Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"A Very Jazzy Christmas!" Concert featuring The Andy Kahn Trio


Overbrook Park Library



Saturday, December 21st

1pm - 2:30

Andy Kahn
The Andy Kahn Jazz Trio
Kenny Davis: Bass
Bruce Klauber: Drums
All are Welcome to this Free Jazz Holiday Concert!
Light Refreshments will be Served!
Free Special Gift for First 50 People
For more information contact the
Overbrook Park Library
7422 Haverford Ave.
Phila. Pa 19151
 Phone: 215.685.0183


Thursday, November 21, 2013

50 Years Anniversary of JFK's Assassination


John Fitzgerald Kennedy
35th President of the United States
1917 -1963

Even after 50 years after the death of our 35thPresident, John F. Kennedy
his legacy as well as the mysteries behind his untimely demise goes on.
 But one thing is for sure, America lost a groundbreaking,
charismatic president.

JFK had many great accomplishments but here are a few:


1)     He became the 35th president of the US at the age of 43.
      He was the youngest, as well as the first Catholic president of the US.


2)     He served in the US senate form 1953-1960


3)    Served in the US Navy in WWII and Won the Purple Heart,
      a medal for soldiers injured or killed in the line of duty.


4)     JFK's cautious and sensible approach to the standoff during
      the Cuban missile crisis that ultimately diverted a nuclear war
      with the Soviet Union and secured the removal of missiles from


5)    Under JFK's administration, laws was put in place to end
     segregation in interstate travel facilities


6)    JFK issued an executive order prohibiting discrimination in the
      sale or lease of housing that was financed by federally guaranteed
      loans or owned by the federal government.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you,
ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy
 Here are a few books about President Kennedy that are in
The Free Library of Philadelphia collection.




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Celebrating the life of “Father John D'Amico”

Celebrating the life of “Father John D'Amico”

A Philadelphia Jazz Legend

Father John D'Amico

My friend, Father John D'Amico was an outstanding jazz pianist who had fans wherever he played throughout the city, and he was also a compassionate and devoted to helping other people, passed away this week.

Father John was born John Aloysius D'Amico, a former Roman Catholic priest, was 74 and lived in Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. He played his cool style of jazz at numerous venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and was also a music historian and teacher.
John performed solo and also with his trio, consisting of Kenny Davis on bass and Gregory McDonald on drums. Over the years, he performed with some of the jazz greats, including Lionel Hampton, Jimmie Oliver, Bootsie Barnes, Bruce Klauber and Philly Joe Jones.

Just last April, he did us the honor of performing at our library Overbrook Park helping us celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month. We were looking forward to seeing and hearing Father John play his piano at our “2013 Holiday Celebration” this December but God had better plans for him. He was a true friend to the Overbrook Park Library on his last visits he told me “he just wanted to expose the young people to the rich history of jazz music”.

Father John D'Amico was an extraordinary musician as well as an extraordinary human being and he will be missed by many.
  (LtoR) Bruce Klauber(drums), Kenny Davis (Bass), Marvin DeBose & John D'Amico(Piano)
 The Father John Trio visit to the Overbrook Park Library last April for "Jazz Appreciation Month”
Services: Memorial service 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Carpenter Lane and Lincoln Drive, Mount Airy.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rev. Al Sharpton - The Rejected Stone

Sharpton, Al. (2013) The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership. Hardback | Cash Money Content | ISBN-13:9781936399475 | $13.46 |  272 Pages

On October 10th The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Authors’ tour hosted Rev. Al Sharpton to promote his new book The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership.

Civil rights activist and MSNBC's PoliticsNation host Rev. Al Sharpton makes his latest entry into the literary world with The Rejected Stone, which was released October 8th, 2013. The book's title is named after the biblical quote in Psalms chapter 118 verse 22.

He give details on his  wisdom in chapters all their own titled, “Learning from Flawed Leaders,” “Never Rest on Your Laurels,” “Practice What You Preach,” and “Don’t Be Afraid to Be Big,” to name a few
I thought this book was good very insightful of his childhood stardom, as a 9-year-old preacher and his turbulent upbringing of moving from a middle class home to the projects.

Another rather interesting aspect of this book is the fact that it is distributed by Cash Money Content whose parent group is Cash Money Records, a record company with whom Rev. Sharpton has had a tumultuous relationship in recent years.  

Just last summer, Rev. Sharpton called a meeting with Pepsi Co. to protest their endorsement of Cash Money rapper Lil' Wayne after he made an insensitive reference to Emmett Till, the African-American teen who was lynched in Mississippi back in 1955.

During the book's presentation, one the spectators in the crowd asked Rev. Sharpton about his unexpected collaboration with the same company that he protested. Sharpton eluded the question by saying that he was signed with company Simon & Schuster.

