Friday, February 28, 2014

Art in the Stacks: "All Across Asia" by Johanna Wooden

Photograph by Johanna Wooden
The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library are pleased to present an exhibit of photographs by Johanna Wooden. The show will be on display during regular library hours throughout the month of March. "Art in the Stacks" is an initiative of the Friends of the Library to provide artists an opportunity to show their work, and for library patrons to enjoy art throughout the year.

Johanna Wooden describes herself as a photographer, teacher, world traveler, nature lover, sunset addict, yoga enthusiast & international foodie. A true nomad at heart, Johanna just returned from Asia where she lived and taught on the border of North Korea for two years, in a small South Korean army town. She then went on a six month backpacking trip throughout South East Asia, touring seven countries and traveling over 15,000 km (12,000 just by land)! She gracefully captured the people, culture, color and magical beauty of Asia through her photography. Enjoy a taste of Asia!

Register For 2014 Great Decisions Discussion Group

Register online

The Vineyard Haven Public Library Great Decisions Discussion Group will meet for 8 sessions on Thursday evenings at 7pm, beginning April 3rd.

A Great Decisions Discussion Group is composed of interested individuals who want an opportunity to learn and participate in the foreign policy decision-making process. The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) has published the Great Decisions briefing book, a well researched annual publication covering eight timely global topics to be read by group participants in order to prepare for each discussion. At each meeting we will show a 30 minute documentary film on that week's topic, to be followed by a moderated discussion.

Please register online or at the library. The briefing book may be purchased for $20 from the FPA website. (A limited number of books will be for sale at the library.)

Topics and meeting dates:

Thursday, April 3rd:
Defense Technology
From robotic planes to cyberweapons to 3D printing and human enhancement, new “game-changing” technologies are moving from science fiction to battlefield reality – all during an age of fiscal austerity. But in wrestling with the new, we can actually learn a great deal from the past. Our forebears went through similar challenges with such once fanciful but now normal concepts as airplanes, submarines, and tanks. What are the “killer applications” of the 21st century battlefield, and in turn, what are the issues that the U.S. must navigate in adapting to them?

Thursday, April 10th:
Israel and the U.S.
Modern Israel’s struggles with the Palestinians have turned what was meant as a safe haven for Jews into the center of a decades-long conflict. The U.S. has stepped in as Israel’s ally due to the two countries’ shared values, providing years of unparalleled military and diplomatic support. But now those ties are being tested. The Arab Spring, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, failed peace talks, and Israel’s own decision to give Washington the cold shoulder have put new strains on the 65-year-old “special relationship.”

Thursday, April 17th:
Turkey’s challenges
Turkey: a nation at a crossroads, a bridge over an ever-growing chasm between the East and West. Turkey’s first Prime Minister Kemal Ataturk envisioned a modern, democratic nation-state built on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire with strong ties to Europe, not the Middle East. But as the clashes between secular and religious groups and the recent protests in Taksim Square show, the soul of Turkey is still very much up for grabs.

Thursday, April 24th:
Islamic awakening
The aftermath of the Arab Spring has resulted in unforeseen changes in the political landscape in many countries, especially regarding the role of Islam and democracy. How have the countries in the Maghreb reacted, including Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began? Is U.S. foreign policy adapting successfully to all of the changes in the region?

Thursday, May 1st:
Energy Independence
Energy independence, by taking the bargaining chip of oil dependence off the table, would be good for American foreign policy. But the very technological advances that make independence possible have created a dilemma for lawmakers. In a government with fixed resources, should the U.S. encourage more traditional fuel production or invest in the young technology of renewable resources?

Thursday, May 8th:
Food and Climate
Even as a sixth of the world’s population suffers from chronic hunger, a changing climate threatens to wreak havoc on already insecure and vulnerable populations. As food and water become scarce and once fertile land becomes barren, the U.S. finds itself faced with new challenges in securing the globe. The U.S. is getting ready, but can it lead the way to climate reform?

Thursday, May 15th:
China’s foreign policy
China has gone to great lengths to emphasize the “peaceful” nature of its meteoric rise. Yet few dispute that China is the dominant regional power in Asia – and in recent years Beijing began to flex its muscles regionally in order to advance its strategic interests. What does the rapid rise of this new superpower mean for other countries in the region, and are there potential points of conflict with the U.S. as it “pivots” to Asia?

Thursday, May 22nd:
U.S. trade policy
America’s foreign policy tools are not limited to sanctions, treaties or military campaigns – they also include the sales pitch. The logic behind this pitch, or “economic statecraft,” is simple: promote the benefits of democracy and the free market. In so doing, the U.S. will gain valuable and stable partners, both in business and in diplomacy. Now, as China and other emerging nations battle the U.S. for global influence, Secretary Kerry will take the reigns as a free market matchmaker.Online Registration

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday with Friends: Travel Talk by Joe Doebler

The Sea Cloud, photograph by Joe Doebler
On Sunday, March 9th at 2 PM, sail the Greek Islands without leaving Martha’s Vineyard. Experienced photographer Joe Doebler will share his recent photos from a week long sailing trip in the Mediterranean Sea last May aboard the square rigger Sea Cloud. The talk is free and refreshments will be served.

This event is presented by the Friends of the Library as part of their monthly winter program series. The Friends are volunteers who encourage public understanding of the Library's vital role in the community, support activities for both adults and children, and provide various other volunteer services.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Art in The Stacks: Peter Simon & America's Music

This month we are pleased to present an exhibit of photographs by nationally acclaimed photographer Peter Simon. The show will be on display during regular library hours throughout the month of February. This exhibit is presented in conjunction with the library's ongoing "America's Music" program series.

Over the course of a 40 year career Peter Simon has covered an eclectic range of subjects including the greatest names in rock 'n' roll, reggae and pop music. His work has appeared in major publications including Time, Newsweek, People, Village Voice, Atlantic Monthly, Cape Cod Life, Boston Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone.

Peter Simon's photographs have been shown at galleries including On the Vineyard gallery, The Field Gallery, The Old Sculpin Gallery, The Nikon House and Niekrug Gallery in New York, and the Kiva Gallery in Boston. His work is also the subject of the a comprehensive retrospective book, "I and Eye", published by Little Brown in 2001.

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

America's Music is a series of public programs created by the Tribeca Film Institute™ in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in consultation with the Society for American Music. For more information, please visit the library website at