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Tyler Stoddard Smith claims that the aim of his book is “to look into some of the shadier corners of human history, and to shed a little light on an eternally compelling figure: the prostitute.” If you would expect a stiffly academic and detached depiction of prostitution throughout history, you would grossly misjudge Whore Stories: a Revealing History of the World’s Oldest Profession. Read more about A Revealing Look at a "Revealing History of the World's Oldest Profession"
There are a lot of things to appreciate about the Criterion Collection releases of classic movies. They have awesome special features, great quality picture and sound, and a really diverse selection. Perhaps my favorite thing about them, though, is that they often remind me to catch up on older titles I may have missed out on. Read more about New Criterion Collection titles at your library!
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. Read more about Technology, Information, and Society
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. Read more about It's Ebertfest time!
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.
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. Read more about The Urbana Free - and wonderful - Library loses its greatest champion