January 2014 Archives

Welcome to Black History Month 2014!

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celebrate-BHM.gifTo mark the 50th anniversary of the the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the National 2014 Black History Month theme is "Civil Rights in America."

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History's executive summary of this year's theme explains:

"The Revolutionary American Thomas Paine held that 'civil rights are those which appertain to man in right of his being a member of society.' From the beginning of our Republic, free people of African descent have seen themselves as citizens, members of society, and therefore due equal rights. From the nation's origins, Americans believed that religion should not be a basis for abridging a citizen's rights, but very few believed color should be treated similarly. And gender and sexual orientation were not even open for discussion. The resulting struggles over civil rights have remade our nation for more than two centuries.

The history of civil rights in the United States is largely the story of free people of color and then African Americans to define and enumerate what rights pertain to citizens in civil society. It has been the history of enlisting political parties to recognize the need for our governments, state and federal, to codify and protect those rights."

Throughout the month of February on the Now @ MPL blog, look for frequent posts exploring the people, the organizations, and the pivotal moments in the history of civil rights in America.

Edith Wharton : Town and Country

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A Visit to Edith Wharton's Estate, The Mount


Photograph by David Dashiell

In 1902 Edith Wharton, who loved the climate and scenery of the Berkshire mountains in western Massachusetts, built a home in Lenox which she called The Mount. Ogden Codman, a young architect with whom Wharton had written The Decoration of Houses (1897), designed the principal rooms of The Mount. In The Decoration of Houses, Wharton and Codman rejected the cluttered and over-upholstered look of Victorian rooms and advocated classical principles of restraint and proportion inspired by European villas.

A visit to The Mount is offered as an extension of the tour organized by Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library to "Edith Wharton's New York City" in May. The author Henry James, a close friend of Wharton's, described The Mount as "an exquisite and marvelous place, a delicate French chateau." The estate has been restored to its original splendor. Particular care was taken in the recreation of Wharton's bedroom suite, down to the smallest details of fabric and paint chosen by her for the room in which she did most of her writing. The library at The Mount displays Wharton's personal collection of books.

Wharton, who was an authority on European landscape design and a passionate gardener, envisioned her gardens at The Mount as a series of elegant outdoor rooms complementing the house. On our visit we will see the restored grounds, including the beautiful Italianate walled garden, and have lunch on the sweeping terrace where Wharton entertained friends.

Last year photographer Annie Leibovitz created eight stunning scenes at The Mount for Vogue Magazine, with contemporary writers and actors cast as Edith Wharton and her friends.

frost photo 2.jpgAll Milwaukee Public Libraries will be open from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, including Central Library. The Ready Reference Service will still be open for their regular hours at 9:00 a.m. to answer reference questions, but the Central Drive-Up will not open until noon. Some programs may be cancelled due to the extreme cold. Please call the Ready Reference hotline at (414)286-3011 to check if the program you wish to attend is still running according to schedule. At this time, we know that Teacher In the Library will not be offered on Monday or Tuesday evening due to extreme weather conditions. We hope that you stay warm and exercise caution when traveling to the library in this extreme cold.

Learn Nail Art at King Library!

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'Lightning Nail Art' photo (c) 2012, Neil Milne - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Get inspired and get creative at King Library's Nail Art program. If you enjoy learning new nail art techniques then this is the program for you! Teens age 13-18 are welcome. No registration required.

Nail Art
King Library, 310 W. Locust St.
Monday, February 3, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Check out a few of these nail art books from your library to get a head start on cool designs!

Nail art.jpgNail art2.jpgNail Art3.jpg

DIY Nail Art : 75 Creative Nail Art Designs by Catherine Rodgers
Nail Art : Inspiring Designs by the World's Leading Technicians by Helena Biggs
Nail Candy : 50+ Ideas for Totally Cool Nails by Donne & Ginny Geer

Learn a New Language with Pronunciator

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Did you make a New Year's resolution to expand your language skills? Try Pronunciator, the newest language learning electronic resource from Milwaukee Public Library!

