Last week, the Techmobile traveled to North Second Street to participate in the Food Trust's Night Market, a "roving street fair celebrating the city's ethnic restaurants, gourmet food trucks and coolest neighborhoods from the people who brought you Headhouse Farmer's Market."
Thank you to Oron at North Bowl, who graciously let us park in his lot. We spent many hours talking to people and inviting them on board for tours of the Techmobile. In addition, we demonstrated how to check out Library e-books on your Kindle, iPad or other reader, and registered many new friends for library cards.
Between the dynamic and happy crowd, fantastic live music playing in the open storefront across the street, the delicious smells wafting about from Philly's finest food trucks, and seeing many old and new faces, the Techmobile team felt right at home. We can't wait for next month! Thanks again to the Food Trust for having us.
Philly Beer Week begins this Friday, June 1st and continues through Sunday, June 10th. To many in our area, especially Philly Beer Geeks, it’s the most exciting ten days of the year. To help get your suds into a lather about Philly Beer Week, here are a few facts you may not already know:
According to its founders, and to The Oxford Companion to Beer, Philly Beer Week was first festival of its kind when it debuted in March 2008. Now more than 50 other cities have followed in our footsteps.
Last year's Beer Week featured more than 1,000 events attended by more than 60,000 people.
Philly Beer Week is operated by Philly Beer Week, Inc., a registered 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, co-chaired by Tom Peters (Monk’s Café) and William Reed (Standard Tap) and executive directed by Joe Sixpack himself, Don Russell.
And how will Philly Beer Week help you turn into a real Beer Geek? There are three steps to becoming a true Beer Geek, and PBW offers opportunities to do them all:
Drink Adventurously. When a Beer Geek sees a list of 20 beers, he or she always tries the beer they’ve never had before.
Know More. A Beer Geek doesn’t stop with tasting beer, she or he follows blogs, reads books and periodicals, and asks questions. A Beer Geek takes the time to read the label on the beer they’re drinking. Want to get started reading more? Pick up free copies of Mid Atlantic Brewing Newsand Philly Beer Scene wherever great beer is sold (or made). Not enough? Check out some great beer titles from the Library on a variety of subjects, from food pairing suggestions like The Brewmaster’s Table by Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver, to Brewing up a Business ,a book full of small business advice from Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, to A Pint of Plain, Bill Barich’s history of the Irish Pub.
Talk with the head of PPAC about photography and life in general!
Happy post-Memorial Day short week, everyone! With summer blazing forth in all of its glory, you might be contemplating a trip to different climes. Wonder what it's like traversing the open skies on a regular basis? Come to the Free Library's "Living Library" event on Wednesday, June 20 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and talk with Ben Davis, an airline pilot who flies out of Philadelphia's International Airport! Before becoming a commercial pilot, Mr. Davis also served in the Navy and worked as a flight instructor in California. Interested in hearing more about his various adventures aloft? Come and ask him!
Vacations (and summers in general) are always ripe for photographic documentation, be it commemorative or slightly embarrassing. Sarah Stolfa is an acclaimed photographer whose series of photographs of patrons at McGlinchey's Bar won The New York Times' Photography Contest for College Students in 2004. In addition to the Times award, Stolfa has also won the Noah Addis Photojournalism Award, an award for Artistic Excellence in the Perkins Center Photograph Competition, the Alice Kimball Traveling Fellowship and the Rankin-Epstein Distinguished Alumnus Award. Artisan books published Stolfa’s work, The Regulars, in June 2009. Stop by and ask Sarah about her photographic exploits or her current position as the Executive Director and Founder of the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center!
For those of you who are just becoming aware of this exciting event, a description: Discover more about the lives of those around you at the Free Library's first "Living Library" event, which will take place at the Parkway Central branch on Wednesday, June 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. During this special evening, human "books" will be available for three 15 minute "reading" periods wherein they can be claimed by patrons interested in learning more about their particular stories. Attendees can ask the books questions about their lives, careers, passions, and interests; the President and Director of the Free Library, the Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Ballet, and many more!
