Distinguished Author Book Discussion

The Templar Legacy
The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry

Did you enjoy the films National Treasure or The Da Vinci Code? Are you fascinated reading about Alexander the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, Napoleon, or other historical figures? Have you wondered how authors combine research, adventure, and storytelling?

The works of Steve Berry, who will be awarded the 2011 Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author award on March 19, 2011, combine these elements. Read one of his books and come talk about it with others. The Weinberg Memorial Library will be hosting this event in room 305 from 12:00noon to 1:00pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. Bring your lunch. Cookies and drinks will be provided. If you’d like to participate or want more information, contact Bonnie Oldham. Call x4000 or e-mail oldhamb3@scranton.edu

National Library Week to be Celebrated at the University

This year, the Weinberg Library will join libraries through the nation in celebrating the importance and value of libraries to their communities, whether they serve  a public, academic, or school population. To begin our celebration, we’d like to invite you to participate in our second Gaming Night, which will kick off the week. Following a very successful maiden run in February, library patrons responded to a survey which asked if it the event should be repeated. The positive response was overwhelming, so on Monday evening April 12 from 8-11 P.M. you may try your hand (and foot) at a variety of Wii games, including Wii Fit, Wii Sport, and Mario Kart. Free refreshments – pizza, wings, and more will be offered, and if Wii isn’t your forte, traditional board games will also be available. Come and take a break from your studies for a while — you may even win one of our great prizes! While you are in the library, stop at 4th floor Quiet Study Room to view the display of favorite books by library staffers. A wide range of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books will be featured, each with the staff member’s name. Finally, the Library is rolling out our newest reference service — Text a UofS Librarian.  If your phone is equipped with a basic texting service, you may text a message to our reference desk at 570-687-8787 any time the Library is open. Questions about book locations, library hours, and library holdings can be quickly answered through our texting service.

And although our annual Book Sale starts next weekend (April 23-25), it is still not too late to donate books to the sale. Boxes are positioned in the  Monroe Avenue side lobby of the Weinberg Library. All donations are welcome!

Come and celebrate National Library Week at the Weinberg Library.

Book Sale 2010: The Preparations Begin

We’re T-minus 73 days to the kickoff of Book & Plant Sale 2010, and the Library staff is already busy getting ready for our biggest annual event.  Clear your calendar for April 24 and 25, since this year’s sale promises to be one of our best yet.

The Library has started collecting donations of used hardcover and paperback books, along with videos, CDs, records, and tag sale items.  If you’re doing some early spring cleaning and would like to donate, please drop off your contributions in the donation boxes at our Monroe Ave entrance.

Recruitment of this year’s class of volunteers has also begun. We’re looking for students, patrons, and friends of the Library to help us price, organize, and sell our books.  Give Barb E. a call at 570-941-4078 and let her know what times you’re available.

And in the meantime, feel free to start thinking about where you’ll start your browsing when the doors open. Cookbooks? Nonfiction? Barb’s famous “Special Treasures”? The fragrant flowering plants? Whichever section catches your eye, shop with a happy heart, knowing that your purchases benefit the Friends of the Library endowment fund and support the collections and services of the Weinberg Memorial Library.

Scratches, a poem by William Bernhardt

At the end of Saturday’s Distinguished Author event, award recipient William Bernhardt read one of his poems, titled “Scratches,” to the audience.  The attendees loved it, and so many people wanted a copy that we asked Mr. Bernhardt if we could post it here on Infospot.  He agreed – so here, in its entirety, is “Scratches.”

Scratches

This is how it begins;
scratches on signs, on blocks
on a white page. Then the
scratches start to dance.  They
recombinate, they collect sounds
they call your name.
Like so much in childhood
they are ciphers, full of secrets
but once you learn the dance
the secrets of the world
and more, are revealed.
You learn to read.

You learn:
manners from Goldilocks
curiosity from George
gluttony from Peter
the importance of nonsense from Alice.
You set sail with Jim Hawkins, raft with Huck
row with Mole.
You learn that love is eternal, from Catherine
but so is madness, says the first Mrs. Rochester.
Jeeves helps you laugh
poetry helps you cry
Atticus shows you how to do both, with courage.

Not only have the scratches shaped the world
they have shaped your world.
They have taught you how to see.
Now you need never be afraid.
Now you will never be alone.
In the darkest night
in the deepest solitude
the scratches will call to you.
You will open the covers.
They will reach out their arms and say
“Hey! You thought you were the only one?
You’re not.”

Copyright 2009 William Bernhardt

Graduate Student Loan Period

flickr CC library books
Photo courtesy of Flickr user ‘eseering’ under a Creative Commons license.

