All posts by syllib

Constitution and Citizenship Day

September 17 is celebrated as Constitution and Citizenship Day commemorating the day in 1787 that the United States Constitution was signed and recognizing all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.

For four months in the summer of 1787 twelve states (Rhode Island did not attend) sent 55 men to meet in secret session in Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation. Instead they created a new Constitution with a stronger central government.

(1)  Which of the founding Fathers did not attend the Constitutional Convention: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson?  

(2) Who is known as the “Father of the Constitution”?

(3) Which state was the ninth state (2/3 of the states then in the Union) to ratify the new constitution and when did that happen?

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The answers are (1) Thomas Jefferson was not in Philadelphia for the convention because he was serving as Minister to France (2) James Madison was called that because of his contributions as a political theorist and practical politician.  He took meticulous notes about the proceedings and, after the document was signed, he along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton wrote the Federalist Papers campaigning for the its ratification. (3) New Hampshire signed the document on June 21, 1788 making the Constitution the law of the land.

Not everyone approved the scrapping of the Articles of Confederation or of the stronger federal government that was created. Some agreed to ratify the Constitution in the expectation that there would be some amendments limiting the federal power and safeguarding individual liberty. By December 15, 1791 there were 10 Amendments signed. They are known as the Bill of Rights.

There is a display of books on the third floor about the history of the Constitution and about the process of becoming a citizen. Curious about the framing of the Constitution but can’t get to the library? The National Archives provides an excellent history and analysis here.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Evening Book Discussion

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

7:30 PM

with Pam Strudler and Meghan Fangmann, Librarians

“After her mother’s suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Sanders travels to Taiwan to stay with grandparents she never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird.” -from the publisher

The program is free.

Teens welcome to join.

No registration required.

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.

Photographs and videos taken during library programs may be used for library publicity.

-posted by Pam and Meghan, Teen Services

Author Visit – Nicola Harrison

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Nicola Harrison the author of Montauk visited the library on June 18th. Audience members enjoyed Harrison’s tales of research about Montauk of years past. She read from Montauk, offered us insights into her writing process and gave us a glimpse into the publishing world, as she shared the story of the evolution of the books stunning cover. Many audience members shared their stories of Montauk with her. You can reserve your copy of this entrancing novel here. Copies of Montauk were sold by The Friends of the Library for signing by Ms. Harrison.

Librarians interviewed Ms. Harrison for our podcast Turn The Page. We discussed Nicola’s research and who would play Dolly in the movie version of Montauk …. keep an eye out for this episode of the podcast here.

-posted by Donna, Readers’ Services

D-Day: 75 Years Ago Today

D-Day: On June 6, 1944 the Allies launched Operation Overlord. This was the largest amphibious invasion in history. It began with the landing overnight of 18,000 British and American parachutists in occupied France. There were 4,000 ships, 11,000 warplanes, and 156,000 Allied troops involved. They landed on the Normandy beaches: the British and Canadians at Gold, Juno and Sword and the Americans at Utah and Omaha. The accepted number of Allied deaths on that day is 4,414.

Allies faced the German Atlantic Wall, a system of fortifications, obstacles and mines in the water and along the shore. But the Germans could not guard every place along the coast. They had troops in the East fighting the Russians and in Italy fighting the Allied troops. They had to guess where the Allies would land. They guessed wrong. For months there had been an elaborate campaign of disinformation and deception including dropping dummies, fake radio broadcasts, even an actor portraying Montgomery was “seen” in Algiers!

The library has a book display on the third floor commemorating D-Day. There are DVDs in our collection to borrow, such as The Longest Day or Overlord. From the comfort of home you can follow four veterans in a Library of Congress Story Map : Preston Earl Bagent, Army combat engineer; Robert “Bob: Harlan Horr, a glider pilot; Edward Duncan Cameron, a rifleman; and John William “Bill” Boehne, III, a sailor. Their stories make the momentous days very personal.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

Celebrating Walt Whitman on the 200th Anniversary of his Birth

Walt Whitman, perhaps best known as the poet of the Leaves of Grass, was born in Huntington on May 31, 1819. He was the second of nine children born to Walter and Louisa Whitman. The family soon moved to Brooklyn where Whitman attended the local schools. He was a voracious reader and was largely self-educated.

Of course, most of us know him as a poet. America’s poet. The poet of democracy. But did you know that he was also a printer, carpenter, civil servant, the founder and editor of the Huntington-based Long Islander newspaper and a teacher in several one-room schools? During the Civil War he traveled to Washington, DC to care for his wounded brother and then stayed to nurse and comfort other wounded soldiers, even writing letters home for them. Out of these varied experiences came many poems and prose works.

There is a rich online archive of his original works as well as commentary, criticism of his writings and biographical information at the Walt Whitman Archive. The Library of Congress  has a treasure trove of Whitman material. Would you like to be part of the effort by the Library of Congress to make accessible more of Whitman’s work? You can! There is a crowdsourcing campaign where you can transcribe drafts of his poetry, prose and correspondence.

After suffering a stroke in 1873, Whitman moved to Camden, NJ where his brother lived.

Maybe his poem, “Song of the Open Road,” will inspire you to take a drive to NJ to visit the home he bought in Camden (1884) and where he eventually died (1892).

“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me, leading me wherever I choose…

Allons! whoever you are! come forth!

You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you….

Allons! be not detain’d!…

Allons! the road is before us!”

Closer to home is the Walt Whitman Birthplace, the house his father built and where he was born. Call the library to reserve the museum pass. And come to the third floor to see the display of books celebrating Whitman’s life and influence.

On May 31 the library is showing a documentary about his life, followed by a discussion led by librarian Sonia Grgas.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

 

Dreaming of Faraway Places

Some children hear “Rock-a Bye Baby’ as they drift into sleep. I heard “Far Away Places!” Yes, the song with lyrics: “Far away places with the strange sounding names, far away over the sea, those far away places with the strange sounding names are calling, calling to me.” I caught the travel bug early. I love the planning and anticipation almost as much as the actual journey. And when I am stuck at home and work, it’s fun to read about the experiences of other travelers.

If you find yourself in that situation now, I suggest you visit our third floor display of books about some far away (and not so far away but interesting) destinations. Travel through Africa with Betty Levitov and her students in Africa on Six Wheels. Or visit some hidden natural wonders in Wild Caribbean with author Michael Bright. For a classic road trip closer to home check out Route 66 Still Kicks by Rick Antonson. Bill Geist presents some unusual small towns in Way off the Road.

For more suggested books about travel consult Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust to Go. After you have dreamed perhaps it is time to plan a trip! Patricia Schultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die will provide you with many suggestions.

-posted by Brenda