Aurora Public Library Blog

Welcome to Aurora Public Library’s Blog. A place where our library staff share their thoughts, insider knowledge and overall love of all things book and community.

Feel free to comment on posts, re-blog and enjoy. To ensure a civil and focused discussion, comments will be held for a brief period before being published.



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March new releases banner

Post by Kristin S.

Spring is almost upon us, which means it's time to head outside with a new book to work on that sun tan or hunker down at night during a storm with a great movie. Check out the recent bestsellers and newly released DVDs below. Stop in to your Aurora Public Library to pick up your copy or read and watch online!

Books that recently premiered on the New York Times Bestseller List:

New Fiction

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A former prisoner of war returns from Vietnam and moves his family to Alaska, where they face tough conditions.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A newlywed couple's relationship is tested when the husband is sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Louisa Clark moves to New York and is torn between high society and the life she enjoys at a vintage clothing store.

Look for Me by Lisa Gardner

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren teams up with a torture survivor to find a missing teenager whose family members were gunned down.

Night Moves by Jonathan Kellerman

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Homicide detective Milo Sturgis enlists the psychologist Alex Delaware to help solve a John Doe case.

Dark in Death by J. D. Robb

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

Lieutenant Eve Dallas must find a killer inspired by police thrillers before another victim is murdered.

Fall from Grace by Danielle Steel

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

A widow left out of her husband's will tries to make a new life as a fashion designer.

The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A counterintelligence chief and her lover, who is a C.I.A. agent, learn of Vladimir Putin’s plan to assassinate a United States official.

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A New York City detective and an F.B.I. special agent track down a killer.

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Flavia de Luce, a young British sleuth, gets involved in solving a murder after experiencing a family tragedy.

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A C.I.A. analyst's job and family are threatened when she discovers Russian agents in the United States.

Munich by Robert Harris

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Two former friends who attended Oxford accompany Hitler and Neville Chamberlain to a meeting in 1938 and are forced to make a consequential decision.

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The fourth book of the Red Rising Saga. A hero of the revolution finds his fate tied up with others as the war continues.


New Nonfiction

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A case for using reason, science and humanism to counter pessimistic views of Western civilization.

All-American Murder by James Patterson and Alex Abramovich with Mike Harvkey

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The story of Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots tight end convicted of first-degree murder.

Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler

Borrow: [Print]

A divinity school professor examines her tacit beliefs when she learns she has colon cancer.

Directorate S by Steve Coll

Borrow: [Print]

How the United States failed to understand a secret wing of a Pakistani intelligence agency and doomed two wars.

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

Borrow: [Print]

The journalist describes nine causes of depression and anxiety, and offers potential solutions.

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Borrow: [Print]

The decline of democracies in Europe and Latin America and ways to avoid authoritarianism.

Trumpocracy by David Frum

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A former speechwriter for George W. Bush argues how America might become an illiberal democracy.

The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A memoir by a former U.S. Border Patrol agent who is the grandson of a Mexican immigrant.

Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman

Borrow: [Print]

A history of Israel’s targeted assassination programs, with accounts from current and former members of the Israeli government.

Brave by Rose McGowan

Borrow: [Print] [eAudiobook]

The Hollywood actress details growing up in a cult and the traumas of the entertainment industry.

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

Borrow: [Print] [eAudiobook]

A Yemeni-American doorman travels to a civil war-engulfed Yemen in the hopes of restoring a nearly lost art of coffee cultivation.

Jackie, Janet & Lee by J. Randy Taraborrelli

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; her mother, Janet Lee Auchincloss; and her sister Lee Radziwill.

It's Even Worse Than You Think by David Cay Johnston

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist describes how he believes the scope of the Trump presidency differs from all the others.

Happiness is a Choice you Make by John Leland

Borrow: [Print]

Wisdom and stories from six New Yorkers age 85 and older that challenge notions of aging.

Together We Rise by Women's March Organizers and Conde Nast

Borrow: [Print]

Photographs and profiles of the organizers and participants of the 2017 Women’s March.