 

Last Spring, we received feedback from grad students regarding their loan period for books. Our grad students are heavy researchers, and they made their case to us that the nature of their research requires a loan period of longer than 30 days. They pointed out that most grad level research assignments are semester-long, and so they would need their books for the length of the entire semester without the renewal period running out on them.

As a result, we have extended the loan period on books for graduate students to meet this need.

As of March of this year, the loan period for graduate students is always, at most, an entire semester. This means, when a graduate student checks out a book, it will always be due at the end of the current semester. One renewal is allowed though, which would then extend the due date to the end of the following semester.

So, to all of our grad students — happy researching!

William Bernhardt to Receive Distinguished Author Award on Saturday, Nov 14th.

writing

The talents and skills of the 2009 Recipient of the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award, William Bernhardt, reflect many aspects of the contemporary library.  William Bernhardt is an author, a teacher, a mentor, a researcher, a composer, and communicator.

As an author, Mr. Bernhardt had sold more than 10 million books in various countries.  Library Journal has called him the “master of the courtroom drama.”  The Vancouver Sun dubbed him “the American equivalent of P.G. Wodehouse and John Mortimer.” He introduced the Ben Kincaid series in 1991 with Primary Justice and published the 17th in the series, Capitol Offense, in 2009. The Susan Pulaski series has two titles, Dark Eye and Strip Search.  Among his other novels is the collection Legal Briefs which also contains stories by previous Distinguished Authors Philip Margolin and Lisa Scottoline.   Royalties from the sale of this book benefited the Children’s Defense Fund.  Contributors to the anthology Natural Suspect donated author royalties to the Nature Conservancy. His works for children include a biography of civil rights leader Ada Lois Sipuel, who broke the color barrier for higher education in Oklahoma and throughout the south.

In his recent book, Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness, Bernhardt solved the mystery of America’s first serial killer, the so-called Mad Butcher of Cleveland, whose identity has eluded investigators for decades. In the most recent book in the Ben Kincaid series, Capitol Conspiracy, Bernhardt keeps the series fresh and contemporary with a story that takes attorney Ben Kincaid to Washington, D.C., for a high-profile case involving controversial anti-terrorist legislation, political skullduggery, and murder.  In 1999, he founded HAWK Publishing Group.  Each summer HAWK sponsors Writing Workshops to “nurture and mentor aspiring writers.”  These efforts facilitate publication by new authors. In addition to mentoring new writers, HAWK has published books by acclaimed authors such as Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist N. Scott Momaday, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian, and PBS newsman Jim Lehrer.  His new book, Capitol Offense” is due out on Sept. 29th.

Among the awards Bernhardt has received are the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction in 1995 for Perfect Justice and in 1999 for Dark Justice; the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award in 1998; a Career Achievement Award at the 2000 Booklovers Convention in Houston; and in 2000 the  H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award, “in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large.”  (Contemporary Authors)  In addition to his law degree, Bernhardt also holds a Masters Degree in English.  His specialty field is Victorian literature.

I hope you will join us for this celebration of the works of William Bernhardt.  For ticket information, please click on the Distinguished Author web site or contact Kym Fetsko at 570-941-7816.

http://academic.scranton.edu/department/wml/distinguished.html

http://www.williambernhardt.com/

Charles Kratz

Interdependence Day 2009

The city of Scranton is celebrating Interdependence Day this year on Thursday, September 10.  Launched in Philadelphia in 2003, Interdependence Day was created in reaction to the events of September 11, 2001 and is meant to be a time to reflect on how all peoples of the world are connected.

Several interdependence events will be held throughout the city and Northeastern Pennsylvania this week.  On Thursday, Kevin Klose, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, will give the keynote address entitled “We the iPhone People: A Revolutionary Interdependence” at 5:30pm at the William J. Nealon Federal Building.  While this event is by invitation only, University of Scranton community members are welcome to attend “All You Have to Do is Listen,” a talk by NPR commentator Rob Kapilow, planned for Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30pm in the Houlihan McLean Center.

Many thanks to Sondra Myers, co-founder of Interdependence Day, Senior Fellow for International, Civic and Cultural Projects at the University of Scranton, and director of the Weinberg Memorial Library’s  Schemel Forum, for coordinating this year’s Interdependence Day events.

P.S. Interested in learning more about interdependence?  Browse the Weinberg Memorial Library’s catalog and check out one of our books.

Update: The University’s Associate Provost for civic engagement and University mission, Dr. Steven Jones, wrote a column on interdependence for the 9/11/2009 Scranton Times Tribune.

