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New Missoula Public Library

Help out a fellow Missoulian in need when you give the gift of donated blood during an American Red Cross Blood Drive hosted at the Missoula Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 2-6:15 p.m. in the library’s Large Meeting Room.

Interested donors may register at redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code: missoulalibrary or stop by the library’s Reference Desk and ask for Christine.

Donors will also be entered into a drawing for a warm winter scarf knitted by the local yarns group Yarns@MPL.

Newspapers.com Library Edition

The Missoula Public Library is now offering access to Newspapers.com Library Edition. Newspapers provide a unique view of the past and can help us understand and connect with the people, events, and attitudes of an earlier time. The West Collection of this online digital newspaper archive offers access to almost five million pages from 414 western state newspapers. Stop by the library’s Reference Desk to learn more about this valuable research resource.

The Informed Citizen series continues

Coming up in February, The Missoula Public Library will host Humanities Montana’s The Informed Citizen program “What Happened to the News?” with Professor Dennis Swibold of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism on Monday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Large Meeting Room.

This is the second program of a three part series at the library that explores the role of journalism in a democratic society.

This program, presented by a veteran journalist, author and educator, takes listeners behind the curtain to reveal how the news is made and explain the revolutionary changes facing today’s fast-paced news media. It also offers citizens tools and techniques for staying well-informed amid the virtual blizzard of information and for participating directly in the civic debates crucial to their communities, state and nation.

This Humanities Montana program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” Initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism and an informed citizenry.

Staff Reviews

“Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism” by Naoki Higashida

2015, Penguin Random House

Call Number: 616.8588 HIGASHI

This is an inspiring, humbling and almost mystifying account of a young Japanese man who is both severely autistic and amazingly articulate in print. His translator and friend, David Mitchell, even says they’ve had to debate people who claim that Higashida couldn’t have written the books attributed to him.

He was only thirteen when his first book, “The Reason I Jump,” became a bestseller — exploding common assumptions that people with severe autism could not have intelligent, thoughtful inner lives. He is now in his mid-twenties, and “Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism” explores all sorts of daily experiences from a unique perspective that neurotypicals would never have knowledge of — and that most people with autism are unable to communicate. That’s the startling gift here: he is communicating from inside an exterior that looks fairly impenetrable.

The book is composed of short, pithy chapters, some of which can seem close to platitudes, but most of which are genuinely moving and thought-provoking. Even as a child, Higashida always wanted to be a writer, and a short dreamlike tale included in this book illustrates his talents in fiction as well as nonfiction. Any doubts you might have about the writer’s authenticity can be assuaged by watching a YouTube clip of Higashida doing a question-and-answer session after a reading. His autistic behaviors are as striking as his cogent answers. If you appreciate having your assumptions overturned and your heart touched, this book will do it.

Reviewed by Dana McMurray

Weekly MakerSpace Offerings:

Open Hours

Monday and Tuesday from 2-6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m., Friday from 3-6 p.m.

Open Hours allows visitors to explore the resources of the MakerSpace, or to work on a project of their choice

Community Creative Writing Workshop

Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m.

Drop-in environment focusing on the creative writing workshop process

Computer Classes:

Introduction to Email

Monday, Jan. 28, from 6-7 p.m.

Learn the basics of creating an email account, including writing a message and adding attachments, as well as sending and receiving messages.

Montana Memory Project

Thursday, Jan. 31, from 12-1 p.m.

The Montana Memory Project encourages cultural institutions to digitize historic and contemporary resources reflecting Montana’s rich cultural heritage and to make them freely available for lifelong learning. Come learn how you can use this unique collection.

Registration is required to attend MPL’s Computer Classes. Please call 721-BOOK (2665) to register.

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