Nicole Fowles: Library supports ‘Great Decisions’ series


In the early 1980s, the Foreign Policy Association, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world, brought the idea of a “Great Decisions” lecture series to Delaware County, Ohio. The FPA intended to create a small group in all 88 Ohio counties, and the Delaware County League of Women Voters was up for the challenge to get things started locally.

The format born at that time is still the same format used today: a noon brown-bag lunch where guest experts provide a basis for community discussion over an eight-week period. Even Delaware’s William Street United Methodist Church (28 W. William St.) has been on board since the beginning.

This year’s topics will vary from Middle Eastern subjects of religion, nationalism and the rise of ISIS, to more local issues like Mexican migration to the United States with a close look at central Ohio.

As the community center for information and research, the Delaware County District Library has a natural interest in the “Great Decisions” program. If a particular subject piques your interest, adult services manager Joe O’Rourke has gathered a group of related books that will be on display at the Delaware main library for you to check out after attending a program.

Staff members are prepared for community members to come to the library with follow-up questions and interest in additional resources, and they are looking forward to assisting you. The series begins this Friday, Jan. 29, and continues on every Friday through March 18.

How did paleontologists confirm that woolly mammoths had fur?

Preserved woolly mammoths remains with coat attached occur from time to time. This is no doubt helped by the Arctic conditions that the woolly mammoths lived in. The first written article, “Some Account of a Journey to the Frozen-Sea, and of the Discovery of the Remains of a Mammoth” by Michael Adams, was published within The Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal in 1808.

More recently, in 1997, scientists discovered the 20,000-year-old remains of a woolly mammoth from the frozen ground of Siberia, in Russia. The well-preserved mammoth was discovered by reindeer herders, who came across the animal’s tusks protruding from the frozen ground. A team of scientists using jackhammers and hairdryers were able to see many details of the animal, including fur. Details of the woolly mammoth can be found using DCDL’s research engine Academic Search Premier.

When was Martin Luther King Jr. Day first recognized as a national holiday?

Nearly 20 years after Dr. King’s death, on Jan. 15, 1986, the nation celebrated his birthday as a national holiday for the first time. In that time, Dr. King had also been honored in many other ways. Just seven days after his death in 1968, President Johnson signed the second Civil Rights Act. In 1981, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Change, also called the King Center, opened in Atlanta, Georgia. And in November 1982, the U.S. Senate approved the erection of a monument to Dr. King in Washington, D.C. I found this timeline in a children’s book by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier called “Martin’s Big Words.”

Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s website at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked.

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