Author Archive

“Happyness” and Beyond

Hello again.  Today I would like to tell you about a great new book and a wonderful experience I recently enjoyed.  It was my good fortune to attend the national convention of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) which this year was held in Orlando, Florida.  Among numerous impressive celebrity speakers (too many to be able to hear in only 3 days), was one truly outstanding highlight:  Chris Gardner. 

You will remember Chris Gardner from his best-selling autobiographical book (and movie), The Pursuit of Happyness, in which he chronicled his difficult journey as a homeless single parent from inner-city Milwaukee to success on Wall Street.   At the AARP Convention, this amazing man spoke from the heart to a spellbound audience, providing poignant and often humorous details of his life, with eye-opening glimpses from that book and from his latest: Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.  In his new book, Chris shares encouraging, uplifting, and creative advice  for handling and overcoming adversity, a subject with which he has much familiarity. 

It is interesting to note Chris Gardner’s fondness for public libraries, as indicated by his frequent references to them and his strong recommendations to his audiences that they utilize their local library to enhance every aspect of their lives.   He certainly has expressed much appreciation for the support he received from his library throughout various stages of his life.  The West Palm Beach Public Library carries both of Chris Gardner’s books and the DVD “The Pursuit of Happyness”, and all are highly recommended to anyone searching for a genuinely motivational encounter. 

Esther Fawn Van Allen, Reference Librarian


November 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Social Security, Medicare and YOU!

Greetings from the West Palm Beach Public Library.  As we hope you know by now, our library hosts many wonderfully entertaining and educational programs.  Well, we have a program coming up very soon that I personally highly recommend.  You are practically guaranteed to learn something useful and interesting at this upcoming free workshop: “Social Security, Medicare and You!”  I was privileged to attend this workshop a few weeks ago and I was astounded at the wealth of information I walked away with.

This free workshop will be presented in the Hibiscus Room of the West Palm Beach Public Library at 411 Clematis Street on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 12:00 PM –  1:00 PM, by Wright Thompson, Jr., Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration.  Mr. Thompson will provide current, expert information (and dispel some common myths!) about Social Security Retirement, Medicare, and Disability benefits — all with your best interests in mind.  If you have questions about eligibility requirements, the effects of retiring at various ages, Medicare coverage, and other related topics, then this workshop is definitely for you.

To supplement your knowledge of these topics, be sure to check out some of the library’s relevant materials:

How to retire happy : the 12 most important decisions you must make before you retire / Stan Hinden ; [foreword by John C. Bogle].
Author Hinden, Stan.
Call No. 646.790973 HIN
Publication Info. New York : McGraw-Hill, c2010

When every day is Saturday : the retirement guide for boomers / Richard E. Grace.
Author Grace, Richard E.
Call No. 646.79 GRA
Publication Info. West Lafayette, Ind. : Purdue University Press, c2010.

Nolo’s guide to social security disability : getting & keeping your benefits / by David A. Morton III.
Author Morton, David A., 1945-
Call No. 368.42 MOR
Publication Info. Berkeley, Calif. : Nolo, c2010.

Looking forward to seeing you there.  Come prepared to get your questions answered!

Esther Fawn Van Allen,  Reference Librarian

September 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

Music for a Sunday Afternoon – Noel Lorica and The Treebo Band

Hello again!

Do you love to relax and listen to great live music?  For free?  (Don’t we all?)  Sunday, August 29, 2010 from 2:00 PM-3:00 PM will be  a special time here at the West Palm Beach Public Library.  Our “Music for a Sunday Afternoon” program will feature Noel Lorica and The Treebo Band.  These Brazilian jazz performers are no strangers to our library.  Their past performances here have elicited rave reviews from audience members.  Mark your calendar, and come and join us for another fabulous experience in our library’s state-of-the-art Auditorium equipped with theatrical lighting and an excellent sound system. 

The Library is privileged to host numerous outstanding programs.  For the complete list of the Library’s events, please go to: or from the Library’s home page ( just click on “events.”  Entertaining music and dance programs in a wonderfully comfortable environment can really help to alleviate the summertime blahs.  And for additional entertainment, be sure to check out the Library’s fantastic assortment of music CDs, librettos, books, and DVDs. 

See you there!

Esther Fawn Van Allen, Reference Librarian

July 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm 1 comment

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