- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
THEY HAVE MORE CARDHOLDERS THAN VISA, MORE CUSTOMERS THAN AMAZON
AND MORE OUTLETS THAN McDONALDS . . .
Meet America's Librarians
You might not have given much thought to the librarian behind the desk at your local branch — much less her often caricatured depiction in Hollywood — but being a dedicated library user (as I'm sure you are!) you might want to find out a little more.
This quirky but informative documentary about librarians and their portrayal in the movies — a and their important role in defending our civil rights will definitely fit the bill.
Listen to what Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York has to say about this intriguing film:
"The Hollywood Librarian is an illuminating portrait of librarians as they have been portrayed in the movies—often bespectacled, occasionally glamorous, sometimes too brainy for their own good—juxtaposed with the real-life librarians, both men and women, who are the gatekeepers of knowledge in an increasingly digital and globalizing world. A touching, amusing, insightful and entirely delightful film, The Hollywood Librarian also manages to make critical points about how censorship still intrudes on our lives and how the freedom to read remains a right we must all defend."
And by clicking on "Request" you can have this documentary DVD transferred to your neighborhood SJPL library!
Bill Cunningham New York (coming soon to San José Public Library I hope!)
In both films the subjects are avid collectors (minimalist art and fashion photography) who live in small, cramped New York City (NYC) apartments packed to the rafters with their collections. What seems even more remarkable are their humble backgrounds. Although they hobnob with the fashion and art worlds’ most famous denizens, they are not wealthy or born into famous families.
Herb & Dorothy Vogel are an endearing art-amassing couple. Dorothy was a librarian (Yay for librarians!) and Herb was a postal worker. They collected minimalist and conceptual art before it became popular and rather than selling their massive collection (over 4000 pieces, worth millions of dollars) they donated all of it! They continue to collect art and never miss a gallery opening. They are personal acquaintances with hundreds of artists (including Christo and Chuck Close, who both appear in the film) with whom they visit and select their favorite pieces. See the PBS website for a few clips of the movie.
Cunningham is a photographer for the New York Times and produces a weekly narrated slide show “On the Street” documenting fashion in NYC. Although he does occasionally photograph models, most of his images are of people walking on the streets in NYC who dress stylishly and sometimes outlandishly. Cunningham is over 80 years old and has been capturing NYC’s street fashion for over 50 years. He gets around by bicycle and over his career has had 28 bicycles stolen. You can visit the film's website for more information.
Winner of an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2010 and much other acclaim, Inside Job is an analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, from which we will continue to feel the repercussions for many years to come. Prepare to be enraged as you learn of the callous and hypocritical behavior of financial insiders, politicians, and academics, and watch them squirm under the incisive interviews. It's two hours long, but worth every minute.
Another novel well worth reading is the latest by Lionel Shriver So Much for That (2010) where the conflicting dreams of a married couple are suddenly complicated by the extreme need to retain their current medical insurance. Although an engaging work of fiction, this is also a thought-provoking story about a subject very much in the news.
To find more information on the health care debate in the SJPL online catalog, do a keyword search using "health care debate" and "health care reform." Among the non-fiction books and eBooks on the subject, are also some notable non-fiction DVDs (non-fiction DVDs can be requested/reserved just as books can be--Just click the "request" box at the top of the catalog page showing the DVD title information and enter library card number and other information.)
Some of these non-fiction DVD titles include Sick Around America, a PBS production from 2009;
Some of you know that the world's best known unknown street artist, Banksy, was up for an Academy Award last week for his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. The thing is, he's an artist who works incognito and he was not about to "reveal" his identity should he win, but since the award for best documentary went to Inside Job by Charles Ferguson, well, the drama died in a blur. Too bad, because Banksy was in L.A., but at least we have his film to enjoy and judge for ourselves the merits of this hugely creative bloke from Bristol, England. Banksy's been on the scene for a number of years and it should be stated that this documentary (film?) is more about an "artist" attempting to make a film about Banksy. Confusing, yes, but watch for yourself and decide whether it's a real documentary or, as some have suggested, a carefully staged creation of Banksy's endless well of creativity. It's a wonderful look at a contemporary urban art form and, in some ways, a look at whether the art world is about talent and dedication or, more likely, massive amounts of hype, publicity, and yes, filthy lucre ... a.k.a. money. I was rooting for Banksy at the Oscars, personally, but what I'm really rooting for is his art and the art of others who practice this heightened form of urban graffiti. It's compelling stuff and you won't regret the romp through this tale of contemporary art.
During recent trip to the beach, I was absolutely captivated by the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Then a few days later I caught the 6 part BBC miniseries Wild Pacific on the Discovery Channel and was truly astounded by the beauty of this great ocean and the people and creatures that inhabit it. For once the HD feature on my TV paid dividends as the picture and images were absolutely incredible, so check out this family friendly miniseries that will captivate and amaze.