Our connected world can be bittersweet, with daily reminders of time passing, momentous occasions celebrated, vacations spent, meals enjoyed, companions met and partings taken. This past month, I lost a beloved teacher, Alan Cheuse. Here I want to pay a small tribute to his spirit and life's work.
The summer's soundtrack blares at full volume, "Did you work on math? You know, you need to finish another book. When do you plan on starting?" My child's first day of school is Sept. 10, which translates to roughly 20 days remaining for her to get the job done. Moving at a breakneck pace during the school year, the notion of an idyllic summer flew out the window a long time ago. Working full time necessitates full-time childcare coverage, which translates to day camp, beginning at 8 a.m., and ending at 5 p.m.
In the summertime, Princeton Public Library offers volunteer opportunities for teens with library cards. Our teen summer volunteers have traditionally been kept busy registering summer reading program participants, who range in age from zero to high school seniors, logging their reading hours and handing out the appropriate prizes for the different milestones reached. This year, we provided a unique opportunity for our volunteers called the Teen Summer Event Team.
In addition to an astounding collection of feature films from around the world, the library also has a very impressive selection of documentaries. Documentaries have a strong track record here based on the popularity of our annual Environmental Film Festival and the ongoing Identity & Self Film Series. I took at a look at the circulation numbers for this collection, and below are our 10 most-viewed documentaries:
Watching some of my college classmates take the bar exam and attain their law degrees has me hankering for a good courtroom drama. While we can't all observe a thrilling legal case firsthand, we can certainly take a front row seat in an imaginative work of fiction. A peek into another walk of life also aligns with our summer reading theme, "Escape the Ordinary." The list below features hard-hitting stories with riveting courtroom scenes sure to keep you engaged during the dog days of summer.
"Recent studies have shown that challenging your brain, by spurring the brain to create new patterns, is an important factor in helping to keep your brain active and healthy as you age. Lifelong learning is a health club for our minds, bodies and spirits. Using this health club every day helps ensure that life will be richer, more stimulating and more fulfilling.”(BeWell@Stanford)
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am a late adapter to just about everything, particularly technology. I'm sure I was the last person using dial-up Internet, last to get a cell phone, very last to get a smart phone, and I still own a computer with Word Perfect on it.
Silent comedy uses visual humor to tell a story. In the early days of film, before there was sound, it was the most popular form of storytelling. Silent comedians such Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton entertained millions with an art form that was simple and universal. Visual humor goes far beyond pies in the face and slipping on a banana peel. These filmmakers developed the technique of using gags to reveal character and tell a story.
Now that we are moving into the second half of summer, it's the perfect time to encourage you to pick up a challenge card and join this year's adult summer reading club. We are fairly certain that the majority of readers have already completed challenges that fulfill our "Escape the Ordinary" theme. Why not win a prize for your efforts? Participants have until Aug. 30 to submit entries in exchange for raffle tickets for the opportunity to win great local prizes.
If you're enjoying the exhibition of drawings by Danielle Bursk and photographs by Allen Kesselaut in the second floor Reference Galley (a partnership with the Arts Council of Princeton), you might be interested to know that there's another gallery in the library, this one primarily for employees, but sometimes seen by wayward customers.