Saint Paul Public Library selects Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older as 2017 Read Brave Book

Date: Dec 8th, 2016

Annual citywide one book program engages teens in discussions about thought-provoking, contemporary issues

Saint Paul Public Library has selected Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older as its 2017 Read Brave book. Read Brave is the library’s annual, citywide program encouraging youth and adults to read and come together around a young adult novel. The program encourages intergenerational dialog on thought-provoking, contemporary issues and culminates with a visit by the author.

"I am beyond thrilled that Shadowshaper will be the Read Brave book this year,” said Older. “I wrote Sierra's story thinking deeply about the Brooklyn neighborhood she lives in, but I've been amazed to hear folks from all over tell me they relate to her world, know her friends as their own friends, understand her magic. I'm thrilled the magic will live on in Minnesota as well." 

Shadowshaper addresses issues of body image, cultural appropriation, feminism, and gentrification.

Synopsis of Shadowshaper:

Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come. - Scholastic

Older will visit Saint Paul on March 1-2 and will participate in community conversations about his book and two community writing workshops, which are free and open to the public. Learn more at sppl.org/readbrave.

 

Read Brave is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Awaken, My Love!

Author or Artist

Childish Gambino
Awaken, My Love

Summary

The new album from Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) has been scoring the occasional critical comparison to Prince, which is - of course - high praise.

We Got it From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

Author or Artist

A Tribe Called Quest
We Got it From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

Summary

The new - and last - Tribe Called Quest album.

Saint Paul Public Library to offer hands-on science workshops over winter break for kids

Date: Nov 17th, 2016

The library’s winter Maker Break series returns with science explorations for kids


SAINT PAUL—The Saint Paul Public Library will be offering free science workshops in December to keep kids engaged and learning over winter break. This year's winter Maker Break activities will explore a wide array of topics, including genetics, thermodynamics, and microbiology in an accessible environment and are intended for ages 8-12.

“Young learners naturally are drawn to wonder, discover, and explore the world around them,” said Saint Paul Public Library children’s specialist, Aura Scherbel. “The Saint Paul Public Library’s Maker Break offer kids valuable science lessons in a family-friendly environment.”  

Using basic microscopes and other lab tools, kids will learn about common microbes and the diseases they cause; explore the properties of metal alloys under different temperatures; and investigate chromosomes and DNA, the basic building blocks of life.

“There is something magical about learning and seeing the unseen organisms that live on and within all of us,” said science exploration facilitator and St. Catherine University professor Cuc Kim Vu.  

Artist Russell Harris will also lead Bubblemancy workshops, teaching kids about the science behind bubbles while engaging them artistically.

The library’s winter Maker Break activities are described below:         

  • Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2-3:30 p.m.: Sun Ray, 2105 Wilson Ave.
    Science Exploration: Nitinol Memory Wire, Life Under the Microscope, and DNA and Chromosomes
  • Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2-4 p.m.: Hayden Heights, 1456 White Bear Ave.
    Bubblemancy: Learn about the science behind bubbles
  • Thursday, Dec. 29, 5:30-7 p.m.: Hamline Midway, 1558 W Minnehaha Ave.
    Science Exploration: Kinetic Sand, DNA and Chromosomes, and 1980s Microscopes
  • Friday, Dec. 30, 1-3 p.m.: West 7th, 265 Oneida St.
    Bubblemancy: Learn about the science behind bubbles
  • Saturday, Dec. 31, 2:30-4 p.m.: Rondo, 461 N Dale St
    Science Exploration: Nail Polish Film, Life Under the Microscope, and 1980s Microscopes

Learn more about these workshops at SPPL.org/break. This series was made possible by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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About Saint Paul Public Library

Saint Paul Public Library connects people in Saint Paul with the imperative and the joy of learning through a lifetime. Saint Paul residents can enjoy free access to technology, books, movies, music, classes and more. We are at 12 neighborhood libraries, George Latimer Central Library, the Bookmobile, and online at sppl.org

16,000 Saint Paul Public Schools students get virtual access to the Saint Paul Public Library today

Date: Nov 15th, 2016

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Library Go, a partnership between the schools and library launches for all secondary students today, followed by primary school students early next year

SAINT PAUL - The Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) and Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) launched Library Go today, providing instant access to the library's resources for more than 16,000 SPPS secondary school students. Library Go expands to all 38,000 SPPS students in early 2017 and will be the largest virtual library access program of its kind in the state.

"This joint venture between Saint Paul Public Schools and the City of St. Paul will allow learners of all ages to use a virtual internet superhighway and experience the wonders of the world without leaving St. Paul," said SPPS Superintendent John Thein. 

With Library Go, SPPS students will have seamless access to the library’s digital resources, including online homework help, dozens of databases, free music downloads, e-books, and countless other resources. The library is also pleased to offer students the ability to check out up to five physical items using their virtual card. These resources will help support students’ success both in the classroom and beyond.