The Square and the Tower by Niall Fergusen

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The historian uses network theory to understand the past and the present.

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors and asha bandele

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

Reflections on love, justice and humanity from a founder of Black Lives Matter.

 

 DVD New Releases (Dec-Jan):

Thor: Ragnarok

Borrow: [DVD]

Thor must race against time to stop Ragnarok - the destruction of his world and the end of Asgardian civilization at the hands of the ruthless Hela.

Daddy's Home 2

Borrow: [DVD]

When it comes to raising their kids, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) finally have this co-parenting thing down. That is, until their dads come to town, putting their newfound partnership to the ultimate test in this hilarious comedy.

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Borrow: [DVD]

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol.

Same Kind of Different as Me

Borrow: [DVD]

The inspiring story of an international art dealer who must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the most remarkable journey of their lives.

The Star

Borrow: [DVD]

Bo, a brave donkey, and all his new hilarious animal friends go on the adventure of their dreams filled with lots of laughter.

The Disaster Artist

Borrow: [DVD]

The true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau (James Franco); a celebration of friendship and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on the best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy's cult-classic disasterpiece The Room.

Molly's Game

Borrow: [DVD]

Molly's Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.

The Phantom Thread

Borrow: [DVD]

Set in the glamour of 1950's London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) meets Alma and finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Call Me by Your Name

Borrow: [DVD]

Amid the summer splendor of 1980's Italy, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire that will alter their lives forever.

Coco

Borrow: [DVD]

In DisneyPixar's extraordinary adventure, a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries behind his ancestor's stories and traditions.

Battle of the Sexes

Borrow: [DVD]

The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

The Darkest Hour

Borrow: [DVD]

As Hitler's forces near the United Kingdom, it is up to Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) to decide between negotiating peace or fighting against impossible odds.

Lady Bird

Borrow: [DVD]

A warm, affecting comedy about a high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) who must navigate a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother over the course of her eventful and poignant senior year of high school.

 

Sources: The New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, Goodreads, EarlyWord, Novelist

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Mar 13, 2018 at 10:09 AM
  

Academy Awards introduction

 Post by Chris G.

Well, it's red carpet season, and the Academy Awards, the most prestigious award show for film, is in its 90th year. Whether you're looking for this year's nominees or the Best Picture from 1929, you can find an abundance of Academy Award-winning films on the shelves of your library. This post showcases Aurora Public Library's current DVD holdings of this year's nominees, as well as former Best Picture and Best Animated Feature winners. This year's nominees are organized alphabetically and include the number of awards for which they've been nominated. The Best Picture and Best Animated Feature winners are organized reverse chronologically by the year they won, so the most recent is first. The Academy didn't start giving out the Best Animated Feature award until 2001, so that is where that list ends. You can click on any of the film's titles to place a hold. Many of this year's nominees are not on video yet, but the library has placed most of them on order, and they'll start circulating as soon as they're available. You can get in line for one of those by clicking through to the catalog record, selecting "Request It" and entering your account information. And the Oscar goes to...


