Tag Archives: burbank public library

Friends of the Burbank Public Library Receives $300,000 Donation

The Friends of the Burbank Public Library have received a donation of nearly $300,000 from the estate of long-time member and volunteer Jane Mulder. Ms. Mulder, who passed away in 2019, was a charter member of the Friends of the Library organization, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020. The Friends are a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting Burbank Public Library programming and services via fundraising activities.

Estate lawyer Bob Bowne and Friends of the Burbank Public Library President Louise Paziak

“Jane’s generosity – both as a volunteer and a donor – is unparalleled,” said Elizabeth Goldman, Library Services Director for the City of Burbank. “She was tireless in her dedication to every aspect of the Library, and we are grateful for her lasting impact.”

After a career as a schoolteacher at Burbank’s Roosevelt Elementary School, Ms. Mulder turned her talents toward volunteerism. Starting in 1989, she assisted the Library’s efforts to computerize its catalog, working full-time alongside staff. Having managed the school library during her time as a teacher, Ms. Mulder remained dedicated to developing children’s love of reading, volunteering with the Library’s Summer Reading Program. As a teacher, she was also involved with the school choir and sports activities.

Ms. Mulder worked in the used bookstore operated by the Friends in the Buena Vista Branch Library from its opening in 2002 until health issues in her early 90s brought an end to her service. She was able to attend the grand opening of the Friends’ second bookstore at the Central Library in 2017.

In 2007, Ms. Mulder was awarded the first Volunteer of the Year honor from the Friends of the Library, recognizing her three decades of service often at upward of 1,000 hours per year. The award was later named for Ms. Mulder.

“Jane Mulder was the gold standard of volunteers,” said Louise Paziak, President of the Friends of the Burbank Public Library.Ms. Mulder recognized the Friends of the Library as one of the primary charities to benefit from her estate. In March 2020, the Friends accepted a donation of $297,365.94. The funds will support Library programs and materials, innovations in Library services, and capital needs. Ms. Mulder’s contributions will be recognized by the Burbank City Council on May 12.

“Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle For The Vote” Celebrates 100th Anniversary Of 19th Amendment

Author and historian Ellen Carol DuBois gives an illustrated talk at the Burbank Public Library on her latest book, Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote on Thursday evening, March 12. She examines the history of those efforts which officially began in 1848 and plainly discusses the role racism played in the suffrage movement, along with the challenges women in politics have historically faced and continue to confront.

Mary Dickson, President of the Glendale/Burbank chapter of the League of Women Voters which is cosponsoring the event with the Burbank Public Library, will give an overview of the League and its ongoing efforts.

Lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain led the spectacular Women’s Suffrage Procession that took place in Washington, D.C. March 3, 1913. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress

“I wrote this book to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment,” commented DuBois. “I wanted audiences to know the long and courageous battle that women of different classes, races and ethnicities had to pursue to win this most important right for us.”

“As we recognize the current obstacles facing women in politics and the stability of our constitutional order, it is all the more important for women today (and men!) to know what was involved and to honor it by our own actions,” she added.

“Among the many things that I hope the audience learns from my presentation will be the importance of the California suffrage campaign that won women full voting rights in 1911,” DuBois also said.

Suffragists tried to keep a bonfire burning outside the White House during their picket at the front gates in 1918. A policeman puts out the fire. There would be arrests. Photo Courtesy Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

“We are excited to participate with the Burbank Buena Vista Public Library in presenting author and professor Ellen Carol Dubois who will be speaking about her newly published book, Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote,” commented Dickson.

“The publication of this book coincides with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the 100th anniversary of the formation of the League of Women Voters, an organization to educate women who were voting for the first time.”

“The League continues to serve that purpose today, not just for women but for all citizens,” Dickson continued. “We conduct candidates forums, present pros and cons about ballot propositions and offer voter registration information without pushing any political party.”

