Best-selling children’s and young adult novel author Judy Blume is coming to Arlington next month to talk about her latest book.
Blume will speak in the Washington-Lee High School auditorium (1301 N. Stratford Street) on Oct. 22 from 7-9 p.m. The event is free; copies of Blume’s latest book, “In the Unlikely Event” will be available for purchase.
Blume is the author of books like “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret,” which have sold millions of copies and tell life lessons for young readers.
While Blume is noted for her children and young adult novels, she also has written books for adults, like “Summer Sisters.”
“She’s one of those few people who have several different audiences,” said Peter Golkin, spokesman for Arlington Public Library, which is organizing the event.
Library Director Diane Kresh will lead a question-and-answer conversation with Blume about writing, having an effect of her many readers at “pivotal moments in their lives” and the challenges that come from writing for multiple audiences, according to the library website.
Fans can submit questions through the comments section on the event page, and some of them may make it on to Kresh’s list. Kresh will ultimately decide what she will ask the author, Golkin said.
The library is also planning to have audience questions at the end, he said.
Blume will sign copies of her new book, “In the Unlikely Event,” which tells the story of a series of plane crashes in a small New Jersey town. The library does not know if she will sign other books at this time, according to its website.
Photo courtesy of Arlington Public Library
Investigation into Marine’s Death at Base — The military is investigating the death of a 22-year-old Marine at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Cpl. Jon Gee was reportedly found unresponsive in his room on the base Saturday afternoon, after a night out at “a rave in the District.” [Washington Post]
Rousselot Blasts Lack of Pike Transit Plan — The fact that Arlington County has no transit plan yet for Columbia Pike, after the cancellation of the streetcar last year, is frustrating to Peter Rousselot, who helped to lead the charge against the streetcar. “I think it is a failure of management,” he told WAMU. “The answer on the Pike that our group presented all along… was a regional Bus Rapid Transit system, or BRT, involving Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County.” [WAMU]
Tour of New Elementary School — Arlington Public Schools led members of the media on a tour of the new Discovery Elementary School on Thursday. Located next to Williamsburg Middle School, it’s the county’s first new primary school in over a decade. Discovery is designed to be a “net zero” consumer of energy thanks to renewable energy features. [WTOP, Katch]
GMU ‘Welcome Fair’ Today — George Mason University’s Arlington campus is holding a “Welcome Fair” for students between 5:30 and 8 p.m. today. [Twitter]
Library Helps With Business Plans — Arlington Public Library helped the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, an ARLnow.com advertiser, create a business plan and launch their business. The library has a business services librarian and number of resources for entrepreneurs, including access to a premium database that compiles demographic data by ZIP code. [Twitter]
More on Arlington Radio Station — WERA, Arlington’s new community radio station, hopes to launch by December. The station will cost Arlington Independent Media, best known as the nonprofit behind Arlington’s local cable access channel, about $400,000. [Arlington Connection]
Flickr pool photo by Arlington VA
Library Book Returned 34 Years Later — A teen novel has been returned to the Wakefield High School library 34 years overdue. The book, “The Underside of the Leaf,” was last checked out in 1981. [Washington Post]
Man Charged With Bringing Loaded Gun to DCA — A Woodbridge man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Reagan National Airport Saturday, after they discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage. [WUSA 9]
Beyer Seeks to Hike Entire Appalachian Trail — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has so far hiked 1,253 miles of the Appalachian Trail, in 46 different hikes, after vowing to complete the entire trail in 2002. [Rep. Don Beyer]
At Arlington Public Library the library isn’t just for reading and summer reading events are not just for kids.
The library is holding two outdoor movie screenings (Aug. 6 and Aug. 13) as part of its Summer Reading 2015 for Adults event. Movies start roughly at 8:45 p.m. on the field next to Arlington Central Library (1515 N. Quincy Street).
Attendees are encourage to “bring a picnic and blanket and watch a movie under the stars.” Both movie showings are free. In the case of bad weather, the event will be canceled.
