As you might expect, the pandemic has led to a large increase in Boston Public Library e-card signups, and the Black Lives Matter protests led to a huge increase of requests for the most popular anti-racism titles. "During the [Black Lives Matter] protests in June, we saw over a 500% increase in checkouts and holds on the most popular anti-racism titles including White Fragility, So You Want to Talk about Race, Between the World and Me, The New Jim Crow, and more," said Natasha Fee, Senior Public Relations Associate for the Boston Public Library. In the two weeks following the first June protests more than 1,200 BPL patrons requested ebooks of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, and How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. And hey, Kendi recently stopped by Jamaica Plain's bookstore Papercuts J.P. when he happened to be walking by the South Street store. "We’ve continued to see a steady interest in these items and have been purchasing additional copies of in demand titles (for kids and adults) to meet the demand," said Fee.
The Friends of the Connolly Branch Library are hosting an event on April 8 for people to learn more about the Friends, the library and meet the new library staff. Meeting attendees will be provided information about how to become more involved with Friends of the Connolly Library, which is sponsoring the event. The meeting will be on Monday, April 8 at 6:30 pm at the Connolly Branch Library (433 Centre St.). Light refreshments will be served. This meeting is free and open to the public.
There will be a free screening of the documentary "Hay un país en el mundo" at the Jamaica Plain Connolly Branch Library on April 1. José Pintor directed this documentary, which takes its name from the famous Dominican poem by Pedro Mir. It is a walk through the natural landscape of the Dominican Republic, describing the country’s historic, cultural and social values as explained by experts in specific areas of interest. It is a project that was made by a collaboration by historians, anthropologists, folklorist and journalists of the Dominican Republic. It also gives a musical tour of the country and utilizes music from more than a dozen musicians from different times in the history of merengue and bachata.
Artists from Boston Lyric Opera recently visited an ennead of public libraries, including Jamaica Plain's two branches, to perform kid-themed excerpts from "The Barber of Seville." Boston Lyric Opera artists performed one-hour participatory programs that were free and open to kids and families, ideally for ages 6 to 12. The program featured two professional singers, and a pianist. Held during February school vacation week, the pianist also acted as a teaching artist who introduced opera to the young audiences through a melodic, engaging and theatrical presentation. This is the third year that the BLO has part This is the third year the BPL has partnered with the BLO to present how opera tells a story.
What should be done with this body of mine when, as the saying on many old New England tombstones goes, I have departed this life? Over the years I spent writing a novel starring a gravedigger, this question crept gradually from the back of my mind to the fore of it. My protagonist, Ben, champions green burials at a graveyard inspired by Forest Hills Cemetery (more on that later), and he devotes a share of his free time to creating a burial suit laden with mushroom spores, designed to turn his remains into “some really nice compost.”
Through several drafts of the novel, Ben both reflected and inspired my burgeoning plans for making an environmentally friendly transition from flesh to dust. Though I wasn’t up for engineering my own burial suit, I started to picture myself being lowered, free of a casket and embalming chemicals, into a hole in some conservation land, a possibility that an episode of the HBO series “Six Feet Under” first brought to my attention. Then my father died.