Needless to say, the circumstances surrounding the book's publishing are questionable. However, The Rejected Stone is a good read which covers the life and lessons of one of the most significant figures of the 21st century. 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Twelve Years A Slave - The Solomon Northup Story

"12 Years A Slave' Wins Best Picture Drama At 2014 Golden Globe Awards"
"12 Years a Slave" Named Best picture at 2014 Oscars

 Twelve Years a Slave, originally published in 1853, is a breathtaking story about the life of Solomon Northrup, a New York citizen who was kidnapped after being lured to Washington DC and sold into slavery for nearly 12 years between the years of 1841 and 1853.

Northup, from upstate New York was a free black man who was a highly skilled carpenter and an accomplished fiddle player.  While in New York, two circus promoters offered Northup a high paying job, which they said would only take a few days to complete. Without letting his wife know of his whereabouts, he traveled with these strangers, only to find himself drugged, beaten and bound in a cell. When Northup argued his right as a free man, he was severely beaten and demanded to never to mention his free life in New York unless he wanted to be killed. 

Shortly after, Northup is taken by ship to New Orleans, where he and many of the other slaves are subject to harsh conditions including the deadly disease, smallpox. During his years as a slave, Northup works on many different plantations for some very cruel and abusive owners, yet he's also tormented by the fact that he cannot reveal his true identity as a free man to anyone, not even a fellow slave. 

Twelve Years a Slave has been made into a motion picture directed by Steven Rodney McQueen is set to debut today (Oct 18, 2013). By me being a history enthusiast, naturally I find this to be quite a compelling story. I can’t wait to see the movie and compare it to how close the movie is to the actual book. Eager patrons are already flocking my library branch looking for copies of this book. This Book is a MUST READ!

 Northup, Solomon(2013)  Twelve Years a Slave. Paperback | CreateSpace Independent Publishing | ISBN -13:978-1492137049 | $4.77 | 154 Page

Friday, October 11, 2013

Urban Public Librarians as School Media Specialists | EasyBib Blog

Urban Public Librarians as School Media Specialists

Librarian Profile: Marvin DeBose

Teen Librarian, Free Library of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA

Marvin DeBose
We’ve featured many great academic and K-12librarians in our Librarian Profile blog posts over the past year, but what about public librarians? In many communities, they play an equally important role as the school library — sometimes, they are the school library.
Marvin DeBose, a teen librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia, knows this situation all too well. Public libraries, particularly in ubran areas like Philadelphia that have faced dire school budget cuts, play a crucial role in providing information and educational resources to students.
DeBose, who has worked as a teen librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia for eight years, has seen an influx of student patronage as school budgets were slashed. “One of the problems we have in Philly is that the majority of public K-12 schools don’t have libraries –we are the primary source of information access for the kids,” he said. With a high school right down the street, DeBose has students coming in everyday. “We really kind of operate in the capacity of a school library. Anything K-12 school library media specialists do, I do.”
Given the lack of school libraries in Philadelphia city schools, DeBose makes a concerted effort to form a relationship with local schools to educate students on how the public library can help. The importance of K-12 schools forming relationships with public librarieshas been discussed frequently in recent months, and is something DeBose has continued to nuture.
“The relationships with the public schools are good, but some of them have such a bad behavior problem that coordinating visits and programs gets put on the back burner,” he said.
“Our programs depend on the demographic and what type of school it is — we’ve done everything from talking to a large crowd in an auditorium, to going from class to class, letting students know about our services.” DeBose organizes a “boot camp” for ninth graders, where he gives them a crash course on what they can expect when they start high school, and how the public library can help them.
“We find it really helps. When you become a part of the community, the kids come to you, and the library.”
Check out Marvin’s blog, Mr. Philly Librarian, where he writes book reviews, discusses library events and shares author interviews. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn, too.
Emily GoverEmily Gover is the information literacy librarian for EasyBib andResearchReady. In the Philly Cheesesteak battle of Pat’s vs. Geno’s, she goes for Pat’s every time. You can find her on Twitter, @Emily_EasyBib, or posting news you can use at the EasyBib Librarians Face

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The Streets Are Talking" with Omar Tyree

"The Streets Are Talking" 
with Omar Tyree!

By Marvin DeBose Sr.
Sept. 26, 2013

Philly's own New York Times Best Seller Author, Playwriter & Filmmaker

Hi Brother Omar  

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. I remember when you first started writing books and you showed me your self-published copy of “Capital City” with the yellow cover page. It great to see a childhood friend dreams become reality.

Q. What inspired you to become a writer?

 OT. I had some things that I wanted to say and some stories to tell and I was good at writing, so I took advantage of my opportunities to try it. Basically, I stepped up to the plate and didn't back down from the challenge of being the first one to do it. It was pure heart and soul.

Q. What writers influenced your work?

 OT. Walter Mosley, Iceberg Slim, Richard Wright, Terry McMillan, Toni Morrison and Chester Himes all had influence in my style. And from there I created on my own.

