Archive for May, 2012

JOURNEY STORIES OPENS @ THE LIBRARY

Friday, May 25th, 2012

(Belcamp, Maryland – May 24, 2012) Tales of travel filled the Library with the unveiling of the Smithsonian Exhibition Journey Stories. A ribbon-cutting officially opened the exhibition on May 19th and was followed by an engaging conversation with author Vincent Cannato and community members about stories of Ellis Island.

The lobby of the Abingdon Library was filled with spectators as the ribbon was cut to officially open the Journey Stories exhibition. Present to announce the opening was Library Director, Mary Hastler; Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition Service Director, Frederica Adelman; and Maryland Humanities Council Director, Phoebe Stein-Davis.

Following the ribbon cutting, Vincent Cannato, author of American Passage: The History of Ellis Island, held a community conversation with over 50 attendees. Moderated by Fred Guy, Director of the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore, the hour long discussion was filled with questions and comments from the audience.

“It was so interesting to hear Mr. Cannato speak about Ellis Island and what immigrants experienced when they came through there,” commented Linda VanDeusen. “My brother has been researching our family tree and we found out that our grandfather came through Ellis Island in 1910 from Italy as did several of his 9 siblings!”

Additional authors are speaking as part of the Journey Stories project. They include Wendy McClure on June 2 at the Bel Air Library. Ms. McClure rediscovers the series of books that had most enamored her as a child–Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie and is thrust back into “Laura World” headfirst. What follows is The Wilder Life, her equally hilarious and heartbreaking travelogue through the real “Laura World,” where she must reconcile the sometimes ugly truth of pioneer life and the beauty of her own childhood memories.

You can also get the opportunity to meet an astronaut at the Vandiver Inn on June 14th. As command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, Col. Al Worden flew on what is widely regarded as the greatest exploration mission that humans have ever attempted. He spent six days orbiting the moon, including three days completely alone, the most isolated human in existence. During the return from the moon to earth he also conducted the first deep space walk, becoming the first human ever to see both the entire earth and moon simply by turning his head. The Apollo 15 flight capped an already-impressive career as an astronaut, including important work on the pioneering Apollo 9 and Apollo 12 missions, as well as the perilous flight of Apollo 13. It’s an unprecedentedly candid account of what it was like to be an Apollo astronaut, with all its glory but also its pitfalls. Hear his exhilarating account of what it is like to journey to the moon and back as he discusses his book Falling To Earth. This event is a fundraiser for the library and tickets can be purchased by calling 410 273 5600 or going to the library website at HCPLonline.org.

Lastly, the library will be hosting an evening with Fergus Bordewich on June 23rd at the Bel Air Library. Historian, journalist, and author Mr. Bordewich explored the Underground Railroad in his 2005 bestseller, Bound for Canaan. His newest book, America’s Great Debate, focuses on the nation’s westward expansion, slavery, and the Compromise of 1850. Examine a gallery of extraordinary men who fought to shape the future course of the Union amidst huge ideological obstacles.

The Journey Stories exhibitions can be found throughout the county at Library Branches and Activity Centers and will be open through July 6. They include:

