March 05, 2014
Early Sunday Close
Sunday afternoon, March 9th, we will close at 3 PM because of the memorial service for Council Member Kay Daniels Cohen.
March 04, 2014
Keep in Touch
Are we closed because of snow, ice, or a special event? Not often, but ...
- Register for Circle Time and we’ll notify you by e-mail if it is canceled or postponed.
- Visit us on Facebook. We’re takomaparklibrary
- Join us at Twitter. We’re takoma on Twitter
- Check out our other blogs. News about programs is usually posted either on the News Blog or the Children’s Room Blog.
- Interested in the computer rooms? We post spcific notices on Tumblr where we are also takoma. (We tend to be early adopters)
March 03, 2014
Snow Day Again
Yet another snow day. The library and computer center will be closed March 3rd. We hope you have some good books at home.
This would also be a good day to explore our digital library: learn a new language, investigate the OED, watch animated picture books, listen to a good audiobook, read Eyewitness books for kids, look at Britannica in Japanese, find pictures in Image Quest, practice Smart Math, study for the law school exam.
February 26, 2014
Do you want a side of pop art with that history class? Join us for American Capitalism and Warhol.
American Capitalism: A HistoryCornell University via edX
Lectures and readings available online starting March 17th and continuing for eight weeks.
Sundays in computer room B at 12:30.
$ign up for this class.
$ign up for our Sunday conversations.
WarholUniversity of Edinburgh via Coursera
Lectures and readings available online starting April 21st and continuing for five weeks.
Sundays in computer room B at 2.
Sign up for this class.
Sign up for our Sunday conversations.
February 23, 2014
Kay Daniels Cohen
The Takoma Park Library enjoyed a special relationship with Kay. She was an avid and eclectic reader. Before her Council duties kept her busy, she attended many of the Friends Reading Goup discussions – bringing copious notes and contributing insightful comments about the authors.
As an active Friend of the Library – she ran the Board elections at their annual meetings, and helped at the book sales. She read at our annual Favorite Poem Evenings – usually coming in colorful costume. One such occasion occurred on Kay’s birthday. She came and read anyway – and we celebrated with two birthday cakes that year – one provided by us, and another unexpectedly brought by Kay.
Most recently – she was the person most responsible for the Library’s being able to open on Sundays. This was an endeavor that was dear to her heart – and has been enthusiastically received by our patrons.
Kay was not only an ardent Library supporter – but a believer in the power of conviction, and of the joy to be felt in active effort, and in living fully – every hour of every day.
February 18, 2014
The children are returning to school today for the first time since last Wednesday. (Two hours late as there was more snow last night.) What will they eat for lunch? If you care about the school menus and snack machines, about the health of Montgomery County's kids, watch these somewhat long, but invaluable, programs. They were recorded by Takoma Park's City TV at the Real Food for Kids Montgomery forum.
Remember. Some kids go hungry on snow days and holidays. They rely on the schools for nutritious food.
Looking for an interesting food book? Try 97 Orchard : an edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement by Jane Ziegelman, 394.12 in the non-fiction stacks.
A game? Play Lunch Lady Legends.
February 14, 2014
Please join us on Tuesday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. when author and educator Christopher Phillips returns to share his most recent project: Constitution Café.
Phillips travels the country engaging Americans in talk about the Constitution. Following the successful format of his 2011 book, Constitution Café: Jefferson’s Brew for a True Revolution, Phillips encourages communities to generate a new, nationwide Constitutional Convention to help Americans better understand and challenge our most fundamental freedoms. Find out about the power and promise of democracy in this absorbing and challenging discussion.
Phillips is a Senior Writing Fellow at University of Pennsylvania's Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and executive director of the nonprofit Democracy Café, dedicated to making ours a more thoughtful, inclusive and participatory world by spearheading dialogue groups. Phillips is also the author of the best-selling Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy.
Our Constitution Café: program is of special interest to adults, teens, middle-schoolers and curious elementary school kids. No registration required and all are welcome.
Happy Birthday Frederick Douglass
Celebrate by visiting the African-American History Database which is a wonderful resource for browsing, you don't need a school assignment as an excuse. Explore the maps, charts, images, videos, biographies. You just need a library card from our library.
As with all of our digital reference resources, this material is assembled, fact-checked and edited professionally. Is it free? No, the library pays for a subscription so please use it. Please note: if you are more comfortable with physical books, we also have an exceptional print reference collection on African-American history topics.
February 13, 2014
We are closed today, February 13th. Enjoy the snow.
February 11, 2014
Library Needs Assessment
The "Community Needs Assessment and Visioning for a 21st Century Public Library" report is now available.
February 05, 2014
Universal Rights and Wrongs
How much of our moral core is inherited? This is the topic of our MOOC discussion this coming Sunday.
Paul Bloom and his colleagues study infants and toddlers. They have found that even very young babies seem to care about fairness and goodness. (Babies also show emerging bigotry, but that is for the 5th week.)
60 Minutes, segment on the Yale studies. See the tests for yourself.
Bloom 2009 The moral life of babies
We have Bloom's book, Just Babies, here in our collection
Other scientists look to animals to help untangle the role of biology. Who else practices lethal violence? War? Just our near cousin, the chimp. Who shows altruism, even to strangers? All sorts of species. And many animals care about fairness, at least when they are the victimized.
De Waal 2010 Morals Without God?
Warlike Chimps and Peaceful Bonobos
Anthropologists also explore our moral core, looking at many cultures. What do we all seem to care about? What is universal? Every group seems to have some sort of moral code concerning sex, death, purity, authority (though the details certainly differ), fairness (cheaters and freeloaders are everywhere despised) and so on.
Coming soon: How do political differences influence our sense of right and wrong?
Meanwhile, here are some links we would like to share:
A temporary truce in the mommy wars
Kids React: Cheerios, Gay Marriage
How does natural selection work?
Reading and empathy
(Reading just a bit of literary fiction can increase your ability to read people.)
Violent video games and loss of empathy
Evil: Sylvia Plath reads Daddy
Good: Andreas Scholl, countertenor, Largo di Handel
And for a quick empathy boost, as well as a little exercise ...