If you desire an intensive language learning guide Pronunciator may be just what you want. With 82 languages, including the less-common Pinyin Chinese, Romaji Japanese and Somali, Pronunciator offers additional options for language students who want to go more in-depth. Creating a personal account is a must, as drills and quizzes are personalized to the individual's progress.

Pronunciator is a library subscription and is available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

Happy National Pie Day!

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Photo by Dwight Burdette

Take a break from any diet-related New Year's resolutions and celebrate National Pie Day. Milwaukee Public Library has many pie-related items to help spice up your celebration and sweeten your day.

First things first: recipes. Some of you may have that special recipe that is handed down through the family from generation to generation. If you're not that lucky, or you would like to try something "new", check out the 257 different pie recipes available in the Milwaukee Public Library's Historic Recipe Collection.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to get a little workout before feasting on delicious pie, stop by one of our library locations and check out one of the pie-related cookbooks we have on our shelves.

Once your pie is cooked and ready to eat, enjoy it while reading a juicy mystery, or a sweet romance novel, or one of the several other pie-themed fiction books, available for check out at Milwaukee Public Library.

Edith Wharton: Town and Country

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East Side/West Side in The Custom of the Country


Edith Wharton's novel The Custom of the Country is set in New York City at the end of the Gilded Age. It was a time when the established families who had ruled society for generations were being overtaken by a new social class whose prestige was based on money rather than tradition. The novel centers on Wharton's most unusual heroine, Undine Spragg, as she navigates the marriage customs of the day. Her upward mobility can be traced in the geography of Manhattan. As the novel opens, Undine and her parents are living in an expensive West Side hotel. From her bedroom, she looks along 72nd Street toward Central Park and dreams of the elegant world of Fifth Avenue--the East Side--just across the Park.

On our trip to "Edith Wharton's New York City" in May, we will have a guided walking tour of the exclusive East Side that drew Undine Spragg and other Wharton heroines. At 70th Street and Fifth Avenue we will visit the mansion of Henry Clay Frick, one of the newly rich business magnates of Wharton's era, and see his unparalleled collection of art. We'll then have lunch at the Boathouse in Central Park and afterward walk to the Metropolitan Museum of Art up Fifth Avenue

Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library invites you to read The Custom of the Country and join in a book discussion on Saturday, February 15, at 1:00 p.m. in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room in the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Avenue. The event is free and open to the public; street parking around the library is free on Saturdays.

Join Zablocki Library's Book Club for Adults

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Cuckoo's calling book jacket.jpgThis month's selection will be The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. The book club discussion for this book will be held on Friday, February 7th from 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. If you can't join us in February, please join us in a future meeting of this new book club. All subsequent book clubs will be held on the first Friday of the month at the same time, with the exception of July when there will be no meeting due to the Independence Day holiday. No registration is required and new members are always welcome.

Date: February 7, 2014
Time: 10:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
Location: Zablocki Library located at 3501 W. Oklahome Ave. 53215

Gale Virtual Reference Library @ MPL

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Take a look at the latest general reference database available from Milwaukee Public Library!

Gale Cenage Learning offers many ebook versions of their most popular reference titles on their Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) platform. Explore titles such as Business Plans Handbook, The College Blue Book, Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary and The African American Almanac just to name a few, as well as series such as Scribner Writers Online, Contemporary Black Biography and The Science Behind.... Over a thousand titles are available.

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a library subscription and is available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

This Day in History : Don Quixote First Published

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Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza. By Gustave Doré, 1863

Part one of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (better known as Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes was first published on January 16, 1605. Part two followed ten years later, and the novel as a whole went on to inspire countless other authors, artists and performers, as well having the honor of being considered a founder of modern Western literature.

Don Quixote is the story of a bookworm who loses himself to the world of the romantic and chivalrous books he reads. He embarks on a series of quests, along with his faithful squire Sancho Panza, to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, not all of the monsters he is fighting are real, and his quests often end badly.

Perhaps the most famous image of Don Quixote is one of him attacking a windmill, which he believes to be an evil giant.


