David Cherry's blog

Sumo Wrestlers Come to West U. (Yes, You Read That Right).

 

Photo Credit: Clash by TJ Morales via Flickr Creative Commons

West University Branch Library will have the honor of hosting four professional sumo wrestlers this Friday, March 9 at 3:00 PM in the West University Place Community Building & Senior Center. The rikishi, as they are known in their native Japan, will answer questions about the ancient sport of sumo, it's techniques, history and rituals, and will pose for pictures afterward.

The athletes appearing include Yama who wrestles in the top division in Japan: the Pro Sumo Makuuchi Division, and also happens to hold the distinction of being the heaviest Japanese person on record. At 6 ft. 4 in. tall, he weighs in at 601 lbs. He will be joined by his training partner, Noro (5 ft. 11 in. 300 lbs), eighteen year sumo veteran, Waka (6 ft. 2 in. 360 lbs), and Mongolian wrestler Byama (6 ft. 1 in. 360 lbs).

eBook Education Week at HCPL: March 4 - 10

Photo Credit: Reading My Kindle in the Hammock by The Creative PennHere at Harris County Public Library, we love books whether they come bound between covers, recorded on CDs or downloaded onto Kindles or iPods, and we believe that this is a great time to be a reader. There are not only more books to choose from than ever before, but thanks to new technology, there are more ways to get one’s hands on them as well.

We know that many people have already embraced eBooks. HCPL has seen circulation of eBooks nearly triple over the last two years. We also know that a lot of people, for a variety of reasons, are less eager to try them out. We understand their reluctance. The sheer variety of devices and formats on the market can be daunting even for the tech-savvy reader. HCPL can help.

Galena Park Renovations to Begin March 3.

Galena Park Branch LibraryGalena Park Branch Library will be closing temporarily for renovations beginning at 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 3. The grant-funded improvements will include new carpeting, paint and furniture, as well as the addition of a great new computer lab!

A Library Without Walls: HCPL's eBranch Brings the Library to You

Teenager on Laptop by Ingo Barnhardt Spree2010 via Flickr Creative CommonsA lot of people when they think of libraries think of ivy-covered buildings and grandmotherly staff wearing their reading glasses like necklaces. Fewer people perhaps think of fiber optic cables and cyber-librarians. Harris County Public Library combines both ideas in its eBranch. Customers get the personalized service of the traditional library model with online convenience.

As the name suggests eBranch can be thought of as a typical branch library, but one that can’t be found on any map. Instead it is as close as the nearest laptop, smartphone or tablet.

South Houston Branch Library Set to Reopen on March 12.

We are pleased to announce that the South Houston Branch Library will reopen on Monday, March 12 at 1:00 PM. The contractors are now putting the finishing touches on the interior renovations which include new paint, carpet, furniture and work on the building’s infrastructure. Construction on the branch’s new computer lab will continue and we will keep you informed as work progresses.

Wislawa Szymborska (1923 – 2012)

Cover Art: View with a Grain of Sand by Wislawa SzymborskaIt’s like this: for a very long time, we are not here; then we are here but not for very long; then we are not here for the longest time. Some people know the general whereabouts of “not here.” Myself…I haven’t the foggiest.

What I do know is that the poet, Wislawa Szymborska, is not here anymore.

People who really knew her—the people who liked or didn’t like her cooking, who worried that she smoked too much, who had to sit and listen to her talk through the years of not writing after she won the Nobel Prize—will be allowed to cry and howl and shuffle around their flats in bedraggled flannel robes as long they need to. That is their right because they knew and loved her.

Thunder Soul: Free Screening and Performance by Legendary Kashmere Gardens High School Funk Band

Thunder Soul Promotional Material used with permission of copyright holderA young band director at a rough inner city school, through hard work and inspirational leadership, transforms a run-of-the-mill jazz ensemble into a force-of-nature funk band that storms through all comers at national competitions. Thirty-five years later, the students return to pay tribute to the teacher and mentor who changed their lives. Sounds like a Hollywood heart-warmer, right?.  What if the movie was set right here in Houston?  What if it wasn’t “based on a true story,” but absolutely true?

2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards Nominations

National Book Critics Circle Logo fromThe flood of awards--literary and cinematic--that come churning out of your preferred news delivery device this time of year is almost as overwhelming and/or annoying as all those "Best of" lists that precede it. Because there are just so many awards with maddeningly similar names--Quick! what's the difference between an Obie and a Tony?--it’s hard to choose which (if any) to pay attention to. Facing another round of glitzy award spectacles, many of us ask ourselves a very good question: “Why should I care what these people say I should read or watch or listen to?”

Celebrate Black History Month with HCPL

Black History Month Logo - Photos courtesy Library of Congress via Flickr CommonsThis February, Harris County Public Library will celebrate Black History Month with a slate of programs and events that is as dynamic and diverse as Texas’ African American communities themselves. Programs range from live music, spoken word and film to special storytimes for the kids and crafts inspired by African and African American traditions for all ages.

Once Upon a Midnight Dreary: 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominations

Mystery Writers of America Logo-copyrighted materialAnnually, on the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth, the Mystery Writers of America announce the nominations for the aptly named Edgar Awards honoring "excellence in mystery." Prize categories include Best Novel, Best First Novel by an American Author and Best Fact Crime, as well as Best Juvenile and Young Adult Mysteries.

The list of past winners is chock full of above-the-title names such as James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard and S. J. Rozan. So just because you haven't heard of some of this year's nominees, doesn't mean you won't be hearing a lot more about them in the future.

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