January 2011 Archives

13th_Amendment_Pg1of1_AC.jpgOn January 31st of 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th amendment to the constitution, which states that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Though President Lincoln had already issued the Emancipation Proclamation late in 1862, it was inconsistently enforced since it only addressed the states that had seceded and were still in rebellion of the Union. The states that had already surrendered to the union were not bound to abide by the Emacipation Proclamation. Neither were those that had not ever seceded, especially border states.


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January 28, 1986

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Many people remember where they were on January 28, 1986 when the spaceshuttle Challenger exploded about a minute after take-off. The explosion caused the death of all seven on board, including Christa McAulliffe, a New Hampshire educator chosen to be the first teacher in space. The explosion shocked the nation and cooled over two decades of national interest in space exploration.

Much has been written about that fateful day, and the teacher that wanted to push the boundaries of education. The library also has a documentary about space exploration, with a chapter about the Challenger disaster.



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Can't wait for the Super Bowl?

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FootballThe Super Bowl cannot get here fast enough for most of us. While you wait why not take a look at the Green Bay Packers items available on the Wisconsin Historical Society's Website?

Thanks to the generosity of the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Historical Society has a lot of great stuff, especially from the Lombardi years, like yearbooks, press books, photos and other memorabilia.


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Instant Messaging @ MPL

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Ask a question through Instant Message (IM)! Type the question in the chat box below and connect with Milwaukee Public Library.

MPL staff are available to answer your reference questions during the following hours:

Monday and Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

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With MPL's new Instant Messaging (IM) service, it's easier than ever to connect with the Milwaukee Public Library! You can IM the Milwaukee Public Library simply by typing your question into the chat box on the "IM the Library" page.

The new IM service is available:

Monday-Tuesday: 10 a.m. -8 p.m.
Wednesday-Saturday: 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Take advantage of the newest service MPL has to offer! Ask us a question today!




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First American Novel Published.

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18th century reader.jpg On January 21, 1789, the first American novel was published in Boston. The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature, by William Hill Brown advocates rational thinking and moral education to avoid dangerous situations caused by giving into one's base instincts.
The Milwaukee Public Library owns a copy of a later printing of this famous novel. Patrons can request this material at the information desk. The text of this novel is also availabe through archive.org, which is run by Cornell University. Many critics believe the text mirrors the political situation of the infant United States. Experience a piece of history by reading the first American novel!



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Fifty Years Ago Today

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JFKToday marks the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. One way to commemorate this day is to go to the Website of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. From this site you can access their two newest additions: a Website celebrating the JFK presidency and a groundbreaking digital archive. This is the largest collection of digitized materials from a presidential library whose collections were not born digitally. It contains approximately 200,000 pages; 300 reels of audio tape; more than 1,245 individual recordings of telephone calls, speeches, and meetings; 72 reels of film; and 1,500 photos.


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Quoth the Raven, "Happy Birthday to You"

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Edgar Allan Poe.jpgEdgar Allen Poe, one of America's most famous men of letters, was born on January 19th, 1809 to a pair of travelling actors. His father abandoned the family while Poe was an infant, and his mother died before his third birthday, a combination of events which may have helped set the stage for his dark and haunting literary works. Poe's young wife Virginia, whom he had married when she was thirteen, died of tuberculosis at 24, adding more grief to his life. He himself died somewhat mysteriously at the age of 40 after being found dirty and incoherent in a Baltimore tavern after a few days during which his whereabouts were unknown. His short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is considered to be the first modern detective story, several of his works have inspired movies and his most celebrated poem "The Raven" provided the name for Baltimore's National Football League team. To learn more about this enigmatic figure, check out Nevermore: A Photobiography of Edgar Allan Poe or The Everything Guide to Edgar Allan Poe, just two of the many books about or by Poe available at the Milwaukee Public Library.


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News from the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library

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WTBBL2.BMPThe National Library Service of the Blind and Physically Handicapped recently created the last talking book on audiocassettes when "Mare's War" by Tanita S. Davis joined the 50,000 other analog talking books in the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (WTBBL) collection. While the audiocassettes are still available to check out, all new titles will be only available in the new digital format. Since August 2009, WTBBL has distributed more than 20,000 digital talking titles on flash memory cartridges. All WTBBL digital talking books and more than forty magazines are available for downloading as well from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). In 2010 WTBBL patrons downloaded more than 25,000 digital talking books. To view available titles check out our catalog. For more information on WTBBL services and eligibility guidelines, visit our website at http://dpi.wi.gov/rll/wrlbph/.


