Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Announcing New Civil War Programs, No Registration Required

As part of the Library's commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, a variety of special events and lectures will be scheduled throughout the upcoming months. Events have been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, and include the following programs:

Tuesday, February 28th, 7 pm
Susan Strane: A Whole-Souled Woman: Prudence Crandall and the Education of Black Women
Susan will discuss her book on Prudence Crandall, who opened the first boarding school in America for African-American girls in Canterbury, Ct. in 1833. She advertised her school as a seminary for "young ladies and little misses of color." The town, however, was not pleased and their presence led to boycotts, intimidation, and the poisoning of their well. The school had become a cause celebre among abolitionists. Its defense was one of the first campaigns of the great William Lloyd Garrison.

Wednesday, March 14th, 7 pm
Martha’s Vineyard Poetry Society : Civil War Era Poetry
During the Civil War, thousands of poems about the conflict were written by everyday citizens from the North and the South. These poems appeared in a variety of print formats, including newspapers, periodicals, broadsheets, and song sheets. These poems enable us to better understand the role of poetry during the war years and how poetry helped unify citizens, inspire troops, memorialize the dead, and bind the nation's wounds in the aftermath of the war. Drawing from the well-known poets of the period, including Walt Whitman, John Greenleaf Whittier, Herman Melville, Francis Orray Tickner, and George Henry Boker, the Martha's Vineyard Poetry Society will present an evening of poetry readings. Library of Congress Poetry Resources: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/lcpoetry/cwvc.html

Sunday, April 22nd, 4 pm
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker: The Blue and Gray in Black and White

Sparky & Rhonda Rucker's presentation will include stories from the American Civil War portrayed through music and in narrative and will focus on the war's impact on the different regions of our country. The stories, some sad and some humorous, reflect personal insights from the various personalities who participated in the war. Since more songs came out of the Civil War than any other war in history, they will have a large repertoire of music to draw upon. They will sing slave songs, and songs from the Underground Railroad, while accompanying themselves with finger style picking and bottleneck blues guitar, harmonica, old-time banjo, slide guitar, piano, spoons, and bones.

As much a folklorist and community historian as a performer, Sparky Rucker has combined his love for blues and songs from the Black ballad tradition with a desire to both educate and entertain. Rhonda, a versatile performer, joins Sparky playing blues harmonica, piano, banjo, and adding vocal harmonies. They have been featured tellers at the International Storytelling Center and Festival, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and on NPR's On Point. Join us for an afternoon of fun, history and songs for the whole family. This program is free of charge with a reception to follow.

Wednesday, April 25th, 7 pm
John Hough Jr. Seen the Glory: a Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg

John Hough tells the story of Luke and Thomas Chandler, who grew up on Martha's Vineyard, raised by their abolitionist father and Rose, their headstrong and beautiful Cape Verdean housekeeper. When a recruiter comes to the island, the boys, who have already witnessed their father and Rose helping a runaway slave to freedom and who are determined to join the fight against slavery, eagerly enlist in the storied Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

Tuesday, May 1st, 7 pm
John Sundman: Lincoln at Gettysburg: the Words That Remade America

John Sundman will present a discussion of Gary Wills’, Pulitzer Prize winning book, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. Wills’ thesis is that the Gettysburg Address came to define not only the meaning of the war, but the meaning of America. Subjects under discussion will include the rhetorical devices Lincoln used and his implicit arguments about the nature of the Union and its relationship to freedom.

Tuesday May 15th, 7 pm
Patricia Sullivan: “One Hundred Years of Freedom?”

When John F. Kennedy was inaugurated in January 1961, the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War loomed larger in the national consciousness than the emerging Civil Rights Movement. Historian Patricia Sullivan will discuss how rising black protests in the South converged with the Civil War centennial, challenging public memory and historical accounts of the war, its meaning, and its legacies.

