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The Deerfield Public Library Podcast

Thoughtful, in-depth conversations with authors of all genres and other notable people from Chicagoland and around the world. A monthly program from the Deerfield Public Library in Deerfield, IL, hosted by Dylan Zavagno. Our archives include episodes from the Library's John Cotton Dana Award-winning series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection; our Pride Month series, Queer Poem-a-Day; and our local history audio tours.
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Nov 12, 2020

Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (Louisiana State University Press) by Dr. Kishonna Gray documents and analyzes how the intersectional identities of race, gender, sexuality, and ability are experienced by black video gamers. Conversations about racial justice can sometimes overlook gaming and related social media, even though these activities make up a large part of many people’s everyday lives.

We touch on a lot, including the work of libraries (which often circulate and promote video games), #blacklivesmatter, digital redlining, as well how black users develop self-sustaining, empowering practices, create new resources, and collaborate with allies, to navigate digital life.

You can find out more about Dr. Kishonna Gray at her website, kishonnagray.com, or follow her on Twitter: @KishonnaGray. Check out Intersectional Tech at the library, in our podcast collection. 

You can also check out the resource caniplaythat.com for game reviews and more from an ability lens. Or check out our adaptive X-Box controller, or one of our many video games--Dr. Gray recommends the Hitman series among other games at the end of our episode. 

Oct 15, 2020

Our first Youth and Family episode--with the theme “Cool Careers!”

Kary Henry, our School Outreach Coordinator, joins as co-host to share three interviews she conducted with a youth audience in mind. 

First is Ashley Wolff, author and illustrator of many popular books, including Baby Bear Sees Blue and the beloved Miss Bindergarten series. Then it's Peter L., a commercial airline pilot, who tells us what it’s like to be a pilot, including going to school, flying around thunderstorms, and why training makes flying safe, even in “emergency” situations. Finally, we talk to Dr. Liz Rampe, a NASA scientist who focuses on Mars geology. Dr. Liz is the deputy principal investigator of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science laboratory Curiosity rover. She tells us about analyzing minerals with the current rover Curiosity, as well as what scientists like her hope to learn from Perseverance, the new Mars rover that launched in July. We also hear about the excitement and challenges of humans potentially going to Mars.

You can explore a list of books at the library related to this episode, including books by Ashley Wolff, and books about airplanes and air travel, and Mars exploration. 

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Sep 17, 2020

Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles through the Lens of Art Shay, by our guest Erik Gellman, fuses photography and history to explore many “movements and moments” in the struggle for a more free and democratic society in our city, from the post-war years through 1970. 

Troublemakers use the photographs of acclaimed photographer, longtime Deerfield resident (and past DPL podcast guest) Art Shay (1922 - 2018), and it also contains a whole chapter on the fight over integrated housing in Deerfield. That history, explored in our 2019 series The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection, is given a fascinating new historical analysis, plus new insights into many Chicago protest histories, from Dr. King's activism, the '68 Democratic Convention, the Black Panthers and Fred Hampton, as well as under-known, and seemingly unconnected histories like the rise of teenagers, of racialized policing, suburban mom's group Women for Peace, the Division Street riots, gang organizing, figures in music, and so much more. 

You can check out Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles Through the Lens of Art Shay here at the library. Or, the book is available for purchase from the publisher University of Chicago Press (listen to our episode for details on a 30% discount code!). 

Also--you can see some of Art Shay's Deerfield photographs at the library, including the cover image of Erik's book! 

Aug 13, 2020

A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven is a fascinating debut novel by our guest, Jordan Melic.

A Young Adult novel combining adventure, history, and mythology, A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven follows siblings Ah Ti and Kueny as they find themselves in different times and places that led to modern day Singapore, spanning many generations and belief systems, from ancient China to colonial Malaysia. Jordan, who grew up in Singapore and now lives in Paris, tells us how his depictions of past eras reflect a personal and universal struggle to reckon with one’s own history.

Here are the rules to enter our drawing to win a copy: email podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org, with your name before midnight on Thursday August 27th (CST). We’ll put all entries through a randomizer and select two lucky readers to receive a copy. The only requirement is that you (or someone you know) must be able to pick up the book from the Deerfield Public Library. (We can do curbside pickup or you can pick up during our open hours, and we will quarantine the book ahead of time.) 

