Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sweet Land - Tale from the Heartland

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the February 27, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

With the exception of a few years I spent living in such exotic places as Texas and Ireland, I spent the other 60 years of my life making my home on either the west or east coasts of the United States. I’ve lived within a drive to an ocean and sometimes had a bird’s eye view of a bay.

What about spacious skies, fruited plains, and waves of grain and the landscapes of The Great American Midwest? Besides a very quick drive (mostly at night) through the uppermost United States, the tall grasses of the prairies and the little houses in the big woods were simply foreign to me.
 
It wasn’t until I was fortunate enough in college to have a terrific American Lit professor that I was introduced to the short stories of Willa Cather. As it was a survey course covering many years, we concentrated on Wharton and Twain, Chopin and Hawthorne. It was the plain and simple language of Cather, however, that drew me in. I did, in fact, compare the grammatical construction of the short stories, “Neighbour Rosicky” by Cather and “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In my estimation, Cather won for the rhythms, the imagery, and emotion of her work.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Prints in the Snow

Read Jean Todesca's column in the February 20, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.

Let’s just say, I live in the woods. Although my home is 17 miles southwest of Boston, you would think I lived in the Maine wilderness. Day to day, I forget the large amount of wildlife that surrounds me. With the current snowstorms that we have experienced, there are reminders everywhere. The many paths the deer created through the snow. The tiny white footprints impressions placed all over my driveway. The mounded tunnels running across the ground.

When my children were young, we identified many animal tracks using library books. We’ve seen deer, squirrel, opossum prints and many more. We watched tunnels develop that were created by voles and squirrels.

Animal tracking is a great outdoor activity for both adults and children. The Children’s Department has books to guide in the identification process. “Who Was Here? Discovering Wild Animal Tracks” by Mia Posada and “Wild Trackers! A Guide to Natures Footprints” by Jim Arnosky are nonfiction titles. “Who’s Been Here? A Tale in Tracks” by Fran Hodgkins and “Tracks in the Snow” by Wong Herbert Yee are picture book titles that will introduce the experience of tracking in story form.

As the animal population changed, I’ve returned to books to help identify coyote and fisher cat prints. As this snowy winter wears on, try animal tracking. You’ll never know what you might find in the “wilds” of Norwood.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Gift You Never Thought to Ask For

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the February 12, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Last summer, we learned that we would be grandparents, again, in early 2015 and it was twins. Two more babies to love! How cool was that!

Early in the fall, our family was told that one of the babies not only had a severe heart defect but that she, our precious new granddaughter-to-be, would be one of the 6,000 babies born each year in the U.S. with Down syndrome.  Her twin and brother would be born “normal.”

Gerry and I were not sure if it was our old-age wisdom, or perhaps simply our unaffected acceptance of any baby to our family, that this child would have lessons, wisdom, and gifts to offer our family.  We were, so-to-speak, grateful just to know that she would be joining our family and we were convinced that all of our family would welcome our granddaughter and grandson with open, loving, and accepting arms.  We felt amazingly blessed with this news.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Answers to the Question Why

Bonnie Wyler is a Literacy/Outreach Librarian at the library. Read Bonnie's column in the February 5, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


I am known in my family of origin as the one who’s always asking questions, and

often too many.  The answer I often got was an exasperated, “WE don’t know!” 

Perhaps that is why I am drawn to books that answer the question “Why?”   Although

I love a good story I can lose myself in, at this point in my life I am more likely to

browse the nonfiction shelves of our library, looking for answers to questions about

health, nutrition, sleep and other quality of life topics.  I’m finding books that address

these questions in depth and satisfy my curiosity in the process.  Two of the topics

I’ve read about recently are memory and sleep.


Like most of us in middle or late middle-age, I wonder what has happened to my

memory.  These days I am making lists like crazy in order to remember important

appointments, errands, and my daily to-do list.  I can’t seem to remember anything for

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Whale of a Tale

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 29, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
           Over the recent holiday break, my husband, Gerry, and I toured the New Bedford Whaling Museum on the south coast of Massachusetts.  We’ve developed an appreciation for New Bedford, a city that has been undergoing a cultural Renaissance in recent years - much like that of Providence, RI, and Worcester, MA. New Bedford claims to have had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world during its whaling-capital heyday in the 19th Century.>

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Curing Cabin Fever Blues

Read Jean Todesca's column in the January 22, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.