SMITHSONIAN EXHIBITION Journey Stories
The United States was populated through immigration, migration, and transportation, but it was the dreams of people to create a better life that made it a Nation. Enjoy historic photos and artifacts, along with the words of the people involved that tell Journey Stories, the story of the development and evolution of our need as Americans to move and expand – to journey – both physically and psychologically. Abingdon Library
Highway Hospitality
Before the building of “super highways” and interstates, it was “getting there” that made the memories! Explore Harford’s Rt. 40 of old – quirky motels, sparkling diners, and full-service auto stations through postcards and advertising, travel artifacts, and vignettes of vacations past. Abingdon Library
Food On The Go!
Because we journey, we eat… and eat well! Posters and display cases throughout the Library allow visitors to explore how human travel has made food more than sustenance. See ice cream fit for space, vintage advertising and other artifacts from the lost story of food! Edgewood Library
Iron, Tin and Paper: Canning in Harford County
The canning industry was hot in Harford County. Rail lines provided transportation to new markets and the farmers provided the wonderful product. This is a display of the art of canning labels, the variety of canneries, and railroad items that made it all possible. Aberdeen Library
From Trail to Train: The Building of Bel Air
From the early horse trails to the Ma and Pa Railroad, Bel Air has been the apex of how goods and services were received and traveled in Harford County. McFaul Activity Center
Fugitives, Accessories, and Catchers: The Underground Railroad in Harford County
The journey to freedom was fraught with obstacles as vast as the Susquehanna River and as personal as the nosey neighbor. Learn the stories of the fugitives, accessories, and catchers through large panels which tell each group’s tale; experience the escape Henry “Box” Brown made; imagine the weight of the leg irons and manacles; read and hear the tales of those in Harford County both seeking and preventing freedom. Bel Air Library
Journey through Harford History
The Story of Harford County from its early beginnings to the technology leader it is becoming today. Explore major events through the pages of The Aegis and consider personal accounts from the individuals who have shaped the County through time.
Veronica “Roni” Chenowith Activity Center
Money and Migration: Population and the County Economy
Changing economies, innovations, and global factors have influenced the business of Harford County and its populations. Women at work, the rise of the techopolis and factory successes and failures have brought people in and out of the County. Discover the partnership between the people and business. Havre de Grace Activity Center

Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council and is presented in Harford County by Harford County Public Library and Harford County Department of Community Services. For more information please visit HCPLonline.org/journey or pick up the Official Guidebook at any library branch, activity center and key retail outlets in Harford County.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 160,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of over 4,800,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

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Photo caption #1: Journey Stories Ribbon Cutting. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Fred Guy, Director, Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at University of Baltimore; Lisa Mittman, Branch Manager, Abingdon Library; Jean Wortman, Program Officer, Maryland Humanities Council; Amber Shrodes, Director, Harford County Public Library Foundation; Beth Hendrix, Director, Harford County Department of Community Services; Dr. Phoebe Stein-Davis, Executive Director, Maryland Humanities Council; Mary Hastler, Director, Harford County Public Library; Frederica Adelman, Director of Exhibitions, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service; Bethany Hacker, Community Relations Specialist, Harford County Public Library; Linda VanDeusen, Secretary, Harford County Public Library Foundation; Cynthia Hergenhahn, President, Abingdon Friends of Harford County Public Library; Dr. Vincent Cannato, author of American Passage and Associate Professor, University of MA-Boston; Janine Lis, Marketing Manager, Harford County Public Library.
Photo caption #2: Vincent Cannato speaks to a crowd of over 50 at the Abingdon Library on May 19th during a community conversation about Ellis Island.

LITTLE HOUSE AND ‘THE WILDER LIFE’ Author Wendy McClure shares her journey to Laura World

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Belcamp Md., May 14, 2012 — Did you grow up reading the “Little House on the Prairie” book series? Or secretly yearn to be Laura Ingalls? If so, join author Wendy McClure as she discusses her book, “The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie” on Saturday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bel Air Library, 100 East Pennsylvania Avenue in Bel Air. The lecture, open to the public and free of charge, is followed by a book signing.
The lecture is part of Journey Stories, a Smithsonian exhibit based at the Abingdon branch of the Harford County Public Library from May 19 to July 6 that examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to progress and flourish, voyage and explore. Various cultural opportunities in conjunction with Journey Stories are being held in library branches and activity centers across the county.
In “The Wilder Life,” McClure writes about her love of the “Little House” books when she was growing up and how that love was rekindled as an adult. Retracing the pioneer journey of the Ingalls Family, McClure heads west to the Big Woods of Wisconsin, where Laura was born; to the site of the original log cabin, where a replica stands in its place; to the crowded shores of Plum Creek in Minnesota; and to South Dakota, where she weathers a hailstorm in a rented covered wagon.
She learns to churn butter in her living room while catching up on episodes of the 1970s television series; catches a musical adaptation with Melissa Gilbert (who played Laura in the television version) in the role of Ma; and enjoys a “Little House”-inspired cocktail called The Half Pint.

