Once again on May 23, 2017, the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2015-2016 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 25 columns were submitted. They were written by Charlotte Canelli, Nancy Ling, April Cushing, Allison Palmgren, Kate Tigue, Liz Reed, Bonnie Wyler, Diane Phillips, Norma Logan, Jeff Hartman, Sam Simas, Nicole Guerra-Coon, and Meredith Ruhl

On May 4, 2015 the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2013-2014 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 24 columns from 2013 and 2014 were submitted. They were written by Marg Corjay, Shelby Warner, Nancy Ling, Diane Phillips, Brian Samek, Bonnie Wyler, Marie Lydon, Norma Logan, Allison Palmgren, April Cushing, Liz Reed, Kate Tigue, Jillian Goss, and Charlotte Canelli.

Library staff have written over 460 columns since 2009.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Books that Inspired the Films: 2017

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the February 8, 2018 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

This year the 90th Academy Award nominations were announced a few weeks ago and, as usual, there are dozens of nominations. The final voting won’t begin for a few weeks on February 20.  The Oscars will be awarded when they are televised on March 8th in Los Angeles and Jimmy Kimmel will host for the second time.
At least thirteen of the nominated films in all 24 of the categories, including Best Picture, Actor and Actress, are based upon books, or have spawned books. Most of the DVDs for these films have not yet been released, yet all of the books are in the library. They can be found on the library’s fiction or non-fiction shelves, on the Speed Read shelf, and on a special display devoted to all nominated films. Six of these nine films were nominated for Best Picture along with eleven nominated for best actors and actresses. Others were nominated in the Best Song, Best Director, Best Cinematography or other categories.
One of the most-talked about films of 2017 is the Post (starring Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee), based on the Pentagon Papers. The 1971 drama of the papers leaked by Daniel Elsberg has been recently referred to as the WikiLeaks of its day. While the New York Times was the newspaper that defied President Nixon in 1971, and exposed the secrets of the Johnson administration and the secret government study of the Vietnam War, it was the local paper, The Post, headed by Katharine Graham that got its hands on the Papers and printed the stories about them. Both newspapers had to risk the ensuing battle in Supreme Court and their reputations. The most recent (2017) publication of The Pentagon Papers is an informative account writted by five authors – historians, political scientists and journalists. It includes chapters on the history and build-up of the Vietnam War during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Two of the authors, Neil Sheehan and James Greenfield, worked secretly with Daniel Ellsberg to release the Papers. Director Steven Spielberg (not up for an Oscar this time) will probably be thrilled with a Best Picture win.
A handful of other films based on other historical moments were nominated for awards this year. The Miracle of Dunkirk: The True Story of Operation Dynamo and The Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink were published in 2017 and are the history behind the films.  Another, Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary by Juan Williams was first published in 1998 and inspired the 2017 film, Marshall. It is a biography of Justice Marshall, his victory in the Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and his subsequent appointment to the Supreme Court. The film stars Charles Boseman and Kate Hudson and is nominated for Best Song, “Stand Up for Something.”
Another biographical film, The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman, is nominated for best song, “This is Me.” The film follows the life of P.T. Barnum. Obviously, the book that inspired the film is Barnum’s autobiography Barnum’s Own Story, actually published in 1927.
Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant by Shrabani Basu was published in 2011. Abdul, and Indian Muslim, arrived in England as a waiter at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. What followed is a story of tender love between them.
John Pearson wrote a biography of the Getty family, Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty in 1995. The book included the anguished tale of the kidnapping of grandson Paul Getty and the refusal by his grandfather to pay the ransom. The film, All the Money in the World, is based on Pearson’s book, republished as a movie tie-in of the same name.  Molly’s Game was also published in 2017 as the movie tie-in. It stars Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner and is the memoir of Molly Bloom who “gambled everything, won big, then lost it all.”
The Disaster Artist is a most ironic choice for a nomination. The film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Interestingly, it is a film about a disaster of a 2003 film that cost over $6 million to make: The Room earned $1800 at the box office. The book, The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero is subtitled My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. And IT’S up for an Oscar! (James Franco was snubbed for a Best Actor nomination due to allegations of sexual misconduct.)  
Best Picture nomination, The Shape of Water, was followed by a 2018 novelization by producer and director, Guillermo del Toro and his co-author Daniel Kraus. The publication of the screenplay of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Martin McDonagh followed the release of the film starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson. That film is up for seven Oscars, including ones for both McDormand and Harrelson. It is the story of a mother’s frustration that there has been no resolution about the death of her daughter and her struggle with the local police force.

