Category Archives: Programs
This general overview of Alzheimer’s and dementia explores the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, examines what happens in a brain affected by Alzheimer’s, identifies FDA-approved treatments available for some symptoms, looks at what’s on the horizon for Alzheimer’s research, and offers helpful Alzheimer’s Association resources.
Presented online by the Alzheimer’s Association Tennessee Chapter. Each presentation is about an hour long, so the second hour of each program will be devoted to Q&A, gathering resources, one-on-one conversations, and planning sessions.
Plan to attend online with your phone, tablet or computer on April 28 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Registration with a valid email address is required. The day before the event, we will send an invitation with a link for you to join the program.
By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Department
As Richard Hollingham said, “without satellites, the world would be a very different place, [since] the infrastructure we all rely on has become increasingly dependent on space technology.” Satellites, of course, help us find directions on our smart phone, but they do so much more. They allow trans-oceanic communication; they keep track of weather; they give us warnings about tornadoes; they help our military track other military parties (and help other militaries track us); and they allow us to have television in remote areas with a satellite dish (dish network).
So what would happen if the satellites crashed or fell?? We could say goodbye to accurately predicting the weather, especially the storms and tornadoes. Trans-oceanic communication would be in trouble. AND we would no longer be able to us our cell phones for directions- we would have to rely on maps, and not the ones on the computer, such as Google maps—they rely on satellites as well. We’re talking giant paper fold out maps. People would have to come to the library to use old-fashioned atlases… (an aside: Did you know that our dependence on GPS (thank a satellite) is making us have more trouble figuring out where to go without them? There are reports that our brains are not retaining this information and that may yet have effects on us. )
So if anything ever happens to the satellites (or just to your phone), Travel and Leisure shares some tips about navigating with a paper map, and without the mostly reliable GPS:
- Check the orientation (look for the compass rose that denotes north – this way you will not get the map upside down
- Check the scale – is the scale an inch to a mile or to 50 miles? It truly will make a difference in the time needed to get to your destination
- Take a look at the legend—this is a key to what is shown on the map. Places like restaurants, bathrooms, toll roads, rivers and more can be shown, depending on the legend
- Know how to use a compass (assuming you brought a compass along with you)
- Check out the topographic maps, or sections. These would show you where woods, steams, mountains and hills are along your route. Sometimes even gas stations and camping grounds.
Richard Hollingham also provides a well-thought out possible future if satellites do fall from the sky in a scenario from the BBC. After listening to several speakers on the subject, BBC Future shared this timeline with the world. In the span of a day, severe disruptions would appear in our transpot, communications, power, and computer systems and governments would be struggling to cope. The public order would start to break down, and that was just day one. Hollingham gives credit to Orson Welles as he describes what would happen as a sequence of events.
But what could take out the satellites? Science fiction authors have explored this scenario endlessly, and so have the armed forces. Ignoring unlikely options such as alien invasions and time traveling egomaniacs, there are still several possible scenarios. Satellites could be deliberately knocked out by enemy nations, but most experts think this would be self-defeating, since this could also harm other nation’s satellites as well. A massive solar storm is always a possibility, which actually did happen in 1859 (the Carrington Event), but of course, we didn’t have anything in space then. Then, there is the Kessler Syndrome; this one you might know more about. This event was used in the movie Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. A missile strike, an asteroid, or something else strikes a satellite, then that satellite hits another one and so on until most if not all of the satellites are inoperable or destroyed. It could definitely happen. There is so much space junk up in space that this is completely plausible.
So what are the problems with space trash? Consider: while there are around 1,000 functional satellites in space, there are more than twice as many derelict and decommissioned satellites. Some 34,000 objects larger than ten centimeters (!!) have been observed by radar or telescope. For objects between one and ten centimeters, that number jumps up to over half a million. Debris less than one centimeter in size exist in the millions. Actually, Earth is surrounded by a huge cloud of space junk. Why is this a problem? Isn’t space huge?? So why would a loose screw or a fleck of paint floating around in space be so dangerous? Because debris can travel at speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour. Even something as small and soft as a paint fleck can damage spacecraft or satellites when moving at such velocities. In fact, NASA has been forced to replace many space shuttle windows damaged by paint flecks. If a larger, ten-centimeter piece of space debris was to collide with something like the International Space Station, the damage would be potentially catastrophic. Another problem is that space debris hitting other space debris create more debris, which create more debris, etc.