Oh No! The days are shorter and winter’s cold has settled in.  The kids are getting restless and cranky. It’s time to find cures for “Cabin Fever”. Bundling up everyone and getting some outside activity is an answer, but some days it’s too too cold.

Cure 1. Let’s get moving! The library offers books and DVDs to enhance your fun. The DVDs; “Yogakids” and “Barney. Shake Your Dino Tail!” will get them exercising. “Llama Hoppity Hop”, “From Head to Toe” and Doreen Cronin’s titles “Bounce” and “Stretch” are books you can move to.

Cure 2. How about cooking?  You can eat like a super hero with “The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook” or enjoy cupcakes from the “Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook”.  Why not travel the USA with “The United States Cookbook:Fabulous Foods & Fascinating Facts From All 50

Cure 3. Get crafty!  The Children’s Department offers books covering sewing, papercrafts, knitting and more. Kids can recycle egg cartons, milk jugs, and cardboard tubes. Titles like “Fun Things to Do with Egg Cartons” and “Fun Things to Do With Milk Jugs” have fun ideas. Budding artist will find titles to enhance their skills. Titles include “Oil Paints” by Mari Bolte and “365 Things to Draw & Paint” by Fiona Watt.

Cure 4.  Learn a new game.  The library offers many books that contain instructions for Chess, Minecraft, Checkers, and more.

Cure 5.  Just sink into a good book.  Librarians are here to assist in finding the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winters day.

So, bundle up, stay warm and use the library to help you enjoy our winter season.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Airports: A Local Experience

Victoria Andrilenas is an Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Vicki's column in the January 15, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

My husband and I moved to Norwood a few years ago and have enjoyed learning about the town and community.  One local feature that was a nice surprise for me is Norwood Airport.  I grew up near a small airport and my family has long been interested in aviation and airplanes.  For me the noise of planes flying overhead brings back memories of being out in the backyard during the summer and looking up to see what kind of plane was overhead; one summer there were some gliders which was exciting. 

Many of today’s municipal airports were sites of major events in aviation history and served as training fields during World War I and World War II.   “Norwood: a history” by Patricia Fanning provides some history on the Norwood Airport.  In 1942 a small airfield was approved by the town as the site of the Norwood Airport.  The new airport was used for military training until the end of World War II.  After the war, local aviation company Wiggins Airlines moved their aircraft sales and repairs, and flight lessons from Canton to Norwood and expanded their business to include passenger and cargo operations (150-151).  This past fall the Wings of Freedom tour of historic World War II made its annual stop here on Norwood Day.  College Park Airport in Maryland is considered to be the nation’s longest continuously operating airport and was the site of the Wrights’ early military demonstrations.  Today it has a small museum and is used for general aviation.  Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, WA is part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and was the landing site of the first transpolar flight from Moscow in 1937.  My childhood airport was near several early airplane manufacturers.   Alastair Gordon’s “Naked airport: a cultural history of the world’s most revolutionary structure “examines the history of airports.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year?

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the January 8, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
As the new year blossoms, the trope of New Year's resolutions overwhelm us. We quickly assess our lives and find them lacking just in time for a clean slate. Just like the first fresh page of a new notebook, there's so much opportunity to the new year. Maybe I'll get in shape and lose that weight this year, maybe I'll read "War and Peace," maybe I'll quit smoking, or finally organize my shoe collection. All of these are great ideas but usually by Feb. 1 they end up crumpled in a corner. So how do we make New Year's resolutions stick?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

No Need to Wait for the New Year

Jillian Goss is a graduate student of library science at Simmons College in Boston while she also works as a Library Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Jillian's column in the January 1, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As the new year blossoms, the trope of New Year's resolutions overwhelm us. We quickly assess our lives and find them lacking just in time for a clean slate. Just like the first fresh page of a new notebook, there's so much opportunity to the new year. Maybe I'll get in shape and lose that weight this year, maybe I'll read "War and Peace," maybe I'll quit smoking, or finally organize my shoe collection. All of these are great ideas but usually by Feb. 1 they end up crumpled in a corner. So how do we make New Year's resolutions stick?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Starting Your Own Book Club

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the December 25, 2014 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

At first it might seem intimidating—the idea of starting a book club. After all, there’s a lot to think about, and so many books available to read. Where does one begin?

