Monday, April 21, 2014

An Evening with Brian Jay Jones

Did you know that the first realistic computer generated imagery (CGI) animal to appear in a Hollywood film was in Jim Henson's cult favorite fantasy musical Labyrinth? These and more fascinating facts about Jim Henson's life and works were revealed when author Brian Jay Jones came to Gaithersburg Library to talk about his national bestseller Jim Henson: A Biography. Presented by the Gaithersburg Book Festival, the evening included a multimedia presentation with rare photos of Jim Henson's personal and creative life.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Everyone's a Poet at Gaithersburg Library!

gaithersburg library, national poetry month
National Poetry Month display at Gaithersburg Library.
 Are you the next Angelou, Cummings or Poe? Come show us what you’ve got at Gaithersburg Library!

In honor of National Poetry Month Gaithersburg Library has a Post-It Note Poetry display near the Information desk. All customers are invited to contribute their poems on Post-It notes. Any topic or poetry technique is allowed. You may even see your poem featured on our Facebook page or Twitter feed!

Here are some of the poems on display right now:

A sincere and true poem by a librarian at Gaithersburg Library.

Thanks to everyone who has participated so far. Come add your poems to our display!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wellbeing Café at Gaithersburg Library

Do you love a warm beverage and a good book? If so, you’re in luck because the newly renovated Gaithersburg Library has a café in the foyer! The Wellbeing Café has tasty items such as coffee (of course), tea, smoothies, cookies, pastries, fruit and other snacks.

treats at Wellbeing CafeAccording to one of the employees, the “big cookies and muffins” are the top-selling treats.

Gaithersburg Library foyer with cafe tablesWe have tables and chairs in our foyer for you to sit in while enjoying your treats, but remember, food and drinks are not allowed inside the library. The café is open during regular Gaithersburg Library hours.

Tables and chairs in the Gaithersburg Library foyer. So come and give the café a try when you visit the library!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Roland Hayes Program

Who is Roland Hayes? Last week, Gaithersburg Library hosted a Black History Month recital featuring spirituals arranged by Roland Hayes - a world renowned lyric tenor considered to be the first African American male concert artist to receive wide international acclaim in the 1920s.

 Cover of Hayes' My Favorite Spirituals songbook, originally published in 1948.

According to Contemporary Musicians (accessible via Biography in Context, one of MCPL's biographical databases), "Hayes shattered the color barrier in the world of classical music, becoming one of the highest paid musicians of his time and paving the way for later African American singers.” It is important to note that Hayes, a black man, experienced such widespread eminence during the Jim Crow era in American history.
The concert was performed by B. Jackson Caesar,  an accomplished vocalist from Washington, D.C. who is also a Hayes historian. Piano accompaniment was provided by Alma Sanford. Caesar engaged the audience with his beautiful tenor vocals and animated performance. It was truly a treasured evening for all attendees!

Photo of Caesar's performance at Gaithersburg Library.
The audience was captivated by Caesar's renditions of Hayes' spirituals.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Past and Present Art at Gaithersburg Library

The Muktesvara Arch at the former Gaithersburg Library
Do you remember the beautiful white arch in front of the former Gaithersburg Library building? Designed by artist Mary Ann Unger, the Muktesvara Arch, also known as Gateway to the Mind, was installed in 1988 and remained in front of Gaithersburg Library until the library closed for renovations in May 2010.  The arch, constructed of painted aluminum and concrete, represented a pathway to knowledge and enlightenment for all visitors to the library, with its books and resources for all.

Where's the arch now? It's in the process of being relocated to the Germantown campus of Montgomery College and will be conserved and re-installed there in the near future. 

Leaf mobile above the children's area at renovated Gaithersburg Library

Another view of the leaf mobile at Gaithersburg Library
Have you seen the leaf mobile hanging above the information desk and children’s area of the newly renovated Gaithersburg Library?  The mobile, designed by architect Steve Gerrard of Ann Beha Architects and installed by Acorn Sign Graphics, consists of thin perforated aluminum leaf shapes that dangle and fall in a random pattern from stainless steel wire.  As you can see in the photos above, the autumnal hues add warmth and dimension to the open main hall of the library as light filters through the leaves.

The leaves of the mobile symbolize “leaves” of a paper bound book as well as paying homage to the representative logo of the City of Gaithersburg – the Forest Oak tree!

The official logo of the City of Gaithersburg - featuring an oak tree