Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 3:57 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY HOTEL MCCOY
Courtesy Hotel McCoy
Hotel McCoy, Tucson’s own “art hotel,” is continuing its goal of supporting local creators with the announcement of Barrio Books — a brick and mortar bookstore now open in the hotel. Barrio Books, which opened Saturday, Jan. 2, aims to promote cultural representation for all ages with books in English and Spanish.

The bookstore was founded by Syrena Arevalo-Trujillo, a University of Arizona alum who noticed a lack of representation for children of color in literature while teaching at a local charter school.

Arevalo-Trujillo was looking to open a bookstore at the same time Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road, was developing a “community support program for entrepreneurs who were seeking opportunities to start a storefront business.”

Barrio Books dedicates 15% of their shelf space to Indigenous authors and authors of color. They carry new and used books, including local authors, and have a book trade-in program. Hotel McCoy guests will receive 10% off Barrio Books purchases.

Hotel McCoy, which opened in 2018, showcases Tucson’s art and culture by having local artists design the hotel’s rooms and lobbies. In addition, they offer local food, beer and more.

For more information, visit barriobooks520.com and hotelmccoy.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 2:58 PM

Pete Hamill, a journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator, died today at age 85. Hamill was a longtime New York City columnist whose byline appeared in the Daily News, New York Post, Village Voice, Newsday and many others. His novels include Forever and Snow in August. He was NYC through and through.

Hamill penned the introduction to Tucson author Tom Miller's collection of essays and articles Revenge of the Saguaro. The Weekly is reprinting it with the kind permission of Miller in Hamell's honor.

Tom Miller found his way west from Washhington, D.C. during the late 1960s, that time in America when revolt was in the air along with a demand for renewal, both fueled by the music of rebellion. Young Americans were saying a collective No to the war in Vietnam. Parents were rejected, the suburbs were rejected, racism was rejected.

But that immense No also contained a very large Yes. The young, Miller among them, were trying very hard to make something new—that is, to establish values and social codes that were more humane, more open, more free. They talked about new ways of living. They started communes. They talked about the land. Some of it was foolish, much of it was adolescent, but a lot of it was touching and real.

The Yes played itself out in the American West. The East came to symbolize decay: physical decay, the collapse of industry and cities, the end of the immigrant myth. The migration into open places was an American migration, with millions of Americans leaving one version of the country and going to another. Tom Miller embraced the borderlands of the Southwest, as if sensing that his own subject matter lay in the buried templates of that beautiful, empty region that had once been Mexico.

He started writing for alternative newspapers, the many weeklies that grew up in the era in homage to—or imitation of—New York’s Village Voice. Those newspapers defined themselves by attitude and tone. They made no pretensions to an impossible objectivity; that was a time, after all, for choosing sides. But they intensely covered those subjects that got scant (or clumsy, or baffled) coverage in the mainstream press: the anti-war movement, drugs, racism, feminism, music, and the people who lived on the margins of the so-called American dream.

Miller was somewhat different; he embraced the subject matter without adopting the furious tone. He was too good a reporter and too fair a man to fall easily into glib ideological ranting, substituting rhetoric for seeing. He loved the Southwest because of what it was, instead of what it was not. But he wasn’t a booster out of the chamber of commerce either. He loved the border towns, from which Mexico had never departed, and celebrated their disorder and danger and tawdriness. He loved the austere pleasures of life in the desert. He loved places like Bisbee, the site of so many heartbreaking nights in the struggle to establish unions. And he wrote about those places with affection for the people who shared his own visions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM

A message from Pima County Public Library's Kindred Team...

Our team, like so many of you, is sickened, saddened, heartbroken, and angry at the senseless loss of life in the Black community.

Our team's mission is a focused on. To reach, support, and celebrate the Black community. It is also our mission and calling to educate and share information with our community, Black or otherwise.

We invite you to take a look at these book lists, spread knowledge, hold each other accountable, and love one another.

tweet this
I Am Not Okay
Celebrating Black Excellence
The History of the Black Community in Tucson
Read Black Love 2020
20+ Books of Lesser Known African-American Achievements
African-Americans Who Served and Defended Their County - The United States of America
Black History on Audio

Also, we invite you to Read Black!

Join us on Saturday, June 27 from 1 to 3 pm, for a quarterly round-robin style book discussion on a theme in order to further the conversation on Black literature, history, and culture. Come with book titles in order to share your excitement with curious, like-minded readers, and leave with a list of more to try!

In June, celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month by reading the works of Black authors across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Read a classic by James Baldwin, or a searing work of memoir and poetry. Read YA or romance. The works of queer Black folks can make meaningful and purposeful impacts upon all readers. Would you like some reading suggestions? Check out this list!

