Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet the Staff: Mayra Sepulveda

Position in Library: Library Assistant (Part-Time)
Educational Background: B.S. in Education/Visually Impaired from Kutztown University
Favorite Books: Children's Book - Ferdinand by Munro Leaf; Adult Books - The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
Favorite Area of Library: The Service Desk because I meet so many fascinating people
Special Interests: Promoting the library and all of its benefits to our community and our Berks County heritage. [Mayra has been employed by the Reading Public Library for 15 years.]
Hobbies: Theater and music events are entertaining and fun. We have so many choices here in Reading and Berks County. I really enjoy watching high school musicals. One day I believe we'll see them on Broadway, on the big screen or at the Oscars.
Anything else you wish to share that will help others get to know you: When money and time allow, I love to travel and take photographs. I've been to China, Japan, Egypt, and Peru, to name just a few.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

National Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture.

Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

Today, 55 million people or 17% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.Share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

This information is from

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Meet the Staff: Steven D. Mathews

Name: Steven David Mathews

Position in Library: Library Assistant (Part Time)

Education: Muhlenberg High School, 2004; Ithaca College (Bachelor of Music in Music Education), 2008; and University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (Master of Music in Music Theory), 2010. I began my PhD in music theory at the University of Cincinnati in September 2010, passed my doctoral written and oral exams in 2012, and I am currently working on a dissertation on the linear, harmonic, and rhythmic implications of sonata forms that lack a double-return recapitulation in the music of several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century composers.

Favorite Books: I own and borrow many books. Some of my favorites over the last 15 years include the following:
  • Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Howards End, E. M. Forster
  • Deep Work, Cal Newport
  • Ways of Worldmaking, Nelson Goodman
  • Free Composition (Der freie Satz), Heinrich Schenker
  • Miles: The Autobiography, Miles Davis
  • The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
  • Coltrane: Chasin’ the Trane, J.C. Thomas
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of
  • Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, William Caplin
  • Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the 
  • Late-Eighteenth-Century Sonata, James Hepokoski & Warren Darcy;
  • Playing with Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classic Music, V. Kofi Agawu
  • Deeper than Reason: Emotion & its Role in Literature, Music, & Art, Jenefer
  • Robinson
  • Music in the Galant Style, Robert O. Gjerdingen

Favorite Movies: Some of my favorite movies include the following: Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Julius Caesar (1953), Jurassic Park (1993), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Annie Hall (1977), The Big Lebowski (1998), Howards End (1992), On the Waterfront (1954), Amadeus (1984), Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), Good Will Hunting (1998), Robin Hood (1973), Synecdoche, New York (2008).

Favorite Area of Library
My two favorite areas in at the Yocum Library are the magazine stacks on the third floor and the shelf of new books as soon as you walk in on the second floor.

Special Interests
Classical music from 1600–1950, American post-war Jazz, the European Enlightenment, the philosophy of emotion, and music theory pedagogy.

Whenever there’s time, I enjoy playing the piano, composing, arranging, writing magazine and book reviews, reading comic books (Superman, Batman, Daredevil, and The Walking Dead) and The New York Review of Books, attending concerts, movies, lectures, and The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD series, listening to many diverse podcasts, and learning about computer-assisted technology efficiency (i.e., how to use technology to increase one’s personal productivity).

Anything Else You Wish to Share
On June 22, 2013, my wife, Erin, and I were married at the Merner-Pfeiffer-Klein Memorial Chapel at Albright College. We met in 2002 through our shared experiences in various music activities throughout Berks County. We are thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to travel to Europe (especially Italy, Belgium, and Croatia) and spending time with our family and friends (especially our nieces).

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Remembering 9/11: Interactive Video of 9/11 Museum


9/11Memorial, free and open to the public, is located on 8 of the 16 acres of WTC.
As we prepare to remember 9/11 on its 15th anniversary tomorrow, you might want to take a look at the interactive video of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Go to .

If you plan a future trip to N.Y.C., tickets for general museum admission range from $24 for adults (18-64), $18 for U.S. Veterans and U.S. College Students as well as Seniors (65+), and $15 for Youth (7-17). Tickets can be purchased up to three months in advance and it is recommended that you buy them ahead of your visit because tickets sell fast.

The 9-11 Memorial, is located outdoors and occupies eight of the 16 acres at the World Trade Center. It is free and open to the public daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Information and photo from 9/11 Memorial organization.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Meet the Staff: Carmelo LaMantia

Name: Carmelo LaMantia
Position in Library: Library Assistant (Student Work Study)
Educational Background: Currently going for my Associate's Degree in Accounting at RACC
Favorite Books: Clive Barker's Books of Blood and John Godey's The Taking of Pelham 123
Favorite Movies: The Great Escape, My Cousin Vinny, and Braveheart 
Favorite Area of Library: 2nd floor exploring the DVD collection and helping fellow students
Special Interest: Studying and performing magic. I collect wizards, dragons, and skulls. 
Hobbies: Cooking and baking
Anything else you wish to share that will help others get to know you: I am a peer tutor for Business Math and Accounting. I also perform close-up magic as Carmelo the Conjuror and for children's birthday parties under the name of Squish the Magish.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Birth of the Labor Day Holiday

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. 

Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. 

On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Library Closed for Labor Day Weekend

The Yocum Library will be closed Saturday, September 3 through Monday, September 5 for the Labor Day holiday. Please plan accordingly if you need to use the library resources.

Remember, even though we are closed, you can still access our online databases and other resources from home.