CCLS/CCL Board Meeting

Due to the easing of COVID restrictions, the Board of Trustees of the Chester County Library System/Chester County Library will now be hosting their monthly board meeting as a hybrid offering. If you have always wanted to attend a meeting but haven’t had the time, this is your opportunity. Please click on this link at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 18 to join the Chester County Library System Board Meeting virtually; or attend in person at Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Parkway, PA 19341. The Chester County Library Board Meeting will immediately follow. Find the Chester County Library Board Packet here.

If you are a person with a disability and wish to attend this meeting and require an auxiliary aid, service, or other accommodation to observe or participate in the proceedings, please call Chester County Library’s Administration Office at 610-344-5600 to discuss how we may best accommodate your needs.

Self-Help Audiobooks to Help You With Your New Year’s Resolutions

You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero

Offers a blunt and irreverent guide to achieving the money, relationships, career, and happiness that one desires through recognizing and doing away with self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors.

The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier, and Fitter One Month at a Time – Jennifer Ashton

Dr. Jennifer Ashton is an ob-gyn and news correspondent. But even at the top there’s still room to improve, and with The Self-Care Solution, she upends her life one month at a time, using her own experiences to help you improve your health and enhance your life. Dr. Ashton becomes both researcher and subject as she focuses on twelve separate challenges. Beginning with a new area of focus each month, she guides you through the struggles she faces, the benefits she experiences, and the science behind why each month’s challenge can lead to better health.

Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, read Samuel Johnson, and my Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life – Gretchen Rubin

Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions—and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. 
With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy, and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives. 

Presence: Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges – Amy Cuddy

Harvard psychologist and TED star Amy Cuddy reveals how to unleash your boldest self to heighten your confidence, influence others, and perform at your peak. Filled with stories of people facing challenges from job interviews to asking someone out; scientific research on how our bodies change our minds; and strategies like power posing, “Presence” is a must-read for anyone yearning to project their true power.

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away my Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More than Anything You Can Buy in a Store – Cait Flanders

“The Year of Less” documents Cait’s life for twelve months, during which time she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping, decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings. Blending Cait’s story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The year of less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life — and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.

January Adult Book Groups

The Chester County Library Evening and Afternoon Book Discussion groups have returned to in person meetings. The other groups are remaining virtual.  Please see our January titles and dates below. The online groups are being held via Zoom. We are requiring registration for these online book groups in order to send out the Zoom meeting information. Click on the date below to register. Information on our adult book groups can also be found on our website: https://bit.ly/chescolibs-bookgroups. 

Evening Book Group
Monday, January 3, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library. Please note the new starting time of 6:30 p.m.

Page Turners Book Group
Thursday, January 13, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Whodunits Book Group
Wednesday, January 19, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Afternoon Book Group
Wednesday, January 19, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library. 

Comics Unbound Group
Monday, January 24, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Guardians of the Louvre by Jirō Taniguchi

Registration is required for all book groups. Registration will close at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the book group. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the book group starts.  Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual book group.

These programs support the PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy Initiative.

The League of Alternate Superstars:  Fredric March (1897 – 1975)

Any cinephile will scoff at designating Fredric March an “alternate super star.”  After all, he won two Academy Awards for Best Actor and was ranked the equal of his unofficial rival, Spencer Tracy, who also won two Oscars.  Both had the chance to spar with one another in Inherit the Wind (1960).  However, because there is no The Films of Fredric March, I summarize his sterling career here.

Inherit the Wind

March was born in Racine, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  During World War I he was an artillery lieutenant in the army.  After the war he became a banker but by 1920 was a movie “extra” in New York City-based films.  This was followed by a contract with Paramount Pictures. 

March won his first Best Actor Academy Award for director Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932).  In Hollywood in the Thirties, author John Baxter wrote, “Mamoulian’s inventions for the scenes showing Fredric March’s change from Jekyll to Hyde would alone have made this film memorable.  Determined to engineer the transformations without resorting to cuts or opticals, Mamoulian conceived on the spur of the moment a system in which specially toned makeup, coloured lights and coloured filters were used to change the look of March’s face.”  There was more to it than that.  Makeup turned him into a veritable ape-man in tux and cape.    

In the following year’s World War I film, The Eagle and the Hawk, March gave another superb performance.  According to Thomas Doherty in Projections of War, March was “extraordinary…as the burnt-out pilot (with what was not then called the thousand-yard stare).” 