The first screening is “Empire Records” on Aug. 6. The movie, rated PG-13, is about a group of record store employees attempting to save the store from selling out, which just like the movie is a very Gen X concern.
“A flashback to a time when there were record stores and people paid to work in them,” the library notes on its event page. “It’s a day in the life of a staff of hip, quirky youngsters who are fighting a store buyout from a big greedy record store chain. Those once existed too.”
The second screening is “The Great Gatsby” on Aug. 13. The 2013 movie version of the classic book by F. Scott Fitzgerald stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, a mysterious rich man pining after an old love. The movie is also rated PG-13.
A synchronized breastfeeding event will be held at the Arlington Central Library auditorium this week.
The Big Latch On is an international event where women across the country and world breastfeed their children at the same time. Women will join together in the Arlington County Central Library’s auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street) to breastfeed from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday.
“The Big Latch On involves groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all ‘latch on’ (breastfeed) their child or children at a set time,” according to the event’s website.
The Big Latch On was started to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and to encourage more women to breastfeed. It also aims to make breastfeeding in public part of daily life, according to the website. Last year, 14,173 women in 31 countries participated.
The World Health Organization encourages mothers to breastfeed their child for at least six months. Breastfeeding helps protect babies from infectious diseases and can promote cognitive development, according to WHO.
This year, the Big Latch On is hoping to beat its record of 14,356 children breastfeeding at one time. The women start breastfeeding at the same time for one minute while the children are counted, according to the Big Latch On’s website.
Arlington Public Library’s Lynda.com educational video service is now available to any resident with a library card and an internet connection.
The library has subscribed to Lynda.com, a website that offers almost 130,000 educational videos on topics ranging from marketing to graphic design to economics, for the past several years. However, until four months ago, the service was only accessible from a physical library location.
Library spokesman Peter Golkin says that has now changed.
“The Lynda videos can now be accessed anywhere there’s an internet connection — that’s made these much more useful and much more popular,” said Golkin. All library patrons need to do to access the service remotely is sign in with their library card and PIN number, according to the library website.
Golkin said the library had been trying to convince Lynda.com to allow remote access to the service for some time, and expressed excitement that the requests had finally come to fruition.
“It’s like grad school in a box,” said Golkin. “That’s what libraries are for — they’re shared public resources.”
“Go Set a Watchman,” author Harper Lee’s follow-up to the American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is being released on Tuesday. Despite some mixed reviews, some 300 library patrons have already lined up — by placing holds at the circulation desk or online — to read about Scout’s return to Maycomb.
The library has 50 copies of the book, plus two copies in Spanish and eight audiobooks — which are all either at the library now or being delivered soon, according to spokesman Peter Golkin. It will also have eBook and eAudiobook copies via its Overdrive system, starting tomorrow.
Golkin said the library adjusted its orders in response to strong demand.
“There’s always strong demand for the latest titles by acclaimed authors like Donna Tartt and James Patterson and pretty much any name you see toward the top of the best-seller list,” he said. “But Harper Lee is a very special case, this being only her second book published and also because it involves the characters from her first. ‘Mockingbird’ is one of the most revered titles in American literature and also a classic film adaptation so the anticipation is certainly understandable.”
Parents and teachers at Barrett Elementary have started a weekly outdoor library to encourage kids to keep reading during their vacation.
The program, Barret Book Blast, was created by the Family and Community Engagement committee at Barrett Elementary as a way to combat the seemingly inevitable “summer slide” in reading comprehension.
The outdoor library can be found every Friday from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. outside of the Gates of Ballston Community Center (4108 4th Street N.). At the weekly event, which is run by Barrett Elementary teachers on an entirely volunteer basis, neighborhood kids can check out up to three books or listen to a librarian from Arlington Public Library read some stories.
Barrett Elementary teacher Emily Sonenshine estimates that on June 19, the program’s second week, almost 65 children came by to check out books and visit their teachers. Sonenshine added that attendance at the weekly checkout hour has been consistently on the rise.
