Friends and Foundation of the APL

Tuesday book talks

Most of my volunteer time involves the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library. I’ve been on the Board since the merger of the Friends of the APL and the APL Foundation in 2020. Before that, I served on both the Foundation board and as an officer off and on for the Friends.

The purpose of the FFAPL is to provide “critical financial support to the Albany Public Library in order to help the Library provide education, literacy, career development, cultural enrichment, and lifelong learning.” The Friends and Foundation can do things that the library cannot. For instance, the library can inform the public about a library budget vote, but the FFAPL can advocate for a YES vote.

Books

Every Tuesday, there is a book review or author talk. I’m one of the people looking for speakers. If you are in the area and want to consider this, contact my email or IM me on Facebook (Roger Owen Green, the one with the duck). Here are talks for the rest of the month, Tuesdays at noon, 161 Washington Avenue in the auditorium.

August 9 |Book Review | Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins. Reviewer: Karl K. Barbir, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history, Siena College.

August 16 |Book Review | How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Reviewer: Roger Green, MLS, former librarian & past president of the Friends of Albany Public Library.

August 23 | Book Review | The Man Who Understood Democracy: The Life of Alexis de Tocqueville by Olivier Zunz. Reviewer: John McGuire, Ph.D., professor of history, Siena College.

August 30 | Book Review | Her Honor: My Life on the Bench . . . What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It by LaDoris Hazzard Cordell. Reviewer: Bonita Sanchez, MSW, retired academic & lifelong social worker.

ROGER GREEN? Yikes, I better read the book!

Gala

For the last decade, there has been a Literary Legends gala. This year’s honorees are Sylvie Kantorovitz and Edward Schwarzschild. Sylvie is the illustrator of many picture books. Ed has been a novelist, but his next book is “a non-fiction, interview-based documentary.”

The gala is the primary way the FFAPL makes money to provide to the Albany Public Library. You could be a sponsor, offer auction items, buy ads, and/or attend the event on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the Delaware Branch of the APL, 331 DELAWARE AVENUE, from 7-9 pm.

Recruitment

Part of my specific task involves recruiting new people to the board. We can use help working on events such as book sales, the gala, talks, and even things no one is doing now. We could also use help with the prosaic but important tasks such as finance, organizational structure, and board recruitment.

Hey, if you live in the Albany area and want to know more about participating in this manner, please let me know.

The complicated act of voting in NYS

two primaries this summer

Voting has become a complicated act in 2022. I’m not talking voter suppression, which I’ve mentioned before.

First, congratulations to Sarah Macinski, a member of my church, who was elected to the Board of the Albany Public Library Trustees on May 17 in a ten-person race. The five-year terms of the three candidates with the highest number of votes begin in July. But Sarah, as the fourth-highest vote-getter, starts her four-year term immediately.

On the same day, school boards across the state were elected. The issues are more urgent than ever. Sandi Sonnenfeld from the board of the Mid-Hudson Arts Education Alliance sounds the alarm. “Of the 1,145 novels and nonfiction books currently banned in one or more public schools in the United States, 74 percent of them feature protagonists of color or LGBTQ protagonists? Another 22 percent examine racism and other forms of social injustice.”

While only a handful of candidates won on anti-Critical Race Theory, and anti-LGBTQ platforms locally, two people won on Manhasset, Long Island, as  Alan Singer reports.

ALSO: Albany Public Library names new Executive Director, Andrea Nicolay 

VOTING-New York State

As Daily Kos noted, “a Republican judge in upstate New York ordered the implementation of a new court-drawn congressional map that radically redraws the state’s existing districts and has already sparked widespread political upheaval. 

“The final map is in most respects similar to the draft proposed earlier… by court-appointed expert Jonathan Cervas, who appears to have prized compactness and competitiveness above other considerations, such as preserving communities of interest.” I must admit that, as an old poli sci major, I too support “compactness and competitiveness.”

Moreover, the Democrats had chosen to approve “maps that were shameful in their egregious bias. They overreached, with hubris both obvious and ugly.” The gerrymandering of certain districts, especially in New York City, was terrible.