Astrophysicist and former NASA scientist Donald Kessler predicted this exact phenomenon in 1978. Shortly thereafter, a fellow astrophysicist, John Gabbard, coined the term Kessler Syndrome to describe this cascading effect. According to Donald Kessler, it is possible that the debris cloud will eventually grow so large as to prevent future operations within Earth’s orbit. That would translate into a future without weather forecasts, telecom, satellite-assisted navigation, or research satellites.
But what proactive measures can be taken to reduce debris in Earth’s orbit? Dr.Kessler has suggested that removing just five to ten inoperable satellites a year could halt the exponential growth of space debris. In recent years, a few plans have been suggested to proactively reduce space debris. For example, the Australian National University is developing a laser that can track, target, and destroy space debris. Likewise, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) has partnered with a private company to develop a massive 700-meter long aluminum and steel net to sweep up space debris. Other plans call for solar sails and various types of capture mechanisms such as robotic arms and space sling shots. Whatever is planned in the short or long time will take detailed planning and will be a long-term project.
If you find this interesting, we’ll continue exploring the universe and space during our annual Summer Reading Program for Grown-Ups. Take a look at some of our special events this summer:
- An astronomy petting zoo on Thursday, May 23 – have you ever wanted to buy a telescope but didn’t know which one to get? Come to his program and narrow down your choices
- On Saturday, June 15 we’ll be having a film festival of some of the best movies about space. Stay tuned for titles!
- On Saturday, July 6, we’ll be having a Cosmos marathon. Wondering whether it will be hosted by Carl Sagan or Neil DeGrasse Tyson? Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and check our website for more information.
- On Saturday, July 20, we’ll be making a day of commemorating the 50th anniversary of NASA’s moon landing. Movies, refreshments, lectures and more!!
- On Tuesday, July 23, we’re offering a program about all the inventions NASA created for the space program that we use almost every day!
- We will also have Dr. Billy Teets from Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory coming to talk and Dr. David Weintraub, a professor at Vanderbilt, will be talking about Life on Mars
By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Department
This year marks the 50th anniversary of NASA’s moon landing. As we start looking at the last fifty years of space exploration, we also want to celebrate the history of women in space as well. According to NASA, by 2017 a total of 59 different women, including cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists, and foreign nationals, have flown in space. And seeing as history has recently provided us with a new first for women in space, let’s take a look at some of the previous ones. Granted, the history of women in space only reaches 50 years if we add in the accomplishments of the Soviet Union.
The first woman is space was a Russian. Valentina Tereshkova was the pilot of the Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963 and she was 26 at the time of her flight. She orbited the earth 48 times and manually brought the shop out of orbit. She had been a textile worker and loved skydiving, which definitely helped her since the capsule was propelled into space by an intercontinental ballistic missile. (!) And after returning to earth atmosphere, she ejected herself from the capsule and came down to earth using a parachute (her own parachute.) Wow!
Sally Ride became the first woman (and pilot) for the United States to fly in space. She chose space over a professional tennis career and went to space during space shuttle Challenger’s inaugural mission in 1983. That’s a long time to wait for a woman to go to space! Thankfully, Sally Ride was up to the challenge.
In 1984, Svetlana Savistkaya, was the first female to perform a spacewalk. She spent almost 4 hours cutting and welding metals outside the Salyut 7 space station. She had a second record as well—this was her second mission, making her the first woman to go to space twice.
Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to go to space. She had completed her medical degree and applied to NASA in 1983 and was asked to join in 1987, after serving in the Peace Corps. She flew in 1992, working on bone cell research in space. She also holds 9 honorary doctorates!
