Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Join us tomorrow night, April 28, at 6:30pm for a screening of the award-winning documentary The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the ImageFarmworkers’ Struggle, the first film to cover the full arc of the labor leader’s life. Using archival footage, newsreel, and present-day interviews with his prominent contemporaries, the documentary traces the remarkable contributions of Chávez and others involved in this epic struggle. It offers a different look at the renowned labor leader than the feature film currently in theaters. Co-director Rick Tejada-Flores will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions after the screening.

This event is co-sponsored by the Albany Library, the Albany FilmFest, and the Friends of the Albany Library. Free.

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Telling the Truth: a Patron’s Story

Over a hundred years ago, the Navajo holy man, Torlino, spoke the following words to Washington Matthews, (linguist and ethnographer).

I am ashamed before the earth;
I am ashamed before the heavens;
I am ashamed before the dawn;
I am ashamed before the evening twilight;
I am ashamed before the blue sky;
I am ashamed before the sun;
I am ashamed before that standing within me
Which speaks with me.
Some of these things are always looking at me.
I am never out of sight.
Therefore I must tell the truth.
That is why I always tell the truth.

I hold my word tight to my breast.

Serious words about a serious subject: the Truth! Sometimes the Truth has a lighter side. Library patron, Claudette, “came clean” about a favorite library book she’d kept for herself many years ago. Back in the Eighties she kept a copy of Purro and the Prattleberries, borrowed on her sister’s card. She liked the book so much she said it was lost and paid the library for its replacement cost. Then in 2014, her conscience got the best of her and she mailed the book back to Albany Library. The staff was astonished at her memory, as much as her honesty. (Do you remember the books you’ve squirrelled away???) See the book and letter below:

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A theme made for a library: Tell Your Story! Last Tuesday, Art Is Education kicked off at Albany Library with a craft workshop led by Marion Coleman. Violet Juno and Cybele Gerachis assisted. Tracing their arms and outstretched hands, kids and adults fashioned a pair of arms to hold their special library books. These books were full of surprises, including pop-up hearts, origami cranes, flowers and much more. Besides taking home artwork, participants created a community storybook to display in the library. (See photos below or visit Juvie Fiction to see the art, yourself) Remember to check the Art Is Education brochure for the great events scheduled for all ages during the month of March!

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Centennial Puppet Show

Meet Owlie Two Hoots and Coyote Cal, a couple of pals from 1913 Albany. See them hoot and skitter around town, finally getting to their new library to check out some good books. Cool critters have been doing the same thing for a hundred years! Old-timey music from the fabulous Internet Archive gives Coyote and Owlie something to howl about.

Read a pdf of the script:


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Valentine’s Mystery Date

The staff of Albany Library invite you on a Mystery Date (not with US!) but with a book from our capacious library shelves. Color-coded for Adult, Teen and Children, the gift-wrapped mystery book can’t help but be a “Happy Valentine!” Don’t forget to leave a heart-shaped message for the library on our Reference Desk. The theme is “What I Love.” And “Take a Chance on Love” by guessing in our Candy Count! 4 winners from 4 age groups will take home a quarter of the candy and a gift card.

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100 Year Birthday Bash!

On Sunday, January 26, 2014, the people of Albany celebrated the 100th Birthday of their Library! It was also the 20th Anniversary of Albany Library’s move to Marin Avenue.

Local political figures joined the crowd of well-wishers assembled in the Community Center Hall. Speakers included Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, Mayor Peggy Thomsen, Alameda County Librarian Jean Hofacket, and Congressional Aide Jonathan Gast (from Representative Barbara Lee’s office).  Kevin Jenkins represented District 5’s Supervisor, Keith Carson. (Photos courtesy of  Peggy McQuaid)

The following groups sponsored the library’s centennial celebration: the Albany Historical Society, the Friends of the Albany Library, the City of Albany, and the Alameda County Library. Albany Library Manager, Deb Sica, shared some of the highlights and hilarity of the library’s long history. Children were entertained in the Edith Stone Room with a historical puppet show featuring Owlie Two-Hoots and Coyote Cal—the first animals to get library cards at the 1913 Albany Library! Owlie also led audience members on a history tour to the library display case. The show was followed by snacks and crafts.