Thus, New York State will be having 2 primaries this summer, at double the cost. Well, unless a lawsuit consolidates them. The second primary on August 23 will just be “for Congress and the state Senate, which saw its map struck down on the same grounds. Candidates for the Assembly and statewide office, however, are continuing to run in the original June 28 primary.”

One of the candidates in NY-10 downstate may include Elizabeth Holtzman.  Should she succeed in her comeback attempt, her 42-year gap between periods of service in Congress would be the longest in history by far.

ALSO: Federal Elections results in Australia

SNL- PSA: Vote

In-person FFAPL book reviews are back!

also, author talks

book facade
for National Library Week

The Albany Public Library announced that is opening meeting rooms and resuming in-person programs starting Monday, April 4. This means that the book reviews conducted by the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library (FFAPL) are back every Tuesday at noon, starting April 19 at the Washington Avenue branch!

The Friends of the APL, one of the antecedents to the FFAPL, held book reviews or author talks Tuesdays every week when the library was open literally for decades. In recent years, these events were scheduled primarily by Eugene Damm and Jonathan Skinner. They continued until… well, you know what.

For a while, there was no book review programming at all. Then someone suggested that maybe we should utilize that new-fangled electronic device known as ZOOM. I got involved with this mostly because my computer was more robust than Jon’s or Gene’s, and because had retired. Some of the talks were recorded; you can find some of them here. A few we don’t have because the technology failed. A couple that was done outside at the Bach branch had too much noise from neighbors and the wind.

The Upper Hudson Library Council noted the effort that Jon and I had done in the remote world by awarding us as UHLS volunteers of the year. We were among several folks honored in June 2021, online, of course.

We’re BACK

Here’s the schedule thus far for the Tuesday talks. Albany people: if you can pass the word, it would be greatly appreciated.

19 April Book Review | Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human by Elizabeth Hess. Reviewer: Joseph Krausman, MA, MFA, retired policy analyst, poet, and teacher.

26 April Book Review | The Color Of Law by Richard Rothstein. Reviewer: Roger Green, a former librarian and past president of the Friends of Albany Public Library.

3 May 3 Author Talk | Pippa Bartolotti, Cornish/Welsh human rights and climate activist, discusses & reads from her poetry book, The Symmetries: Book 1 Poetic Symmetry.

10 May Book Review | The Trial of Leonard Peltier by James W. Messerschmidt. Reviewer: Larry Becker, lawyer, activist, past member of Albany’s Community Police Review Board, & producer of the Radio Free Blues Show.

17 May Book Review | Science on a Mission: How Military Funding Shaped What We Do and Don’t Know About the Ocean by Naomi Oreskes. Reviewer: Jonathan Skinner, Ph.D., retired statistician & amateur classicist.

24 May Book Review | A Wild Idea: How the Environmental Movement Tamed the Adirondacks by Brad Edmondson. Reviewer: Tom Ellis, educator, and activist.

31 May Book Review | Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate by M. E. Sarotte. Reviewer: Gene Damm, former journalist and past president of the Friends of Albany Public Library.

March rambling: quotation marks

Support the Albany High School robotics team!

tractor_beam_2x
From https://xkcd.com/2579/

In a world-historic first, microplastics were detected in human blood

The Our World in Data COVID vaccination data

 How American conservatives turned against the vaccine

The Lancet: Paul Farmer

Cameroonians fleeing conflict are in dire need of Temporary Protected Status – cf.  Inside “the most diverse square mile in America”

What Caused the War? Ukraine and Russia in Historical Context

The Race to Archive the Ukrainian Internet

Ukrainian Actress Oksana Shvets Killed in Russian Rocket Attack

Non-war conflict

Hate and extremism

How did Christianity become so toxic?

The Interactive Theater of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation Hearing

Addressing racial inequality in paid leave policy

Sara Jacobs, one of the youngest members of Congress, talks about sexism and ageism in politics. 

Writing Women into History

Women in medicine are running up the wrong side of the escalator

Where Does the Religious Right Go After Roe?

