Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Films & Storytime & Bake Sale!!! Read on!

This month's independent film selection is technically a Christmas movie, but with a few twists. First, it's set in Australia, so you can throw away your white Christmas expectations. And the primary drama involves a mother with terminal cancer saying her goodbyes to her daughters—also not the normal bubbly stuff of Christmas movies. But it is a truly beautiful film—and life affirming. The film proves that when you embrace loss you can appreciate what you have.

So come see this free screening of Little Sparrows at 6:30pm, Thursday, December 8th. The film is in English so there will be no subtitles. Run time 88 minutes. Please note: These Independent films are not rated by the MPAA and should be considered for mature audiences. The Pollard Library Independent Film night occurs on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The events are free and open to the public. Made possible by the Friends of the Library.

If you're looking for a more traditional Christmas movie, we've got you covered on that as well. In anticipation for the 2012 Dickens in Lowell celebration, and with a nod to the new Muppet Movie in theaters we're going to be showing The Muppet Christmas Carol on Saturday, December 10th at 1pm.

This showing will be part of a larger Holiday celebration from 11:30am-3pm, which includes a Bake Sale hosted by the Friends of the library (11:30-1pm) and a Holiday Storytime (11:30am-12:30pm). All free, thanks to the good work of the Pollard Library Friends group and our Youth Services Department.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Delayed opening this Thursday, December 1st

Just a quick reminder that this Thursday is the first Thursday of the new month which means two things:

1) The library has a delayed opening to accommodate a staff meeting. The library will be open 11am-9pm.

2) The Non-Fiction book club will meet at 6:30pm in the Ground Floor meeting room to discuss another truth seeking monograph. This month, while we wait for snow to arrive in the Merrimack Valley, we'll discuss Carlos Eire's Waiting for Snow in Havana. We'll also be voting for future titles at this meeting so don't miss it...or contact Sean Thibodeau if you want an absentee ballot.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This Just In...Library closing at 3pm tomorrow (Wednesday November 23rd)

We just got word the library will be closing tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23rd at 3pm in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We are currently scheduled to be open normal hours (9am-5pm) on Friday and Saturday after the holiday.

We would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Library Closed for Thanksgiving - Open Friday & Saturday

In observance of Thanksgiving, the Pollard will be closed Thursday, November 24th. We will, however, be open from 9am-5pm, Friday and Saturday, November 25th & 26th.

So stop by on Saturday on your way to the grand City of Lights Parade and Holiday Art Stroll festivities!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Puleo Talk Tomorrow, Old English Cemetery Tour Sunday

Here are a few local events you might find interesting this weekend:

Tomorrow, at 10am, Stephen Puleo, author of Dark Tide, the June selection for the Pollard's non-ficiton book club is reading from his latest book: A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900 at the Georgetown Peabody Library. Cost of Admission $12.00. For reservations contact: Mary Paganelli 978 352-2587 Friends of the Library, Mary Ann Walsh 978 535 5680 AAUW

Sunday, November 20, at Noon. Meet at the main gate of Old English Cemetery (1099 Gorham St. Lowell 01852) for a free tour of this rarely seen relic from the days of Lowell’s first founding. Tour led by local cemetery enthusiast Kim Zunino. After the tour, interested parties can proceed on their own to Middlesex Community College Federal Building, 50 Kearney Sq, to hear programs on various aspects of Gravestone Studies. The programs are free and open to the public. Events sponsored by the Lowell Historical Society, the Lowell Historic Board, Middlesex Community College & the Association for Gravestone Studies.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Parker Lecture - R.P. Hale - The 2012 Fraud: Misreading the Maya and Their Calendars - Thursday November 17th @ 7pm

Join us for what's sure to be an illuminating Parker Lecture this Thursday, November 17th for R.P. Hale's debunking of the myth of the Mayan calendar in a lecture entitled: The 2012 Fraud: Misreading the Maya and Their Calendars. We will explore the history of the Apocalypse, mankind’s second oldest story, along with what the Mayan calendars are and how they work. R.P. Hale is of Aztec heritage, an astronomer, musician, calligrapher, and chemist. In 1999, the Smithsonian Institution recognized R.P. Hale as one of the top musical instrument makers in the United States.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Non-Fiction Book Club - Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire - Thursday, December 1st - 6:30pm

The Pollard's Non-Fiction book club marks it's first anniversary with a sparkling memoir of exile and redemption. Join us at 6:30pm on Thursday, December 1st for a discussion of Carlo's Eire's 2003 National Book award winner, Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy. Here's some of what Publisher's Weekly had to say about it:
As imaginatively wrought as the finest piece of fiction, the book abounds with magical interpretations of ordinary boyhood events...Eire looks beyond the literal to see the mythological themes inherent in the epic struggle for identity that each of our lives represents.

Into this fantastic idyll comes Castro—"Beelzebub, Herod, and the Seven-Headed Beast of the Apocalypse rolled into one"—overthrowing the Batista regime at the very end of 1958 and sweeping away everything that the author holds dear. A world that had been bursting with complicated, colorful meaning is replaced with the monotony of Castro's rhetoric and terrorizing "reform." ...The final cataclysm comes when Eire and his brother, still young boys, are shipped off to the United States to seek safety and a better life (another paradise, perhaps). They never see their father again.