As you begin to narrow down your options however, you may discover this is the perfect time to organize a club of your own. With four book clubs under my belt, I believe I’m getting the hang of it now. That said, each group is as different as the people and the books that come to the table.

Keeping these seven questions in mind when forming a book club of your own might prove to be beneficial:

1. Why start a book club?
It’s essential to answer this question before you work out all the other details. Initially, there is quite a bit of work that goes into organizing your group. Take a moment to ask yourself how important this venture is to you and why. What do you hope to gain from this endeavor? Of course sharing a love of books is the main reason why most people start a book club. Likewise it’s a way to grow a community, bringing people closer around a theme or book. This is the reason I started two book clubs at different housing facilities in town—with the hope that a community would come together around a book discussion. So far, so good.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Great Gifts - Books!

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the December 11, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Librarians really aren’t against purchasing books. In fact, most librarians have one thing in common – a love of their own collections of books. Becoming a librarian customarily involves working among thousands and thousands of books, all at our fingertips. Owning one of your own, however, makes it even more special.

I adore giving books as gifts. However, I ponder carefully about it, though, because I want to make certain that the book will be treasured. I stay away from fiction unless it’s a classic or for a child because fiction seems so fleeting. I want the recipient of my book to go back to it again and again.

Cookbooks make fabulous gifts and some delicious titles were published this year. Gabrielle Hamilton wrote her memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” in 2012. Trained as a writer (she received her MFA) but drawn to serving and cooking food most of her life, Hamilton opened her NY City restaurant, Prune, in 1999. Fifteen years later, she has written the cookbook by the same name. “Prune” is a journey through the recipes of yummy, unfussy, relaxed food that she has served in her 30-seat restaurant. Although Hamilton sensed that her cookbook should be about the food and not her profound philosophies (don’t forget, she already wrote the memoir), she includes annotations and brief commentary along the way. The book is very popular in the Minuteman Library System and copies are repeatedly checked-out in most libraries. It’s a perfect book to add to your favorite cook’s bookshelf.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

No Column December 11, 2014

The Norwood Transcript and Bulletin did not print a column on December 11, 2014.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Traditions and the Movies

Read Kate Tigue's column in the December 4, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Kate is a Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


The holiday season has begun and all the yearly traditions we look forward to are on the horizon.  One of my most highly anticipated holiday traditions is watching Christmas themed movies.   It used to be popular to head to the movies on Christmas Day but the ubiquity of DVDs and streaming services have many people staying home and crowding around their TV.  Many holiday traditions are rooted in family celebrations or get-togethers but my particular fondness for Christmas movies comes from my time in college.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Saga of Mildred Pierce

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 27, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As a follower of Kate Winslet since the “Titanic” days, I chanced to come across a recommendation of her appearance in an HBO miniseries (available on DVD at our library). The description of the five-part series, “Mildred Pierce,” intrigued me.

One reason is that I’ve always been fascinated by the depression, the setting for “Mildred Pierce.” Growing up I’d listened to stories by my grandmother, my mother and aunts and uncles who endured those years in the 30s. Living in a Massachusetts mill town, many of my mother's family scraped by to make ends meet during the Depression's darkest days. I am also the owner of a quilt created by my great-grandmother in the 30s. It was crafted from scraps of clothing that had been carefully ripped apart and remade into dresses and shirts for the large family. During my own quilting days, I remade that worn quilt and named it “Aunties’ Dresses”; I had heard the tale of which calico piece had earlier been a grown-up dress. That same dress became a child’s shirt in the 1930s and it later became my inherited quilt.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Book Club of Two

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the November 20, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


With our annual family reunion approaching, I have been thinking about a particular trait that makes our family unique. You see, my family is blessed with a genetic predisposition to produce vast numbers of twins. If you don’t believe me, check out the September 1938 issue of National Geographic that recounts the story of my great-grandparents, Harry and Lydia Fifield. They managed to have an astounding six sets of twins in 13 years- a record at the time.

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 and Kate Tigue, Children's Librarians; Allison Palmgren, Technology Librarian; 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; 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, Samantha Sherburne, Melissa Theroux and Khara Whitney-Marsh.