Adaptive Services
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    Summer Reading

Saturday, September 6, 2014

3:30 p.m.

Listen to the author Scott Einberger talk about his new book The History of Rock Creek Park: Wilderness and Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

6:30 p.m.

ook cover, Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University_ Building a Legacy of Black HistoryWhen Dorothy Burnett joined the library staff at Howard University in 1928, she was given a mandate to administer a library of Negro life and history. The school purchased the Arthur B. Spingarn Collection in 1946, along with other collections, and Burnett, who would later become Dorothy Porter Wesley, helped create a world-class archive known as the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and cemented her place as a leading figure in the preservation of African American history. Wesley’s zeal for unearthing materials related to African American history earned her the name of “Shopping Bag Lady.”

Join author, historian, former Howard University librarian and early staff member of the DC Public Library’s Black Studies Center Janet Sims-Wood as she introduces and shares the award-winning and distinguished career of an iconic archivist who is the subject of a new book, Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University: Building a Legacy of Black History  (The History Press, 2014).

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
901 G Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001
Black Studies Center, Room 316


Thursday, September 11, 2014

6:30 p.m.

Whitehead headshot

Please join us on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall Lobby at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, as we welcome Dr. Karsonya Wise-Whitehead, author of Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis.

In her book, the author examines the life and experiences of Emilie Frances Davis, a freeborn  twenty-one-year-old mulatto woman, through a close reading of three pocket diaries she kept from 1863 to 1865. Whitehead explores Davis’s worldviews and politics, her perceptions of both public and private events, her personal relationships, and her place in Philadelphia’s free black community in the nineteenth century.
Although Davis’s daily entries are sparse, brief snapshots of her life, Whitehead interprets them in ways that situate Davis in historical and literary contexts that illuminate nineteenth-century black American women’s experiences.

This event will also feature musical selections from La Bella Voce Ensemble.

This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4:00 p.m.

Writing Workshop and Q & A with Kathryn Erskine 

Kathryn Erskine photoKathryn ErskineKathryn Erskine is the author of five children’s novels including National Book Award winner, Mockingbird, the recent Jane Addams Peace Award honor book Seeing Red, and her upcoming release, The Badger Knight.  She draws on her life stories and world events in her writing and is  currently working on several more novels and picture books.   

Ms. Erskine will be  leading a writing workshop, which will be followed by a Q & A.  The workshop will focus on how to develop characters that readers will really care about and that will pop right off the page.

Where:  The Georgetown Library
When:  September 16 at 4 p.m.
For Who:  Anyone over the age of 8 interested in writing and talking to a National Book Award winning author.


6:30 p.m.

YaboPlease join us in the Black Studies Center on Tuesday, September 16 at 6:30 p.m. as author Alexis DeVeaux presents her latest novel, Yabo.

DeVeaux is the author of two award-winning biographies: Don't Explain: A Song of Billie Holliday and Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde. A celebrated writer in several literary genres, DeVeaux is also an activist known for her lifelong contributions to a number of women's and literary organizations. With her new work, Yabo, she returns to her first love-writing fiction. She will be joined by special guests, E. Ethelbert Miller, Venus Thrash, and Michelle Sewell, who will read excerpts from Yabo. 

7:00 p.m.

bookCivil Service workers serve in the background of the everyday lives of the American people. Yet their service is often misunderstood, scrutinized and forgotten.

Hear the other side of the story! Join authors Deborah Johnson and Mark Wallace in a discussion and debate on U.S Federal service and why its still necessary. 
A book signing of We Are Not the Enemy: Restoring Honor to U.S. Civil Service will follow the program. 

This event will take place in the Main Meeting Room, 2nd Floor.

Monday, September 22, 2014

6:30 p.m.

Glide by Bill GourgeyJoin us on Monday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m. for a special Author Talk event featuring local Sci-Fi author, Bill Gourgey.

Gourgey incorporates his professional knowledge of science and technology in this fantastic trilogy, an IndieFab Finalist in Forward's Book of the Year Awards, and winner of the National Indie Excellence Awards and Beverly Hills Awards. 

Check out his book trailer for Glide here and join us for a discussion of technology, science, and the writing process.

Copies of Glide and Nu-Logic will be available for sale and Bill will be autographing copies following the discussion.

Fore more information, please contact the librarian at (202) 698-6373.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

6:00 p.m.

Banned Books WeekCome join us in the Great Hall for a rousing celebration of Banned Books Week and the Freedom to Read! The Birmingham Jail Players, a lively group of DCPL employees, recite excerpts from their favorite challenged authors. Hear the words of such authors as Kurt Vonnegut, Judy Blume, Jeannette Walls, Toni Morrison, Mildred Taylor, and many more. They will be joined by Azar Nafisi, an author known for her outspoken defense of the Freedom to Read and the power of literature to change the world.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

6:30 p.m.

Book Cover: S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in D.C.During the height of the crack epidemic that decimated the streets of D.C., Ruben Castaneda covered the crime beat for the Washington Post. The first in his family to graduate from college, he had landed a job at one of the country’s premier newspapers. But his apparent success masked a devastating secret: he was a crack addict. Even as he covered the drug-fueled violence that was destroying the city, he was prowling S Street NW, a 24/7 open-air crack market, during his off hours. S Street Rising is a study of the city itself as it tried to rise above an era of crime and violence that earned Washington the title of “Murder Capital.”

Join Castaneda as he shares his professional and personal experiences as a crime reporter in late 1980s and 1990s Washington, a city then under siege.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
901 G Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001
Washingtoniana Program Room, Room 307

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

7:00 p.m.

The Return of George WashingtonEdward LarsonJoin DC Public Library in welcoming Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson who will speak on his forthcoming book,The Return of George Washington, 1783-1789 (to be released October 7, 2014). 

In this revolutionary new look at our First Citizen, Larson masterfully chronicles how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement four years after the Revolution to lead—and unite—the struggling new nation. Though the period between the Revolution and Presidency has previously been neglected in studies of Washington’s life, Larson’s startling reassessment shows that Washington’s greatness in fact rests on these years—1783 to 1789—during which he completed a remarkable journey that secured the future of the nation. From a contented post-military life at Mount Vernon and his agonizing decision to return to public service; to his indispensable, though still underappreciated, role in shaping the Constitution and securing its ratification; to his victory in the first federal elections and inauguration in New York.

Mr. Larson will speak on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 in the Great Hall at 7 p.m.  Politics & Prose will be on site to sell copies of the book.  For further information, please contact Kari Mitchell at

This event is free and open to the public.  Let DC Public Library know you are coming by registering here.  (Tickets and registration are not required at the event)