Jim Silverman

You don’t have to be black to appreciate Black History Month

I’m white and Jewish, but Black History Month is special to me. Partly it was being loved and raised in New Orleans by a black woman who was my second mom. Talking with a high school girl at the library one day, I told her about having two moms; one white and one black. She […]

February 16, 2013 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Christmas holiday rentals from the library

I suspect that everyone struggles to find balance in dealing with Christmas. We struggle to balance this powerfully devotional time with a commercial event at least as powerful. Many of us become just as obsessed with going to church as with our online discounts. We struggle to temper our children’s expectations against the advertising carpet-bombing […]

Homework help at your library

If you know someone struggling with homework, tell them about their “new best friend” because Solano County Library can help them solve that problem. Even better news: it’s free. Here’s where and when to find it and how to get it. After school, parents can drop in with their elementary school students at the Fairfield, […]

October 20, 2012 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Discovering the mystery greats of the past, present

Reading a great mystery novel is one of life’s great satisfactions. I’ve held that belief since boyhood, probably as a result of spending so many nights —  after my parents turned out my bedroom light — tucked under the blanket; flashlight and book in hand to tag along with the Hardy Boys on their latest […]

June 16, 2012 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Plenty of reasons to celebrate

A cherished local pastime in New Orleans is inventing excuses to throw a party. Mardi Gras, which passed recently, is the best excuse yet. Parties and parades roll for weeks, stretching from Twelfth Night to Fat Tuesday. It’s called “the season.” To keep the parties rolling, a special “king cake” is baked with a small […]

March 17, 2012 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

‘Checked Out,’ a TV show about the library

If asked to write a TV show about a public library, I’d slightly exaggerate reality and call it “Checked Out.” Picture a big city, downtown library, a 1930s three-story, soot-stained brick building. The wood floors are polished into traffic lanes by people shuffling to common destinations — upstairs to the children’s room, women’s and men’s […]

January 21, 2012 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Monty Python on libraries

Maybe Monty Python is onto something. “You see, I don’t believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence. That’s been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians.” That’s from a skit called “Gorilla Librarian” (“Flying Circus,” Episode 10). Maybe Eric Idle, the quirky writer-actor, comic genius, […]

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Libraries change lives

You’ve heard it said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That’s true. And in these tough times a lot of people, both gentle and tough, go to the library. Not only is the library the best deal in town — where you can freely borrow books, movies and  music — it’s also […]

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Audiobooks are perfect for summer road trips

What a happy coincidence — June is both “Audiobook Awareness Month” and “Bathroom Reading Month.” With that in mind, consider what Solano County Library has for you to borrow from among its roughly 16,000 audiobooks — nearly 4,000 for kids — whether for a long-distance driving vacation or that visit to the throne room. Planning […]

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Library gears up for annual summer reading program

One of the biggest events of the summer is coming soon to your Solano County Library — starting June 13. The summer reading program is one of those traditional events that have made summer, well, summer, for generations of kids and teens. In fact, it started more than 120 years ago, in the 1890s in […]

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