Category Archives: Special Events

Game Night at the Library on Monday, November 11

For thousands of years, games such as Chess and Go gave been used to improve strategic and tactical skills in players. While nearly everyone is familiar with Monopoly (first copyrighted in 1934), it has almost no strategic element and poorly mimics real business because it is “in fact, is a classic example of what economists call a zero-sum game.”1

Enter a new generation of board games designed to reflect how humans actually interact with one another in challenging situations. Writing in Harvard Business Review, Andrew Innes explains that “a board game is a tiny universe: The rules are the laws of physics or social norms, the board is the physical environment, cards often function as resources or catalysts, dice provide a dollop of randomness. And those little pawns? They’re you and me.”2 Not only do the new board games more closely mirror the real worlds of human interaction, they can educate by “forcing us into the spotlight, making us communicate in unusual and uncomfortable ways, or encouraging us to take giant lateral leaps in thinking.”2

Join the Library in the Gallery area on Monday, November 11 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, as we explore and play two of the most popular of the new generation of strategic-cooperative games. Catan and Pandemic. No experience is needed, and we will begin by with an overview of each game. For players who prefer the classic games of strategy, high-quality Go and chess sets will be on hand.

For more information about this event, please contact Harold Henkel at

1WIRED Staff, “Monopoly Killer: Perfect German Board Game Redefines Genre,” Wired (Conde Nast, June 4, 2017),

2IAndrew Innes, “What Board Games Can Teach Business,” Harvard Business Review, March 19, 2015,


Lecture: The English Bible from King James to Robert Alter

Decorative book covers on the volumes of Robert Alter’s Hebrew Bible

Last December, W. W. Norton published the complete translation of The Hebrew Bible by Robert Alter. The work, which took Alter twenty-five years to complete, has been hailed as one of the most significant achievements in the history of English Bible translation by both admirers and critics of Alter’s text.

On November 5, Rabbi Dr. Michael Panitz will present a lecture and lead a discussion on this milestone work of scholarship, theology, and literature: From King James to Robert Alter: English Bible Translations, Then and Now. In his lecture, Rabbi Panitz will focus on four excerpts from Alter’s text:

  • Genesis 1:1 – 2:4
  • II Samuel 11:26 – 12:14
  • Psalm 27
  • Job 38 – 39

Volumes containing these Scriptures are available in the Library, and readers can receive a free copy of the excerpts by emailing a request to Harold Henkel ( An excellent and accessible lecture with Alter explaining his goals as a Biblical translator is on YouTube.

The event will take place in the Library Gallery at 2:00 p.m. and will be live-streamed on Collaborate Ultra.

Rabbi Panitz was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1982 and received his Ph.D. in Jewish history there in 1989. He served on the Seminary’s faculty until 1992 and has been the Rabbi of Temple Israel, Norfolk, since then. Dr. Panitz is also an adjunct professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University and an Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Language at Old Dominion University.

Book Discussion: Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson

1sr edition, 1980. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of two sisters growing up in a small northwestern town painfully aware that “the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere.” Ruth and Lucille’s struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.

Marilyn Robinson is one of America’s great living authors. The Library Book Club will discuss Housekeeping on June 28 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Distance students and faculty are invited to join in via Collaborate Ultra.

The first chapter and an excerpt from the audiobook are available free on the Macmillan website. Explanatory materials and an audio lecture about the book are available on the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read website.

For more information about this event, Contact Harold Henkel at