The Library Is Dedicated to the New Haven Community

by Sharon Lovett-Graff, New Haven Free Public Library

Although the New Haven Free Public Library is closed during the pandemic, here are some ways we are serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The library has long served as a “second responder,” stepping up for the community during times of need. It has operated as a warming center when freezing weather struck and as a cooling center during heat waves. From weather events to school closings, the library has provided shelter, computer access, and social services as well as arts entertainment and cultural activities for adults and children in these times of need.

Librarians as “Maker Movement” leaders have quickly responded to the COVID-19 crisis. Our Tinker Lab staff have been putting the library’s 3-D printers and sewing machines to use manufacturing masks for the Yale New Haven Health Centers and the Public Works Departments of the City of New Haven, as well as for staff and volunteers serving meals to the homeless at the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen and St Thomas Moore Chapel. Although closed to staff and public, the library had some of our 3-D printers and sewing machines moved temporarily to the homes of staff in order to print shields and masks. The library is donating its labor and the materials to this effort, including making sure makers and what they are making comply with specifications for the production of shields and masks.

Although library branches are currently closed, library staff are working hard to be a resource and continue to support the needs of the community. Staff have regular contact with patrons via phone and email, making sure that everyone is stocked up with things to read, watch, listen to, learn, and do. Below is a quick “top ten list” of all the services the library is providing at this time, just to give you a sample.

Top 10 Ways to Use NHFPL from Home

• Social distancing? Your electronic library card is your key to a world of online learning and entertainment for free! Questions? Need an e-library card? Call us and leave a message at (203) 946-8130 or email refdesk@nhfpl.org. For Young Minds and Family Learning call (203) 946-8129 or email youngminds@nhfpl.org.

• Get absorbed in a great story. We’re all in need of some escapist fiction these days! Ebooks, audio books, and graphic novels for adults, children and teens are all available on OverDrive, RBdigital, Freading, Hoopla, TumbleBooks, and TeenBookCloud.

• Enjoy a family-friendly movie night. Tons of films are available for free download with your library card using Kanopy and Hoopla. All you need is the popcorn!

• Start a daily art practice with Creativebug. Learn to sketch, draft a pattern for a new dress, embroider, knit, scrapbook, and so much more.

• Seek help with job hunting. JobNow provides many valuable resources including job coaching, resume preparation and live interview practice.

• New Haven time travel by perusing historic images of our city in the Local History digital collections.

• Research an alternate career path or gain new skills. Take a free course on Lynda.com and learn to be an Excel expert, digital marketer, bookkeeper, graphic designer, screenwriter or comic illustrator. The offerings are endless!

• Exercise! Hoopla contains workout videos, including yoga and aerobics, and dance lessons. Learn to fox trot, salsa or rumba!

• Meet (virtually) with a local entrepreneur! Our Entrepreneur-in-Residence Sammi Williams and Collab partners are offering one-on-one virtual appointments to support your small business or non-profit start-up.

• Need more family fun activities? Plenty of virtual engagement to explore with Young Minds and Family Learning! View Story Times with stories, songs and fingerplays, take a tour of the San Diego Zoo or Boston Children’s Museum, and get reading recommendations and homework help for all ages!

Volunteer Readers Needed for Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King April 3

by James Pandaru, GNH Peace Council

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

The above quote is from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” which he gave on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church, NYC. The following year, on April 4, 1968, while supporting striking sanitation workers, he was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

We will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, April 3, at noon in front of New Haven City Hall (165 Church St.). Dr. King’s words continue to be as relevant today as they were in 1967.

Volunteers are needed to read excerpts from Dr. King’s speech. Please join us in this event to commemorate Dr. King. To take part contact James Pandaru, (203) 933-4043, jpandaru@gmail.com. Thank you.

Telling the Palestinian Story – Palestinian Women Global Art Exhibit opening on Sunday, March 8

The exhibit features over 200 works of art from about 50 Palestinian women artists who have made significant contributions to the art scene in their immediate communities and around the world. Artworks that will be on display include paintings, sculptures, photographs, and embroidery pieces.

The exhibit will be unveiled during a ceremony on the afternoon of Sunday, March 8, and will be open on Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. through May 30, 2020.