You can check out A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven at the library, available in our Teen and Podcast collections. Or, take a look at the book’s publisher Math Paper Press. 

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jul 16, 2020

Racial and social justice facilitator Christine Saxman discusses the question, “how can white people accelerate racial justice?” 

Christine describes herself as a “white woman fighting for racial justice and anti-racism as long as this social construct of race exists.” She has worked for Courageous Conversations about Race, the National SEED Project (Seeking Education Equity and Diversity) as part of the National Staff, and prior to full time facilitation she was an educator at our own Deerfield High School. 

In our current era of ongoing protests against systemic racism and police brutality, we’ve had many white patrons asking for programs on how they can get involved in furthering racial justice. Christine knows the Deerfield community well and our conversation--recorded live with a virtual audience earlier this week--includes her perspective on how to address Deerfield’s history of segregation, how to talk to young people about race, and how to do “the work” of racial justice as a white person grounded in integrity and accountability. 

You can find out more about Christine Saxman on her website, christinesaxman.com. The Library is committed to continuing education about the world of information and ideas, including issues of racial justice. You can find links here to our Library Director’s statement on inclusion and diversity, as well as our lists of resources on antiracism and Black Lives Matter or our series on the fight over integration in Deerfield.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jun 11, 2020

Sarah MacLean and Jen Prokop are the hosts of the romance literature podcast, Fated MatesSarah MacLean is a bestselling author of historical romance novels and Jen Prokop is a romance critic and teacher. Together on the Fated Mates podcast they have some of the most intellectually stimulating and joyful conversations about what romance does and why it’s important.

You can check out books by Sarah MacLean in many formats here at the library. Her newest novel Daring and the Duke, comes out June 30th. We’ve also tagged some of the many books Sarah and Jen recommended on this episode in our catalog, check out the list here.

We also acknowledge in this episode that we are having this conversation at a difficult time. Mentioned in the episode is our Library Director’s statement on inclusion and diversity, as well as our lists of resources on antiracism and Black Lives Matter and our series on the fight over integration in Deerfield.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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May 14, 2020

K.C. Johnson, Bulls Insider for NBC Sports Chicago, discusses The Last Dance and memories of the Chicago Bulls in Deerfield. 

The Last Dance, ESPN’s popular 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls, features previously unseen footage from that ’97-’98 season--much of it shot here in Deerfield, IL at the Bulls former practice facility, the Berto Center. 

K.C. Johnson shares his firsthand perspective on the documentary, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Jerry Krause, and many “unforgettabull” stories from when the Chicago Bulls made their home in our village. The Bulls will always be part of sports history--and Deerfield history. 

You can read K.C. Johnson’s work for NBC Sports Chicago, or his twitter @KCJHoop

Share your Bulls-in-Deerfield story with us on our social media (links below) or email us at podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Apr 16, 2020

Graham Ambrose on Illinois during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Graham (twitter) is currently a reporter for the Quad City Times, where last month he wrote an article titled “102 years ago, the Spanish flu slammed the Quad Cities. Here’s what it teaches us about pandemics." Link

The 1918 flu pandemic had a huge impact on modern life and consciousness, yet it’s a history we don’t always talk about. We discuss the lessons we can learn from this history as we face the COVID-19 pandemic today, using news stories and literature from all over Illinois, including our own North Shore communities, Chicago, and the Quad Cities. 