Alice Paul of the National Women’s Party sewed a star onto a suffrage flag each time a state ratified the 19th Amendment. She displays the completed flag after the last state needed for ratification (it was Tennessee) ratified the amendment. Photo Courtesy Stock Montage/Getty Images

“This is important to our mission, because as this history reveals, women pursued this mission of equal rights without support (or only sporadic support) from the major political parties. And it was quite the struggle!” she also said. “The story is as old as history, but the book begins with the meeting in Seneca Falls, New York ,in 1848.  That is 72 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment!”

“It can be hard for many of us today to understand that only 100 years ago, women did not have these protections and that many forces worked to deprive women and other citizens from exercising their right to vote, and other rights to participate in society, such as the right to speak in public,” Dickson said. “Her book is fascinating and inspiring.”

“The fight for enfranchisement of women was a struggle that lasted over 70 years.  It involved a large cast of remarkable activists who carried on the fight, women who worked over several generations tirelessly in a broad geographical and political landscape,” commented Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak. “Their movement had countless victories and reversals,  and it involved numerous changes in strategy as it adapted to the evolving political landscape.”

Women Celebrate the Ratification of the 19th Amendment. Photo Courtesy Carrie Chapman Catt Albums, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library

“The great achievement of this book is that the author is able to tell us that broad story succinctly, convey to us its salient points, and give us, through this portrait of the women’s suffrage movement,  a story of democracy in America that is both revealing and familiar.”

“Suffragist Maud Wood Park wrote in her memoirs, ‘Nearly a century of struggle seems an excessive price for the simple justice of votes for women.’ After reading Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote it was difficult to decide what had a greater impact on me, the fact that women fought for so long and faced so many defeats—and that many sacrificed their entire lives in this cause–or that the ‘simple justice of votes for women’ was something that was so long denied to them,” Kozak said.

Jeanette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress, is presented the flag that flew over the Capitol when Congress passed the 19th Amendment. Photo Courtesy Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

“As you may know, the library auditorium here was a central polling center [for the March 2020 California election], and I wanted to have an event here that reminded people about what it took for many people to get the vote, in this particular case women, on what is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment,” he also explained.  “I envisioned this event as a celebration of democracy and also a celebration of women’s activism.”

DuBois discusses Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Thursday, March 12, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plenty of free parking is available on site.

Image Courtesy Burbank Public Library.

Burbank Public Library Presents Look Behind The Scenes Of “Chinatown”

Just in time for Oscar season, the Burbank Public Library holds a conversation between author Sam Wasson and Chinatown first assistant director Howard “Hawk” Koch, Jr., discussing Wasson’s latest book The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood on Wednesday evening, February 12.

Wasson, known for New York Times bestsellers Fosse and Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman, looks at the four of the major players behind Chinatown: actor Jack Nicholson, director Roman Polanski, producer Robert Evans and screenwriter Robert Towne.

Author Sam Wasson talks about the behind-the-scenes action of “Chinatown” with the film’s first assistant director Howard “Hawk” Koch, Jr., at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on February 12. (Photo by Gary Copeland, Courtesy Flatiron Books)

“One of the most enduring American nightmare films ever, Chinatown is not a place on the map than a state of mind, a state characterized by, as screenwriter Robert Towne so perfectly put it, ‘the futility of good intentions,'” commented Wasson.

“Right now, given our current political crisis, contentious emotional climate and pop-cultural impoverishment, no time could be better, frankly (sadly), to turn back to the movie, the theme, the metaphor of Chinatown.”

“Hawk and I will be discussing the film’s production, namely the why and how this and so many other Paramount movies of its time were so great; we’ll be discussing Roman Polanski, Robert Evans, Robert Towne, Jack Nicholson and the other artists of Chinatown… and we’ll be discussing anything Chinatown-related the audience is interested in,” Wasson also said.

“The library tries to present programs about film that will be of interest to those in the film industry and to those with an interest in cinematic arts,” commented Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak.

“But we are also trying to reach those people who live in Burbank who are not employed in the film industry in this city. We hope to cultivate in them a deeper understanding and appreciation of a business that is so economically important to Burbank. Film is our city’s claim to fame. We try to present programs that take our patrons behind the scenes, showing them how a film was made.”

