Thursday, August 23, 2007
Did you know that it wasn't until two years before her death in 1955 that Carmen Miranda was granted a Brazilian passport? Did you also know she once hosted 200 Brazilian sailors at her Beverly Hills estate, and that she was insistent that wherever she went, her band had to follow? Colorful, irrepressable, incomparable, Miranda's story was told at the Central Library Wednesday night August 22 to a packed house of 75 patrons.
The discussion was led by Fred Dobb, professor of education at San Francisco State University and expert in Latin cinema. Dovetailing his charming lecture were several clips, each representing a distinct stage in Carmen's entertainment career. In attendance were representatives from area groups, promoting Latin culture.
Dobb's presentation marked the latest installment in the Central Library's continuing series on contemporary Latin culture and cinema. Stay tuned for upcoming shows, both by checking GrandCENTRAL and looking at the Sacramento Public Library's Library Newsletter.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
In addition, Sacramento Public Library also features a beautiful jazz documentary entitled: "A Great Day in Harlem." This documentary is featured on the library's digital Overdrive site under the "Browse Video" box under "Documentaries." Check it out and relive history!
Monday, August 13, 2007
SPL's Community Outreach Services are constantly doing something in the community, so check us out and enjoy what the Sacramento Public Library is doing to make Sacramento's quality of life that much better!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I've not seen a single episode of television's CSI (Crime Scene Investigation), but I'd guess that if one took the show out of its sexy LA and/or Miami confines and mixed in a Texas-sized mud pie, poisonous reptile, unbearable humidity, and a million or so fire ants, you might come close to understanding the worldwide quest of the U.S. Military's Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI), an organization tasked to find and identify the nation's lost soldiers. Telling the tale is Earl Swift, a Virginia journalist, who journied to Laos in 2001 to surveil the group and their hunt for a crew of missing Army aviators, whose helicopter went down near the Vietnam/Laos border in 1971.
The engine of Swift's story is human interest. In not much time, you know the crew. From the spitshined complexion of the chopper commander to the muscle car-loving door gunner, the author brings you into their quirky, homey, chain-smoking world. Then he rips them from you; Their steel machine crashes and they are gone. But, at this point, you're in, part of the search team, walking just behind Swift down some dusty Degar hunting trail, and you'll accept even the slightest form of proof: a helmet, a manufacturing i.d., bullet casing.
At the beginning of the account, Swift asks us if it's worth it: spending $100 million a year to find our fallen sons and fathers. By the time the collective fate of Jack Barker, Johnny Chub, Johnny Dugan (see photo above) and Will Dillender is decided, you have your answer.
The hero of Disgrace is a real “b_ _ _ _ _ _.” The Booker Prize winner, J. M. Coetzee provides us with a portrait of the new Afrikaner who is forced to interact with blacks on an equal often humiliating basis. The balance of power is in flux in the new South Africa. What galls Communications Professor David Lurie is the knowledge that a black man (actually 3 blacks) can rape his daughter and get away with it. What escapes Lurie is the similarity between his alleged rape of his young female student and the violent act of the black youths.
The dynamics of the rapes differ in the “how”. On a rainy day in Cape Town, Lurie invites his young student into his house. Under the spell of Eros, the professor partakes of his dessert from a limp, passive student. When the girl’s boyfriend threatens Lurie and tells the girl’s prominent family, the prof loses his job and seeks refuge in his disgrace at his lesbian daughter’s Eastern Cape flower farm/ dog kennel. On a Wednesday morning, three black youths ask to use Lucy’s phone; once inside they lock Lurie in the loo (bathroom) and partake of Lucy’s desserts. Under the spell of hatred, the three blacks plunge their violent disturbing revenge for centuries of abuse into the limp, passive Lucy. Is passion out of lust more acceptable than passion out of hatred?
