Thursday, April 16, 2015

Collinsville Library celebrating its Centennial Year!

On October 15, 1915 Mrs. John Bruso, president of the Collinsville Study Club (currently known as the Woman's Club) selected a library community of Mrs. AC Powell, Mrs. Charles Holding and Mrs. Charles Listeman. These ladies enlisted volunteers to gather books and distribute them to homes in the community through the use of a child's wagon. 
By August 26, 1916 through the efforts of this Study Club the library opened on the second floor of the City Hall with 121 donated volumes; Mabelle Holding Echols was the first librarian.
And the rest was history...
100 years later the Collinsville Memorial Library Center is still serving the community through dedication to the ideal that a community of individuals must be well versed in everything that is essential to survive in the world of today and tomorrow.

Each month a new theme and contest will be introduced at the Collinsville Library to highlight different aspects of the library 100 year history.

For the rest of April and through May "Art in the Library" is the theme.

Now through May 1st you can find the gold stars in the library located on works of art and match them to the artist. A drawing for all the right answers will find Centennial prizes for the winners.

Starting on May 1st the new contest will be to name as many things as possible that you can see in the Stained Glass Panels in the entablature above the Main Desk. These one of a kind Stained Glass Panels were created and donated by Roy Hanser from our community. He wrote a a description of the panels and everything that he included in them. One panel is all Collinsville History. The other two panels are things from literature. Under the glass on two tables in the West Wing on the Main Floor are his working copies of the panels. The winner of this contest will receive a Centennial bag of things including a tshirt, a commemorative pen and more.

Come into your Centennial Library today and see why we have been a jewel in the crown of Collinsville for 100 years!

Monday, April 13, 2015

National Library Week & Centennial Celebration Kickoff

National Library Week will be observed April 12-18, 2015 as the kickoff to the Collinsville Memorial Library Center's Centennial Year!

The library is celebrating National Library Week and the Centennial with several special programs (check the full calendar for all activities).  Highlighted activities are:

 Wednesday, April 15 at 11:00 AM – Local Author: Audrey Murphy “Bird’s Flight”
 Wednesday, April 15 at 6:00 PM – Sink or Float: Titanic Edition
 Thursday, April 16 at 6:00 PM – Video Game Tournament: “MLB 15: The Show”

All programs are free; some require advance registration.  Please call the library at 618-344-1112 or visit the main desk for more information.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

3D Printing Now Available

Our 3D printer is now ready for your projects!  Get started by picking up a copy of the 3D printing policy & procedures at the main desk.

Here are some free online resources to help you make a 3D model:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Are Video Games Art? Part 5: Conclusion

What qualifies as art is bound to be an eternal point of contention, as there is no clear definition and judgements are entirely subjective. However, when reflecting on the dictionary definition that art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”, an informed individual experienced with the medium would be hard pressed to exclude video games. If any modern media, such as cinema or television, is to be considered art than video games must be afforded that status as well. If the purist wants to stick to archaic and antiquated definitions of art in the classical sense, the rest of us can rest easy knowing that such small-mindedness is soon destined to go the way of the dinosaurs.

In a discussion concerning the “cinema of the future”, Alfred Hitchcock once stated that a roller coaster could be considered art and that its architect could be identified as its “director”, for that person meticulously planned the pace and experience of the ride and fine-tuned it to evoke the maximum amount of emotion from its participants. The architect “directs” the ride for the “audience” on board. While this is an abstract and controversial theory, it does fit into that definition of art as an expression of skill and imagination that is produced to be appreciated for its emotional power. In this case, the very experience itself is a creative endeavor. Whether or not one agrees with this interpretation, it just goes to show how open-ended such analysis can be.

Even with all of their innovation and high-tech wizardry, video games remain (and will begin to be seen more and more as) a traditional medium. They are crafted and directed by skilled artists and passionate craftsmen, are composed of visuals with the same basic aesthetics as a film or painting, and most of the time act in service to classical narratives and stories. Mario may not have the scholarly status of Mona Lisa yet but it is impossible to know what generations decades, and even centuries, from now will reflect back on as the artifacts of our culture. Space Invaders could very well be heralded as the advent of science fiction in interactive electronic media.