This Year's Nominees and Winners


 "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" - 1 nomination
 
 "All the Money in the World" - 1 nomination
   
 "Baby Driver" - 3 nominations
   
 "Beauty and the Beast" - 2 nominations
   
 "The Big Sick" - 1 nomination
   
 "Blade Runner 2049" - 5 nominations
   
 "The Boss Baby" - 1 nomination
   
 "The Breadwinner" - 1 nomination
   
  "Call Me By Your Name" - 4 nominations
   
 "Coco" - 2 nominations
   
 "Darkest Hour" - 6 nominations
   
  "The Disaster Artist" - 1 nomination
   
 "Dunkirk" - 8 nominations
   
 "Ferdinand" - 1 nomination
   
 "The Florida Project" - 1 nomination
   
 "Get Out" - 4 nominations
   
 "The Greatest Showman" - 1 nomination
   
"Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2" - 1 nomination
   
 "I, Tonya" - 3 nominations
   
 "Kong: Skull Island" - 1 nomination
   
  "Lady Bird" - 5 nominations
   
  "Logan" - 1 nomination
   
  "Loving Vincent" - 1 nomination
   
 "Marshall" - 1 nomination
   
 "Molly's Game" - 1 nomination
   
 "Phantom Thread" - 6 nominations
   
  "The Post" - 2 nominations
   
  "Roman J. Israel, Esq." - 1 nomination
   
 "The Shape of Water" - 13 nominations and 2018 Best Picture
   
 "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" - 4 nominations
   
  "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" - 7 nominations
 
  "Victoria & Abdul" - 2 nominations

 "War for the Planet of the Apes" - 1 nomination
   
 "Wonder" - 1 nomination


Best Picture Winners


 "Moonlight" (2016)
   
  "Spotlight" (2015)
   
  "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" (2014)

 "12 Years a Slave" (2013)
 
 "Argo" (2012)
   
 "The Artist" (2011)
   
 "The King's Speech" (2010)
   
 "The Hurt Locker" (2009)
   
  "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008)

  "No Country for Old Men" (2007)

"The Departed" (2006)
   
 "Crash" (2005)
   
 "Million Dollar Baby" (2004)
   
 "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003)
   
 "Gladiator" (2000)
   
  "American Beauty" (1999)
   
 "Shakespeare in Love" (1998)
   
 "Titanic" (1997)
   
 "The English Patient" (1996)
   
  "Braveheart" (1995)
   
  "Forrest Gump" (1994)
   
 "Schindler's List" (1993)

 "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991)
   
  "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989)
   
 "Rain Man" (1988)
   
 "The Last Emperor" (1987)
   
 "Out of Africa" (1985)
   
  "Terms of Endearment" (1983)
   
  "Gandhi" (1982)
   
 "Chariots of Fire" (1981)
   
 "Ordinary People" (1980)
   
 "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979)
   
 "Annie Hall" (1977)
   
 "Rocky" (1976)
   
  "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975)
   
 "The Godfather, Part II" (1974)
   
"The Sting" (1973)
   
 "The Godfather" (1972)
   
 "The French Connection" (1971)
   
  "Patton" (1970)
   
 "A Man for All Seasons" (1966)
   
  "The Sound of Music" (1965)
   
 "Tom Jones" (1963)
   
  "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962)
   
 "West Side Story" (1961)
   
 "Ben-Hur" (1959)
   
 "Gigi" (1958)
   
"The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957)
   
 "On the Waterfront" (1954)

 "From Here to Eternity" (1953)
   
  "An American in Paris" (1951)
   
  "All About Eve" (1950)
   
 "All the King's Men" (1949)
   
 "Hamlet" (1948)
   
 "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947)
   
  "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946)
   
 "The Lost Weekend" (1945)
   
 "Going My Way" (1944)
   
 "Casablanca" (1943)
   
"Mrs. Miniver" (1942)
   
 "How Green Was My Valley" (1941)
   
 "Rebecca" (1940)
   
 "Gone with the Wind" (1939)
   
 "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937)
   
 "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936)
   
 "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935)
   
  "It Happened One Night" (1934)
   
  "Cimarron" (1930-31)
   
 "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1929-30)
   
 "The Broadway Melody" (1928-29)


Best Animated Feature Film Winners


 "Zootopia" (2016)
   
 "Inside Out" (2015)
   
 "Big Hero 6" (2014)
   
 "Frozen" (2013)

 "Brave" (2012)
   
  "Rango" (2011)
   
  "Toy Story 3" (2010)
   
 "Up" (2009)
   
  "WALL-E" (2008)
   
  "Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" (2005)

  "The Incredibles" (2004)
   
 "Finding Nemo" (2003)
   
 "Spirited Away" (2002)

 "Shrek" (2001)


With so many movies on this list, you ought to keep busy until next year's Oscars! This year's winners were announced on Sunday, March 4th and the selected titles will be available in the coming months as they are released. 