Graham Ambrose was previously on episode 23 of our podcast to discuss his Yale history thesis on Deerfield’s racial integration history, as part of our Fight to Integrate Deerfield series. You can find a list of sources and ways the library can be a portal for your own history deep dives here. Or check out an ebook of some of the literature from the 1918 pandemic: They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell and Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Mar 12, 2020

Part 2 of our 2 part conversation with acclaimed author Rosellen Brown. We discuss her new novel The Lake on Fire (Sarabande Books, 2018) and it fits in to her whole career. Rosellen Brown's website

You can check out books by Rosellen Brown here at the library, as part of our new Podcast Collection, which features books (and other media) from our past 3+ years of podcast guests.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Feb 13, 2020

Part 1 of our 2 part conversation with acclaimed author Rosellen Brown. We discuss themes that run through Brown’s whole career, and how she uses form to approach difficult emotional and political subjects.  Rosellen Brown's website

You can check out books by Rosellen Brown here at the library, as part of our new Podcast Collection, which features books (and other media) from our past 3+ years of podcast guests.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jan 23, 2020

A conversation with the Chicago-based poet Sam Herschel Wein, author of the chapbooks Fruit Mansion (2017) and, in collaboration with the poet Chen Chen, Gesundheit! (2019). He is also an enthusiastic ambassador for the vibrant scene of online poetry and edits (with Chen Chen) the online poetry journal Underblong. Listen to hear Sam read his poems and reflect on queer life, friendship, the power of joy, and the inner life of a shy painted ghost!  

You can check out Sam’s poetry chapbooks from the Library’s new Podcast Collection. The Podcast Collection features books (and more) from all our past podcast guests over the last three years. We invite you to find a new book and listen to our interview with the author! The collection is at the bottom of the main staircase, by the Adult Services Desk.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Nov 12, 2019

The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Most Infamous Crimes by Nina Barrett illuminates one of the most mythologized crime stories in America, and Chicagoland particularly; the 1924 murder of 14 year old Bobby Franks by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb.

Barrett's book introduces and annotates excerpts from rare primary source documents from the case, including psychiatric reports, court transcripts, and photographs, to give us a fascinating look into the past as it really happened. Our conversation gets into the layers of meaning that have made this inscrutable murder endlessly interesting. 

Check out The Leopold and Loeb Files 

Nina’s website, with info on Rosehill Cemetery

Bookends & Beginnings, the bookstore Nina owns in Evanston

Our digitized archives which include: The Fight to Integrate Deerfield Collection Deerfield High School Yearbook Collection and more!

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Oct 10, 2019

Illinois State Rep. Bob Morgan talks about the new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which legalizes recreational marijuana use in Illinois starting on January 1st, 2020

Rep. Morgan (of our 58th district) helped shape the new law. He has worked as a healthcare lawyer on medical cannabis issues and previously ran the state’s medical cannabis program. 

Our conversation covers the why, how, and where of purchasing legal cannabis. We also address parents’ concerns, quality control for consumers, and the unique social justice elements of this law.

Rep. Morgan is a Deerfield resident, so you’ll hear hyper-local information about how recreational cannabis will affect our village directly, especially with medical cannabis dispensaries already operating in Deerfield and nearby Highland Park and Buffalo Grove. 

You can contact Rep. Morgan’s office at https://www.repbobmorgan.com/

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Sep 12, 2019

30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too, documents Marina Shifrin's quest to complete 30 goals before turning 30. Each chapter in the book covers one of her goals, from riding a bike across the Brooklyn Bridge and living in a different country, to becoming famous and falling in love.

Marina, who works as a TV writer and freelancer, is also known for her 2013 viral video where she quit her job while dancing to Kanye West and for her Modern Love column in the New York Times. Our conversation gets into the backstories behind these public sensations and the pressures of writing (and living) in the digital age. Marina was born in Russian and grew up in Skokie and Highland Park and attended Deerfield High School, so we also hear about how her time at DHS influenced her outlook.

Listen for a truly funny and heartfelt conversation about Marina’s many lives, her advice for twenty-somethings, and how she writes her way through the strange demands on our generation. 

You can check out 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too here at the library, or learn more about Marina on her website: marinavshifrin.com

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Aug 8, 2019

The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel recounts Howard Reich’s four years of friendship and conversation with Wiesel, the great author, humanitarian, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Holocaust survivor who profoundly shaped our understanding of the Holocaust. 

Howard Reich has been working as an arts critic at the Chicago Tribune since 1978. His friendship with Wiesel began in 2012 when the Tribune presented Wiesel with their literary award, and they both connected over a shared history. Reich, himself the child of Holocaust survivors, was able to ask Wiesel all the questions he couldn’t ask his parents about the difficult legacy of the Holocaust for his family and the world. Hear moving reflections on how Wiesel was able to “invent hope” from the darkest history. 

