Climate Change Discussion

Decoding the Weather Machine Panel Discussion: Ross Pendergraft Library, April 16th at 7 PM in RPL 300AOn Tuesday, April 16th, at 7:00 P.M., the Ross Pendergraft Library will hold a panel discussion on climate change—what is it, how does it affect our environment, and what we can do to help save our planet.  The discussion will feature four experts in business, chemistry, sustainability alternative energy and natural disasters:

  • Bob Allen, Professor of Chemistry (Emeritus)
  • Andy Barrett, Alternative Energy Professional
  • Pat Ford, Agri-Business Owner
  • Caroline Hackerott, Assistant Professor of Emergency Management

The discussion will center on the PBS NOVA series episode, Decoding the Weather Machine. This event is free and open to the public—all are welcome!

For more information about the event, you can visit our event guide or contact the library at (479) 964-0569.  You can stay up to date on the series and all library events by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Dance Party at the Library

Pictures of fiddle players, dancers, and another musical instrument made of wood.  I think it is a lute or a harp, but smaller.

Come shake it up to live music next Saturday, April 6th at the Ross Pendergraft Library as we host our second Contra Dance in RPL 300B from 7:00-9:00 P.M.  No partner and no experience necessary.  Each dance will be taught before it begins, and no one will be left behind.  The event includes live music from the Valley Jam Session Players and caller Cynthia Callahan.

An old-time contra dance, also referred to as a barn dance, is an informal country dance stemming from such dances in 17th century Western Europe. It has evolved just as the old-time music has. Traditionally this type of dance always uses live musicians playing fiddle tunes.

As part of the Echoes of the River Valley series, the library is bringing to life the folk arts of the past for a new generation.   In addition to dancing, the series has featured events like yarn spinning, hand-quilting, and open jam sessions.  The Jam Sessions occur every Thursday night from 5:30-7:30 PM in Doc Bryan 133.  To learn more about this event, or others in the series, check out our resource guide or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Monday Night – The Rabbi and the Civil Rights Movement

Poster featuring Rabbi Ira Sanders advertising a talk by Dr. James Moses, "The Rabbi and the Civil Rights Movement"Join us Monday night, March 11th, at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300B for a look back at the struggle for Civil Rights in Arkansas from professor of history and author, Dr. James Moses.  Dr. Moses’s latest book, Just and Righteous Causes: Rabbi Ira Sanders and the Fight for Racial and Social Justice in Arkansas, 1926-1963, focuses on the efforts of Rabbi Ira Sanders of Little Rock who fought for justice and equality for African Americans in the segregated south.  Dr. Moses will discuss Rabbi Ira Sanders as well as the role of Southern rabbis as change agents.  All are welcome to attend.

Photo of Dr. James Moses

Dr. Moses earned his Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University, a Master of Arts from the University of New Hampshire, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Tulane University.  He has been a professor at Arkansas Tech since 1999 and specializes in modern United States and cultural history.   His current research projects include the completion of his book on the career of Justice William O. Douglas, and a project tentatively entitled Before Brown: The Long Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1954, which focuses on the often-overlooked decade between the end of World War II and the Court’s landmark Brown decision. In his off time, he enjoys jazz, playing drums, and collecting comics.

Photo of book cover, "Just and Righteous Causes"His book, Just and Righteous Causes, was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In one review, Mark K. Bauman, editor of Southern Jewish History called it,  “. . a must read for anyone interested in Little Rock, Arkansas and southern history, the civil rights movement, and southern and American Jewish history.”  Read more about the book and Ira Sanders in Tablet Magazine’s article, “Tikkun Olam, Y’all: Rabbi Ira Sanders of Arkansas, little-known Civil Rights hero”.

Stay up to date on more library events, including our next second Monday Author, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  For questions or more information about the library, email your friendly neighborhood librarians at: askus@atu.libanswers.com.  We hope to see you this Monday!