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3D Printing @ Your Library!

The Mississippi Valley Library District now offers 3D printing!  You can pick up a copy of the 3D printing policy and procedures at each library center.  If you'd like to set up a printing session or if you have questions not covered by the policy & procedures, please call Kyla in Collinsville at 618-344-1112 or Katie in Fairmont City at 618-482-3966.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Are Video Games Art? Part 4: The Best Presentations in Video Games

Some games are so creatively stunning and visually imaginative that they can be recognized as championing  their own “art house” or “auteur” dimension of the medium. If games like Call of Duty represent the Michael Bay end of the presentation spectrum in gaming, than titles such as Katamari Damacy can be said to follow aspirations more in the vein of a Wes Anderson. These games are generally made on a lower budget than the blockbuster franchises and are targeted towards a niche audience. Appreciation for them may require a more refined gaming palette but for those able to enjoy them, they offer expressions as inspired as one will find in any medium while being endowed with characteristics unique to their field.


Okami is as drop dead beautiful of a game as you will find, despite the fact that it was developed by a relatively small studio with a modest budget in the sixth-generation of consoles. Okami utilizes a cel-shaded, watercolor style visual style in tribute to the Japanese animation technique known as ink wash painting. The lovingly crafted visuals compliment the plot which is steeped in Japanese history and folklore. Although it had limited commercial success, Okami continues to be hailed by critics as a masterpiece.

Shadow of the Colossus / Ico

In the discussion of video games as art, perhaps no other title is brought up as frequently as Shadow of the Colossus. Proponents of the case often cite the game as the lead example in their argument. In Roger Ebert’s previously mentioned foray into the debate, he singled out Shadows of the Colossus as the game most frequently recommended to him and the one that he should “probably begin with”. The game’s visual style is bleak and minimalist and features very little of the flair found in something like Okami or even Mario. Still, the game’s world is one of immense beauty and wonder and the gigantic titular colossus are quite literally awe-inspiring. Ico is the spiritual successor to Shadow of the Colossus and utilizes the same desolate and minimalist visual style, emphasizing subtle beauty with light and shadow over bombastic style or glamour.


Psychonauts is a surreal experience that doesn’t shy away from presenting itself as the Salvador Dali of video games. The game’s  illusory, dream-like world is one of pure imagination and the strange, macabre slant of the presentation is potent enough to curl Tim Burton’s hair. While on the surface Psychonauts seems comparable to other 3D platformers such as Mario or Sonic, the game’s unique personality and off-the-wall style set it apart and define it as a true work of vision and expression.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night may not look as gorgeous as it did when it released in 1997 but, overall, the sprite based visual style is as well represented here as in any other game in history. The character models are bold and distinct and the gothic, saturated backgrounds are both eye-catching and immersive. Unlike other games in the series, nearly the entirety of Symphony of the Night takes place in Dracula’s castle, so all of the developer’s resources and imaginations are realized to make a truly magical and haunting locale. The music is often a hybrid of heavy metal, techno, and classical and is integral to the identity of the castle and game itself.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of the most successful and popular games of all time, so when Nintendo decided to go with a bold new animation style for its next-gen successor, the move was predictably controversial. Originally, Nintendo had demonstrated a hyper-realistic trailer of what the next Zelda title could look like on the new hardware (the Gamecube), which famously caused some super fans to weep openly with joy. When the final product was finally revealed to be The Wind Waker, it sported a  hyper-stylized, cel-shaded look more similar to a Saturday morning cartoon than the realism powerhouse epic that fans were expecting. On release, the game overcame immense scepticism and naysaying to cement itself as worthy of the franchise’s pedigree. Now, The Wind Waker is revered as an artistic milestone in gaming and is arguably the poster child for the influential power of style and presentation on expression in the medium.

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk