.

Vonda McIntyre

Vonda McIntyre passed away in 2019. She was a prolific writer of science fiction novels, novelizations, screenplays and short stories and she was an acclaimed teacher of writing.  

She was well known for her Star Trek novels that include The Entropy Effect and Enterprise: The First Adventure. She also wrote the novelizations of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Most readers agree that Dreamsnake is McIntyre’s greatest novel and it is based on her earlier novelette, Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand. It is about Snake, a female healer who possesses miraculous powers and a magical Dreamsnake.

Octavia Butler

My final recommendation is Kindred by Octavia Butler. Kindred has been acknowledged as the first widely known novel by a black, woman science fiction writer. It is a time travel story about Dana, a black woman, who in 1976 is abruptly transported back and forth, from her home in California to antebellum Maryland, where she encounters her ancestors and becomes enslaved. At its core, Kindred is about white supremacy, slavery, and, ultimately, survival. Butler is also the author of Lilith’s Brood, a collection of three works: DawnAdulthood Rites, and Imago. These dystopian novels were previously published in one volume called Xenogenesis. The New York Times said thatThe complete series is about an alien species that could save humanity after nuclear apocalypse—or destroy it”—from “one of science fiction’s finest writers.

Teens & Community Service: Being Part of Something Bigger than Yourself

Today’s post is by our Teen Librarian, Kelley:

Teenage community service is more than something that adults insist will look good on a high school resume. It is often a requirement for graduating high school and it’s a great way for students to build their skill sets. More importantly, volunteer opportunities for teens and high school students can be a life-changing experience, one that allows teens to expand their horizons and foster meaningful relationships. Community service can point to new interests, new friends, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even a lifelong career. And yeah, okay, it’ll also look great on college applications!But where to start? Volunteering implies responsibility, and might seem intimidating. How can you be sure you’re finding opportunities that are right for you? There are always easy entry points, like the service clubs at high schools or helping out at a local library, but beyond that, the options can get overwhelming. So where should you look? There are many local and national volunteer agencies and non-profit organizations that accept teens under 18 who are interested in everything from working with animals to crafting for charities, and we’ve put together a volunteering resource for the teens of Cheshire, which is located on the teen page of our website.

Curious about still more community service ideas? Many other kinds of community groups are looking for volunteers, and some may not have occurred to you. Most of us know that hospitals, libraries, and churches use volunteers for a great deal of their work, but here are some volunteer opportunities that may not have crossed your mind:

  • Day Care Centers, Neighborhood Watch, Public Schools and Colleges
  • Community Theaters, Fraternal Organizations and Civic Clubs
  • Arts Councils, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels
  • Literacy Groups, Museums, Art Galleries, and Monument Sites
  • Community Choirs, Bands and Orchestras, Music Therapy Programs
  • Neighborhood Parks, Youth Organizations, Sports Teams and After-school Programs
  • Historical Restorations, Battlefields and National Parks

Good luck! We know you’ll soon be on the path to community service superstardom!

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in August

It’s hot outside, but it’s cool inside at Cheshire Public Library, and we don’t just mean the temperature! Check out some of the cool programming we’ve got coming up in August:

Movie Matinees

Tuesdays from 1:00 – 3:00pm

Beat the heat and enjoy a movie on the big screen every Tuesday afternoon in August. This month we’re playing “Who did it best?”, comparing remakes to their original films. No registration required.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies (no turpentine, please!) to this drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup. No registration required.

UFO Experience with Stephen Spignesi

Thursday, August 8, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us as Stephen Spignesi returns to present on his acclaimed book The Big Book Of UFO Facts, Figures & Truth. What are the 5 types of Close Encounters? Who are the Men in Black? How are mysterious Crop Circles related to the UFO Phenomenon? Register for this program and find out!

Mystic Aquarium Comes to Cheshire: The Touch Tank Experience (kids ages 4-up)

Thursday, August 15, 2019, 5:00 – 5:45pm

Enjoy fun, active learning with hands-on investigations of live animals and rare biofacts from the Mystic Aquarium.  Young children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  For ages 4 and up. Please register starting August 1.

Mystic Aquarium Comes to Cheshire: The Touch Tank Experience – ADULT SESSION

Thursday, August 15, 2019, 6:00 – 6:45pm

Experience the same class presentations as those at Mystic Aquarium but closer to home! Don’t miss this unique hands-on opportunity. Learn about and get up-close-and-personal with live marine invertebrates like include crabs, lobsters, snails and other shellfish. Please note this session is for ages 18 and up.  Registration is required.

Summer Adventure Finale (all ages)

Friday, August 16, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Wrap up our summer adventure with games, dancing, activities, and ice cream! Which lucky (or unlucky) librarian will get slimed? Please register so we know how many goodies to provide.

Exploring the Night Sky

Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Have you ever looked up into the night sky and felt lost? Have you thought about buying a telescope but don’t even know how to find a single constellation? Dr. Kristine Larson, professor of astronomy at CCSU, will help you learn how to start exploring the night sky without expensive equipment. Registration is required.

Starry Night ~ Craft Program

Thursday, August 22, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a short film lecture on the life and art of Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Willem van Gogh and then create your own work of art in his style. All materials will be provided. Registration required for this  adult( 18+)  program. The winners for the Adult/Teen Cheshire Library Summer Adventure will be revealed at the conclusion of this event.  Please have all bingo and reading logs in by August 17.

Books Over Coffee: The Great Gatsby doubleheader

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Eat lunch with friends? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called “Books Over Coffee.”  On the last Wednesday of every month from 12-1:30pm we’ll meet to discuss the selected title. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea. We will read two books this month The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell. Copies will be available to check out. Registration is required.

Special Trivia Night : All Things Cheshire

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a special trivia night in honor of Cheshire being settled 325 years ago.  Come test your knowledge of all things Cheshire. Multiple choice answers will be available. Come by yourself or bring friends, test your knowledge from general categories including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all for pride, not prize. Registration required for this adult program. When registering please register entire group from one person to a max five people.

Jim Hawk Productions

Thursday, August 29, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Cheshire Connecticut’s independent filmmaker, James W. Hawk and guest host Ron Gagliardi will be screening five of his short films. Hawk’s films were all made in and around Cheshire. Registration is required. The evening’s program will include:

  • THE UNFORGIVEN – drama – “No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides,”
  • CONNOR – drama – “Like father, like son.”
  • VERDICT – drama – “WIN…whatever the cost!”
  • THE SATURN MISSION – science fiction – “The search for the truth.”
  • SHADOWS ON NEW SNOW AND WIND IN THE OLD OAK TREE – experimental time-lapse

 

 

Music: the Move from Physical to Digital

Today’s post comes from our Technology Coordinator, Jared:

When was the last time you visited a record store? For that matter when was the last time you purchased an album from anywhere? Depending on your generation, there may not even be a time you remember paying for music at all. With Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music and the like, your tunes are just one click away and (if you don’t mind a few ads) free as well. So I was surprised when a patron at our circulation desk recently asked me where we kept our new CDs. On my way to show him our selection it occurred to me that we don’t really have a section for “new” CD’s. Like most libraries and retail stores today, our CD selection has been downsized to one shelving unit, with most genres melded together in a section labeled “popular”.

The change happened subtly. Stereos and computers stopped catering to compact discs. The old 5-disc CD changers became harder to find. New carmakers stopped installing cd players and went exclusively bluetooth. It seems that CDs are on their way to the dead format cemetery, ready to be laid to rest next to cassette tape and laser disc. We have seen so many of these changes in musical mediums over the years that this just feels like a natural progression, and many would agree these changes are a good thing (after all, not many today would want a car with an 8-track player).  But something about this particular change feels different. The move from physical to digital takes something tangible away from the listener, and that is the record collection.

Until recently, having unlimited access to a song meant owning a copy of it. Even a casual listener would find themselves with five or ten of their favorites in the car’s center console. The avid collectors on the other hand, would be filling up half their homes with shelving and crates, still on the hunt for that one rare gem. Whether it’s vinyl, tapes or CDs, someones collection (or lack there of) would speak volumes about them, in a way that a playlist wouldn’t. Even a few albums could act as a tell-all autobiography. Collections like these were also a window into the past. Sifting through a grandparent’s dusty old jazz records, or vinyls from the Woodstock era was like cracking open a musical time-capsule.

Nowadays if you ask anyone under 30 how they listen to music, the answer will no doubt be the name of a streaming service. For those who aren’t familiar, companies like Spotify and Apple Music, offer unlimited access to a massive music library on any computer or smartphone for a monthly subscription cost. Essentially it’s like leasing your music the way you may lease a car. For many people, this is the better option. The cost is low and any song you’ve ever heard is at your fingertips. It’s a no-brainer from an economical standpoint. Companies make more money if they can hook you on a monthly subscription over a one-time purchase. But it raises some important questions about how we experience music. Does the music enthusiast derive joy solely from the listening? For myself that’s only half of it. The rest comes from tracking down discontinued albums, completing a band’s discography in my collection, flipping through the liner notes to learn more about an artist. These little achievements are something that just can’t be replicated through the streaming process. And so I wonder about kids growing up in the post-Napster era. Will they feel the same connection to their music when it’s only rented to them from a corporation? Will future generations really get the same sense of nostalgia by pulling up grandpa’s old Spotify playlist?

As our library’s Technology Coordinator, it’s my job to research the latest and greatest in the tech world, so as not to be left in the digital dust. In a nutshell: newer, faster, and simpler is almost always better, but there are those occasions when the analog world seems to have some magic that the latest 8-core processor just can’t reproduce. So if you’ve ever thought about dedicating a bookcase to the music that tells your story, now is a great time. The beautiful thing about deprecated mediums like CDs is that they tend to be cheap! CDs at the Friends Of The Library Book Sale are only .25 cents and we usually have some for sale year round. If you want to sample before you buy, don’t forget the library still has some great classics in multiple genres on the shelf.