You can find The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel here at the library, as well as his memoir about mother and other writing. You can find out more about Howard Reich on his website or read his Chicago Tribune columns here

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jul 2, 2019

Blues musician and longtime Deerfield resident Derrick Procell has made a name for himself in the music and ad industry for his energy, talent, and strong vocals. Today, Procell is the frontman of the Chicago soul and blues band "Derrick Procell and the Redeemers" and has been heard on everything from beer commercials to The Office, King of the Hill, and Ladybird. 

Listen to this special **early release** musical episode to find out how Procell got his start at 16, how he found success as a voiceover actor, and his interactions with musicians like Charlie McCoy, Chicago saxaphonist Eddie Shaw, and his writing partner, Grammy-winning songwriter Terry Abrahamson.


You can check out Procell’s latest album and other music at www.derrickanamerican.com. To see what Procell and his band are up to, visit their facebook page or catch their free concert at the Deerfield Summer Sampler Concert Series on Sunday, July 7, from 5- to 6:30 p.m, at Mitchell Park, 951 Wilmot Road. 

 

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jun 13, 2019

X-Men in Deerfield! In Chris Claremont's nearly 20-year run writing X-Men comics, he wrote many classic stories that made The Uncanny X-Men a bestseller and spawned blockbuster movies. 

Claremont also made Deerfield the hometown of Kitty Pryde who was first introduced in “X-Men #129” as a 13½ year-old Jewish girl living in a split-level on Central Ave., whose strange headaches presage her mutant ability to phase through matter. It’s not long before Professor Xavier, Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus come through town to recruit her for the X-Men. That’s right, True Believers: Deerfield, IL is in the Marvel Universe!

Topics include: why Chris chose Deerfield as Kitty’s hometown, the theme of persecution and otherness that define the X-Men, the origin of Wolverine’s classic snikt! sound, remembering Stan Lee, the new Dark Phoenix movie (based on Chris's story), and what it’s like to created hundreds of beloved characters that, ultimately, you don’t own.

Chris Claremont titles (from the X-Men and many other series) are available here at the library. Any superfans out there can email podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org to get the full hour-plus, unedited interview for all the nerdy details, alternate storylines, and funny stories we couldn’t fit.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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May 9, 2019

Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Rothstein’s widely praised book makes clear that the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day--and uses Deerfield history as one of many examples. Video of the lecture is available, too

This was the final program in our special series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection, which featured discussions, lectures, and exhibits all focused on the history of Deerfield residents voting to block an integrated housing development intended for the Village in 1959.

Listen to past podcast episodes on The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: Graham Ambrose on his Yale thesis on Deerfield history, or longtime resident and photographer Art Shay.

While our programs are over, you can still see our exhibits of photographs and displays of original materials through the end of this anniversary year. We are also still collecting stories, reflections, and documents related to the fight over integrated housing in Deerfield. Find out more here.

Finally, our online resources, including our newly digitized archives, videos of past programs, audio interviews, and more, will be up in perpetuity for future residents and researchers and are also available here.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Apr 11, 2019

Rep. Brad Schneider has a special connection to Deerfield. Not only does he represent our village as part of Illinois’ 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, but he also lives here in Deerfield.

We ask Rep. Schneider about the life of a Member of Congress from juggling the logistics of traveling back and forth to D.C., to preparing for a hearing, to how he incorporates feedback from constituents. We also ask him about some of the local issues he’s discussed on his recent “listening tour” around the district, including immigration, gun control, and climate change, among other issues like the SALT deduction and the racial wealth gap.

You can connect with Rep. Schneider’s office here. And, listen to our past interviews with other elected officials representing Deerfield: Mayor Harriet Rosenthal and State Senator Julie Morrison.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Mar 14, 2019

Two of our most popular recent program presenters are featured! First up, Molly Page, author of 100 Things to Do in Chicago Before You Die. She fills us in on some of her favorite things to do in the city, including some hidden secrets. Molly’s enthusiasm for Chicagoland is super contagious and we know you’ll get some great ideas for your next family outing or solo exploring trip. And you can check out Molly’s book here at the Library!