Helen Patricia Sharman was the first woman to fly in space as a result of a newspaper ad for “Astronaut wanted – no experience necessary,” as well as the first British astronaut. The advertisement was for a private space programme called Project Juno, where a consortium was formed to raise money to pat the Soviet Union for a seat on a mission. She stayed a week at Russia’s space station Mir in 1991. She was also the first non-American, non-Soviet astronaut.
Chiaki Mukai, a physician, became the first Japanese woman to enter space as an astronaut with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. She had two trips, in 1994 and 1998, which made her the first Japanese woman to travel to space twice; she also helped support the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Eileen Collins, a New York native, was a pilot at Vance Air Force Base before being assigned to the US Air Force Academy. In 1990, she was selected by NASA to become an astronaut, and became the first female Shuttle Pilot in 1995 on a mission that involved a rendezvous between Discovery and the Russian space station Mir. She went on to become the first female commander of a US Spacecraft with Shuttle mission. She retired in 2006 after having completed four missions.
Anousheh Ansari is an Iranian-born American who had a background in aeronautical engineering and computer science. She was able to train as a backup for the first spaceflight mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which was headed up by a private company. In 2006, she was elevated to the prime crew, making her the first female space tourist. She hopes to inspire everyone – especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle Eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men – to not give up their dreams and to pursue them.
Karen Nyberg’s second mission was on the 50th anniversary of Valentina Tereskova’s first mission (2013). Karen is considered the first American mother in space—(perhaps that might be mother of young children?) She is also training in deep-sea training and simulation exercise at the Aquarius underwater laboratory which hopes to prepare astronauts for missions to the moon and Mars.
Samantha Cristoforetti went to space in 2014 and returned to earth in 2015 and so is the most recent woman to have returned from space. She has a number of firsts, which is perfect for this list. She is she the first Italian woman to have entered space as a part of the Futura mission to ISS. She also holds the record for longest single space flight by a woman–199 days and 16 hours–and the record for the longest uninterrupted flight by a European astronaut.
And finally, for the first time in history, an all female crew will perform a spacewalk at the International Space Station. The crew will consist of astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch who will complete the walk on March 29, lead flight controller Jackie Kagey, and lead flight director Mary Lawrence.
P.S. – This year our Summer Reading Program theme is “A Universe of Stories” and we will be having programs about space, including movies and guest speakers and so much more. Stay Tuned!!!
- Almost heaven: the story of women in space by Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles (629.45 KEV)
- Galaxy girls: 50 amazing stories of women in space by Libby Jackson (YA 629.450092 JAC)
- Hidden figures: the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race by Margot Lee Shetterly (510.9252 SHE)
- Rise of the rocket girls: the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt (269.4072 HOL)
- Rocket girl: the story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s first female rocket scientist by George D. Morgan (B MORGAN)
- The glass universe: how the ladies of the Harvard Observatory took the measure of the stars by Dava Sobel (522.1974 SOB)
- When we left Earth: the NASA missions (DVD 629.45 WHE)
- The Mercury 13: the untold story of thirteen American women and the dream of space flight by Martha Ackmann (629.45 ACK)
Late summer and autumn are not always the most beautiful and fruitful times for many of our plants. Our vegetable patches have stopped yielding and our flowers are faded and brown. But this is the perfect time to gather seeds you can use to start your gardens next year. Here are just a few benefits of collecting and saving seeds.
- It’s fun!
- It’s easy!
- It’s economical! The price of a packet of seeds seems to increase every year. The seeds you collect from your garden are free.
- You can share or exchange seeds with friends – a great inexpensive way to try new plants.
- Your favorite plant may not be readily available at local nurseries, but if you save seeds you can continue to enjoy it in your garden year after year.
- Many varieties of heirloom plants are lost over time. They actually become extinct! You can help preserve different heirloom plants by collecting, saving and replanting heirloom seeds.