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Mar 05, 2018 at 12:50 PM
  

Title photo

Post by Assetou Xango


When I would play dress up as a kid, get into my mother’s closet while she was at work. Her dresses, shoes and jewelry were all fair game. This was, indeed, the basis of growth: emulating who you want to be. For me, the most imperative part of the dress up ritual, was the towel I wrapped around me head. I would pretend it was the long curl-less hair all the women in the movies. The ones, who were loved, irresistible, pursued: worthy.

As I write this, my mother is obsessing over all the material she can find about Black Panther: the largest selling box office movie with a fully black cast to date. We saw it yesterday as a family and today, she is oooohing and awwwhing and telling all the actors how good they look in their various interview outfits and magazine spreads. I am upstairs taking a bath and she is literally calling me on my cell phone to give me updates on the new things she has learned about the actors.

“You know, the bald head women with a spear; the main one?”
“Yeah, mama?”
“She’s from Uganda. And Nakia, she’s Kenyan.”
“Where is the sister from, mom?”
“I don’t know! I’ll call you when I do!”

She is a kid again. This is the same mother who rolled her eyes at my dashiki the day before (I HAD to dress up for the movie). This is the same mother who did not want me to get dreadlocks in college but she was afraid they’d look too “messy”. This is the mother who permed my hair throughout all of high school until she discovered the fatal chemicals in the product. This is the same mother, who reluctantly told me a few weeks ago, “I hate to say this, I REALLY hate to say this…but you look best with a bald head.” This is the same mother who watches young black girls explain how they style their hair on YouTube every weekend. This is the same mother who wears a wig to work everyday, covering her beautiful, thick, salt and pepper hair. When I ask her why she does it, her answer is a jumbled mess of angst and defeat. She tells me about ageism, about the rapport she has finally gained as a black woman and that she can’t let that be stripped away.

She is a proud woman who cannot show it. She was raised in the ghettos of Miami. This is the way she has learned to survive. Ways in which I will never have to be skilled because she overcame the things that might bound me. Beneath every scoff at my tribal-inspired makeup, behind every head shake, concealed in every eye roll, I can hear her begging me to be safe. “You are already black,” the voice whispers, “why do you have to make yourself more of a target?”

But something happened, as my family watched at those large as life, proud to be black, figures dance across the big screen. Something happened for my mother when Angela Bassett removed her headdress and revealed a head full of glorious, white, hair. Something happened for me seeing black men shamelessly love, seek and kneel to their black women. There is a feeling in my house right now of celebration. There is an inescapable liberatory air in these walls.

You may consider it just a movie. For us, it is a statement of purpose, a right to be do it visibly. It is the signal we have been waiting for. The one that says it’s safe to come out from underneath our various methods of survival and thrive. It did not start with this movie. We have been fighting for this moment a long time. It has been grassroots and homegrown. It has started in the kitchen, in the barbershop, at poetry venues. It started on Pinterest, on Facebook and Twitter. They say we are a people divided. That may be true, but all of our infighting and distrust is over shadowed by our ever rising call to freedom. My mother found it by hiding in plain sight (think Wakanda). This new generation is building off of that strength and making ourselves known. Making it known that our lives matter. Black Panther is more than just a film. It is less than game changer. This monumental moment is a benchmark, a checkpoint, a confirmation. We are on our path. We will not cease. We are here.

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Feb 27, 2018 at 1:00 PM
  

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Meet your Bloggers! 

Blog

Welcome to Aurora Public Library’s Blog. A place where our library staff share their thoughts, insider knowledge and overall love of all things book and community.

 At Aurora Public Library we strive to meet the needs of the citizens of Aurora with books, information and other resources in a positive and proactive manner. Our e-content and public programming are made possible through the generosity of our Friends of the Aurora Public Library.

 A library is so much more than books. While we may still house those beloved volumes of Dostoyevsky and Orville, we also house and curate young minds via our STEAM programs, or via our weekly storytimes. We are a place to gather, to join community, to make new friends, to learn a new skill or trade, to finish high school, or learn a new language-and in this vain, our blog strives to continue this ideology. We hope that when you are in search of something new, something old or even something exciting for you or your family to enjoy, Aurora Public Library comes to mind. Our blog explores books you may want to read, authors you may want to know more about, and even fun crafts for your family to enjoy.