McClure rekindled her love of the “Little House” books thanks to her finding “Little House in the Big Woods”-the only “Little House” book she actually owned as a child-in storage and reading it again. Her boyfriend, Chris, found a vintage boxed set, and McClure read through them within weeks. Her interest in “Laura World” was sparked again.
“It took me a while to realize that my Laura journeys were a sort of response to my mother’s death,” explained McClure, whose mother died as she was re-entering “Laura World.”
“As a child I often imagined I was Laura, so in re-reading the books and making the trips I was embarking on all these indirect paths that eventually led me back to my own past. When you know that someone is gone, you find yourself cultivating places in your memory where you can still feel that person’s presence, and for me those places were very closely associated with the ‘Little House’ books.”
“The Wilder Life” has received praise in various circles, including from Alison Arngrim, the actress who played Nellie Oleson in the “Little House” television series. She called the book “a howling funny, historically thorough and irresistibly mad trip down the rabbit hole of the Laura Ingalls-Little House obsession that has consumed an entire generation of women. I spent seven years on the prairie, and this book made me want to run out and buy a butter churn!”
The June 2 event will feature McClure discussing her travels through “Laura World” and how the trip and the book were more and less rewarding than anticipated. A question-and-answer session will follow McClure’s remarks.
A book signing will be held after the discussion. Hardback copies of “The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie” will be available for purchase for $20 (cash, check, credit card) at the event.
To register for the event, call the Bel Air Library at 410-638-3151. For more information, visit www.hcplonline.org.
Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council. The Journey Stories exhibition and accompanying programs are offered to the public through a partnership between Harford County Public Library and the Harford County Department of Community Services.
Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches located throughout Harford County. The library serves more than160,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of more than 4.8 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

Dr. Rebecca Boehling: A Family’s Journey through the Holocaust Era As part of Smithsonian Exhibit “Journey Stories”

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Bel Air – On Wednesday, May 23 at 6 p.m. at the McFaul Activity Center, 525 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air, Dr. Rebecca Boehling, Founding Director of UMBC’s Dresher Center for the Humanities, will discuss the inspiration for her book Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust – the family’s recently discovered correspondence. Her fascinating and deeply moving book is an account of the Kaufmann-Steinberg family’s life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Learn more about the Kaufmann-Steinberg family’s journey story at the “Meet the Authors” series at McFaul Activity Center on May 23 at 6 p.m., part of the Journey Stories Smithsonian Exhibition coming to various locations throughout Harford County, May 11 – June 6.

Call 410-638-4040 to register.

At UMBC, Dr. Boehling is Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Affiliate Professor of Judaic Studies; she teaches modern European history, Holocaust Studies, and European gender and women’s history. In 2005-6 she served as Acting Director of UMBC’s Honors College and in 2007 became the Founding Director of UMBC’s Dresher Center for the Humanities. Over the years her scholarship has been recognized with a Fulbright fellowship, a German Academic Exchange Service Grant, a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies fellowship and a Volkswagen Foundation fellowship in postwar German history. She is currently Senior Non-resident Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C.

Journey Stories is part of The Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council. The exhibition and accompanying programs are offered to the public through a partnership between the Harford County Department of Community Services and Harford County Public Library.

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VOICES OF ELLIS ISLAND ARE HEARD THROUGH AUTH OR VINCENT CANNATO

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Belcamp, Maryland – May 4, 2012) Pirate hangings, harsh conditions and political scheming took place at Ellis Island, along with the dreams broken and realized by hopeful immigrants who passed through its gates by the thousands. American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent Cannato captures a time and place in the American immigration story that is unparalleled. And long after Ellis Island ceased to be the nations’ preeminent immigrant inspection station, the debates that once swirled around it are still relevant to Americans a century later. Join the author and your neighbors to question, share experiences, ideas, and explore immigration in the United States at this Community Conversation, officially opening the Smithsonian’s Journey Stories Exhibition on May 19, 2012 at 10:30am at the Harford County Public Library Abingdon Branch.

People have been arriving on American shores for centuries but two periods stand out in terms of the sheer numbers: the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the late 20th and early 21st century. While a hundred years or so may separate the periods, similar problems and conflicting ideas apply to both eras. No one has examined these concerns more thoroughly or better placed them in their proper context than Vincent Cannato. American Passage speaks of the dramatic accounts of the immigrants, officials, interpreters and social reformers who played a role in one of the greatest mass movements of individuals in the world. “The story of America is one of immigration. By bringing us the inspiring and sometimes unsettling tales of Ellis Island, Vincent Cannato’s American Passage helps us understand who we are as a nation,” writes Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein.

