News & Announcements

Posted on: September 27, 2017

October Lifelong Learning & History Programs at RI Library

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Adults can take advantage of plenty of opportunities to learn more about local history, develop deeper understandings of world events, and explore new interests, with free programming for adults at the Rock Island Public Library in October. The free line-up of events includes:

Boxcar Homes in the Quad Cities, 2:00 pm, Tuesday, October 3, Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street. Some homes in the Quad Cities started life as a train boxcar. Dr. Maryan Wherry takes a look at this affordable housing alternative of yesteryear, covering the history of boxcar communities and their connection to Mexican immigrants, who were drawn to our area in the early 1900s by work in railroads and factories. Some of these boxcar community homes still exist today.

The Middle East Today: For Better or Worse: 6:00 pm, Tuesday, October 10 and 17 at the Downtown Library. Professor and historian Dr. Arthur Pitz presents a four-part lecture series discussing the complexities and hot-button topics relating to the Middle East. The lectures are presented in partnership with the Davenport Public Library and the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities. Rock Island Library lectures are The Shia Arc: Revival of the Persian Empire on Oct. 10, and Israel & the Quad Cities: Academic and Business Partners, on Oct. 17.

The series concludes at the Davenport Eastern Avenue Library Branch, 6000 Eastern Avenue, with a lecture on The Republic of Yemen: Devastated and Strategic, on Monday, October 23. All lectures start at 6:00 pm, and are free and open to the public. 

An Interesting Rock Island Girl: The Modern Art and Life of Irma René Koen: 6:00 pm, Wednesday, October 11, Downtown Library. Cynthia Wiedemann Empen, Ph.D., is an art historian and guest curator for the Figge Art Museum exhibition Irma René Koen: An Artist Rediscovered, on view from September 30 to December 31, 2017.

According to Empen, the career of Rock Island born painter Irma René Koen (1883-1975) spanned nearly seventy years. After she graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, Koen spent subsequent summers studying with prominent landscape painters, absorbing the techniques and styles of Tonalism and American Impressionism. Drawn to art colonies, Koen divided her time between Illinois and other picturesque American locales. She developed an individual and modern landscape style in oil and watercolor that garnered praise and various honors. A world traveler, Irma was also a writer, teacher and lecturer who fostered the local art community and modern art movement in the Midwest. From 1944 on, Koen lived in Mexico, and her style turned toward more vibrant colors and expressive lines, but her themes remained the same.

Gloucester in Autumn, donated by Koen to the Rock Island Library in April 1943, has been lent to the Figge for the exhibition. Empen's presentation title is taken from a 1910 RI Argus article.

Wine Charm Program, Thursday, October 12, 6:00 pm, Rock Island 30/31 Library, 3059 30th Street. Learn how to make wine charms from corks to label which glass is yours. Perfect for parties (or, if you're just forgetful.) Free, supplies provided, no registration required.

Rock Island Paranormal Discussion, Monday, October 16, 5:00 to 6:00 pm, Downtown Library. Visit with members of Rock Island Paranormal society as they explain how they conduct investigations into the unknown, talk about the equipment they use, and review past cases and investigations. Learn what's involved in a real-life ghost hunt! This event is for all ages. 

Sicilian Wine Through the Ages, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Thursday, October 19, Downtown Library. Learn more about the history and re-emergence of wines from the island of Sicily. Presenter and author Kathryn Occhipinti will help you discover the ancient grape varieties of the Sicilian provinces of Agrigento and Messina, and how they are revolutionizing the way Sicilian wines are viewed today. The wines made famous by Julius Caesar are available again today. Sorry, no samples, but the wines discussed are all inexpensive, and are usually available in larger liquor and specialty grocery stores.

Occhipinti, of Chicago, is the author of Conversational Italian for Travelers, several pocket phrase books, and a frequent blogger. A practicing radiologist by profession, Occhipinti has led Italian language groups in the Peoria and Chicago areas for about 10 years.

Frieze Lecture Series with Augustana College - 2:00 to 3:00 pm, Tuesdays, October 24 and 31, and November 7 and 14 , Downtown Library. The Rock Island Library's annual program partnership with Augustana College looks at the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation movement. Join us for a series of four fascinating lectures by Augustana College faculty on the movement's legacy on intellectual thought, communication, privacy, and the view of science and technology. Speakers and topics include:

  • October 24 - Professor Jason Mahn, religion: The Reformation and its Legacy
  • October 31 - Professor Carolyn Yaschur, communication studies: The Reformation of Communications,  Journalism, and Information Access
  • November 7 - Professor Josh Dyer, physics: The Reformation and Its Impact on Science and Technology
  • November 14 - Professor Hyeong-Gyu Choi, business: The Reformation of Privacy

The Frieze Lecture series began in 1998 with the 125th anniversary of the founding of public library services in Rock Island. It brings in Augustana College professors for lectures on a central theme without the pressure of grades or tests. Coffee and conversation follow each lecture.

All of the above events are free and no registration is required.

For more information about Rock Island Library hours, services and programs, visit the library's website, call 309-732-READ, or follow the library on Facebook or Twitter.

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