“The exhibit will give dozens of Palestinian women artists an opportunity to exhibit their artwork in the United States for the first time,” said Museum founder, Faisal Saleh. “Our mission is to celebrate and showcase Palestinian artistic excellence – this event goes a long way in fulfilling that promise.”
Partial list of artists participating in the exhibit are:

  • From the US & Canada: Samia Halaby, Manal Deeb, Samar Hussaini, Rawan Anani
  • From Europe: Laila Shawa, Jacqueline Bejani, Halima Aziz
  • From Jordan: Raida Shahin, Dalia Ali, Reem Khader, Nadia Al Khateeb, Aya Abu Ghazaleh
  • From Palestine: Nameer Qassim, Sana’ Tahboub, Hya Kaabneh, Reen Natsheh
  • From Africa: Kholoud Subhi (Kenya)
  • From South America: Ruby L. Yunis (Chile), María Eugenia Akel (Chile)

Palestine Museum, 1764 Litchfield Tpke, Woodbridge, CT 06525 Museum Hours: Every Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. Admission fees: Adults: $8; Students and seniors (age 65+): $5; Children 12 or under: Free. Maximum $20 per family.

Latin American Short Stories Discussion Group, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10

The Latin American Short Stories Discussion Group will take place at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St., on Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 6-7 p.m. This is part of a series of open discussions centering on selected stories by Latin American authors.

Isaias Morales Cabezas, a documentarian and art historian from Colombia, will moderate the discussions. The dialogue will be accessible at all levels of familiarity with literary fiction and the readings will be available at the Information Desk at Ives Main Library. Upon request, a link to digitalized copies of the stories will be available.

Stories for Tuesday, Dec. 3 are Unworthy by Jorge Luis Borges and The Crime of the Mathematics Professor by Clarice Lispector. Stories for Tuesday, Dec. 10 are The Southern Thruway by Julio Cortázar and The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow by Gabriel García Márquez.
For more information: isaias@newschool.edu, (203) 946-8138.

Nov. 2 Book Launch, Zionist Betrayal of Jews, New Haven

News release

On Saturday, Nov. 2, Stanley Heller will talk about his new book “Zionist Betrayal of Jews: From Herzl to Netanyahu.” It’s a history of the many, many times Zionist groups and Israel put their state-building project ahead of the vital interests of Jews. The event will take place in the Community Room in the lower level of the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St., at 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, there will be light refreshments. Sponsored by the Middle East Crisis Committee and co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (New Haven), part of the meeting will be about their projects.

Most people know something about the disastrous effects of the Zionist movement on Palestinians and other Middle Eastern peoples, but the story of the cost of Zionism to Jews is less well known. The account ranges from Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, making a deal with the notorious anti-Semitic Imperial Russian minister von Plehve to Israel’s current Prime Minister Netanyahu declaring friendship with authoritarians who use dog whistles of anti-Semitism to appeal to their bases. The book describes the Zionist destruction of the powerful anti-Nazi boycott of the ’30s, Israel’s friendly relations to Argentina under the rule of Jew-hating generals and Israel’s sale of weapons to modern Ukraine whose army includes a neo-Nazi Azov Brigade.

One of the reasons for writing the book was to expose the Zionists who constantly accuse critics of Israel for being anti-Semitic. Again and again a sentence is taken out of context or a political cartoon is taken to task for resembling something anti-Semitic from the ’30s. Heller’s book exposes the hypocrisy of the Zionist movement which made deals with anti-Semites and in some cases killers of Jews, deals that put Jews in peril.

This is Heller’s second book. His first was titled “The Uprising We Need” (2017), which was a collection of his articles that appeared in newspapers and media. The book is available for a donation of $10 or more to the Middle East Crisis Committee.  See ordering information about both books at stanleyheller.com.

Meet the Author Nov. 8: Green Strategy — Path to Fundamental Change

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

Meet author Marc Brodine at a presentation and book signing of Green Strategy – Path to Fundamental Change on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street, New Haven. Green Strategy advocates a massive worldwide movement to create fundamental change as the only way to solve environmental crises. Linking environmental issues to allied social and political movements can transform our politics, economy, and protect our species from devastation. The book was published this year by International Publishers and is $14.99.

Marc Brodine lives in Washington State and is currently on a book tour. He has been a union and community organizer and activist, writer, teacher, hospital orderly and technician, office manager, guitar player, and woodblock print artist. He has written extensively on environmental issues and politics and is the author of Blood Pressure, a hospital-based mystery. Born in St. Louis, he has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He is a member of the Communist Party USA National Committee and has presented at conferences in the U.S., China, and Finland.

Towards a New Paradigm of Creative Revolution — Part One

by Owen Charles, environmental, peace and community activist

We are in a time of great innovation, some say, mostly speaking of computer technology, “AI,” microparticle physics, genetic science, and other man-made detritus.

We are in a time of great crisis, meanwhile, as we soak in a toxic environment and begin to experience looming climate destruction borne of man-made garbage–hydrocarbons, plastics, pesticides, and other technologies.