You’ve probably noticed the video below cropping up on our site as you’ve searched for ebooks lately. While we can’t take credit for this terrific video – that honor goes to the staff of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and Library Renewal – we can certainly get behind the message. We hope you can too.
Currently, only two of the “Big Six” American publishers allow libraries to loan their ebook titles (and cheers to you for that Random House and Harper Collins). We believe that libraries and the readers who patronize them deserve digital access to all the same books we purchase in print, but many publishers have been slow to come around. They believe library lending is a threat to their bottom line. However, a recent study by Library Journal found that libraries actually spur book sales! Finally putting some hard numbers behind what libraries have said for years, the study found that “50 percent of all library users go on to buy books by an author they were first introduced to at the library.”
So please, watch the video, sign the online petition, let the hold-out publishers listed below know you think libraries should have access to their digital titles, and most of all, keep reading!
Contact “Big Six” Publishers that do not currently allow libraries to loan their ebooks:
In a previous post, I wrote about researching the personal and professional life of Philadelphia writer, actor, and comedian, Ed Wynn (1886-1966). A versatile and adaptable performer with vaudeville beginnings, Wynn wrote and starred in Broadway shows, radio programs, and a television variety show. He went on to appear in feature films, including several Walt Disney productions, and later took on dramatic roles, a difficult transition for the giggling jokester who adapted the moniker, “The Perfect Fool.”
Now that I was familiar with Wynn’s biography, I was eager to examine the collection. The acquisitions history of the Ed Wynn Papers was difficult to determine. The Theatre Collection (THC) catalog held one undated card, listing a few of the items found in the boxes. After sifting through hundreds of yellowed newspaper clippings, I discovered an article from the May 2, 1965 issue of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in which reporter James Smart writes about a local event honoring a 78-year-old Ed Wynn. He refers to “two big boxes” of Wynn memorabilia that a local public relations professional, “Scoop” Lieberman, had purchased from Minnie Leopold’s estate. Many of the items listed mirrored the contents of the FLP’s collection; this was a triumphant day for me and for Karin. A week later, she uncovered a copy of a letter from Edward “Scoop” Lieberman, probably from 1968, to the then head of the FLP Literature Department, offering to show him the “Ed Wynn Memories.” Therefore, we were able to solve the mystery of the acquisition and confirm that these materials were from the estate of Wynn’s mother. This link also suggests that the prayer book, from a synagogue in Atlantic City, belonged to Minnie after she moved from Philadelphia to New Jersey. (Coincidentally, a quick online search of the rabbi’s name printed on the title page was the same who performed the midnight funeral of the subject of another THC collection, Philadelphia filmmaker Siegmund Lubin, in 1923.)
These revelations were exciting, but we are still unsure of the function of the heavy, weighted gloves. The catalog card cited them as “stage props,” but with Wynn’s extensive gag repertoire, it is difficult to determine for which stunt(s) they were used. I’ve posted a photo—if you have any idea, please let us know!
Recently, while walking on North Second Street between Callowhill and Spring Garden, I realized I was close to the site of the Leopolds’ home at the time of Wynn’s birth. I stopped and imagined a giggling Wynn, riding his invented “piano bicycle” while donning his “Fire Chief” hat and wearing his trademark oversized shoes. Although he has been awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for radio, television, and motion pictures, his name and accomplishments ought to be printed in gold letters on a navy blue square sign right here in Philadelphia. Perhaps one day the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will unveil a marker honoring “The Perfect Fool,” who left an indelible mark on the history of stage and screen. For now, I am happy that researchers can view the new online finding aid and access the Ed Wynn Papers in the library of his hometown.
In addition to Karin Suni, I would like to thank Janine Pollock, Head of the Rare Book Department, and the Special Collections staff for supporting this project
To schedule an appointment to view the Ed Wynn Papers, please contact Karin Suni at 215-686-5427 or SuniK@freelibrary.org.