Tuesday, December 9, 2014

City Year Corps helps at Overbrook Park Library's Clean Up Day!

Overbrook Park Library clean-up day led by OVP's Municipal Guard James West (green shirt in the rear) with City Year Corps staff.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

MissDomino: African-American Boys and Reading

MissDomino: African-American Boys and Reading: President Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' Program      Blogger Edi Campbell recently forwarded an EdWeek Article to me o...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Muslim Vocices of Philadelphia -Documentaries Screening

Overbrook Park Library hosted "Muslim Voices of Philadelphia” documentaries screening program on September 27, 2014. Muslim Voices is a project of Scribe Video Center, a multi-faceted media arts center providing access to high- quality instruction and video equipment media production. This was a great program very informative that documented the History of Islam in Philadelphia dating back to the 1800’s.
Sneak Preview


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Muslim Voices of Philadelphia @ Overbrook Park Library

Muslim Voices Of Philadelphia
In Your Neighborhood

    Muslim Voice of Philadelphia explores the rich history and contemporary life of Muslims in Philadelphia - From the perspectives of the community members. Featuring eleven short documentaries produced by local Muslim groups in collaboration with Scribe Video Center, these films explore the significance, vibrancy and diversity of the Philadelphia area Muslim community, offering insights important not only to the history of this city but to the broader contemporary conversation of Islam in American life.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Walter Dean Myers

"In Memory to Award winning Author Walter Dean Myers"

Aug. 12, 1937 - July 1, 2014


Walter Dean Myers, the best-selling children’s book author who story often depicted the harsh lives of young people died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 76.

Myers was a three-time National Bok Award nominee, received the Coretta Scott King Book Award for African-American fiction five times and from 2012 to 2013 served as national ambassador for young people’s literature, a position created in part by the Library of Congress.

"I didn't know I was going to be a writer," Myers said in an interview with Scholastic Books after his book Scorpions was published in 1988.

"In fact, I didn't know that there was such a job as an author,” Myers said. “No one really encouraged me to write, it was just something I loved to do."

Myers, who wrote more than 100 books, credited his foster father for instilling him a work ethic within him.

"What I really have is the discipline to work all the time," he said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. "I finish one project, and I'm ready to immediately start the next."

 Late in his career, he took up writing about America's wars, in books such as "Sunrise over Fallujah" After watching his father, brother and son fight in WWII, Vietnam, and Iraq, respectively, Myers stated that he wanted to reach “young people who would be fighting this war, and who would, in the future, be making the hard decisions about our country engaging in wars, to be conscious of what war is really about”.

As he got older and the world around him was changing, especially after the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama, it bothered him how scarcely characters of color were depicted in literature for children and teens. In 2013, according to one study, only 93 of the 3,200 children's books published in the U.S. were about black people. Myers believed that the invisibility of people of color in literature discouraged kids from reading.

 "When do you plan to stop writing books?" his young readers once asked. “I plan to retire," Myers answered, "seven minutes before I die." Myers was said to write 7 – 10 pages at least 5 days a week for the last thirty years. This clearly explains how he has over 100 books to his credited.

Although he has passed on, Myers’ legacy will live forever. He’s someone who transcended literature and became important to a culture, and he is a shining example of what writers should strive to be.


"I think it's difficult for young people to acknowledge being smart, to knowledge being a reader. I see kids who are embarrassed to read books. They're embarrassed to have people see them doing it."

Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myer’s complete bibliography

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Food for Thought of the Week!


The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.

Carl T. Rowan



Monday, July 21, 2014

The Food for Thought of the Week!

 Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

Maya Angelou


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

7th Annual Festival @ Parkwest Town Center

This Saturday come on down 52nd & Jefferson Streets (down the street from the old Georges Institute library), from noon until 4:00pm for the 7th Annual Festival @ ParkWest Town Center.
 Mrphillylibrarian will have a table set up providing Free giveaways plus sharing information with the community about the awesome services that The Free Library of Philadelphia offers especially the highly anticipated “2014 Summer Reading Program”.
 The Festival is an annual expression of appreciation, bringing business and community together, in celebration of the collaborative efforts that contributed to the development of ParkWest Town Center.
 See you there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maya Angelou: The World's Griot


Maya Angelou: The World's Griot

Photo credit: Biography.com

Maya Angelou 1928-2014
By: Marvin DeBose Jr.

