Monthly Archives: September 2010

Autumn in France: Cooking with Chef Denene Vincent

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Flickr user: skrb

Autumn days spent discovering hidden treasures in tiny French villages, rambling along picturesque rolling hills covered in just harvested grapevines, stopping at local wineries for a tasting or shopping the markets for just picked fall produce… join Denene Vincent, founder and executive chef of Le Chat Gourmet Culinary Arts in Eaton Rapids for this culinary adventure celebrating the autumnal cuisine of France! Read more about Vincent at lechatgourmet.com. (Registration is required for this program; call (517) 347-2023.)

Autumn in France
Oct. 12, 7 pm
CADL Okemos

-Heidi G., CADL Online Content/PR Coordinator

Parlez-vous français?

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Flicker user: zinjixmaggir

You can with the help of Byki. Byki is a self paced language learning program.  Byki can be used by English speakers who want to learn other languages.There are many languages to choose from including: Spanish, French,  Italian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and even Scottish Gaelic! Flashcards of words and phrases are used to teach the language. You can also hear the words pronounced. There are activities such an answering questions on the language.

Byki can also be used by speakers of other languages who wish to to learn English.  Speakers of Spanish, Russian, Arabic and other languages can review English lessons. For more English language learning, go to our ESOL Resources.

View a video tour of Byki.

A library card is required to access Byki outside of the library.  Xiǎngshòu nǐ de jiàoxun. 享受你的教訓。

-Anne R., Reference Librarian @ CADL

The Banned Play on at the Mason Library

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A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone. ~Jo Godwin

This year, Banned Books Week will be observed from Sept. 25-Oct. 2. But in my opinion, it’s always appropriate to talk about intellectual freedom. According to the American Library Association, this term refers to the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week highlights the importance of intellectual freedom and the protection of First Amendment rights by focusing on literary works which have been subjected to banning attempts. These books contain ideas that some people have found incendiary, unpalatable, unorthodox and unpopular. Here are some titles on that list:

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell • The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling • The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

Chances are that if you are a reader, at least one book on this list has spoken to you on some level. Personally, I’ve always been an avid reader, but the first time I can remember having a true epiphany while reading was when I was 19. The book was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, and it introduced me to the importance of social justice, the concept of fate, and the idea that loyalty and friendship are irreplaceable in this world. I know that reading it changed my life in subtle ways and helped usher me into adulthood. To this day, of the thousands of books I’ve read, it stands as my favorite.

But the love of a book is subjective. Other people found A Prayer for Owen Meany to be “anti-American” and “vulgar.” As a result it’s been censored in some places and completely removed from the shelves in others.

Is one man’s treasure another man’s trash? Maybe. But it is comforting to know that we live in a country where freedom of thought and ideas are the core of who we are. We live in a society where we get a fair shot at deciding what has value to us, and what doesn’t, instead of others making those decisions for us. At least that’s how it should be.

Celebrate your intellectual freedom—and the freedom to read what you choose—by visiting the library. For a list of banned books, or to find out more information about intellectual freedom, visit www.ala.org or ask your local librarian.

-Sheryl B., CADL Mason Head Librarian

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

new-happening-bannerSource: American Library Association

September 25−October 2, 2010
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events and Ideas and Resources. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or bbw@ala.org.

-ALA.org

Lansing’s Early Cemeteries, Pt. 3

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Click here for post 1 and post 2 in this series.

Mt. Hope Cemetery remains the largest and most populated Lansing graveyard. Many of the initial burials were transfers from earlier necropolises. Untold numbers remain undocumented.

According to Jesse Lasorda, a member of the Ingham County Historical Commission and award winning historian, at least 115 burials in the pauper’s section are without identification. He believes these are transplants from earlier cemeteries and possibly lacked markers before they were removed. Until 2008 the 61 children buried in the Boy’s Vocational School plot were not identified by name. Lasorda was part of a project that restored their marker and added the names of the deceased.

Another of Lasorda’s exploits was helping restore the veteran’s section at Mt. Hope. Funds were supplied by the VA. The process involving sundry private citizens and local Sons of Union Veterans posts took several years to complete. Some stones were replaced in 2005 and the operation completed in 2007.

Included in this enterprise was the formal recognition of previously unidentified graves of African American Civil War Veterans and the restoration of others. Among the many veteran’s graves honored by this project were Turner Byrd of the Michigan 102nd U.S. Colored Infantry, and Benjamin Thompson of the Massachusetts 54th Infantry . Both men were buried in family plots at Mt. Hope that did not receive the recognition of their service during the Civil War. James Dabny an African American sailor in the U.S. Navy needed his decrepit veteran’s stone replaced.

