How-To Festival 2019

JMRL is hosting its 3rd Annual How-To Festival on Saturday, May 4 from 10am-2pm at the Central Library. Learn a variety of skills in just 30 minutes!

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The schedule is still being finalized. The details below will reflect changes to the schedule as they are made.






  • Documentary Filmmaking with Lifeview Marketing (McIntire Room)
  • Gentle Chair Yoga with SimplyYoga (McIntire Room)
  • How to Build Robots with BACON (McIntire Room)
  • How to Apply Cosplay Makeup with Marien Villaman-Chodl (Jefferson Room)




From 10am-2pm we will also feature:

  • Free Comic Books (Main Level)
  • Meet Your Library (Main Level)
  • See the 3D printer in action (Elevator Lobby, 3rd Floor)
  • How to join and support the Friends of the Library AND a mini book sale (Outside)
  • Tour the Bookmobile (Outside)





“Beauty resides entirely in the crumbling city walls”

istanbul-orhan-pamukThe Brown Baggers met on January 18 to discuss Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk. Pamuk is a highly successful and influential Turkish author, who has won many awards over his illustrious career including the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, given for his body of work. This book is a work of nonfiction about his home city, primarily focusing on the decades when he was growing up — the 1960s and 70s.

Many readers found Pamuk’s writing beautiful but still struggled to make it through the book saying it was tedious and grueling. They were discouraged by the melancholy and destruction themes Pamuk talks about. Although some readers felt these were descriptions of the people, especially the upper class as they lost their wealth, and not the place. Those readers that had visited the city felt a strong disconnect from the vibrant locale they remember seeing and the crumbling, dour place Pamuk describes. Some felt this may be just a difference in time period — with Pamuk describing his childhood in the 60s, and travelers visiting after the year 2000 when revitalization and development have completely reconstructed the city. They also speculated that the inclusion of only black and white photos in the book added to the gray feelings. Even so they enjoyed the photos, often described them as beautiful, and loved the glimpse into another life and country which they provided.

Readers who are personally acquainted with Turkish individuals commented on how they do seem reserved, which could be perceived as sadness or melancholy.

Many readers found it interesting that Pamuk lived in his family’s building his whole life. Some also questioned his ability to remember so much detail from his young life, but noted that he had a lot of help hearing stories, so it made sense even if what he was sharing were not his own personal memories.  

Despite the pervasive heaviness of the text, readers unfamiliar with Turkey were glad to gain insight into a completely different culture, and learn more about its history and the ongoing struggle to bridge the Europe-Asia divide.

Readers struggled to categorize the text. The library has it in the travel section, as it is very focused on a specific location and wandering about that place. The book suggests it should be in the history of Turkey section. And some argued that the place for it was in Biography with other memoirs. Obviously it has elements of all three kinds of writing, but a single identifying one was not recognized or agreed upon.

In the end readers agreed Pamuk must hold dear his home city since he continues to reside there, despite having lived abroad previously and obviously having the means to relocate should he desire.   

Other information:

Titles mentioned:
Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
Palace Walk by Najīb Maḥfūẓ (about Egypt)

Reviews of Instanbul:
From the Telegraph
From the New York Times

PBS special on the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
The popular song

Pamuk interview with the New York times:

His other works in JMRL’s collection.

Brown Baggers will meet again on February 15 at noon to discuss The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

Travel Apps

It’s summer and you hopefully have a wonderful trip planned to somewhere new and exciting or old and loved. When you find yourself in need of more information on your journeys turn to one of these free apps to assist you.

appintheairApp in the Air (available for iOS and Android) – Track flights with most airlines and airports using this app. Stay updated about your flight status – even if you don’t have internet coverage (updates are sent via SMS). It is also able to integrate with Tripit (below).

gooGoogle Translate (available for iOS and Android) – A household name in translation, this app is a great quick reference abroad. It also lets you pan over a foreign signs or menus with your camera and it will translate them instantly, no internet connection needed.

ltLiveTrekker (available for iOS and Android) – Keep a digital journey of your trip on an interactive map with this app. It monitors speed, altitude, and the route you take. You can add pictures, video, audio, and text to your map.

moMomondo (available for iOS and Android) – This is one of many apps that help you search for, compare, and reserve hotels and flights around the world. A profile and reservation history enable the app to make more personalized recommendations.

rtRoadtrippers (available for iOS and Android) – Are you the type that looks for giant balls of yarn and art made of abandoned cars during your road trip? Check out this app. It helps you find interesting sites across the US and Canada.

time outTime Out (available for iOS and Android) – Find fun things to do in whichever city your travels have taken you to, with this app – which covers everything from restaurants to concerts.

tripitTripit (available for iOS and Android) – Streamline your travels with this app that creates one itinerary from all your confirmation emails (just forward them along). It also allows you to more easily share and coordinate group travel and itineraries.

xeXE Currency (available for iOS and Android) – This handy app can convert every currency in the world. It also saves the last updated rate so you have that information when you are without an internet connection.

wanderuWanderu (available for iOS and Android) – If you aren’t a flyer, or just want an optional mode of transportation use this app to find train and bus tickets across most of North America.