School’s In Session at the Los Angeles Public Library

Fall means back-to-school, but at the Los Angeles Public Library learning never ceases. From assisting students enrolled in summer classes with research and resources to advising students on their school reading lists, librarians just wrapped up a busy season, including motivating over 30,000 kids to crack the books through the Summer Reading Clubs. As part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Summer of Learning,” kids across the city were given badges for taking part in educational programs like a game designing workshop live-streamed to several neighborhood libraries. Hitting the ground running, LAPL’s librarians are energized and ready with a full slate of programs and resources to help students have a successful new school year.

With the recent adoption of Common Core State Standards for schools in California, there’s a greater emphasis on digital learning than ever before, so many of the Library’s resources like Student Zones are evolving to address the changing needs of students. Offering computers, study tables and homework supplies, including access to free electronic resources, online tutoring, and free printouts, Student Zones provide a safe, focused place for kids to study after school. Supported by the Library Foundation, Student Zones at 10 neighborhood libraries will be newly renovated for the fall, and Student Zone Helpers will be added to 15 branches to assist kids with their homework and computer questions.

“Our Student Zone has proven to be an invaluable resource to students,” explains Justin Sugiyama, a Young Adult Librarian at Benjamin Franklin Branch. “In our community many families cannot afford computers or Internet access so there is a real need.” With students being tasked to use online resources, as well as become proficient with digital media, the need for technological support is ever-expanding. “Librarians in general are very tech savvy, love to teach, and can provide both students and teachers with instruction in the use of digital resources such as electronic journal databases and online catalogs,” says Sugiyama.

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Beyond helping students with current assignments, the Los Angeles Public Library is also committed to paving the path for lifelong learning. Made possible by generous donors of the Library Foundation, Student Smart offers full-length practice tests (SAT, PSAT, ACT), plus workshops and seminars to build study skills and prepare students for college. Recently, middle school students were invited to take part in a Student Smart College Motivational seminar at Central Library. “Only 5% of adults above age 25 in our community are college graduates,” says Sugiyama. “Hearing presentations and discussions on overcoming challenges from a panel of successful college graduates on the importance of higher education can make a real impact on young peoples lives here.”

Patsy Tuck, a librarian at the Eagle Rock Branch, is excited about the upcoming five-part SAT Preparation series as part of the Student Smart program, which is expanding from 5 branches to 12 for the 2014/2015 school year. “I’m always struck by the overwhelming positive reviews on surveys from teens,” says Tuck about Student Smart, which is the only program to offer free SAT prep in the entire city. Tuck believes the Library is a lifeline, “We are vital to the educational health of the City. I can see how we touch the lives of our patrons in a positive way on a daily basis,” Tuck says. “Our services are FREE to everyone in the City, we do not discriminate and we embrace our City’s diversity.”

Beyond free computer use and Wi-Fi, books, movies, and magazines, the Los Angeles Public Library offers a range of resources students need to succeed in school:

Full STEAM Ahead – Workshops and resources that spark kids’ interest in science and technology.

Live Homework Help – A free, online tutoring service for grades K to 12.

Student Smart – Full-length practice tests (SAT, PSAT, ACT), plus workshops and seminars to build study skills and get ready for college.

Student Zones – A place for kids to study and learn at the Library.

–Online homework resources and information like databases, word processing programs, and more.

Learn more about all of these programs at lapl.org/ya.

 

Looking Forward to Fall at ALOUD

September is right around the corner, and ALOUD will be back for its fall season to offer Angelenos the chance to engage with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, MacArthur geniuses, international peace activists, groundbreaking filmmakers, and more. Here’s what you can look forward to this fall at the downtown historic Central Library with these 17 free public programs.

ALOUD kicks off with a bang on Tuesday, Sept. 9, as James Ellroy, one of America’s greatest living crime writers, sits down to discuss his newest novel, Perfidia. In conversation with Walter Kirn – author of his own recent riveting take on a Los Angeles cold case – Ellroy uncovers a corrupt Los Angeles of the 1940s.