Q. What role did The Free Library of Philadelphia play in your development as a writer?

OT. I had my first big author events at the Free Library of Philadelphia at the Main Branch downtown in the park, and my first local event was at the Germantown Branch(Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library). The Philadelphia Libraries gave me much love and were the first national libraries to carry my books. In fact, we need to organize a new big event in the Philadelphia library to discuss the explosion and change of the black book and publishing industries over the past 20 years. A lot has changed.

Q. What part of Philly did you grow up in? How did growing up in Philadelphia influence your writing?

OT. I grew up in West Philly and moved to Mt. Airy and they were two different worlds. So I had the hardened edge and fortitude of a West Philly kid, but then had the optimism and opportunities of a Mt. Airy kid. So I understood what opportunity was all about while not letting anyone or anything stop me. And that Philadelphian fortitude helped me to establish myself as a young entrepreneur when I started publishing my first books. I wasn't afraid of anything. So I took it like a street fight and went at it.

Q. What would you say is distinctive about your work?

OT. It was urban contemporary and about black people RIGHT NOW! Other black books were about black people from 20 and 30 years ago. So my books were the most current. They were also young. I wrote about young black people in crisis. No one else was really doing that at the time.

Q. How would you say the landscape of urban/street literature has changed since you first started?

OT. Well, for one, too many people started writing the same stories about the hood, where I wanted to see more black books in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, international thrillers, satire, paranormal and everything else. We don't all need to write about the hood 5,000 times. So the genre gig word out. And I never called mine "street", it was always "urban" like urban radio, [which a word used to describe] black, inner-city and soulful. But a lot of the new authors lost the soul and complexities of the work. It just got darker and darker without light.

Q. Explain your process of writing urban literature, does it involve research, recording personal experiences, etc.?

OT. All of the above. But I was more of a watcher than a participant in the [experiences of my story's characters], so I wrote more from research. I had a strong family that led me away from [engaging in negative activity]. I was also the oldest brother of three where I had a direction to provide to younger brothers with more weight on my shoulders to lead.

Q: What advice would you offer to a young writer trying to get their book out there?
OT. Write something different and promote the heck out if it. It's much harder to do now. I mean, you can get it out, but how to make it stand out. Since, I was the first to do it, I didn't have to worry about so much competition. But now there's plenty of it.

Q. What are some of your upcoming plans for the future?

OT. E-books are the new name of the game with no publishers in the way to dictate what comes out and how. So I'm down with where they've allowed me to be as versatile as I want to be and expand the subject material to reach more global readers. That's what I'm into now. Let's make the urban more global.

Q: So how has it been for you in terms of book sales?

OT. I had a glorious career for the first ten years from 1992-2002, and after that, the competition grew steeper and steeper, so now I have to rebuild new numbers in the e-book world. And it's all about the social media game now, so I'm @OmarTyree, LinkedIn, Facebook and soon on Instagram to keep pushing my new work.

Q: Do you think the industry is changing in that respect?

OT. Definitely! E-books are taking over. The libraries will feel it too. [The Free Library of Philadelphia] will become more computerized with e-book readers in the libraries in booths. The book stores are closing down, the print costs are still rising, and we no longer have big author events like we used to have. So when the authors are no longer celebrated like they used to be, do they still sell the same numbers? I believe not. So how do we make books and book events cool and crowded and the thing to do again?

Q: Tell me more about your success by publishing books in EBooks format?

OT. As first I didn't believe in e-books. I was old school and all about the physical print. But when I could no longer get published because my interests in new directions, I had no choice but to go to e-books. Now I have a brand new game plan. So get down with!

Q. Talk a little about your new eBook “Psychedelic."

. "Psychedelic" is a music comedy film idea that would have never been published as a physical book, because the publishers, particular of black books, don't have anything to compare it to. My "Just Say No!" book would come close, but that was a music drama where "Psychedelic" is a comedy. And folks will enjoy it, laugh out loud, think about the music industry and want the film. And it's just the first of more comedy book ideas to come.

Q. What did you think about the Philadelphia Literary Legacy celebration honoring Philadelphia’s rich literary past and present? Do you think that you earn a spot in the top 50? (I thought you deserve to be recognize base on the body of work that you have written compare to other that was recognized.)

OT. Well, with something like that, it's always about who is voting. If your talking about 50s and up, they might not think of my work. If your thinking about the academics and intellectuals, they may not think of my work either. But if you ask the readers, they will place me in the Top 3. But to have a list of 50 Top Philadelphian writers and Omar Tyree not make that list would be absolutely ridiculous. I would say that those folks who voted either totally forgot about me, or they haven't checked my résumé.

View more of Omar Tyree's work at, & 

Follow Marvin DeBose Sr. on Twitter @PhillyLibrarian