Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Take your library on the go. It is easy and convenient.
Use your mobile device to find library directions and events, find and request books or connect to us on Facebook and Twitter. Download our app, which works on all major platforms.
To download this FREE app, go to http://acl.boopsie.com using your mobile device’s internet browser.
iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android users can also download directly in the Apple App Store, Android Market or Blackberry App World. Search for Alameda County Library.
For more information go to http://guides.aclibrary.org/mobile
Monday, November 21, 2011
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Most advances in health and medicine since the 1950s have come about because of the HeLa line of human cells. HeLa cells have been readily available for purchase by researchers and scientists since they were discovered and cultivated by George Gey in 1951.
Author Rebecca Skloot remembers hearing her high school school science teacher attribute the HeLa line of cells to an unknown woman named Helen Lane. The name made sense since cells’ names were composed of the first two letters of the donor’s first and last name. Unfortunately, the name was a hoax and the hoax was intentional. Some years later, Skloot would pursue the real woman behind the HeLa line of cells, Henrietta Lacks.
Henrietta Lacks was a young African-American wife and mother living in Baltimore near Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951. When Henrietta developed cervical cancer, she went to Johns Hopkins for care. The hospital at that time was completely segregated but did provide low-income patients with basic medical care. They were not able to cure Henrietta who died a horrific death within the hospital walls only months after her diagnosis.
During the initial stages of her treatment, hospital personnel working for a researcher named George Gey did a biopsy of Henrietta’s cervix without her knowledge or consent. Up until that time, all cells he cultured had died but Henrietta’s cells would prove to be immortal. Thus began the story of HeLa.
Skloot’s work contrasts the story of the HeLa line of cells and their incredible history with the saga of the Lacks family. Henrietta’s family would not understand the part she played in history until Skloot approached them about her book. One of Henrietta’s adult children points out the irony in the fact that HeLa cells have reaped companies and individuals billions of dollars while most of Henrietta’s family can not afford health care.
As good as any medical thriller and it’s all true. A comment on the history of race relations in our country. Reserve this title on-line through the Library’s website or visit us at the Information Desk. Ask us for other exciting books for reading or holiday gift-giving.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Amparo Ramos welcomed two more participants of her class to United States citizezship. These new citizens are Jose Esquivel and Vilma Guardado.
Jose Esquivel, Amparo Ramos (Instructor), and Vilma Guardado
Citizenship classes take place every Tuesday evening at the San Lorenzo Library from 6 to 8 p.m. The feeling of excitment is palpable when class members achieve the goal of citizenship.
These classes are open to all. No registration is necessary. Class is held in the Community Language Area of the San Lorenzo Library and funded by the Library’s trust fund.