Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auld Lang Syne: a New Year's Tradition

"Auld Lang Syne" is a popular song sung on New Year's Eve by many Americans; however, the song is Scottish in origin. The poet Robert Burns first published the old Scottish song in the 1796 edition of Scots Musical Museum. He transcribed and made some refinements to the song after he had heard it sung in his native Scotland.

Many people sing the song and really don't know what the lyrics mean. "Auld Lang Syne" means "times gone by" but the literal translation is "old long since." The song poses the question of whether old times and friends will be forgotten, yet it promises to remember those from the past with kind thoughts.

However, the song owes its popularity to the bandleader Guy Lombardo. Lombardo, a Canadian by birth, heard the song in London, Ontario. When he and his brothers formed a dance band, the Royal Canadians, the song became one of their standards. It was played at midnight at the New Year's Eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929, and that marked the beginning of a tradition.

From the 1930s until 1976 the song was played at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel marking the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Since the band was on the radio and later on television that song played in many peoples' homes. Life magazine wrote, "If Lombardo failed to play 'Auld Lang Syne,' the American public would not believe that the new year had really arrived."

CDPL has several CDs that include "Auld Lang Syne" on their playlist. Check one out so that you may continue the New Year's tradition.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Susan Elston Wallace!

Susan Elston Wallace was born into the prominent Compton family of Crawfordsville on Christmas Day in 1830. In 1852, Susan married future Ben Hur author Lew Wallace. Mrs. Wallace demonstrated her own literary talent in many poems, articles, and books published throughout the years. 

CDPL recently discovered an original 1890 letter written by Wallace.

For more information on Susan Elston Wallace, read this profile or visit the Lane Place.

Interested in reading her works? CDPL has these titles.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deweys Do -- CDPL's Book Club

Need Something to Do this Winter?

Try Deweys Do!

CDPL's Book Club will meet January 10, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
We are reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen in preparation for the discussion.

Come and join the fun. You can borrow a book from us! Just ask at the circulation desk.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Born December 16, 1877, Jane Austen is one of the most popularly known and well-received English novelists of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.  Her novels include Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.

CDPL has a large collection of Jane Austen items, including her works, non-fiction about the novelist, fiction based on Austen's life, and film adaptations on DVD.

Are you an Austen enthusiast?  View biographical information, a timeline, quotations, and read-alike authors at

Take a look at what the Jane Austen Society of North America has to offer at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Gustave Flaubert!

Gustave Flaubert  (December 12, 1821 -- May 8, 1880) was a French novelist whose works include Madame Bovary (1857), Sentimental Education (1869), and Bouvard et Pécuchet (1881). His output was not large because he agonized over each word he would commit to paper, searching for the right word ("le mot juste") for days or weeks at a time. Flaubert combined the traits of a romantic, a realist, and a stylist -- which may explain the wide influence he had on writers who followed him. Many critics consider Flaubert the first modern novelist, however, because of his ability to make the style of his novel often more important than any action he described.

Why not try some Flaubert from CDPL?

"One never tires of what is well written, style is life! It is the very blood of thought!" -- Flaubert

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson!

WILD nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port, --
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

It seems a contradiction that the author of this adventuresome poem should be Emily Dickinson, a woman who spent most of her adult life scarcely leaving her home. She was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, a tiny farming village at the time. Her father was a successful lawyer, treasurer of Amherst College, and politician. She attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, but returned home after one year. Some writers speculate that she was homesick.

She remained in her family home until her death at 1886. She once was a bright and social being who started to withdraw from society in the 1850s. This was the beginning of her trend toward solitude. It was during this time that Emily found her poet's voice.

"Dickinson's poetry reflects her loneliness and the speakers of her poems generally live in a state of want." While she was an extremely prolific poet, and often enclosed poems in her letters to friends, it wasn't until after her death that she received recognition.

CDPL has several books of poems and biographies of this significant American poet.


Benet, Laura. The mystery of Emily Dickinson, NY: Dodd, 1974

Emily Dickinson,,, 11/17/2010.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Happy Birthday, Larry Bird!

Larry Bird (December 7, 1956) is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Bird was born in West Baden, Indiana, and grew up in nearby French Lick. He played three years for Indiana State University, leading the Sycamores to their first NCAA tournament, and in 1979 they played in the championship game -- losing to the Michigan State University Spartans, who were also led by a future NBA star: Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Bird was drafted into by the Boston Celtics and played forward for 13 seasons. He retired as a player in 1992 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. Bird was coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000; in 2003, he became president of basketball operations for the Pacers.
Some quick stats on Larry Bird:
  • 6'9", 220-pounds
  • scored over 20,000 points in the NBA
  • 88.6% from the free throw line (9th best all-time)
Check out Larry Bird @ CDPL!

