Friends of Hackney Library Spring 2021 Lecture

Author John Kessel

The Friends of Hackney Library hosted speculative fiction author John Kessel as the featured speaker for the Spring 2021 Lecture on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Hackney Library on the Barton College campus. (Speculative fiction includes science fiction, fantasy, slipstream and other works that embrace supernatural or futuristic themes; this is our first time hosting an author working in this genre.)

Born in Buffalo, New York, John Kessel is the award-winning author of the novels Pride and Prometheus, The Moon and the OtherGood News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories.

Kessel’s work is highly regarded.  Publisher’s Weekly characterizes him as “our American Brian Aldiss, capable of the most artful and rigorous literary composition, but with a mischievous genius that inclines him toward speculative fiction . . . he writes with subtlety and great wit . . . and his craftmanship is frequently absolutely brilliant. Plus, his sense of comedy is remarkable.” And Locus magazine’s Nick Gevers calls him “one of American SF’s finest writers.”

Moreover, Kessel’s stories have twice received the Nebula Award given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (for the best science fiction or fantasy published in the United States), in addition to the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (the University of Kansas  Center for the Study of Science Fiction’s award for best science fiction short story), the Locus Poll (chosen by readers of Locus magazine), the Shirley Jackson Award (for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic) and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award (a literary award encouraging the exploration and expansion of gender).  His play “Faustfeathers” won the Paul Green Playwright’s Prize, and his story “A Clean Escape” was adapted as an episode of the ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction.

With Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sci fi, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology.

Read on for a sample of his work and the praise it has garnered:

Pride and Prometheus (2018) is a “literary mashup” of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in which Austen’s character Mary Bennett crosses paths with Shelley’s character Victor Frankenstein, following him through Europe on “a disturbing mission to animate another corpse and risk losing his own humanity,  according to Booklist Online‘s review.   In Booklist‘s estimation, fans of the two original works “won’t be able to help but fall headfirst into this exceedingly creative fusion of the two classic novels’ worlds.”  In 2009, Kessel’s novella “Pride and Prometheus” (later expanded into the novel-length version) received both the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award (for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic).

The Moon and the Other (2017) takes place in the 22nd century, featuring over two dozen diverse, Earth-colonized lunar city-states.  One of these, the Society of Cousins, goes against the grain organized as a matriarchal utopia in which men are given great freedoms of expression but are forbidden to vote.  Society of Cousins men who have escaped to  patriarchal colonies on the Moon attempt to shine a light on their plight, as well as on the secretive protection of technological advances in their home colony, all of which sparks a Lunar War.  According to reviewer Jennifer Beach in Library Journal, Kessel’s “wonderfully weighty novel is speculative fiction at its finest….Political, theological, sensual, this is impossible to put down.”  According to Booklist Online‘s review, “Kessel has crafted a compelling and complex tale, full of social commentary and thought-provoking dire warnings of a perilous future.”

Kessel holds a B.A. in Physics and English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, the author Therese Anne Fowler.

The recording of Dr. Kessel’s lecture is available for viewing here: https://youtu.be/qThiZRpiS7A

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Friends of Hackney Library and Friends of the Wilson County Public Library Fall 2020 Lecture

The Friends of Hackney Library and the Friends of the Wilson County Public Library co-sponsored author Carole Boston Weatherford as the featured speaker for the Fall 2020 lecture on Monday, October 26, 2020 at Hackney Library on the Barton College campus.

Ms. Weatherford is a prolific New York Times bestselling author and poet, both of children’s and young adult works; she is also Professor of English at Fayetteville State University.

One of the leading poets writing for young people today, she believes that poetry makes music with words. She mines the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. Her work spans poetry, nonfiction, biography, and historical fiction.