Going Old School

Get your hands on history here at the Ross Pendergraft Library as we host a special series called Echoes of the River Valley, aimed at exploring the culture and the craft of our local past.  Join us for music, dancing, sewing, and spinning all semester long as we partner with community members to connect with the skills and talents that helped shaped the character of the Ozarks.  Here’s a list of the open classes and events hosted this month:

Saturday, Feb. 16th @ 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. in RPL 300B–Spinning Yarns: Literally and Figuratively. 

The Ozarks Fiber Group will be here for a spin-in at the Library.  Live demonstrations of spinning fibers of many kinds will be done. Materials in various stages of the yarn or string making process will be available. This is is the literal portion.  The figurative part of the program will look at Arkansas and Ozark region folklore and stories. Books by Vance Randolph and other story collectors and tellers will be featured. There may even be a story or two to be told.

This is a drop-in/open-house event.  Come when you want–stay as long as you like.  We will be working on projects throughout the day. 

Old school spin class
Every 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Thursday @ 5:30-7:30 P.M. in Doc Bryan 133– Open Jam Session

We invite student, faculty, staff, and community members to come to a jam session of fiddlers, guitar pickers, and banjo players.  You don’t need to be Doc Watson to play; the chords and notation to the songs are posted on the screen.  We’ll be playing music heard during the 19th century–classic fiddle songs invented long before bluegrass.  Players and listeners are welcome!

Flyer announcing Open Jam Sessions featuring a row of shadow figures playing fiddle.
Saturday, Mar. 9 @ 9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M. in RPL 300B–Stitches in Time: The Art of Hand Quilting.  

Learn the art of hand quilting as it has been done for centuries. Local quilters will display hand quilted pieces both old and new. There will be a short presentation discussing the background and process of quilting by hand rather that by machine followed by a demonstration.  Learn more about hand piecing by visiting this guide.

pictures of quilt tops with different methods of creating them.
Saturday, Apr. 6 @ 7:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. in RPL 300B–Contra Dancing with Live Music.

An old-time contra dance,  also referred to as a barn dance or square-dancing, is an informal country dance stemming from such dances in 17th century Western Europe. It has evolved just as the old-time music has. Traditionally this type of dance always uses live musicians playing fiddle tunes. No experience or partner necessary! Each dance will be taught before it begins, and no one will be left behind.

Image of dancers with guitars

More events are scheduled throughout the year.  Be sure to check the calendar for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for upcoming events, photos, and other news from the library.

Time Travel with Dr. Stanley Lombardo

Picture of Stanley LombardoSaddle up for an adventure through time and space with author and professor of English, Dr. Stanley Lombardo, as we welcome him February 11th at 7:00 P.M. in the Ross Pendergraft Library, room 300B, as part of our Second Monday Author Series.

Dr. Lombardo is the author of a popular series of genre-bursting books called the The Crosstime Adventures of Carter Paxton in which a Yale-educated, buffalo hunting cowboy from the nineteenth century travels through time using an Apache medicine cave in Arizona.  Already on its fourth installment, Who Murdered Shakespeare, the series delivers something to satisfy fans of western, sci-fi, romance, and historical fiction genres.

cover of Paxton at Bosworth Field featuring black and white images of medieval armies clashing with ghostly nineteenth century old west cowboy image in the background

Learn more about this series as well as Dr. Lombardo’s children’s books by joining us this Monday in RPL 300B.  All are welcome to attend, and one lucky attendee will be entered into a door prize of one free autographed book by Dr. Lombardo.

If you want to get started on the Carter Paxton series, you can check them all out at the Ross Pendergraft Library.  It’s the best way to travel through time and space—no Apache Medicine Cave required.

The Crosstime Adventures of Carter Paxton
Children’s Books

Check out a book at the Human Library

A photograph advertising the Human Library--pictures of people on a book shelf.

This Thursday, Nov. 15th, check out more than a book from the library—check out a human book.  From 6:30 until 9:00, the Library will host its 3rd annual Human Library in RPL 300B.  This event is free and open to the public—all are welcome.

The Human Library project is a national program promoting dialogue and understanding between people.  Each ‘book’ his a person sharing their experiences with prejudice, discrimination, or hardships beyond their control in an environment that allows for candid conversations within a smaller group. The purpose is to promote understanding within a diverse community.