Also in May (dates to be announced), Jim Thomas, founder of the U.S. Slave Song Project, will talk and the interpretation of codes used in the slave songs for the underground railroad, and Robert Hayden, President of The Martha’s Vineyard Chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, will trace the history of his family, the battles they were involved in, and their journey to Martha’s Vineyard as freed slaves.

Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War", has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

National Archives Announces Website for Free 1940 Census Records

The National Archives, with its partner Archives.com, has just launched its new website www.1940census.archives.gov in preparation for its first-ever online U.S. census release, which will take place on April 2, 2012. The public is encouraged to bookmark the website now in order to more quickly access the 1940 census data when it goes live. No other website will host the 1940 census data on its April 2 release date.

Users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 census schedules, free of charge, from their own computers or from the public computers at National Archives locations nationwide through the new 1940 census website: www.1940census.archives.gov.

A National Archives 3:13 minute video short on its YouTube channel (http://tiny.cc/1940Census) and on www.1940census.archives.gov provides a “behind-the-scenes” view of staff preparations and gives viewers tips on how to access the data once it is launched on April 2.

Many of the questions on the 1940 census are the standard ones: name, age, gender, and race, education, and place of birth. But the 1940 census also asks many new questions, some reflecting concerns of the Great Depression. The instructions ask the enumerator to enter a circled x after the name of the person furnishing the information about the family; whether the person worked for the CCC, WPA, or NYA the week of March 24–30, 1940; and income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939. The 1940 census also has a supplemental schedule for two names on each page. The supplemental schedule asks the place of birth of the person's father and mother; the person's usual occupation, not just what they were doing the week of March 24–30, 1940; and for all women who are or have been married, has this woman been married more than once and age at first marriage.

For the release of the 1940 census online, the National Archives has digitized the entire census, creating more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Did you know your library can't buy eBooks from many publishers?

Sadly, unlike a regular person, a library cannot pay Amazon or Barnes & Noble for an eBook and then lend it out to people. We can buy a printed book from these companies, stick it on the shelf, and lend it out--but digital content is treated differently by the publishers and the companies who manage digital content licensing. We desperately want to offer you these eBooks. But the companies won't let us. As your library, we commit to continuing advocacy for change in these policies.

The following publishers currently refuse to sell or license eBooks to libraries:

Think that’s wrong? We do too.

To voice your opinion, you can contact these publishers directly. For your convenience, the addresses are provided below:

Macmillan Publishing
75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-7521

Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 698-7000

Hachette Book Group
466 Lexington Avenue #131
New York, NY 10017
(212) 364-1100

Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 366-2000

Brilliance Audio
1704 Eaton Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 846-5256

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Art in the Stacks: Nancy Crossley Blank

The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library are pleased to present an exhibit of paintings by Nancy Crossley Blank. The exhibit will be on display during regular library hours throughout the month of February 2012.

Nancy received her undergraduate degree from the Rhode Island School of Design where she majored in Painting and Art Education. Her Masters of Fine Art is from the Maryland Institutes' College of Art where she continued her focus on Painting and Art Education. Nancy had a 30 year career as both a Chairman of the Art Department at St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown, Maryland and as adjunct art faculty at Hagerstown Community College.

Nancy has shown her work in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Martha’s Vineyard. Her paintings are in private collections and at the Washington County Museum of Art. Currently Nancy is part of the faculty at Featherstone Center for the Arts where she is a frequent exhibitor.

These works are mixed media using silkscreen, graphite, transfers, and acrylic paint. They are done on metal printing plates. The images, including carousel ponies and piggies, are intended to be fun. What makes these pieces intriguing is the color, layering, and edges. Depth and visual interested are created through the layering of flat images that suggest various two- dimensional planes. How each element is placed, in relation to the others, creates different dynamics that suggest relationships, meanings, and stories.

“I have always been interested in...”what would happen if” … and love to experiment with all the elements and principles of design.” - Nancy Crossley Blank

"Art in the Stacks" is an initiative of the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library, to provide individual artists an opportunity to show their work, and for library patrons to enjoy art at the library throughout the year.