Sojourner Truth’s Battle to Free Her Son from Slavery

Actor Tim Reid on addressing racial issues on WKRP in Cincinnati

Texas’ New Voting Law Disenfranchised Thousands Of Otherwise Eligible Voters

The Tangled, Messy Roots of Fake News, long before it became djt’s favorite term

Ginni Thomas demanded Congressional Republicans take the fight to overturn the 2020 election to the streets

John Bolton admits that ‘it’s hard to describe how little [djt] knows’

I Know There’s An Answer

Climate Change Brings Uncontrollable Wildfires

 The Illinois town that got up and left

The 1950 Census is Coming: What You Need to Know

Timbuctoo Institute would build opportunities in the Adirondacks 

About Those Gas Prices

Concert  Tickets: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

2021 County and Economic Development Regions Population Estimates for NYS

Luka’s mural

Jobfished: the con that tricked dozens into working for a fake design agency

“They’re called ‘quotation marks’.”

Phobias. Aibohphobia is the (unofficial) fear of palindromes. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is used to describe the fear of very long words.

The official Girl Scout cookie power rankings

The Result of a Rabbit Hole

Audience participation

GoFundMe page for the Albany High School Robotics Team to compete at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston, TX on April 20-23. They placed 2nd in the New York Tech Valley Regional Competition.

Four Open Seats on Albany Public Library Board in May 17 Election. Nominations are due to the Clerk of the City School District of Albany by Wednesday, April 27, at 5 pm.

New York Bike Census

Now I Know

The Biggest Bread Soup in the World and Why Are My Baby Carrots Always Wet? and The First Computer Bug and The Phone Booth in the Middle of Nowhere and Beware the Ire of Caesar and Which Came First, The Algorithm or the Pi? and World War II’s Pre-Email E-Mail

MUSIC

Livinliv – Aleksandr Shymko

Irish tunes

K-Chuck Radio: The musical tree of Ida Red  and green songs

Holiday at Ferghana -Reinhold Gliere

Lullabye of Broadway from 42nd Street

Coverville: 1393 – John Cale and Velvet Underground Cover Story and 1394 – The Blink-182 Cover Story II and 1395 – The Smashing Pumpkins Cover Story II

FFAPL Literary Legends Gala 2021

Eugene Mirabelli, Lydia Davis

The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library is having its Literary Legends Gala 2021 on Saturday, October 16 from 6 to 8 pm. It will be held at the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library, 517 Western Avenue. The first six annual galas were in person. The one in 2020 was, no surprise, virtual. This year’s event will be a hybrid because that’s what 2021 looks like.

The FFAPL “provides critical financial support to the Albany Public Library in order to help the Library provide education, literacy, career development, cultural enrichment, and lifelong learning.” These include supporting specific Library programs and projects, beyond the budget and scope of APL.

Our guests

The honorees are Lydia Davis and Eugene Mirabelli, each a professor emeritus at SUNY-Albany.

Lydia is a short story writer, novelist, and translator. “Her honors and awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, as well as the Man Booker International Prize.” I bought her Collected Works (2009) in 2013 when she was honored by the Friends, a predecessor of FFAPL.

I attended Gene’s book launch for Renato! earlier this month. It is revised and reassembled from three of his earlier works. At the reading, he read from chapter 3 of what was part of The Goddess in Love with a Horse. It was so engaging that I bought the collection. Thirty years ago, I met Gene a few times, then hadn’t crossed paths with him until this year. He is just as engaging now as then.

The event

The gala features an online auction, already started and going on through October 16. And you don’t have to be in the Albany, NY area to participate. Here’s the link.

Tickets: ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER OF IN-PERSON TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE. All In-Person Tickets are “Honorary Committee” tickets at $125 each. All in-person attendees must show proof of vaccination. Virtual tickets are pay-what-you-wish, with a recommended donation of $25.

Two nearby banks have given the event organizers permission to use their parking lots for the event, Citizens Bank, 501 Western Avenue (enter from the West Lawrence St. side), and Trustco Bank, 1084 Madison Avenue, both nearby.

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