This Friday will mark the program’s fourth week. Sonenshine says the events are scheduled to continue through the summer, ending Aug. 28.
Photos courtesy Emily Sonenshine and Jen Flores
Arlington Public Library is bringing back its “late night recess” for 20- and 30-somethings this summer.
The event lets young professionals have some retro fun, meet new people and discover everything else the library has to offer. This year, activities include Twister, Nerf tag, a dance party, building forts and something involving bubble wrap.
“Bring your friends and your inner child for an evening of fun and games at the Central Library,” the event’s web page says. “Play clothes are highly recommended, including sneakers or athletic shoes. This event is free, but registration is required. Please only register if you are between the ages of 20 and 39.”
The event is scheduled for Thursday, July 30, from 9-11:30 p.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).
Would-be participants can register online. As of this writing, 52 spots were still available.
Alcoholic beverages, it should be noted, are not allowed in the library.
The library is working with an Ohio-based company called Hoopla Digital, which bills itself as a “free Netflix-like service” which users can access through their Apple TV, smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Hoopla offers a range of digital content including e-books, comics, audiobooks, music and streaming TV and movies.
The library’s current contract with Hoopla gives library patrons access to audiobooks and music, according to library spokesman Peter Golkin, who described the partnership as the next logical step in adapting to new technology, something libraries have been doing for decades.
Golkin said one particularly attractive feature of Hoopla was the elimination of waiting lists. In the past, when libraries bought audiobooks, they would have to buy several copies — and even then patrons could end up waiting a long time for more popular titles. Through Hoopla, however, one title can be checked out by an unlimited number of patrons.
The company also touts its automatic returns, which it says eliminate library late-fees. Users will be able to check out up to six items a month and listen to them as often as desired. Due to record label restrictions, the same album may only be checked out twice in a 30-day period.
Arlington Public Library began using Hoopla last Tuesday (June 16), and is the 10th library system in Virginia to do so. To start using the service, patrons can create an account through the library’s website.
Memorial Service for Library Employee — A memorial service will be held next week for Lynn Kristianson, an Arlington Public Library employee who died of advanced stage four rectal cancer on June 4, less than a year after her leg was amputated following a bike crash. Kristianson’s was seriously injured in 2014 by a hit-and-run SUV driver who struck her as she was riding her bike in Anne Arundel County, Md. [WJLA]
Famous Dog Moving to S. Arlington — Romo, a 150-pound bull mastiff/pit bull mix who’s known as the “unofficial mascot of Adams Morgan,” will be moving to Arlington with his owners on Friday. Romo will trade his first floor window on Calvert Street NW for the view from a home near Army Navy Country Club. [NBC Washington]
GW Parkway Blocked — The northbound lanes of the GW Parkway were closed and diverted onto Spout Run Parkway during this morning’s rush hour due to the continued cleanup from a bus engine explosion that caused an oil spill and some crashes last night. [WUSA 9]
GOP Endorses McMenamin — The Arlington County Republican Committee has voted to endorse independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin. A telecom consultant and president of the Arlington County Civic Federation, McMenamin previously ran for County Board as a Republican in 2006. [Twitter]
Metrobus Changes in Arlington — Starting Sunday, changes are coming to a number of Metrobus routes in Arlington, including the 25B, 22A, 22B, 22C, 22F, 15K, 15L, 7A, 7F and 7Y. [Washington Post]
Tour of Politico’s New Rosslyn Newsroom — Politico has posted a video tour of its brand new newsroom in Rosslyn, which includes a fancy hardwood floor cafe area. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
Parents Located After Boy Found Wandering — A social media post helped Arlington County Police located the parents of a boy found wandering along on 4th Street N. Saturday afternoon. The parents said they both assumed the boy was with the other parent. [WJLA]
Whipple Endorses Schneider — Former County Board member and state senator Mary Margaret Whipple has endorsed Andrew Schneider in the Democratic County Board primary. [InsideNova]
History Center Profiled — Interested in Arlington history? Not too surprisingly, the place for you is the Center for Local History at Arlington Central Library. The center has books, photographs, oral histories, permit records and other local historical resources. [Washington Post]
A Girl Scout troop unveiled a Little Free Library in Bluemont Park last Saturday.
