The Power of Words

The Power of Words: Changing Our World, One Author at a Time is a biennial partnership between The Friends of the Library and Monroe County Public Library, including two months of programming dedicated to memory, knowledge, and personal narratives. Join in the community of Monroe County readers sharing and discussing award-winning author Margaret McMullan’s works. Engage in related programs to learn the power of your own stories, how to craft memoirs, and the importance of remembering our past as it shapes our future.

Featured 2019 Programming

The Power of Words: An Evening with Margaret McMullan

The 2019 Friends of the Library Power of Words program, The Perspective of Memory: Fear, Empowerment, Forgiveness, brings award-winning author Margaret McMullan to Bloomington. McMullan’s newest work, Where the Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Exile, Loss, and Return is a moving look at the author’s own connection to the Holocaust, her family’s exile in Hungary during WWII, and the redemptive power of knowing and owning your own story.

All ages
Saturday, November 9
7–8:30 PM
Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington

The Power of Words: Gala Author Reception

Enjoy premium reserved seating to McMullan's free Power of Words talk, followed by food and champagne, live music, and the Sources of Light Photography Exhibit at the Main Library Gallery. Reception tickets are $50 and can be purchased online, at the Friends of the Library Bookstore, or from the Friends office at the Main Library (M–F, 10 AM–5 PM). All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library.

All ages
Saturday, November 9
8:30–10 PM
Main Library Atrium & Gallery

Additional Programming

Ellettsville Book Club: Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan

All are welcome to join the book discussion––or just listen. Pick up a copy of the book at the Ellettsville Branch.

Age 18 & up
Thursday, September 5
1–2:30 PM
Ellettsville Meeting Room A       

Coffee with Friends: Stories of Elders

Millennial author and cultural anthropologist Veronica Kirin traveled more than 11,000 miles across the United States in 2015 to interview the last living members of the Greatest Generation. By chronicling more than 8,000 years of life lived during the most transitional time in American history, Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don't offers old-fashioned wisdom and insight for America’s future generations. A book signing will follow.

Age 12 & up
Sunday, September 22
2–3:30 PM
Meeting Room 1B, Main Library

Books Plus Book Club: Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan

All are welcome to join the book discussion––or just listen. Pick up a copy of the book at the Main Library. 

Age 16 & up
Sunday, October 6
2–3 PM
Program Room 2B, Main Library

Special Event for Homeschool Families

A librarian helps you and your children learn more about the Library and a special topic each month. This month: family memories, in conjunction with Power of Words. Stories and educational activities are geared to children age 6 and up, but all ages are welcome to attend. Please register.

Suggested age 6 & up
Wednesday, October 16
10–11:15 AM
Meeting Room 1C, Main Library   

Sources of Light: Framing Memory

Margaret McMullan's Sources of Light examines the power of photography to bring the gray areas of life into focus. Bring a digital copy of a photograph you feel tells a truth or captures a powerful memory––we'll print and frame it. If you like, your framed photo will be displayed in November’s photography exhibit. Need to edit your photo? Stop by the Level Up Digital Creativity Center at the Main Library to use Adobe Photoshop editing software.

Age 12 & up
Friday, October 18
4–6 PM
Program Room 2C, Main Library

Civil Rights and Freedom in Monroe County

Award-winning historian Liz Mitchell presents a history of the civil rights movement in Monroe County. Learn about the struggles and successes, as well as the local people leading the way towards freedom in your own community.

Age 12 & up
Sunday, October 27
3–4 PM
Auditorium                                                                                                                                                    

Sources of Light Photography Exhibit

Margaret McMullan's Sources of Light examines the power of photography to bring the gray areas of life into focus. Stop by to view photos from the Monroe County community that tell a truth or capture a powerful memory.

All ages
November 1–15
Main Library Gallery                     

Writing Memoir: Goals, Strategies, Choices, and Dilemmas

This class will be led by Ray Hedin who taught American literature at Indiana University for 44 years and received the Herman Frederic Lieber Award for Distinguished Teaching. Please register online beginning in August. The $55 class registration includes premium seating to The Power of Words: An Evening with Margaret McMullan at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, and a ticket to the Gala Author Reception at the Library.

Age 18 & up
Tuesday, November 5
7–8:30 PM
Program Room 2B

The Power of Words School Presentations

Power of Words author, Margaret McMullan presents to students at Bloomington High School North and Jackson Creek Middle School. The middle school program will be skyped to Batchelor Middle School and Tri-North Middle School.

Friday, November 8             

These programs are made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
These programs are supported by the Paula B. Anderson Endowment for The Power of Words.

These programs are part of Themester 2019: Remembering and Forgetting, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.