On Monday, Sept. 15, naturalist Diane Ackerman discusses her optimistic new manifesto on the earth-shaking changes now affecting every part of our lives, and those of our fellow creatures, The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us. On Wednesday, Sept. 17, Kim Bancroft recounts the story of Heyday Books, a plucky small press with bid ideas, with founder Malcolm Margolin.

Pictured above, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow and award-winning author Jesmyn Ward take the stage to discuss their memoirs of a South still clouded by a troubled past on Thursday, Sept. 25.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, in partnership with Ambulante California, ALOUD welcomes filmmakers Lourdes Grobet and Julianna Brannum with excerpts of their new documentaries illuminating indigenous stories on film.  And on Tuesday, Oct. 21, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Poland, ALOUD presents Polish Solidarity activist Adam Michnik and Cairo-based journalist Yasmine El Rashidi for a conversation about revolutions both velvet and violent.

On Thursday, Oct. 16, Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times journalist Héctor Tobar provides an astounding account of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped beneath thousands of feet of rock for a second-breaking 69 days.

In October, as part of The L.A. Odyssey Project, the Library Foundation’s month-long exploration of Homer’s epic poem, ALOUD presents: writers Zachary Mason (The Lost Books of the Odyssey) and Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles) on Thursday, Oct. 2; and MacArthur Award-winning author David Finkel (Thank You for Your Service) and Professor Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Director for Medical Virtual Reality at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies – who has pioneered the use of virtual reality-based exposure therapy to treat veterans suffering from PTSD – on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

On Thursday, Oct. 23, poets Robin Coste Lewis and Claudia Rankine read from their work and discuss how poetry can become an active tool for rethinking race in America. And on Thursday, Oct. 30, bestselling author Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran) ponders the role of fiction in 21st century America with her new book, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books.

KCRW Bookworm Michael Silverblatt interviews the great Marilynne Robinson about Lila: A Novel on Wednesday, Nov. 5. And the next night, ALOUD heads west to the Writers Guild Theater for “An Evening with Colm Toibin and Rachel Kushner.” During the special offsite program, Toibin (Nora Webster) and Kushner (The Flamethrowers) will read and discuss how they create characters that erupt off the page in novels where the political and the personal are locked in a deep and fascinating embrace.  This event is ticketed.

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore reveals “The Secret History of Wonder Woman,” with the riveting true story about the making of the most popular female superhero of all time, illustrating a crucial history of twentieth century feminism.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, bestselling author Sarah Thornton (Seven Days in the Art World) discusses her research – how she rummaged through artists’ bank accounts, bedrooms, and studios and witnessed their crises and triumphs – for her new book, 33 Artists in 3 Acts.

And closing out the season on Thursday, Nov. 20, Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Miles, writer Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth), and Rabbi Sharon Brous consider the comprehensive new Norton Anthology of World Religions and whether or not religion can really be defined.

The entire ALOUD Fall 2014 calendar is now available at www.lfla.org/aloud where you can make free reservations to attend September events. All October programs will open for public reservations on Friday, September 5th and November programs will open for public reservations on Friday, October 3rd. Members may reserve now for all fall season programs by using their Member-only link.

Top image: Jesmyn Ward (credit: Tony Cook) and Charles M. Blow (credit: Beowulf Sheehan)

 

Lost & Found at the Movies: The Ever-Adaptable Buck Henry

Befitting our library setting, legendary writer, actor, and director Buck Henry will explore writing and the art of adaptation at the next installment of Lost & Found at the Movies, the Library Foundation’s new series on film culture with series curator John Nein. On Monday, August 25, the special program will take a look at rare renditions of Shakespeare and a handful of lesser-known, wildly imaginative adaptations and Henry’s own literary adaptions, including Catch-22, The Graduate (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1968 for Best Adapted Screenplay), and To Die For.

