Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
On April 29 the Alma Powell Branch Library held a triple anniversary celebration! At our Open House we celebrated three anniversaries; the 40th anniversary of the Alma Powell Library Branch. This branch was named after Alma Harrod Powell in 1969 because of her devoted dedication to teaching and education. We also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Alma Powell Library Branch being in the Douglass Community Association building. This branch moved into this building in 1984. And last, but not least, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our Barnabee Gallery. In 1989 the Barnabee Gallery was organized and named by Dr. Walden Baskerville. He contacted and scheduled exhibits with the schools to display the children’s artwork in the Barnabee Gallery.
Our Open House included fantastic food, music and the presentation of a plaque honoring Walden Baskerville.
We could not have been more pleased with our turnout or the delight this recognition brought. The branch saw many familiar faces there to honor Walden and to celebrate this anniversary year with the Alma Powell Library Branch.
The Alma Powell Library Branch would like to thank The Friends of the Library and The Dulcets Club for helping us to make this library’s triple anniversary celebration so extraordinary.
Powell Branch Library
Who Hit John? systematically smacked everyone in attendance with their rawkus style of blugrass and old-time country swing at the library on April 29th. The boys entertained a crowd of well over 100 fans at the 11th consecutive concert in the popular concert series. The acts get better each month and this show did not disappoint. It was a night to celebrate not only a great local musical act, but also a community coming together to enjoy fun music. Who Hit John? is an awesome representation of the vibrant music scene in Kalamazoo!
Who Hit John?
One of the first principles you learn in theatre is to trust your partner. It’s also a required ingredient for two writers collaborating. Just ask Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy, the husband and wife team whose book of one-act plays has just been published. Duets is a collection is six short plays, “providing a view of the human heart in the tender war of love.”
Johnston and Percy write these plays together. Often one will start and hand off to the other. Absolute trust in your partner is required, they said.
These short plays are snippets of couples caught in the act of life. Johnston and Percy begin with the everyday: waiting for a client to appear, arguing over marriage counseling, climbing a monument. When two people know each other well, multiple conversations are carried on in just one sentence and the dialog reflects that intimacy of communication. As the issues of here and now are bandied about, there’s always a subtext or two. Johnston and Percy layer all that witty situational banter with the deeper issues confronted in relationships — agreements, confessions, trespasses, questions.
We hosted the authors at KPL on May 6 for a reading and book signing. Give a listen as they read from “A Pet of Temperance.”
Duets: Love Is Strange
As a key contributor to civic and cultural life here in our town, Kalamazoo Public Library participates in a variety of collaborations and joint-ventures. One of our lesser-known partnerships is with WGVU public television and other organizations engaged in the Fetzer Institute’s “Campaign for Love and Forgiveness.” Through community events and public TV programming, the campaign encourages conversation and contemplation about how love and forgiveness can effect change in individuals and society. For our part, KPL has hosted well-received film showings and conversations about forgiveness.
Yesterday, I learned from the campaign leaders that May 1, among other distinctions, is Global Love Day! In the spirit of international harmony, I’m happy to share this amazing video from the “Playing for Change: Song Around the World” project.
Roger Ridley, a Santa Monica street musician, "Playing for Change"