The tiny library, located in Bluemont Park near the tennis court pavilion at 601 N. Manchester Street, holds a smattering of books that can be borrowed under a “take a book, leave a book” policy.
Girl Scout Troop 3661, composed of 12 Ashlawn Elementary School fifth graders, paid for the library by hosting a yard and bake sale earlier in the spring.
For their hard work, the troop earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest honor for a Girl Scout Junior. The troop also plans to donate more than 800 books to Books for America on May 28.
Photo courtesy of Girl Scout Troop 3661.
ZooBean, based in Rosslyn’s ÜberOffices, has launched Beanstack with the library. The program takes the preferences of each child — “like ninjas, princess or even math and science,” the app’s promotional video explains — and the child’s reading level, and an Arlington librarian recommends books in the catalog that apply.
Each book recommendation also comes with a brief learning tip, ZooBean co-founder Felix Lloyd told ARLnow.com. This could be culling a few vocabulary words from the book to review.
“In many ways, the end user is the parent,” Lloyd said. “A lot of it is about their having a good place to start when it comes to their kid. The way we view it is with a lot of things going on in today’s world, it’s hard to have the confidence that there’s good content and you know how to use it in a way to accelerate their reading, to give them a better place to start in school.”
The app is free and available to any Arlington resident. B0oks available electronically can be downloaded immediately, and those available by hard copy can be reserved and sent to the family’s local branch. Beanstack makes a recommendation for a different book every week, and always reading material that has been approved by a librarian.
“Modern public libraries are constantly looking at the evolving needs of their customers,” Arlington Public Library spokesman Peter Golkin said in an email. “A service like Beanstack takes the knowledge of our children’s librarians, mixes it with proven online ‘matchmaking’ based on the particular child’s interests and puts the results in convenient emails that arrive on a regular basis. If the suggested book is an available ebook in the collection, then you don’t even have to make a trip to the Library.”
The service just launched this month, and Arlington is the second library system to offer it in the country, Lloyd said, following the Sacramento, Calif., library system. Fourteen other library systems have signed on for Beanstack already, including Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard counties in Maryland.
ZooBean got its big break appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank last April, and receiving a $250,000 investment from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Since then, Lloyd said, Cuban has invested even more into the company. The combination of Cuban’s endorsement and Arlington’s early partnership has helped spur the business’ growth.
“Arlington buying our product before it launched was a bet for them,” Lloyd said. “Them buying into the service helped our business, because we could go out and point to this model community that invested. It was a validation of a small business.”
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) It was the rallying cry on social media for activism after nationwide protest surrounding several police shootings and now it’s Arlington Public Library’s theme for Arlington Reads 2015: the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
The community-wide reading initiative focuses on race, according to a library press release, in two books: “Men We Reaped,” a memoir surrounding the deaths of five young black men close to author Jesmyn Ward, and “Americanah,” a novel about African emigrants struggling with race in Western civilization by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Arlington Reads is the library’s annual attempt to bring the community together around a single topic, to encourage reading and educated discussion. This year’s theme was selected because the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag was chosen as the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year in 2014 after police-related shooting deaths in Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, Ohio and elsewhere in the country.
The two authors will discuss their books — both published in 2013 to broad critical acclaim — in separate events at Arlington Central Library.
Ward, a professor at Tulane University, will speak at Central Library on Wednesday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. Adichie — known also for her TED Talk “We Should All Be Feminists” and her speaking part on Beyoncé’s song, Flawless — will speak at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. Admission to the events are free.
Images via Arlington Public Library