The program will also explore Henry’s rich work as an actor that spans theater, film and television and includes The Steve Allen Show, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Eating Raoul, Grumpy Old Men, The Secret War of Henry Friggs, The Real Blonde, Short Cuts, Gloria and Milos Forman’s often overlooked masterpiece Taking Off. He even hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live ten times, appearing first in 1976, and for the last time in 1980. Before we hear from Henry on the art of adaptation, here’s a few clips from some of his many roles–including part of the Library Foundation’s own 2013 project, What Every Happened to Moby Dick?.

Screenwriter, Catch 22

Screenwriter, What’s Up Doc?

Screenwriter, To Die For

Nominated for an Academy Award in 1979 for Best Director for Heaven Can Wait

One of his numerous turns on Saturday Night Live

Henry was he the co-creator (with Mel Brooks) of Get Smart, he recently played Tina Fey’s father on 30 Rock, and you can even check out an early role from his college days: a Dartmouth 1950 orientation video, My First Week at Dartmouth.

And of course, musical contributor to last year’s Moby Dick Project

 

For more information about attending this free event, visit our website.

Machinations at the Library

Everyone loves the Los Angeles Public Library because it’s “free and open” to all, but what happens when artists are invited to creatively respond to the Library’s space and collection? Last Saturday night, ALOUD invited the Machine Project, one of L.A.’s most experimental and dynamic programming teams, to reimagine the Central Library. Doors opened at 8 PM after Library hours, and art enthusiasts spanned the block as if the historical library was holding its own downtown art walk. Crowds poured in to a bustling second floor—with music, dancing, drinks, and art installations flashing from every arm of the rotunda.

“Machine has presented public art at beaches, parking lots, museums, and sidewalks, but the architecture of the Library afforded us a whole new opportunity,” explains Mark Allen, the executive director of Machine Project. “I was greatly influenced by the crazy intersection of style forming and surrounding the rotunda space. From colonialist murals, 1990s meets Disneyworld, to abundant model train sets, the diversity of styles inspired a medley of performances working with the Library’s varying aesthetics. Everyone got to experience a night of wandering around the assorted architecture wondering what was going on, creating a sense of intrigue embodying the diverse aesthetic of the library itself.”

Here’s a look at some of the revampings that “freed” up our typical associations with card catalogs, stacks of books, and the hushed beauty of the marbled rotunda.

“Hallelujah Already”

Dancer Jmy James Kidd (pictured above) along with multi-instrumentalist and composer Tara Jane ONeil took center stage in the rotunda with a sound and dance improvisation inspired by a photograph of legendary choreographer Bella Lewitzky in the LAPL’s photo collection.

“Capsule Seance Projection”

Inspired by used books unearthed in a library book sale and featuring an omniscient head atop a stack of books, director Joel Fox created a site-specific video installation called “Capsule Seance Projection” in Children’s Literature.

“Shades of the Jeepneys Planet: Exploring the Known Unknown”

Jeepneys, named after colorful, iconic public transportation vehicles populating the Philippine islands, originating from discarded U.S. WWII army jeeps, capture the spirit of reinvention in their work to create other-worldly sounds, movements, and visuals, manifesting “electro Pinayism waves” that travel through space and time to heal and inspire love–here they landed in Teen ‘Scape where they pulsed over tables, bean bags, and computer stations.

“Untitled”

Artist and writer Jibade-Khalil Huffman crossed the concept of a card catalog with social media to make an interactive installation that invited guests to tweet questions throughout the night.

“No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station”

Last but not least, as part of this summer’s special exhibit “No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station,” train clubs set up spectacular model trains throughout the Getty Gallery that took audiences beyond your average train depot and into elaborate worlds of haunted houses and crop circles, weddings and funerals, and even a secret nightclub for the wild-at-heart. Learn more about upcoming model trains on display at Central Library.

All photos by Javier Guillen.

