Love Letter to the Library – of Today

Love Letter to the Library – of Today

The Guardian recently launched a delightful Love Letters to Libraries series. Famous authors and everyday readers have written poignant and nostalgic reflections. Reading these mini-memoirs has taken me on a journey to revisit my own library encounters. But as I set out to write my own love letter, I am not looking back. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been as appreciative of a library as I am right now.

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A Library Holds a Community Together

A Library Holds a Community Together

We often think about libraries as places for quiet studying, a home for books, not people. A service provider that allows us to borrow materials. But Ferguson’s library is proving that libraries are so much more than that; they are community institutions that use books to help residents explore their own realities and those of their neighbors, institutions that build and support community development.

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Books for Which I Am Thankful

Books for Which I Am Thankful

As the first in a series of posts on books that have made a difference in our lives, our Academic Director reflects on three books for which she is profoundly grateful this Thanksgiving – books that got her thinking in new ways. What books are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Hearing isn’t the same as listening, but it is a start. Mastering the art of listening can help produce better comprehension and understanding for individuals, and civility and informed dialogue for society as a whole. Alongside K-12 institutions, higher education, workplaces and lifelong learning programs have an important role to play in articulating the value of listening, and in shaping how it is taught.

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Removing the Static Surrounding Emotional Intelligence

Removing the Static Surrounding Emotional Intelligence

Again and again, at Books@Work we hear from employers that Daniel Goleman’s concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is important for creating a positive workplace culture and improving companies’ bottom lines. We also hear that Books@Work can be one part of a toolkit to improving EI among employees. Given a current controversy over the value of EI, we consider the various impacts of EI in the workplace, and the potential for companies to help employees improve EI.

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Why do We Read Mysteries?

Why do We Read Mysteries?

A work of literature enabled people from different backgrounds and with different interests to engage intellectually and socially in a way they might not have otherwise. And great mysteries like Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep are especially suited to that type of engagement, as the genre requires them to be highly believable while also allowing for wide speculation. Four months later, I still find myself returning to their reflections.

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The Nobel Prize’s Power to Lift Authors From (Relative) Obscurity

The Nobel Prize’s Power to Lift Authors From (Relative) Obscurity

Regardless of the focus of their coverage of the Nobel Prize announcement, most American news outlets mentioned Patrick Modiano’s relative obscurity outside of France. Obscurity does not always – or generally – make great literature, and well loved and well known works often have considerable value. But literary prizes like the Nobel have the power to change what we read, rescuing titles that may have been previously inaccessible to us, and empowering us to consider new points of view.

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How to Remember the Past: Reading The Age of Innocence

How to Remember the Past: Reading The Age of Innocence

Professor Lisa Safford and the participants in her Books@Work seminar reflect on how images brought to life Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. As Lisa describes, “Wharton wrote a subtle, but very rich tale of love, lust, duty, reputation, internal conflict, choice, limitations, and resignation. Along the way, she paints a vividly detailed picture—with sardonic wit and tender nostalgia—of the life and times of the era of her youth. As we discussed the story Wharton tells, I used images to guide readers toward the poignancy of Wharton’s writing within the context of the times in which she lived.”

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