Ryan S.'s blog

Library Award: Voters Are the Winners

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When the Library hosted our Power of Words author event with Congressman John Lewis back in the fall of 2015, we were honored to present an American Civil Rights icon and the co-authors of March, Lewis's National Book Award-winning graphic novel chronicling his life and struggle for justice. Along with our partners the Friends of the Library and Indiana University, we felt Lewis's appearance was a powerful and timely inspiration—not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—for ordinary people wishing to make a difference.

Review: Universal Harvester

This is the second novel from Bloomington-born author John Darnielle, known also for the past twenty-five years as the songwriter in his band the Mountain Goats. While Universal Harvester’s trailer video [YouTube] suggests a horror story, the only slight chills come from the unexpected shifts between third and first person narration. And the eeriness is almost comforting, providing a profound depth and hopefulness to lives that may outwardly appear unremarkable.

Music: Hottest Titles, No Wait Required

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PHOTO: AMY CLARKE

Borrowing your favorite music from the Library’s huge CD collection is great, but what happens when something’s checked out—or is a digital-only release? Not to worry: with Freegal and Hoopla, our free online music services, you can still enjoy the current Billboard hits, even if they’re not available in physical form. Stream or download these chart-toppers from the Library today:

Dropkick Murphys: Kiss Them, They’re Irish

Well, maybe not quite.

Listening to the Dropkick Murphys, I’m swept into their Irish-Catholic South Boston neighborhood. The sense of place in their rough-and-tumble songs is simply that strong—and not just on account of the accent coming through in the vocals.

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The Murphys are a curious blend of genres: they’re described as both hardcore punk and Celtic folk, and you can definitely hear both in their music. I’d add unapologetically, jubilantly brash. And raucous. Irreverent. Throbbing with life, vitality, emotion, even a little death. Not above making fun of themselves.

And prolific. This year’s 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory, peaking at number eight on the U.S. Billboard charts, follows a dozen releases by the Murphys since 1998. You may

Don't Miss These "Best of 2016" Book Lists

The wave of best-of-2016 lists on the internet has subsided, leaving recommendations for book lovers of all reading interests to wade through and enjoy. You’ve probably seen a number of this year’s must-read lists in the usual places (Recommended Reads for 2016 by Library Staff, anyone?); here’s a “list of lists” from sources you may not have considered.

Early Voting—Easy, Quick & Secure!

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PHOTO: Hywell Martinez

The unusually high turnout expected on November 8 is just one more reason to vote early in this election. Thanks to Indiana’s generous early voting rules, Monroe County residents can avoid the lines and wait times by exercising their right to vote early in person—at two locations.

According to the Monroe County Election Board, any voter registered in Monroe County—regardless of where they normally vote—may vote early at Monroe County Election Central (401 West 7th Street [map]) or at the Showers Building (501 North Morton Street [map]) in Bloomington. Early voting hours can be found on the calendar [PDF] published by the Board.

Candidates On Demand: Your Introduction to Who's in the Running

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PHOTO: DEREK BRUFF (FLICKR)

You've seen the written responses of numerous candidates in the Keys to the Candidates published by the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County. Now, thanks to Community Access Television Services (CATS) at the Library, we also get Candidates on Demand, short videos that offer a unique perspective on those seeking office in our area.

Uncut and unmoderated, the videos allow candidates equal time to present themselves, along with any issues they choose, to the public. What do candidates representing your district have to say?

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