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Barbara Kingsolver

How will YOU celebrate National Library Week?

in Potpourri by

April 13th marks the first day of National Library Week, a celebration sponsored by the American Library Association that has been observed since 1958. The week-long celebration is aimed at promoting the use and support of libraries. According to the “State of America’s Libraries Report” released last year during National Library Week, 53% of Americans reported visiting a library or book mobile in the past year. Whether you count yourself among those 53% or not, this week is a good time to step back and appreciate what our public libraries have to offer. Robert Dawson’s new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (Princeton Architectural Press, April) is a good place to start. The book includes photographs taken by Dawson over…

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Excuse me, is that local?

in Non-Fiction by

Almost ten years after the “locavore” movement (or “localvore,” depending on where you are) was officially launched in 2005 in San Francisco, it seems hard to imagine that there is anything new to say on the subject. In fact, local eating seems to have gone from a novel approach to food to a punchline on Portlandia. “The chicken you will be enjoying tonight…his name was Colin,” a waitress happily informs Fred Amisen’s character in one such sketch. While the movement can be mocked, or criticized as elitist, there are compelling arguments for eating locally, including the better taste of locally grown food, the high fuel costs associated with shipping food around the globe, and the loss of family owned and operated…

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