Monday, April 14, 2014

National Library Week!!!!!

Yes, it is officially National Library Week.  What does that mean?  Well, you have a fantastic opportunity to express your library love, and the library gets to express to you all just how much we appreciate you!  Sounds pretty great to me. 
So, what's happening this week? 
  • Every day this week we will have a trivia question about our TVCC library.  Simply come up to the Library and enter your best guess.  The person with the closest guess will win a prize for the day.  And the prizes are awesome including gift cards to Amazon, Jolt's N Juice, Barnes & Nobles, the Reel Theater and much more.  So come see us this week.
  • Wednesday is our awesome poetry workshop so come create something fun and extraordinary with us between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
  • On Friday, we will have goodies in the afternoon for anyone on campus. Come enjoy a refreshing end of the week treat on us!
And for our online followers...yes, we have something for you.  You can participate too!  All of our fans, we'd love it if you shared with us why you love the library.  This year the theme is, "Lives Change @ your library"  so tell us how your life has been changed by a library, librarian, or library experience.  Or just tell us why you like libraries. How?
  • Comment here on the blog
  • Post a message on our Facebook wall
  • Tweet your comments using #LivesChange and #NLW14
  • If you need more than a Tweet's worth of characters, share your story here.
  •  Come take a selfie with our pop-out board and post it here on our Flickr group page, on your favorite social media site, or download the pop-out and create your own pic.  Check out the Flickr page if you need some inspiration.
All comments, pics, hand-written notes, and Tweets from TVCC patrons will be entered into a grand-prize drawing that is absolutely amazing.  Honestly, I'm a little jealous of this winner.  So make sure you share and spread your library love today!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Howl

In our celebration of National Poetry Month, we always like to choose a film that has to do with poetry.  Yes, that is a very broad description.  But when we are deciding on the best film to show, we look at movies about poets or writers, we look at movies that the art of writing, and we look at movies that express what it is that poetry means...what it embodies as a form of art.  This year, the film we chose is Howl which is a glimpse into the trial of controversial poet Allen Ginsberg.  Ginsberg's poem Howl was banned from being published in the US, a ban which was fought in the courts.  But this film is so much more.  In it, we see the life of Ginsberg, his own explanation of why he wrote some of the poem, what it meant to him, and how he felt about it.  We also see the poem itself come to life in animated scenes in a remarkable way.  Interested yet?
The film is about obscenity, censorship, judgment, sex.  It is about poetry.  It is about history.  It is about men's attempts to define freedom of expression.  It is about learning to appreciate and defend that which we don't understand.  It is about the beauty of declaring the aloud to the world who you are and finding that others hear you and feel the same. 

Sound interesting?  Come join us. 
Wednesday, April 9th, in the Science Center room 104 at 7 p.m. 
Movie snacks will be provided.

