Thursday, June 18, 2015


When you face the Reading Room from the Rotunda, the mural on the right shows Sappho (@620 BC)  who wrote lyric love poems.  Exactly who she wrote them to is in question, but the word “lesbian” comes from her birthplace, the island of Lesbos.

The man to her right is Theocritus (3rd century BC) a writer of bucolic poems. This might explain his loving gaze at the young goat.

On the left of the door we have, seated, Euripides, who wrote tragic plays, as did Aeschylus (note mask) and Sophocles who stand behind him.  To the left of Sophocles is Aristophanes, known for his comedies.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Louise Fili: Books & Book Covers on Display Beginning June 9

Beginning today, June 9th, the books and book cover designs of Louise Fili will be on display in the library's outer lobby as one in a series of Art at the Lake Forest Library exhibits.  Fili designed some 2000 book jackets as art director of Pantheon Books from 1978-1989.  She then opened her own design studio, Louise Fili Ltd., where she has specialized in the design of food packaging and restaurant identities.

In a 2013 interview with Tina Essmaker for THE GREAT DISCONTENT magazine, Ms. Fili was asked if creativity had been part of her childhood.  Here's her reply:
My parents, who were very old-world Italian, were immigrant schoolteachers and couldn't make anything out of my interest in art, so I was really on my own, which I think is just as well.  I learned to navigate around my interests in art and books. On Saturdays, I used to go the public library and spend the day there, reading and looking at books, although as I recall I wasn't just looking inside - I was studying the covers, too.  I enjoyed the whole tactile quality of books.
Listed here are books by Louise Fili and books co-written with her husband Steven Heller, Art Director at the New York Times.

Books by Louise Fili

Titles owned by Lake Forest Library are in bold with call number.  Other titles are available through Inter-library loan (ILL) to LF cardholders.


Elegantissima: the Design & Typography of Louise Fili
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012.
741.6 ELE

Little Bookroom, 2008.

945 FIL

Princeton Architectural Press, 2014
686 FIL

Little Bookroom, 2007.  ILL

With Steven Heller

Chronicle Books, 1998.  ILL
Chronicle Books, 1997.  ILL

Chronicle Books, 1997.  ILL

Chronicle Books, 2004.
741.6 HEL

French Modern: Art Deco Graphic Design  Chronicle Books, 1997.  ILL

Thames & Hudson, 2012. 745.61 HEL

Streamline: American Art Deco Graphic Design  Chronicle Books, 1995.  ILL

Thames & Hudson, 2015. 745.73 HEL

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Technologies Turn Everybody into Makers



Are your children using 3D printers at school, but you’ve never seen one in action?  Is a Maker Faire like a Renaissance Faire?  Is Raspberry Pi a dessert for mathematicians?  Do you earn digital badges?  Arduino??  There is a whole new vocabulary of products, programming and inventiveness at schools and libraries today.  Our Children’s Library is keeping up by having books for children  that explain the origins, use and value of these new technologies.

Some of today's most incredible inventions are the work of makers-people who apply creativity to the latest technology to build a variety of remarkable homemade devices. Whether they are programming tiny computers, designing their own board games, or finding new uses for plastic, makers work together to share new ideas and technology.   [This book] takes a look at people and their creative ideas. It explores how lasting contributions are made in diverse field such as sports, entertainment, medicine, technology, and transportation. 

But what good is it to be a Maker if you can’t share and show?  Thus there came about …

Readers will take a trip inside a Maker Faire to see how makers come together to share ideas and projects.

Do you know anyone interested in electronics and robotics?

The Arduino is a small inexpensive computer that can be used to build and program almost anything a maker can imagine. Readers will discover new processes, integrate visual information with text, and learn technical word meanings as they read the history of the Arduino and see how makers have put it to use in their inventions. They will also find out how to set up and program their own Arduino devices.

The Raspberry Pi is a small computer that allows almost anyone to learn about computer programming.   It is aimed especially at young students.  They will also learn how to set up and begin programming their own Raspberry Pis.