(Image Courtesy Flatiron Books)

“Sam Wasson’s book on the making of a celebrated film, Chinatown, does just that.” Kozak continued. “The more programs I’ve presented like this, the more I’ve come away thinking that it is a sort of minor miracle that any film gets made at all, much less a great or memorable one.”

“Besides entertaining, and perhaps enlightening us, a film represents a moment of exceptional collaboration and cooperation, a bringing together for a common end people from different specialties, people who have varying skills and, frequently, conflicting creative practices and visions. That kind of collaboration is something that, living in these divisive times, a lot of us don’t think can happen very often. And yet it happens every time a film is made.”

“Sam Wasson writes with style and sophistication about the making of movies. He also writes with integrity,” Kozak also said. “In the Big Goodbye, his subjects are a storied group of characters, people who are each in their own way flawed and complex, and it is to Wasson’s credit that he is not tendentious.”

“He gives readers unvarnished what he has uncovered in his interviews and research (a lot of it challenges mythology about Chinatown) and lets them make their own assessment about the behavior and character of his protagonists.”

The program runs from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and books will be available for purchase. After the conversation and audience Q & A, Wasson will sign books.

The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plenty of free parking is available on site.

“Forget Having It All” Author Set To Speak About Working Mothers At Burbank Library

Author Amy Westervelt visits the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Thursday, March 28, to talk about the cultural and policy changes that need to be made to support working mothers in the United States, as she examines in recently-published Forget “Having It All”: How America Messed Up Motherhood — and How to Fix It.

Librarian Hubert Kozak booked the author event as part of Women’s History Month, a theme the library highlights each March.

“It’s about the double burden of working mothers who employers expect to work in their job as if they didn’t have children and who are expected to parent as if they did not have a job,” said Kozak. “Through all my working years I’ve watched working mothers, my colleagues, struggle with this burden and it seems that very little has changed for them, that we continue to do very little as a society to support them.”

“Westervelt explains why change has been difficult and she looks to the varying experience of motherhood in America, particularly the history of motherhood among marginalized groups, for what it can suggest about a way forward,” he added.

“Things need to change socially in some fundamental ways it appears, and perhaps what is most important about Westervelt’s analysis of the plight of working mothers is that she makes a compelling case that supporting working mothers is critical if we are to find a way forward to achieving broader and more comprehensive social and economic gender equality in America.”

Image Courtesy Burbank Public Library.

“We need to make both cultural and policy changes,” Westervelt commented. “A lot of the discussion around these issues tends to be focused solely on policy solutions, which, while necessary, are unlikely to actually work in the absence of cultural shifts.”

“An example I point to in my book is Japan, where, in an effort to increase birth rates, they have instituted all the Scandinavian policies we often talk about here: maternity and paternity leave, flex time, subsidized child care. Fewer than 3% of people took advantage of these policies, despite the fact that 40% wanted to, because the cultural norms hadn’t changed alongside the policies.”

“You may have seen an article in The New York Times recently about how little Japanese men do around the house, for example,” Westervelt also said. “These policies didn’t shift that.”

“I would expect to see a similar culture-context gap were we to implement such policies here as well,” she went to say. “We can’t just change policies, we need to shift the gendered division of labor in homes, the way we impose particular parenting roles on particular genders starting in preschool (baby dolls for girls, never for boys, for example), the way schools reinforce these norms and the whole notion of the ideal worker, which no longer reflects the real lives of men or women.”

Westervelt will discuss these ideas with NPR West’s Elise Hu in a conversation that begins at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street and plenty of free parking is available on site.

Oculus, Facebook And Virtual Reality Book Author Set For Burbank Tech Talk Series

The recently released The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality will provide the backdrop for author Blake Harris and his conversation with tech entrepreneur Joe Chen, who was one of the first Oculus employees.

The discussion is presented in collaboration with the City of Burbank’s Tech Talk Series and will be held Thursday evening, February 28, at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library.

