Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Published on Monday, July 16, 2012

Pop! Street Fashion is an experimental collection of patron street fashion at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  It is devoted to photographically documenting the sartorial narratives of patrons who visit the library. Please email My Nguyen for more information.

Meet Laura.


On one very hot summer day, MLK library visitor Laura was a refreshing sight.  Decked out in basics—white t-shirt, circle skirt, lace-up sandals—Laura’s outfit intimated the very lovely, very simple pleasures of summer:  eating frozen popsicles, looking for seashells along the shore, or just attending a casual, but no doubt stylish, barbeque with friends.  The addition of a pair of chunky black frames added urban chic appeal to an otherwise beach-ready outfit. Doubtless, Laura’s understated sartorial approach delineates a famous quote by renowned fashion designer Coco Chanel: “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Read more after the jump.

Published on Monday, July 16, 2012
Lolita Sunglasses Popular Office
In this photograph, My Nguyen attempts to reinterpret the famed Kubrick film poster of Lolita in a contemporary office setting, while still conforming to Mies van der Rohe's architectural vision of restrained beauty and maximum simplicity. The key word here is "attempt." / Photograph by Kathryn Sigler.

In an effort, gentle reader, to have something to discuss with my junior year high school crush, I did something any shy, but sensible bibliophilic 16 year-old would do:  I mimicked his reading habits. First, there were the war-torn stories of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which he toted in a clear plastic backpack. Next, it was Yusef Komonyakaa’s brilliant Dien Cai Dau, which made me crazy, too — over Komonyakaa that is. (“Dien cai dau” means "crazy in the head" in Vietnamese). And while these two works have significantly influenced the way I appreciate literature, it wasn’t until I saw my crush reading Vladamir Nabokov’s Lolita that my (puppy) love for him was eventually replaced by my (very real, very long-lasting) love for Nabokov.

No book has moved me in simultaneous states of obstreperous laughter, deep sympathy, and utter revulsion as masterfully as Lolita. The writing is unarguably good—beautiful, even. The subject matter is profoundly repulsive. Indeed, it is the perverse central theme of the book that makes Plato’s indictment against poetry quite relevant: Stripped of its airs, Lolita, peppered with fancy-pants literary allusions, is nothing more than a book about a pathetic murderer and his bizarre penchant for a 12-year-old girl.

Published on Friday, July 13, 2012

empty book cartsChanges are afoot in the Business, Science and Technology Division (Room 107).

Starting July 17, adult non-fiction books and other materials, including those found in Room 107, will permanently move to the second floor, to rooms 207 and 220. 

The moving process will take roughly 3-4 weeks, so pardon our dust and the inconvenience while we move!

You can find out more by going to our Adult Non-Fiction page, or call the Information Desk at 727-0321 or 727-0324.

Film tribute planned for August

Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nora EphronOn June 26, 2012, readers and filmgoers everywhere lost a sparkling talent with the passing of Nora Ephron.  Her works, however, live on.  She was born in Manhattan on June 19, 1941 to two screenwriters.  She and her three younger sisters--Delia, Amy, and Hallie--became writers.  As a writer wielding the disarming weapon of humor, Ephron seemed ageless.

Published on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This is the second post in a three-part series about rooms around the house. You can read the first post, on bathrooms, here.


Published on Monday, July 2, 2012

E-ReadersThinking of buying a Kindle, but not sure which one to get? 

Received a Nook as a gift and not sure how to use it? 

Don't know the difference between an iPad and an iPod?  

Are you wondering how to go about downloading books, movies, and music from the library? 

Help is on the way. 

Beginning in July, lunchtime and afterwork demonstrations will offer a look at the new devices and step-by-step instructions on how to download books, music and movies from the library's website. Come meet the Popular Services staff and let us help you! You can bring your own device or take a look at ours.

Published on Monday, July 2, 2012

DCPL Book StackStarting this fall, booklovers will have a place downtown to get together and talk about books over lunch: The DC Public Library.  Readers will be able to bring their lunches, talk about their monthly reading and discover what other readers love and hate and why.  Members will share opinions about their favorites and compare notes on the hottest new titles.  Participants will also get a peek at what library staffers like to read. 

Heroism and its Discontents

Published on Thursday, June 21, 2012

The spate of recent and upcoming superhero movies tends only to show the more successful heroes and crimefighters; your Batmans, Spider-Mans, Avengers... But what about those second- or third-tier superheroes?

How about taking a look at the junior varsity superhero squad?

Published on Friday, June 15, 2012

On June 19, 1812, President James Madison issued a proclamation to the public, declaring the United States was at war with Great Britain. The previous day, he had sent a message to Congress asking for a declaration of war.  The war would define his presidency and the new nation.

To commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a selection of books about the war from the History collection will be displayed outside of Room 207 during June. Read about how the United States and Great Britain become involved in war and its impact.

Poet Fred Joiner Shares Musical Words

Published on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

photo of Fred JoinerLocal poet and artist Fred Joiner will choose poems from the Black Studies collection that are inspired by Black music and share some of his own music-inspired poetry.

Fred Joiner's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Mosaic Literary Magazine and other publications. He has read widely throughout the Washington Metropolitan area and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  

Please join us in the Black Studies Center on Monday, June 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. for an evening of jazzy spoken word magic!