According to her web site, Weatherford, a native of Baltimore, started writing at a very young age: “[She] composed her first poem in first grade and dictated the verse to her mother on the ride home from school. Her father, a high school printing teacher, printed some of her early poems on index cards.” Her literary debut, Juneteenth Jamboree, was published in 1995, and she’s been going like gangbusters ever since. Her 50-plus books include many award winners, such as:

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America (NAACP image Award) Voice of freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe New Talent Award, Flora Steiglitz Straus Award from Bank Street College of Education) Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood (Arnold Adoff Earl Poetry Honor) Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (NAACP Image Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Caldecott Honor Medal) Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and the SCBWI Golden Kite Honor) Becoming Billie Holliday (Coretta Scott King Author Honor) Dear Mr. Rosenwald (SCBWI Golden Kite Honor, NAACP Image Award finalist) Birmingham, 1963 (Jefferson Cup from Virginia Library Association, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honor) The Sound that Jazz Makes (Carter G. Woodson Award from National Council for the Social Studies, NAACP Image Award finalist) Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins (North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award) Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People (North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award)
Her latest well-received releases include the following:

Freedom in Congo Square (illustrated by R. Gregory Christie; Charlotte Zolotow Award winner for outstanding writing in a children’s book, 2016); You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen (illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford; Starred Reviews from both Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly, 2017); The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop (illustrated by Frank Morrison; Starred Reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly, 2019), and By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music (illustrated by Bryan Collier; Booklist Starred Review, 2020).
In addition, Weatherford has won several other awards as a result of her work, including a Ragan-Rubin Award for Literary Achievement from the North Carolina English Teachers Association and the North Carolina Award for Literature, two of the state’s highest civilian honors.

The author completed her undergraduate studies at the American University, earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and holds a Master of Arts in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore. She lives in North Carolina and has two adult children (one of whom, son Jeffery Boston Weatherford, illustrated her book You Can Fly).

The recording of Ms. Weatherford’s lecture is available for viewing here: https://youtu.be/lc_0l8Kr7DQ

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New Arrival in the Library’s Rare Book Room

We would like to share with you one of the latest acquisitions that has been added to the K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Rare Book Room, part of the Hackney Library’s Special Collections.  We recently acquired a handwritten letter by the 19th century British author Charles Dickens, who wrote such classic novels as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.

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The letter from Dickens to Madame Celeste was written in the late summer of 1851

 

In the letter, written at Devonshire Terrace in London, Dickens makes a last-minute request to the actress and theater manager Céline Céleste-Elliott for box tickets for a “friend from the country to amuse on an hour’s notice.”

This letter is a great addition to the K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Rare Book Room, which contains materials with a special emphasis on British and Scottish culture, including literature, history and philosophy, in keeping with the Scottish ancestry of the principal founders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone.  Other interests in this collection are materials related to the history of books & printing, books published in Great Britain before 1640 and books published in the coastal region of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, before 1820.


The K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Rare Book Room, which opened in 2014, is endowed by Dr. K.D. Kennedy, Jr., a long-time Barton College philanthropist.  The CEO of Electric Supply Company, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, Kennedy was a longtime trustee on the Barton College Board of Trustees, serving five years as chair of the Board of Trustees and later elected a trustee emeritus.

Please contact Rob Cagna at rcagna@barton.edu or Rich Fulling at rfulling@barton.edu for further details on visiting the Rare Book Room and Hackney Library’s Special Collections.  You can also visit our website at https://barton.libguides.com/special_collections/home to explore our Special Collections online.

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Hackney Library Re-Opening on August 12

Our operating hours for the first few weeks of the semester will be Monday – Friday, 8 am-5 pm.   We will resume limited evening and weekend hours in the weeks ahead.  Also, we will be requiring all patrons to wear masks while in the library building.  To maintain social distancing in the library, there will be limited seating in the building as well as a decrease in the number of available computers to use.  Group study will not be available.

Computer access and printing services are restricted to Barton students, faculty, and staff.  Visitors to the library will also notice that the Library Commons area will be used for classroom space throughout the day, so we ask that anyone using the first floor study areas to please keep the noise level to a minimum out of respect to the students and faculty who are attending class.

