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Nancy's Notes - July 3, 2014

The Library Bill of Rights, “50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany” by Steven Pressman, “You Are the Music” by Victoria Williamson.

The Library Bill of Rights turned 75 on June 19. The document was created in the wake of several incidents of banning “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck in the late 1930s. It was also inspired by the rising tide of totalitarianism in the world. The iteration of the Library Bill of Rights was a statement by the head of the Des Moines Public Library, Forrest Spaulding. It was adopted as policy by that library on November 21, 1938.  It has been amended only four times since its inception. If you are interested in learning more about its meaning and relevance many decades later, log on to http://www.ifmanual.org/part2section.
    Steven Pressman has written, “50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany”. It is based on the HBO documentary by the same name. The couple led 50 Jewish children from Austria to America in 1939, the single largest group of unaccompanied refugee children allowed into the United States.  America's rigid immigration laws of that time made it virtually impossible for European Jews to seek safe haven in the United States. With the deep-seated anti-Semitism that gripped much of the country, neither President Roosevelt nor Congress rallied to their aid. However one brave Jewish couple from Philadelphia refused to silently stand by. Risking their own safety, Gilbert Kraus, a successful lawyer, and his wife, Eleanor, traveled to Nazi-controlled Vienna and Berlin to save fifty Jewish children.     
We recently purchased, “You Are the Music” by Victoria Williamson. She reveals how music reveals what it means to be human. Do babies remember music from the womb? Can classical music increase your child’s IQ? Is music good for productivity? Can it aid recovery from illness and injury?  Music psychologist Victoria Williamson examines our relationship with music across the whole of a lifetime. Along the way she reveals the amazing ways in which music can physically reshape our brains, explores how ‘smart music listening’ can improve cognitive performance, and considers the perennial puzzle of what causes ‘earworms’. 
    Come in and see us: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.