Global Gathering Korea is a two-month celebration of the culture, heritage and tradition of the Korean Peninsula. Throughout September and October, the Bettendorf Public Library will feature programs and activities related to Korea and its people. There will be displays of objects and art throughout the library, as well as new library items available for checkout. Our purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding about the Korean Peninsula, but to respect and appreciate the diversity our neighbors with Korean roots bring to the community. Global Gathering Korea is made possible by the generosity of the Bettendorf Public Library Foundation.

One really special opportunity will take place Sept. 30 at 2 p.m., in the Bettendorf Room, where we will host the Jang-Mi Korean Dance and Drum group. The group was created in 1984 as a way for Korean adoptees to learn about their heritage and have weekly community with families like their own. From St. Paul, Minnesota, led by Brooke Jee-in Newmaster, members of the Jang-Mi Dance and Drum group will display their skills and share information about Korean history, dance, music and culture. The presentation will feature two special guests. Soo-jin Lee will play the gayageum, a Korean traditional stringed zither. Also, Jee-soo Kim, visiting from Seoul, Korea, will play the janggu which is a Korean traditional hourglass shaped drum. It’s going to be a great display of talent that you will not want to miss!

We also will host a Tae Kwon Do demonstration led by the Chung Kim Black Belt Academy. This program will include demonstrations of Tae Kwon Do forms and techniques, and martial arts students breaking boards. Join us for this presentation on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. in the Bettendorf Room.

We’ve added many new titles for all ages in varying formats to the collection to allow you to bring the Global Gathering experience home. Whether you enjoy listening to traditional folk music or would like to like to find out what K-Pop is all about, we’ve got you covered. We’ve added many new DVDs to the collection, from feature films to documentaries. And, as you may have guessed, there are plenty of new book titles available for checkout. Everything from Korean cooking to military history, fiction to personal memoirs, and more.

Of course, our book discussion groups (Mystery, Contemporary Books and Get Lit) will be reading and discussing titles with a Korean theme. Books on loan for the discussion groups are held at the Information Desk. They are first come, first served so get your copy soon.

We will offer programs highlighting Korean music, films, language, cooking, crafts, history and more. For a full list of events, visit bettendorflibrary.com, or pick up an events brochure at the library. Join us!

Lucas Berns is the information librarian at Bettendorf Public Library.

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