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Hackney Library Resources During the Summer

As the Summer Session begins today, we want to provide an update on the library’s resources during the summer months.  In light of the precautions being taken surrounding the coronavirus, the Hackney Library building is still CLOSED to all patrons until further notice.  However, we are still providing the following services to Barton students, faculty and staff only:

  • 24/7 access to electronic resources will continue as always (use your Barton login to access these from off campus) from the library’s home page (barton.libguides.com)
  • All physical items checked out since January 1 (books, DVDs, laptops) will be automatically renewed until August 30, 2020.  If you receive an overdue notice via email for these items, please ignore it.
  • If you need to request Interlibrary Loan items, please fill out the online form here.  If they are physical materials, they will be mailed to you when we receive them (please include your mailing address in the “Notes:” field on the form).  E-articles will be sent to your email address.
  • If you need to request items from Hackney Library’s collections within the building, send an email to circ@barton.edu with title(s), author(s) and call number(s) if available to request the item(s).  Include your mailing address, and we will mail these to you.
  • If you would like to return any items to us before we reopen, you may mail them by whatever service you choose to Hackney Library, Barton College, PO Box 5000, Wilson, NC  27893-7000.  

Remember, you may always contact us with questions at reference@barton.edu.  We may be working remotely at times, but we will continue to serve you in the best way that we can. 

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Hackney Library Temporarily CLOSED due to Coronavirus; Services Still Available to Barton Community

In light of the precautions being taken to restrict the spread of COVID-19, Hackney Library’s building is CLOSED to all patrons until further notice.  However, we will be providing the following services to Barton students, faculty and staff only:

  • 24/7 access to electronic resources will continue as always (use your Barton login to access these from off campus) from the library’s home page (barton.libguides.com)
  • All physical items checked out since January 1 (books, DVDs, laptops) will be automatically renewed until August 30, 2020.  If you receive an overdue notice via email for these items, please ignore it.
  • If you need to request Interlibrary Loan items, please fill out the online form here.  If you are requesting physical rather than virtual materials, they will be mailed to you when we receive them (please include your mailing address in the “Notes:” field on the form).  E-articles will be sent to your email address.
  • If you need to request items from Hackney Library’s collections within the building, send an email to circ@barton.edu with title(s), author(s) and call number(s) if available to request the item(s).  Include your mailing address, and we will mail these to you.
  • If you would like to return any items to us before we reopen, you may mail them by whatever service you choose to Hackney Library, Barton College, PO Box 5000, Wilson, NC  27893-7000.

Remember, you may always contact us with questions at reference@barton.edu.  (Please do not leave us voicemails, as we may be working remotely at times.)  We look forward to an easing of these restrictions, but until then, we will continue to serve you in the best way that we can.  Take care, and stay healthy out there!

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“Study Round the Clock” Kicks off Thursday, Dec. 5 (Reading Day) in Hackney Library!

If you’re concerned about where you’ll find a quiet, safe place to study during exams this semester, your worries are over.  Hackney Library’s got your back with its ever-popular “Study Round the Clock,” held during Reading Day/Exam Period every semester.

This semester, the event will kick off on Reading Day, Thursday, December 5, at 8 am, and will continue through 6 pm on Wednesday, December 11.  Each “Study Round the Clock,” we provide 4 nights of 24-hour accessibility to the library building for students with a current Barton ID (and security provided by police officers during the midnight-to-8-am shifts).  Here are the hours we will be open during Study Round the Clock:

Study Round the Clock (SRTC) Hours:

  • Thursday, Dec. 5 through Friday, Dec. 6: SRTC begins:  Library opens 8 am Thursday; and remains open until closing at 8 pm Friday, when SRTC pauses.
  • Saturday, Dec. 7:  SRTC pauses: 10 am – 7 pm (regular hours)
  • Sunday, Dec. 8 through Wednesday, Dec. 11: SRTC resumes:  Library opens 2 pm Sunday and remains open continuously until closing at 6 pm Wednesday.
  • Thursday, Dec. 12 through Friday, Dec. 13: SRTC is over:  Library is open from 8 am to 5 pm.

“Study Round the Clock” provides an additional 32 hours that the library will be open during exam period compared to the regular semester.  In addition, during exams,  free coffee, tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate will be available while supplies last to Barton students, faculty, and staff.

During these 24/7 periods, library services will be available from 8 am until midnight only. From midnight until 8 am the following morning, no library services will be available, but a police officer will be on hand providing security during that time. (Access will be limited to Barton students only during the midnight to 8 am time slots. Barton ID will be required for admission from midnight until 8 am).

