I am a librarian at a small public library in rural Florida. While there is a lot to love about my community, many of my patrons face the ills of rural poverty: outdated infrastructure, inadequate schools, a lack of access to computers and high-speed Internet, and insufficient transportation. Under these circumstances, the public library isn’t just a “nice thing to have”–it’s a lifeline to community and social services, as well as the many benefits of access to technology.
While the library’s core mission is still to provide access to books and a place for free expression, providing access to high-speed Internet has become increasingly important. Far from reducing the need for libraries, the Internet has made libraries more valuable in communities like mine. People now use public computers and Internet to access job training, social services, and even healthcare, often with the assistance of library staff.
The library building…
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I had a very strange experience a few days ago. I was walking along the canal in Saltaire, about a mile from where I live. A man and a woman were walking towards me along the towpath, and as they passed me, the man was saying ‘… what it was, is that he blows bubbles and then photographs them...’ That’s all I heard. Blowing bubbles and photographing them is what I do! I have had some coverage in the national and international press for photographing bubbles, and I had been photographing bubbles in a nearby woodland just a couple of days before.
So I think there’s a really good chance that they were talking about me. They might have been talking about someone else, but I think it all points in my direction. They weren’t looking at me at all, so I think I just heard them…
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I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.
Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine…
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I was told that I learned how to read watching my father turn the pages of L’Orne Combattante, one of the local newspapers published in my native Normandy.
I remember of the rough texture of his workpants against my small fingers when I gripped his leg to sit on his lap.
“Papa, what does it say? Tell me the story. Please, what is it?”
I remember that my father smelled of Gauloises cigarettes, masculine sweat, and cologne, while my mother smelled of coffee, French chalk, and eau de toilette.
My father drove trucks from Normandy to Paris every single day.
My mother was a seamstress working from home.
When my mother sewed, she listened to the radio.
When my father wasn’t driving, he read.
So it is possibly true that I learned how to read with my father.
I was also told that my paternal grandfather, blind by the time…
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