A Celebration of Pearl S. Buck at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library

CHESTER SPRINGSThis spring marks 90 years since author Pearl S. Buck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her moving story of the joys and hardships of the Chinese peasant farmer Wang Lung and his family in her classic novel The Good Earth.  The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library has two programs planned to celebrate the author and humanitarian, who spent the last 40 years of her life living in Perkasie, PA.  During this time, she used her fame to shed light on the rights of marginalized communities including people of color, people with disabilities, women, biracial children, and immigrants.  Through her establishment of Pearl S. Buck International, many actions have, and continue to be made to help those affected by these issues.

On Thursday, April 14th, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., the Page Turners will have a very special discussion of The Good Earth hosted by members of the Pearl S. Buck Book Discussion Group.  This group has been meeting since the 1970s at the Pearl S. Buck House museum in Perkasie. Cindy Louden serves as the Discussion Facilitator as well as Chair of the Pearl S. Buck Writing Center.  Most of its members are House Docents and Volunteers who serve in many roles assisting Pearl S. Buck International to further the legacy of the organization’s founder, improve the lives of children, and promote international and cross-cultural understanding. Whether you’ve read the book recently, fifty years ago, or never quite got the chance, join us to learn more about Pearl S. Buck and the book that earned her both the Pulitzer and the Nobel prizes.

On May 23rd from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the Henrietta Hankin Library will welcome the adopted daughter of Pearl S. Buck, Julie Henning, to give a talk on her life’s journey from an existence of hardship and poverty in the streets of Busan, South Korea, to a world of plenty, both spiritually and materially, in a house with a white picket fence in Souderton, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Henning gives her own unique perspective on Pearl Buck as a mother and guiding light.  As the daughter of an American G.I., whom she never knew, and her South Korean mother, Ms. Henning has also addressed issues faced by Amerasians through newspaper articles, radio interviews, national television, and U.S. Congressional hearings.  At the urging of friends and family, Ms. Henning has documented her life story in a book, A Rose in a Ditch, which was published in 2019.  This book, which is now being made into a movie, will be available for purchase and signing at the event!  Come to hear the compelling story of Julie Henning’s life.  This program will be accessible virtually as well as in-person in the Annex of the library.

We hope you will join us at one or both of these events.  Register here.

This event supports PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy.

Celebrating Transgender Visibility in Media

When we think of our favorite stories, the ones which we form strong emotional bonds with are often the ones we see ourselves in. Stories like these are critical for our development and growth as individuals. They help us see ourselves in relation to the world and help us build connection and a sense of belonging. Often times, they help us to shape our own identity and build a sense of self-worth. At their simplest level, these stories communicate to an audience that they are not alone. It is the reason why representation in all forms of media is so important. For people in the transgender community, finding stories that provide representation has always proved difficult.

March 31st marks the annual celebration of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. For those who are unfamiliar, this day celebrates the existence, resilience, and accomplishments of transgender and non-gender conforming people all around the world. It is a day that can also serve to educate others on issues which the transgender community continues to face and the work which remains to be done for us to evolve into a trans-inclusive society. In honor of this day and the huge strides made by transgender artists who continue to push for the visibility of these stories, our Multimedia Department is putting a spotlight on items in our collection that represent different aspects and perspectives from the transgender experience. As trans artist and activist Janet Mock (Pose, Surpassing Certainty) puts it “Trans people are not a monolith. We come from many different experiences and backgrounds . . . (Mock J. as cited by Ifeany, K. C., 2016). We hope that in making these stories easier to find, so to can our transgender family and friends more easily find themselves.

Film & Television

Artist Spotlight:

The Wachowski Sisters

In 1999, the Wachowskis forever altered cinematic language with what was, at that time, only their second film. That film was The Matrix and, upon its release, it completely revolutionized filmmaking both through its technical approach as well as its screenplay, which presented radically new ideas and concepts film-goers had never before been exposed to. It was a clear game changer for the medium of film which broke down story telling barriers for years to come.
In 2010 they broke down barriers of different kind when Lana Wachowski came out to the world as a trans woman. Her sister, Lilly also came out publicly as a trans woman in 2016. As world-famous filmmakers, the Wachowski sisters’ transition was a journey which occurred under the spotlight of the media, which certainly helped wake up many outsiders to the narrative of the trans experience. Their established profiles as beloved blockbuster film-makers also made their public transition a tangible example which closeted or questioning trans people could identify and connect to. Because of their courage to live as their true selves, they have helped others to realize they are not alone, inspiring many to live out their truth.
Lilly and Lana Wachowski are both, in a word: uncompromising. It is what continues to make them such boundary breaking figures. They continue to push the boundaries of film-making to this day, constantly fighting for the integrity of their artistic vision, even when it challenges the comfort of our pre-conceived notions of story-telling. Continuing on in their spirit of subverting expectations, Lana Wachowski shocked fans by announcing her plans to return to the Matrix with a fourth entry in the series, 18 years after closing out the original trilogy. Her fourth Matrix movie, aptly-dubbed The Matrix Resurrections, is a wholly unique film, especially among the current trend of studios reviving long dead properties. Using a clever narrative which re-sets the returning heroes into a completely new environment, Lana Wachowski creates a meta-textual commentary for her own career; one which grapples with the legacy of her original Matrix film. The Matrix Resurrections, which is now available to borrow from the Chester County Library, is a daring work of art that actually uses its existence to say something new. While much of their work has often been polarizing, whenever you watch a Wachowski film, you are watching someone’s full artistic vision.