“Readers,” the people coming to the event, will browse the shelves and choose a book to sit down with. The book will tell their story allowing for the reader to ask questions.

This year the library will feature 10 books for readers to choose from.  Titles include:

  • Naturalization: Becoming a Citizen of the United States.
  • Librarian in Blue: Chicago police officer becomes a librarian
  • My Past is Part of Me But Not All of Me: A non-traditional student overcomes abusive childhood in a strict religious home.
  • 30 and Still Nerdy: He speaks fluent nerd and owns a 13 volume encyclopedia of Middle Earth—capable of adulting yet hasn’t grown out of these nerdy things.
  • International Student: A student from the Middle East shares his experiences studying in Arkansas.
  • Sick Chase: A story of the survival of a religious crisis.
  • Not Your Average “Duke”: The story of a small-town moonshiner’s grandson and how he broke free from the social norm surrounding him.
  • Graditutde & Gears: A first generation Latina engineering major shares her experiences cultivating a postive network in college.
  • Invisible: A seemingly happy-go-lucky college student struggles with anxiety and depression complicated by the feelings of shame associated with the stigma of mental illness.
  • Unexpected: A first generation college student and her unexpected journey into parenthood.

For more information on the Human Library, including a list of past speakers, other Human Libraries, and videos, visit our website about the project: http://libguides.atu.edu/humanlibrary/home.  If you are interested in becoming a book yourself for next year, consider signing up.  No dust jacket required.

Stay in touch with all our books and programs by following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  We hope you will come Thursday night and check out some books!

About Johnny Carrol Sain – Monday, Oct. 8th

Photo of Johnny Carrol SainThe Second Monday author series continues this Monday, October 8th, as we welcome Johnny Carrol Sain to the Ross Pendergraft Library for an in-depth look at the challenges of being a free-lance writer, editor, and photographer.  Join us at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300 for a presentation from an award-winning writer and a force behind the local magazine, About the River Valley.

Johnny Carrol Sain is currently the managing editor of About the River Valley.  He has also been published in Arkansas Life, Hatch, Food & Environment Reporting Network, the Courier, and Field and Stream.  His work specializes in the outdoors, conservation, natural and rural heritage—particularly in Arkansas.

His writing has earned him a Diamond Journalism Award and an Excellence in Craft award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

This presentation is free and open to the public.  For more information about this presentation or the Ross Pendergraft Library contact us at 479-964-0546 or email Luke Heffley at lheffley@atu.edu.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more news and events in the library.  We hope to see you there!

Front covers of About the River Valley

Echoes of the River Valley kickoff on Sept. 13

Banner featuring Echoes of the River Valley series. Includes pictures of a violin and a quilt

On Thursday, September 13th, at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300B, the Ross Pendergraft Library kicks off a new series exploring, sharing and preserving the folk arts of the River Valley.  Join us this Thursday as we welcome Dave Smith, old-time fiddler and multi-instrumentalist, who will share his tunes, traditions, and wealth of knowledge about the music of the Ozarks and the greater region.

Photo of Dave Smith, a handsome older gentleman in white shirt, dark vest, dark pants, and brown hat. He has a white beard and mustache of moderate length

Dave Smith is an accomplished folk musician from Mountain View, Arkansas.  He is the host of Ozark Highlands Radio, a popular weekly radio program featuring live music, jam sessions, and interviews from the Ozark Folk Center State Park’s auditorium.  Dave plays the guitar, fiddle, claw-hammer banjo, and the button accordion.

He will discuss the role of music in everyday life before and after the Civil War. From there we can follow the music into the 20th century where we can examine the impact of technology on the on the evolution of the music. Find out how this music is not only surviving, but thriving in today’s fast paced digital age.

If this is your kind of jam, you might like to join a real jam at the Gatherings–a weekly series of musical jams open to all stringed instruments and all level of musicians.  The music will focus on the traditional tunes of the Ozark region.  The University of Arkansas Ozark Folk Songs digital collection will be the primary resource with emphasis on fiddle tunes.