Harris’ book talks about “how a teenager, Palmer Luckey, invented a more immersive and affordable VR device while living and working in a trailer that was parked in the driveway of his parents’ house in Long Beach,” explained Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak.

Luckey named the VR device the Oculus Rift and a bidding war ensued for the new, accessible and affordable technology. Ultimately, Oculus was bought by Facebook, which has since released a series of the VR devices.

Original artwork for “The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality” by Bob Al-Greene. (Image courtesy Harper Collins)

“Industries in the gaming community were the first to spot the potential and were wowed by the device, tech financiers wanted to get in on the action as well, and a few years later the company Luckey founded was bought by Facebook for over 2 billion dollars,” explained Kozak.

“Gamers were the first consumers, but the device resuscitated and then galvanized VR technology and applications.  VR is now being used in training simulations, medicine, therapies, virtual tours, all kinds of diagnostic applications and it’s use continues to expand.”

“This book is a look at how a new tech invention makes the journey from prototype to viable consumer product, a behind the scenes look at what it takes to do this, and it’s a story filled with a lot of drama and intrigue,” continued Kozak. “It follows a naive young tech inventor as he swims in the shark infested waters of big money and high stakes technology development.”

“Like most people who have tried a modern day virtual reality headset, my immediate thought after trying it for the first time was ‘Wow! I’ve just seen the future!'” commented Harris. “But, as we know, an exciting product doesn’t necessarily equal a successful product, so I was very interested in getting to know the folks behind the scenes at Oculus and looking at this story from a business standpoint – tracing the journey from idea to prototype to product.”

Author Blake Harris talks with tech entrepreneur Joe Chen at the Burbank Public Library about his book “The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality.” (Photo By Katie Warner, Courtesy Harper Collins.)

“That said, business stories can often be dry; so it was incredibly helpful to me as a writer to learn about (and then reveal to readers) the backstory and behind-the-scenes journey of Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, whose rise from teenager dreamer to successful inventor/entrepreneur made for an incredible modern day ‘American Dream’ tale.”

“I like to write character-driven true life stories that can be accessible to anybody; meaning that even if you don’t know the first thing about VR, I still want the story to resonate with you,” Harris explained. “The key to that, I believe, is incredible access, and it took me about 14 months to gain the access from Oculus and Facebook to tell this story in the way that I had hoped.”

“That access began in February 2016 and continued until April 2018. So (spoiler alert!) Palmer Luckey was fired in the middle of that time; and, as readers will see, completely disrupted the story that I thought I was telling – but, in the end, made for a more interesting and urgent story (especially with how much of our digital lives are controlled by Facebook).”

“For the most part, I would say that the major players were forthcoming,” Harris also said. “Perhaps not so much initially at first; but, in the end, I spent 3.5 years working on this story and was able to develop a great rapport with many of those involved.”

“That said, I would note that after the unexpected firing of Palmer Luckey, many of the players who had been very forthright with me ended up changing their tune – either by speaking with me less; or, in some unfortunate cases, outright lying to me.”

Tech investor and entrepreneur Chen will interview Harris for the Burbank Tech Talk event. Chen has cofounded a new company, Anduril, with Luckey.

Image Courtesy Harper Collins

‘Throughout my writing the book, Joe was a constant source of inspiration, humor and fair-and-balanced perspective,” said Harris. “It also became clear to me, very early on, that Joe has a get-it-done-attitude that is so critical to helping a young startup thrive.”

What does Harris think of the current impact VR has had in the world and where does he see the technology going forward?

“I’ll be honest and say that when I started working on this book 3.5 years ago, I anticipated that virtual reality would be more successful than it is now,” Harris said. “Not by a lot – I always thought it would be a relatively slow adoption – but I thought there would still be strong hype for VR amongst consumers and increasing investment from content-makers.”

“Since the release of the major VR headers in 2016 (Oculus, HTC and Sony), the excitement and momentum around this technology has certainly slowed down. But I’m still very bullish about the long-term impact of virtual reality.”