In West African culture, the griots, storytellers who often employed the use of poetry and music, have historically been seen as some of the most highly valued members of society. These people were seen as walking history books, full of lessons to impart upon a village. Maya Angelou was a product of this rich tradition.

For most people, simply hearing that name, “Maya Angelou”, brings words to mind such as, “Wisdom” and “understanding”.Her presence was associated with poise, and grace, and her words were filled with truth and love.

Although many people simply associate her with her countless insightful quotes and thought-provoking poetry, what made Maya Angelou truly remarkable were not just the beautiful, poetic words which she spoke, it was the rich life which she lived.

Born in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, but raised in Stamps, Arkansas, Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson, lived the life of a true renaissance woman.

In her early life, Angelou was widely known for her immense talent in the performing arts. She was renowned calypso performer, which is a form of Afro-Caribbean dance and music and also spent time working as an actress and a playwright, who toured internationally starring in shows such as“Porgy and Bess” and writing plays such as “Georgia, Georgia”.

Angelou also worked internationally as a human rights activist, working with Martin Luther King Jr in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as with Malcolm X in the Organization of African Unity.
Angelou would also spend years living in Ghana, working as a freelance journalist.

Most notably, Angelou was a world-renowned poet and author. Her thought-provoking writings touched on controversial topics like race and gender, as well as universal themes such as love and parenthood. She is seen as one of the most significant writers in American literature. Her raw, yet profound autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, was ranked by TIME magazine as being one of the top 100 most influential books written in the English language.

Although she has departed from us in the physical form, her words, her wisdom and her spirit live within the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

To many people, for some whom she didn't even know personally, Angelou was a mentor, a mother-figure, and an adviser. Oprah Winfrey commonly cites Angelou as her “mother/sister”. Even comedians such as Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock were known to go to her home in North Carolina to seek her advice.

Angelou once even disciplined rapper Tupac Shakur, whom she worked with in the movie “Poetic Justice”. Angelou witnessed Shakur about to get into a fight on the movie set and she pulled him aside and brought him to tears by asking him, “When was the last time anyone told you how important you are?' Did you know people stood on auction blocks and were bought and sold so that you could stay alive today?'”

Moments like that are testaments to the fact that Angelou was much more than a few witty quotes online, it shows how she was much more than a poet, actor and a playwright. She was a leader whose example helped to bring out the best in other people.

There are many words which can be associated with Maya Angelou's remarkable legacy; however there is only one which suits her best:


Read more at http://www.themindofmarvin.com/2014/05/maya-angelou-worlds-griot.html#TMPoiDb8WkbqEoA3.99

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Philly's Book Festival @ Overbrook Park Library


Philly's Own Omar Tyree & Marvin DeBose

Omar Tyree came back to West Philly & visited the Overbrook Park Library. He gave a powerful lecture on his career & the state of Urban Literature.

Hair Story-  Authors Lori L. Tharps, Ayanna Byrd  & Librarian  Marvin DeBose
Overbrook hosted Hair Story authors Ayana D. Byrd & Lori L. Tharps for Book Festival Week. Their book is a Must read!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sneak Peek at New Release: "The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell"

New Release - Date April 29

Mitchell, Don. (2014) The Freedom Summer Murders. Hardback | Scholastic | ISBN -13:978-0545-477253 | $18.99 | 256 Pages

 The Freedom Summer Murder by Don Mitchell is the best complete book that I read on this subject of the brutal murders in Neshoba County, Mississippi , on June 21,1964 of  James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner  three civil right workers . The three had been working on the "Freedom Summer" campaign, attempting to register African Americans to vote.