Two novels inspired 2017 films: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, an international bestseller in 2008 and Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman (2007). Mudbound was the debut work that earned Jordan the Bellwether Prize for Fiction. Aciman is a professor of comparative literature at CUNY New York. Mudbound is a drama of hatred in the South. Call Me By Your Name is a “powerful romance.”

Those of us who stayed up late last February 26 - until the last minute of the Academy Awards ceremony - are hoping that won’t be THAT drama this year. As I prepared to turn off my TV, I watched dozens of people on the Dolby Theater stage in a state of confusion. LaLa Land had been announced as Best Picture when it was suddenly divulged that Moonlight had actually won the award. Warren Beatty tried to make sense out the error, and LaLa Land producer Fred Berger exclaimed on the microphone “We lost by the way.” 
I chuckled as I made my way up to bed. My husband Gerry had given up at least an hour earlier. He’s just not THAT into films. Or Academy Awards. I shook my head as I climbed into my side of the bed mumbling something about having witnessed an unbelievable mind-boggling mix-up of the Hollywood kind. Gerry didn’t even wake up.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

What Comes Next?

Bonnie Wyler is a Literacy/Outreach Librarian at the library. Read Bonnie's column in the February 1, 2018 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

When people think about retiring, their first thought is often, “Well, what will I do?”
Some people are eager to retire because the demands of their jobs become exhausting as they get older.  The elementary classroom teacher and the hospital nurse come to mind.  Even those who are looking forward to leaving their work are wondering what they will do.  This seems to be a universal question, whether one thinks about it long before retiring or after the actual transition from work to retirement.  In talking to a number of friends who have been retired for varying periods of time, I found a wealth of creative ideas for finding rewarding pursuits in this new phase of life.  Here are some of them:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 25, 2018 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

I’m here to confess that I’ve never read Frankenstein, the classic work of literature that just celebrated its 200th birthday. I’m guilty of believing some of the myths about the book. 

            There are many misconceptions about Frankenstein. First, author Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster was not a zombie, pieced together and connected by bolts. Nor is he green in color that films and cartoons have portrayed. This eight-foot tall repulsive creature had skin in yellow tones that tightly fit a body of veins and muscles. His eyes glowed, his teeth shone white and emphasized his long black hair and black lips. Most importantly, Frankenstein is not the monster, but it is the name of the scientist who created the monster who was never named in the book.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Revisiting Ayn Rand

Last summer, I cleaned out a bookcase at home and came across a paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand from my early college days.  It has followed me from my dorm room in the 60’s, to my parent’s home, and thru 2 moves in my married years.   During the busy years of raising children and working, it sat forgotten on the shelf.  What made it special was that it was personally autographed by Ayn Rand when I attended one of her lectures while in college.  I don’t remember what the lecture was about nor do I remember meeting her.   I wish I did.  She was a very vocal and controversial political activist during the turbulent 60’s and her book, Atlas Shrugged, was as controversial as she was.   The chance to see and hear her speak in person would have been a must. 

Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and suffered very negative effects of life under communistic rule until she received permission to visit relatives in Chicago in 1925.   She vowed never to return to Russia and continued to live and work in Hollywood.  I believe Ms. Rand was afraid that communism would follow her to America, and she used her writings and lectures to warn of its dangers.  America in the 60’s was in turmoil; we were in the midst of the unpopular Vietnam War.  In fact, one of reasons they told us we needed to go to war was to fight communism.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Simple Twist of Silas Marner

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 11, 2018 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

In the middle of the 19th century, Englishwoman Mary Ann Evans was afraid she wouldn’t be taken seriously as a writer unless she published under a man’s name. Women writers in the 1860s were stereotyped as writing light and frivolous romances. The mid-century was several decades before women like authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie exploded on the literary scene along with Americans Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stow

Mary Ann Evans was thought to be unattractive and not easily married off – so her father saw that his daughter was given an education as a young girl, something not afforded many young women in the 1800s. Her father Robert Evans managed a large estate with its own library. Mary Ann was given free access to the library where she honed her classical education aided by correspondence with her previous tutors from her younger years.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It’s A New Year! Changes Are Coming.

