Friends Newsletter March 2015 The Friends of the Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, PA 19341 www.chescolibraries.org [email protected] (610) 280-2685 A Message from the Friends President INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 A Message from the Friends President 2 Spring Book Sale 2 Memorials and Honor Donations 3 Writing the Past Dear Friends, There are many in our community with a serious love for our library. They truly appreciate the materials and services the library provides, and support the important role of the library in our community. Many of these people become library volunteers, who share their knowledge and skills with those in need. We have also had long-time patrons ask if there are other ways to show their support. We are pleased to offer opportunities for folks to show their library love, to celebrate a special occasion, or to honor someone extraordinary with a book tribute, or sponsorship of a new library shelf end panel. 4 Book Review 4 Matching Gifts A book tribute is a gift which enhances the Library's collection by adding books that the Library could not otherwise purchase. For a donation of $25, a person or organization will be recognized with the placement of a personalized bookplate in a library book, for the entire community to enjoy for years. 2015 Friends of the Chester County Library Board of Directors President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Audit Chair Book Sale Chair Book Sorter Chair Communications Chair Membership Chair Publicity Chair Members at Large David Chartier Alex Miron Katherine Ellis Linda Farrelly Anastazya Lencz Alex Draper Open Barbara Coffey Cora Ellett Theresa Hammond A. Michael Broennle Pete Anderson Friends Meetings: The Board meets on the first Tuesday of each month with the exception of July. The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Chester County Library is held the first Tuesday in December. Contact us at [email protected] for more information. We also hope you noticed the new end panels on the shelves as you traverse the Library’s main corridor. These end panels give individuals, clubs and other organizations a chance to support the library. We recognize their support with a personalized engraved plaque, placed on the panel. Donations fund the Chester County Library’s extraordinary materials purchases and fund programs for children and adults. You can sponsor a shelf end panel or a book tribute in your name, in the name of a family member or friend, or in memory of a loved one. Forms are available at the library. Take a moment to see our new column in this newsletter, with a list of recent Memorial & Tribute Donations. We hope you will find this a worthwhile means of celebrating an anniversary, graduation, retirement, or a life, while supporting the Chester County Library. David Chartier Page 2 Friends Newsletter Spring Book Sale Coming Soon – April 10 through April 12, 2015! The Friends of the Chester County Library are preparing for their annual Spring Book Sale scheduled for April 10, 11, and 12. More than 30,000 books in a variety of subjects, from the sciences to the humanities to fiction and poetry will be available for purchase at bargain prices, along with current and out of print hardback and paperback novels, first editions, biographies, history and children’s books, cook books, music CDs and movie DVDs, and much more. The book sale starts with a preview night for members of the Friends of the Chester County Library on Friday, April 10, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. All Friday night attendees must have a CURRENT membership BEFORE they get into line outside the Struble Room (back parking lot). Place-saving in the entrance line using boxes, crates, etc. is not allowed. Memberships - $15 for an individual and $20 per household - can be purchased prior to the sale on Friday night by: • Mailing in the membership form (from the mailer or the website). • Purchasing a membership at the Library’s Circulation Desk (main Checkout) prior to 4:30 p.m. on Friday night. • Purchasing a membership on Friday night at the membership table located at the staff entrance at the rear of the library. The membership table will open at 5:00 p.m. The sale is open to the public starting on Saturday, April 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 12, is Bag Sale Day, which takes place from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. All are welcome to come and fill a grocery bag for $10 per bag. Want just a few books? Un-bagged books will be sold at half-price on Sunday The book sale accepts only cash or checks. All proceeds from the book sale benefit the Chester County Library. For safety, no strollers will be permitted in any of the Book Sale areas and children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. “The Friends would like to thank the many volunteers who work to make our Book Sales a success. We simply could not do it without you. We would also like to thank Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant in Main Street Exton, Rino’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Exton, and Carmine’s Parkside in Chester Springs for their support of both the Spring and Fall book sales. Thanks also to the Exton Giant for donating the bags for our Sunday sale. We appreciate your support in making the book sales a success!” Please email your comments on the book sale to us at: [email protected] Memorials & Honor Donations Thank you to the following people for Memorial & Honor Donations received in 2014: Memorial Donations: • For Robert Koenig: by Margie Stroman. • For Anna Mae Falkenstein: by Her Book Club Friends. • For Marie Claire McCann Stockmal: by Mr. & Mrs. Richard McCann. • For Marjorie Guiser: by Paul & Carol Craig; by John & Pamela Freehafer; by Joan & Harry Guest; by The Hankin Foundation; by The Penn State Extension Staff; by Richard & Jane Plummer; by Elizabeth Tinley; by The Paul V. Fly Elementary School Staff; by Cheryl Osborne, Kaitlin D’Lauro & Jamie Windheim. Honor Donations: • For John Davis & Sam Blank: by Mr. & Mrs. Bob Steele Friends Newsletter Page 3 WRITING THE PAST: Yesterday Was Once Today A Symposium at Children’s Literature New England, by Anna Marie Black “Passionate about children’s literature,” describes the sentiment of so many of the teachers, librarians, and writers who are involved with Children’s Literature New England, Inc. They all have a love of story. That includes me. Thanks to a Friends grant, I traveled to attend the symposium “Writing the Past: Yesterday Was Once Today” held Nov. 14-16, 2014 at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. Attendees were expected to read 21 titles in advance, with The Book Thief as an overarching title. Presenters included stellar children’s authors Katherine Paterson, Jack Gantos, Susan Cooper, Elizabeth Partridge, Brian Selznick, and Shane Evans. In a breakout session, participants discussed aspects of how the literature engages young readers or how the author’s use of accurate historical detail enables the reader to understand the historical context. Each day moves us forward to the narrative of our past. Each morning the assembly began with singing led by author Gregory Maguire, a founding member of CLNE. Then it was poetry with Ashley Bryan. Presenters Gantos, Partridge, and Selznick spoke about how their historical fiction had been shaped by personal experiences and meticulous research. The consensus among all presenters for writing history, whether fiction, nonfiction, memoir, or poetry, was accuracy and the choice of precise historical details that convey a sense of the time period and move the story along. M. T. Anderson showed how a simple image of a rotary-dial telephone places an event in historical context. In Wilborn Hampton’s Kennedy Assassinated: The World Mourns: A Reporter’s Story, Hampton’s knack in working the phones, including a pay phone, gave him the edge in getting his story. Leda Schubert and her publisher Neal Porter discussed their collaboration and attention to detail in producing award-winning biographies. Paterson, who by virtue of her age now considers all her books historical fiction, advised would-be authors: “Read! Read! Read!” During a panel discussion among the presenters, I posed the question: When will we see children’s or YA fiction about 9/11? (There is very little on this topic for children.) Two surprise answers: Suzanne Fisher Staples, who spent years as an UPI reporter in India and Pakistan, said that when she heard the phrase “collateral damage,” she felt compelled to write Under the Persimmon Tree. Ashley Bryan responded by reciting from Shakespeare a passage that included the words two towers. (Sorry--I can’t cite the source of that passage!) Friend the Friends…. on Facebook! Find us on Facebook at “Friends of the Chester County Library, Exton” I talked with Deborah Taylor who reviews for several publications about her criteria in assessing quality fiction and nonfiction and was gratified to know that she and I share the same list of concerns. Taylor chairs the 2015 ALSC Sibert Informational Book Award Committee. I was among a group of stalwart respecters of children’s literature, inspired surely by one of CLNE’s founders, British author John Rowe Townsend (1922-2014) for whom a memorial service was offered at the symposium. Townsend deserves the last word: At its 1999 summer institute he had declared, “CLNE has always insisted….that children’s literature is literature and that illustration and picture book creation are arts; they need and deserve to be approached