The author does a great job of documenting the life’s and families of these three men before this tragic night. After reading the book I felt that I personally know these guys. This year is the 50th Anniversary of this tragic event! This book should be a great read for the teenagers in my Book club. Great Read!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Philadelphia Book Festival @ Overbrook Park - Sat. April 19 @ 1:00


Philadelphia Book Festival @ Overbrook Park


Come meet Author:
 Lori L. Tharps is the author of two critically acclaimed non-fiction books, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America and Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain. Her debut novel, Substitute Me was released in August 2010. When Tharps is not writing books, she teaches journalism classes at Temple University. Believe it or not, Tharps' greatest pleasure in life is reading. Other people's books of course, not her own.

Saturday, April 19 @ 1:00 pm

Overbrook Park Library

7422 Haverford Avenue


Refreshments will be served!

Lori Tharps Appears on the Tyra Banks show in 2009 to discuss “Good and Bad Hair"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 Street Literature Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Winners and Honorees

31 March 2014

For RELEASE: 2014 Street Literature Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Winners and Honorees


Philadelphia, PA. -- The 2014 Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Committee is proud to announce the award winners for 2013 publications. The following winners and honorees were nominated based on popularity of books as read by the public in school, academic, and public library settings. In other words, the SLBAM honors what street lit readers are reading and deeming as their best authors and titles for the 2013 publication year.


Readers really resonated with the epistolary-styled book authored author/actor Hill Harper. A long-time activist for social justice, Harper's writings back to inmate letters is awe-inspiring and a clarion call for everyone to acknowledge that if one of us is imprisoned, then, we all are. This title was constantly requested last year, in its hardback version. It is also available on Kindle, and the paperback is due for release in April 2014.

Adult Non-Fiction Honorees:
-- Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation by Quest Love.
-- Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou.
-- Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson and Larry Sloman.

Author and publisher Wahida Clark has a loyal readership that responds to her books consistently. Clark's works are always authentic in their voice and in their uncompromising representations of what goes on in the hood. Wahida keeps it real in her Thug Love series, of which "Honor Thy Thug" is the latest installment. Readers couldn't get enough of this title in 2013.

Adult Fiction Honorees:
-- The Prada Plan 3: Green-Eyed Monster by Ashley and JaQuavis.
-- Murderville 3: The Black Dahlia by Ashley and JaQuavis.
-- Fly Betty by Treasure Blue.

Saddleback Educational Publishing specializes in publishing relatable and readable fiction and non-fiction for struggling readers. This nicely packaged 10-volume series has engaged teen readers throughout the country since its release in early 2013. Librarians report that this series of 48-paged biographies successfully attracts reluctant readers.

Young Adult Literature (fiction and non-fiction) honorees:

-- Grace, Gold, and Glory My Leap of Faith by Gabrielle Douglass.
-- Way too Much Drama by Earl Sewell.
-- Butterfly: A novel by Sylvester Stephens.

NYT Bestselling duo, Ashley & JaQuavis continue to grasp readers with their Murderville trilogy, Murderville: The First of a Trilogy (2011), Murderville 2: The Epidemic (2012), and Murderville 3: The Black Dahlia (2013). This woven tale of Liberty's journey from Sierra Leone to the Americas and back, is a powerful testament to the rich tapestry of stories that the street lit genre continues to convey.

Wahida Clark is a New York Times bestselling author who has long been noted for her pioneering contributions to contemporary street lit, as well as her commitment to the evolution of the genre. Known as the Queen of Thug Love, her "Thug Love" series has garnered an immensely loyal readership throughout the years. A 2007 SLBAM Adult Fiction winner, Wahida's latest novel, "Honor Thy Thug," has graced her in the winner's circle again with winning the 2014 SLBAM Award in the Adult Fiction category as well. Clark is a Cash Money Content author and she also runs her own publishing company, including a young adult imprint.

Methodology: The SLBAM Committee conducted three nomination rounds where they reported on field research of patron readership and reader response to street lit in libraries across the country. The committee discussed all nominated titles. The "Emerging Classic" category recognizes a street lit-plotted or -themed book that was published during or before the year of nomination but continues to be in popular demand by the reading public. Another special category, "Author(s) of the Year", recognizes an author or writing team whose publications were particularly well-received by the reading public during the nomination year. Aside from the "Emerging Classic" category, books eligible for SLBAM nomination were required to be published between January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013.

