Every year in September, the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates our right to read with Banned Books Week. While the freedom to read what we want is covered by the First Amendment (and upheld in state supreme courts and US courts of appeals), many books are regularly challenged or banned on a local level, in public schools and libraries. Here at the Mechanics' Institute we support the ALA and uphold our...[read more]
There’s magic in the air of the Mechanics’ Institute Library. Wizards and witches are casting their spells on the shelves of the Staff Picks Display. There are some enchanting books waiting to be read by you. Inspired by Harry Potter’s 20th Anniversary, the staff recommendations focus on witches, wizards, alchemy and magic. If you haven’t read the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the f...[read more]
Outsider art is an awkward label. There have been others: art brut, self-taught art, folk art, raw art, visionary art, naïve art, grass roots art, marginal art, intuitive art. And while all these terms refer to slightly different things, they all describe art made by self-taught artists from outside the art world. As you might imagine, there are any number of reasons why an artist would be deemed as being outside the art world - disability, reclusion, religious or spiritual fervor ar...[read more]
Did you know that August is National American Artist Appreciation Month? In the spirit of celebrating art and artists, this month’s audio book selections feature works centered on artists of all kinds, from musical to poetical and works of art.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (CD Fic Tartt)
A bildungsroman focused on Theodore Deck...[read more]