Thursday, February 12, 2015

Announcing the 2015-2016 One Book Survey Winner!

You voted and we have a winner! Now that the 2015-2016 One Book Survey has closed, we’re excited to announce the winner. The next One Book Project will feature The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Source: Amazon
“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa.”[1] Henrietta died in 1951 at the age of 31, but 63 years later, her cells are still alive and growing more numerous by the day. These cells, known as HeLa cells, represent a multi-million dollar industry and have led to scientific breakthroughs involving vaccine production, gene mapping, cloning, and AIDS research. Despite this incredible contribution to medical science, Henrietta Lacks gained neither fame nor recognition after her death, and her family received no part of the profits from her cells.

The story of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks uncovers the identity of an African American woman from Virginia, a dedicated wife and loving mother, who approached each day with determination and dignity, even when she was undergoing treatments for the cancer that would take her life. As she was being treated at Johns Hopkins a tissue sample was removed without her knowledge, and from this sample scientists derived the HeLa cell line, which would go on to revolutionize medical research. Henrietta’s story explores the murky waters of medical ethics, the bonds of family and community, and the importance of amending past wrongs and remedying inequalities in our health care system and our society at large. 

Over 300 students, faculty, and staff cast their votes in the survey. Thanks to everyone who participated! We hope you will join us in reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks this fall. In the meantime, free copies of Breaking Night, the 2014-2015 One Book, are still available, so stop by the library and take one home today!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Library showcase: Celebrating African-American authors

Source: Pixabay

“America is woven of many strands… Our fate is to become one, and yet many.” –Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man 

In honor of Black History Month, the library is showcasing the works of African-American authors. These award-winning authors are celebrated for their remarkable literature and nonfiction. Whether you’d like to re-read a classic or discover a new bestseller, you can always find something to read at the library!

Some of the most famous African-American authors are known not only for their writing but for the incredible lives they led. You can find a great selection of historical works at the library, such as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.

You may first encounter these authors through assigned reading, but literary classics aren’t only for the classroom. Novels like Sula by Toni Morrison, Native Son by Richard Wright, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin make great reads anytime.

There’s also no shortage of brilliant African-American poetry on the library shelves. The words of Langston Hughes inspired a generation of Civil Rights activists, while modern African-American poets like Rita Dove continue to provide a voice for Black America today.

Too busy to read a whole novel? Try the short story collection, In Love & Trouble, by Alice Walker, or the personal essays of Maya Angelou in Letter to My Daughter. The library also has a great supply of works by modern African-American authors, such as Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer, Fear Itself by Walter Mosley, and Precious by Sapphire.