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Living History Comes to the Ruth Keeler Library

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. — The IRS has designated 2012 Tax Day as Tuesday, April 17, so put aside your pencil and calculator and spend a couple of fascinating hours Sunday afternoon at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library.

Sculptor and filmmaker Jonathan Fein will speak at 3 p.m. and show clips from his award-winning documentary, Objects and Memory, a PBS special presented in commemoration of 9/11.

Objects and Memory focuses on how we respond to history while it is happening around us and how the ordinary things in our daily lives carry the stories forward. The film follows people who make special efforts to preserve objects in the aftermath of a tragedy. It demonstrates how the things around us become symbolic and how they reinforce the significance of historical events.

“It is living history; it’s how we tell history while it is happening,” said Library Director Carolyn Reznick. “It’s history in the making.” The film is narrated by Frank Langella, with music by Philip Glass.

Sunday’s lecture is funded by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities (NYCH). It is one of seven lectures offered in the NYCH’s Speakers in the Humanities program concentrating on 9/11. The event is co-sponsored by the North Salem Historical Society, the town historian and the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library.  

The NYCH sponsors many programs on a variety of subjects. The next event sponsored at Ruth Keeler will be a lecture by Ilya Wachs, professor at Sarah Lawrence College and author of Dickens: The Orphan Condition, at 3 p.m. June 3.

The Wachs lecture will be the culmination of the library’s celebration of Charles Dickens’ bicentenary, “Two Hundred Years of Dickens — 1812-2012.” It is a four-part event. The first three parts are book discussions, scheduled as follows:

• 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 3, Dickens’ David Copperfield

• 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10, Charles Dickens by Jane Smiley

• 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, Dickens’ Hard Times.

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