Good Reads for Earth Day

earthdaybooks

The University of Scranton and the City of Scranton are celebrating Earth Day with a week full of events, from a sustainable tour of downtown Scranton to an Earth Day Fair to hikes and mountain bike rides.  If you have a quiet moment in the midst of all the green activity, be sure to check out some of the Weinberg Memorial Library’s newest books on sustainability and environmental issues:

And don’t forget about today’s Earth Day Fair, which will be held from 10am – 1pm right outside the DeNaples Center. We’ll see you there!

Save the Date! Countdown to the Book & Plant Sale

Mark your calendars for April 25th and 26th!  We’re just 63 days away from the Weinberg Memorial Library’s annual Book and Plant Sale, and the Library’s already buzzing with plans for this year’s event, which will be held in the 5th floor Heritage Room.  As always, the Book and Plant Sale benefits the Friends of Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library Endowment Fund.

Right now, we’re collecting donations of books, plants, and tag sale items.  If you’d like to donate, you can drop off your books or other contributions at the Library, in the boxes just inside the Monroe Avenue entrance.

Shoppers browse the 2008 Book Sale
Shoppers browse the 2008 Book Sale

We’re also looking for volunteers.  If you’d be willing to help us sort books and set up/take down the sale, please let us know!  Give Barb E. a call at 941-4078, and she’ll add you to the volunteer list.

This year’s sale starts on Friday, April 24th with a special “Preview Sale” for current Friends of the Library and Schemel Forum members (and current University of Scranton students – bring your Royal Card!) from 4pm – 9pm.  The sale is open to the public on Saturday, April 25th from 9am – 9pm and on Sunday, April 26th from 12pm – 4pm.  We’ll see you there!

Great Reads for Harry Potter-heads

In the midst of finals and papers, I thought I’d blog about some books I think are worth a read (post-finals, no doubt), especially if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books. Even if you’re not a fan — and especially if you’re not a fan because you think they encourage occult practices — the following books are definitely worth your time. In particular, at least 2 of the 4 books I’m going to recommend focus primarily on faith and theology in Harry Potter, which makes them worthwhile reads for Harry Potter fans who try to seek out God in all things — which is one of the Jesuit ideals, by the way. I, for one, am a huge believer in the idea that God loves to reveal Himself through stories (all kinds), and the Harry Potter books are no exception.

And so, without further ado, here are my 4 recommendations of Great Reads for Potter-heads (or soon-to-be Potter-heads *wink*):

Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger (of Hogwarts Professor Internet-fame)

granger-11An awesome book (which blew my mind the first time I read it) whose main idea is that we are all “‘wired’ to respond to ‘stories that reflect the greatest story ever told'” (Publisher’s Weekly). Granger argues that the story of Harry Potter is certainly one such story, and he explains why, using very specific examples from the books. This book focuses on the first 5 books of the series.

The Deathly Hallows Lectures (also) by John Granger

granger-2I recommend this book, not having read it myself (yet), as a completion of John Granger’s take on the books. Written (and delivered as lectures around the country) after the release of Book 7, these lectures bring his “these books are a reflection of the greatest story ever told” thesis full circle to incorporate the rich contents of the 7th book. If you haven’t yet read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7), it’s probably a good idea to hold off reading this book until you do.

Harry Potter & Imagination: The Way Between Two Worlds by Travis Prinzi (of The Hog’s Head Internet-fame)

prinziHere’s another book I haven’t read yet, but that’s because it hasn’t been released yet (it’s available to pre-order now). But if you go to the link for it, you can see the table of contents, and man does it look like an awesome book! It covers imagination, literature, faith, culture, politics, gender… all of which the Harry Potter story meets head on, without fear or apology. And the results of this meeting are why people keep reading the books — over, and over, and over again. Prinzi examines this meeting of story and life in his book, which is definitely on my must-read list.

The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide by Nancy Carpentier Brown

brownThis book I just stumbled upon while collecting the links for the above titles, but I thought it sounded like a good one, and apropos since we are a Catholic Jesuit institution. It sounds worthwhile in particular because it offers a different perspective on the books — while Granger and Prinzi are both scholars (albeit dads as well), Brown is a mother first and foremost, which means her book is aimed at a family audience. She addresses among other things the books’ compatibility with the Catholic faith, and reveals an “attitude toward contemporary fiction that is both open and discerning” (Fr. Pierre Ingram, C.C. S.T.L.). For any of you Catholic Potter-heads out there, this book is sure to flesh out the Catholic meaning of the Harry Potter story for you.

All four of these books should be available in the Library later in the year, so add them to your “Must Read” list before returning to the world of finals and papers… Only 2 more weeks to go!