Eastwood and Beethoven

February 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Just reporting on yet another busy weekend at MPOW. I love my job in general, but at this very moment I am so incredibly invigorated (most likely from the music) and in love with what I do that I just have to write about it. We just wrapped up a concert in our community room called The Many Moods of Beethoven. It was performed by a chamber quarter from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and it was standing room only (with many also choosing to sit on the floor so as not to miss a note). My headcount was 180+, which is great for a cold Sunday afternoon in February. The musicians told the story of Beethoven’s life through his music and the educational aspect was equal to the musical aspect.

In contrast to the classical music, we have also have a film series occurring at the library this weekend and for the next few weeks called “Clint Out West”– it is a retrospective of Clint Eastwood’s films. The attendance numbers are not as high for the Beethoven program (ranging from 30-60+ per film screening), but numbers aren’t always the measure of a successful program. According to Susan Conlon, the organizer of the series, those in attendance are extremely engaged in the discussions being led by film historian Bruce Lawton and the series is not only entertaining but also educational.

Last weekend PPL hosted the Princeton Environmental Film Festival, a new and very successful venture which was entirely the initiative of Kai Marshall-Otto, a teen volunteer here at the library. Kai, who is also Co-President of Princeton High School Environmental Club, worked tirelessly to organize and coordinate the weekend. The festival offered 5 days of films and speakers on environmental issues and had a total attendance exceeding 1,000 for the weekend. Susan Conlon, our Teen Librarian extraordinaire, was the staff liaison for the festival and worked closely with Kai every step of the way to create a dynamic and exciting weekend. As she noted in her program report:

This program brought in all ages, and while adults represented the greatest % in attendance, it was very much noticed and appreciated that teens were the catalyst for this event, and were represented in the audience, and also helping to facilitate discussions.

We have programs and events daily, sometimes several in a day, and in the hustle to get everything done I do not usually have the time to sit and reflect on how wonderful it feels to work at a place that provides educational opportunities of such a wide variety to all who wish to attend. Today I am taking the time to reflect and it feels good.

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