Please note that this is a virtual event that will be held via Zoom. Please register in order to receive a link and password shortly before the meeting.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Pima County Public Library has some great news to share!

  • If you have overdue fines on your account, they'll be cleared on July 1, 2020.
  • We're introducing auto-renew! This means we will automatically renew your items, unless there is a hold on them (sorry, you've got to return these items by the due date). Items will be auto-renewed up to 4 times! We will continue to send you email updates about auto-renewals and due dates.
You are still responsible for returning your items...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2020 at 1:06 PM

Good news, book lovers, the Pima County Public Library is switching to an auto-renew system this summer that will automatically renew your checkout instead of instituting a late fee.

The new program, which begins July 1, will allow for up to four auto-renewals on library items, unless an item is on hold for another member. The library will also send email reminders, and members are still responsible for returning their items.

Overdue fines on accounts will also be cleared July 1.

"We are grateful to the Pima County Board of Supervisors for approving this change,” said library director Amber Mathewson, in a statement. “We want everyone to use and feel welcome in the Library, regardless of any fines they've incurred. This is just one of the ways we can support our community, and we look forward to welcoming back many customers who may have stepped away from the library for a while.”

Any fees for collections, interlibrary loans or other services will remain on member accounts, though the fees can often be paid in increments. Items overdue by 30 days will be considered lost and billable unless it is later returned.

According to the library, any bills over $50 will be sent to a collection agency, and an additional $10 fee will be added to the account.

For more information, and to find library location, go online to library.pima.gov.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Courtesy Pima County Public Library
On Monday, May 18, Pima County Public Libraries will reopen with limited services, including book pickup, computer use on a first-come, first-served basis, and printing, copying and fax services. The new open hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will still be precautions for coronavirus, including taking guests' temperatures before they enter the building, wearing face masks and maintaining six feet of physical distance. The library will also allow only a limited number of people in at a time, and guests will most likely have to wait in line to get in.

PCPL reminds the public that rules and precautions may be different from library to library due to building configurations, staffing and available resources. All PCPL locations will open on May 18, except for the Dusenberry-River Library and El Rio Library, which will open at a yet unannounced future date.

PCPL has also extended all due dates to July 1, so guests don’t have to worry about overdue fines. All returns must be placed in the book chute, and staff cannot take items from guests. They will be setting items aside for three days before checking them in.

For more information, visit library.pima.gov

Monday, April 20, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 4:56 PM

click to enlarge United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Health and Public Policy Director Christina Cutshaw and her son pose with Oyama Elementary School Library Assistant Raquel Islava and Principal Tammy Christopherson. - UNITED WAY PHOTO
United Way photo
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Health and Public Policy Director Christina Cutshaw and her son pose with Oyama Elementary School Library Assistant Raquel Islava and Principal Tammy Christopherson.
Parents picking up homework for their young children at 14 schools across Tucson were recently handed a dozen brand new books to help get through the summer slump.

The literary surprise was the most recent installment of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s My Summer Library Program.

United Way Worldwide is an international nonprofit organization that works with community organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and charitable individuals to provide aid for community members in need.

That work is accomplished through a variety of partnerships and programs, including the summer library launched in Tucson ten years ago.

“Kids tend to lose a lot of their reading ability over the summer when they don’t have anybody reading to them,” said LaVonne Douville, executive vice president of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “This simple intervention can really help kids be ready when they start school in the fall.”

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Friday, April 10, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 2:09 PM

click to enlarge Make Way For Books' app provides free books for young children, along with literacy tips for their parents. The local nonprofit recently launched a Facebook story time series open to any family with young children. - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
Make Way For Books' app provides free books for young children, along with literacy tips for their parents. The local nonprofit recently launched a Facebook story time series open to any family with young children.
With libraries and schools closed there are families across Pima County without reliable access to free or low-cost books, but adventures are available in the palm of your hand thanks to Make Way for Books’ smartphone app.

The literacy nonprofit works with families with young children ages 0 to 5 in order to empower them with the skills and confidence they need to be their child’s most important teacher, according to Fernando González, the Digital Director of Make Way for Books.

Too often, children enter kindergarten lacking important early literacy skills. Make Way for Books goes out into the community to provide programming so families can access high-quality literacy aid.

Normally, their work consists of a couple of strategies, including the Family Education and Literacy, The Story Project and Neighborhood School Readiness Project programs, which provide literacy aid both in and out of the home. The Story Project, for instance, includes at-home education, on-site workshops, and lending libraries.

According to González, Make Way for Books tries to provide a two-generational approach in which parents are there with their kids providing a reading lesson while also learning explicit strategies on how to share books with their children.

