Libraries offer summer pop culture classes

The People's University @ The Library, a free program sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, will offer classes on popular culture beginning in June. Because enrollment is limited, organizers suggest people should sign up as soon as they can.

Now in its third year, the courses are taught at libraries across the city, including Southwest. The noncredit classes do not have pop quizzes, tuition or book costs. They are offered by academic experts from such institutions as the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center.

"The program came out of the idea that the library is the one place you can to pursue life-long learning," said Rachel Fulkerson, who organized the program for the Friends, who do fund-raising, volunteer coordination and programming.

Among the offerings:

  • "Music Unplugged: A Great Orchestra from the Inside Out." Instructor Mary Ann Feldman, Minnesota Orchestral Association historian, will offer a brief history on orchestra music. Special guests will include Minnesota Orchestra members. It's at the Washburn Community Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave. S. on Wednesday June 9, 16 and 23, 6:30-8 p.m.

  • "Art and Controversy: Scandal in the 20th Century." The three-part lecture by Lara Roy of the Walker Art Center will examine how 20th century art often elicits uproar and controversy. It's at Walker Community Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave. S. on Wednesday July 14, 21 and 28, 6:15-7:45 p.m.

  • "SARS, Anthrax and Antibiotics, Oh My!" Pat Tschida, of the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, will talk about infectious diseases from SARS, Bird Flu outbreaks and bioterrorism threats of anthrax. It's at Hosmer Community Library, 347 E. 36th S. on Thursday Aug. 5, 12 and 19, 6:15-7:45 p.m.

    For more information, call Fulkerson at 630-6170. To register, call 630-6170, e-mail friends@mplib.org or visit www.friendsofmpl.org.