For more information about the Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) or if you are interested in participating on the committee, visit the StreetLiterature.com website for a historical listing of SLBAM Awards.

2014 SLBAM Committee Members:

K.C. Boyd, M.Ed., M.L.S., is the Library Media Specialist at the acclaimed Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, IL. Boyd is a nationally sought-out lecturer on street lit and urban young adult reading practices. Known as "The Audacious Librarian", KC blogs about young adult street lit/urban fiction at http://theaudaciouslibrarian.blogspot.com/.

Marvin DeBose, Sr., M.L.S., is an Adult/Teen Librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA). An often sought-out panelist for discussing street lit in libraries, Marvin manages the largest street lit public library collection in Philadelphia, and also runs a teen street lit book club where they discuss their readings on Facebook. Marvin blogs at Mr.Philly Librarian.
D.L. Grant, Jr., M.L.S., is an Assistant Branch Manager with the San Antonio (TX) Public Library System. Grant is studying for his doctorate's degree in English studies.

Patrice Grimball-Smith is a Librarian Assistant in Young Adult Services for the Charleston County Public Library System in Charleston, South Carolina. She is also President of the Readers in Motion Bookclub.

Vanessa Irvin Morris, M.S.L.S., Ed.D., is the convener of the Street Lit Book Award Medal (SLBAM) Committee (note: Dr. Morris only votes when there is need for a tie-breaker). Vanessa is the author of the Street Literature blog, and the award-winning publication, The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature (2011). A librarian with over 25 years' experience, Vanessa teaches library and information science at a private research university in Northeast USA.

For media inquiries about the SLBAM awards, contact: vanirvinmorris@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

OVP Presents........Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?



Adult Winners

1.  Howard Fagan 20/20 - Perfect Score

2.  Barbara Brown 19/20

Runner Ups

3.  Lucretia Moye Nile 18/20

4.  Arthur Culbreath 18/20

 Teen Winner
Michala Divine 14/20

 mrphillylibrarian.blogspot.com Internet Winner

Vanessa Morris 18/20
Thanks you to all the contestants for your participation!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Overbrook Park Library Provides Outreach Service to the Community!

 OVP’S   Staff visits The West Philly Senior Community Center

(R-L) Christina Holmes,Kahil Ferron,Tiasha Gerald, Mrs. Gloria Persia, and Marvin DeBose Sr.)

The “Seniors Enjoy Reading “ book club operates out of the West Philly Senior Community Center. My job as their advisor is to assist this group with selecting good titles to read and acquiring enough copies so that the seniors can borrow the books free through the “Free Library of Philadelphia” many of book club members are in the 80s age-range. Mrs. Gloria Persia, one of Overbrook Park's most beloved patrons, is the group's leader. She took on the responsibly of selecting the title for that month and coming to Overbrook Park to pick up the books for the group. Without her dedication many of these elderly members would not be able to receive their books.
Recently, the Overbrook Park staff surprised the Senior’s Enjoy Reading book club during the holiday by presenting them with a "vintage" 2007 Library Festival tote bag containing three brand new books for each member of the club donated by OVP Staff. The book club members were surprised when Tiasha Gerald (Librarian Assistant 1) and me, Marvin DeBose (Acting Librarian Supervisor) walked into their monthly book club meeting at the West Philly Senior Community Center located 41st & Popular St. in the West Philly Section of Philadelphia with a bag containing their gifts.


OVP's Staff & Masons bring smiles to the residents of Interim House West


(R-L) Curtis Stewart,Marvin DeBose Sr (Acting Branch Manager)., Christiana Holmes(Children Librarian), Mrs. Williams (Interim House Director) Albert Johnson, and Rahim Forman)

Overbrook Park Library and Mt. Olive Lodge #27 Prince Hall Affiliated also collaborated on an outreach program at the Interim House West during the holiday season on Dec. 21 of last year. Interim House West Inc. is a residential shelter for substance or domestic abuse for mothers & their children located at 4108 Parkside Ave, Philadelphia, PA.

