Mooresville Public Library

Mooresville Public Library
MPL Courtyard

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Evils of Vivisection

H. G. Wells first published his science fiction story, The Island of Dr. Moreau, in 1896.  The work directly addresses the ethical issues concerning vivisection and animal experimentation, which had become hot topics in late 19th century England.  Interest in the novel endures because of the power of Wells as an engaging storyteller, whose adroit mixture of science fact and fantasy paralleled the other great 19th century sci-fi pioneer, Jules Verne.

Our book trailer gives a brief glimpse at the plot.

The book is available in the Evergreen Indiana catalog.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Third Birthday, and Many More!

Today in Library History: On August 25, 2008, the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library in Zionsville, Indiana, became the first library to migrate its online catalog system to the Evergreen Indiana open-source ILS (integrated library system). Seventeen libraries followed by January, 2009, including my Library (in October, 2008). Today, Evergreen Indiana (E.I.) includes a consortium of over 90 public, school, institutional, or research libraries across the state. The E.I. online catalog encompasses over 6.2 million items for 821,000 Hoosier residents.

Happy third birthday, Evergreen Indiana!

To celebrate, here are a few of our E.I. promo trailers and parody videos.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Need For Speed

n fstr accl jst abt evythg, Jms Glck xmns r scty's obsn wth spd.

That just plain drives me nuts.  Let's start again.

In Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything (Vintage, 2000), James Gleick examines our society's obsession with speed.  Every activity, it seems, must be done faster, as if saving a few seconds (or nanoseconds) is so vitally crucial in performance of daily activities.  The assumption underlying this mindset is that faster is better.  It prompts those of us over age 30 to wonder how humanity ever managed to survive for hundreds of thousands of years plodding along without all these supposedly time-saving gizmos Western culture considers essential to happiness and prosperity.

Our book trailer gives a relatively quick overview of the book, without unduly rushing the critical themes.

The book is available for check-out to Evergreen Indiana library cardholders.

"Hurry Sickness" may not be a medically-recognized disease (although there's probably pharmaceuticals available for its treatment), it is definitely a psychological impediment to good health and well-being.  Gleick does a masterful job of presenting his thesis while managing to maintain a humorous, insightful tone.  It is a most enjoyable read.

I would tell you more about the book, but I've got to hurry.  There are two more blogs to post, plus other library duties await.  And it all has to be completed by closing time.  Yesterday.

William R. Buckley
MPL Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

Monday, August 15, 2011

Exercise Your Freedom to Decide What to Read

The American Library Association (ALA) has slated September 24 through October 1, 2011, as Banned Books Week.  Visit the ALA website for lots of interesting information about censorship and our freedom to choose what we read.

We have a promo trailer for this year's Banned Books Week:

MPL Promo Trailer, 2011 ALA Banned Books Week

We made a video last year for the 2010 event, which you might also enjoy.

MPL Program Trailer, 2010 ALA Banned Books Week

Visit your favorite library (or libraries) to check-out challenged or banned books.  You might be surprised to discover some of the works that have been challenged or banned from libraries.  It is well worth exploring.

William R. Buckley
MPL Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Consequences of a Youthful Indiscretion

Young adults are the intended audience of A Separate Peace, by John Knowles.  First published in 1959, the novel has been challenged or banned primarily in school libraries for its allegedly "offensive language."  This is a smoke screen for the actual, underlying basis for such challenges, which are usually based upon the objectors' disagreement with political or social themes discussed in the work.  Self-appointed censors have learned that objecting to a book on the basis of profanity has been a successful mechanism for silencing disagreeable authors.

I first read Knowles' classic in my high school freshman English class.  I was just a year younger than the protagonist, Gene Forrester, and so it was relatively easy to relate to his insecurities and angst.  The story had a profound impact upon me.  Several of the secondary themes were immediately relevant--social isolation, dislocation, and the need to be accepted by one's peer group to thrive--but others were thought-provoking, too.  The background of World War II created an ongoing metaphor for the Devon boys' struggles to develop a wider sense of community and a feeling of tolerance and acceptance.  Most of the time, the teenage characters were content to be a close-knit, albeit exclusionary, group.  Together they learned to overcome certain fears, discovering that courage and foolishness are closer kin than one might suspect.

The central themes of acceptance and forgiveness, however, held my attention throughout the novel.  Gene had a dark secret, to which we are introduced at the beginning of the book when he returned to his alma mater 15 years after graduating.  He visited two fear-inspiring sites--a marble staircase and a climbing tree--which begins a flashback narration in which the story unfolds.  Gene must find "a separate peace" for the events that transpired when he was a Devon student.

Without giving away too much of the plot, here is a book trailer that provides a brief synopsis.

What impressed me most at age 15 was that, for the novel's characters, impulsive actions had dire consequences.  Thoughtful, considered conduct, which was presumably a more mature life strategy, could avoid all manner of heartache.  It wasn't the first time I'd been told as a teenager to think before acting--the old "look before you leap" philosophy--but Knowles delivered this message without preaching and, quite possibly, without intending this theme to stand out in the slightest.  Certainly, the academics who have reviewed and analyzed the book have dwelt upon other ideas.

Contemporary readers might find Knowles' best-known work to be dated, because it occurs during the second world war.  I think its continued relevancy comes from its social concepts.  Teenagers experience the same emotions now as then.  If you haven't read it, you might give it a try.  You will find much to reflect upon, perhaps including yourself.

William R. Buckley
MPL Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What Do You Geek (Geek the Library Campaign)

As part of the national Geek the Library campaign encouraging the public to support their libraries, we would like to know what you geek.  Please let us know via comments or email.

Here is our program trailer (or is it a promo trailer?) showing a few ideas of what some of our patrons geek.  The video was created by longtime MPL patron and volunteer Janet Buckley, M.L.S., head of Technical Services at Greenwood Public Library (Greenwood, Indiana).  Soundtrack music was written by  Danny Buckley, MPL composer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Doll Will Scare You Plenty

Karl C. B. Muilliwey has studied paranormal phenomena for 35 years.  His interest began when he read psychiatrist Raymond Moody's milestone about near-death experiences, Life After Life (1975).  His first exposure to spiritualism came in a Readers' Digest excerpt of John G. Fuller's book, The Airmen Who Would Not Die (Putnam, 1st ed., 1979), which purportedly related after-death communications from the pilot of the R-101 British airship that crashed in France on its maiden voyage in 1930.  Since then he has "read more books on this subject than anything else," he reported, and, over the past two decades, has actively researched various paranormal cases involving survival of bodily death.  Muilliwey's first book, Haunting at Sycamore Lake (2010), received our book trailer treatment and was also excerpted in several installments appearing in this blog (beginning with this posting).

Muilliwey has another paranormal book in the works, which is featured in our book trailer below.

This work will be a more extensive collection of paranormal cases that the author has collected and investigated during the past 20 years.  The lead case is one of the more creepy experiences.  Muilliwey does not yet have a firm publication date, but the book is slated to appear sometime during 2012.

We are excited to present a new orchestral composition by our library composer, Danny Buckley, which is entitled "Human Doll."  It was particularly appropriate for this subject matter.

If you missed our book trailer about Muilliwey's earlier book, it, too, is worth a look.

To read excerpts from Muilliwey's 2010 book, please click the following hyperlinks: