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06/02/2020 - 10:19pm

Did you know that the Mechanics’ Institute Library has hundreds of titles in e-book format to address all your financial information needs?  It’s true! The list of suggested titles was compiled by reference librarian, Craig for readers seeking more information about investing, personal finance and retirement. Click the book title to take you to the catalog. All you need to check out is your 14-digit barcode number (no...

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06/01/2020 - 5:41pm

Some days are ripe for a mental health break. Mechanics’ Institute’s new Kanopy streaming service is the perfect antidote to take your mind off everything that is happening right outside your front door. Kanopy has hundreds of feature films to comfort and lift your spirits. The best part is that you can binge-watch for free with your MI library card.

We’ve assembled a short list here with one goal in mind...

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05/29/2020 - 9:16am

CinemaLit regular Virginia (“Ginny”) Matthews began her modern dance career at Sarah Lawrence College and trained at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. A founding member of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in the 1970s, the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award in choreography, and the director of Downtown Dance/Art Space in her hometown of Sebastopol,...

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05/28/2020 - 4:35pm

Few would argue that a gorgeous garden can do wonders for the spirit. A leisurely stroll to explore the magnificence of spring blossoms is a treat for the senses. While we cannot have the full sensory experience right now, we can bring nature into our homes via the internet. Many botanical gardens have created video tours of their greenhouses, flowers, and trees, allowing virtual visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature from...

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05/28/2020 - 2:56pm


Anne Enright Actress
Emma Straub All adults here
Ovidia Yu Aunty lee's delights
Susan Howatch Cashelmara
Thornton Wilder...

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05/28/2020 - 10:09am

Dear Friends:

All of us at Mechanics’ Institute send our heartfelt gratitude and best wishes to you - our members and greater family. Since the building closures and other ramifications of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), you’ve been on our minds, and we care deeply about how this health crisis may be affecting you and your loved ones. We hope you all are staying safe and healthy.

A venerabl...

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05/27/2020 - 3:19pm

In 2020, we tend to remember marine biologist Rachel Carson, born this day in 1907, for her highly influential 1962 bestseller, Silent Spring. A painstakingly researched exposé of the chemical industry, the “poison book,” as Carson called it, focused public attention on the ecological consequences of pesticide misuse for the very first time.


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05/26/2020 - 2:16pm

It has been a long ten weeks since we were ordered to shelter at home and the library was closed.  However, MI staff have spent some of their non-work hours (yes, we have all continued to do library work from home) reading books, watching DVDs and TV, and listening to audiobooks.  Below are some of the staff’s favorites since mid-March:

Celeste, library manager:

Here's w...

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05/22/2020 - 4:57pm

Since its inception just after the Civil War, Americans have observed Memorial Day in a variety of ways: with commemorations and cemetery visits, veterans’ parades and backyard barbecues, flags flown from front porches and red poppies sported in lapels—and, since the Monday Holiday Act of 1971, by staying home from work. But one way we have never marked this bittersweet day of remembrance is digitally—until now. To help yo...

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05/22/2020 - 3:33pm

Matthew Kennedy, host and curator of the CinemaLit film series at MI, grew up watching old movies with his mom and performing in musicals at his high school in Redding. He went on to dance professionally and teach anthropology and film history at City College of San Francisco for 23 years. The recipient of a Fulbright research fellowship and a San Francisco Cable Car Media/Journalism Award for film criticism, he has publishe...

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