Read Jean Todesca's column in the January 4, 2018 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The beginning of a new year brings resolutions.  Losing weight, learning a new skill, donating time, we’ve all made them.  The thought of resolution makes me reflect on the many transitions in life that we all go through.  Whether a welcomed transition or an unwelcomed change, we all need to adjust and grow.

This past year 2017 has been a transition year for my family.  We celebrated my daughter’s wedding in May as well as my nephew’s wedding a week later.  My husband and I traveled to Los Angeles to celebrate Thanksgiving with my son’s future in-laws.  The trip was a major change since I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving at my home for the last 20 years.  My husband retired in April from a demanding position and is changing his focus in life.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Memories of Ireland

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the December 28, 2017 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

While you might not remember how to pronounce it, you probably do remember what havoc the Iceland volcano named Eyjafjallajökull created in the early spring of 2010. Gerry and I were scheduled to visit my youngest daughter who was living in Dublin, Ireland completing a graduate degree.  Nasty volcanic ash spewed forth from Eyjafjallajökull and cancelled our trip. Chaos ensued for the entire week when our plans for a lovely Irish vacation were finally permanently shelved. Gerry’s disappointment was further complicated by my sadness that I wouldn’t be seeing my daughter who had left the previous fall for Dublin.

In 1983 I was lucky enough to live in Ireland for one full calendar year. My now-ex-husband and one-year old daughter and I arrived in the southern city of Cork just after Christmas in 1982. During our year, we spent many weekends driving back roads and touring practically every village, castle and sacred spot across the Republic. Our youngest daughter, Ciara, was born that summer in Cork which is the second largest city in Ireland with a population just over 125,000.

Our small family lived in the tiny village of Glounthaune, 7 kilometers east of Cork at the estuary of the River Lee. Not all houses in Ireland are named, of course, and not all years are spent magically, but ours was. Our rented home was surrounded by high stone walls. Near the wooden door opening to the entry was a plaque with the simple name: The Garden House. Our home was situated along a winding road leading north and overlooked an 18th century country house hotel and the Cork Harbour beyond.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Never Too Late To Change

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the December 21, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Funny. I had another article in mind to write for this week, and then it hit me. Garfield. Do you remember the craze around that persnickety cartoon cat by Jim Davis? When I was a teenager I loved following the comic strip. Actually, I loved everything cats (before I realized my allergies stemmed from my own cat, Oreo). I decorated my room with the Kliban Cat, the one who wore red sneakers. And every Sunday I couldn’t wait to sit down, newspaper in hand, to read Hägar the Horrible and Garfield.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Turn the Page at the Library with Louise Penny

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the December 14, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Life changed quickly at the end of the 20th century and it seems to continuing that rapid change in the 21st. Personal computers, cell phones, email, and the Internet were the first to crash onto the scene at public libraries before the Y2K scare. Since then, streaming video, digital books and magazines, gadgets, and much more have found their way into the library and onto the Cloud.

            Many of the library’s staff who served Norwood from its desks and telephones in the 20th century have retired in the past 17 years.  One of those librarians, Margot Sullivan, came to Norwood from the Boston Public Library in the 1980’s. Although she officially retired her position as Adult Services Librarian in 2008, she continued her very popular First Thursday book discussion group for nearly another decade. After 33 years leading the group, she recently decided to move closer to her son and his family in New Jersey. Of course no one could replace Margot or her leadership of the First Thursday book group.  Margot’s fans had read well over 250 books in the thirty-plus years that they met within the library’s rooms. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Review Wars

Kate Tigue is a children's librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Kate's column in the December 7, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

It’s an accepted fact that we are living in the era of information. More than ever, people have instant access to knowledge that can help them make decisions in their everyday lives.  People are using their smartphones, computers, and other devices to make informed choices about their medical care, their political views, and how to spend their money.  And it has never been easier to spend money thanks to the convenience of shopping online.  Open access to information about products and services means we now have endless choices to consider.  So how do people figure out the best way to get the most for their money? Even with all this new technology, people still rely on an old-school method:  recommendations and reviews.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The World's Worst ... and Best Puppy

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 30, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Let’s admit it. We had been warned. “Puppies are just like babies,” friends said. “At your age, a puppy will wear both of you out,” our kids told us. They chew. They make messes. They need so much attention.