Mt. Olive Lodge #27 has been providing Christmas gifts to the children of this shelter since 1995, founded by Albert Johnson. Mr. Johnson allowed Overbrook Park staff to collaborate with them on this fulfilling event by providing books to the children of this shelter. The men of Mt. Olive Lodge provided Overbrook Staff members Holmes and I with a list of each resident's gender and age, so that the books can be distributed accordingly.
Along with Mt. Olive's bag full of toys for the 50-plus children, Overbrook Park staff provided books for every child as well. Holmes set up a display table with Free Library of Philadelphia promotional material. I discussed with the shelter staff & residents the different services that the library provides and also offer to return the Interim House for story time in the future.

Overall, these community outreach programs seemed to be memorable and heart-warming events for both the coordinators of the programs and patrons alike. Both Overbrook Park staff and Mt. Olive lodge members look forward to coordinating such events in the near future.






Pennsylvania African American Library Association (P.A.A.L.A.) hosted “A Taste of Philly”

Pennsylvania African American American Library Association

Pennsylvania African American Library Association (P.A.A.L.A.) hosted “A Taste of Philly” reception on Saturday, January 25, 2014 during the ALA Midwinter Conference at The Free Library of Philadelphia Parkway Central Library. The event was held celebrating PAALA’s 10 year anniversary and also finally becoming an Official affiliated Charter member Of BCALA.

The event was a great success with over 80 people in attendance also; many members of BCALA executive board was there enjoy the festivities including their President, Jerome Offord, Jr.
Library world stay tune for more great things from PAALA in the near future!

Jerome Offord, Jr. - President of BCALA

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Trivia Contest

Overbrook Park Library
7422 Haverford Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa 19151
Phone: 215-685-0182

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Birthday Celebration Trivia Contest

Contest Run Dates: December 28 - January 23, 2014

Come  together and learn plus test your knowledge about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Legacy and the History behind Martin Luther King,Jr. Day as a federal Holiday. Fill out a trivia questionnaire for a chance to win some great prizes.

Teen Prizes:                                  Adult Prizes:

1st Place Kamir Scott             $30 Target Gift Card                     

2ns Place  A.W.                        $10 Target Gift Card                    


Adult Prizes

1st Place Sarah Brownely        $30 Target Gift Card                    

2nd Abdul Sabir                         $10 Target Gift Card                   

Contest Rules: Trivia contest questionnaire will be distributed and completed in the presence of a Library Staff member. Questionnaire must be completed without the use of any outside materials. (cell phone, books, computer, etc)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -
                                                                           Martin Luther King, Jr

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"A Very Jazzy Christmas" Concert featuring The Andy Kahn Trio - 2013

By : Marvin DeBose Sr.

The Jazzy Christmas Concert 2013

On Saturday, December 21, 2013 to spread the holiday spirit, Overbrook Park Library hosted “The Jazzy Christmas” concert featuring the renowned Andy Kahn Trio.

The trio featured Kahn on the piano, Kenny Davis on bass and Bruce Klauber on the drums. The Overbrook Park community was treated to an experience of a lifetime, being presented with a free holiday Jazz concert by some of Philadelphia's own jazz musicians greats.

This particular concert had sentimental value for the trio because they dedicated their performance to jazz artist Father John D'Amico, who passed away this past November. D'Amico performed at last year's Jazz Appreciation month concert along with Klauber and Davis and got a great response from members of the Overbrook Park community. This year, the Trio performed a song in his honor and also received a positive response. 

(L-R) Kenny Davis, Bruce Klauber, Andy Kahn and Marvin DeBose

The Trio’s performance was superb, they performed all the great Christmas standards, but the highlight of this concert was when Overbook Park’s own Bruce Klauber singing the Holiday favorite "Have Yourself a Little Merry Christmas". The crowd enjoyed the music as well as the refreshments provided by library staff. Also, each person in attendance was presented with a winter-themed coffee mug as a holiday gift from Overbrook Park Library staff.

Jazz and history fans should keep an eye out for future events, Bruce Klauber and I are putting our heads together and we are working on a major Jazz project that we will be hosting at the Lucien E.Blackwell-West Philly Regional Library in the very near future.

The Overbrook Park Community Enjoying the Concert!