Monday, December 06, 2010

A Christmas Story

Released in 1983, A Christmas Story is set in Hammond, Indiana, in the 1940s. The plot revolves around 9 year old Ralphie's dream of receiving a Red Ryder air rifle from Santa Claus for Christmas. The film was based on co-writer Jean Shepherd's loosely autobiographical stories. In addition to short stories, Shepherd, who was raised in Hammond, Indiana, worked in radio and television.

If you like A Christmas Story, browse these other titles by or about Jean Shepherd.

Get in the holiday spirit by checking out CDPL's Christmas-themed movies!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas customs: the sending of Christmas cards

Christmas cards were popular in Europe before Louis Prang, a Boston lithographer, brought the custom to the United States in 1875. He offered a selection of cards with art reproductions from original works by contemporary painters. He was soon forced out of business by the German card-makers who priced their post cards at just 1 penny. These penny post cards were in favor until World War I arrived and all shipping from Germany was blocked.

At the same time an enterprising young Joyce Hall was abandoning the sales of penny post cards and replacing them with greeting cards. Hall's business became Hallmark Cards. Hallmark has had a special focus on Christmas cards even since its earliest days.

Modern technology has diminished some of the number of Christmas Cards sent through the mail, although an estimated 2 billion card were exchanged. In 2005, President Bush and his wife sent over 1.4 million cards wishing Happy Holidays to lucky recipients.

CDPL has a large collection of Christmas books located on the 2nd floor.  Browse titles here.

Chalmers, Irena. The Great American Christmas Almanac, NY: Viking, 1988

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

In the Gallery -- December

by Tony Jeurissen

Tony Jeurissen was born in German occupied Holland (Netherlands) in 1943. His father was a civilian casualty of the pre D-Day bombings of Europe by the Allies. His Dad survived, but was an invalid the rest of his life.

During the Market Garden operation, the house Tony was born in was shelled and gutted and his parents lost everything. They lived only a few blocks from the bridge too far in Arnheim. After World War II most European people survived with help from the Government, Churches and Family. Tony's Dad also received $2.00 per week restitution from the Marshall Plan.

In 1956 Tony's parents immigrated to the United States to provide a better future for their family as Europe's future was bleak in those days. After a short stay in New York City, the family moved to Urbana, Illinois where Tony received his education. His first job was as a commercial artist for a sporting goods company. At that job he found he wasn't meant to be chained to a drawing table eight hours a day. He enjoyed and much preferred freelance designing. In 1967, Tony and his family moved to Crawfordsville where he got a job at Donnelly's in the pressroom. He retired from that position in 2005. He considers his artwork his retirement hobby. It challenges him to enjoy both the labor and the results of that labor.

When Tony was eight, he found he was good at both art and soccer. He played competitive soccer until he was 58 years old and is still drawing! His advice to people, including retirees, is to stay active at whatever you are good at. Tony's artwork is reflective of his character: he is a realist, a preservationist, a traditionalist, innovator and adventurer. His medium is colored pencil. His technique involves layering, straight line drawing, rubbing, smudging, erasing, soaping and taping. His tools include: soap, tape, paper towels, Kleenex and a T-square. His studio is his kitchen table. His subject matter is mostly local scenes, things he sees every day. His titles are dedications to meaningful people in his life plus a short description of his subject.

by Belinda Kiger

Belinda Kiger was first introduced to pottery through classes taught by Audrey Rossmann at the Morton Community Center in West Lafayette, Indiana. She has taken classes at the center for about fifteen years. She considers her pottery a professional hobby and good therapy. Belinda and several of her pottery friends have come together and formed the Wabash Valley Potters. They have participated in pottery art shows together at the Tippecanoe Art Federation for the past five years. Several years ago she built her own raku kiln and has developed a love for this technique of firing. She works with raku, stoneware and terra cotta clay most of the time. She does raku, horsehair, smoked and functional style pottery. Many times she incorporates the landscape, nature and the environment into her pottery. To take raw clay from the earth and turn it into a beautiful and interesting piece of art is inspirational for her. Belinda graduated from Crawfordsville High School and has a BS degree in landscape architecture from Purdue University. Professionally, she works as a park planner, city urban forester, naturalist and environmentalist and is the Community Parks & Urban Forestry Manager for Lafayette's Parks & Recreation Department in the City of Lafayette. She has a married daughter and a three year old grandson who live in Chicago.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Charles Schulz!

Charles M. Schulz (November 26, 1922 -- February 12, 2000) was an American cartoonist whose comic strip "Peanuts" ran for nearly 50 years and is familiar all over the world. At one time, "Peanuts" was appearing in at least 2,600 newspapers in some 75 countries.

The Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California (where he worked for much of his life), has exhibits and programs to "to preserve, display, and interpret the art of Charles M. Schulz."

Check out all the Schulz works at CDPL, including his biography as well as scores of "Peanuts" comics!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Hoagy Carmichael!

Hoagy Carmichael was born in Bloomington, Indiana, on November 22, 1899.  He attended Indiana University and the Indiana University School of Law before becoming the famous composer we know today.  His most famous songs include "Stardust", "Georgia on my mind", "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening", and "Heart and Soul".  He composed "Chimes of Indiana" and presented it to Indiana University in 1937.

In addition to composing music for films, he appeared in several movies.  Carmichael acted in To Have and Have Not, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Young Man with a Horn. He was also the host of many radio and television variety shows throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

Hoagy Carmichael died in 1981 and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Bloomington, Indiana. His family donated his archives to Indiana University.  You can access the digital Hoagy Carmichael Collection online.

Check out CDPL's materials: Hoagy Carmichael

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Voltaire!

François-Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 -- 30 May 1778), was better known by his pen name of "Voltaire." Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer whose satiric and caustic style won him much admiration -- and earned him many enemies. He supported civil liberties and spoke up for religious freedom during his long career as an essayist, playwright, novelist, philospher, and much more. Voltaire was an active letter writer, too, and composed more than 20,000 letters during his lifetime.

Check out some Voltaire in your library!

Read aboutVoltaire @ Wikipedia:

Here are some Voltaire quotations to enjoy:
  • All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
  • All styles are good except the tiresome kind.
  • All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.
  • Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
  • Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
  • Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
  • As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
  • Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.
  • Better is the enemy of good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut!

November 11, is the birth date of Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The son of successful Indianapolis architect, was born in Indianapolis in 1922. This quirky author often blended "science fiction with humor, and the absurd with pointed social commentary." He was known for his satire and created his own worlds filled with unique and colorful characters. Slaughterhouse Five, listed on Time Magazine's 100 Best Book List, recalls some of Vonnegut's own experiences during World War II.  Like his character Billy Pilgrim, Vonnegut was a prisoner of war  in Dresden, Germany when it was fire-bombed by the allies.  His first hand experience of the carnage and destruction affected him the rest of his life. In 1970, Vonnegut was able to quit his job as a publicist for General Electric and devote his time to writing.  His unique writing style -- "long sentences with little punctuation as well as his humanist point of view" distinguished him from other contemporary writers.

Noted Vonnegut works available at Crawfordsville District Public Library are :  Breakfast of Champions , Slaughterhouse Five , Bluebeard , Galapagos,  Look at the Birdie , and Armageddon in Retrospect.

See works by Vonnegut @ CDPL!

Kurt Vonnegut Biography:
Kurt Vonnegut:

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Genealogy Club of Montgomery County

The Genealogy Club of Montgomery County, Indiana Corp, will have a club organizational meeting for the 2010-2011 year at 7:00 pm on the 9th of November 2010 (in the Donnelly Room of the library). All are invited! Call the library at 362-2242 ext 118 for more information.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New Hoosier Biographies

Read about Indiana natives who gained fame in the entertainment industry!  The following biographies by Wes D. Gehring are now available at CDPL.

 Steve McQueen: The Great Escape

Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask
James Dean: Rebel with a Cause

Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

In the Gallery: November

In the gallery this month!

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP: Print Media by Brian Stuparyk

In his artist's statement, Brian Stuparyk tells us that through his explorations, he has found that success and failure are equally important. He has depicted in his work tokens of life's little defeats, everyday failures, impossibilities and things that don't necessarily need to be celebrated. They are life sized mementos of the individual pursuit of elusive personal happiness and success. Although great time and care is taken to faithfully reproduce these items and sentiments, they remain by their nature disappointing. The point is further emphasized by the large amounts of negative space surrounding this metaphorical evidence of human endeavor, aspiration and desire that, too often, results in only brief fulfillment, pleasure or reward. The victories are hollow and the credit undue. Often trying to fix a bad situation only makes it worse.

Bells cannot be un-rung, nor toothpaste returned to its tube, just as some wrinkles simply cannot be ironed out. But then again, for all your trouble, the absolute worst that could happen is that you just might learn something; if only what not to do a second time. So with practice and perseverance, there is always a chance to improve, for it is truly through failure and defeat that success is ultimately achieved It is those instances that Brian tries to highlight in his prints. Those thoroughly inconsequential moments of frustration – if they don't kill us - help us to grow.

Brian Stuparyk was born in Grande Prairie, Canada in 1981. A graduate of Loveland, Ohio High School, he holds a BFA in Photography Studies from Ryerson University in Toronto and an MFA in Print Media from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA. He has taught studio art at Missouri State and Drury universities. He lives and works in Loveland, Ohio.