            We lost our beloved 11-1/2 year old Boxer in September 2016. Over the next nine months as we grieved, we also managed to convince everyone, including each other and ourselves, that we weren’t anywhere ready for another dog. We were enjoying the freedom from having to be home on time. We didn’t miss the muddy paw prints, the dog toys strewn about, and our car no longer boasted a full coat of dog hair on the seats and the floor.

There were no streaky nose prints on the car windows or on the French doors at home. There was no annoying barking at the mailman and any friend or foe who came near our home.  There were no stray dog toys and bones tripping us up, and no more slippery water sploshes on the kitchen floor.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Revisiting New England Favorites from Fluff to Baked Beans

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the November 23, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The United States is a diverse country. We are a culturally, intellectually, and religiously diverse people, and our regional foods reflect that. Every state, and even every city can lay claim to its own slice of American culinary culture. Buffalo, NY contributed the chicken wings that are so popular on game day, Philadelphia is all about the cheese steak, and it is hard to think of Chicago without thinking of deep dish pizza. While New England may not have a dish as popular as the buffalo wing or as iconic as Texas barbeque, a surprising number of amazing foods have roots right in our own back yard.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Praise for Paradise

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 16, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I have dozens of DVDs in my personal at-home collection. On rainy or wintry weekend, I’ve watched my favorites over and over and over again. One of my movie marathons might feature some of my favorite actors - Pierce Brosnan, Diane Keaton, Amy Adams or Harrison Ford. I could begin with Working Girl, Sabrina and Indiana Jones and end the film fest up with Frantic and Air Force One. Both Brosnan and Adams star in musicals (Mamma Mia and Enchanted, respectively) which might be on my playlist, mixed in, of course, with their films of more serious work (The Thomas Crown Affair and Julia and Julia.)

My husband doesn’t understand my peculiar habit of re-watching the same videos. Viewing a movie once is enough for him (and sometimes once is too much.)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Holy Grail of Grammar (and other Humdingers)

Librarian April Cushing is head of Adult and Information Services at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the November 9, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript Bulletin.

        My family is big on wordplay—the sillier the better. Whether it’s deliberately mispronouncing or making up words for comic effect (strictly ours), overusing idioms (beating a dead horse), or simply quoting dumb movie lines, we delight in linguistic levity. As our Commander-in-Chief might tweet, “That’s just sad!” No doubt, but entertaining nonetheless.

        My ex-husband and I had a thing for Monty Python and Charles Dickens--“that’s Dikkens with two K’s, the well-known Dutch author.” Certain catch phrases, like this one from the Monty Python “Bookshop” sketch, still make me smile.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Visiting the Giant Redwoods in California

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 2, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Important news from the National Park Service hit the media (print, online and social) this past spring and summer. The $10 lifetime price of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass was ending at the end of August. The cost of the pass was then immediately increasing for the first time since 1994 to $80.
Image: National Park Service NPS.gov

The change was a result of legislation passed in December of 2016

Contributors to the Morrill Memorial Library "From the Library" Column

Library Director, Charlotte Canelli began writing columns for the Peterborough Transcript in 2001 when she was the Youth Services Librarian at the Peterborough Town Library, 2001-2005. Soon after becoming the director of the Morrill Memorial Library, she began to write weekly columns for the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript. Since February 2009 other Morrill Memorial librarians have written many other columns. They include: April Cushing, Vicki Andrilenas and Liz Reed, Adult and Information Services Librarians; Jean Todesca, Kate Tigue, Nicole Guerra-Coon, Children's Librarians; Allison Palmgren, Technology Librarian; Sam Simas, Web Designer; Bonnie Warner, Literacy and Outreach Librarian; Diane Phillips, Technical Services Librarian; Norma Logan, Literacy Coordinator; Nancy Ling, Outreach Librarian; Cynthia Rudolph, Graphic Artist and Circulation Assistant; Jeff Hartman, Sr. Circulation Assistant; Margaret Corjay, Circulation and Outreach Assistant; Patricia Bailey, Circulation Assistant; retired librarians Hope Anderson, Marie Lydon, Shelby Warner, Margot Sullivan and Tina Blood; previous MML librarians, Beth Goldman, Kelly Unsworth, Brian Samek and Jenna Hecker; and library interns Kirstie David, Meredith Ruhl, Samantha Sherburne, Melissa Theroux and Khara Whitney-Marsh.