The Filmography of The Wachowski Sisters

Audiobooks

& eBooks

Detransition, Baby
by Torrey Peters
Future Feeling
by Joss Lake
An Unkindness of Ghosts
by Rivers Solomon
Little Fish By Casey Pelt
Birthday by Meredith Russo

If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

By Eric

References

Ifeanyi, K. C. (2016, December 2). “trans people are not a monolith”: Janet Mock wants to introduce you to 11 new friends. Fast Company. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3066073/trans-people-are-not-a-monolith-janet-mock-wants-to-introduce-you-to-11-new-friends

April Adult Book Groups

The Chester County Library Evening and Afternoon Book Discussion groups have returned to in person meetings (the Evening Group is virtual for April’s meeting). The other groups are remaining virtual.  Please see our April 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, April 4, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Please note: This meeting will be virtual this month.

Page Turners Book Group
Thursday, April 14, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Please note: This meeting has a change in time.

Comics Unbound Group
Monday, April 18, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Welcome to the New World by Jake Halpern

Whodunits Book Group
Wednesday, April 20, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

Afternoon Book Group
Wednesday, April 20, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library. 

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.

March Staff Picks

Jessie’s Picks

Resident Alien

This is a humorous Sci-Fi show about an alien (played by Alan Tudyk) that crash lands near a small town in Colorado. He assumes the life of the town doctor and becomes involved in the lives of the quirky townsfolk.

Abbey Road/ The Beatles

This album deserves its #1 spot on WXPN’s All Time Greatest Albums list. There are so many great songs on it – “Something,” “Come Together,” “I Want You,” etc.

Eric’s Picks

Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch)

The wait is over! After being in development since 2005, Metroid Dread finally hit the Nintendo Switch in 2021 and, shockingly, it managed to exceed over ten years of hype.

Combining the side-scrolling action of the earliest Metroid games with the fluid functionality, slick 3-D graphics, and versatile gaming mechanics of today, this highly anticipated game brings Samus’ story to an epic conclusion well worth the wait! While the Switch’s handheld mode is fun, gamers should definitely play Metroid Dread in TV mode to get the full experience!

The Last Duel

Ridley Scott, director of such iconic films as: Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), and Gladiator (2000) has made a big comeback in 2021 with two great films in one year: House of Gucci and, my personal pick for this month: The Last Duel

Not only does this film feel like a true return to form for filmmaker Scott, it also is the first film co-written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon since their Oscar winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting. Much like Hunting, Affleck and Damon do double duty, both writing and acting in The Last Duel where they join Adam Driver and Jodie Comer, all of whom turn in powerhouse performances!

This film has been compared most frequently to the film Rashoman, as both are films where characters tell the differing accounts of one event. However, what makes The Last Duel unique and worth watching, is that it doesn’t leave you questioning who is telling the truth. It gives you all the answers you will need to find the truth for yourself.

Kim’s Picks

Forever Young: A Memoir [Libby Audiobook]

The iconic child star of such Walt Disney Studios productions as Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, and That Darn Cat!, plus non-Disney films The Trouble with Angels and The Family Way, narrates her life story as the sister of actress Juliet (Avanti!, TV’s Nanny and the Professor), daughter of esteemed British actor John (Great Expectations, King Rat, Ryan’s Daughter) and writer Mary Hayley Bell (Whistle Down the Wind).  She does a superb job describing the glitz and glamour as well as the day-to-day joys and travails of filmmaking.  Equally fascinating and compelling is her tale of coming of age.  Making appearances are the Beatles, Judy Garland, and Hollywood columnist Sheilah Graham, who put Hayley onto great literature.  Her education at boarding schools and a Swiss “finishing school” had been haphazard

Season of the Osprey

Enthralling PBS NOVA documentary follows a male osprey from the Amazon Basin 4,000 miles to the Connecticut River Delta where he finds the previous year’s nest and welcomes back his mate.  During spring and summer their three hatchlings grow to adulthood while the parents fend off such interlopers as bald eagles, other osprey and cormorants.  The osprey has a 6-foot wingspan but weighs only 3 pounds, which makes it a master of the air.  Osprey eat fish only but there are plenty of those in the delta. 

Felicia’s Picks

Paddington

One of the most heartwarming movies ever made. I have cried multiple times over how much I love this bear.

For the First Time

A fantastic debut album from a striking seven-piece band, which includes a saxophone player! Definitely leans towards the angsty side of things, with multiple anxiety inducing songs and some sleazy british vocals.



