Month: November 2011

Check It Out Blog

Chinese Democracy

Please Vote for Me DVD coverWhat happens when you introduce a democratic election into a class of third-graders in Wuhan, China? Apparently, some of the same calculating behaviors we see exhibited in political races in the U.S. Please Vote for Me (2007) is a fascinating study of what candidates feel they must do to win an election. In this filmed experiment, the role of class monitor, usually appointed by the teachers, will be decided by popular vote. Name-calling, campaign promises, and offering of incentives are all the more troubling since this is a culture that hasn’t already been inundated with unsavory politicking.  Please Vote for Me is a compelling story on its own, and it also offers sobering insight into the competitive nature of each of us.

LISTS: Ecotourism

Ecotourists Save the World book coverYou’ve heard about eating green; what about traveling green? Ecotourism is thoughtful, small-scale travel that has a low impact on the world around us. It usually contains an educational or volunteering element that helps with the ecological or cultural conservation of a given area.

Click here for green travel ideas to disappearing destinations.


Five Heroes and an Immigrant Child

The Fall DVD coverIt’s 1915 and six-year-old Alexandria is an LA hospital with a plastered broken arm. Alexandria meets Roy Walker, a bedridden stuntman dealing with a busted heart and the possibility of being paralyzed. To amuse each other, Roy tells an epic tale of five heroes all fighting against an evil ruler named Odious. As Roy becomes more despondent, the story transforms into a prize for Alexandria – as she only gets to hear more of it if she finds Roy morphine pills… The Fall is part period piece and part fantasy, as pictured by the mind of a child. It was shot over four years, in over twenty countries and there are no computer generated graphics in this absolutely stunning film.


Watch Movies and Win Prizes!

Man holding vintage movie cameraDocumentary Days
November 1 – 30

Do you like true crime, music, sports or architecture? Maybe you’re a foodie, environmentalist or animal lover. Whatever your interests, the Library has a documentary for you.

Discover our hidden treasure of nonfiction DVDs during November’s Documentary Days and you could win a free portable DVD player!

It’s easy:

1. Stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk to draw a suggestion from a jar or choose a nonfiction DVD from our collection.
2. Watch the movie.
3. Come back to the Fiction/AV/Teen desk and enter our raffle.

The Happiness Advantage

The Happiness Advantage book coverNasreen of Information Services recommends The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor:

The Happiness Advantage turns our basic assumptions of happiness upside down. We assume that if we work hard, we will be successful. If we’re successful, then we will be happy. This book summarizes the research that teaches us that we must first be happy, then success comes and this happiness fuels our motivation and gives us the competitive edge which is the Happiness Advantage.

Happiness comes from a positive attitude towards life and the most important emotion that brings happiness is gratefulness. Gratefulness for your situation in life naturally results in happiness. The Happiness Advantage can be applied not just to yourself but to your relationships and leadership roles in schools, churches, volunteer organizations and other businesses.

LISTS: The Political Machine

Dave DVD coverGear up for the coming election year with some of the best in political films. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, these movies will give you something to think about – or laugh at.

Click here for fictional films on the government and Washington, D.C.

300 Years of Bridal Fashions

The Wedding Dress book coverWeddings are a Big Deal. In today’s photoshopped culture, brides feel like they have to be perfect. TV shows like Say Yes to the Dress have emphasized that, sure, a wedding is all about love and stuff – but really, look at that dress! Did you see what the bride was wearing? Edwina Ehrman’s heavily illustrated coffee table book, The Wedding Dress, explores the evolution of the wedding dress from 1700 until present day. This photographic fashion history is an extension of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Unveiled exhibition. If you can’t make it to the V&A in London, but still want to see bold, beautiful and sometimes extravagantly odd bridal fashions, The Wedding Dress is for you.