Feel free to comment on posts, re-blog and enjoy. To ensure a civil and focused discussion, comments will be held for a brief period before being published.

 To find out more about our librar
y staff who contribute to the blog, read below. 

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Elizabeth B.

Elizabeth Bernhardt is a Library Assistant at the Iliff Square Branch of Aurora Public Library, conveniently located near the Friends of the Aurora Library bookstore to enable all of your reading cravings. She loves all aspects of library work, from dancing badly at Toddler Storytime to teaching computer lessons and making adorable lopsided crafts. When not at work, Elizabeth likes playing video games and board games, reading five books at once, and curling up under fuzzy blankets with giant mugs of tea. 

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Justine C.

 Justine graduated magna cum laude from Colorado College in 2015 and has been working at the Central Branch of Aurora Public Library for nearly two years. In her natural habitat she can be found reading, playing video games, writing, and binging TV shows or movies with her grandfather. She is also fond of the outdoors and possibly too fond of cats, especially her cat daughter, Sassy.

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Brittni E.

Brittni Ehrhart is the Programming and Outreach Librarian for Aurora Public Library. She enjoys cuddling with her cat Rue, going on extended roundtrips with her boyfriend Wes, hiking our beautiful state, photography, and drinking lattes.

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Brandon F. 

Brandon is a Library Assistant with the Central Branch of Aurora Public Library. You will usually find him hiking in the beautiful Rockies or enjoying one of my many nerdy hobbies. My reading interests are horror, sci-fi and fantasy.

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Chris G.

You may recognize Chris as the director of a series of 2011 YouTube videos starring his cat Clancy, as founder of the Houston-based bookmobile The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library, or, more recently, as that guy who works at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch of Aurora Public Library. His passions are literature, music, TV, food, beer, and making lists about literature, music, TV, food, and beer. He lives in Northwest Denver with his wife Kelly, the aforementioned Clancy, and another, less picturesque cat, Nora.

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Steven K.

Steven K. is a Library Assistant II at the Central Branch of the Aurora Public Library. He has earned degrees in political science, anthropology, and English literature and has the caffeine addiction to prove it. Someday he aspires to procrastinate writing fantasy novels, but for now he’ll stick to reading them.

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Laura R.

Laura is a Youth Services Library Assistant at the Central Branch of Aurora Public Library. You can usually find her reading, writing poems, riding bikes, or eating ice cream.

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Kristin S.

Kristin has worked at Aurora Public Library since 2013 and specializes in teen programs, adult programs and computer tutoring. Her hobbies include video games, digital painting, and designing Excel spreadsheets for fun.

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Zach S.

Zach is a Programming & Outreach Library Assistant for Aurora Public Library. His passions are mountains, skiing, pretending to be crafty or handy, exploring the world with his wife, long adventures with their fluffy dog, and adding cappuccinos or wine to all of those activities. 

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Julie S.

Julie is a Library Assistant at the Tallyn's Reach Branch of Aurora Public Library who loves to spend her days dancing with toddlers and chasing teenagers with Nerf guns. She enjoys watching Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Star Trek with her family. Julie's favorite book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

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Sara V.H.

Sara  is a Programming & Outreach Library Assistant II for Aurora Public Library. An (almost) lifelong resident of Aurora, Sara is proud to call Aurora home and serve her fellow Aurorans at the library! She loves to travel and explore new places with her husband Joe (especially if a beach is involved). She is a lover of all things Disney, football and cats – especially her Russian Blue Charlie – and usually has an Elton John or Taylor Swift song stuck in her head. Sara loves to read all kinds of books, but Young Adult is one of her favorite genres.

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Tessy W.

Tessy is a Reference Library Assistant at the Central Branch of Aurora Public Library. Focusing on computer literacy and unearthing the right book for that last minute research paper, she also presents classes at the library ranging from crafty do-it-yourself to financial literacy presentations.

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Assetou Xango
Assetou Xango

Dominique Sample goes by her artistic name Assetou Xango. She was introduced to performance poetry at age 15 by several world renowned poets who visited her school and was “instantly obsessed.” Xango memorized their poems and began writing constantly, anxiously awaiting the day she was old enough that her mother allowed her to attend the various poetry venues. 