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 12:47 PM

click to enlarge Nancy E. Turner
Nancy E. Turner
On January 14, Tucson author Nancy E. Turner released her newest novel, Light Changes Everything. The historical fiction based in rural Arizona focuses on a young feminist in 1907 aiming for a better future. Light Changes Everything is a new take on the experiences of young women living in the Wild West. Turner, a University of Arizona alum, recently shared her inspiration behind protagonist Mary Pearl, a girl looking to attend college and stray from the norm of marriage, believing her value to be greater than that of only a housewife.

Light Changes Everything was published by St. Martin's, and is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and more.

What was your inspiration for the book?

The idea came because back in 1907, Arizona was not quite a state yet, it was pretty much just the wild west. I had an opinion on the people who lived there and how they lived. Women had a whole lot of rights that they did not have in-state, meaning they could own businesses, they could be the boss of things, they could make contracts and have bank accounts without having a father or a husband in charge of their lives. Whereas in the eastern states, if a girl married, she belonged to the man. They did not have the kind of right that a woman in a territory had, so I imagined a young woman from that year with the feeling that she was her own boss packing up her pistols and going off to school… Then I looked for where might she go to school and discovered that in 1906, Wheaton College in Illinois was the only institute of higher learning that was openly recruiting women students and I thought that would be a great place for her to go and meet the challenges of a completely different set of rules.

Are there any writing or storytelling techniques in this book that you feel you were unable to manage in your first book?

I think there was a lot more crafting as far as editorially putting together seeds that depicted the story as opposed to just telling a straight linear tale.

Your book alludes to much of Jane Austen’s work and her stance on feminism, how do you think you contributed to her ideas?

I think in terms of maybe giving someone something to think about, Jane Austen's books that I mentioned that were typical of the era where the women had to marry someone or they would starve, they were really in a fix and finding the right husband was key to their happiness. So my character Mary Pearl is absolutely determined that that's not what her life is going to be about. So I suppose if it contributes anything it may contribute some talking points for the opposite idea that a girl could amount to something without having a husband that they could depend on. It’s a little more modern take on it because in Arizona the women had so much freedom in those days that I think it would have been appropriate to the era.

Jane Austen was a big inspiration to your character as well. Who are some of your literary influences?

I would have to say that the very first book I ever read and that made me feel as if I wanted to become a writer and be able to do that was Truman Capote. The reason is those are two extremely different [Grass Harp, In Cold Blood] stories. One was a real life account of a murder and the other one was a beautiful, lyrical growing-up story about a boy who lives with two crazy old aunts, and it's so completely opposite and yet they're both so touching and gripping. I felt like his command of word is something I wanted to go for. I'm not saying that I come close to that, but I read a lot of different authors and particularly, I'd have to say Truman Capote, Barbara Kingsolver, Mark Twain and even Nathaniel Hawthorne are my most favorite writers. Their works stand the test of time and that truly is amazing… I always look for unsung heroes, especially women, who had to be strong against odds that people face today but we don't even realize how much strength it takes. I’m always, always impressed by women who are kind of going against the grain.

How do you think your novel differs from others' historical fictions?

I think it differs in that the main character is the narrator so it requires really getting into the mindset, the morality, social things of the time like a girl couldn’t contact a man, she’d have to wait to be asked… It’s a fictional character but everything is so heavily based on my research that I do believe it could have happened. It's not just a romance, it's not about romance, it's about personal growth.

Ana Teresa Espinoza is a University of Arizona journalism student and Tucson Local Media intern.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 11:42 AM

We want YOU... to become a Bookbike volunteer!

Do you ♥ your Library? How about books, cycling, or helping your community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Pima County Public Library has the perfect opportunity for you!

The Library's Bookbike gives out free books, library cards, and information about Library programs, as well as bike maps and information about bicycling events.

Our three Bookbike fleet operates within a five-mile radius of Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Sam Lena-South Tucson Library, and Eckstrom-Columbus Library. They go out on monthly visits to food truck stops, community organizations and housing, and even the Santa Cruz Farmer's Market! They also make stops at special events like the Tucson Festival of Books.

In our first eight years of operation (2012-2020), Bookbike staff and volunteers went to 1,213 events, rode 3,104 miles, talked to 75,483 people, and gave away 90,657 books!

Want to join us? Learn more at our next Bookbike Volunteer Orientations:

Saturday, February 1
Saturday, March 7

Both orientations are held from 8:30 to 9:30 am at Joel D. Valdez Main Library.

Call the Infoline at (520) 791-4010 or email Karen.Greene@pima.gov to sign up or get more information. 

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