David Cherry's blog

Vote for Evelyn Meador in the In Your Space / Designer Pages Project Challenge!

Interior with Circulation Desk / Evelyn Meador Branch LibraryEvelyn Meador Branch Library has been chosen to compete in the Mohawk Group's In Your Space / Designer Pages Project Installation Challenge. The contest is intended to celebrate "spaces that feature carpeting by the Mohawk Group."

Think of it as a beauty contest for buildings and you can help choose the winner!

As most of you know, the original branch was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike. The new Evelyn Meador Branch Library, designed by English + Associates Architects, opened in June 2011, and Harris County Public Liibrary and the people of Seabrook are justifiably proud of its innovative and elegant design.

Cast your vote(s) for Evelyn Meador Branch Library, now! at http://inyourspace.designerpages.com

For those very enthusiastic souls, there is no rule against voting more than once, so click as many times as your mouse-clicking finger can stand.

Unlock Mysteries and Fun This Summer @ HCPL: June 4 - August 11

Summer Reading Program 2012 Flyer: Get A Clue @ HCPLThere is a reason that year after year mysteries continue to be some of the most popular books, movies and television shows. It’s the same reason curious souls continue to scour the wilds in search of Bigfoot and the Chupacabra, and the same reason ordinary folks travel to far off lands. Humans are hard-wired to investigate and explore. Curiosity may have killed the proverbial cat, but it’s done wonders for humankind. Nothing, it seems, motivates us like an unanswered question, a blank spot on a map, a mystery.

This year, Harris County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program’s theme is ‘Get a Clue @ the Library,’ and it’s designed to encourage you and the whole family to exercise—to indulge—that part of you that loves mysteries, craves answers, and seeks adventure! Summer Reading Fun 2012 is all about investigating books and libraries and the worlds they open up to you.

Progress Report: Galena Park Branch Library Renovations.

Galena Park Computer Lab exteriorThe grant-funded renovations on the Galena Park Branch Library are well underway. The exterior of the library's new computer lab is very nearly complete and work on the lab's interior is underway. The carpeting and painting in the existing building is complete. The new furniture for the entire library will come soon after interior work is finished.

These much-needed improvements are the first undertaken on the library since it opened in 1996, and will not only make the library-going experience more pleasant; it will allow us to provide better service, including more and bigger free computer training classes.

HCPL Invites eBook Readers to Participate in a National Survey to Help Libraries Plan for the Future

Angled photo of eReader by Andrew Mason via Flickr Creative CommonsBecause of the rise of the internet and the growing popularity of downloadable content, public libraries are evolving at a pace never before seen. Harris County Public Library has never shied away from new technologies--we see them as opportunities to enhance existing library services and to expand into new service areas. But like all organizations that want to thrive in a changing technological landscape, we must continually reassess our mission and our goals. To help us do that, and ultimately allow us to provide better service to our customers, HCPL invites those of you who check out ebooks to complete a brief survey designed by a nationally-respected research firm.

Lights Out Houston 2012

Lights Out Houston 2012 Logo: We Turned Out the Lights!This April 26 – 29, in observance of the 5th Annual Lights Out Houston initiative, Harris County Commissioners Court has authorized Facilities and Property Management to lead a countywide effort, in conjunction with the City of Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership and Central Houston Inc. to turn off all non-essential lights at the end of the day.

Turning out unnecessary lights when you leave a room is one of the easiest ways you can help the environment, conserve valuable resources and…oh yeah, save some money. Remember--unlike humans and other living things, furniture does not need light to survive. Your sofa, ottoman and coffee table, as well as your work station and file cabinets like it just fine in the dark.

Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with HCPL

Asian Slide Strip
May is the month set aside to acknowledge the important contributions that people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have made to this country’s history and culture. This year, Harris County Public Library will once again celebrate the diversity of Asian and Pacific Island peoples with programs inspired by traditions from across that vast territory. HCPL invites you to enjoy the music and dance of India, sample the cuisines of Thailand and Japan, and explore cultures from China to Hawaii and points in between. There will be crafts, puppets shows, films, and fun for all ages.

Writers in the Schools’ Poem A Day Project Comes to HCPL’s Facebook Page

Writers in the Schools A Poem A Day BannerMaybe it’s because their sense of wonder has not been tamped down by too many peeks behind the wizard’s curtain, or maybe it’s because their language has not been clogged up with convention and cliché. Whatever it is, children and teens seem to have a felicity with poetry that adult poets can spend their careers trying to recapture.

Writers in the Schools (WITS), a local nonprofit organization, actively encourages children (K-12) in over 350 area classrooms to develop those skills. Each April, WITS celebrates National Poetry Month by sharing some of the students’ work with the community through its Poem A Day project. We at Harris County Public Library are excited to participate in this year’s event. Starting this Monday, April 2 and running through the month, fans of HCPL’s facebook page will get to read these inspiring poems.

Adrienne Rich (1929 - 2012)

Cover Art: Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne RichOnce Adrienne Rich got the pretty (though pointed) rhyming verse out of her system (and she did that early--her first book was published when she was still at Radcliffe) Adrienne Rich constructed a voice for herself that was equal parts lyric brilliance, surgically precise language, and undiluted rage. To call her a feminist poet, while probably accurate, diminishes her project. Yes, the overarching issue of her writing, perhaps its sole impetus, was the struggle to carve out a place for women in society and as such she can be seen as a political/activist poet, few if any of her poems can be read as merely political statements.

Something about Nothing: Harvey Pekar and Slice of Life

Cover Art: The Quitter by Harvey Pekar, Art by Dean HaspielGone are the days when people with both a weakness for comic books and aspirations of becoming “serious” writers had to slink across town and hope no one they knew drove past as they walked out of the shop with the latest issue of Zap! or Weirdo wrapped in plain brown paper (to give it that little extra patina of shame).

I miss those days.

Join a Book Club at HCPL

Photo Credit: Book Club by Robert Michalove via Flickr Creative Commons
For many people, one of the only things better than reading a good book is talking about a good book, which explains the continuing popularity of book clubs and discussion groups across the country. Yet, book clubs are much more than a place to gab about a ripping good yarn. They’re a chance to meet new people, explore new areas of interest, and get good tips on what to read next, and sometimes, book clubs are a good way to get yourself featured on Voice of America. This is exactly what happened recently to one of Harris County Public Library's many book groups. VOA featured our Tomball College & Community Library’s Paranormal Book Club in a story about the growing popularity among older readers of supernatural romances aimed at young adults (See video below).

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