Globetrotting with the LAPL’s Travel Poster Collection

Summer is the season of travel. Whether you are planning an exotic international trip or a laidback SoCal staycation, the Los Angeles Public Library’s Travel Poster Collection will inspire anyone wanting to get away. We’ve selected a few of the beautiful historical posters housed in the International Languages Department and Rare Books at Central Library. The artwork finely demonstrates the sensibilities of 1920s and 1930s Art Deco and early Futurism, and showcases some of the wonderful treasures of one of Los Angeles’s greatest cultural destinations–the Library.

Bermuda


 

L’ete Sur La Cote D’azure


 

Japanese Government Railways


 

Mexican Tourist Association


 

Sevilla, Fiestas de Primavera 1930, Semana Santa Feria En El Recinto De La Exposicion Ibero – Americana


Romances in Egypt, Created by M. Azmy

Learn more about the LAPL’s Visual Collections here.

Fun and Free for the Fourth of July

Looking for fun things to celebrate the fourth with kids or teens? From stories to crafts to music, Megan Katz, a Children’s Librarian at the John C. Fremont Branch has handpicked events your family will love. Not only are these selections fun, but they’ll also teach your little ones about the history of this important holiday without the stuffiness of a text book. Check out all of Megan’s free suggestions below at the Los Angeles Public Library.

http://jpg1.lapl.org/00109/00109714.jpg 

EVENTS:

Tuesday, July 1, 4:00 pm
Fourth of July Craft and Storytime
(for Children)
Harbor Gateway Branch

Thursday, July 3, 4:00 pm
Fourth of July Ice Cream Party
(for Families)
John C. Fremont Branch

Tuesday, July 8, 4:00 pm
Bluegrass Folk Americana with “Sometimes in Tune”
(for Families)
Encino-Tarzana Branch

Tuesday, July 15, 4:00 pm
Independence Day Craft
(for Teens)
Alma Reaves Woods Watts Branch

BOOKS:

The Declaration of Independence: The Words That Made America
Author: Sam Fink
Book Jacket for: The Declaration of Independence
The text of the Declaration of Independence is rendered artistically, along with colored drawings, to truly illustrate this most important document.

 

 

 

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence
Author: Gretchen Woelfle
Book Jacket for: Mumbet's Declaration of Independence
This beautiful picture book tells the true story of a slave who took her master to court to win her freedom in the late 1700s. When the Declaration of Independence was drafted and her state adopted a new constitution, Mumbet decided that the freedoms promised in these documents were meant for all people, including herself.

 

Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies
Author: Cokie Roberts
Book Jacket for: Founding mothers : the women who raised our nation
New York Times
bestselling author Cokie Roberts adapts her acclaimed book on the women of the American Revolution for children.

 

 

 

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Civil War Soldier
Author: Thomas Ratliff
Book Jacket for: You wouldn't want to be a Civil War soldier! : a war you'd rather not fight
Part of a popular series, this nonfiction selection describes life as a Civil War soldier from living conditions to weaponry to medical care. The book addresses the reader as an actual soldier and includes wacky illustrations to make it a fun read.

 

 

George: George Washington, Our Founding Father
Author: Francis Anthony Keating
Book Jacket for: George : George Washington, our founding father
For younger readers, George Washington’s story is told from his own point of view in a picture book format.

 

 

 

 

Independence Day Crafts
Author: Mary Berendes
Book Jacket for: Independence Day crafts
Aimed at very young crafters, this book provides instructions for making fun Fourth of July crafts, mostly with items from around the house.

 

 

 

–Post by Megan Katz

–Top photo by Steve Young, 1964, part of the Library’s Photo Collection. “The year, the school, and even the clothes were new this morning as these five students of Harding Street Elementary School, Sylmar, gathered for their first flag raising with – a new flag.”