“I believe it’ll still take 5-10 years to really reach a mainstream crowd, but in the meantime I think it’ll continue to do well with gamers and, in the interim, I think there will be great value in using VR for training simulations in the enterprise space (as well as, hopefully, the education space),” he added.

The Burbank Tech Talks Series is composed of networking events, speaker summits and series, including a Pitch Fest, explained Marissa Minor, Economic Development Analyst with the Community Development Department.

“Fostering the entrepreneurial community is a key component of our City’s Economic Development strategy as we seek to attract and engage new thinkers and innovators in Burbank,” she said. “The Burbank Tech Talk Series is one way that we support this innovative and growing community.”

Joe Chen, co-founder of Anduril, interviews Blake Harris at the Burbank Public Library on Thursday, February 28. (Photo Courtesy Anduril)

“Our goal is to ensure that our companies can compete in today’s marketplace, and we are hopeful that events like the Burbank Tech Talks will continue to provide businesses with insight and networking opportunities for the future,” Minor also said.

Harris and Chen discuss The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality on Thursday, February 28, at 7:00 p.m.

The Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. The program is free to the public and plenty of free parking is available on site.

“The Contest” Author Discusses Tumultuous 1968 Presidential Campaign

Author Michael Schumacher talks about the tumultuous 1968 Presidential campaign, detailed in his newly-release book The Contest: The 1968 Presidential Election and the War for America’s Soul, at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Wednesday evening, October 17.

“Readers might notice similarities between the 1968 and 2016 elections.,” commented Schumacher. “Both were very contentious. Both were extremely close when the final vote was tallied. The divisions within the country were deep and disturbing.”

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Eugene McCarthy’s victory in the Oregon primary placed him back in contention for the Democratic nomination—but his loss to Robert Kennedy in California and RFK’s assassination in Los Angeles all but ended his hopes. (Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society)

“Richard Nixon’s victory in 1968 signaled the end of the end of liberal politics dating back to Roosevelt, which later led to a much stronger turn to the right with Reagan. Many years passed between then and now, obviously, but this book might address the old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

“In 1968, the country was divided over the Vietnam War and these divisions eventually led to Johnson’s refusal to run for reelection; today, we’re fighting in Afghanistan, in a conflict that’s lasted longer than Vietnam,” Schumacher added. “George Wallace’s push for segregation and the organized xenohobia we’re seeing today… In 1968, law and order was a hotly debated topic, as it is today.”

“The question: what did we learn?”

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In the lead-up to the election, Richard Nixon’s rigorously constructed campaign helped him erase his loser image among voters. (Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

“Two generations have grown up since 1968, and many of the events of that year are either unknown or barely known,” he continued. “These readers might find the book interesting in its reporting of history. Older readers will look back and remember.”

“I was 18 years old in 1968, and I was extremely interested in politics,” Schumacher also said. “I was amazed at how much I learned when researching the events reported in this book. Perhaps it will have that effect on others.”

1968 was a year when a lot of young people first got involved in the political process, said Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak, who organized The Contest author event. “It was a time of greater activism and engagement in national affairs for all Americans than had occurred for some time.”

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A powerful speaker, Hubert Humphrey combined dramatic messages with a homespun delivery that contributed a human touch to his speeches. (Photo Courtesy of the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

“A lot of people thought they could make a difference, that their engagement in the process mattered,” Kozak added. “It was also a time when those running for office and those voting for them believed that a life in politics and public service could be an honorable profession.”

“For me what 1968 said is that you have got to be involved if you want democracy to work, and that decent and talented people need to engage in the process and be willing to serve. I know it seems like a lot to ask these days, but it just doesn’t seem that anything gets better by disengagement and withdrawal.”

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Tired McCarthy youth. Pundits generally conceded the youth, intellectual, and suburban vote to Eugene McCarthy, but his popularity extended well beyond that. A grassroots candidate running in open opposition to the Vietnam War, he appealed to voters who were seeking an alternative to the old ways of government. (Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Libraries, Special Collections and Rare Books)

“I thought that the 1968 election, which took place at a time when there were also deep divisions in the county, might have something to say about how we might deal with things in our own contentious times,” Kozak said. “My hope is this will be a helpful and, maybe even in some ways, a healing event, one that might occasion some civic minded thought and discussion.”

