Stillwater Public Library and partners team up to investigate Sherlock Holmes

sherlock small(STILLWATER, OKLA. / Sept. 9, 2015) – Stillwater Public Library, OSU Allied Arts, OSU Edmon Low Library and Stillwater Police Department are partnering on a month long series about the world’s most famous detective. “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” features presentations, performances and other detective-related activities, culminating in a theatrical production by the Aquila Theatre Company at the OSU Seretean Center on Oct. 29.

“The idea for a community reading event arose when we were scheduling the year’s theatrical performances,” said Brandon Mitts, Allied Arts director. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between OSU and the community and to help make the arts accessible to as many people as possible.”

According to Mitts, the positive feedback from younger students on the Allied Arts Selection Committee helped seal the decision to bring Sherlock to Stillwater.

“Sherlock Holmes is popular with nearly every generation, especially now with all of the recent TV series. It also obviously has a strong connection to literature, which is why we knew that the library would be the perfect partner to help make the production a huge community event.”

“Our collaborations with OSU Allied Arts have resulted in a strong history of successful and educational series,” said Lynda Reynolds, Stillwater public Library director. “Starting with “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ and continuing through to ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ we have been able to spark an interest in classic literature and theater.

“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” series kicks-off Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at Stillwater Public Library. Dr. Bill Hagen, retired Professor of English, Oklahoma Baptist University will host an English Tea while providing background on author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories.

Attendees are encouraged, but not required to dress in Sherlock-style or Victorian costume.

“We’re hoping that many of our readers will choose to dress in the modern style of Sherlock Holmes, so that we get to see how Sherlock Holmes has influenced readers through the generations,” said Reynolds. “And dressing up can pay-off for participants. We’ll be giving away two Aquila Theatre tickets for the favorite costume courtesy of Friends of the Library.”

According to Reynolds, Allied Arts is also providing two additional tickets as a door prize.

After the kick-off, Sherlockian events continue at several different sites in the community. Other upcoming program includes:

  • “The REAL CSI.” Monday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. (Stillwater Public Library) – The Stillwater Police Department will take the audience step-by-step through how crime scene investigation really works. Learn about ballistics, suspect portraiture, castings and splatter. Registration is required and limited to ages 12 and up.
  • “Modern Mystery: The Mullendore Murder Case.” Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. (Stillwater Public Library) – In character as a participant to the murder investigation, author “The Original Buffalo Dale” Lewis will discuss details of the famous Mullendore murder, as set out in his new book, "Footprints in the Dew." Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing from 6-7 p.m. and after the presentation.
  • “Oklahoma Mystery Author Panel.” Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. (Stillwater Public Library) – Authors William Bernhardt, Tim Prasil, Will Thomas, and Bob Avey will discuss the art of writing mystery novels, how they got their start, and how they come up with their ideas. Aquila Theatre tickets and copies of Carolyn Hart books will be given away as door prizes.
  • “Science Café at OSU: Forensic Psychology: What the Heck is That?!” Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. (OSU Library, 2nd floor, Peggy V. Helmerich Browsing Room) –Featuring speakers Dr. Ron Thrasher, Director of Forensic Psychology Program, OSU Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa and Chelsea Bullard, M.S. Forensic Psychology; PhD student, Sociology.
  • “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. (OSU Seretean Center) – The Aquila Theatre Co. brings its energetic physical style to this new adaptation of the legendary sleuth. The clever Holmes skillfully maneuvers the twisted web of London's most intriguing cases with his split second deductions revealing the most intimate details of a person's life. Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for OSU students and children 12 and under. Online purchase is available at https://tickets.okstate.edu. A free discussion will take place beforehand at 7 p.m.

The reading series also includes several other fun activities that will last throughout the month.

“For the first time, we will be testing out an online book discussion,” said Reynolds. “Since we are not distributing books for this series, it will give people the opportunity to discuss a wide range of Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as Doyle, the Victorian era, crime solving techniques and anything else related to the topic.”

To join on the online discussion, readers will submit names and emails to the Help Desk at 405.372.3633 x8106 or askalibrarian@stillwater.org or in person at any of the events. Participants will receive an invitation link to join the “SPL Sherlock Holmes Discussion Group” on the website Goodreads. The board does require participants to register for a very quick Goodreads account. Librarians will assist anyone who needs help.

Copies of Sherlock Holmes stories and novels will be on display and available for checkout in the library. In addition, free digital copies to read on an eBook reader, mobile device, tablet or computer can be borrowed from Oklahoma Virtual Library.

Because the stories and novels are in the public domain, readers can also download free eBook versions from Amazon or Project Gutenberg. Links to the free eBooks, as well as step by step instructions for using Goodreads.com are located on the Library’s Sherlock page.

Other month long activities include:

  • Sleuth Skills - Develop detective skills at the Oklahoma WONDERtorium. Throughout the month the museum will provide opportunities to use science to decipher secret messages, extract DNA, study clues through microscopes and more. Check the museum’s website at okwondertorium.org for details.
  • Museum and Downtown Stillwater Scavenger Hunt - Solve each of the 12 cases in the book, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by going to local museums, stores and landmarks to decipher Sherlock’s codes.
  • Silent Vines - Students in 6-12 grades will produce silent-film era Vines featuring Sherlock Holmes. Teens can get help creating their Vines at the library on Friday, Oct. 16, 4-6 p.m.

The Sherlock series is free, with the exception of the Aquila Theater Performance and entry into the Wondertorium. For more information about the series, visit the library’s Sherlock website at http://library.stillwater.org/sherlock.php or contact the library’s Help Desk at askalibrarian@stillwater.org or 405-372-3633 x8106.

Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.