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Posts from Inwood Library

Classroom Connections: 'New York, Then & Now' Immigration to Washington Heights/Inwood (Gr. 6-8)

The story of immigration to America is a rich tapestry whose opposing threads, oddly for how much they reject each other's reality, hang together as one. It outrages us and gives us hope in frighteningly equal measure.

Nowhere is this truer than New York City, a city of extremes in every sense. The community known as Washington Heights/Inwood originally spanned from 135th Street north to the top end of Manhattan Island, surrounded by the Hudson River on the west and the East River with Spuyten Duyvil's deadly currents in between. Its land is the highest ground in 

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Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers

Generals, commanders, admirals, prime ministers, and rulers, East Africans greatly distinguished themselves in India. They wrote a story unparalleled in the rest of the world — that of enslaved Africans attaining the pinnacle of military and political authority not only in a foreign country but also on another continent. Come discover their extraordinary story in a groundbreaking exhibition at the Schomburg Center — on view from February 1 to July 6 — and on March 21, join Dr. Faeeza Jasdanwalla, a descendant of the African dynasty of Janjira for a conversation on this 

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Learn to Express Yourself Through Art: Free Courses for Midlife and Older Adults

Thanks to Lifetime Arts for securing funding and inviting our library system to participate, NYPL is once again able to offer free sustained art courses, taught by professional teaching artists, for adults age 55 and over. Seventeen branch libraries have received funding that enables them to host these classes, which will take place from February-November 2013, and which cover a wide variety of arts including: painting, sculpting, collage, memoir-writing/performance, drawing, and quilt-making.

Because of the great interest generated over the years, many of the 

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner: God — To Be(lieve) or Not To Be(lieve)

I spent a recent weekend pondering the existence of God. It’s something I do from time to time because I was a religious person once, in the Judeo/Christian tradition, but am not so now. After many years, I’m still getting used to living without that label. I have to admit, my non-religious years have been very good years.

One interesting documentary that makes a case against the Judeo/Christian God is called The God Who Wasn’t There. It presents the story of

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner: Rattlesnake!!!

The sound of a Rattlesnake's warning is terrifying and hard to describe. It doesn’t sound like a baby’s toy. Well, it might if the toy was being shaken at a million times per second by an angry, tight-fisted god who looked kind of like a baby. Add to that impossible sound a buzz and a sinister, insistent shhhhhhhhhhh. You may think I’m being dramatic, but in my defense, it’s easy to be dramatic when you’re face to face with a Diamond 

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner: Comedy Writing

"It's the jokes. I need the jokes."

This is something a young library patron said to me the other day. He wanted me to find him a DVD of Abbott and Costello’s greatest movies and routines.  I felt an instant kinship with the boy, whom I’ll call Hal. “Yes,” I thought as I took to the catalog. “It’s the 

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New Juvenile Non Fiction

It can be tricky to find good non fiction for kids.  The good offerings strike a delicate balance between factual accuracy, realistic portrayal and general appeal.  I recently found two great new books that seem to strike all three, but in very different ways for two different age groups.

The first is a picture book memoir by Dan Yaccarino called All the Way to 

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner

I am a rabid, chronic life-long learner, and I'm starting this column because promoting life-long learning is one of the key components of our mission here at NYPL. Also, I bet there are a lot of people like me out in the world, people who want to know about EVERYTHING.

Whether you take up something new one thing at a time, or scatter your attention on a few things at once, this is your forum. In her book called

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Pleading Planet: Review of the film Koyaanisqatsi

The first time I saw the film Koyaanisqatsi I was a college student rambling around on an aimless Saturday night. A campus hall was screening it for free, so I ducked inside, my curiosity piqued.  I remember thinking, “Koyaanisqatsi? What does that mean?” With an “oh well” shrug, I settled into one of the classroom’s half-desk chairs as the lights dimmed to black. When the film ended and the lights shone, I was changed.

Scored with the haunting music of

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Book Review: Warp Speed

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee tells the story of Marley Sandelski, a seventh grade Star Trek geek at Rancho Rosetta Middle School.  Marley has some great friends and loves being in AV club with the other geeks.  They could spend all day debating the merits of Star Trek vs. Star Wars, but sadly, that is only one period of the day.  The rest 

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Book Review: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg and illustrated by Matthew Cordell takes place during the summer between second and third grade, but starts out not as sunny as a summer day.

I had a bad August. A very bad August. As bad as pickle juice on a cookie. As bad as a spider web on your leg.   As bad as the black parts on a banana. I hope your August was ... Read More ›

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