Don Quixote fighting a windmill on his horse, Rocinante. In the background Sancho Panza next to his donkey. By Gustave Doré, 1863

To this day, people still use the phrase "tilting at windmills" as an idiom for attacking imaginary enemies. Another English language word that came from the man himself is "quixotic", which means "impractically idealistic.

The library carries a large number of materials of the original novel itself, as well as works inspired by it. A sampling is listed below (complete with links to the items in our catalog).


Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Commentaries, reference and study guides


Orson Wells' Don Quixote

Man of La Mancha - Musical based on Don Quixote.

They Might Be Giants - Not to be confused with the musical group of the same name, a movie inspired by Don Quixote, and takes its name from the windmill scene of Don Quixote.


Man of La Mancha - Music from the Broadway show (adapted into the movie with the same name). The score includes the popular song "The Impossible Dream", which has been sung by many artists (including Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross and Plácido Domingo).

Don Quixote - Classical music.

For the curious, a more complete list of works inspired by Don Quixote has been compiled at Wikipedia.

Edith Wharton: Town and Country

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French Architecture in New York City

Edith Wharton traveled widely in Europe from the time she was a child and was fluent in French and Italian. Her travel books about Italy and France display her thorough knowledge of the architecture of European cathedrals, abbeys, fortresses, and villas. Though she never gave up her American citizenship, she eventually settled in France, purchased two homes there, and was buried in Versailles.

On our tour of "Edith Wharton's New York City" in May, we will visit a unique institution that embodies the architecture and culture Wharton knew so well: the Cloisters Museum and Gardens. The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art of medieval Europe. The building, which is constructed of Romanesque and Gothic elements from French abbeys, houses a collection of paintings, sculpture, and tapestries from the Middle Ages. Among its treasures are "The Unicorn Tapestries", seven world-famous hangings from the late 15th century depicting the hunt for the unicorn.

We are lucky that our visit to the Cloisters will coincide with a special exhibit of six stained glass windows from England's Canterbury Cathedral. The windows have never left the cathedral precincts since their creation in the late 12th century. The month of May will also be a perfect time to see the three gardens of the Cloisters, which cultivate medieval herbs and plants as well as flowers and trees that appear in the Unicorn Tapestries. For a few hours we will feel that we are in Edith Wharton's Europe, transported from the busy metropolis outside.

Library Closed in Observance of the King Holiday

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index_MLKing.gifAll City of Milwaukee Libraries will be closed Monday, January 20th, 2014 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Later that week, we hope that kids will join us in celebrating the accomplishments and vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. with books, shared readings, and the creation of a dream chain. Refreshments will be served.

This program will be held at three neighborhood library locations on Wednesday, January 15th. The times for each program location are below.

Location: Martin Luther King Library
Date: January 15th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Villard Square Library
Date: January 15th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Atkinson Library
Date: January 15th, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

WestlawNext is a new legal research system that speaks the same language as you!
Intermediate Research on WestlawNext
Our Intermediate Research on WestlawNext class lets you take the next step in your research training. Learn more tips and tricks for getting the best results from your research time. The Intermediate Westlaw® Skills course will teach users how to improve their online legal research skills beyond the basic level, by educating users how to search additional sources such as statutes, law reviews, and secondary materials. Participants learn how to broaden research skills to encompass materials beyond case law.

Intermediate Research on WestlawNext (1 credit)
Tuesday, Jan. 21 ~ 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Meeting Room 1

Topical Research on WestlawNext
This course builds upon your legal research skills using WestlawNext to delve into topical content sets of law. You will learn how to fi nd case law, statutes, regulations, and administrative documents specifi c to specifi c topical areas of practice. Participants will explore WestlawNext's "Related Documents" feature which will suggest secondary resources that are on-point. Attendees will learn advanced research techniques for WestSearch, the multi-functional search box that simultaneously searches all content sets on WestlawNext. Finally, you will learn how to perform legal research using West's Topic and Key Number System from the West National Reporter System (NRS). This course will focus on the following topics: 1. Habeas Petitions; 2. Administrative Reviews; 3. Insurance Law-Duty to defend

Topical Research on WestlawNext (1 credit)
Tuesday, Jan. 21 ~ 1 to 2 p.m.
Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Meeting Room 1

Sign up for one class or for both by calling the library at 414.286.3011

Registration is suggested and space is limited. These are demonstration classes. One CLE credit is pending for each of the courses for attorneys who attend. Upon reasonable notice, efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. For

New Business Database @ MPL!