The Contest program begins at 7:00 p.m. After the presentation and discussion, the author will sign books, which will be available for purchase. The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plenty of free parking is available on site.

Burbank Library Program Looks At New Orion Deep Space Vessel

NASA plans to put people on Mars in the 2030s with the Orion deep space vessel and Lockheed Martin Orion Integration Engineer Chris Nie will talk about the first missions of the Orion spacecraft, planned for 2019, at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Wednesday, September 12.

“The talk will focus on giving a background of the major systems of the Orion spacecraft including its Launch Abort System, Crew Module and Service Module, as well as the first two missions for NASA’s human spaceflight architecture, subsequently called Exploration Mission-1 (an uncrewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft) and Exploration Mission-2 (the first crewed mission of Orion and will take humans farther from Earth than ever before),” explained Nie.

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Orion display at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Libary. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Public Library)

“The aspect of the program I contribute to is the Environmental Control and Life Support Subsystem (or ECLSS for short) which is responsible for providing a livable environment for the crew in space and to keep them happy and healthy during their mission.”

“Designed to navigate, communicate and operate in a deep space environment, Orion will travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown,” commented Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak. “It will eventually be used to return humans to the moon where an orbiting space platform will be built for the launch of future missions to Mars.”

“I wanted to do this event because Lockheed was such an important part of this community for so many years,” added Kozak. “There are many people still living in Burbank who were a part of building this company – who are a part of its tradition of innovation and technological achievement – and I thought they might like to see what the company they helped to build (now Lockheed Martin) is doing now. And it’s pretty exciting. Orion is central to the future of human space flight.”

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Orion. (Image Courtesy NASA/Lockheed Martin)

“Chris is a young engineer who is doing this program for us because he is interested in inspiring youth to pursue careers in science and engineering. We hope to have a lot of students in our audience for this event.”

“The Orion program is incredibly exciting to work on for two main reasons; the folks I work with at NASA and Lockheed Martin are phenomenally talented and continuously provide me with challenges and opportunities to grow as an engineer, and secondly because nothing is more exciting to me than pushing the boundaries of the exploration of our solar system,” said Nie.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a focus in Bioastronautics, Nie has been named one of Aviation Week’s Twenty20s as a rising leader in Aerospace and Defense. For his work in STEM outreach, he has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award several times.

orion

(Graphic Courtesy Burbank Public Library)

“I am very grateful to Hubert Kozak and the Burbank Library for giving us the opportunity to share our excitement and passion for the Orion program and human spaceflight,” he also said. “One of my favorite things about working in the space exploration field is that it has the power to bring people from all backgrounds together, this includes the public.”

“It is not just four crew members that will orbit the moon on Exploration Mission-2, the public is, and will be, a part of the mission.”

More information on the Orion deep space program can be found on NASA’s website here. The free presentation at the Burbank Public Library begins at 7:00 p.m. Plenty of free parking is available at the library, which is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street.

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The Marshall Space Flight Center loaned a model of the SLS (Space Launch System), the big rocket that will put Orion into space. It’s part of the display at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Libary. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Public Library)

Iconic Figure Harvey Milk Is Subject Of Burbank Library Presentation

Distinguished historian and author Lillian Faderman reads from her most recent book, Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library on Thursday evening, May 31.

“His impact and achievements seem so improbable from what was an inauspicious beginning (he actually worked on Wall Street in 1964 and got up early to hand out campaign literature for Barry Goldwater!),” commented Librarian Hubert Kozak. “This is a book in the Yale Jewish Lives series, and Faderman connects Milk’s Jewish upbringing to his ideals and activism.”

“Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death” author and distinguished historian Lillian Faderman talks about her most recent book at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library. (Image Courtesy Yale University Press)

“But I guess for me what is most interesting about this story is not that, or even that he led a gay movement, but rather the details Faderman gives about how he created a constituency and organized a community to claim political power.”