Lurie nearly manages to redeem himself in his determination to protect his daughter from the “bywoner” (tenant farmer) Petrus. Having knowledge of the planned rape/theft and the rapists, one of whom is his nephew, Petrus is eager to annex Lucy’s property to his small farm. Although not overtly stated, Petrus believes the land belongs to the blacks and he is reclaiming what belonged to his people before the invasion of the whites. Again the dynamics are in the “how”. Petrus is very polite with his long pipe and smile but his deeds are those of the greedy white man. Symbolically, the lives of the two races are inextricably linked in the child Lucy now carries. While seeking to dissuade Lucy from accepting Petrus’ offer of protection and marriage, Lurie is helpless to protect his daughter in the new South Africa. The only explanation/redemption for Lurie’s initial act of disgrace lies in his belief that, “Every woman I have been close to has taught me something about myself (p 70).” Lucy complains to her egocentric father that everything is about “you”. She is right on.
Coetzee, J. M., Disgrace, 1999, New York:Viking.
Veronica Ehrenreich holds a MFA in Film and a MLIS. She taught Film Studies at California State University, Sacramento, and is an on-call librarian at Sacramento Public Library and California State University, Sacramento.
J. M. Coetzee has won several literary awards for his fiction and non-fiction works. Coetzee is the only writer to have won the Booker Award twice.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
REFERENCIA TELEFONICA ES UNO DE NUESTROS SERVICIOS MAS OCULTOS SUMINISTRADOS POR NUESTROS BIBLIOTECARIOS. NUESTROS BIBLIOTECARIOS TRABAJAN ESTA FACETA POR LO MENOS DE UN TURNO CADA DIA Y CONTESTAN UN SINNUMERO DE PRESUNTAS CORRIENDO UN GIGANTESCO RANGO! ELLOS UTILIZAN UNA COLECCION ENCIMA DE 400 TOMOS , REVISTAS Y DIARIOS SELECCIONADOS ESPECIFICAMENTE PARA ESTE SERVICIO.
TENES FORMULARIOS DE RECAUDACION?
CUANTOS LUNARES TIENE TAL BICHO?
CUANDO SE REUNE LA PROXIMA CLASE DE COMPUTACION?
EN JULIO, ALREDEDOR DE 5,375 LLAMADAS FUERON CONTESTADAS POR TELEFONO! DE AQUELLAS, 5,303 (99%) FUERON CONTESTADAS AL MOMENTO; SOLAMENTE 72 PREGUNTAS (1%) FUERON DIRIGIDAS A OTRO BIBLIOTECARIO.
A QUIEN REPORTO INCIDENTES DE FRAUDE BANCARIO?
NOMBRE Y DIRECCION DE MI REPRESENTANTE DE CONGRESO?
LA RESPUESTA DE 42 CRUCE?
NO DUDEN QUE TENGAMOS LA RESPUESTA!
LLAME AL 916-264-2920
HORAS DE OPERACION Y MAS INFORMACION
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Is this the library at [you name the street]?
TELIS is the voice of the library in Sacramento, and handles calls for all 27 branches and library administration. It is located in its own little library inside the Central Library building, and is open all hours that any branch is open. Calls to TELIS during service hours are always answered by a librarian.
Do you have this book?
Where's the nearest library?
Do you have anything about ancient Persian astronomy?
Telephone reference is one of the hidden services provided by Central Library staff. Reference librarians put in at least one shift per day answering callers' questions about everything under the sun! They use a collection of about 400 books, magazines, and newspapers specially selected for the telephone reference service.
Do you have tax forms?
How many spots are on a ladybug?
When is the next computer class?
In July, over 5,375 callers got their questions answered by phone. Of those, 5,303 (99%) were answered on the spot; only 72 questions (1%) had to be referred to the reference desk for further work.
Who do I call to report bank fraud?
What's the name and address of my congressional representative?
What's the answer to 42 ACROSS?
Chances are, we can answer your questions, too!
Service hours and additional information
Friday, August 3, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Confronting Iran : the failure of American foreign policy and the next great crisis in the Middle East, Ali Ansari, Basic Books, 2006.
The Persian puzzle : the conflict between Iran and America, Kenneth M. Pollack, Random House, 2004.
Are we Rome? : the fall of an empire and the fate of America, Cullen Murphy, Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
Return to greatness : how America lost its sense of purpose and what it needs to do to recover it, Alan Wolfe, Princeton University Press, 2005.
- Web sites:
The Brookings Institute: http://www.brook.edu/
The Rand Corporation: http://www.rand.org/research_areas/international_affairs/
Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/