Mystery surrounds a fireman’s plot grave marked “UNKNOWN FIREMAN”. It is dated Dec. 24 1880. After decades of research his identification is still unknown. However, it has been determined he was removed from Oak Park and reinterred at Mt. Hope on the marker date. He passed many years before. There are also known graves in the fireman’s plot who have no documented connection to firefighting.

In 1905 calamity struck when lighting hit the chapel, engulfing it in flames. The building was a total loss. However, the vault was only partially ruined and the lone body was saved from the conflagration. The chapel was rebuilt and eventually demolished in the mid 20th century, a victim of neglect.

Lasorda enumerates local automakers, REO, Oldsmobile and Duplex Truck all used Mt. Hope roads as a test track. At some point in the second decade of the 20th century he states the cemetery board of trustees put an end to that practice. “[B]rakes would fail, other mechanical issues, and they would run into headstones.” says Lasorda.

At one point Mt. Hope had a water tower and resting station (privy). In recent years the 1909 wrought iron fence was replaced with fencing minus the spear like points. It was in desperate need of repair and there were problems with deer impaling themselves.

Deepdale Cemetery, a private burial park outside the city limits, began in 1920. Evergreen Cemetery, east of Fenner Arboretum, opened in 1931 as a city cemetery operating simultaneous to Mt. Hope.

The City of Lansing commenced stewardship of it’s most recent cemetery, North Cemetery, in 1969, ten years after the area’s annexation from Delhi Township. According to Durant’s History of Ingham and Eaton Counties Delhi purchased the land as a cemetery from Joshua North “about” 1842 for fifteen dollars, making it the oldest continuous cemetery in the city.

Sources Consulted

Past and Present of the City of Lansing by Albert Cowles
History of Ingham and Eaton Counties by Samuel Durant
Lansing Republican (August 8, 1878)
Lansing Daily Journal (June 19, 1905)
Lansing State Journal (January 1, 1932)
Lansing Daily Lansing State Journal April 17, 1949)
Lansing State Journal (August 9, 1953)
Lansing State Journal (May, 30 1978)Journal (June 20, 1905)
1859 Topographical Map of Ingham County
Story of Parks and Cemeteries by H. Lee Bancroft Superintendant of Lansing Parks 1949
A Sesquicentennial Guide Book of  the Railroads of Lansing & Ingham County From 1862 to 1987 by Henry A Reniger , Jr

-Dave V., CADL Local History Librarian

Health Issues in the News

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Flickr user: lollyknit

Now that we all know to be on the look-out for bad eggs and bed bugs you might be wondering about some practical tips for safeguarding your health.  Things like knowing how to clean food preparation tools – knives, cutting boards, surfaces, etc. and a surprising place to pick up bedbugs.  The New York Times had a great article recently outlining how to be budget conscious and safe when it comes to food.  It discusses cutting boards (wood, bamboo, plastic, how to sanitize, when to replace), farmers’ markets, fresh produce safety and related topics.  Read the full article here.

Flickr user: cdresz

In a related article, the Times exposes a surprising way to unknowingly pick up bed bugs — flea markets, secondhand shops, used furniture stores, resale/consignment shops, etc.  I’ll admit, I’ve never considered that and I am a frequent shopper at such places.  The Times is a great advocate though for such establishments, and doesn’t suggest not frequenting them, but to do so in an educated manner.  Carefully inspect ALL items before taking possession, put items in a plastic bag and pop into the freezer (bedbugs can’t survive freezing) or have them drycleaned.  Know your stores.  It is very common (but not quite standard practice yet) for secondhand shops and used clothing shops to fumigate their premises and its contents on a regular basis.  The next time you’re shopping, ask and see what they say.  Here are some bedbug resources that the state of Michigan prepared that might answer questions you have.  Remember, stay alert and don’t let the beg bugs bite!

-Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian

Reader Roundup

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Jessica T. recommends:

The Better Part of DarknessThe Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay

Check out The Better Part of Darkness in our catalog.

Composed: a memoirComposed: A Memoir by Rosanne Cash

Check out Composed: A Memoir in our catalog.

Sara D. recommends:

RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue

Check out Room in our catalog.

DiAnne W. recommends:

ZeitounZeitoun by Dave Eggers

Check out Zeitoun in our catalog.

Want to find more good reads? Check out our Books, Movies + More page or watch Book Bytes, our video book reviews, at YouTube.