So plan to visit Hackney Library during exams (remember to bring your ID for admission after midnight!) to get some extra study time in, and get your favorite hot beverage for free!

“Study ‘Round the Clock” is sponsored by Hackney Library, the Friends of Hackney Library, the Barton College Office of Student Engagement and Success, and the Barton Student Government Association.

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Hackney Library Looks at AC/Barton College Sports Then and Now

Did you know that Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) fielded a baseball team in 1910?  Or a football team in 1920?  Or a women’s basketball team in 1920?  Or a variety of other sports teams and clubs throughout its history?

Hackney Library now has on exhibit photos and news clippings culled from its archive of various sports and events from the institution’s Atlantic Christian College era.  In addition, the display includes equipment and uniforms  from current Barton sports, such as a track relay baton, a basketball, and a new football jersey.  All are housed in the glass display case near the “Kimono Museum” painting on the back wall.

The next time you’re in the library, take a moment to explore the history of sports at Atlantic Christian College and both current and future sports here at Barton College.

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New Exhibit of Barton Art League Book Covers Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock

The Barton Art League, a small group of Barton students who have a genuine passion for art and all the creative fields, is showcasing work from Ms. Susan Fecho’s Graphic Design class for the first exhibition of the fall in Hackney Library’s first-floor student exhibition art area near the elevator.

Students adapted the classic icons, fonts and color scheme of the 1960’s counterculture movement to develop a “Fifty Years Since Woodstock” book cover design.  They researched the 1969 Woodstock logo/poster designed by legendary artist Arnold Skolnick.  Learning extended into locating appropriate photographs that were licensed for reuse, utilizing expressive fonts associated with sound and meaning, collaging imagery, and printing on large format printers.

“Sing with Me the Song of Peace” by Megan Hickey

Student Megan Hickey considered how “Woodstock is known as one of the greatest happenings of all time and perhaps the most pivotal moment in music history” as it centered on the idea of peace, love and music to design her cover “Sing with Me the Song of Peace.”

“In my hometown [of] Kralingen in The Netherlands,” shares Christern Minus, “we still annual[ly] celebrate Woodstock.  Every year thousands of Dutch and European people visit the Kralingen Forest to celebrate our freedom. On the back of my book you can see how it looks like these days.”

“Love, Peace and Woodstock” by Jaksa Gabric

For designing “Love, Peace and Woodstock,” student Jaksa Gabric shares, “[The] idea behind my work was to connect two big events in the history of the United States.  One being the Vietnam war, and another one sharing peace and love across the nation to stop the wars.”

Come by at your leisure to see how Barton graphic design students have interpreted the iconic Woodstock event, 50 years after.

 

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“Banned Books Week” Display of Challenged/Censored Books on Display in Hackney Library

According to the American Library Association (ALA), Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) “is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”

Along with many other libraries and others this week, Hackney Library will be celebrating “Banned Books Week” with a display of titles in our collection that at one time or another have been challenged or censored because of content.  You may be surprised at many of the titles in our collection that have been challenged.

“The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship,” according to ALA.  The theme of this year’s “Banned Books Week” commemoration is “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark:  Keep the Light On.”

According to the ALA’s Bannedbooksweek.org site, the list of most banned books in 2018 (the year most recently documented) contains not just the usual 10 titles, but this year, an additional 11th title, “some of which were even burned by censors!” (Hackney Library does not happen to own any of 2018’s most frequently banned books, but we do have many others in our collection.)

Here is the 2018 list and a summary of reasons for banning taken from Bannedbooksweek.org:

  1. George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character
  2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints
  3. Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references
  5. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes
  6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    Reasons: banned, challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide
  7. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations
  8. Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
    Reason: challenged for depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture
  9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint
  10. This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
    Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content
  11. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
    Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

According to the Bannedbooksweek.org site, the 10 most commonly cited reasons for challenges/censorship of books are LGBTQ content, sexual explicitness, profanity, racism, violence, religious viewpoint, sex education, suicide, drug and alcohol use, and nudity.

Do your part in helping to “Keep the Light On” by perusing our display, and then checking out and reading a banned or challenged book.

 

 

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