A Program about The Children Act? Why?

“Just to be clear, Adam. You do realize that it’s for me alone to decide what’s in your best interests. If I were to rule that tchildren-acthe hospital may legally transfuse you against your wishes, what will you think?”

He was sitting up, breathing hard, and seemed to sag a little at the question, but he smiled. ‘I’d think My Lady was an interfering busybody.” (Ian McEwan, The Children Act, 117-118).

Around the World through Books’ upcoming program on Thursday, November 10, will be framed by the events of The Children’s Act by Ian McEwan. Paralegal Studies program head Susan Brewer will lead the discussion, a challenging task because:

  1. Not everyone will have read the book, and that’s okay.(But all three Reynolds Libraries have copies to lend.)
  2. Though this program is sponsored by the Multicultural Enrichment Council, it is not particularly multicultural—at least not in the sense of ethnic diversity. It is set in London, England, and the main characters are white middle-class folk of decent background and intelligence, with nobody particularly harassing them.

    Susan Brewer (not Fiona Maye)
  3. This is a book without much action or plot, and almost everybody in it wants what’s best for the others. Almost everybody. Yet it has a sense of urgency and is literally about life and death decisions.

This is a book about searching for truth, and it’s a book about judging. Fiona Maye is a high court judge who must decide whether a young man with leukemia, Adam Henry, a Jehovah’s Witness, must have the blood transfusion which he wants to refuse, but without which his treatment will surely fail. Adam is seventeen and three-quarters, still technically a minor, but well over the sixteen years at which a child’s wishes are usually considered in legal matters. His parents support his choice. The hospital has brought it to court—the doctors want to save this charming, intelligent young man. The Henrys believe that Biblical injunctions to abstain from eating blood also preclude accepting blood products into the body. Adam is prepared to die rather than disobey God.

What’s multicultural about all that? What does this book have to do with diversity and inclusion? Here are three answers; perhaps you can supply more. Or perhaps the program will give us a chance to develop other ideas—come to LTC 220 from 7-8:30 on Thursday, Nov. 10 and see.

  1. Religious convictions (or anti-convictions) are part of each person’s cultural identity. They help define our understanding of right and wrong and how things ought to be, which in turn affects how we treat each other.
  2. Even reasoned, critical thinking based on law (The Children Act is the British child protective services law, to oversimplify it), logic, and the best of intentions is affected by the context of cultural conventions, parental and social influences, and, perhaps, life’s momentous distractions. Fiona is childless and her husband is behaving badly.
  3. Fiona’s husband is behaving badly. It is accurate to say he’s being really stupid and selfish, but that sounds so judgmental. Society today has a “Don’t judge!” mantra. “Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1),” is quoted frequently. But what does that really mean? How can we be inclusive, kind, and respectful, and still be true to our own convictions about right and wrong?children-act-poster

Find your Fandom at the Library

Comic Con Display at the Downtown Library

Did you miss the New York Comic Con this year?  Are you going to the Virginia Comic Con in Richmond at the end of October?  Get help choosing your Fandom at the Library.  We have DVDs of The Avengers, X-men, The Hobbit, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. along with many Anime DVDs.  We also have books on Superheroes, Manga and Comics.  Once you’ve found your Fandom, you can use this online book, 1000 incredible costume & cosplay ideas a showcase of creative characters, for Cosplay costume ideas.

Comic Con: Comic book convention
Cosplay: Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character).
Fandom: The community that surrounds a TV show/movie/book etc. Fanfiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers are all members of that fandom. Fandoms often consist of message boards, livejournal communities, and people.

Definitions from UrbanDictionary.com.

Happy Columbus Day!

Die Schiffe des Columbus by Gustav Adolf Closs

“The great thing about revisionist history is you have the freedom to go back and correct these misconceptions about the past, as long as you’re doing it in a scholarly and authentic and well-researched sort of way.”

– Candace Gibson
Stuff You Missed in History Class – Did the Chinese Reach America Before Columbus?

Happy Columbus Day everyone!

In honor of this (sometimes polarizing) holiday, let’s all take a moment to go back and see if what we learned about Columbus’ ‘discovery’ in elementary school still holds true today.

Lucky for us, the folks at the “Stuff You Missed in History Class” podcast have done some of the work for us already. Take a listen to this short episode, where they discuss Gavin Menzies book 1421: The Year China Discovered America? and whether or not Menzies theory holds water.

Inspired to do your own investigation after listening to the podcast? You’re in luck! We’ve got the book and its sequel – Who Discovered America? – right here in our collection!

If you’re especially inspired, we’ve also got Lies My Teacher Told Me to tide you over.

Happy hunting/researching/de-bunking!

Students Post Dreams, Seek Resume & Employment Tips @Library Open Houses

On Tuesday, September 20th & Wednesday, September 21st—Reynolds Libraries at Parham and Downtown opened their doors to a flurry of activities…


From the smallest of hopes to the biggest of dreams, Reynolds students added their goals to Post-It Note walls.


Advice on resumes and employment were in demand as students flocked to the Career Specialists who served as the main attraction.


A selfie frame helped to break the ice & get students to think about “My Future Self.” See all the great photos here.


Two lucky students—one from Parham and one from Downtown—actually won Kindle Fire tablets!              *****Goochland Library will give away one more on October 26th to a lucky student who visits between 11-1!!!


Choose Your Direction at the Library!

Reynolds Libraries will be hosting three open house events this fall. We would like each of you to join us in the library for access to all of the tools you will need for succeeding in your future. Plus, we will be giving away three Kindle Fires! (One at each event.) We would love to see you there and we have lots of informative and fun activities planned for each day!

Downtown Campus: Sept 20th 11AM-1PM

Parham Road Campus: Sept 21st 11AM – 1PM

Goochland Campus: October 26th 11AM – 1PM


Keeping North Run Creek Beautiful

The Reynolds family cleaning up North Run Creek. Photo courtesy Neale Foster.

Did you know that North Run Creek snakes along the property line of Reynolds’ Parham Road Campus? All along the path you’ll find informational signs that were originally put up by DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) and approximately 2 miles of trails that follow the creek line and zig zag through the surrounding woods and fields. Not only is this peaceful, mostly shade-covered trail available to Reynolds students, faculty and staff, but it’s also available to the public every day!


On Friday, August 12th, at 9AM in 95 degree weather, a group of volunteers from Reynolds, comprised of staff, faculty, family members, and including one adventurous rising freshman, participated in the annual creek clean-up with the patient help of buildings and grounds employees. We are proud to say that three library staff people, Suzanne Sherry, KC Frankenburger and Neale Foster, assisted with this clean-up.

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Afterward, cooling down in the air conditioning. Photo courtesy Neale Foster.

Volunteers spent roughly two and a half hours picking up paper, styrofoam, plastic, old tires, bottles, cans, candy wrappers, and any other litter they found along the path. And they didn’t complain about the weather once! (Okay, maybe once.) But no matter the weather, it’s always important to remember to that keep our environment beautiful we have to do our part.

If you get the chance, please check out the trail to experience the beauty of nature right here in our own Reynolds back-yard! And remember: Re-use, reduce, recycle!