Then we hear from Masala Sapphire, a Chicago-based drag queen who presented at our hugely popular program Drag Queen Story Hour last week. Masala tells us what drag means to her and what it was like to read picture books and perform for a unique Library audience.

Drag Queen Story Hour is a nationally recognized event that gives kids (and everyone!) a space to be themselves and provides them with glamorous, positive queer role models. All the books read are on our Youth Department’s “Be Who You Are!” book list. You can check them out below:

A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Feb 7, 2019

The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt, a comics biography of the Jewish-German philosopher by Ken Krimstein. Ken is also a frequent cartoonist for The New Yorker and other publications—and he grew up in Deerfield!

Ken tells us how he became a cartoonist and how a cartoonist approaches the difficult life and ideas of Hannah Arendt.

You can check out The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt here at the library. Ken’s book will be celebrated in an upcoming exhibition of his drawings at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago next month.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jan 10, 2019

Graham Ambrose has written for The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. Graham wrote a recent history thesis at Yale about his hometown’s history and the housing integration crisis that began in Deerfield in 1959. In our conversation, Graham details the history and reads from his thesis, "“The Little Rock of the North”: Racial Integration and NIMBYism in Suburban Chicago, 1959.”

The Library is hosting a months-long series of programs, exhibits, and other opportunities to reflect on the 60 year anniversary of the integration crisis called the Fight to Integrate Deerfield. You can find out more about the history and our unique program series at our website deerfieldlibrary.org/FID or listen here to our episode:

Graham Ambrose and others will be speaking at our 60 Year Reflection Community Panel Discussion on March 12, 2019, 7pm. Registration opens February 13th.

If you have a story, memory, physical artifact, or reflection to share with the library for our archives, email deerfieldhistory@deerfieldlibrary.org.

Art Shay Photography Unveiling and Reception: Join us on January 21st from 5 - 6:30 pm to see our stunning new photos related to this history and enjoy some treats while you browse the exhibits. No registration is required.

Podcast listeners will remember our interview with world-renowned photographer and Deerfield resident Art Shay.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Nov 8, 2018

William Hazelgrove is a Chicago author of many novels and nonfiction books, and is a frequent and popular speaker here at the Library. Bill is currently working on a movie for PBS based his book, Madame President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson.  

Join us to hear about the downfall of Al Capone and the 1933 Chicago Fair, Edith Wilson as the first female president, and Bill’s upcoming book, Wright Brothers, Wrong Story, about the Wright Brothers, out December 4th.

Find out more about Bill though his website, williamhazelgrove.com, or check out his books here at the Library. And join us for Bill’s next presentation at the Library on January 24th, 7:00 pm.  He will be talking about his new book, Wright Brothers, Wrong Story. Registration for this program (and all our Winter programs) opens on Wednesday, November 14th.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Oct 11, 2018

On this episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we celebrate the Center for Enriched Living, a local non-profit organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Center for Enriched Living (CEL) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In honor of this achievement, Executive Director Harriet Levy joined us to talk about the history, present, and future of this unique organization.

Hear moving stories of how CEL impacts the lives of its members through their many programs that focus on social, post-school, and work life. As Harriet tells us, society has changed greatly since 1968, but there is still a long way to go towards integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

You’ll also learn how the Deerfield Public Library and other local groups partner with CEL. Find out more information on the Center for Enriched Living website.. You can learn more about accessibility at the Deerfield Public Library on our new accessibility page.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Sep 13, 2018

Dinosaurs in Deerfield? Endangered turtles? 300 year old trees? Yes! 

On this episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we learn about the plant and animal life around us with with Nan Buckardt, Director of Education at the Lake County Forest Preserves. Hear how, in Nan’s words, “the land shapes the people and the people shape the land.” You’ll also learn what makes each of the preserves around Deerfield unique: Ryerson Woods, Prairie Wolf Forest Preserve and Dog Park, and Berkeley Prairie Forest Preserve.

Find out more more about the the Lake County Forest Preserves, the Dunn Museum in Libertyville or the Hike Lake County program, on their website LCFPD.org.

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