“This portrait of grass roots American democracy in action I thought was timely and made me hopeful about the chance for marginalized people to have their voices heard, that it is possible,” added Kozak.

“I wrote about Harvey Milk in my 2015 book, The Gay Revolution-but I had room in that huge history, which spanned the years 1948-2015, to spend only about a dozen pages on what made Harvey Milk such an iconic figure,” explained Faderman.

“But in my research and interviews for The Gay Revolution I had discovered so many wonderful, important things about his life that no one had yet written about.”

“So I was thrilled when Yale University Press came to me to ask if I could write a biography of him for Yale’s “Jewish Lives” series. (It took me 10 seconds to say “I’d love to!”) I wanted to create for the reader the Harvey that I came to know through my research—a man who was quite flawed and yet so touching in his desire to do good.”

“I came to see him as genuinely lovable because he was so capable of love-not just on a personal level and not just for his own “tribe,” but love for all those who were in need because they were poor or lost or suffered from prejudice or discrimination.”

“I was constantly being surprised by his personal letters,” commented Faderman. “They showed a man of such tender, romantic feelings. I think he kept wanting to re-do the difficult relationship he had with his own father, and to make it ‘come out right’ with the young men who were his lovers.”

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Harvey (center), a numbers cruncher on Wall Street, c. 1964 (Courtesy of Harvey Milk-Scott Smith Collection, San Francisco Public Library)

“Yet sadly, despite his determination to make it ‘come out right,’ to give them his attention and his deep love, he failed because he was so caught up in wanting to accomplish great things and serve the public. Inevitably, his partners never felt they were getting enough of him.”

Faderman sees the complexities of Milk’s life and his various “lives” as something the public in general does not know about the iconic figure.

“He was a man of vast contradictions. I subtitled my book The Lives and Death of Harvey Milk because there were many different ‘Harveys’ before he finally became the iconic leader that the public knows,” she says. “He was a passionate opera lover from the time he was eleven years old, but he was also a jock in high school and college. (He played football, baseball, basketball. He ran track and was on the wrestling team. He was the sports writer for his college paper. In the Navy he was a deep-sea diver and trained sailors in diving.)”

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In college, Harvey played football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball; and he competed in wrestling and track (Courtesy of Harvey Milk-Scott Smith Collection, San Francisco Public Library)

“At one point in his life he became a buttoned-down high school teacher. Then he became a securities analyst on Wall Street. Then he became a hippie, a gofer for a Broadway director and an actor. Then he became a small businessman.”

“Through all of these different iterations of Harvey Milk, he was learning new skills,” Faderman continues. “All those skills came together in the last five years of his life to create the Harvey Milk that the world knows best: he began running for office and finally succeeded in winning election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which made him the first out gay man to hold a significant political office.”

Milk was shot and murdered in 1978 by another, homophobic, Supervisor at the age of 48. He was included on Time‘s list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century in 1999.

The author will sign books after the presentation, and copies of Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death will be available for purchase on site. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plenty of free parking is available.

James Webb Space Telescope Program Slated At Burbank Library

The Burbank Public Library holds a program about “The James Webb Space Telescope: Seeing the End of the Dark Age” on Wednesday evening, May 2. Salem Emara, a JPL volunteer and active member of the NASA JPL Solar System Ambassadors Program, will give the presentation.

Emara will also hold a live demonstration of infrared technology, which is the wavelength the James Webb Space Telescope is designed to pick up.

james webb space telescope

James Webb Space Telescope (Photo Courtesy NASA)

“I don’t think most people today understand that they are living in a great age of discovery, one as great, if not greater, than the geographical Age of Exploration of the 15th thorough 18th centuries,” commented Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak. “That’s why I wanted to bring this event to the library.”

“Our exploration of the universe will bring us new knowledge that will – as much as did that former age – challenge our ideas about who we are, what our place is in the universe and what the future of our species might be.”