Brian has exhibited his work at galleries and on College Campuses in Georgia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oregon, Kansas, California, and in Illinois from 2006 until the present.

HOOKED ON BEADS by Caroline Erdahl

In her artist's statement, Carolyn Erdahl tells us that "Jewelry design continuously strikes her innermost creativity. She loves all elements of this medium, whether at her torch flame working with her own glass beads, manipulating silver, stringing components or wrapping gemstones, each design's unique beauty is a pure delight."

Growing up with a mother who was a practicing stained glass artist, Carolyn felt destined to become one herself. She never guessed she would follow in her mother's footsteps, but here she is, working with glass, though in a very different way.

Carolyn was introduced to beaded jewelry eight years ago by a cousin from St. Louis who attended her annual Thanksgiving bash. Carolyn and her husband tended to the dinner while guests sat around the dining room table making beaded jewelry and having fun. After looking at her cousin's bead stash - that was it – she was hooked on beads!

She has always been an arts and crafts enthusiast working in different mediums, but had never before been this intrigued. As a lover of color, she was now exposed to the most vibrant palette she had ever seen. She played with the glass beads first and then jumped into semi-precious gemstones. Se was so amazed at the beauty that God's earth could produce and what artists could do with it that she found herself reading books on geology and gemology at the library. She found that learning about the physical properties and conditions of the stones was as incredible as viewing them.

Her next endeavor was learning to wire wrap with sterling silver wire, then to solder sterling silver wire. Now she had the ability to make her own chain, findings and components.

Five years ago she ventured into lampworking, which is defined as a manipulation of glass rods or tubes in a flame. Many moons ago, Venetian artisans utilized oil lamps as their flame source in the creation of a variety of glass objects.

With a mandrel in hand and a 1700 degree flame fluttering 18" from her face, Caroline slowly introduces her glass into the fire. Eventually, a small blob forms, which gets evenly wound around the mandrel resulting in a bead footprint. This base is comparable to a painter's blank canvas where creativity is at its height. At this point she can choose a distinct pattern or go freeform; does she create something whimsical, use a primary color palette or customize the colors for originality? Who knows where her passion will drive her?

Carolyn, a self-taught glass artist with no formal training, enjoys sharing her passion with others who delight in her creations.

These exhibits will be in the Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery from Friday, October 29 until Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day and the Right to Vote

November 2 is election day. The time that all Americans may vote for their representatives and some senators. However, just less than one hundred years ago not all Americans could exercise their right to vote. Women suffrage was not the law of the land.

When the Territory of Montana was admitted to the union as a state in 1890, it became the first state with women suffrage. By 1890 Utah, Colorado, and Idaho joined Montana in allowing women the vote. In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party (Bull Moose) became the first national political party to have a plank supporting women suffrage.

However, it took until May, 1919 for the necessary two-thirds vote in favor of the women suffrage amendment to be mustered in Congress. The propose new amendment was sent to the states for ratification. Finally in 1920 the ratification of the 19th Amendment became law when Tennessee cast its final votes.

The 19th Amendment guarantees that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be abridged by the United States or by and State on account of sex and Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. For more information, see Exploring Constitutional Conflicts.

Check out CDPL's items on the suffrage movement and the Constitution.

Duct Tape Workshop

Duct Tape Workshop! (.pdf): November 6 at 9:30am (ages 8 and up). What do you want to make? Eye glasses? A visor? A wallet? A pair of sandals? A cup and ball game? A basketball game? Bring a partner! Bring a strong pair of scissors! Registration is required.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Downloadable Audiobooks!

How would you like to use your library as a way to download free audiobooks for your computer or your portable device? On November 1, CDPL is rolling out this new service for you, and we hope you give it a try. After you set up your account through NetLibrary -- which you must do in the library -- you can download and "check out" audiobooks anywhere you want at any time, just like any other book. The neat thing about these audiobooks is that you don't need to return them once they "expire."

Read the details!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coupon Seminar

Coupon Seminar
October 23
9am to 12pm

Tricia Schwabe will show you how to: 
  • Get free groceries almost every week
  • Spend less than $100 dollars on food and no-food items per week...and eat well (for a family of 5)
  • Use web sites to track deals
  • use web sites to print coupons
  • Stack manufacturer coupon, store coupon, and stor sales to get free goceries

All this information and 100 coupons to get you started on your savings for $20.00 per person

Sign up at the Circualtion Desk 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Genealogy Club of Montgomery County: After Hours

Have you ever wanted to stay in the library after it closed . . . to do genealogy research? Then consider attending the next Genealogy Club After Hours program! All are welcome, for details see:

Can you beat genealogy AND pizza?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, e.e. cummings!

Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 -- September 3, 1962), commonly known as e. e. Cummings was an American poet. According to his biography on, Cummings "experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression." 

Enjoy a sample poem from Cummings:

i carry your heart with me
      i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy (belated) Birthday, James Whitcomb Riley!

When the "frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder is the shock you know it is October." This is also when we remember  the birth of James Whitcomb Riley.  The renown Hoosier poet was born  October 7, 1849 in Greenfield, IN. Some of Riley's best poems chronicle his childhood and youth in his home town. 

Riley's parents feared that he was not going to amount to much.  He attempted to study law and become a lawyer like his father; however he found it difficult to apply himself to the demands of study.  Entertainment proved to be his best bet.  He became very adept at presenting his poems on the stage.  He traveled around the country reciting his increasingly popular poems.

He was referred to as a "dialect singer" and compared to Mark Twain in his ability to capture the frontier dialect.  When you read his poems you will see how he captured the rough-hewn dialect of one with little schooling. His "Little Orphant Annie" draws the children close with her tales of witches and ominous warning "the Gobble-uns 'at gits you Ef you Don't Watch Out!"

When Riley died in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson sent a note of condolence to the Riley family.  He wrote," With his departure a notable figure passes out of the nation's life; a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a thoughtful view of many things that other men would have missed."

Discover James Whitcomb Riley at CDPL!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Happy Birthday, Carole Lombard!

Indiana native Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne on October 6, 1908.  After her parents divorced, Lombard moved to Los Angeles, California.  Regarded as one of the best comediennes in film, Lombard starred in screwball comedies My Man Godfrey (1936) and Nothing Sacred (1937), but was also respected for her dramatic work in Made for Each Other (1939) and Vigil in the Night (1940).  Off the set, Lombard was known for her high-profile marriage to the "King of Hollywood" Clark Gable.

In 1942, Lombard traveled to Indiana to support the war effort by selling bonds. Returning back to California, Lombard's plane crashed and all passengers aboard perished. Lombard was only 33 years old at the time of her death.

For more information on Lombard's life, check out Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado or Gable and Lombard.

Want to watch a Carole Lombard film? CDPL has DVDs  and videotapes.

Did you know that Carole Lombard has a Crawfordsville connection?
In 1932, Lombard starred in No Man of Her Own with future husband Clark Gable.  The screenwriter of that particular film was Crawfordsville's own Maurine Dallas Watkins!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Genealogy Club of Montgomery County: Annual Dinner & Meeting

The Genealogy Club of Montgomery County will have its Annual Dinner & Meeting on Oct 12! Dinner will be at 6:00 pm followed by meeting at 7:00 pm in the Donnelley Room of the Crawfordsville District Public Library

The program will be: "The Orphan Train" by Barbara Taylor, Genealogist
Reservations REQUIRED for the dinner in order to know how many meals to prepare. RSVP Before Friday, October 8, 2010. Payment of $10.00 for the meal must be made by Monday, October 11, 2010 at the Library's Reference Department. Visitors always welcome. For more information contact: Dian Moore or Dellie Craig (765) 362-2242, Ext 118 or 117; weekdays 9 AM to 5PM or email: or

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Banned Books Week . . .

The celebration of Banned Books Week ends today, and we hope you have enjoyed reading about the few books highlighted this week in the What's new @ CDPL? blog. But why not continue to celebrate the freedom to read? You may be interested in finding out more about banned books. The American Library Association is a good place to start, perhaps with its Issues & Advocacy page. Also check out its Frequently Challenged Books information. For example, did you know that 460 books were challenged in 2009? Here are the top 100 books challenged between 2000-2009.

Don't forget about CDPL's Words Worth Reading blog that can help you find what you want to read.  Or just come in and be sure to ask any library staff member for help!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Banned Book: Candide

Candide is a French satire written by Voltaire (1694–1778) in 1759. In this short novella, Candide is a young man who lives a pampered and sheltered life in a comfortable setting in Westphalia (Germany). His mentor, Pangloss, is tutoring him on Leibnizian optimism -- stating that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." But Candide's idyllic life come to an end when he is chased from his settings and begins a wandering life full of adventures that make him question everything that he has been taught up to that time, including conventional religion, morals, and politics. The once-naive Candide is eventually disillusioned from his earlier optimistic view on life and concludes, after a series of hardships and injustices, that we, as humans, must "cultivate our own garden." This book was banned in the 18th century by the Catholic Church because of its alleged criticism of religion. Candide poses many innocent questions about religion and politics, and as a parody has influenced many modern American writers including Joseph Heller, John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut. Voltaire's Candide is one of the most often taught French novels in English translation.

