McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 2, 2013

New year brings many new programs and activities to the McAlester Public Library

Kathy McGilberry
Special to the News-Capital

McALESTER — What’s your lucky number?

Mine’s 13. My twin sons were born 13 minutes apart on July 13.

Before novelist Nevada Barr wrote the thriller “13∏,” I was calling my work product “File 13∏.” I was once even 13 years old.  

So you can well imagine the year 2013 has me as expansive as my size 13 shoes. (OK, I don’t really wear shoes that big, but why waste a perfectly good joke opportunity? )

Here at McAlester Public Library, we begin the year 2013 with so many extras, we might have to put a full bakers’-dozen of months on the calendar just to fit it all in.

 Lucky us! And lucky you, with all these free programs and activities to attend.  

We’re proud to announce that Al Bostick of Oklahoma City, renowned performer affiliated with the Oklahoma Arts Council, will present a special program for Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan. 21.

His poetry and spoken word performance “Black Voices of the Harlem Renaissance” will be something you won’t forget. Make plans now to attend, and be sure to stop by the library to check out books from our special display on the Harlem Renaissance near the New Books section.

Thanks to Head Librarian Christine Sauro and Director Wayne Hanway of the Southeastern Public Library System of Oklahoma, we’ll have special performances like this one every month, all the way to summer!

Folk tales, topical panel discussions, “An Evening with ‘Will Rogers,’” author readings, a Western humorist … even a performance by an improv comedy group.

That’s right, you’ll have the chance to see a real “Whose Line Is It Anyway?-style” show. And we’re adding more events like these all the time.  

Just take a look at how “Lucky 2013” begins:

Thursday, Jan. 3 —The Bookies meet from 1-3 p.m. in the Conference Room to discuss Susanna Kearsley’s “The Winter Sea.”

 It’s described as “deliciously romantic,” as well as “brooding and haunting.” You’re welcome to join group leaders Darlene Rising and Janice Saaranen as they brood about the meaning of this historical tale. Lots of yummy refreshments too.  

Wednesday, Jan. 9 — As of this writing, there’s still an opening or two for the monthly crafts workshop. The project is Faux Tin Tiles.

We’re making a raised-pattern, painted version of those old tin ceiling tiles you once found in drug stores and other high-ceiling-ed establishments. The base material? Disposable bakeware. We undertake the project at 1 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room.

Many thanks to the J.G. Puterbaugh Foundation, who provide funds for this and other library programs.

Saturday, Jan. 12— Kids love the “Diary of the Wimpy Kid” books. And now there are three movies based on the popular series.

We’ll be showing the newly-released third installment for Second Saturday Cinema at 2 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room.

It’s Rated PG. Free popcorn!

Monday, Jan. 14 —The Criterion Collection of DVDs showcases important classic and contemporary films. We’ll be screening one of the best--a Billy Wilder film starring Kirk Douglas as an amoral reporter—for Arthouse Theater at 6 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room. Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we always have free popcorn for movie-goers.

Tuesday, Jan. 15— And speaking of Friends of the Library, that group meets at noon for their monthly luncheon, in the Whiteacre Room.

You’re welcome to attend.

Then at 6:30 p.m., the Night Readers meet in the Conference Room to discuss John Connolly’s “The Book of Lost Things.”

 It’s a fantastic coming-of-age tale, and we’ll have fantastic refreshments, too.

Monday, Jan. 21—The Light Readers will meet at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room to discuss Nicki Arana’s “Winds of Sonoma.”

At 6:30 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room, don’t miss Al Bostick’s striking performance of “Black Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Hear poetry readings and spoken word performance from the works of James Weldon Johnston, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Paul Laurence Dunbar, among others. This special program marking Dr. Martin Luther King Day is made possible by SEPLSO, the AEP/PSO Company, and Bill and Meta Milligan.

Friday, Jan. 21—The Friday Foodies gather at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room for a recipe exchange with the theme “Valentine’s Dinner for Two.”

Hostess Ellen Barlow is planning a drawing for a gift certificate from a local eatery, so don’t miss it!

Saturday, Jan. 26 —The monthly Documentary Matinee comes from Disney, is narrated by Tim Allen and features a chimpanzee.

That’s all we can tell you, except it’s Rated G. Bring the whole family!

Monday, Jan. 28 —The Film Movement first-run independent movie this month is a French romantic comedy.

And you know what that means. That’s right, subtitles.

See “The Day I Saw Your Heart” beginning at 6 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room. Free popcorn, oui oui.

Tuesday, Jan. 29 — Socrates Café meets from 10 a.m. to noon in the Conference Room to discuss … well, everything.

Last month, we talked about Christopher Hitchens, Elie Wiesel, the bed of Procrustes, Alain Badiou, Marx and identity politics. Join us! We have questions, opinions and brunch. We always try very hard to use our indoor voices.

This month we have all the regular children’s programs, a special display from Christopher Elliott about the state of American education, and a history display about the OSP Prison Rodeo.

Teens meet for Game Times every Thursday at 3:45 p.m.

Other activities this month include Yu-Gi-Oh Club Jan. 8 and 22 at 4 p.m.; a Mario Party Teen Challenge Jan. 15 at 4 p.m.; and a Teen Movie Jan. 29 at 3:45 p.m. Creative Corner Jan. 9 at 4 p.m. features Origami crafts, and Cooking Class Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. features Chocolate Pie. The Teen Advisory Club will meet Jan. 23 at 4 p.m.  

Next month is Black History Month, and one of our special programs will be a class in online research about African-American heritage.

Steve Beleu of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries will show us how to find records on the American Memory website.

The site includes the papers of Frederick Douglass, interviews of former slaves and information about “The Black Church of the South.”

Spaces for this free and informative workshop are limited, so be sure to call early to register. The class will meet in the afternoon Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Be sure to check our website at, for more information about these and other programs.

Hope to see you at the library!

Kathy McGilberry is the librarian for the McAlester Public Library. Contact her at 918-426-0930.