Explore the vital role of popular magazines in the making of “The Great Gatsby” — its style, its text, its views on the intersection of love and money, and the arc of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, during a presentation by Dr. Brian Sweeney, associate professor of English at the College of Saint Rose and a Bethlehem library trustee.
A wildly popular author of magazine fiction in the 1920s, Fitzgerald made far more money from crowd-pleasing “slick” magazines like the Saturday Evening Post than he did from his novels, including his masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby.” In his letters to other writers, Fitzgerald was dismissive of his commercial success, disparaging his magazine fiction as hack-work, tailored to the demands of philistine editors, but the reality is much more complicated.
This talk is part of Bethlehem library’s PBS Great American Read programming. The Great American Read is an eight-part series on PBS that celebrates the power of reading through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels. Watch the episodes and browse the top 100 list at www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read.
Halloween costume swap
There’s still time to drop off your gently used costume(s) before our big swap this Friday, Oct. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. We’ll be accepting costumes in all sizes – from infant to adult – through Thursday, Oct. 18. Trade your old costume for a ticket to pick out one that’s new-to-you on the day of the swap. You can drop off a costume even if you’re not interested in choosing a new one.
Landing a civil service job
Are you aware of all the rewarding career opportunities available through the civil service process? No? You’re not alone. Many of the vacancies in state government, school districts, towns, villages and even libraries are considered “competitive class” titles and filled through civil service lists, meaning you likely won’t even get your foot in the door if your name’s not on one of those lists. Which naturally begs the question – how do you even get on a list in the first place?
On Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 8 p.m. the library will present an overview of how civil service works at the local, county and state level. It can be a confusing process, and Library Director Geoff Kirkpatrick and Hannah Black, senior personnel technician for Albany County Civil Service, will talk about the best ways to navigate this complicated maze.
Sign up online at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org or call
518-439-9314 to register.
Included in the November/December Footnotes, which mailed this week, is a community survey about Bethlehem library services. We encourage you to take the time to fill it out and return your answers to us before Nov. 30. An online version at www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org can be filled out and submitted electronically, and a large-print version can be picked up at the library Information Desk.
We want to know how you are using Bethlehem Public Library and what we provide that is of most value to you. As our trustees begin their long-range planning discussion, they are looking to balance the maintenance and upkeep needs of our 45-year-old building with the kinds of community-supported enhancements that will allow the library to grow with and be a reflection of the community we serve. Your input is key in helping the trustees and library staff make those decisions.
Take a library road trip
It’s not too late to take part in the 2018 Upper Hudson Library Expedition. Individuals or teams are invited to visit as many UHLS locations as possible from now through the end of November. Expeditioners get to learn what makes each library in the Upper Hudson system unique as they work toward goal prizes. Maps are available at all of the libraries. Do you have what it takes to be a #Library36er? Details at uhls.org/expedition.
Other upcoming events
All events are free and take place at Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave., Delmar. For more information, call 518-439-9314 or visit bethlehempubliclibrary.org.
Thursday, Oct. 18
Listening Parties: Halloween Special
Listen to spooky tunes and discuss
what makes some music “scary,” 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 19
Coffee and Conversation:
In an Immigrant’s Shoes
A PBS Great American Read event! Silvia Mejia, Associate Professor of Spanish at the College of Saint Rose, will discuss how author Junto Diaz explores the kind of linguistic anxiety a recent immigrant might feel in the novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,”
1 to 2 p.m. program; 2 to 3 p.m. coffee hour. Co-sponsored by Bethlehem Senior Projects, Inc.
Tuesday, Oct. 23
Tai Chi for Health
Weekly class explores the Tai Chi for Energy form. No experience is needed, and all ages and abilities are welcome. Wear loose, comfortable clothes, 4 p.m. Participants will build on skills from week to week. Teens welcome!
Sign up for one session per night and try your hand at chess with our teen volunteers, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. or 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. All experience levels welcome. For grades K-5.
— Kristen Robers