 

Lost & Found at the Movies: All That Glitters

“I love watching movies. It’s my drug of choice,” award-winning filmmaker Miguel Arteta once confessed in an interview. This Monday, June 30, Arteta—a self-professed Turner Classics addict—will join Lost & Found at the Movies in the first of three summer programs at the downtown Central Library. Curated by John Nein, the upcoming edition of the Library Foundation’s new series on film culture will feature a conversation with Arteta on some of his favorite classics from Hollywood’s Golden Era. From groundbreaking women’s roles to undiscovered works, Arteta (Cedar Rapids, The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck, Star Maps) will share his passion for the great films of the classical era as Nein digs up some rare home videos from the UCLA Film & Television Archive to take us behind-the-scenes of moviemaking during that time. Before we revisit some glittering moments of cinematic history, here’s a look at a few Hollywood gems to get you ready for Monday’s program.

Clash by Night with Marilyn Monroe

Possessed with Joan Crawford

A Letter to Three Wives with Ann Southern and Jeanne Crain

Beyond the Forest with Bette Davis

Samuel Fuller’s Shock Corridor

Learn more about Lost & Found at the Movies and make your free reservation!

Dear ONE: Love & Longing in Mid-Century Queer America

From 1953 to 1967, ONE Magazine, America’s first openly gay and lesbian periodical, reached thousands of readers each month—many who were isolated and in search of community.  Those readers wrote back to ONE seeking counsel and advice, or friendship and understanding. Subjects ranged from family life to coming out stories to tales of harassment. In 2000, historian Craig Loftin was working on his dissertation at USC when he came across a collection of these letters, stored at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives – the oldest LGBTQ organization in the Unites States, and the publisher of ONE Magazine. Many of the collections were unprocessed and uncatalogued. I became a volunteer and helped sift through boxes of mysterious documents,” Loftin explains. “Finding the letters was completely unexpected; I wasn’t looking for them. In fact, no one at the Archive knew they were there.”

The data he compiled on issues facing gay people in the 1950s and 1960s became the basis for his dissertation and his book Masked Voices, published by SUNY Press. The press suggested he also compile the ONE letters in a separate volume, which became Letters to ONE: Gay and Lesbian Voices from the 1950s and 1960s, published in 2012. ONE Archives then reached out to director Zsa Zsa Gershick about adapting the material for a dramatization to celebrate ONEs 60th anniversary that same year. Gershick, who had created other oral histories like, “Gay Old Girls” and “Secret Service,” about lesbians in the military, was familiar with transforming long letters into tight, poignant soliloquies. For the adaptation, Gershick faced similar challenges, “The task was to find each letter’s central theme, its heart, and seamlessly pare from that heart or essence everything that obscured it. I consider this a sacred endeavor, requiring a great deal of respect, focus and prayer to get it right,” she says.

On Saturday, June 28th Gershick will direct a dramatic reading of these letters for the ALOUD stage, in a production she titled “Dear ONE: Love and Longing in Mid-Century Queer America.” As Gershick worked her way through Loftin’s collection, she fell in love with each letter. “Each one gives us a window into an era of terrible prejudice. Many people today don’t know that American queerfolk of that era, if discovered, could be jailed, disemployed, imprisoned in mental hospitals, or lobotomized. The letters reflect this reality. Some letter writers boldly signed their names; others remained anonymous. But each correspondent, in the simple act of writing, asserts his/her right to be,” she says.

Despite all of the hardships facing gay people at the time, Loftin says he was surprised by the resilience and optimism of the letter writers, “So many letters had an upbeat tone even when they described tragic events. Some of them were hysterically funny. Instead of thinking about gay people in the 1950s as victims, I began seeing them as dynamic and creative historical agents carving out a niche for themselves in a hostile society. In these letters, one finds early stirrings of a gay rights consciousness at a mass level.”

From gay marriage to employment discrimination, the letters shed light on many issues still being confronted today. “No two letters are quite the same. Reading the letters, we try to imagine who these people were, what they looked like, where they lived, the details of their lives. We try to imagine how their voice might have sounded. We bring our own experiences to these letters and make sense of them in our own ways,” says Loftin. Gershick hopes her adaptation will capture these deeply moving voices, “Upon hearing these letters performed aloud, I hope that the audience laughs, cries, learns a little history and embraces our humanity.”