Gatherings will be held on Thursdays, September 27th, October 4th, October 11th, and October 18th from 5:30-7:30 P.M. in Doc Byran 242.  Participants are encouraged to bring a recording device.  All tunes will be played slowly, phrase-by-phrase, working up to greater speeds. Chords will be available for those who wish to play rhythm with their strings.

"Four Thursdays in Autumn at Doc Bryan Room 242 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Thursdays Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct.11, Oct.18. The Gatherings"

The final event in the Echoes of the River Valley series will include a two hour session on quilting and piecing using traditional Ozark methods on October 25th.

So rosin up your bow and practice your finger work by clicking Like on our Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instragram pages so you can stay in the circle on what’s happening in the library.   You can also read up on the series at our website: http://libguides.atu.edu/echoes

All events are free and open to the public.  See ya’ll on Thursday!

 

Redgunk Tales this Monday, April 9th

Cover of book entitled "RedGunk Tales : Apocalypse and Kudzu from Redgunk, MississippiJoin us on Monday, April 9th in RPL 300B at 7:00 P.M. for a presentation from Dr. Bill Eakin, professor of philosophy and German from the University of the Ozarks, on his book entitled, Redgunk Tales : Apocalypse and Kudzu from Redgunk, Mississippi.  Dr. Eakins will discuss his book as well as tips for publishing short stories.

Redgunk Tales features 13 interwoven stories set in the fictional town of Redgunk, Mississippi, where “the predictable lives of the smothering backwater’s residents are touched by shadowy supernatural events” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Critics have said Dr. Eakin’s stories are like “Thomas Wolfe on acid and James Joyce on moonshine,” and “simultaneously a place of prosaic horror and absolute beauty.”  His most recent literary work has been labeled “a stunning masterpiece” by Andre Dubus, III (House of Sand and Fog).

Dr. Eakins currently lives in Arkansas on a cliff above Piney Bay outside of Russellville. Over one hundred of his short works have appeared in most of the big genre zines, as well as in numerous literary journals.  Many of his stories were recommended by Science Fiction Writers of America for the Nebula Award, and have been reprinted in five book collections, which can be found on Amazon.

Monday’s lecture is part of an ongoing local author series presented by the Ross Pendergraft Library every second Monday of each month.  For more information about this event or the series, contact Luke Heffley at lheffley@atu.edu.

Jonestown Survivor to Speak April 5th

"Don't Drink the Kool Aid : Advice from a Jonesown Survivor" April 5th, 6:00 in RPL 300This Thursday, April 5th, join us for a very special presentation from a survivor of the Jonestown massacre, Laura Johnston.  Her lecture, “Don’t Drink the Kool Aid: Advice from a Jonestown Survivor” will take place in RPL 300.  A reception will be held at 5:30, with the talk scheduled to begin at 6:00 P.M.  She will also sign copies of her book, Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look, following the presentation.

Admission is free and open to the public.  The event is hosted by the ATU Department of Behavioral Sciences, the ATU Department of History and Political Science, and the ATU College of Arts and Humanities.

Kohl was one of 87 members of the Peoples Temple who survived the Jonestown massacre in Guyana on Nov. 18, 1978.  A total of 918 individuals perished in what was the single largest loss of American civilian life by a deliberate act until Sept. 11, 2001.

“I was a member of Peoples Temple for seven years in California before moving to Guyana,” writes Kohl in her bio. “I lived in Georgetown and Jonestown, Guyana, for another nearly two years.  I happened to be in Georgetown with about 80 other survivors when my wonderful friends and adopted family were murdered in Jonestown.  It took me 20 years to accept my survival and rebuild my life.”

Now a bilingual middle school teacher in California, Kohl’s speaking engagements focus on such topics as surviving tragedy, survivors’ guilt, sociology, political science, psychology and the red flags associated with cult dynamics.

Want to learn more about Jonestown before the lecture? The Ross Pendergraft Library had additional resources on this historical tragedy:

For more information about Kohl’s appearance at Arkansas Tech, contact Dr. Joshua Lockyer, associate professor of anthropology, at jlockyer@atu.edu.