Adult Services Blog

Technology, Information, and Society

There is no denying that digital technology is developing rapidly (and marketed aggressively) around the world. At the beginning of the ‘digital revolution’ many thought that increasing access to information technologies would have only a positive ‘leveling’ effect, and would in that sense strengthen our society. Years later, we see that this hasn’t really been the case, and that in many ways technology has only exacerbated existing weaknesses in our social structure.

Bully

I generally try to keep my posts focused on books and reading, but this week I find myself compelled to write about another topic that deserves equal attention.

It's Ebertfest time!

One of the more exciting things about living in Champaign-Urbana, at least for movie lovers like me, is Roger Ebert’s Annual Film Festival. The 15th Annual Festival is taking place now through Sunday at the newly restored Virginia Theater in downtown Champaign. Since 1999 this festival has been a venue for Roger Ebert to showcase a wide variety of films he loved and wanted to share with a wider audience.

Ebertfest at Your Library--Documentary Style

Enjoy highlights from Ebertfest in the comfort of your home. While we can’t provide the ambience of the fine Virginia Theater, The Urbana Free Library has most of the festival films for you to check out.

Here’s a selection of some of the marvelous and varied documentary films featured at past Ebertfests. Double-click on the thumbnails for a larger snippet.

2011

The Urbana Free - and wonderful - Library loses its greatest champion

 

Some years ago, I was working a Saturday reference desk shift.  This was in our old building when reference and our movie collection shared the same space.  There was suddenly a bit of a buzz in the front of the library:  it was Roger Ebert, accompanied by two young people wielding camera and microphone.

Blast from the Past: Influential Artists release new music!

Here at The Urbana Free Library we take great pride in bringing you a wide range of great new music. Recently, some of the greatest artists working in music have released new albums, some after years of silence!:

Zombie love?

It seems zombies have been all over popular culture for years now, and their takeover of the publishing world shows no signs of slowing. Zombies have increasingly permeated literary genres beyond traditional horror stories, and a recent library display on zombie fiction showcased their variety.

De-Mystifying Technology

Ever wonder how a computer works? How about networking? Want to know more about internet security? Are you frustrated that technology seems intent on, well, frustrating you? Ever wonder why computers are designed the way that they are?

 

Life After Death: The Story of Damien Echols

It’s a nightmarish scenario that reads like a crime novel.  Arkansas, 1993.  Damien Echols is an eighteen year old outcast – he’s from a troubled family and has a bad reputation in the small town of West Memphis.  Then the unbelievable happens:  he and two of his friends are falsely convicted of the brutal murders of 3 young boys.   In the midst of a surreal media circus, using the fl