- By raising many generations of plants, you’ll be able to see how certain traits are passed on, and how you can select the qualities you want to bring out. Over time, you can even “customize” your plants to suit your backyard conditions and your tastes.
- You can benefit your community. If you collect more vegetable seeds than you can use, which is likely, you can donate your surplus seeds to a community garden that gives free fruits and vegetables to needy families.
Collecting and saving seeds is an ancient tradition. For thousands of years, farmers collected and saved seeds to insure the next year’s harvest. They also studied the results of their plantings and then saved and sowed seeds from the best plants, fine-tuning the plants to meet their needs and match local growing environments. This selection led to a genetic diversity of crops adapted to many growing conditions and climates, and created a large base for our food supply.
While farmers and hobby gardeners collect and save seeds to plant and share, seed vaults or banks do just the opposite. From the beginnings of agriculture (possibly as early as 8000 B.C. in what is now Iraq), farmers understood their seeds needed protection from the weather and animals. Scientists have discovered evidence of seed banks in Iraq from as far back as 6750 B.C. Today, there are more than 1,500 seed banks around the world that hold a wide variety of seeds to preserve crop diversity and act as insurance against disease and natural and man-made disasters that might wipe out the world’s seed reserves. The best known is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, often called the “Doomsday Vault,” located in a remote frozen mountain in Norway. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a huge international project with the capacity to store 4.5 million varieties of crops for a maximum of 2.5 billion seeds. Currently, the Vault holds more than 860,000 samples, originating from almost every country in the world.
Amid all the interest in preserving and sharing seeds, libraries around the country have started seed exchanges, and the Williamson County Public Library joined that movement in March of 2015. The first year of our seed exchange, we “checked out” (gave away) more than a thousand packets of flower, vegetable, fruit, and herb seeds. It was suggested – but not required – that those who participate in the program collect seeds from their gardens this fall and return a few of them to the Library in the spring so we can keep our seed exchange going. Go to WCPL Seed Exchange to find out how our seed exchange works and see a list of helpful resources on seed collecting.
If you want to learn more about harvesting your seeds, the Library is hosting a program on Collecting and Saving Seeds with UT/TSU Horticulture Extension Agent Amy Dismukes on Monday, September 17 at 1:30 pm. Registration is required, but the program is FREE and open to anyone who is interested in attending. Just call 615-595-1243 or click here to register.
By Howard Shirley, Teen Department
It’s National Poetry Month.
There. You have a year.
That’s when it started.
The American Academy of Poets.
That’s who started it.
Not much else factual to say.
But poems aren’t about facts.
Poems are about themselves.
They say whatever they say.
You hear whatever you hear.
That’s a poem.
They’re not about rhyme (though they can be)
They’re not about time (though they can be)
They’re not about meter (rigid or free)
Or fanciful words like “lugubrious.”
Which no one uses any other day.
Or any other way.
Poems are just whatever you want to say.
The way you want to say it.
Your poem is yours.
It can be no one else’s.
It’s National Poetry Month.
So go write a poem.
I just did.
— Howard Shirley
Now it’s your turn! If you are a teenage resident of Williamson County, age 12-18, you are invited to submit your own poems to our Teen Poetry Contest. You may submit up to three poems. Poems are welcome in any form on any subject—the choice is yours (as it should be). A poem may be any length and any style—haiku, sonnet, ballad, limerick, free verse; however your muse takes you. All poems must be your original creations.
All poems must be typed on plain white paper in an ordinary font. Poems with multiple pages should be stapled together. All poems must include the poet’s name, age, school and grade, and contact information (e-mail or phone) at the top of the first page.
We are accepting poems through April 30. You may turn your poem in at any Williamson County Public Library branch, or upstairs in the Teen Room of the Main Branch in Franklin. Contest winners will be announced in May during our Teen Poetry Slam as part of our Summer Reading Kick-off event.