As painful as Eire's journey has been, his ability to see tragedy and suffering as a constant source of redemption is what makes this book so powerful. Where his father believed that we live many lives in different bodies, Eire sees his own life as a series of deaths within the same body. "Dying can be beautiful," he writes, "And waking up is even more beautiful. Even when the world has changed."
In January, the book club will be discussing The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli but we've not decided on the titles beyond then. So, we will be voting for two more at our December meeting. If you would like more information or a ballot please contact Sean Thibodeau, Community Planning Librarian at sthibodeau@mvlc.org.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Movie Matinee: To Have and Have Not

We're screening another fall classic this Saturday at 1pm. Howard Hawk's classic To Have and Have Not. Starring Humphrey Bogart and the screen debut of provocative 19 year old Lauren Bacall, this movie is has Nobel Prize written all over it. It's based on an Ernest Hemingway novel and William Faulkner had a hand in writing the script. It's a spicy romance, sure to warm your heart and spur your senses. Free and open to the public. This screening is made possible by the Friends of the Pollard Library.

Library Closed Friday November 11th - Veterans Day

In observance of Veterans Day, the Pollard Library will be closed Friday November 11th. We will reopen Saturday, November 12th at 9am.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On the Road to the Pollard

The Pollard is featured in a unique library road trip undertaken this past summer by photographer Robert Dawson and his son, Walker. Dawson sees himself as an outside advocate for libraries and their role in shaping community.
As a teacher of photography at Stanford University in California, Dawson has worked for much of his career “on things that we share as Americans.” He says libraries have changed a great deal during the 17-year germination of the project. “They have been very flexible, and they are less about books and more about community,” but they are still “a critically important aspect of the shared commons that we have in this country.”

“Libraries are all local, and I am trying to look at it from a national perspective,” Dawson observes. “What struck me most is the vitality of libraries; they are all used a lot, partly because of access to computers, and poor people don’t necessarily have that at home. The vitality is the one thing that unified almost all the libraries that I went to.”

In eight weeks, the pair visited 189 libraries in 26 states—and fittingly enough they end their road trip at the Pollard, a library frequented by the original lonesome traveler, Jack Kerouac. Dawson's wife, Ellen joined them for their New England leg of the journey. His blog has a great write up on their experience in Lowell as well as some gorgeous shots of the Pollard.

Thank you for visiting Mr. Dawson and thank you for standing up for libraries.

Vote Vote Vote

Today is election day! The polls are open, and will be open until 8pm. So there's plenty of time to do some research and get down there to make it count. Starting at 7:30 you can watch the Lowell Sun's Election night coverage streaming live on their website.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't forget to Fall Back

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2am this Sunday November 6th. You might want to just set the clocks back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night.

Sunday Night the kids of Lowell will have to wait that extra hour to go trick-or-treating. Cruel world. (Unless they made off with candy from surrounding communities the nights before).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Human Resources Manager - Independent Film Night, Thursday, November 10th @ 6:30

Join us November 10th at 6:30PM for the next installment of our Film Movement Independent Film night (the 2nd Thursday of every month). October's film is The Human Resources Manager by Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride). The film won 5 awards at the Isralei Academy Awards including Best Picture. The story is based on the novel "A Woman from Jerusalem" by A. B. Yehoshua which chronicles a physical and spiritual journey taken by the Human Resources Manager of Jerusalem's largest bakery. At the outset he is not a happy man. He is separated from his wife, estranged from his daughter and stuck in a job he hates. But when one of his his employees, a foreign worker is killed in a suicide bombing and the bakery is accused of indifference and he is sent to Romania, the victim's home country, to try and make amends. Along the way he discovers more about himself and his ability to affect others than he ever expected.

Interesting tidbit about the film from an interview with the the director in 2010:
No one in the film has a name but the dead woman, Yulia; instead, they are identified by titles: the Human Resources Manager, the Weasel, the Boy, the Driver, etc. This idea came from the source book, but Riklis decided to keep the convention because he felt it made the story more relatable. Additionally, “everybody is alive here but maybe dead inside, and the only dead person is actually alive. It’s out of respect in a way to her, both because she’s dead and the catalyst of the whole thing,” says Riklis. “The rest have to earn their names.
The film is in Hebrew, Romanian and English with English Subtitles. Run time 104 minutes. Please note: These Independent films are not rated by the MPAA and should be considered for mature audiences. The Pollard Library Independent Film night occurs on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The events are free and open to the public. Made possible by the Friends of the Library.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Staff Meeting Tomorrow, Thursday November 3rd - Library will open at 11am

A reminder that tomorrow is the first Thursday of the month which means the library will be closed until 11am to accommodate a staff meeting. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Patti Smith is Everywhere

I know you are all excited about the non-fiction book club's discussion of Patti Smith's National Book Award winning memoir Just Kids this Thursday, November 3rd at 6:30pm. You've probably even finished the book already. Well here's some extra credit for you and further proof of the cultural status and influence of one Patti Smith.

In the October 10th New Yorker, she's written a beautiful and short reminisce of the early onset of her kleptomaniac and francophillic tendencies.

The New York Times Magazine featured a front page article on October 14th, in which she discusses, among other things, her writing process for Just Kids.

And if you want to see some of her work live and in person, the Wadsworth Museum in Hartford is featuring some of her photographs in an show called Camera Solo, on display through Feburary 19, 2012.

Free Workshops for Veterans History Project next week at Middlesex Community College

The national Veterans History Project is looking for your help collecting stories from our veterans.

Next week, (just in time for Veterans Day) Middlesex Community College will host two workshops led by Millie Rahn, oral historian and trainer for the Veterans History Project (VHP) at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. The workshops will be held at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov.8, in the Assembly Room of the MCC Federal Building in Lowell.

The intensive 90-minute workshops will cover topics such as finding people to interview, doing background research, sample questions, creating a transcript, and maintaining a paper trail for those who want to archive interviews in public or private collections. They will also cover interviewing techniques, audio versus video interviews, one-on-one versus group interviews, and how to create the best possible audio or video document with various kinds of technology.

The workshops are free and open to the public. For more information about the workshops, contact Sheri Denk at 978-656-3159 or denks@middlesex.mass.