A year later, Xango made her first competitive poetry team: a youth team called Minor Disturbance. They traveled to Los Angeles and competed internationally, achieving fourth place in the overall competition, and were featured on HBO. By the end of that season, she was 20 years old and had “aged out” of the youth program, so she joined their staff and taught poetry workshops to youth in summer camp programs to halfway houses, where she continues this work today with Minor Disturbance, Youth on Record, and Creative Strategies for Change, a local nonprofit organization that teaches a variety of art courses in K-12 schools. Here, she is its school program coordinator in charge of art classes in the Metro Area.

As a community leader, she continues her poetry work, forming and hosting three poetry venues throughout the nation, as well as community gatherings and forums. At the beginning of 2016, she was published in the Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Annual "Glyph" poetry book. She was also a performer in a recent TED Mile High Women event held in the Buell Theatre for a sold-out crowd of 2,700 people.

Assetou Xango reports she is excited and eager to find a new way to spread the passion and joy of poetry, helping people realize they have 'a voice' and to find it. “I have seen poetry enhance so many lives and change so many minds. I have spent my life in Aurora and have a tremendous sense of pride. It would be a true honor to continue to serve this growing community as a Poet Laureate.”

Her tenure as Aurora’s Poet Laureate runs from February 2017 through January 2019. If interested in booking her for an Aurora event, click here to contact us. 


We hope you enjoy!

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Feb 27, 2018 at 12:42 PM
  

Gaming Systems

Post by Brandon F. 

I am here to give you the skinny on what gaming system will best fit your wants and needs. I will be breaking down the numerous facets of each system in simple terms that will give you the information that you need. No confusing technical jargon to be found here!

The Nintendo Switch
Nintendo
Here we start with the granddaddy of all video games. If it were not for Nintendo, we would not have video games as we know it now. So what does their latest system, the Nintendo Switch, have to offer?

  • Graphics: The Switch comes in last place among the new consoles and it could best be thought of as a Playstation 3.5 as far as visual performance goes. However, Nintendo has mastered artistic design and you will be still be in awe of the majestic fields of Hyrule and any graphical worries will be left behind. You will also be getting High-Definition resolution in both docked and portable mode but don’t expect to find 4K resolution here.
  • Gimmick: Since the dawn of the Atari, gamers have wanted a console gaming experience that they can take on the go, and Nintendo has finally delivered on that dream. The Nintendo Switch sits inside a dock which is constantly connected to your TV Simply drop the Switch in for instant TV play and pick it back up and take it wherever your heart desires for a great portable experience. Be warned though that this is purely a gaming system. Streaming services such as Hulu are available for the system but do not expect any physical or Blu-ray support.
  • Cost: The Nintendo Switch has debuted at a respectable cost of $299.99. Considering that the system comes with two controllers, this a great deal. Don’t expect any price drops soon as the system has been selling incredibly well.
  • Games: The Switch has only been out for a year, but what a year it has been! Three game of the year contenders come from the Switch family and two of those are also in contention for best game ever. Both new iterations from the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises are absolute masterpieces that will provide you with an unrivaled experience in the open-world/adventure genre. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is no slouch itself with a compelling storyline and endearing characters that will give you at least 50 hours of gameplay. As time goes on, you will only have more and more to choose from when it comes to the Switch library.
  • Final Verdict: If you are a gamer first, with a love for the classics, the Nintendo Switch is for you with its killer first party games and portability.

