Book Club Reading Suggestions for Fall

Here are the suggestions for BSBPL book club reads for fall: The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York — the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America. Meagher’s rebirth in America included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade from New York in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War — Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg. Twice shot from his horse while leading charges, left for dead in the Virginia mud, Meagher’s dream was that Irish-American troops, seasoned by war, would return to Ireland and liberate their homeland from British rule. The hero’s last chapter, as territorial governor of Montana, was a romantic quest for a true home in the far frontier. His death has long been a mystery to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye....

Hot Topics – Paris Climate Agreement

Paris Agreement, Council on Foreign Relations, December 12, 2015 United Nations Climate Change Newsroom (ongoing coverage) A Reader’s Guide to the Paris Agreement, The Atlantic, December 16, 2015 CAIT Climate Data Explorer, World Resources Institute (ongoing coverage) The Clean Energy Revolution, Council on Foreign Relations, May/June, 2016 The Climate Change Inquisition, Heritage Foundation, October 24, 2016 Environmental Policy Under Donald Trump, The Economist, November 15, 2016 Hundreds of U.S. Businesses Urge Trump To Uphold Paris Climate Deal, NPR, November 17, 2016...

Introducing Granville Stuart

Say hello to Butte Public Library’s mascot Granville Stuart! If you follow the library’s Facebook page, you may have noticed an old man in a top hat making a frequent appearance throughout the library. The original Granville Stuart (1834-1918), nicknamed “Mr. Montana,” was well-known in early Butte. Throughout his life, he was a prospector, miner, merchant, writer, gunsmith, blacksmith, butcher, horse-trader, real estate speculator, banker, rancher, diplomat, and librarian who played a significant role in the early history of Montana. Stuart crossed the continental divide October 10, 1857, seven years before Montana officially became a territory. Before settling in Butte, Stuart led a colorful life, which included marrying a twelve-year-old Shoshoni girl Awbonnie Tookanka in 1862 at the age of 24, expanding his family by eleven children, leading a vigilante band–“Stuart’s Stranglers”–that executed alleged rustlers, remarrying a year after Awbonnie’s death in 1888 to a 26 year old Allis Belle Brown Fairfield, working as ambassador of Paraguay and Uraguay for President Cleveland beginning in 1894, and continually trying to overcome precarious financial circumstances as he moved from one venture to the next. In 1898, the Stuarts returned to Montana and settled in Butte where they managed a boarding house called The Dorothy. In 1905 he became the head librarian at Butte Public Library. He retired in 1914 and devoted himself to writing, a life-long pursuit that left behind various diaries and books. To learn more about the real Granville Stuart, Montana: the Magazine of Western History has a fascinating article about him in the Autumn, 1986 issue.  ...

Banned Books Week, 2016

Throughout the country children are beginning a new academic year. Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” and “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators. Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded. It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Slaughterhouse Five,” the Harry Potter series, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice series, remain available. The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the...

Free ACT Practice Test for High Schools Juniors!

Butte Sylvan Learning and the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library are teaming up to give area students a FREE Practice ACT Test. WHEN: Saturday, October 8th, begins @ 10:30 am WHERE: Butte Public Library, 226 W. Broadway, 4th floor WHO: Juniors in High School WHAT TO BRING: 2 pencils, a calculator, and a watch   The Sylvan Learning Director will find a convenient time for you and your parents to come to Sylvan to review your FREE Practice ACT results.  Have your parents call Sylvan at 782-5700. Sign up here  or by calling Kristel at 782-5700.  Deadline for signup Thursday, October 6th, limited seating....