Many guests fondly recalled the former library on Solano—now the site of the Albany Y.  After the speeches and presentations, the Albany Historical Society donated a plaque honoring the library. Guests enjoyed cookies and cupcakes and spun the Centennial Spinner to answer trivia questions and win prizes. One trivia question reminded guests of the generosity of Edith Stone, for whom the meeting room was named.

100 years of pictures and memorabilia is housed in the library display case at the entrance to the library. Stop by and see the library in all its incarnations—from the first dark storefront on Solano to the current light-filled building on Marin. (Photos by Dan Hess & Vivian Jaquette)

Read Peggy McQuaid’s article on Patch at:


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Poetry at the Albany Library on December 10, 2013 featured Judy Halebsky & Forrest Gander.

From Catherine Taylor:

FORREST GANDER’s Core Samples from the World (New Directions) was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award. It combines Gander’s poetry, haibun (a Japanese essay-poetry form), and lyric sentences with images from three photographers to describe rarely visited places around the globe in a work that, as the Pulitzer citation reads, “explores cross-cultural tensions in the world and digs deeply to identify what is essential in human experience.”

Gander comes to his writing and creative collaborations with academic degrees in geology and English literature and, as exemplified by Core Samples, with the sensibilities of a multi-media artist and cultural anthropologist. His work includes ecological poetics, fiction, essay, film, translation, and various collaborative forms. A two-year collaboration recently produced Eiko & Koma (New Directions, 2013), a collection of poetry (“not description, but enactment in another medium,” he explains) accompanied by photographs of the post-Butoh choreographer-dancers Eiko and Koma, who invited Gander to observe them up close through intensive periods of rehearsals and performances.

Gander’s recent translations include Watchword by Mexican poet Pura López Colomé (Wesleyan University Press, 2012) and, with Kyoko Yoshida, Spectacle & Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura (Omnidawn Press), winner of a 2012 Best Translated Book Award. He is currently translating work by Japanese poet and visual artist Gozo Yoshimasu. Gander is a professor of Comparative Literature and Literary Arts at Brown University where his courses have included Poetry and Ethics, EcoPoetics, and Translation. For more about his projects, go to Forrest Gander’s Website.

JUDY HALEBSKY’s first book of poems, Sky = Empty, won the 2010 New Issues Prize and was a finalist for the California Book Award. Her second collection, Space/Gap/Internal/Distance (2012), winner of the Poets-Under-Forty Chapbook Contest from Sixteen Rivers Press, includes poems in dialog with haiku lineage and Basho’s teachings. Halebsky also translates poetry from Japanese to English in collaboration with Yuka Tsukagoshi and, with other Tokyo poets, founded and edits the bilingual poetry journal Eki Mae.

Judy Halebsky studied literature at Honsei University in Tokyo for three years, during which time she also trained in Noh theater and Butoh dance and attended all the haiku-kai (haiku parties) she could find. She returned from California to Japan in summer 2012 to travel with other members of the Meguro International Haiku Circle to visit places mentioned in Basho’s Narrow Road to the Interior. In October 2013 she shared her haiku at the International Haiku Festival in Tokyo, whose theme was “Pilgrimmage to Haiku Holy Places.”

Among her recent projects is the Noh-inspired play, Emmet Till, a river–written by Halebsky and poet-composer Kevin Simmonds and supported by an NEA grant. It was performed in November 2013 at San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen. Halebsky’s next book of poetry, Tree Line, is informed by ecopoetics and by a long tradition of nature poets and travelers’ diaries. It will be published by New Issues in 2014.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Halebsky now lives in Oakland and teaches at Dominican University of California, where she includes haiku in courses like Oral and Visual Poetry and Literature of Nature. Through the class Finding Voice & Empowerment, she works with Dominican students to bring writing to youth in the juvenile justice system, “to show incarcerated youth how writing–like music–can be a vehicle for social change…a tool to share experiences with the broader community in a way that nourishes compassion and understanding.”

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