Friday, July 17, 2015

The Ultimate Wish: film about Nagasaki and Fukushima, August 10 at APL

The Ultimate Wish (2012)
Director, Robert Richter

Presents moving, unforgettable living witnesses who survived two of the world's most momentous radiation crises: Nagasaki in 1945 and Fukushima in 2011. This film raises profound questions about war, American foreign policy, technological failure, the courage to survive and the importance of taking positive actions to prevent future nuclear disasters.

Date: Monday, August 10 Time: 7:00 – 8:45 pm
Place: Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave., Albany, NY
Sponsored by Upper Hudson Peace Action Information:

Film is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Where are the books? Libraries under fire as they shift from print to digital.

The hallmark of public libraries — the printed book, bound by covers and centuries of page-turning — is being shoved aside by digital doppelgangers.

Around the country, libraries are slashing their print collections in favor of e-books, prompting battles between library systems and print purists, including not only the pre-pixel generation but digital natives who represent a sizable portion of the 1.5 billion library visits a year and prefer print for serious reading.

[Millennials prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.]

Some of the clashes have been heated. In New York, protesters outside the city’s main branch have shouted: “Save the stacks! Save the stacks!”

More from the Washington Post


Outdoor Party for Families at Delaware Branch is Library-Fan Favorite

It's almost time for the Albany Public Library's annual outdoor party at the Delaware Branch! Join us at 331 Delaware Avenue from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, July 11, for SummerFest! We've got lots of great activities for the whole family.

We'll celebrate summer reading with:
+ Fun games and prizes
+ Bounce house obstacle course
+ Magic by Mr. MagicMan
+ Cool giveaways
+ Yummy refreshments

Kimono Dragons, the awesome surf-rock band that provided the music for the super-cute Summertime Reading video (watch it on YouTube), is playing that day, too.

All kids and teens who sign up for summer reading at SummerFest get a raffle ticket and chance to win a bike from the Albany County District Attorney's WORDS campaign.

Many thanks to our summer reading sponsors:
+ Price Chopper
+ Stewart's Shops
+ Friends of Albany Public Library

Join us at SummerFest on July 11 -- we promise it'll be a blast!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Rezone Albany Meeting - Monday, July 13, 2015 at 6pm at Albany Public Library, Washington Avenue

A New Unified Sustainable Development Code (USDO) for the Entire City

The second consultant product related to the citywide USDO is an Annotated Outline showing how a new Development ordinance can be structured and revised to address weaknesses identified in the Technical Report and implement the key planning goals in Albany 2030. The Annotated Outline has now been posted in for your review, and they welcome your comments.

A Public Meeting will be held to discuss the Annotated Outline. 
Monday, July 13th6:00-8:00 PM 
161 Washington Avenue Branch of the Albany Public Library 12210 

Rezone Albany

Public Meeting: Technical Report & Annontated Outline

Thought you might be interested in both attending this meeting and in reading the Public Draft of the Technical Report available on the Rezone Albany website at  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Smithsonian Announces Release of Freedmen's Bureau Records

On the 150th anniversary of “Juneteenth” (June 19), the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and FamilySearch announced the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records. In addition, a nationwide effort seeking volunteers to transcribe the handwritten entries has begun.

A collaboration with FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum, the Freedmen’s Bureau Project makes the records of freed slaves available and accessible by taking the raw records, extracting the information and indexing them to make them searchable online. Once indexed, it will be possible to find an ancestor by going to the site, entering a name and discovering a family member.

The Freedmen’s Bureau was organized near the end of the American Civil War to assist newly freed slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia. From 1865 to 1872, the Bureau opened schools, managed hospitals, rationed food and clothing and even solemnized marriages. In the process, it gathered priceless handwritten personal information, including marriage and family information, military service, banking, school, hospital and property records on potentially 4 million African Americans. The records are the property of the National Archives and Records Administration, where they have been carefully preserved and protected for decades.

More from the Smithsonian.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Libraries in Nepal

The American Library Association is partnering with READ Global (Rural Education and Development) libraries in Nepal to collect monetary donations in North America, which will be sent to READ Nepal, which is leading the relief effort. The Nepal Library Relief Fund will help to rebuild libraries and archives in Nepal that were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake on April 25, 2015, followed by a series of aftershocks including one of 7.3 magnitude on May 12. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Albany (NY) School District needs candidates for vacant seat on Board of Education

The City School District of Albany Board of Education is inviting candidates to apply for its vacant seat.

Albany residents interested in filling the volunteer position can apply through the end of business June 10. Please visit the Board of Education section to find out how to apply.

Interested candidates will have an opportunity to make a five-minute public presentation at the board's June 18 meeting. The board could make an appointment as soon as its July 16 meeting.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Can books save us from what digital does to our brains?


When I think back on my life, I can define a set of books that shaped me — intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. Books have always been an escape, a learning experience, a saviour, but beyond this, greater than this, certain books became, over time, a kind of glue that holds together my understanding of the world. I think of them as nodes of knowledge and emotion, nodes that knot together the fabric my self. Books, for me anyway, hold together who I am.

Books, in ways that are different to visual art, to music, to radio, to love even, force us to walk through another’s thoughts, one word at a time, over hours and days. We share our minds for that time with the writer’s. There is a slowness, a forced reflection required by the medium that is unique. Books recreate someone else’s thoughts inside our own minds, and maybe it is this one-to-one mapping of someone else’s words, on their own, without external stimuli, that give books their power. Books force us to let someone else’s thoughts inhabit our minds completely.