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12/17/2020 - 10:50am

Starting Thursday, Dec. 17, MI members will notice a new and improved change in the eAudiobook listening experience. That's because the RB Digital platform is moving to OverDrive. What this means for you is that going forward, you will need to install and use Libby, OverDrive's app for downloading and listening to eAudiobooks instead of the RB Digital app. With Libby, you will also be able to listen to books on your web browser. What's more, MI's entire collection of eAudiobooks is moving to...

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12/16/2020 - 10:54am

A recent addition to the Mechanics’ Institute’s website may have gone unnoticed by many of you!

We are very excited to introduce a webpage dedicated to our Archives and Special Collections (A&SC).  Not only is there a general description of those items included in the A&SC, but it also allows you to click on the direct links to documents that have already been digitized.


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12/10/2020 - 4:35pm

Staying home for the holiday season offers a superb chance to catch up on that TBR (To Be Read) pile -- those books you've been wanting to read but can never find the time. The shorter days and chilly evenings are just right for curling up with a good book. Toss in a pandemic curfew, and you've got more reading time than ever before. 

If wintertime makes you feel bookish, we can help! Here is a list of upcoming book-based films and television series in development right now. Get...

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12/08/2020 - 10:49am

Dr. William "Bill" Newmeyer III has been a member of the Mechanics' Institute Board of Trustees for ten years. A retired surgeon, he is currently one of three Vice Presidents on MI's Board. Bill's interests include travel and reading. Dr. Newmeyer graciously agreed to an interview by phone.

How did you come to join the MI Board of Trustees?

During the 1980’s my medical practice was at 450 Sutter. Since the Mechanics’ Institute was close I de...

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12/02/2020 - 3:14pm

Mechanics' Institute Board of Trustee member Richard Laiderman has been with MI since 2001. He is the co-founder and Chairman of StandardC, a San Mateo-based software company. Richard is a semi-retired financial executive and holds a master's degree in Finance and Information Systems from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A voracious reader, Richard enjoys nonfiction, especially history and science fiction. 

Since coming to the MI Board of Trustees...

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11/25/2020 - 1:31pm


Mystery, Suspense, Thrillers, Espionage & Intrigue
Anthony Horowitz Moonflower murders

Arts, Architecture & Crafts
Hilary Davidson Dress in the age of Jane Austen: Regency fashion 746.9 D281
Owen Hopkins...

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11/24/2020 - 11:38am

Mechanics' Institute Board of Trustee President Lindsey Crittenden is a San Francisco-based writer. She also loves to swim, and she shared her recent experience about swimming in the San Francisco Bay.  

My exercise of choice has been, for some 30 years, swimming.  Lap swimming, in a pool, up and back, some sixty times.  I like the security of see...

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11/20/2020 - 10:57am

Native American Heritage Month is an ideal time to learn about the rich cultural heritage and the many contributions of our first people. Our national narrative has been greatly enhanced by a diverse cast of Native American voices, including Louise Erdich, Sherman Alexie, James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko and many others. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, let's honor and remember the Native American people who helped shape our country's heritage. 

MI staff has compiled...

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11/17/2020 - 9:43am

The new Netflix series, The Queen's Gambit, has received largely positive reviews from critics and viewers. I have enjoyed the acting, the chess, the human drama and the music supporting the storytelling. Throughout the series, the beauty and power of chess shine and its powerful message about one individual's ability to change the world through kindness resonates.

In the first episode, we are introduced to the central character, 9-year old Beth Harmon, wh...

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