Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Berks County Public Libraries' Annual Book Bonanza Begins July 13th

The Friends of Berks County Public Libraries are gearing up for the first day of their annual Book Bonanza event on July 13, 2017, at the VF Outlet Center, Third Floor Red building. Due to renovations, this will be the final year Book Bonanza will call the VF Outlets home.

Book Bonanza is an annual fundraiser co-sponsored by the Friends of Berks County Public Libraries and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Reading branch. The organization is a volunteer, non-profit association dedicated to supporting all of the 23 public libraries in the Berks County Library System.

Since its creation in 1980, the Friends organization has assisted with its primary source of revenue, Book Bonanza. The event draws in book enthusiasts and avid readers from all along the East Coast, seeing over 4,500 buyers annually. Over 100,000 books fill four large rooms to an overflowing capacity. All books in the main collection are priced no higher than $2.00. Genres include children’s books, classics, teacher materials, reference items, history, science, nature, sports, hobbies, cookbooks, and many others. Visitors can even delve into the collectors’ section which contains signed author copies and first editions. These books of local interest, collectibles, and vintage books are priced as marked.

All the materials are donated by Berks Countians, and all proceeds from the sale return to Berks County through the Friends organization and AAUW-Reading Branch. Through the sale, buyers aid the Berks County Public Libraries and help provide girls’ scholarships.
2017 Book Bonanza Schedule:
  • Thursday, July 13, 2:00- 6:00 pm–Opening Day and $10 Early Bird Access
  • Friday, July 14, 10:00 am-8:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 15, 10:00 am-7:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 16, 11:00 am-3:00 pm–$5 Bag of Books Sale

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Librarian of Congress Names Tracy K. Smith Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith/Photo by Shawn Miller
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Tracy K. Smith as the Library’s 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-2018. Smith will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season in September with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.

Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a professor at Princeton University, succeeds Juan Felipe Herrera as Poet Laureate.

“It gives me great pleasure to appoint Tracy K. Smith, a poet of searching,” Hayden said. “Her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture. With directness and deftness, she contends with the heavens or plumbs our inner depths—all to better understand what makes us most human.”

“I am profoundly honored,” Smith said. “As someone who has been sustained by poems and poets, I understand the powerful and necessary role poetry can play in sustaining a rich inner life and fostering a mindful, empathic and resourceful culture. I am eager to share the good news of poetry with readers and future readers across this marvelously diverse country.”

Smith joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

The new Poet Laureate is the author of three books of poetry, including “Life on Mars” (2011), winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; “Duende” (2007), winner of the 2006 James Laughlin Award and the 2008 Essence Literary Award; and “The Body’s Question” (2003), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the author of a memoir, “Ordinary Light” (2015), a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction and selected as a notable book by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

For her poetry, Smith has received a Rona Jaffe Writers Award and a Whiting Award. In 2014, the Academy of American Poets awarded her with the Academy Fellowship, given to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. In 2016, she won the 16th annual Robert Creeley Award and was awarded Columbia University’s Medal for Excellence.

In the Pulitzer Prize citation for “Life on Mars,” judges lauded its “bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain." Toi Derricotte, poet and Academy of American Poets chancellor, said “the surfaces of a Tracy K. Smith poem are beautiful and serene, but underneath, there is always a sense of an unknown vastness. Her poems take the risk of inviting us to imagine, as the poet does, what it is to travel in another person’s shoes.”

Born in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 1972, and raised in Fairfield, California, Tracy K. Smith earned a B.A. in English and American literature and Afro-American studies from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999, she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. 

Smith has taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, at the University of Pittsburgh and at Columbia University. She is currently the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and director of the creative writing program at Princeton University.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Looking at the Library from the Other Side of Campus

















Thank you to Kim Stahler, one of our reference librarians, for this photo of The Yocum Library (with Penn Hall on the left). The photo was taken from inside Berks Hall giving us a great view of the library and the path you can take to get to us.

Remember that at the end of that path lies a building full of books, DVDs, computers, magazines, and lots of friendly staff who want to do all they can to help you succeed at RACC.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Check Out Our New Banner!

Kim Stahler, one of The Yocum Library's reference librarians, is showing off our new banner. We'll be using it when we have a table at RACC events so you can easily find us.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Did You Know...?

The United States celebrates Flag Day on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying the Red, White and Blue in front of homes and businesses.

Flag Day is also a special day for the United States Army because they celebrate their birthday on June 14th.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month

President Trump became the third president to issue a proclamation making June Caribbean American Heritage Month.

The proclamation states "Every day, Caribbean Americans help make America more prosperous and secure. Our Nation is particularly grateful to the many Caribbean Americans who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces, protecting our Nation, and promoting freedom and peace around the world. Today, more than four million Caribbean Americans live in the United States and continue to contribute to a vibrant culture that enriches our Nation.

Check out the carousel at the top of our blog page or at the bottom of The Yocum Library's Home Page for some of our holdings related to Caribbean-American heritage.

Did You Know...?

The United States celebrates Flag Day on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying the Red, White and Blue in front of homes and businesses.

Flag Day is also a special day for the United States Army because they celebrate their birthday on June 14th.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome to Students Registered for Summer Session III!

Summer Session III begins today. Whether this is your first time at RACC, you're joining us from another college, or you're returning after a break following the Spring Semester, welcome!

Make sure you stop in at The Yocum Library, your source for books, DVDs, online databases, research assistance, computer use and printing, and more (watch for more details throughout the summer). If you need help, ask a librarian.

The Yocum Library is open at the following times:
8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, and
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

We look forward to seeing you!