Death Takes a Holiday

Like Cary Grant, March never tied himself to a long-term studio contract, which necessitated taking any role you were given or else be suspended.  Also like Grant, he was adept at screwball comedy and successfully traded bon mots with Carole Lombard in Nothing Sacred (1937).  Nor did he seem out of place in historical epics, playing Marcus Superbus (!) in The Sign of the Cross (1932).  Fantasy was also up his alley, and he played the title character in the still amusing Death Takes a Holiday (1934).  He did very well in large-scale films based on huge historical novels.  Think Garbo’s Anna Karenina (1935), as Jean Valjean in the estimable 1935 production of Les Miserables, and Anthony Adverse (1936).  He was the doomed Norman Maine opposite Janet Gaynor in the first version of A Star is Born (1937).  High-octane films were inter-mixed with prestigious stage roles in The Skin of Our Teeth, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and An Enemy of the People

Les Miserables

In 1946 he was the lead in The Best Years of Our Lives, the Best Picture Academy Award winner for which he won his second Oscar.  A movie that never fails to touch viewers’ heartstrings, especially those who participated in World War II or whose parents did, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die called it “one of the best American movies about returning soldiers ever made—certainly the most moving and deeply felt.  It bears witness to its times and contemporaries like few other Hollywood features, and Gregg Toland’s deep-focus cinematography is incredible.”  The Essentials called it “A deeply beloved American film from the moment it opened in December 1946, The Best Years of Our Lives spoke to a generation affected by World War II on the battlefield and on the home front.”

The Best Years of Our Lives

In the 1950s March played his age:  Willy Loman in the 1951 film version of Death of a Salesman, furniture manufacturer controller in Executive Suite (1954), admiral in The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), television network president in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956), widowed clothing manufacturer conducting an affair with a young receptionist (Kim Novak) in Middle of the Night (1959).

Like Henry Fonda, in the 1960s March had the maturity and gravitas to play the President of the U.S.  Curiously, both had that opportunity in 1964:  Fonda in Fail-Safe, March in Seven Days in May.     

To summarize, Fredric March’s career was second to none.  He chose his roles wisely and deserves to be ranked among the “great stars.” 

By Kim

References

Arnold, Jeremy.  The Essentials:  52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter.  2016.

Baxter, John.  Hollywood in the Thirties.  1970, c1968.

Doherty, Thomas.  Projections of War:  Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II.  1993.

Schneider, Steven Jay, ed.  1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.  2019. 

New Makerspace at Henrietta Hankin Library

Attention all those with the itch to create! The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library has a brand new Makerspace. What is a makerspace, you may ask? A relatively novel and evolving concept, according to Merriam-Webster, makerspace is defined as “a communal public workshop in which makers can work on small personal projects.” The tools available in our Maker Space are complementary to the ones available in the Chester County Library’s Digital Media Lab, but don’t replicate them. Our new Makerspace houses the following:

  • a book binding machine,
  • a CNC Mill printing machine
  • a Cricut printing machine
  • a Sewing machine & Serger
  • and a Virtual Reality game and learning center

Our book binding machine, the CoilBind S-20A, can punch up to 20 sheets of paper at once (46 holes). It uses 4:1 pitch plastic binding coils, which can be inserted by either using the rapidly spinning electric coil roller on top of the machine or by twisting them manually into the document. It can bind documents up to 2-inches thick. So bring in your children’s books, your professional presentations, or personal projects!

The CNC mill printer is a Nomad 3. CNC (computer numerical control) mills are used for anything that requires precision carving from a solid block of material. A variety of cutting tips allow users to easily cut into materials including soft metals, wood, and plastics. The Nomad 3 incudes integrated software to help make the user experience as easy as possible. Among the many uses one can make of this machine are creating molds for jewelry or other art, engraving, making lithopanes from real photographs, or creating prototypes for business plan pitches.

Our Cricut Maker is top of the line! It’s a smart cutting machine that can handle fabrics, leather, paper, and balsa wood. This machine is a great complement to our high-end sewing machine in its ability to cut fabric patterns. It is also great for scrap-bookers, card makers and crafters of all kinds. Our library staff have been enjoying using the machine to create materials for our popular series of craft programs and take-and-make projects.

