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Library Services, Spring 2017: Library Instruction as Immersive Experience 

In Spring 2014 I had the good fortune to attend a performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth, with Sir Kenneth Branagh in the title role, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York; the official trailer may give you some sense of what the production was about: Another short video, in which Oz Woloshyn interviews Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of …

Posted 5 days ago by

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On Breaking the 4th Wall: Education Program, Spring 2017 

The fourth wall in theater or film is the one that separates the actors or characters from us. Actors in modern realistic theater ignore the audience, focusing their attention solely on the dramatic world. Disengaged from the audience, they are, for all intensive purposes, “alone” in a public setting -- but perhaps for the conceptual …

Posted 6 days ago by

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Today in History: Great Emigration Departs for Oregon 

Do you recall when you were first introduced to the Oregon Trail as a unit of study? Maybe you were in fourth grade and tasked with creating a diorama or model wagon? Or had to assume the character of a pioneer, write a letter, or visit the historic site? The Oregon Trail has long been an …

Posted 7 days ago by

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Today in History: Brown versus Board of Education 

Did you know that the Negro Education Club was alive and well at Teachers College in the 1920s? Mable Carney, Teachers College alumna and Head of the Department of Rural Education, 1917-1941, advocated for race relations? Or that Marion Thompson Wright, TC student, was the first Black historian to receive a doctorate at Columbia -- in 1941? An institution …

Posted 12 days ago by

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Today in History: Dust Storm! Great Plains to Eastern Seaboard 

Drylongso's eyes lit up. He nodded, eagerly. "Earth's not made to heave up so, but to lie down, The ground stands up to teach folks not to plow the grasslands." "Seems so, said Lindy's dad. "There was a dust storm once, started in New Mexico and traveled as far as Washington, D.C. Folks had overused …

Posted 18 days ago by

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Book Talk: Stitching Truth 

Author and journalist Jeff Kelly Lowenstein travelled to Santiago, Chile as a Fulbright Scholar in 2013, and so lived in Chile during the 40th Anniversary of the country’s 1973 military coup. His book The Chilean Chronicles: Moments and Memory Forty Years After the Pinochet Coup contains his observations of this important moment in Chilean history. …

Posted 24 days ago by

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Take Another Look! The Art of the Poster 

Whether they are produced in print or electronically, posters are an effective way to advertise and promote. Graphics and text combine to catch the eye and inform prospective attendees about upcoming events and offerings of the Gottesman Libraries' Education Program. But, did you ever wonder where the images come from? While many are found "labeled …

Posted 26 days ago by

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Today in History: May Day 

….Round them and above, Glitter, with dark recesses interposed, Casement, and cottage-roof, and stems of trees Half-veiled in vapoury cloud, the silver steam Of dews fast melting on their leafy boughs By the strong sunbeams smitten. Like a mast Of gold, the Maypole shines; as if the rays Of morning, aided by exhaling dew, With …

Posted 28 days ago by

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Celebrating Voices: International Poetry 

In researching our institution's connection to poetry, I am interested to learn that Professor Allan Abbott (1886-1956) sought to inspire reform in the teaching of English by encouraging teachers to tailor their selection of literature to student interests. Interestingly, he co-authored with M.R. Tribue, of the University of North Carolina, A Measure of Ability to Judge Poetry: …

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Today in History: Library of Congress Is Established 

If you happen to stroll along First Street in our nation's capitol, you will stop dead in your tracks to admire the Thomas Jefferson Building, a grand example of the Beaux Arts; marble, granite, gold, bronze, and mahogany are among the fine materials used in a lead design by 19th century Washington architects, John L. Smithmeyer …

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Today in History: Great San Francisco Earthquake 

Caused by a slip on the San Andreas Fault, the great San Francisco Earthquake occurred around 5:15 am on April 18, 1906, with a magnitude of close to 8 on the Richter scale. The earthquake, which lasted less than one minute, devastated the city of San Francisco, with wide spread building collapses and fires -- …

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Today in History: Titanic Hits an Iceberg 

Late in the evening of April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, a large and luxurious ocean liner that had departed from Southhampton, England four days earlier, struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. The collision damaged the ship's hull, comprised of 16 compartments believed to be watertight; five compartments on the starboard side ruptured -- …

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Today in History: William Wordsworth Is Born 

OH there is blessing in this gentle breeze, A visitant that while it fans my cheek Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings From the green fields, and from yon azure sky. Whate'er its mission, the soft breeze can come To none more grateful than to me; escaped From the vast city, where I …

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Today in History: U.S. Withdraws from Vietnam 

I never understood why my friend Mary wore a pewter-colored bracelet on her left wrist to school, until the day she explained its meaning; her older brother, a mere 18 year old boy, was drafted for service some months prior, and unfortunately taken by soldiers in the North. Where exactly, she did not know -- …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: The Black Death 

The Black Death or Bubonic Plague dates back to March 20, 1345 when, according to scholars at the University of Paris, there was "a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius." This deadly disease left 50 million people dead from a bacterium transmitted by the fleas of rats. Flu-like …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: Uranus Is Discovered 

In Greek mythology, Uranus is Father Heaven, brother of the sea god Pontus; husband of Earth Goddess, Gaia; and father of the Titans, members of the second generation of divine beings. Did you know that some of the moons surrounding Uranus are named after Shakespearian characters: Oberon and Titania, from A Midsummer Night's Dream; Ariel …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: Remembering Georgia O’Keeffe 

Fittingly dressed as one's biography, it is the day to present to the classroom. Babe Ruth, Marie Curie, and Queen Elizabeth file ceremoniously through the doors, but the school greeter -- cum artist-teacher, casts his eye quickly to the back of the entrance line and smiles in surprise, recognizing, recollecting, and yes, approving the choice. She sports a …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: Kennedy Establishes the Peace Corps 

If you explore the Peace Corps website, and search for library or librarian among its "Stories", you will certainly find work being done to advance literacy and improve education throughout the world -- Moldova to Tanzania to Guyana. You'll read of heroic efforts by teachers to build and stock libraries; the essential relationship between libraries …

Posted 2 months ago by

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Today in History: Gulf War Ground Offensive Begins 

Security is tight as a lid around New York City, given the build up of events. People are on edge, realizing that the U.S. is entering into serious warfare, despite all the questions raised. We find ourselves comforting friends and family who are concerned about overseas travel and the inevitable gridlock around the United Nations where …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Today in History: St Valentine 

The rose is red, the violet's blue, The honey's sweet, and so are you. Thou art my love, and I am thine; I drew thee to my Valentine. The lot was cut and then I drew, And fortune said it should be you. -- traditional English nursery rhyme, A Valentine for You   Valentine of …

Posted 3 months ago by

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