McALESTER — Hello everyone.
March came in with the bang of “thundersleet” and the zip of Arctic wind. Will the remainder of this supposedly spring kickoff month be more mundane? Let’s hope so, at least as far as the weather.
We know better than to hope for the humdrum at the library, because there is no such thing. Nope, things are always hopping here, with folks visiting the library to get books, movies, magazines and more. Add in all our other programs and services, and you have a veritable hotbed of activity. And after those subzero wind chills, doesn’t that sound wonderful?
How active is your local library? Just take a look:
• Thursday, March 6 — The Bookies book club meets at 1 p.m. to discuss “March” by Geraldine Brooks. Teen Game Time is from 3:45-5:45 p.m. upstairs, on this day, and again March 13 and March 27. At 5:30, we get an early start on our first “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” movie special of the season. We’re watching Dustin Hoffman portray Jack Crabb, a white man looking back from extreme old age, as he recounts his life among the Native Americans. It’s a 1970s classic, one of the first revisionist Westerns to tell a story from the Indian point of view, and it prepares us for our upcoming discussion series on “Native American Writers of the Plains.”
• Friday, March 7 — The second week of our “History at High Noon” free lunchtime series features authors Wayne and Carolee Maxwell. Their book “Touched by Greatness,” is based on the true story of Charles Watson McGilberry, one of the first Choctaws to be part of the Wanamaker Experiment, which put Native students in the Ivy League system. Hear about McGilberry’s life in the Ivy League and as a respected Choctaw educator in his later years. The menu will include Indian Tacos.
• Saturday, March 8 — At 2 p.m., Second Saturday Cinema’s monthly family film will be an animated tale featuring a zebra born with only half his stripes. We’ll have free popcorn as always. Bring the kids and enjoy a family outing!
• Monday, March 10 — Children’s Librarian Anita Ross invites all fourth graders to come to the library after school to pick up a book and learn about a new book club being formed. The first book to be discussed will be “Misty of Chincoteague” by Marguerite Henry. Come by, pick up a free copy of the book and discuss with Miss Anita what you’d like in a kids’ book club. Then at 6 p.m., we will screen one of this year’s Best Picture nominees at Arthouse Theater. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in the PG-13-rated outer space film everyone’s talking about.
• Tuesday, March 11 — The Teen Yu-Gi-Oh Club will meet at 4 p.m. upstairs.
• Wednesday, March 12 — Crafts Group will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room for origami. Teen cooking class will begin upstairs at 3:45 p.m. They’ll make Japanese Bento Boxes. Then at 6 p.m., the Adult Anime group will meet in the Whiteacre to discuss “Death Note” by Yu Yu Hakusho.
• Thursday, March 13 — A few books are still available for our Spring “Let’s Talk” series, sponsored by the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Friends of the Library. Come in to get your set of four novels by Native American writers, then join us at 6 p.m. when Dr. Richmond Adams presents James Welch’s “Fools Crow.” This series presents Native stories from the close of the Old West days, continuing up through modern times. At all sessions, participants hear a scholarly presentation, break for a light supper, then reconvene for book discussion. We’ll also have door prizes to give away. All you have to do to win is “say the secret word.”
• Friday, March 14 — Pat Leeper of the Kiamichi Quilt Guild will present a “Bed Turning” program for “History at High Noon,” when history will be presented through the medium of quilts. We’ll have a hearty lunch of beef stew for you. Join us!
• Monday, March 17 — The library will be closed for one day only for Spring Break.
• Tuesday, March 18 — Ellen Barber will talk about history as told through tombstones when Friends of the Library meets at noon. This group of library supporters meets once a month on the third Tuesday for interesting programs and fellowship. Donations of $3 for the meal are accepted, but never required. The Teen Movie will be at 3:45 upstairs. The group will watch the recent film based on Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Then at 6:30 p.m., join the Night Readers for book discussion. This month’s book is “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera.
• Thursday, March 20 — Val Kilmer and Graham Greene star in a contemporary murder mystery set on a Sioux reservation in our next “Let’s Talk” movie special. This R-rated film begins at 6 p.m. Free popcorn, as always.
• Friday March 21 — There will be no “History at High Noon” today. The session originally scheduled here has been postponed until April 11.
• Saturday, March 22 — Our monthly Documentary Matinee features a quest to solve a decades-long urban mystery. Ever heard of the “Toynbee Tiles?” These mysterious messages began appearing on city streets across the U.S. and South America, and our film seeks to unravel the surreal mystery surrounding them.
• Monday, March 24 — The Light Readers meet at 6 p.m. to discuss Dee Henderson’s “Unspoken.”
• Tuesday, March 25 — Socrates Café, a philosophical discussion group, meets once a month at 10 a.m. on the final Tuesday. Last month, the group began with “Where does imagination come from?” and ended with discussion of personal philosophies. Join us for brunch, questions, discussion and sometimes, even answers.
• Wednesday, March 26 — The Teen Book Club will meet at 4 p.m. to discuss Jennifer Brown’s “Perfect Escape.” The Adult Steampunk Group will meet at 6 p.m. to discuss Scott Westerfeld’s “Behemoth.”
• Thursday, March 27 — The second “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” presentation will feature Chickasaw Writer-in-Residence Linda Hogan’s book “Mean Spirit.” Presenting will be Tishomingo’s Dr. Rex Morrell. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the Whiteacre.
• Friday, March 28 — It’s Reba McEntire’s birthday! To celebrate, her mentor, Clark Rhyne, and her brother, Pake McEntire, will talk about her early career in Oklahoma for “History at High Noon.” The menu will be chicken and dumplings. Join us as we resume this local history series.
• Monday, March 31 — The Film Movement film will be “Key of Life,” from Japan. This unrated movie will feature English subtitles. It’s a comedy escapade with switched identities, an out-of-work actor and a hit man with amnesia.
Next month, look for a special Earth Day program about our Community Garden, with Richard Askew. And then in May, save the May 16 date for a free classical guitar concert by New York City artist Peter Fletcher.
Hope to see you at the library,
Kathy McGilberry is the assistant librarian at the McAlester Public Library. Contact her at 918-426-4930.