discussion programs

A Science Café in a Library?

How do a Science Café and a university library fit together? Actually, they are a perfect match. One of the goals of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries is to promote the library as the intellectual and cultural center of the campus. Having a Science Café series within the library helps us accomplish this initiative.

Featured Library: Lyon County Library System

This month, the Lyon County (Nev.) Library System is launching its “Adaptation Festival,” a program designed for adult and senior film lovers. The library system has chosen five novels or short stories that have been adapted for film. Patrons are invited to read the selected works, then attend a monthly book talk featuring a screening of the adapted film.

The books and films span various literary and film genres and include:


Many of us have spent countless Sunday evenings engrossed in a great plot, gorgeous costumes, evocative settings, and witty dialogue—in short, watching MASTERPIECE on PBS. It’s the longest-running, most-honored drama series on primetime television—known for its high-quality adaptations of classic works by authors such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Eliot, and James as well as more contemporary literature and mysteries.

Modern Marvels

The graphic novel is an exciting new form of storytelling. Here, fi ve Jewish artists experiment with words and pictures to tell stories of childhood, war, and desire; to conjure up lost worlds, both real and imaginary; and to contemplate history, myth, and the individual psyche.

Objects of Art

Images from the Picturing America collection present Native American art from pre-historic Anasazi pottery, through nineteenth-century ledger art, to the pottery and basketry of the early twentieth century. Art created by non-Natives depicting Indian imagery are also included and give rise to a tension often expressed by Native American writers: how do we become the artists rather than the object of the art?

Making Tracks

In 1876, fewer than fifty years after the first railroad lines were laid in North America, Walt Whitman composed a poem—“To a Locomotive in Winter”—that captured the power and energy of the train, the machine that Whitman hailed as the “Type of the modern—emblem of motion and power-pulse of the continent.” The images in Picturing America suggest ways in which the railway transformed the American landscape and helped determine where settlements and industry would develop.

Land of Opportunity

The story of the championship racehorse Seabiscuit as told by Laura Hillenbrand is the story of the American Dream realized. The central figures—the horse, the trainer, the jockey, and the owner—seemed destined for ordinary lives—for obscurity, if not for failure. Yet they came together in the gloomy years of the Great Depression and through a combination of determination, perseverance, and previously unrealized talent, they achieved greatness and captured the hearts of people worldwide.

Neighbors: The World Next Door

Jewish history is, in many ways, a history of encounters with neighbors, and the story of the Jewish neighbor is, in turn, a story of the wider world. But if the Jewish experience has been in some ways exceptional, the experience finds ready parallels in those of other peoples—especially in contemporary America.

Featured Library: River Forest Public Library

The River Forest (Ill.) Public Library (RFPL) is celebrating Mark Twain this month with a variety of programs for all ages.

First- through fifth-graders were invited to “Tom Sawyer Days” on October 3, where they learned about Tom’s life and times, played some old-fashioned games, and made a yummy treat.


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