It is time to recognize that we are in a downward spiral. As a species, we are clearly incapable. That is why it is up to SOME of us to recognize we are in a downward spiral… and do something about it.

No, not come up with some technological solution or grand design that will “save the world” but independent, creative, revolutionary ways of disconnecting from and unplugging from the destructive dystopia around us, so that we may build a new future. Tapping into our own creative revolutions, inviting and engaging, and welcoming those around us.

Is this a revolutionary idea? – YES and NO. YES, in that it is the answer towards upending the Existing Order (Capitalism, carnism, consumerism, etc.) that will likely implode as destructive forces it has unleashed grows in Tsunami fashion and drowns (most of) us all.

NO, in that it is already late to be getting to the party. Revolutionary work has started all around. Not cults of 150-year-old revolutionists or other political goings-on…. But, in the almost anonymous goings-on of growing autonomous movements — Bioregionalism groups, independent local movements of people living off the grid, tiny houses, living in vans & other vehicles, autonomous agricultural innovations, “gig economy” pursuits, bartering and new economies, and in the rise of cooperatives, collectives, and back-to-earth communalism–it is no longer enough to say “No”! In fact, it is counter-productive to spend much time doing this–opposing the facets and faults that in aggregate comprise the Existing Order.

While Bob Marley was right that “Total destruction is the only solution (no one can stop them now),” there will not be a turning point among humans to turn around the destruction of the planet (and each other) through our out-of-control hydrocarbonism, consumerism, and Capitalism… not until after climate destruction has so disrupted our lives that the great majority live in constant struggle to survive amidst the new environment of the planet. We ARE beyond… beyond the point of no return. Thus, we don’t say NO… We don’t say INCREMENTALISM. Thus, we say YES!

The clear answer for a monumental transition lies before us… lies in our embracing this, and saying “YES”.

Yes, to new paradigm.

Yes, to new ideas, ways of living, ways of helping each other, ways of creating anew.

Yes, to positive action.

Yes, to communes- bounding together to create new economies, new healthcare and educational possibilities, new ways of moving forward from where we are now.

And in this “new” paradigm there certainly may be echoes of the past… indigenous and ancient ways of basic, communitarian existence in a more balanced harmony with each other and with nature…

You can look at it as saying NO to the toxic culture and capitalism, and war, and… BUT it is important not to look at it this way and to instead approach it as SAYING YES.

Yes, first off to each other.

We need to unleash ourselves from the paradigm of individualism and that it is a dog-eat-dog world… and instead embrace that we are all IN THIS TOGETHER. This is one of the first rules used to sublimate us, is the rule of “divide and conquer”.

Thus fighting each other is abandoned as a mode of revolution, and in fact is Counter-revolutionary. Let’s continue to look around and find and support those who represent a new paradigm hidden in plain sight all around us!

We say YES to each other in the mode of improvisational group creation… “YES, And” … Your idea AND mine… “BOTH AND” (not Either / Or)… this way we do not tear ourselves apart and tear each other down, but we BUILD TOGETHER new ways, new organizations, new creative revolutions.

YES to cooperatives, YES to collectives, YES to unplugging and working, YES to more DOING and less TALKING, YES to CREATING, YES TO BIOREGIONALISM, YES to MUNICIPALISM, YES to YES to YES to YES to YES.

YES to down-sizing, YES to living more ruggedly with less, YES to helping others to do so (not shaming them), YES to creating ways to communicate independently YES to BEING the CHANGE we want to see. YES to worrying less about fear, division, disagreement, and looming destruction, and YES to focusing more on creative revolution to create the new ways of living that sustain us, save us, inspire us, give us some hope, some unity, and rebuild our interior and human goodness from the first step of the first individual, in a chain that has the potential to be unending, and free us from the chains of our dystopia.

Please reach out to us by joining our Facebook group @shorelinegreenparty or contacting me! Owen Charles at owencharles2003@yahoo.com

Ives Gallery Open Call for 2020, Submission Deadline: Oct. 31, 2019

Lauren Bisio, New Haven Free Public Library

The New Haven Free Public Library seeks proposals for exhibitions in the Ives Gallery to take place during 2020.

The Ives Gallery is proud to exhibit work that reflects and celebrates the rich diversity of greater New Haven’s cultural community.

The Library is excited to receive proposals from the greater New Haven community. Eligible applicants include:

  • Individual, pairs or groups of artists
  • Independent curators
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Public or Private K-12 Schools, Colleges, Univer-sities as well as associated teachers and students

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of members from the New Haven Free Public Library and the New Haven arts and culture community. During review of proposals, panelists will consider the following:

  • Artistic experience
  • Work is appropriate for Ives Gallery and public community
  • Work reflects the diversity of the community and/or provides opportunity for community enrichment or engagement
  • Exhibitor(s) has/have sufficient pieces for a gallery show
  • Quality and completeness of application

For more information and to download the Guidelines and Proposal, please visit nhfpl.org/ives-gallery-open-call.