as such.” Page 4 Friends Newsletter Book Review – Recommended Fiction Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend (translated from Italian, 2012.) - Review by Dwight McCawley This novel is a masterpiece. It is the richly detailed story of two girls, Lila and Elena, born the same year (1944) in Naples, Italy, growing up in a rundown neighborhood where too many families with too many kids live too close together, and where children have to learn to cope somehow without much sympathy or help from the adults. This novel deserves the status of “masterpiece” in that it presents, in more painstaking detail perhaps than any novel before, the daily fears and miniscule triumphs, the hidden hopes and suppressed disappointments, of young minds and spirits thrown into a world that doesn’t care much how they fare nor where they wind up. The author keeps all the events of these youngsters’ lives subtly organized by putting Lila and Elena into the foreground and relating the riotous, unpredictable yet utterly realistic incidents in the lives of these two girls to those of the other young boys and girls living in the same streets, attending the same schools, and facing the same baffling necessities. It is an odd friendship that develops between these two. They are both “brilliant,” each in her own way. Elena’s way is to knuckle under, study hard, get good grades, try to finish at the top of the class. Lila’s way is to defy all attempts to tame her; determinedly independent, she learns in her own way; she often refuses to answer when called on by the teacher. With no apparent effort, she ends the year ahead of Elena and the rest, yet remains indifferent to that outcome. Elena admires her style, wants to emulate her, wants Lila to befriend her; she seems almost obsessed with Lila, who only pays attention to her on occasion. Yet we know they remain friends through decades, because the brief Prologue of the novel shows Elena at age 66, receiving a phone call from Lila’s grown son Rino, who tells her that Lila has vanished from her house and left not a single trace of her existence behind. Elena knows quite well what her bizarre “brilliant” friend is up to, but is not about to let Rino in on it. Days pass with no word from Lila. Elena becomes angry. “We’ll see who wins this time,” she says to herself. She sits down at her computer and begins to write. This novel is the result. [Note: This book is the first volume of a trilogy; necessarily so, given that they are only 16 when it ends, yet the Prologue shows that they are still in touch at age 66. Still, My Brilliant Friend is a complete work in itself, with a very definite and quite unpredictable ending. Noteworthy Non-Fiction: Two recent books are well worth the plaudits they have received: Dick Cavett’s Brief Encounters, full of witty but thoughtful short essays (“blogs”) on a spacious spectrum of topics; and Richard Zoglin’s Hope: Entertainer of the Century, a very thorough, well-researched biography that is a delight to read. Matching Gift Donations – by Mike Broennle Consider increasing the amount you give to the Friends without increasing your personal membership donation. Many employers have Matching Gift Programs in which the employer makes a gift in an amount equal to or less than the employee’s gift. Ask your Employee Benefit or Human Resources office if your employer matches gifts. Corporations are generous donors and matching programs are common. Some employers will match contributions from retirees and/or spouses. Inquire! If needed, complete required paperwork. There may be a form to complete and send us with your gift. The Friends of the Chester County Library is a 501(c) (3) federally designated non-profit organization, a condition required by all matching programs. The Friends would be glad to supply any needed supporting documentation - Let us know of any questions at 610-280-2685 or at [email protected] If your company does have matching gifts, let us know! We are compiling a list of area employers who match, and we will share the news on our web site. Friends have arranged for matching funds over several years. Many of these programs may not be well publicized and are often underutilized. By asking, you may stimulate an employer without a matching gift program to begin one! 2015 Friends Support In 2015, the Friends are supporting the following Chester County Library initiatives: • Spring volunteer luncheon • Community Day sponsorship • Sponsorship of adult programming • Replacement chairs for the Technology Center • Teen penny auction and VA hospital project • Bee Bot Hive set for STEM education • Carpet pads for reference desk • Supplies for the poster machine in Youth Services • And of course, aquarium maintenance for the fish!
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