Monday, March 31, 2014

"As I walk these broad majestic days of peace..." Whitman



There is a moment that we all experience where the world seems to pause.
It may be that we feel a sense of peace...with where we are at, with who we are, or perhaps merely with the day. 
It may be that as we sit in the busyness of the day we catch a glimpse of a special moment between two people, the blissful quiet and innocence of a child sleeping, watch someone laugh a true laugh without abandon.
It may be that moment of comfort when someone touches your hand, pats you on the back, rests their head if just for a second on your shoulder, or simply smiles at you in a way
that sinks into your subconscious the pure and simple fact that you are known, appreciated, loved.
It may be that second when, between your rushing and juggling the crazy balancing act in life that you look up and see the cloudless blue sky echoing the potential, the energy of the day.  You see the rain-laden leaves of grass bending down to the fragrant earth.  You stop and look up to see the sunshine peeking through leaves and branches like a childhood kaleidoscope. You take a breath and inhale the wonder and freshness of the day and the world around you.
It is in that moment when the crushing volume of tasks, stresses, emotions, and time pressures all fade away, and for just a few seconds we too pause, feeling connected with something greater than ourselves. 
 And we feel it...the peace of life, of being a part of it, of glimpsing the beauty that it holds so openly but oft we fail to take hold of, of all that stretches before us with the incredible power to lift us up out of our daily experiences and show us just what life actually is, what is worthwhile and precious about it. 
That moment is all too often very fleeting.  We don't or maybe cannot hold onto it.  And then everything else crowds back in and we move on forgetting by the end of the day that there was a pause, that we felt something there, that there is more to be seen, to be learned, and perhaps to be felt.
It is that moment, I feel, that is captured by the poets.  It is a truth, plainly and openly seen when you take the moment to look.  It is a beauty purely expressed that reaches through all of the noise to the heart of who we are and life's experience.  
Now, I'm sure that some of you were wondering where I was going with all of this.  Poetry.  Yes, that's it, poetry.  
April launches one of our favorite months here at TVCC, National Poetry Month.  Yes, we do get very excited about it.  Why? Because of what poetry is and does.  For me, it captures those moments I've been writing of.  I know you've all experienced them.  I know that you all can connect to them.  That's what poetry is, the purest, most raw expression of the most intimate of human moments.  It can be lovely, yes.  But it can also be harsh, crass, funny, profane, painful, and ultimately, beautiful.  Let's face it, something that connects with your soul, makes you smile in wonder and delight, may not remotely connect with mine.  But the poets, the good ones, look at the world differently from you and I.  They see those moments.  They stop to look at them more often, capturing in words those experiences.  They capture just who they and often who we are allowing us to relive or see for the first time those moments of truth and the beauty of our own experience again. 
Oh yes, I can almost hear some of your skeptical responses as I write this.  Poetry can't do all of that.  No one has written about me, but I challenge you that they have.  I challenge you all that there is a poem, a verse, a line that you can find which you will connect with, which you will find speaks of something within you.  Check out this poetry slam video and listen for the moments, the truth, the parts of you that connect.

Intrigued?  Want to hear more?  Here's what we've got planned this month.

Wednesday, April 9th - Movie night featuring James Franco and John Hamm. 7 p.m. in the Science Building.
Wednesday, April 16th - Black-out Poetry night, come and create your own poems, art, or just have fun in the Library.
Thursday, April 24th - Poem in Your Pocket Day!! and Open-Mic poetry night in the Library in the evening.

And in between those, you'll see some fun poetry in your inbox from us to tempt you to give poetry a try.  So stay tuned for more details.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

History or just a conversation

I'm constantly amazed at the comments I hear when we start talking about Women's Rights or Women's History month.  Yes, you know the ones...
Women have equal rights.
Women have the same opportunities as men.
The Women's movement...that was a long time ago.
While there is some relevance in the idea that it began a long time ago, it is still a vital an necessary part of our society and culture because....that equality thing...we are not there yet.
This week's feature movie night is not about history.  It is not about the past or how far we've come.  It is a very good look at just what it means to be a women in America today.  Are there still struggles? Are there challenges that women face?
Here are just a few statistics from the film that will hopefully get you interested and starting to think about this issue.
  • Women make up 51% of the US population... however women comprise only 20% of congress.
  • 71 countries in the world have had female presidents or prime ministers, the US is not one of them.
  • U.S. women continue to earn 77¢ to every dollar that men earn.
  • Women hold only 5% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising.
  • It is estimated that out of the 8 million people with an eating disorder 7 of those million are women.
  • 1 in 4 women are abused by a partner in their lifetime.
  • In nine states and the District of Colombia women who are victims of domestic abuse can be denied healthcare coverage because domestic abuse can be considered a preexisting condition.
  • Between 1937 and 2005 there were only 13 female protagonists in animated films...All of them except one had the aspiration of finding romance. 
Interesting, right?  What should you take away from this?  Women's History month, for us, is not about shouting inequalities.  It is not about claiming unfairness.  It is truly about the conversation.  In the image below, you'll see startlingly how little women's voices are actually being heard.  We would like to hear what you think.  Start a conversation with someone about the topic.  There are a lot of great questions out there about what is happening or not happening in our nation and this is one area that we can talk about and get involved in.  So I encourage you to come.  Tuesday in Caldwell at 2 p.m. and Thursday in Ontario at 6 p.m.  Come, watch this film with us, ask questions, let us know what you think, and more than all of that, get involved.  Whether you are a man or woman, this is a great film, relevant, informative, and well worth the watching.  We hope to see you there.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