The high-end sewing machine is a Bernina 475 QE. It is powerful enough to handle the thick layers of even your biggest quilts while providing consistent thread tensions to make every stitch perfect. It also includes little extras like the thread cutter that keeps projects moving towards completion. The serger, a Bernina L460, is great for overlocking of seams at the fabric edge. It can handle any type of fabrics and is excellent for fine hems in delicate silk or satin fabrics, cutting and sewing heavy linen, fleece and denim fabric, and can create flat and even seams and hems with its differential feeds. The differential feed also will help in producing ruffles, or any type of gathering.

Our Valve Index Virtual Reality kit allows visitors to the Henrietta Hankin Library to explore the world of virtual reality, either for entertainment or education. In addition to playing games, users can take part in virtual learning experiences, such as completely building and dismantling a car engine from scratch, in full 3 dimensions!

So come on in and bring your imaginations to life! Staff and volunteers are on hand to meet with you to get you started.

To reserve a machine or make an appointment for a tutorial go to https://ccls.libcal.com/appointments/hhms, or call our Reference Desk at (610) 344-4196.

Multimedia New Releases – December 2021




CCLS/CCL Board Meeting

Due to the easing of COVID restrictions, the Board of Trustees of the Chester County Library System/Chester County Library will now be hosting their monthly board meeting as a hybrid offering. If you have always wanted to attend a meeting but haven’t had the time, this is your opportunity. Please click on this link at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21, to join the Chester County Library System Board Meeting virtually; or attend in person at Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Parkway, PA 19341. The Chester County Library Board Meeting will immediately follow. Find the Chester County Library Board Packet here.

If you are a person with a disability and wish to attend this meeting and require an auxiliary aid, service, or other accommodation to observe or participate in the proceedings, please call Chester County Library’s Administration Office at 610-344-5600 to discuss how we may best accommodate your needs.

Chester County Library’s 10th Annual Holiday Craft Fair This Weekend

Make it a homemade holiday!

The holiday season is a busy time of year. Family gatherings and finding the perfect gift for loved ones can be frustrating and stressful. With time being a precious commodity, remember that the library can be your best destination to find all of your family entertainment, holiday de-stressors, and party planning ideas, as well as unique, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for everyone on your list! The Chester County Library will be hosting its 10th annual Craft Show this Saturday, December 11th, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Vendors will be set up throughout the library to display and sell their crafts just in time for the holidays. We have a great selection of vendors this year that you can view here! Save some holiday shopping and enjoy browsing our vendors who will include makers of personalized ornaments, jewelry, pottery, woodworking, knit and fabric crafts, bath and body products, home décor, baked goods, and more!

The Craft Show is free to attend. We look forward to helping you out with your gift search during this holiday season!

December Adult Book Groups

The Chester County Library Evening and Afternoon Book Discussion groups have returned to in person meetings. The other groups are remaining virtual.  Please see our December titles and dates below. The online groups are being held via Zoom. We are requiring registration for these online book groups in order to send out the Zoom meeting information. Click on the date below to register. Information on our adult book groups can also be found on our website: http://bit.ly/chescolibs-bookgroups

Evening Book Group
Monday, December 6, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library. Please note the new starting time of 6:30 p.m.

Page Turners Book Group
Thursday, December 9, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Whodunits Book Group
Wednesday, December 15, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Date with Death by Julia Chapman

Afternoon Book Group
Wednesday, December 15, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library. 

Comics Unbound Group
Monday, December 20, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Best of the Year: Bring the comic(s) you’ve read in 2021 and share with the group

Registration is required for all book groups. Registration will close at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the book group. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the book group starts.  Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual book group.

These programs support the PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy Initiative.

December KClub Meeting

Been watching K-Dramas for years and want to meet new K-Drama lovers?  Love BTS but don’t know much about Korean television?  Break out the kimchi and join us to watch an episode of one the hottest Korean shows, then pop onto a Zoom call to chat about the show, the newest Korean music, and Korean culture – all from the comfort of our own homes.

On December 12, from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, we will be watching the pilot episode of “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo.”  If you like rom-coms with a good “childhood friends to lovers” trope, this might be the drama for you!  This coming-of-age series follows the trials and mishaps of a group of college athletes as they follow their dreams and fall in love along the way.  Join us for a fun, fluffy, feel-good drama for the holiday season.

Ages 16+

Registration is required to receive the Zoom link and viewing instructions.  Register on the event calendar here.

For questions, please email us at: ccljtc@ccls.org.