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Remembering Anne Frank: Film Showing of Redemption Blues June 12 @ NH Free Public Library

In commemoration of Anne Frank’s 90th birthday, please join us for a screening of “Redemption Blues,” directed by Peter Stastny  (2017; 84 min., English & German/English subtitles) Wednesday, June 12, 5:30 to 8 p.m., New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street.

A lifetime after the Shoah: Forgetting is not an option and memory only goes so far. When prayers are not enough, music can keep us going. It is not too late to mourn and not too soon to replenish.

“Redemption Blues” is a film about the thorny legacy of the Holocaust generation and the insights of some of its last survivors. The film begins where conventional Shoah narratives leave off and traces a path forward, through personal and emotional engagement towards hope.

Director and producer Peter Stastny was born in Vienna as the son of Orthodox Jewish refugees. After a career in psychiatry, he began working with film in the mid-1990s, looking for ways to move forward after the immense trauma endured by the Jewish population of Europe during the Second World War.

Discussion with Peter Stastny will follow the screening. Co-sponsors are: The International Association of New Haven and The City of New Haven Peace Commission. For more information, contact Seth, sgodfrey@nhfpl.org, or (203) 946-7450. New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.

New Book Documents How Ordinary American Communities Challenge the ‘One Percent’ and Win

Good Trouble: A Shoeleather History of Nonviolent Direct Action is a riveting chronicle of stories that prove time and again the actions of thoughtful, committed people can change their country and the world. It is a brisk, inspiring primer for veteran activists and newcomers alike.

Civil Rights struggles. Labor strikes. Immigrant organizing. Tenant occupations. LGBT campaigns. Each of the 40-plus examples in Good Trouble focuses on the power of organizing and mobilizing, relevant in any context, and serves as an “emergency tool kit” for nonviolent direct action.

“Good Trouble comes to us at a time when faith in our democracy is fading,” writes Rev. Damaris Whittaker, senior minister of Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York.

“Change is the result of action, but those without hope do not act. Good Trouble is a tale of overcoming despair to beat the system,” says Jackie Allen-Doucot, lifelong member of the Catholic Worker Movement.

The book takes its title from a quote by John Lewis, member of Congress and legendary civil rights hero, who led a 2016 sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives: “Dr. King and Rosa Parks inspired me to get into trouble, good trouble,” Lewis said at the time.

Good Trouble author Steve Thornton is a retired union organizer who has spent forty-five years in Hartford CT on the front lines of student, labor, community, environmental, and anti-racist struggles. This is his third book, the first with Hard Ball Press, publisher of a wide range of working-class writings (hardballpress.org).

The Shoeleather History Project: Stories from Hartford’s grassroots: www.ShoeleatherHistoryProject.com.

Make Music Day Connecticut Returns on June 21

Connecticut Office of the Arts

For the second year, cities and towns across Connecticut will join forces to present over 500 free outdoor musical events on Friday, June 21 for Make Music Day, a global music celebration on the summer solstice each year that brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. For information, see www.makemusicnewhaven.org.

Last year, Make Music Day made its Connecticut debut, with an impressive 528 free musical performances at 224 locations across the state, coordinated by twelve regional chapters brought together by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. This year, eighteen chapters have formed to organize Make Music Connecticut, the most of any state, joining more than 80 other U.S. cities hosting thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.

Bad People Believing Bad Things: The Threat of White Nationalism — Talk June 11

John Stoehr invites Jason Stanley, the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (published September 2018), to discuss the rising tide of white nationalist ideology and its influence on the American political landscape. Book will be available for sale. Please RSVP by Tuesday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Young Men’s Institute Library, 847 Chapel St, New Haven. Light refreshments available. Suggested admission $10. Sponsored by New Haven Review with the Institute Library and The Editorial Board.

New Haven Documentary Film Festival May 30-June 9

The 6th annual New Haven Documentary Film Festival runs from May 30-June 9. The 11-day fest will feature over 100 films and other special events in various venues. All film screenings and workshops are free. For the full schedule, see nhdocs.com.

Michael Moore Retrospective will be at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival Friday, June 7 – Sunday, June 9 at the Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium at Yale, 53 Wall St., New Haven. The Festival will feature free showings of seven of Michael Moore’s films. The audience can discuss the films with Michael Moore and filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus and Peter Davis.

Free and open to the public.

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