Read more on Voltaire at your library!

You can read the text of Candide online at Project Gutenberg or download it for the reader of your choice

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banned Books: The Scarlet Letter and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Are American classics found on the banned books list? Most  high school students study and struggle through two of the banned books: The Scarlet Letter and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter was too racy for the 1850s with its sex, love, and adultery.  Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn caused dismay in 1885, from none other than Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women.

Ms Alcott lashed out  in public saying, "If Mr. Clemens cannot think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses he had best stop writing for them."  Good thing he didn't ,because we would have missed the other Twain writings including fellow banned book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

In 1905, the Brooklyn Public Library banished the book from its collection with this explanation, " Huck not only itched but scratched, and that he said sweat when he should have said perspiration." Twain countered with: "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."

It is interesting that in more recent times many of the complaints about Huck Finn were about the references and treatment of Afro-Americans.  Although in the novel, Twain was reflecting the customs and practices of time.

When asked about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ernest Hemingway commented, "All American writing comes from that."  Thomas Friedman, author of From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World is Flat, certainly agrees.  To explain the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians he quotes the Huck Finn passage about the feud between the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons.

Despite the defense of The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn, from  Hemingway and other well-known authors, the book still remains one of the most challenged books in the U.S.

Friedman, Thomas L.  From Beirut to Jerusalem, NY: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1989.

Why not read some Nathaniel Hawthorne or Mark Twain from your library soon!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Book: Harry Potter

Bless me Albus Dumbledore, the Harry Potter series tops the list for most frequently banned books. Wizards and magic pull the Harry Potter books onto this list. In one year, there were over 25 challenges to remove any trace of Harry from school bookshelves in 16 states. It is now children's fantasy books that are the most frequently challenged books of the new millennium.

Some people cannot see that Harry, Snape, Dumbledore, and “he who must not be named” spring from the imaginative and creative mind of author, J.K. Rowling. These critics claim that the children of today are not able to separate the imaginary world of Harry and his friends from the real world. It is said the witchcraft of the books “clashes with Christianity.”

In addition, what started out as a satire piece in The Onion about Harry Potter as satanic has now been actually cited as proof of it. The famous or infamous opening of the satirical piece is:
“ I used to believe in what they taught us at Sunday School,” said Ashley, conjuring up an ancient spell to summon Cerebus, the three-headed hound of hell. “But the Harry Potter books showed me that magic is real, something I can learn and use right now, and that the Bible is nothing but boring lies.”
This is all a parody, yet some have difficulty accepting that .

The Superintendent of Schools in Zeeland, Michigan directed his teachers to stop using the book as a read-aloud. However, he didn't' stop children from checking the book out of the school library, if they had parental permission. Many challenges have been declined, but it is suspected that controversy surrounding children reading the Harry Potter series will continue.

For available Harry Potter materials, take a look at CDPL's catalog.

In the Gallery: October


From Tuesday, September 28 until Friday, October 29, the Library's Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery will host the exquisite HAPPILY COLORED QUILTS of Catherine Stevenson Beemer, formerly of Crawfordsville. The Jewelry of Joanne Kuhn Titolo and the Pottery of Susan Lopez will remain in the Display Cases for a second month. Catherine frequently describes herself as a frustrated artist. In her senior year at Crawfordsville High School, she took a basic drawing class and that was enough to hook her. Growing up she participated in Montgomery County 4-H clubs, sewing flat pieces to dresses. For ever so long, she wanted to be a dress designer, something that frightened her poor mother to the point of sending her to Purdue for an extensive evaluation of abilities and aptitudes. For Catherine, quilting married her curiosity about design, her love of color and her intellectual connections around geometry. She has been quilting since 1995 and officially joined Durham Orange Quilt Guild in 1996. Quilting had to be fit into her busy Montessori teaching career, but holidays and summers found her at her sewing machine. She has availed herself of workshops taught by Kaffe Fassett, Kaye England, Hollis Chatelain, Sharon Craig, Sherry Woods, Judith Dales, Anne Weaver, Jude Spade, Barbara Webster, Amy Stewart-Winsor, Bobbie Eklow, Margaret Miller and many others. Catherine has entered quilts in her local guild shows, NC Symposium, AQS in Nashville, TN, Greensboro's Quilt Show, Asheville Quilt Show, and NC State Fair. This is her first solo show. Liturgical quilts at her church, not in this show, have been an interest of hers. Working with Children to make collaborative quilts has provided opportunities for whimsy. If she had to declare a category for her quilts, it would include bright colors, foundation piecing and a leaning toward art quilts. Now that she is retired, Catherine feels her quilting career has just begun. See you in the Gallery; do come often and stay long enjoying our inside fall colors.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a banned book, how can that be? If you saw the movie you might be pondering that question. Many of the controversial issues were cleaned up in the original movie version with Gene Wilder playing the part of the strange and reclusive Mr. Wonka. However, it was not until after the movie was released that children's author Eleanor Cameron issued her negative commentary on the original book.

