Sunday, April 12, 2009

Events from the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium

Greetings and Salutations!  

The Alexandrian Free Library consortium is composed of Libraries that have been created within the virtual world that is Second Life, to serve communities that have organized themselves there. The collections, policies, and events of each member library is determined by the social and cultural profile of the community it serves. One such community and library are described in Chapter 9 of Virtual Worlds, Real Libraries, "Virtual Neighborhoods, Real Communities," which describes the Library of Caledon.

The current member libraries serve the communities of Caledon, Winterfell, Steelhead, New Toulouse, Babbage, Amatsu Shima, West of Ireland, Steeltopia, Deadwood, and Al Andalus, and will soon be joined by the new and compendious Library of Constantinople

Most weeks, I'll be posting a list of AlexLib events here, including book discussions, listening parties, story hours, storytelling sessions, lectures and exhibit openings. The readers of this blog are most cordially invited to join us in our literary frolickings and sundry cultural diversions.  To start off this week, I wish to highlight 5 or 6 very special events

gentlebeings, your servant

JJ Drinkwater
Librarian of Caledon


Story Session at the Falling Anvil - Spring Goes Sproing
Mon, April 13, 5pm – 8pm
The Falling Anvil Public House , Caledon Tamrannoch

Spring has come! Flowers bloom, bees buzz, we clean our houses, dens and caves in the spirit of "out with the old and in with the new." Join us with your stories of all that is refreshed and renewed.
The Storytelling Sessions at Caledon's beloved Anvil are one of the the longest-running story night traditions in Second Life. Once every season we gather to celebrate, tell old and new stories, and enjoy each others company.  All are welcome, whether to tell a tale or listen.
Hosted by Master Storyteller Aldo Stern, and sponsored by the Caledon Library and the Clan of Seafarers and Storytellers


Caledon Library's Whitman Weekly Discussion Series
led by Kghia Gherardi
Week 2, The Preface to L
eaves of Grass
Tuesday April 15, 4pm SLT
Caledon Library, on the Hub in Victoria City

Walt Whitman's
Leaves of Grass is one of the works at the foundations of American poetry. Its expansive attempt to capture the spirit and landscape of the 19th century United States has influenced a culture, and its rich language continues to inspire readers today as it has for the century and a half of its existence.
Whitman Weekly provides an opportunity to look closely at this beloved work: each week we spend an hour discussing its context and examining the poetry of the the 1855 first edition.The series also gives those who love
Leaves of Grass and those who would like to learn more an opportunity to explore Whitman's vigorous and heartfelt poetry together.
This week, we will discuss the preface to the work, which addresses the reader in Whitman's characteristically exuberant, straightforward, and singing prose. A copy may be found in the aether at


Deadwood Library's Lena Kjeller Memorial Lecture Series
Truth and Lies in the Pioneer Press: How the West was Worded
April 19, 2009, 1:00 PM SLT
The Dakota Theater/Deadwood Memorial Library, Deadwood 1876

Join the editor of the Deadwood sim's newspaper, plus Wild Bill Hickok and Doc Holliday, for a talk and slideshow about concepts of truth in frontier journalism. The editor, Poohneil "Neil" Streeter, whose typist interprets a 19th Century newspaper publisher in living history events, has helped with other volunteers to publish more than 50 issues of an 1870s newspaper for the Deadwood sim since February 2008. He will discuss how concepts of truth changed during the evolution of newspapers in the 19th century. Hickok and Holliday will talk both about how they used the press - and were used by the press - in their day.
This is the inaugural presentation in the Deadwood Library's Lena Kjeller Memorial Lecture Series. The series is named after the Deadwood Library's founder whose typist died earlier this year. Following the talk, at about 2:00 PM, a plaque in the Deadwood Memorial Library will be dedicated in memory of Lena and her typist.
All Second Life residents and guests, particularly those with an interest in virtual libraries and immersion learning experiments, are cordially invited to attend both the lecture and the dedication ceremony. The Deadwood Memorial Library is located in the modern part of the sim so 19th Century dress, while encouraged, is not required. Please address any questions to Diogenes Kuhr or to Deadwood Library Director Blitzer Renfold.


Babbage Aether Salon presents Submersibles!
Sunday, April 19 at 2 pm slt
Babbage Palisade

Stealth and suprise. Danger in the depths. Harnessing the power of a submersible means being able to approach an enemy undetected, even by the keenest eyes. Nations that control the seas take warning - below the surface, your enemies approach, and the battlefield is changed forever.
This month, Aether Salon will examine early submersibles, their impact on the development of the diverse technologies and influence on warfare. There will, of course, also be cake, conversation, and an eye-popping craft to follow.
Joining us will be Mr. Jasper Kiergarten of New Babbage and Armada, who has rebuilt the CSS Hunley in sharp detail. For a broader view, Commodore O'Toole of the Fleet of Wrath Exiles will provide a survey of US Civil-War era submersibles and semi-submersibles from the 'mystery sub' of New Orleans through the Union Navy's ill-fated Alligator boat.
Hold your breath and prepare to dive in to this most interesting and technical topic.


Puck of Pook’s Hill with Simeon Beresford
Sunday – April 19 @ 2pm
West of Ireland Library & Cultural Center, West of Ireland

Puck of Pook's Hill is a children's book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of history. The stories are all told to two children living near Pevensey by people magically plucked out of history by Puck. All stories are presented in Voice


Steelhead Public Library Steampunk Discussion Series
Clockwork Dolls & Mechanical Turks: Exploring Victorian Automata
Sunday, April 19, 6pm slt
Steelhead Public Library

The amazing developments in engineering during the Victorian age gave rise to much speculation about further possibilities. Among these was the belief that mechanical men and animals were just around the corner. What actual scientific developments gave rise to novels like The Steamman of the Plains? Why were people so ready to believe in frauds such as The Amazing Mechanical Turk? Please join us as Mr Bartleby Kidd discusses Victorian experiments in robotics.


Introducing a New Series at the Caledon Library!
Folklore of the British Isles with Afsaneh Metaluna
3rd Mondays, 4pm

Inaugural lecture, Mon, April 20, 4pm – 5pm
Tinyville Library, Tinyville, Caledon Tanglewood

Folklorist Afsenah Metaluna will guide us in a new exploration each month; with illustrative stories and her own commentary she'll expose to our understanding some facet of the rich and varied folklore of the British Isles. In the Storyteller's Own Words…
"Rather than a repository of Märchen (wonder tales more or less of the "Grimm's" variety) much of the folklore of England is comprised of local legends that combine references to beliefs and customs and aspects of daily life, particularly rural life. This is contrasted with English ballads and broadsides, which have a strong tradition of their own, as well as the folklore around customs, dance and belief. The wonder tales exist too, though more in the Celtic regions."
This month, to get us started, she will tell and comment on short tales from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, plus "The Apple Tree Man" a legend that, she says "deals with customs as well as systems of land tenure and inheritance, making it a kind of microcosm of the strength of English narrative lore."


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