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Contemporary Conversations

Contemporary Conversations is a series of talks about cultural and current issues with journalists, authors and other relevant speakers. Sponsored by MCPL and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.

Upcoming Events

Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl Sunday, March 25, 2018, 6 pm | Rockville Memorial Library
Register online. Seats are limited.

Librarian Nancy Pearl, best-selling author, regular commentator about books on NPR’s Morning Edition, and former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, will speak as part of the Contemporary Conversation series @ MCPL. A recipient in 2011 of the Librarian of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Ms. Pearl will share the origins of her love of reading and libraries, how the Book Lust books came to be written, what she’s discovered that the perils of a life of reading can be, and, along the way, of course, she’ll suggest some great books to read.

Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu Saturday, June 9, 2018, 7:30 pm | Silver Spring Library
Register online starting May 9. Seats are limited.

Award-winning author and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Dinaw Mengestu will speak about his inspiration for his work The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and his experiences as an Ethiopian immigrant living between different cultures and worlds. Mr. Mengestu is also the author of How to Read the Air and All Our Names; his journalism and fiction have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. Sponsored by Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, and Friends of the Library, Silver Spring Chapter.

Past Events

Kojo Nnamdi

Contemporary Conversations: Kojo Nnamdi Saturday, March 4, 2017

Kojo Nnamdi, one of the most well-known interviewers and talk show hosts in the Washington, D.C. area will be the first speaker in the new Contemporary Conversations series @ MCPL. Host of the NPR program that bears his name and formerly of the TV talk show “Evening Exchange,” Mr. Nnamdi is celebrated for his knowledge on a wide range of social, political and cultural issues relevant to the nation’s capital and to the world outside Washington. With a reputation for his versatility and exhaustive preparation, Mr. Nnamdi has received several awards, including Washingtonian of the Year and one of the One-Hundred Fifty most influential people in the metropolitan area by Washingtonian Magazine.

David Ignatius

Contemporary Conversations: David Ignatius Saturday, April 1, 2017

David Ignatius, best-selling author and prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years. Mr. Ignatius covered nearly every Washington beat, from the Pentagon to the CIA to Capitol Hill, as well as global politics, and the Middle East and he has turned his experiences with the CIA into nine thrilling bestsellers.

Charles Lane

Contemporary Conversations: Charles Lane Sunday, May 7, 2017

Washington Post editorial writer, Charles Lane, is weekly columnist for the Post and a contributor to the PostPartisan blog. Mr. Lane specializes in economic and fiscal policy. In 2009, Mr. Lane was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing. He is the author of The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of Reconstruction (2008) and Stay of Execution: Saving the Death Penalty from Itself (2010). This Contemporary Conversations is hosted by the County Executive Ike Leggett.

Hena Khan

Contemporary Conversations: Hena Khan

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Picture book and middle grade author Hena Khan will speak as part of the Contemporary Conversations series at MCPL. Her picture book, It’s Ramadan, Curious George made international headlines. Ms. Khan is the author of Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns —a 2013 ALA Notable Book and a 2013 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year—and Night of the Moon —a booklist 2009 Top 10 Religion Book for Youth. Amina’s Voice by Ms. Khan is the first book to be printed by the new publishing imprint, Salaam Reads. Salaam Reads aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Silver Spring Chapter.

Craig Dudnick

Contemporary Conversations: Craig Dudnick Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Inspiration: Screening of Alice’s Ordinary People, a documentary by Craig Dudnick. The documentary Alice’s Ordinary People focuses on Alice Tregay, an unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement. Filmmaker Craig Dudnick will give an introduction, speaking of the circumstances in Chicago which drew Alice to the movement and how he came to make the film. Alice’s remarkable story as an activist spans fifty years and is about ordinary people effecting extraordinary change for human rights. There will be time for Q&A and a discussion with the filmmaker following the screening. Co-sponsored by Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Inc. and Friends of the Library, Silver Spring Chapter.

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