The controversy settles around the depiction of the Oompa-Loompas as small Africans (Pygmies)who live in the factory, work for cacao beans, and sing songs that were comparable to war chants. Dahl relates that he never realized that the depiction of the “charming fantasy creatures” would be viewed as racist. He responded by changing the description of the workers in his 1988 revision. The Oompa-Loompas were now described as “knee-high dwarves” with “rosy-white” skin and funny long “golden-brown” hair who came from “Loompaland.”

If you examine the original and the ensuing revisions of the book, you will find illustrations that show the metamorphosis of the Oompa-Loopas. In 1964, they were black African pymgies, who changed to colorless dwarf-like people, to finally, in 1988, to simple cartoon-like beings with hair that points straight-up to the sky.

However, even with the changes in 1988, the controversies were not resolved. In that same year, a Boulder, Colorado librarian actually locked the book in the reference collection because “ the book espouses a poor philosophy of life.” By this time the racist descriptions and illustrations had been changed.

It is not known exactly what was the “poor philosophy of life.” Perhaps it was that Charlie was an undeserving hero. Charlie has no “tremendously positive traits, only an absence of negative ones.” This void was resolved by the movie makers when Charlie was caught making mistakes, but managed to learn from them and thus distinguish himself from the other winners of golden tickets. Another case of Hollywood changing a story to include a high moral message to the audience (Source: Pierce, Cassandra., “Charlie and the Political-Correctness Factory”.)

Want to check out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at CDPL? Click here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Book: Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death, by Hoosier native Kurt Vonnegut, was published in 1969. In this novel, Vonnegut recounts his World War II experiences, including surviving the fire-bombing of Dresden (February 1945). This novel, considered Vonnegut's best, has often been  the subject of challenges because of its tone, its use of profanity, and alleged obscene content. It was also one of the first literary acknowledgments that homosexuals were also the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. Slaughterhouse-five appeared in Time magazine's list of the 100 all-time best English-language novels written since 1923. 

You can find Slaughterhouse-five in the CDPL online catalog. Consider reading more Vonnegut, too, from CDPL!

A film adaptation of the book was made in 1972. Read about it on Wikipedia.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Banned Book: To Kill A Mockingbird

Published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel set in the 1930s about a southern lawyer defending an African-American man against an unjust charge of rape, was first banned in 1977 in Eden Valley, Minnesota. Due to the inclusion of racial slurs spoken by several characters throughout the book and the subject matter, To Kill A Mockingbird has continued to be challenged throughout the years.  Many of the challenges and attempts to ban the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel have been unsuccessful.  In fact, in recent polls, librarians have voted the challenged novel "The Best Novel of the 20th Century".

Want to read the critically-praised novel for yourself?  Are you interested in learning more about the famously private author Harper Lee? Perhaps you would like to watch the Oscar-winning film adaption starring Gregory Peck.  Check out CDPL's related materials here.

New to CDPL is the Bloom's Guide on To Kill A Mockingbird. With summaries and analysis, this new guide is a perfect companion to the novel.  Check it out here: Bloom's Guide: To Kill A Mockingbird

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Banned Books Week

Celebrate Banned Books

The American Library Association has declared September 25 - October 2, 2010 as the annual celebration of Banned Books Week!

From the ALA web site: "Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States."

Have you realized just how many books have been banned in the United States at one time or another? We will highlight a few of them (available at CDPL) during Banned Books Week, so check back soon. And if you just can't wait to see a list (which is not comprehensive, even if it is long!), take a look here:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth

Happy Birthday, William Faulkner!

If you have not read William Faulkner in a long time (or perhaps never!), why not celebrate his birthday by getting to know more about this famous, Nobel Prize-winning American author?

Here are some of Faulkner's works that you can find at CDPL: Faulkner in your library

Read more about William Faulkner in his Biography from

"Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.
Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."-- W. Faulkner

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Encyclopedias

Check out these new informative titles at CDPL!

The A to Z of the Fashion Industry by Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds edited by Christopher Perrins

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals edited by David W. Macdonald

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stephen King!

Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947 and is renowned for his horror and suspense fiction. Some of his most popular works include The Shining, The Stand, The Green Mile, and Carrie. You can read his biography at the official Stephen King website.

Want to check out a Stephen King book at CDPL? Take a look at our online catalog!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Samuel Johnson!