And since we're talking about movies



Are you tired of hearing about movies yet?  I cannot apologize for it as we do love them.  This week, as we are on the countdown to the Oscars, I thought I'd share some thoughts on film with you.
Why do we like films...well, they entertain, which is a statement to the obvious, I know.  We like a good action flick where the hero defies all odds, takes more beatings than humanly possible and still manages to win the fight but only after standing with head jauntily cocked and delivering some quip of bravado as he/she lands the final blow, dispatching the villain. Our chests swell with excitement as we want to cheer, shout, and know that good has won out.
For the romantic in us, we like the idea of love finding us.  We dream of the chance encounters, of seeing attraction bloom.  We revel in the beautiful moments where the character realizes that someone sees them, sees their beauty through the flaws and quirky habits, finds them worth fighting for or living for just as they are.  We identify with that heartbreaking moment when it seems like it won't work out, like the guy or the girl will let their fears or self doubts win over and not take the chance, when a part of each viewer is reliving that moment when we lost a love, when our heart was broken, or we didn't jump in and take that chance.  And then there's that moment. Yes, you know the one. Where the characters figure it out...that there is someone out there that takes them for who they are, that wants them without qualifications, and they run to each other, they kiss, and we, the audience, accepts that everything will be alright.
We like these types of movies. We like the entertainment, knowing that there is a completeness to what we will see, an ending that will fill us with hope and the security that things always work out in the end.
This is what entertainment is all about. We laugh, are excited, enjoy the thrill of it all, cheer on the underdog, cry at the touching moments, are inspired and perhaps envious of the lives we see on the screen.  But films are more than all of that.  They can be and in many instances are works of art.  The entertainment value of a film aside, the way the film is crafted, put together, how the story is told, that is what makes them incredible.  It may be the strange and witty dialogue, the cinematographic feel, the boundaries a director has broken in traditional film-making, or the emotion the film is crafted to evoke within its audience.  This is really why we like and talk so much about films here.  We have all watched those entertaining and blockbuster films, but the rest...the unique and artistic films...so many of those are missed.  And here in the library, we collect those.  Films like this year's August: Osage County, which stayed true to the artistry of its writer, Tracy Letts, whose strength is in dialogue.  Originally written as a play for the stage, to be performed on a very basic stage setting, the film kept to those principles.  With only a few sets and no extras (only 12 cast members ever grace the stage or the screen), this film captures that raw, gritty dialogue that comes from a family with issues and enough sass to say just how they feel regardless of consequences.  There aren't distracting scenes, music, or anything extraneous keeping the audience's focus entirely on the human drama enfolding in front of them.  This is art.  Or last year's To The Wonder which leads the audience on a journey of finding and losing love without the dialogue or intensity of Letts.  Rather, director Terrance Mallick tells the story through images, moments, glimpses.  His use of light and sound is incredible, conveying emotion and the path the characters are on even when there aren't any actors on screen.  This is art.  
So we'll watch the awards shows in hopes that the world will step out of the its film-watching habits and try something new, experience the world through new perspectives, find the artistry in new works, be inspired to create something new, and perhaps even be entertained in the process.  



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Drumroll please


Okay, so really, it's a little bit crazy that March is upon us. And there are o' so many things that I love about March...but I'll save that for a later post.  Today, I want to talk a little bit more about what we are all about.   And it is...drumroll please...
I know, you are wondering about now what it is I'm talking about.  Well, here in the Library, our very reason for being here is to be here for YOU.  To make sure that all your informational needs are met, why of course.  To provide you with access to quality materials for your academic use, obviously.  To provide you with an excellent and diverse collection of materials (read books, movies, CDs, etc.) for your personal use and any other use you can think of but we won't name.  Did you know that?  And To provide inspiring, provocative, and engaging series of educational experiences outside of your classrooms.  I bet you didn't think of that when you thought about the Library.  And finally, in order to do all of this, we want to connect with you.  Your college experience is made up primarily of the education that we all hope you will achieve.  But it is also the experience of meeting new people, new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways of looking at the world.  Which is why the Library has lots of contests, drawings for prizes, and events. 
With that in mind, here is what's happening that you need to know about.
This week:  
Oh, yes, the Oscars are almost here!!!  Are you not as excited as we are?  Well, what's so great about watching the Oscars...ummm...it's hosted by Ellen this year.  Need we say more?  And according to our Gratefulness project wall, there are several of you that are big fans.  For the more studious film buffs, it is very interesting to see the awards play out.  For the rest of you, if you voted for who you think is going to win in our contest, then you could win a selection of new and fabulous DVDs including some new releases from this year's Oscar nominee list.  Remember, you are voting for who you think will win for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor & Actress in a Lead Role, and Best Actor & Actress in a Supporting Role.  If you've missed them, come check out our collection of this year's nominees in the Library.  Of the list, so far we have the DVD copies to check out of Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Blue Jasmine, and the rest we are eagerly awaiting.  If there isn't a copy in, get put on our wait list.
Next week:
Well, it is the start of Women's History Month.  We have so many interesting things to share with you but we are starting off with a fabulous film that will inspire and challenge what you think about our media culture and how it affects women.  On Tuesday, March 4th in Caldwell Room 211 and in Ontario on Thursday, March 6th at 6 p.m., the Library is hosting a special screening of this newly released film featuring some amazing women of our age addressing this issue such as Lisa Ling, Rosario Dawson, Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, Geena Davis, and so many more.  You will not want to miss this.  Stay tuned for more details.


