Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fall Library Events at Brooks Memorial Library

Life-Long Learning Is Alive And Very Well At the Library

The beautiful fall panorama will soon be upon us but don't let that distract you from the interesting talks and presentations at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. There are nearly 20 events posted on the Library's online calendar at starting as early as September 10 and continuing to a few weeks before the Christmas holidays.

Library events are the best deal going: turn your thermostat down and walk down to the library to hear talks and presentations by various experts and knowledgeable people. All events are all free and open to anyone wanting to listen.

Events begin in early September with several lectures, a reading/discussion program, and a dramatic reading. The very popular year-long reading series on Presidential biographies ends with the final four programs scheduled for Wednesday evenings, at 7 PM: September 10, discussion of Nixon Agonistes, by Gary Wills; October 8, President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime by Lou Cannon; and October 22 and 29, discussions of two essential primary documents if American history, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The series is facilitated by humanities scholar Deborah Luskin, and is sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council and funded by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library. Books are available at the main circulation desk.

Besides the month of the autumnal equinox, September is also Vermont Archaeology Month. Join Archaeo-botanist Kimberly Kasper from the University of Massachusetts who will speak on Reconstructing Native Peoples: Subsistence and Land Use Within the New England Landscape. The talk will take place in the Main room on Thursday, September 11, at 7 PM.

Memory, Aging, and Alzheimer's will be the topic sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont and presented by Associate Director of Programs and Marketing, Maggie Lewis, on Wednesday, September 17, at 7 PM.

On Thursday, September 18, at 7 PM, Mildred Taken Crazy, is a two-person play performed by Steve Friedman and Denny Partridge about a notorious 1897 murder. The case was a sensation throughout the eastern U.S., the disappeared from the public record for many decades.

The Philosophy of Creative Parenting will be presented on Wednesday, September 24, at 7 PM, in the Library’s meeting room by educator/author Bonnie Harris. Contemporary Chinese Politics and Power will be the subject of a presentation by Johns Hopkins University professor David M. Lampton, on Friday, September 26, at 7:30. Sponsored by the Windham World Affairs Council of Vermont, there also will be light refreshments served in the meeting room at 6:30 PM.

A third year of the First Wednesdays lecture series returns Wednesday, October 1, at 7 PM, in the Main room, with a lecture by Dartmouth College professor Peter Saccio on The Importance of being Oscar, a talk on Oscar Wilde. Pickup a calendar of the Vermont Humanities Council's statewide First Wednesday lectures and it will take you right on through May 2009. The series is funded by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library; Brattleboro Savings and Loan; and Merrill-Lynch of Brattleboro.

Learning about Vermont from fiction is the subject of Ann Micou’s newest reference guide, A Guide to Fiction Set in Vermont for Children and Young Adults will be presented in children’s room on Thursday, October 2 at 7 PM.

And make sure that you reserve Sunday afternoon, October 5, at 3:45 PM for programs from the now regionally famous, Brattleboro Literary Festival. Vermont novelists Castle Freeman, Jr., Beth Kanell, and South African political activist Mac Maharaj will hold court in the Main room

Award-winning author and Keene State College graduate Betty J. Cotter will be at Brooks on Friday, October 10, at 7 PM to discuss her new novel, Roberta’s Woods, a novel that paints a grim picture of tomorrow with gas approaching $10 per gallon; SUV’s abandoned for compact cars; food shortages; and runaway heating oil prices.

Reserve Sunday afternoon, November 2, at 2 PM, for the Brattleboro Historical Society’s annual meeting to hear Civil War expert, Donald Wickman talk about Civil War Brattleboro photographer, George Houghton. And in keeping with the history theme, professional genealogist, Joann Nichols, will present a workshop entitled, Genealogy and Health: Create Your Medical Family Tree, on Wednesday, November 12, at 7 PM, in the Library’s meeting room.

A new reading/discussion series will also begin in November. The Ties That Bind: Take Two, is the second part of the four-part series that explores the subject of family through a selection of three novels and one memoir. On Wednesday, November 19, at 7 PM, Deborah Luskin will lead a discussion of David and Daniel Hays memoir, My Old Man and the Sea. Books will be available.

All of these programs are free and open to the public. Lifelong learning is alive and well at your public library. For more information on any of these events, please call the library at 802-254-5290, ext 101, send an email to, or logon to the web site at


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lily Koppel Presents The Red Leather Diary at Brooks Memorial Library

It was a good turnout on a beautiful summer's eve tonight at the library to hear. Lily Koppel, author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal, read exquisitely from her work. Lily tells the story of the discovery of a red leather diary written by a 15 year old Florence Wolfson in 1929. 2,000 entries and five years later the diary ends but within its crumbling pages Koppel discovers the vivid and dynamic life of a young woman growing up in Manhattan in the 1930s.

When Koppel, a young journalist, left her New York City apartment one morning in 2003, she had no idea that the contents of a dumpster outside her building would change the course of her life and that of 90-year old Florence Wolfson.

Read more of this incredible serendipitous discovery at her web site. Or join her Facebook group.

If you missed Lily tonight you can catch her at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT. on Wednesday, August 6, at 7 pm. Or, see her at one of the many public appearances.

Reserve the book at Brooks Memorial Library by clicking here.

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