By Marcia Fraser, Special Collections Department
Now, throughout February, the Special Collections department at Williamson County Public Library is hosting the 2018 Thelma Battle Black History Month Photographic Exhibit, “Lest We Forget,” spotlighting the lives of residents in Franklin’s black community who have lived and died in Williamson County. This exhibit features the vast funeral program collection housed in Special Collections as part of the Thelma Battle Family History Collection.
Why funeral programs? Oftentimes, we really don’t get to know a person until he or she dies. Have you ever been to a funeral, or read an obituary, and realized there were important things about that person that you didn’t even know? Maybe you weren’t aware of some of the ways he participated in the community, or who his family connections are. This is what makes funeral programs and/or obituaries so valuable. If you’re researching your family history, they’re absolute gold!
Obituaries tell us a lot. Things like a person’s full name, his parents’ names, when he was born, who his children and grandchildren are, who predeceased him, who survived him, what he did for a living, when he died, and sometimes why. A funeral program gives you that and more – who preached the service, who the pall bearers and flower bearers were, what scripture was read, which songs were sung. A funeral program can give you the family and friend connections of the deceased. That’s a lot of information to find in one place, and if you’re researching your genealogy, it could give you the very link you need to connect you from one generation to the next on the family tree.
We now have over 1200 funeral programs from our local black community in Special Collections, and we’re still collecting. They are filed alphabetically in notebooks, and also digitized in our data files, so they’re available for the cost of a copy, ten cents a page. We are always seeking ways to enlarge our collection and so we invite you to share copies of programs you have that we don’t. If you have family funeral programs or obituaries you can share, we would love for you to bring them in and allow us to copy them and add them to our collection. Talk to one of the librarians in Special Collections to see if you have a program we need. An index of names in our current collection is available to exhibit attendees to search.
This year’s photograph exhibit will also include a new oral history film about Ms. Battle’s work as a grassroots historian, “Thelma’s Battle; Preserving African-American History in Franklin, Tennessee.” The film will be available for viewing as part of the exhibit.
The exhibit is held on the 2nd floor of the library in the Special Collections department at 1314 Columbia Ave. in Franklin, and will run from Feb. 1st – 28th. There will also be displays in the upstairs and downstairs display cases near the elevators. For more information, call 615/525-1246.
By Erin Holt, Teen Department
Our Teen Summer Reading program is in full swing over here in the Teen Room! The more you read, the more you win – we’ve got earbuds, car chargers, giant candy bars, gift cards, and more! Stop by our Teen Room on the 2nd floor and pick up some review sheets, start reading, and we’ll do the rest!
But there lies the question of WHAT exactly will pull you in enough to stop Snapchatting, FB Messaging, texting, and setting up hang outs with your friends? We’ve gotcha covered! Check out these awesome websites that our Teen Librarians, Erin Holt and Howard Shirley, have collated for you! You’re bound to come across something that strikes your fancy! And hey, if not, give us a call in the Teen Room at 615-595-1278 and talk to Ms Erin or Mr Howard, we’ll be more than happy to take you on a book walk, and we guarantee you’ll leave with your arms full of good reads!
But just in case you want to look for yourself, here are some fun websites that offer some awesome books JUST for TEENS!
And those are just a few of our fave sites!
By Cindy Schuchardt, Reference Department
The kids are out of school, the temperature is rising, and the world is in bloom. The good ole’ summertime has arrived in Middle Tennessee, bringing with it outdoor fun, visits to the park or pool, and summer camp. Students may also amuse themselves watching TV, playing video games or viewing funny You Tube videos. Seems like we’re forgetting something, doesn’t it? Oh, that’s right! Reading!
Reading can be a fun part of the summer, too! WCPL participates in a Cooperative Summer Library Program that offers programming and reading adventures for all ages (children, teens and adults), and we encourage everyone to participate. It may not seem like it because it’s so much fun, but summer reading also offers some important benefits:
- Helps young children to build foundational reading and language skills
- Prepares school-age children for success by developing their language skills
- Motivates teens to read and discuss literature
- Helps to prevent summer reading loss, a.k.a. the “summer slide”
- Encourages adults to experience the joy of reading
- And, if you’re already a voracious reader, you can win prizes for what you already do!