Learn more about the upcoming ALOUD program here.

Main image: ONE Magazine covers from the 1950′s and 1960′s, courtesy of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.

Help Feed Kids’ Bodies and Minds

To ensure that students who receive free school lunches don’t go hungry during summer break, the Library Foundation has teamed up with the Los Angeles Public Library and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to expand the Summer Lunch Program to 10 libraries. Volunteers are needed for all aspects of the lunch program—from serving food, setting up lunch and clean up to helping with kids’ activities and enrolling kids in the reading clubs.

Volunteer Dates: June 9 to August 1

Volunteer Hours: Monday through Friday, noon to 2:00 PM

Commitment:  At least 2 days (4 hours) a week for all 8 weeks of the program.

Requirements: Volunteers must attend an orientation and have a valid Los Angeles Public Library card.

Ages 14 and up may volunteer.

Participating Libraries: Central Library, Cypress Park Branch, Exposition Park Branch, Hyde Park Branch, Mark Twain Branch, Pacoima Branch, Pico Union Branch, San Pedro Branch, Van Nuys Branch, Vernon Branch

To learn more about volunteering, please contact the branch directly or Volunteer Services at 213.228.7540.

10 Ways to Savor the Summer with the Los Angeles Public Library

It’s the season of fun in the sun, far-off travel, BBQs, and of course catching up on some rest and relaxation. Here are some FREE ideas on how to use the Los Angeles Public Library to make the most of your summer.

#1 – Travel Light

Don’t overload your suitcase with travel guides. From Lonely Planet to Fodor’s, your favorite travel books are now available as downloads for your iPad or tablet.

 

 

#2 – Talk Like a Local

Preparing a trip to a foreign country? From Italian to Korean to Arabic to Russian, the Library offers online language courses through Mango Languages and Powerspeak Languages.

#3 – Photography 101

Before you take that scenic hike or light fireworks for Independence Day, learn how to better capture your summer moments. Through Gale Courses, you can take six-week interactive online courses on mastering digital photography and Photoshop, as well as other topics like computer programming, creative writing, and financial planning.

 

#4 – Cook with Class

The farmer’s market is in full swing in the summertime, so take your culinary skills to the next level. Enroll in an online cooking class with Universal Class, a continuing education program with over 500 online courses led by expert instructors.

 

#5 – Plan a Staycation

How do you take a docent-led tour of Central Library? What’s a good L.A. noir read? Where might you find maps of canyon trails? Use the Ask a Librarian tool to call, e-mail, text, or IM for answers to your library-related questions.

 

 


#6 – Easy Listening

Hoping to read the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Goldfinch, but don’t want to drag that behemoth book to the beach? Check out the audio version along with thousands of other books as CDs or downloadable forms.


#7- Get Crafty

Browse the Library’s calendar of arts and crafts activities to keep inspired this summer from the Crochet and Knitting Club at Valley Plaza to the LACMA Teen Art Workshops at Pio Pico-Koreatown.

 

#8 – Now Playing

If you want to curl up on your couch for movie night, or watch a film on a big screen, the Los Angeles Public Library has you covered. Stream movies at home through hoopla or OverDrive. Or visit a branch for regular and special film screenings like “Tuesday Night @ the Movies” at Memorial or “Saturday Matinees” at Los Feliz.

#9 – Stay Current

With free downloads of your favorite magazines through Zinio, you won’t need to hang out in waiting rooms to stay in the know. There’s Newsweek and The Economist for your news fix, or Us Weekly and Rolling Stone for your pleasure, among many more popular titles to choose from.


#10 – Real Research

For the more serious-minded, use the new Book a Librarian service to schedule a half-hour session with a reference librarian or subject specialist at Central Library. From starting your own business to digging into your family genealogy, it’s never been easier to learn how to use the resources of the Library.

 

 


Visit lapl.org for more info on all these resources.

Art work by Florian Brozek.