Sorry, we don’t have any books on Squishy Circuits, yet.  But check out University of St. Thomas, the developer of this combination of play doh and electronic circuit kits.

Games are proving to be a successful method for learning at all levels of education.  Drawing on board and video games, fields such as medicine, social entrepreneurship, and library science use games to engage students. 

Young students will discover new processes, learn technical word meanings and find out how games are designed and what makes a good game. They will also learn how to plan and create games of their own.  Although this book focuses on board games, the principles also apply to video games.

Discusses how to create digital badges that let people know about a new skill someone has learned.

Using the free program SketchUp, learn how to create computer-generated 3D models like the ones used in video games and animated films.  Once you learn how to use a computer graphics program you can create objects with …

As they become more common and more powerful, 3D printers are allowing makers everywhere to bring their ideas to life. Readers will discover new processes, integrate visual information with text, and learn technical word meanings as they discover how 3D printers work and how makers are using them today. They will also learn how to create their own inventions from 3D computer models.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Young Man with a Horn and Lake Forest Connection

In swing with our Read to the Rhythm Adult Summer Reading Program beginning today, the library is featuring  jazz-themed books from our collection through August 1st, when the program ends.  You can find some of those book along with bookmarks listing more jazz fiction and non-fiction titles at the center of the library's Too Good to Miss shelves in the rotunda through August 1.

The Chicago Tribune article excerpted here (May 19, 1938) identifies the first novel devoted entirely to jazz - Dorothy Baker's Young Man with a Horn, loosely based on the life of cornetist Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, who briefly attended Lake Forest Academy.

photo source: (public domain)
Bix was sent from hometown Davenport, Iowa to the academy in 1921 because his parents disapproved of his self-taught jazz cornet and piano-playing and hoped his jazz ways would be reformed through solid education and discipline. From the academy, however, Bix made frequent trips to Chicago to hear and play jazz and was so often truant that he was expelled in May of 1922.  After a short time back home working for his father, Bix set out on a music career, spending time in Chicago, Saint Louis, and New York playing with the Wolverines, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, the Sioux City Six and the Gene Goldkette Orchestra. He played with saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer (Tram) in many of these bands, and together "Bix and Tram" inspired a younger generation of Chicago jazz musicians such as Eddie Condon (guitar), Bud Freeman (tenor sax), Jimmy McPartland (cornet), and Frank Teschemacher (clarinet).

Fortunately Beiderbecke made many recordings during his tragically brief career. Suffering from alcoholism and poor health most of his adult life, he was only 28 years old when he died of pneumonia in August 1931. [The article above incorrectly gives 1933 as the year of his death.] Bix's cornet playing was known for its bell-like tone, unorthodox fingering, and the rhythmic placement and changing timbre of the notes within a melody.  Bix achieved cult status during the 1920s and "became the first high-profile romantic hero of jazz music."1  

Young Man with a Horn was made into a movie in 1950 with Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day.  The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society formed in Bix's hometown of Davenport, Iowa in 1972 and has held the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival (Bix Bash) there annually since then. Thousands of fans from across the U.S. and some other countries attend to hear a variety of bands play Bix's music.

Beiderbecke recordings and related titles from our collection are listed below.  Many of these titles were used as sources for this article.

Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History, 1904-1930 by William Howland Kenney 781.65 KEN
History of Jazz 2nd ed. by Ted Gioia 781.65 GIO
Legends of Jazz by Bill Milkowski  781.65 MIL
New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed., Vol. 1  Ref 781.65 NEW
(1.) Oxford Companion to Jazz edited by Bill Kirchner.  pp. 122-131  781.65 OXF

1929 by Frederick W. Turner  FICTION TURNER
Young Man with a Horn by Dorothy Baker  FICTION BAKER

Bix & Tram: Bix Beiderbecke • Frankie Trumbauer  CD JAZZ B Disc A, B, C, D
The Complete Wolverines, 1924-1928 CD JAZZ W