With this year’s “Build a Better World” program, we invite patrons of all ages to try something new this summer. Read a new book. Participate in our Make-A-Thon on Saturday, June 3. Enjoy our free events. Get out the house, meet new people, and learn how to help our community.
Registration for the children’s program began on May 20 and runs through July 29. Readers and pre-readers alike can sign up to be a part of the fun. A simple activity card for each age group features 25 different activities. When the kids complete any six of the activities, they receive a free paperback book of their choice. After completing six more activities, they receive another prize. There will be free program for kids of all ages on Thursdays in June and July, including an animal show, a magic act, a ventriloquist, and more!
Teens will have their own special program, which will encourage them to read and track the number of books they have completed. After accomplishing some specific goals, students’ names will be entered into prize drawings. There will be three tiers of prizes, and the winners will be revealed at a special “lock-in” celebration toward the end of the summer.
Adults are included, too! All adults who submit a book review will be eligible for a weekly prize drawing. Prizes are donated by local businesses. And hey, we know you have enough to do, so there is no registration required for adults. A handwritten (or emailed) book review is all that is needed to put you in the running for a prize. Free programs for adults will include “Life Reimagined,” “Pet Care,” “Fraud Prevention” and more! Check web site frequently throughout your summer, so you won’t miss out on anything.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a good book at the library, and help us to “Build a Better World.”
By Lance Hickerson, Reference Department
This year’s theme supplies a good reason: “Libraries Transform.” Over twenty years ago, some were saying libraries would go the way of VHS tapes, floppy disks, and beanie babies. But libraries are still going strong! Again, one big reason is how libraries transform people who visit. Please let me illustrate with a few examples.
One morning as the doors open to WCPL, a very focused patron marched in and went immediately to the computer center where he started searching for jobs. After 20 minutes of what he called, “Nothing,” he asked for help. He explains how he just lost his job and desperately needed to find employment. A librarian responds to his request by leading him to a few of the better job search sites, while at the same time helping him narrow his search. This was so helpful that he found three promising jobs to apply for. But he soon asks for help again, as his computer skills were challenged by the application process. The librarian takes time to help him set up a profile and become familiar with just what the applications are seeking. Upon finishing the applications, the man stops to tell the helpful librarian, “Thanks for being so kind to me and taking time. It restores my belief in human kindness.” This patron continues to come to the library, and will never forget how a librarian took time to help transform his situation.
Several weeks later a library patron approached the reference desk with a request. She had retired from two careers but, in her words, “had missed the computer age.” Her children and grandchildren asked her again and again to learn computers, but she held back. Until today. The patron wanted to “turn over a new leaf” and learn how to use a computer, so as to surprise her children by being able to look up answers online all by herself. The librarian gladly set up a one-on-one time with the patron, during which time, the patron disclosed, “I have to tell you, I have arthritis and trembling so bad that I have trouble using the mouse.” Not to be deterred, the librarian scheduled three months of one-on-one times starting with exercises on using the mouse. Although slow going at first, the patron learned to control and use the mouse, which led to creating her first email account. She learned to make and evaluate online searches as well as how to make lists and write letters in Microsoft Word. Over three months she went from being fully dependent on the librarian to semidependence to joyous independence. She reported how her children were impressed with her “entering the computer age,” but that now she uses the computer just because she enjoys it. The patron and her family were grateful that “libraries transform.”
There are many other stories I wish we could relate about patrons who experience the library as a place for transformation. They would talk about learning new skills like Excel; finding interesting books never before considered; discovering Powerspeak Languages to learn a language for their summer vacation; enjoying their first eBook; seeing a program on square foot gardening that doubled their gardening production; tailoring a resume and cover letter for a new career; finding a dyslexia friendly font; and many other stories. All would tell of how libraries transform and become very personal reasons why we celebrate National Library Week.