Series tackles country’s role in world affairs


By Nicole Fowles - Glad You Asked



The Great Decisions of Delaware Ohio series is back again for 2022, and topics are more timely than ever. Great Decisions is a free community discussion series, which is designed to encourage debate and discussion of the role of the United States in world affairs.

The program, developed by the Foreign Policy Association in 1954, is the longest-standing and largest grassroots world affairs educational program of its kind. Discussions of all kinds are held on local levels with local experts on each of the topics chosen by the FPA for the series. This year, topics will be presented online through Zoom.

Meetings are every Friday at 12 p.m. through April 22. Already this year, topics have touched on climate change and Russia. Forthcoming topics include Myanmar and ASEAN, the Quad Alliance, industrial policy, drug policy in Latin America, Biden’s agenda, and outer space and war. Speakers range from professors in their fields at Wayne State University and Georgetown University to local experts at Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio State University.

For several years, the Delaware County District Library has partnered with the local Delaware Great Decisions team to provide access to the FPA Briefing Book as well as additional books and resources to research the topics being discussed. Stop by the Delaware Main Library, 84 E. Winter St., to look through the Briefing Book during the library’s regular operating hours.

Additionally, the Delaware County District Library’s research page on our website, www.delawarelibrary.org/research, has one of the best online news resources available to help make sense of the events happening around the world. Access world news from NewsBank (Acceda Noticias for Spanish speakers) provides Special Reports for the hottest topics of the day. In World Politics, the Russia-Ukraine Crisis special report currently has hundreds of news articles from around the world, assembled in an easy-to-digest format based on a variety of sub-topics and other search factors.

Access to these news articles, as well as any other topics from the Great Decision series or news of the day that interests you, is completely free with your Delaware library card. Of course, if you want more one-on-one help, stop by or call your nearest DCDL location and ask a librarian. We’re happy to help and, of course, we’re always glad you asked.

Travel the world this week in one of these titles from our Armchair Travel list of recent releases or ones you may have missed.

• “Around the World in 80 Books” by David Damrosch. With COVID-19 raging, Harvard comparative literature scholar David Damrosch took illuminating journeys through a wide variety of books, exploring their connections with each another and the world. Travel the world through the written word. Damrosch examined Marco Polo’s “The Travels;” Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway;” Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis;” and even J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

• “A Thing of Beauty: Travels in Mythical & Modern Greece” by Peter Fiennes. During a break in the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter Fiennes traveled around Greece, going to places related to mythology and pondering what the ancient stories and sights say to us today. Visiting beaches, rural areas, and cities, Fiennes spoke with those he encountered (including the Oracle at Delphi) about hope, beauty, and more. Read it for the evocative descriptions; myth retellings; and details about Lord Byron’s love of Greece (and a visit to his English home).

• “Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas” by Harley Rustad. Discover the life and unsolved disappearance of 35-year-old American backpacker and Instagrammer Justin Alexander Shetler, who’d traveled the world and ended up on a spiritual quest in India’s remote Parvati Valley, where dozens of tourists have gone missing in recent decades.

• “Every Day the River Changes: Four Weeks Down the Magdalena” by Jordan Salama. Jordan Salama, as part of his college thesis, traveled the 950-mile Magdalena River in Colombia in 2018 and explored the river and the lives of its residents, including a canoe builder, fishermen, a traveling librarian and his donkeys, and biologists studying invasive hippopotamuses.

• “Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration” by Sara Dykman. Outdoor educator and researcher Sara Dykman took a solo bicycle journey (on a bike made from old and recycled parts), from Central Mexico, through the U.S., into Canada, and back to Mexico, following the monarch butterflies on their amazing annual migration. This title recently won a 2021 National Outdoor Book Award.

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By 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 web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always 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 web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!