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Milwaukee Justice Center

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Do you need legal forms or guidance related to divorce, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant disputes, name changes, or small claims? The new website of the Milwaukee Justice Center may be able to help. The Milwaukee Bar Association and the Marquette University Law School have formed a partnership to provide services to low-income people who need to represent themselves in court. Legal advice is not provided, but their extensive guides should help people navigate Milwaukee County's court system on their own. In addition, volunteer staff are available in Room G9 of the County Courthouse. They also host free, walk-in legal clinics for civil cases:

Family Law Clinic:

Monday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Small Claims & Foreclosure Clinic:

Thursday 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central.



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Three-Minute Fiction Contest

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Writing.jpgTrying to write more in the new year? If so, National Public Radio's Three-Minute Fiction contest could provide just the push you need. To enter, write an original piece of fiction that can be read in less than three minutes and is no more than 600 words. The current contest judge is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her challenge for the contest is as follows: At some point in your story, one character must tell a joke. And, one character must cry.

For complete rules, more information and tips from Adichie, check out NPR's Three-Minute Fiction announcement. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, January 23.


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Martin Luther King Holiday Hours

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Martin Luther King Jr two.jpgThe Martin Luther King Library will be open on Monday, January 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All other Milwaukee Public libraries will be closed.

Special events taking place at the King Library that day include:

Teens Helping Teens -
Understanding the Foster Care System
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Donations of toiletries and school supplies will be welcomed. All will be donated to La Causa.
This program is being presented by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.,
Upsilon Mu Omega Chapter

What's Your Dream?
1 to 3 p.m.
Help celebrate the memory and dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by sharing your dream on the library's "I Have a Dream" wall.
Sponsored by the MPL Teen Advisory Board, funded by the Helen Bader Foundation


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Mango Languages Now Offers Over 20 Languages!

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Interested in learning Farsi? How about Tamil or Tagalog? Learning another language is easier than ever with Mango Languages, a database providing online language instruction with a conversational focus.

City of Milwaukee library cardholders now have accesss to the following languages through Mango's Language Learning Center: Arabic(Levantine), Mandarin Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dari, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Latin American Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
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Mango's Language Learning Center also features several English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, including ESL for Egyptian Arabic, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese and more.

Creating a new account with Mango Languages is required to access the additional content. City of Milwaukee library cardholders can create their account here. Or by clicking on the "All Library Databases" portion of the Milwaukee Public Library's website.


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Bay View Book Club for Adults

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Crossing to Safety.jpgIt's not too late to start reading for the upcoming discussion of Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. This novel set in Depression Era Wisconsin follows the lives of two very different couples and their friendship. This session of the Bay View book club for adults will be on Wednesday, January 19th from 6:30 to 7:30pm.


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recalls.gov logoTo alert you to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six federal government agencies have joined together to create www.recalls.gov. It's easy to use this website to search for specific product recalls or all recent recalls. You can also subscribe to receive emails when products are recalled and there is an application you can download to your mobile phone. The different recall categories include consumer products, motor vehicles, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics and environmental products.


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The Golden Gate Bridge

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Golden Gate Bridge 3.jpgOn January 5, 1933, construction began on one of America's most famous landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California. Since opening to the public in May 1937, almost two billion vehicles have crossed the bridge.

The bridge is named not for its distinctive color, but for the Golden Gate Strait, where the San Francisco Bay opens into the Pacific Ocean. Frommer's San Francisco 2011 refers to the Golden Gate as "possibly the most beautiful, and certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world."


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This January join Artists Working in Education (A.W.E.) at the Martin Luther King Library for free art activities for children in grades K5-5. Kids and families will create unique art projects to take home. A.W.E. programs at the King Library are scheduled from 4:00-5:30pm for the following Wednesdays in January: 5, 12, 19, 26.
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Kids and families are welcome to attend one or all of the programs. Due to space limitations, kids must pre-register. Register at the library or online at www.mpl.org or call (414) 286-3011. For more information about the activities, please call A.W.E. at (414) 933-3877.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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