James Webb Space Telescope (Photo Courtesy NASA)

“We continue to learn, at an accelerating rate, new things about the cosmos, not only about its scope and what it contains, but about its history and how it works,” he also said. “The discoveries that will come from The James Webb Space Telescope are going to add a significant chapter to that unfolding story.”

“It is expected that it will work like a time machine, looking back 13.5 billion years, to capture the first light in the universe after the Big Bang, and that we will discover how stars and planets and galaxies were formed.”

James Webb Space Telescope (Photo Courtesy NASA)

Some of the testing and assembly of the JWST is being done by Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach.

Currently, the telescope, which is touted as the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is scheduled for a May 2020 launch. More information can be found about the project on NASA’s site.

“While I suppose the main story about the James Webb Space Telescope is that of what we hope to discover with it, I can’t help but be impressed with what an amazing feat of innovative engineering it is as well,” added Kozak. “That’s why I think we’re lucky at this stage of the project to be getting an overview by an engineer rather than an astrophysicist, someone who can give us details about how the telescope will do its work.”

James Webb Space Telescope (Photo Courtesy NASA)

“In reading about the telescope, you come to realize that building something like this is a project that is incredibly complex. It is a monumental job of both design and assembly, of coordinating and integrating all the components produced by a vast number of individuals and many companies, so that the telescope can be safely launched and deployed and can achieve its purpose.”

The free program begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library, located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street. Plenty of free parking is available on site.

James Webb Space Telescope (Photo Courtesy NASA)

 

Mystery Author J.A. Jance Brings “Duel To The Death” To Burbank

Best-selling mystery author J.A. Jance makes her only Southern California appearance at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library this Sunday, March 25. Jance will be on hand to talk about her latest book, Duel to the Death, and answer questions from the audience.

Duel to the Death continues the story begun in Man Overboard, featuring Jance’s ex-broadcast journalist-turned-private investigator, Ali Reynolds.

duel to the death

Author J.A. Jance appears at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library. (Photo By Mary Ann Halpin Studios; Image Courtesy Simon And Schuster)

For Man Overboard, I had an Artificial Intelligence created by a computer genius who also happened to be a serial killer,” explained Jance. “Unsurprisingly, an AI created by a bad guy is bound to be a bit problematic.”

“At the end of Man Overboard, it looked as though the AI, known as Frigg, had also reached the end of the line, but it turns out she’s back in Duel to the Death,” she went on to say. “The question is, can she change her ways or is Frigg as dangerous as ever?”

“The Burbank Public Library is very excited to host a book signing and discussion with bestselling and award-winning author J.A. Jance,” commented Louise Paziak, a mystery enthusiast and former staff member of the Burbank Public Library who will introduce Jance on Sunday.

“And what a perfect time for the event during Women’s History Month!”

“Ms. Jance is one of those pioneering women authors who began introducing female private investigators during the breakthrough 1980s,” continued Paziak.

“Jance’s latest Ali Reynolds thriller, Duel to the Death, is the thirteenth in the series and deals with topics ripped from the news.”

Author J.A. Jance appears in Burbank to talk about the thirteenth book in the Ali Reynolds series. (Image Courtesy Simon And Schuster)

“The fast-paced story line explores the effects of the advances of computer technology on society. The mix of Artificial Intelligence, drug cartels and cryptocurrency (bitcoins) with good old-fashioned murder will make Duel to the Death impossible to put down.”

“Burbank has a very robust mystery fan base, so it’s always a real treat to meet a favorite author,” Paziak added.

“The Burbank Library was enthusiastic about hosting an event, and I’m always happy to have the opportunity to partner with one of that increasingly rare breed – the independent bookstore,” Jance said.

For someone who wasn’t allowed in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona in 1964, it’s especially gratifying to be out in public talking about book number 56!” she added.

The program begins at 2:00 p.m. Jance will sign copies of her books, which will be available for purchase on site through a partnership with Flintridge Books.

The Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plentiful free parking is available on site. For more information on the author, visit her website. More information on the Burbank Public Library can be found here.