Noon Programs

Noon Programs Go Hybrid!

This year the Noon Programs, starting with the Fall Books Sandwiched in, will be offering a hybrid program. We are happy to be able to be in the McChesney Room as much as possible. There may be dates when the McChesney Room is not available, or we have scheduled a speaker who is not local.  If you want to join us virtually, you will find the Zoom link in the Events calendar on the library website, and listed below. We hope to see many of you “live” in the library as much as possible. However, now that we’ve become accustomed to virtual programs, we have a great option when in-person is either not available or inconvenient.

In addition, this year we are trying to provide different and hopefully interesting programs. As an example, the first two programs in September will not be our usual book reviews. We are trying something different, a participatory poetry reading, and a friendly political debate. Your feedback is welcomed and will help us plan in the future. You may reach me at gemu179@hotmail.com.

Geri Mulligan, Noon Programs Chair

    FALL 2021

November coordinated by Bill Buell
December coordinated by Geri Mulligan

 Nov. 1: Marilyn Sassi talks about Proctors A local historian, educator and chair of the Proctors History Committee, Sassi will talk about the landmark Schenectady theater created during the heyday of vaudeville. A long-time resident of the Stockade in one of the oldest houses in the city, Sassi has been a museum curator at the Schenectady County Historical Society and been on the adjunct faculty at Schenectady County Community College and Hudson Valley Community College. A Schenectady native, Sassi is also an authority on folk art and antiques.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

Nov. 8: Dave Pietrusza, the presidents, baseball and Amsterdam An Amsterdam native and U-Albany grad, Pietrusza retired as a state worker in 2007 but had become a nationally-recognized author long before that with books about baseball and the presidents. His 2007 work, “1920: The Year of the Six Presidents,” was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Reviews. His most recent book, “Too Long Ago,” came out in October of 2020 and tells the story of growing up in Amsterdam.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

Nov. 15: Neil Yetwin talks about Mordecai Myers A Springfield, Massachusetts native, Yetwin is a retired history teacher at Linton/Schenectady High School, where in 1989 he was named winner of the Louis B. Yavner Award for teaching about The Holocaust and Civil Rights. In 2013, he produced a book on Schenectady Mayor Mordecia Myers, “To My Son: The Life and War Rememberances of Captain Mordecai Myers.” A graduate of Springfield College, he has written numerous articles on various topics for the Schenectady County Historical Society, and is also an authority on Moses Viney, a free black man in Schenectady in the 19th century.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

Nov. 22: Jack Aernecke in conversation with Schenectady County historian Bill Buell Aernecke retired in 2007 after 42 years in the broadcasting business, the last 35 with WRGB, CBS-6. Born in Central Bridge in Schoharie County, Aernecke graduated from Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady before continuing his studies at Siena College.He anchored Channel 6 coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from New York City; he’s visited Albany’s sister city of Tula, Russia, for a series of stories, and he’s co-hosted WRGB’s annual Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon with colleague Liz Bishop.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

Nov. 29: Don Ackerman talks Schenectady politics A former high school history teacher and Schenectady County legislator, Ackerman will be discussing his new book, “The History of Schenectady Politics.” A native of Syracuse, Ackerman grew up in New Berlin and attended SUNY-Oneonta where he also earned his masters. He moved to the area to begin teaching history at Niskayuna High School in the late 1960s, and quickly became immersed in local politics, serving as Schenectady County Democratic chairman in the 1970s.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

December 6, Virtual Speaker: Linda Wisniewski will discuss her recent book, Where the Stork Flies. This story is about Kat, who is at loose ends after her husband ditched her and their daughter followed suit. When a lost time traveler appears in her Pennsylvania kitchen, she grasps at the chance to give her life meaning by helping the woman find her way home. Slipping through a portal to an 1825 Polish village, Kat meets her own ancestors and discovers how her own mistakes have derailed her life.
Important – There will be no in person attendance on this day.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

