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January & February 2015
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March Book Review Luncheon – Friday, March 6

NorthHeaneyMr. Charles Kemnitz will present the program on the Irish poet Seamus Heaney and the poem Punishment from Heaney’s book of poetry entitled NORTH.   Kemnitz states that the poems in NORTH, most starkly Punishment, are Heaney’s most powerful expression of what he called “the archaeology of words”, as he tied Ireland’s violent past with “The Troubles” of the mid-1970s.

The poem continues to have relevance today as it recognizes violence as a motivator for political change – especially important in our modern world of political torture and terrorism.

Seamus Heaney (b. 1939 – d. 2013) was raised in Northern Ireland.  He began publishing poetry in the mid 1960’s and won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Heaney was one of Mr. Kemnitz’s mentors in graduate school and guided him through the writing of his own first book of poetry COPPERHAWK.

Kemnitz was born in Midland, Texas and lived in 13 different places by the time he entered his freshman year in college, including Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska and Oklahoma.  He attended the University of Alaska, University of Utah, and Tulsa University (Oklahoma), earning his BS in Anthropology, BA in Literature, BS in Rhetoric, and M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing.

Charles F. Kemnitz

Charles F. Kemnitz

He worked for several educational institutions including the University of Alaska, Tulsa University and Oklahoma State University before moving to Williamsport to accept a faculty position in the English Department at Pennsylvania of Technology in 1993 where he taught until he retired at the end of the spring 2014 semester.  Mr. Kemnitz’s special interests include creative non-fiction, rhetoric of science, and science fiction. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2004.

The luncheon will start at noon in the Lowry Theatre of the Welch Family Wing of the J. V. Brown Library.  Those who wish may purchase lunch at noon for $6.  To reserve a lunch, call Dana at the library at 570-326-0536, ext. 114.  Reservations must be in by 3:00 PM on the Wednesday before the luncheon (March 4).  You may bring your own lunch or simply attend the book review which will start at 12:30 p.m.  Parking is available in the metered lot off Market Street, adjacent to the Welch Wing.

April Book Review Luncheon
The April 3, 2015, Book Review Luncheon/Program will feature retired Penn College professor Ned Coates reviewing the book Football by Don Skiles

book-cover-football-don-skiles Yes, football – but so much more!  It’s the mid 1950s in a small western Pennsylvania town.  It’s high school – social acceptance and status, dating, teachers, pep rallies, jocks and cheerleaders, winners and losers, heroes, nerds, sluts, and punks.  In the middle of all this is 10th grade hesitant football hopeful Larry Simmons, through whose observations and experiences we are immersed in the culture of the school, the town, and the times.  Football is not a book for young adults but for those who once were young adults, whether rebels without causes or faces in the crowd.

The reviewer, Ned Coates, a former inhabitant of the Fifties, began a teaching career at Hughesville High and ended that career retiring as a Penn College professor after nearly forty years of teaching Literature, composition, communications, and courses focusing on American Indian literature, cultures, and issues.  He earned a B.A. from Susquehanna University with majors in English and social studies and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Arkansas.  Over the years he has reviewed several books for the Friends of the Library.  Ned is grateful and proud to be a longtime friend of the author, a former colleague  in the days when Penn College was WACC, and of the author’s wife, Williamsport native Marian Schell.

The luncheons start at noon in the Lowry Theatre of the Welch Family Wing of the JVBrown Library. Those who wish may purchase lunch for $6.00. To reserve a lunch, call Dana at the library (570-326-0536, ext. 114). Reservations must be in by 3:00 PM on the Wednesday before the luncheon (4/1). You may bring your own lunch or simply attend the book review which will start at 12:30 PM. Parking is available in the metered lot off Market Street and adjacent to the Welch Wing.

Friends of the JV Brown Library Elect New Members and Officers

The Annual Full-membership Meeting of the local Friends of the JV Brown Library was held on Tuesday, December 2, at 5:15 PM, in the Lowry Room of the Welch Family Wing of the library. The meeting was called to order by Linda Schramm, President. Members in attendance heard the annual financial reports for the full organization and for the Friends Favorites Lightly Used Book Store. A temporary exception to the present by-laws was passed to elect a board member to a third term on the board. It passed.

New members were elected to the board. They are Nancy Berkheimer, Janet Hurlbert, Letty Gray, and Jeanne Yaggi. David Wright was elected to a third term.

The new officers will be Greg Thomas, President; Ardythe Cross, Vice-president; Mary Beth Kibbe, Secretary; and David Wright, Treasurer.

The chairs of each standing committee reported on their activities throughout 2014. Those committees are Book Store, Program Planning, Membership, Publicity/Newsletter, Mailing, Volunteer Recognition, Governing, Special Events, Sorting, and Book Sale.

Four retiring board members were recognized for their contributions of time, ideas and energy over the years. They were Nancy Lady, Tricia Shipman, Linda Schramm, and Alison Hopper. Each was thanked with a red rose.

The meeting was adjourned and cookies and punch were served.

JVB Friends Fuel Bookmobiles and More

After a successful fall book sale, the Friends of the James V. Brown Library have agreed to fund a wish list to support key programs at the library.  Among these are gasoline allotments for bookmobile and Storymobile, the annual subscription renewal for the popular Mango foreign language program, large print book collections, a research series for the visually impaired,  bonus books for e-readers, and young adult books.  The  $26,500 wish list is being funded with proceeds from recent book sales, Friends’ Favorites bookstore revenue, Friends’ memberships, and donations.


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