Virtual Story Times & Programs at the Henrietta Hankin Library

The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library has posted our Youth Services program schedule! All children’s programming will continue to be held virtually through Zoom.

Story Times will begin the week of March 7th and run through the week of April 4th.

Baby and Toddler Story Time (Ages 0-36 months) – Tuesdays at 10 am

Story Time for Preschoolers (Ages 3-4 years old) – Wednesdays at 10 am

Story Time for Pre K-K (Ages 4-6 years old) – Wednesday at 1:30 pm

Bookworms (Book club for Grades 1-3) – Tuesday March 15 at 4:00pm

S.T.E.A.M:  Grades K-2,  3/10 at 4:30 pm
                     Grades 3-5,  3/17, at 4:30 pm

We will also have Mother-Daughter Book Club on Monday, March 21st at 6:30 pm for those 9 years-old and up accompanied by a favorite female grown-up.

Registration is required for all programming and you can find our event calendar here to sign up !

CCLS/CCL Board Meeting

Update: Due to construction, the Chester County Library will be closed on Tuesday morning, March 15 from 9 am to 1 pm. The CCLS/CCL Board Meeting will be virtual only.

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 virtually. 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, March 15 to join the Chester County Library System Board Meeting virtually. 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.

March 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 March 13, from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, we will be watching the pilot episode of “Tale of the Nine-Tailed.”  Lee Yeon, a nine-tailed fox with the ability to transform into a human form, spends his days eliminating dangerous supernatural beings while also searching for the reincarnation of his lost love. Nam Ji-ah, a television producer, works on a show that searches for proof of the existence of supernatural beings. When Lee Yeon’s unsavory half-brother takes an interest in Nam Ji-ah, Ji-ah might just get that proof she needs – plus so much more than she bargained for.

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.

Multimedia New Releases – March 2022



Music


March 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 March 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, March 7, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library.

Page Turners Book Group
Thursday, March 10, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Radium Girls by Kate Moore

Whodunits Book Group
Wednesday, March 16 , 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

Afternoon Book Group
Wednesday, March 16, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library. 

Comics Unbound Group
Monday, March 21, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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.

February Staff Picks

Felicia’s picks

Fiona Apple/ Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Fiona Apple’s fifth album is a phenomenal culmination of her career, and an overall fantastic listen.

Ex Machina (2014)

This small-scale sci-fi focuses on a high-stakes turing test between a newly developed artificial intelligence and an unsuspecting office worker.

Kim’s Picks

Season of the Osprey (2021)

Another miraculous bird, the osprey flies 4,000 miles from the Amazon basin to the Connecticut River Delta to mate, brood, catch hundreds of fish, and fend off thieving cormorants and eagles. Illuminating, beautifully photographed PBS documentary.

Devotion:  An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship and Sacrifice (2015)

Jessie Brown, a black sharecropper’s son from Mississippi and Tom Hubner, a white son of a hardware store chain owner from Rhode Island develop a close bond while flying Navy Corsairs, distinctly sketchy WW II fixed-wing fighters converted into ground attack planes during the Korean war.  Makos, author of the bestseller Spearhead:  An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy and a Collision of Lives in World War II (2019) originally envisioned his tale as a magazine article but it quickly became a story so big it demanded novel length.  The story moves back and forth between Jessie and Tom, air and land operations.  Oddly enough, rising Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor has a small but significant role. Provides insight into the Cold War, carrier and ground warfare, and race.  

Eric’s Picks

Werewolves Within (2021)

A perfect comedic feast from beginning to end that is guaranteed to make you howl with laughter! Featuring the best ensemble of fresh, new comedic talent assembled in the last 10 years and masterfully directed by up-and-coming talent: Josh Rubin; this film is the unsung gem of 2021 and guaranteed to skyrocket to cult status! Rent it now so you can be that cool friend who heard about it first.

Pet (2019)

Set in a utopian future where all of society’s monsters have been vanquished, a transgender girl named Jam accidentally brings a creature named “Pet” to life from one of her mother’s paintings. Pet tells Jam that there are indeed still monsters living among them and that it is there to hunt one which resides within the family of her best friend. Wholly unique and raw, Pet serves as a commentary on abuse in many forms and the healing power of facing uncomfortable truths with those who love and support you. (Trigger warnings as the material does touch upon characters dealing with sexual abuse.)

Jessie’s Picks

So Far – The best of Sinéad O’Connor (1997)

This greatest hits compilation covers the Irish singer’s first eleven years (1986-1997) and four albums. It includes her biggest song, a cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” along with her overseas hits and some rarities. If you like her Prince cover, then check out this compilation to discover some more of her great songs.

42: The Jackie Robinson Story (2013)

Chadwick Boseman gave a great performance portraying Jackie Robinson. He brings to life the struggles and triumphs of Jackie Robinson’s race barrier breaking joining of the Brooklyn Dodgers.