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Check out Gale Business Insights: Global, the newest business research database available from Milwaukee Public Library:

Research and analyze companies, industries, and economies around the world with Business Insights: Global from Gale Cengage Learning. If you liked Business & Company Resource Center and Gale Business Insights: Essentials, you will find even more in this version, which includes chart data and case studies reflecting worldwide business activity, as well as the articles and analysis for which Gale is known.

Gale Business Insights: Global is a library subscription and is available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

Investigate your family history with help from Humanities librarians and a brief introduction to library resources available for beginning genealogists. Held in the 2nd floor Krikelas Room on Thursday, January 16th from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM. Reservations are not required. Please call Ready Reference at (414) 286-3011 with any questions.

Researching Your Family Tree
Date: Thursday, 4/16/2014
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Conference Room 2A (Paul Gottfried Krikelas) / Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave

Happy Birthday David Bowie

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Photo by the AVRO

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on as David Bowie (musical mastermind, actor, record producer, and goblin king) mystifyingly celebrates his 67th birthday today. He's won an Emmy, a Grammy (and another Lifetime Achievement Grammy), 3 MTV Music Video Awards, a Saturn, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and just this past year inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. These are just some of the honors that the man has won, not even scratching the surface of the numerous award nominations he's received over the years.

For some, he was Ziggy Stardust, a painted singer backed by the Spiders from Mars, and the pinnacle of glam rock. For some, he was Jareth the Goblin King of Labyrinth, mesmerizing young children with his magnificent hair and steely gaze. Others will recognize him from his iconic Christmas duet of 'The Little Drummer Boy' with Bing Crosby, as the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla in The Prestige, or his magnificent cameo in Zoolander. He is an ever evolving icon of popular culture, having released a brand new album just this past year: The Next Day.

So we wish a Happy Birthday to Mr. Bowie. To celebrate yourself make some ch-ch-ch-changes, pet your diamond dogs, ponder the possibility of life on Mars, and stop by your local library for some David Bowie related books, CDs, and DVDs.

Storytime @ Central Cancelled Today

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frost on window.jpgDue to extreme weather conditions, Central Library's preschool story time is cancelled for Tuesday, January 7th. All City of Milwaukee Public Libraries will open at noon today, and will close early at 6 PM. Please join us next week, January 14th, for our regularly scheduled story time at 10:30 AM. Child care centers are welcome. Stay warm today!

Happy Birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien!

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On January 3, 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State (now Free State Province in South Africa) to Arthur Reuel Tolkien and his wife, Mabel, née Suffield. The image above shows the Tolkien family's 1892 Christmas card, sent by Mabel to her family in Birmingham, England on November 15, 1892.

J. R. R. Tolkien became a major scholar of the English language, specializing in Old and Middle English. He was a professor at the University of Oxford for years, but became famous as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The success of these stories led to a popular resurgence of the fantasy genre. In honor of Tolkien's birthday today, you may wish to check out or request one of his books or a movie based on his writings or read a biographical sketch on the website of the Tolkien Society.

Lunch and Learn : Bring Your Own Device!

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Photo by Per Palmkvist Knudsen

Bring your tablet, Kindle, Nook, etc. to the library and we'll help you set up a library account on your device to download FREE books, music and magazines.

We'll provide subs from Cousins Subs, chips and water. Feel free to bring additional munchies if you'd like. Doors open at noon. Lunch will be available starting at noon. Registration required. Thank you to Cousins Subs for providing the sandwiches for our Lunch and Learn series.

WHERE: Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave. The program will take place in Mozart's Grove, on the first floor.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 8th from 12:00PM to 12:45PM

Program is repeated without lunch on Saturday, Jan. 11, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Central Library.

You can register online, or by calling Ready Reference at (414) 286-3011.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2013 is the previous archive.

February 2014 is the next archive.

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