Photo Essay: Spring at Fairmount

As you may know, the Davenport Library at Fairmount is bordered by the Davenport bike path on one side and backs up to the woods that line the path. With a wall of windows along the back wall of the library you are treated to a particularly beautiful backdrop no matter what the season. Right now the redbud and crabapple trees are in full bloom, everything is fresh and bright green and the birds are singing in full chorus. It’s really the best time of year. Come join us for a brief photo stroll of Spring at Fairmount.

All photos by Ann Hetzler. Taken April 22, 2017.

A Place for All People – Opening Celebration!

Davenport Public Library, Saint Ambrose University, and the Davenport Civil Rights Commission Celebrate Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture with Smithsonian Poster Exhibition and Russell Lovell’s “Iowa: Bright Radical Star”

On Sept. 24, 2016 the Smithsonian Institution opened its newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The celebration will reach beyond Washington, D.C. to Davenport as the Davenport Public Library, in partnership with Saint Ambrose University and the Davenport Civil Rights Commission presents “A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture.” The commemorative poster exhibition will be on view January 18, 2017 through March 4th, 2017 at the Davenport Public Library – Main Library, located at 321 Main Street.

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, “A Place for All People” highlights key artifacts that tell the rich and diverse story of the African American experience.

The Davenport Public Library will be hosting a series of events at the library centering around this display on January 18th, February 4th, February 16th, and May 4th. Please stay tuned for more information about times and locations for the other events!

The opening celebration will be held on Wednesday, January 18th at 6:30 pm at the Davenport Public Library – Main Library. This event will feature Professor Emeritus Russell Lovell from Drake Law School presenting “Iowa: Bright Radical Star”, an exploration of Iowa’s trailblazing role in expanding and protecting civil rights beginning in 1893 with Iowa’s rejection of the Fugitive Slave Act. There will be light refreshments and a drawing for 3 books.

Also on display at the Main Library will be the Putnam Museum’s exhibit “Davenport’s Civil Rights Movement: 1945-1974”. The exhibit explores the people and events of those tumultuous years by putting local efforts in the national context. Following World War II, local residents, such as Charles and Ann Toney and the Catholic Interracial Council, worked several fronts to bring equality and fair treatment to all Quad Citians. This display incorporates photographs, documents and biographies about local Civil Rights leaders.

We’ll be giving away three books at each event: “How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”, “National Museum of African American History and Culture: A Souvenir Book”, and “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race”.

 

Reading History in the New RiverShare Catalog

Have you ever read a book that was so good, you were sure you’d  have no trouble remembering the title or author? Weeks later you want another book by that author; it turns out that the jumble of words you’re able to recollect don’t add up to anything that’ll retrieve the book.

Our brand new catalog has many exciting new features including “Reading History”. If you choose to “opt in” – from that point on, a list of what you’ve checked out will be saved.

If you decide that you don’t want the information saved any longer, all the data will be deleted.

So say goodbye to keeping lists – in notebooks, on pieces of scrap paper or in any of dozens of websites. We’ll do the work for you!

Announcing : New Shelving Arrangement at the Library!

You talked and we listened! Due to popular demand, we will be rearranging all of the books at both the Main and the Fairmount Branch Libraries to make it easier for you, the customer, to find exactly the book you’re looking for! Starting today, all of our books will be arranged by color! Looking for that great book about something-or-other, that you read last year or maybe a few years ago? Can’t remember the title or the author or the subject, but it’s burned into your brain that the book had a blue cover? Fear no more! Simply go to the “Blue Sector” of the library (2nd floor at Main, near the windows at Fairmount) and scan the shades of blue (darkest navy to lightest sky blue) for that longed for tome!

If you need a book by a particular author, or on a specific subject but do not know what color the book is, you will need to guess. Looking for a book on training your dog? Try brown or black. Something on planning your finances? Hmmm, maybe green? The latest mystery from Evanovich? No idea. You’re on your own there.

Be sure to stop by any Customer Service or Reference/Information desk and ask for a copy of the Official Davenport Public Library RGB Color Wheel Chart And Library Hours brochure which will show you how the colors are arranged in each library.  Just another example of the fine customer service you’ve grown to expect from your library!

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OK, in case you’ve haven’t caught on yet, and before any of our librarians keel over with a heart attack – APRIL FOOL’S! I can assure you that the Davenport Library will not be abandoning the Dewey Decimal System anytime soon and you will still be able to find books with that handy dandy “call number”. Makes you appreciate that seemingly random system a bit more now doesn’t it?

Actually, arranging books by color isn’t completely far fetched. In 2004, Adobe Books in San Francisco let artist Chris Cobb rearrange their entire inventory of books in color order (seen here at right) The project was called “There is Nothing Wrong in this Whole Wide World” and was based on the simple idea that, even though there is so much wrong in the world, we should still create things that are beautiful and amazing. Originally set to be in place for one week, it was so popular that it ran from November 12, 2004 to January 20, 2005 and was often described as “magical” and “dreamlike”. (Please note, Adobe Books has about 20,000 books; the Main library alone has more than 200,000 books so stop thinking about suggesting we try this!) I haven’t been able to find any information on how store employees found specific titles for customers though – the librarian in me shudders at the thought.

You’ll find more information about Chris Cobb and his installation here, as well as fun trivia such as, blue books sold the best, brown books tended to be stolen the most and there are very few yellow books published, or listen to his interview with NPR.

And, I’ve got to admit, it’s awful pretty, isn’t it?

Frugal Librarian #18: Library Ledger

Library patrons don’t often get a chance to see how the dollars and quarters accrue in their favor.  Spend a couple minutes plunking in values on this Library Value Calculator assembled by several libraries across the country to get an accurate representation of the kind of value you as a consumer have reaped.

For example, if you have used the library to answer two reference questions, borrow two books, check out two movies, and use the internet for two hours, count yourself a savvy spender friend.  You’ve just saved 114 dollars.  Before you call these figures inflated and self-serving, go to a doctor, lawyer or body shop and see how quickly their services tally up.

Being a library cardholder is not just good citizenship, it is smart money.