The Playstation 4 Pro

Playstation 4

  • Graphics: The PS4 comes in at a very strong second behind the Xbox One and way ahead of the Nintendo Switch. With the PS4 Pro you are going to get games that have great graphic fidelity and can handle numerous on screen interactions at once. Thousands of characters can be on screen at once with little to no slowdown! When fighting a giant robotic dinosaur in Horizon Zero Dawn, you will see each individual cog and gear moving. That is how much detail can be presented with the power of the PS4 Pro.
  • Gimmick: The PS4 is the only home console to feature a high-end Virtual Reality Headset. The Playstation VR truly puts you into the game with a complete 360 degree field of vision and full depth perception. Have you ever dreamed of flying an X-Wing from Star Wars? With the Playstation VR, that dream becomes reality. You will also find the ability to watch all of your Blu-ray movies and DVDS on the PS4 Pro and as well 4K streaming through services such as Netflix and Hulu. I must emphasize that 4K can only be utilized through streaming as there is no 4K disc support on the PS4 Pro.
  • Cost: The Playstation 4 Pro currently sits at $399.99 for the standard 1 Terabyte model which comes with one controller. You can get the standard non-pro model of the PS4 for $299.99 but you will be missing out on 4K support and improved performance when it comes to gaming.
  • Games: The PS4 currently has the largest number of system exclusive games when compared to the other two console competitors. Seven of these exclusives also currently hold a Metacritic score of 90 or higher, which reflects the top notch quality you can expect from the PS4 library. You can expect Hollywood quality storytelling and voice acting that will truly immerse you into the experience. Lose yourself into the Sengoku Period of Japan while battling your way through Nioh. Roam a future version of Colorado where robotic creatures rule the land in Horizon Zero Dawn. Hunt for ancient treasure in the deepest depths of the jungles of Madagascar in Uncharted 4. The days of being impressed by the beeps and boops of Pong are long gone. You are in the game now.
  • ‚óŹFinal Verdict: If you want the largest variety of great exclusive games then the PS4 Pro is for you. You can also look forward to a full entertainment system that will cover your movie and TV playing needs along with the capability to experience Virtual Reality!

Xbox One X
xbox one

  • Graphics: Here is the king of visual presentation. Not only does the Xbox One X have the strongest processor under the hood, it also features full 4K support, includeing 4K discs. Video game developers who create a game for both the Xbox and PS4 might not take advantage of the former’s full capability, but exclusive games such as Forza and Halo will bring a visual splendor unlike anything you have seen before.
  • Gimmick: Power, power and more power. The Xbox One X is the most beastly of the consoles when it comes to what is running under the hood. Combining its processor with the ability to play 4K discs makes it leagues above the other systems. I must say though that you won’t see much visual difference for games that come out for both the Xbox and the Playstation. Game developers have to create a game that can run smoothly for both systems and they tend to adapt to the system with lesser graphical capability. Your system exclusives sure will look great though, as well your 4K movies.
  • Cost: Here is the part that hurts. The Xbox One X currently sits at $499.99. It has the most advanced tech out of all of the home consoles and you are most certainly paying for it. The much more affordable Xbox One Slim can be found for $199.99 but you will be missing out on the increased graphic fidelity and the bells and whistles that the X model features.
  • Games: The Xbox One X unfortunately does not have the quantity of quality exclusives the PS4 has, nor does it have the best game ever contenders like the Switch; however, this does not mean that the Xbox is without some fantastic games. Cuphead was a fantastic title that came out this year, which was made completely by hand drawn animation reminiscent of the old Walt Disney Cartoons. The visuals then get cranked up to 11 with Forza Horizon 3. This racing game will take you on an adrenaline fueled journey through the beautiful vistas of Australia. True 4K resolution was added on January 15th 2018, so you can truly feel the speed as you are racing at over 170 miles per hour. To wrap it up, you have Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Simply think of the Hunger Games in video game form, and you will have the right idea. Will you be the last one standing?
  • Final Verdict: If you are the tech junkie who loves having the newest and shiniest toys, the Xbox One X is for you. You will have the most powerful console on the market and a true treasure to show off to friends and family. However, I would only recommend the X model of the system if you have a 4K TV that can take advantage of the system’s true potential. Otherwise, I must recommend you go for the far cheaper Slim model.

  Let us know in the comments which gaming system is your favorite! 

Sources

MetaCritic PS4 overview

MetaCritic PS4 overview

MetaCritic PS4 overview

Posted by behrhart@auroragov.org  On Feb 22, 2018 at 12:54 PM 2 Comments
  
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