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 – 13 December 1784) contributed greatly to English literature as a "poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer." Read more about this remarkable author in his Wikipedia article. You may be interested in checking him out at CDPL: See some of what we have in our collection.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Genealogy Club of Montgomery County

The Genealogy Club will host the program entitled:

"Keep Your Powder Dry: Revolutionary War & Genealogy" by Ronald L Darrah, Genealogist

September 14 @ 7:00 PM

The program will be held at the Crawfordsville District Public Library in the Lower Level in the Donnelley room.

The Public is invited to all! Call: (765) 362-2242, Ext. 4 or 118 for more information.

Monday, August 30, 2010

In the Gallery: September

In the gallery...

ART QUILTS EXTRAORDINAIRE by Betsy Ridge and UNIQUE YET CONNECTED Jewelry and Pottery by Joanne Titolo and Susan Lopez will grace the walls and display cases of the Library's Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery from Monday, August 30 to Tuesday, September 28th, 2010.

BETSY RIDGE, our wall artist, has been designing and creating quilted fiber pieces for over twenty years. She worked as a graphic designer for many years, while continuing to make quilts and dreamed about working as a fine artist when she retired. Creating art makes her feel happy, and she can work by her own rules. As Auntie Mame said, "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Betsy studied drawing, printmaking and graphic design in college and graduate school with the idea of becoming a children's book illustrator or a graphic designer. She still hopes to illustrate a book someday, but maybe it will be on cloth instead of on paper. Betsy stumbled into fibers when she took an elective class in graduate school and was introduced to the world of art-quilts. She was instantly hooked and thrived on her ability to combine illustrations with fabric and other media. Though currently working in two distinctly different styles, Betsy's subject matter remains the same. She depicts animals, nature and man-made objects with a flare and a touch of her very own quirky sense of humor. Betsy's world seems fascinating and appalling all at the same time. Thus she is often surprised at the imagery that comes through in a particular piece. She loves it when people smile or laugh while looking at her pieces, which are all original designs and patterns that come straight from her most fertile and vivid imagination. Her illustrated quilts are drawn on muslin with a fine-point black marker and then color is added with paint or colored pencils. She then quilts by hand or machine and sometimes embellishes it with embroidery, beads, or other objects that inevitably show up in her life. Her appliqué or fabric collage quilts are made by cutting and layering fabrics, then stitching them down by hand or machine thus quilting them at the same time. As with her illustrated pieces, she often embellishes the design's surface as she sees fit.

Display Case Artist JOANNE KUHN TITOLO operates Terra Luna Studio in downtown Battle Ground, Indiana where she currently works in metals, clay and natural materials. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Purdue University and has continued her education at the Penland School of Craft and in various regional workshops. Joanne is a founding member of Artists' Own Co-operative Gallery in Lafayette, Indiana, where her work can be found among that of 22 other artists'. She has received awards for her sculpture as well as an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. Her jewelry and adornments incorporate sterling and/or fine silver with shells, stones, and glass beads. The 'simple stones' and other natural objects are shown in a more precious state, often surrounded by the metals. Each cutout piece is individually crafted by piercing and sawing the metal using very tiny tools. Finishes include polishing, burnishing, added patinas, and brush finishing which are meant to enhance the cutout images. All of her adornments or pieces of jewelry are individually created. Her Inspiration changes with each piece. She follows her interest in silver, in the tools, or in a natural shape. "We are all beads on a string; each unique yet connected".

Our second Display Case artist is West Lafayette's SUSAN LOPEZ who works out of her basement studio and also as a studio assistant to well-known potter and ceramic artist Scott Frankenberger, who also lives in West Lafayette. Susan holds a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Mississippi and continues her education through a variety of workshops. Most recently, she attended a workshop on firing techniques at Center Street Clay in Sandwich, IL with Steven Hill (formerly of Red Star Studios in Kansas City). Susan currently has work at the Artisans Gallery above Times Past Antiques at 215 Washington Street in Delphi, Indiana. She also participates in the annual YWCA fundraiser to raise awareness against domestic violence by donating bowls made for the event. Each of Susan's pieces is created entirely by hand. All her work is made of porcelain – a clay body known for its strength, fine particle size, and light color. Each piece has been "fired" or baked in an electric kiln at a very high temperature at least twice, and in some cases multiple times to achieve the proper effects with glazes. Susan seeks to make utilitarian art – items that are practical, but also beautiful and inviting to use. She enjoys altering forms thrown on the wheel to show the softness and flexibility of the clay in its initial form, and to fit the hands of the user. Some pieces feature markings – "x"s and "o"s as well as incised lines, and abstract bird shapes created with seashells. If you have the opportunity to hold some of her work, you should. These pieces were meant to be used and are entirely dishwasher, microwave, and slow oven safe.