Today’s event at Johnson High School, attended by Mayor Chris Coleman, SPPS Superintendent John Thein along with other school and library officials is the culmination of the City of Saint Paul's and SPPS' commitment to President Obama's ConnectED Library Challenge. The President’s call was for city officials, library directors, and schools to collaborate more closely to expand access to the nation's public libraries.

“This partnership between our libraries and public schools is an important step toward addressing the achievement gap through greater access to and expanded use of library resources,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “Library Go is a powerful example of what can be accomplished when two vital public institutions work together with the success of our students firmly in mind.”

SPPL and SPPS have been collaborating on this initiative since September 2015.

Find more information about Library Go at StPaul.gov and at LibraryGo.org, and watch the video that premiered at the launch.

Media Contacts:

Chase Maxwell, Saint Paul Public Library
Chase.Maxwell@ci.stpaul.mn.us, 651-266-7022

Toya Stewart Downey, Saint Paul Public Schools
ToyaStewart.Downey@spps.org, 651-767-8104

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Library Go

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Library Go - Now available for all SPPS high school and middle school students

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Saint Paul Public Library to receive inaugural national Top Innovator award for work on race and social equity

Date: Oct 24th, 2016

Susan Benton, President of Urban Libraries Council, will present the award to the Library Board and Mayor Coleman on October 26 

SAINT PAUL, MN—Later this week, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC), a national voice for public libraries, will recognize the Saint Paul Public Library as the first library system in the nation to receive the Top Innovator Award for Racial and Social Equity. ULC President, Susan Benton, will travel to Saint Paul on Wednesday, October 26 to present the award at a regularly scheduled meeting of the City’s Library Board at 3:30 p.m. in City Council chambers (15 W Kellogg Blvd.).

“Today’s public libraries are thought leaders, educational institutions and technology centers that play a critical role in building and strengthening the fabric of their communities,” said Susan Benton. “I commend Saint Paul Public Library for illustrating a sustained commitment to creativity and innovation that truly transforms their community.”

The Library launched its initiative in 2014 and has advanced strategies like using a racial equity assessment tool and staff training to address institutional and structural racism as part of a citywide effort. The Library has been a leader in changing practices that may unintentionally discriminate in hiring, promotion, and services. Key elements and accomplishments of the initiative are listed below:

  • Improved recruitment efforts that resulted in 40 percent of library staff being individuals of color, reflecting the City’s population as a whole.
  • Expanded storytimes to 8 other languages, including Amharic, Hmong, Karen, Oromo, and Somali, establishing greater parity with English language storytimes.
  • Instituted annual racial equity plans for all branches, departments, and teams, elevating racial and social equity as a fundamental strategic priority.
  • All staff attended Race: Are We So Different at the Science Museum and talking circles about what they learned.
  • Established the Racial Equity Change Team to advise on annual plan and policies/practices for assessment and surface workplace climate issue.
  • Eliminated library card requirement for computer use because of disproportionate impact on patrons of color.
  • Created a five-part interactive series, Conversations on Race, that challenged patrons to think about bias and institutional and structural racism.

“I am so pleased to see the Saint Paul Public Library recognized for the work it does to advance equity in our community,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “Our Library is leading the way in reaching and inspiring new audiences while, importantly, evolving its own practices to ensure it remains a vital and creative institution for lifelong learning in the 21st Century.”

The 2016 Top Innovators and Honorable Mentions were announced earlier this month at ULC’s Annual Forum in Kansas City. Award winners were chosen by a panel of expert judges who considered nearly 270 submissions in 10 categories that supported U.S. and Canadian public library programs focused on education, digital inclusion, healthy communities and library operations.

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About Urban Libraries Council

Urban Libraries Council (ULC), founded in 1971, is the voice for public libraries and the force that inspires them to evolve. ULC creates the tools, techniques, and ideas to make ongoing improvements and upgrades in services and technology. ULC also speaks loudly and clearly about the value public libraries bring to communities, and secures funding for research that results in the development of new programs and services. And by serving as a forum for library leadership, ULC produces innovative ideas and best practices that ensure community impact.

About Saint Paul Public Library

Saint Paul Public Library connects people in Saint Paul with the imperative and the joy of learning through a lifetime. Saint Paul residents can enjoy free access to technology, books, movies, music, classes and more. We are at 12 neighborhood libraries, George Latimer Central Library, the Bookmobile, and online at sppl.org.

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent

Summary

The Secret Agent is hardly my favorite Joseph Conrad novel, but even so-so Conrad is better than most. The production is lavish and the story does bear some socio-political relevance today. Plus, Toby Jones! Everyone loves Toby Jones. Everyone.

Lone Wolf and Cub

Lone Wolf and Cub

Summary

How much would you guess your taste in samurai movies overlaps with Quentin Tarantino's? That's how much you should place a request.