And after you've made it through all of your finals, rejuvenated over Spring Break, when you come back we have so much more planned including some art contests, open mic nights, writers and poets coming to speak, more free movie nights, and that's just to get you interested and excited.
Looking forward to the rest of this school year with you.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Something new

In the last two months I've had some incredible reading experiences, some that were books just picked up because they looked interesting.  Yes, I admit I will take home and read a book just because of the cover.  Which is, in part, why we love the Blind Date with a Book event that we run every February.  What a fun way to experience something new.  If you haven't checked out one of our Blind Date books, stop by and do so.  We have them for men, women, the romantic, comedy, adventurous...you name it. 
If you are a little less adventurous, here are a couple of the great books that we have that aren't wrapped up:
Winter Girls by Kristin Hannah - this was a surprisingly wonderful book. Surprising because it turned out not at all to be about I thought it would be and before I was even a third of the way through it, I was in entranced in the story.  It initially seems like a romance or a mid-life woman's novel.  However, before you know what's happening, you become lost in a mysterious world of Russian heritage, loss, fables and echoes of truth.  It's a sister story.  It's a mother's story.  It's a tale of finding out who you are and where you come from.  And one I guarantee will leave you thoroughly satisfied, ready to find another book by this author...whose new novel is due out in March.

Tinkers by Paul Harding - a wonderful, beautiful, gem of a novel that, I confess has been on my "to read" list for a while but I've never been particularly excited about enough to pick it up.  Oh am I glad I finally did.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2010, Harding invokes shades of William Faulkner throughout his novel.  Tinkers weaves together the memories of George Crosby as he lies on his deathbed, reminiscing of his childhood, reliving judgements and expectations of his life, and ultimately coming to terms with his father, his own life, and his identity.  For Faulkner fans, this is a must read!! But a pretty universally exceptional story that has something for everyone in it.

Wild: a journey from lost to found by Cheryl Strayed - I could not pass up mentioning this book which has been sitting loftily atop the NYTimes best-seller list since its publication.  Since I'm writing today about surprising books and trying something new, this book fits the notions and is a read everyone, yes I do mean everyone, will enjoy.  26 year old Cheryl is a bit lost.  She's just failed to graduate from college due to a bad paper, her mother has died from cancer, and the man she's in love with just filed for divorce.  Standing in line in a hardware store, Cheryl picks up a guidebook for the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada.  Saving her money and planning the ultimate walking experience, months later she sets out to walk the thousand plus miles from California through Oregon and Washington.  This book is funny, insightful, and a truly crazy ride as Strayed finds herself amidst the mountains along with a host of truths and ridiculous moments.  And yes, there is a bear.  Curious yet?  Come check it out today.

And just for fun, I have to talk about William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher - Yes, you heard right...Shakespeare and Star Wars.  One of the most fantastic fan fic Star Wars books to come out in quite some time that had me laughing out loud while reading....not the best thing to do in a library or even a coffee shop where you get the looks as people are wondering if you crazy or just losing it.  I'm not even sure funny is the correct word.  Hilarious is much more accurate.  This is the same Star Wars story that you know, have watched or read, only told in Shakespearean language which for the truly nerdy at heart is without question ridiculous and awesome at that same time. 

These are just a few of the new books we've added recently to the library collection.  Come check one out or let us know what you are interested in and we'll find you a book that fits.