December 13: Local author James M. Odato, will present his book The Brain Had a Mouth: Lucy Gwin and the Voice of Disability Nation, a biography of author, journalist, disability rights activist, feminist, and founder of Mouth magazine, Lucy Gwin. This engrossing biography provides an intimate portrait of Gwin, detailing how she forged her own path into activism after an automobile accident that left her with a brain injury. More than just a publisher, Gwin fought against corruption in the rehabilitation industry, and much more.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3405061738?pwd=dXI0eHR0dHBoRjRYLzV3UlFtQmh1UT09
Meeting ID: 340 506 1738
Passcode: 682539

Winter 2021
Coordinated by Cathy Lewis

January 10 – Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution.  “To quote the author—and the book lives up to these words—“Players is the first book to tell the astonishing narrative behind the creation of the modern sports business—a true revolution that moved athletes from the bottom of the financial pyramid to the top.” Author Matthew Futterman has chronicled this as he worked for newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Those who grew up as rabid sports fans and heard the emphasis on “amateurs” in the Olympics may appreciate (or not!) this unabashed narrative on how hard-working athletes finally got paid for what they are worth.” Book by Matthew Futterman; presented by Brad Lewis

January 17 – No program – Martin Luther King Day

January 24 – Virtual Program: Caste.  “Author Isabel Wilkinson would like the word “caste” to replace the word “race” in discussions of the subject that is, in the words of her subtitle, “the source of our discontents.” Wilkerson was a reporter for the New York Times in 1994 when she became the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. She won more praise and prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, for her 2010 book The Warmth of Other Suns.  In her second book, Caste, she asserts that Black Americans remain, more than a century and a half after the abolition of slavery, trapped in a caste system that is unjust and socially constructed, like the caste systems of traditional India and Nazi Germany.” Book by Isabel Wilkinson; presented by George Wise

January 31 – Virtual Program: The Marriage of Opposites. “In this novel, prolific author Alice Hoffman imagines the life of Camille Pissaro’s mother, Rachel Pizzarro.  Through extensive research, Hoffman imagines and recreates the lives of the Pizzarro family on the island of St. Thomas in the early 1800s. Her lush language and character development create cinematic scenes.  The review will explore history, art and the role of strong women.” Book by Alice Hoffman; presented by Rosaline Horowitz

February 7 – Virtual Program: Three Days at Camp David: How a Secret Meeting in 1971 Transformed the Global Economy. “This is the story of the people who advised President Richard Nixon on his most momentous decision of his Presidency”, in the opinion of presenter Rob Dickson. Before that weekend, all national currencies were valued to the U.S. dollar, which was convertible to gold at a fixed rate. That system, established by the Bretton Woods Agreement at the end of World War II, was the foundation of the international monetary system that helped fuel the greatest expansion of middle-class prosperity the world has ever seen.  And, Dickson observes, the momentous nature of these decisions is frequently not understood.” Book by Jeffrey Garten; presented by Rob Dickson

February 14: The Code Breaker:  Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson, reviewed by Rich Alben. “Walter Isaacson, biographer of Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, presents the story of Jennifer Doudna. The story starts with her early life experiences and proceeds through her development into a world class expert in the structure and function of biological molecules and finally her role in uncovering the secrets of how CRISPR, a mechanism used by bacteria to fight viruses, can be turned into a breakaway tool to edit human genes.  The book provides interesting reading on the human side of scientific progress as well as providing an accessible explanation of the science  of genetics that underlie each step in the long journey from Darwin’s natural selection,  through Crick and Watson’s double helix to CRISPR’s code matching and DNA splicing that, for good or evil, is enabling unprecedented manipulation of human genes.”

February 28:  Sherrie L. Lyons PhD. History of Science,  Adjunct Assistant Professor Department of Bioethics at Albany College of Medicine, will discuss her book From Cells to Organisms: Re-envisioning Cell Theory. This book takes cell theory seriously, not as finished doctrine, but as an ongoing and sometimes contentious research program.Dr. Lyons examines how our past understanding and appreciation of cells reflect current, but often outdated or incomplete ideas. From Cells to Organisms provides an integrated approach to analysis of cell theory.

 ****For the Q&A section of this program, we will be utilizing Zoom’s RAISE HAND feature. Before you join this program, please make sure that you have read through the web article linked below on how to use RAISE HAND for the device you will be using to participate in this ZOOM program. Please click here to learn the procedure. ****