Vincent Cannato is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received his BA with honors in Political Science from Williams College and his PhD in History from Columbia University. At UMASS-Boston, Prof. Cannato teaches courses on New York City history, Boston history, immigration history, and twentieth-century American history. He is also the author of The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York and co-editor of Living in the Eighties. Prof. Cannato has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Meet the Author, Vincent J. Cannato, is part of the Journey Stories project. More information on exhibitions and associated programming is available in the Journey Stories Official Guidebook, available at all Library Branches, County Activity Centers and key outlets throughout the county; Headlines & Happenings Library Newsletter available at all branches; and by going to HCPLonline.org/journey. Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council. The Journey Stories exhibition and accompanying programs are offered to the public through a partnership between Harford County Public Library and the Harford County Department of Community Service.

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Photo caption #1: American Passage, written by Vincent Cannato.

Photo caption #2: Vincent J. Cannato to appear at the Abingdon Library on May 19th as part of the opening of the Smithsonian Exhibition, Journey Stories.

D.E JOHNSON CAPTURES AUDIENCE WITH TALES OF TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY DETROIT

Friday, May 4th, 2012

(Belcamp, Maryland – May 4, 2012) D.E Johnson, author of The Detroit Electric Scheme and Motor City Breakdown, presented to a captive audience the stories of some of Detroit’s notorious characters at the height of the electric motorcar industry. Mr. Johnson spoke at the Jarrettsville Library and he is part of the Journey Stories Meet the Author Series. The Journey Stories Smithsonian Exhibition will open at the Abingdon Library on May 19th through July 6. Journey Stories includes associated exhibitions and author presentations. For more information please go to HCPLonline.org/journey or visit any library branch or county activity center and pick up the Journey Stories Official Guidebook.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 160,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of over 4,800,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

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Photo caption #1: D.E. Johnson at the Jarrettsville Library.

TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY TALE OF MURDER AND SUSPENSE

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

(Belcamp, Maryland – April 19, 2012) Explore the beginnings of the car industry and discuss the writing of a mystery. The Detroit Electric Scheme by D.E. Johnson, takes you on a journey through turn-of-the-century Detroit and a look into the launch of the automotive industry. A mystery interwoven with vivid historical detail that includes a tale of murder and organized crime, Johnson has given the reader a well plotted mystery filled with memorable characters and taut suspense in his debut novel. Johnson will visit the Jarrettsville Library on Thursday, May 3rd starting at 6:30 pm for a lively discussion of his novel.

Critically acclaimed, The Detroit Electric Scheme was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Crime Novels of 2010 and won a Michigan Notable Book Award. Johnson, a history buff, has been writing fiction since childhood, but it wasn’t until he hit midlife that he realized he should get serious about it. So after taking classes, reading everything about writing he could find, and writing for hours every day, he hit on the right subject and genre — the early Twentieth Century, a time of big ambitions, huge achievements, and crushing poverty, which holds a special fascination for Johnson. His interest in this subject was passed down to him from his grandfather who was the Vice President of Checker Motors.

“A thoroughly enjoyable read!” exclaimed Jon A. Jackson, author of The Diehard. “What Johnson has accomplished is nearly magical: He has marvelously created the old Detroit, made it come to life in a way that is recognizable and yet is totally new. This is a completely convincing, believable historical place, populated by attractive and fascinating characters. The Detroit Electric Scheme is a phenomenal debut.”

The next book in the mystery series, Motor City Shakedown, was released in 2011 and he is currently working on a third book, Detroit Breakdown.

Registration is recommended for this program. Please call the Jarrettsville Library at 410 692 7887 for more information.

Meet the Author, D.E. Johnson is part of the Journey Stories project. More information on exhibitions and associated programming is available in the Journey Stories Official Guidebook, available at all Library branches and key outlets throughout the county; Headlines & Happenings Library Newsletter available at all branches; and by going to HCPLonline.org. Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Maryland Humanities Council. The Journey Stories exhibition and accompanying programs are offered to the public through a partnership between Harford County Public Library and the Harford County Department of Community Service.