Thursday, December 11, 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 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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Talking with the Car Talk Guys

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 13, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


In 2000, I found myself in the market for my very first, very own car.  My husband of 27 years was newly-exed and in the arms of another woman.  My daughters were off to college driving their own wheels. My emptied nest was a spacious overstatement and so was my eight-seat, Chevy Suburban-Mom car.  I was attending graduate school and managing a part-time job in Boston.  I drove thousands of miles a month to and from work and school and social engagements across New England. I wanted to downsize to something practical, sporty, and fuel-efficient.

            I successfully traded in the gas-guzzler and skillfully negotiated the purchase price of a VW Cabriolet convertible. Did I consider about the practicalities or persnickety workings of a foreign car? Did I analyze the rationale of a standard transmission in New England’s ice and snow? Of course not. I just knew that I would save money on gas and have a blast driving my great little car.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mystery Boxes - Cleaning Out the Attic

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader's advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the November 6, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Years ago we had a pull down staircase constructed in order to easily access the attic. How nice this addition allowed us to store items for “safe” keeping out of sight and also out of mind. I knew there were some extra dining chairs, a suitcase, and some Christmas decorations but what else I wondered? I stood at the top of the stairs and looked at the poorly labeled boxes.

As I brought items downstairs and opened the boxes my son’s young years flashed before my eyes. The thousands of pieces of Legos were magic for him and his Dad as they created towers and buildings and bridges and spaceships, Now those Legos are in my son’s garage ready for his two young children. Looking at the current Lego merchandise I am sure his kids are going to want many more Legos which are more creative than ever. The Star Wars action figures might be worth something if he hadn’t lost a sword or a hat but the original carrying case has them all lined up. The Star Wars space stations have already moved to his home for his children.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Facts and Fears About the Ebola Virus

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the October 30, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


            The Ebola virus was first identified in remote villages in Central Africa in Sudan and Zaire nearly forty years ago in 19 The Ebola virus was first identified in remote villages in Central Africa in Sudan and Zaire nearly forty years ago in 1976.  Between 1976 and 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) documented 2,387 cases (restrained to Africa only) and about half have died. Of course, in the last two years that number has now climbed to over 10,000 cases. On October 23, WHO convened a crisis meeting to figure out how get the two vaccines now in development, through clinical trials, and developed at an “accelerated pace.”

            An epidemic involves a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease in one community all in a particular time period. A pandemic, on the other hand, means (from the Greek) “pertaining to all people.” A pandemic, then, is an outbreak in a wide area or global sphere. Pandemics in history have included notorious outbreaks, including the Black Death and Bubonic Plagues that devastated Europe in the 1300s and 1800s. There have been extensive outbreaks of Cholera and Influenza. The Spanish Flu was responsible for millions of deaths in 1918, 1919 and 1920. (Read local author, and past library trustee, Patti Fanning’s account in “Influenza and Inequality,” published in 2010 in which she discusses how that epidemic affected our Norwood community.) In just three years, the Spanish Flu affected 500 million people worldwide and killed 50-100 million of them.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sailing - No Day at the Beach

April Cushing is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the October 23, 2014 issue of the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.

          I spent a week in the winter of 2012 cruising the BVIs on a friends 54-foot yawl—which, I soon learned, is your basic sailboat with two masts. Sunny skies, warm trade winds, rum drinks sprouting paper parasols; it was paradise.
          I couldn’t wait to get home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Building and Living Small

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the October 16, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

The small-house phenomenon is a social and architectural movement that is sweeping the United States. It is a helpful trend for those who yearn to make their lifestyle sustainable … or for those who wish to deliberately downsize, or for those who want a little of both. The revelation about the small house movement is that small houses are actually nothing new. Most of the world’s inhabitants have lived in small homes like dug-outs, pit-houses and igloos throughout history. Only a small percentage of civilization have lived in palaces, mansions and castles. In fact, some might say that the American Tiny House movement has its roots in our very own Henry David Thoreau and his little, idyllic home on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Parenting in the Digital Age

Diane Phillips is the Technical Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.  Read Diane Phillips' column in the October 9, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

While classifying a stack of non-fiction books, I came across one title that caught my attention, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing Up, by Janell Burley Hofmann. This book intrigued me because my husband and I just recently gave our son an iPad mini for his birthday. He unwrapped the gift and actually said, "Is this real or is something else in the box?" We told him that yes, indeed it was real but before he could have it, he had to listen to some rules regarding its use and care. I could tell that he was only absorbing about half (if that much) of what we were telling him. He just kept looking at the box and nodding his head and saying, "uh huh" every once in a while as we were listing the do's and don'ts. He already knew how to do most everything already having used my iPad or his friends' devices. I wanted to make sure that he fully grasped the restrictions and guidelines that we were trying to communicate. This is where Hofmann's book, iRules, comes in handy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Young Librarian

Jillian Goss is a circulation assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Jillian's column in the October 2, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


In 2007, about a week after my fifteenth birthday, I began working at the Morrill Memorial Library.  I never could have known at the beginning what an adventure I would be in for.
When I was a child I would come to Miss Hope’s story times. I would talk to Michele when checking out.  I would pick up stacks of books that would tower over my short frame and I started reading books from the Young Adult room by the age of eight.  I am thankful everyday that my mother made it a priority to get her children involved in the library early in life. It has definitely had a grand and inspiring effect on me.
One of the biggest things that the library has done for me is help me grow up. I’ve spent the last few years growing up and growing into myself. I’ve weeded my friend garden many times over and I carry the library’s quiet confidence in me.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Season for Stitching

Liz Reed is an Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Liz's column in the September 25, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


You can feel it in the air, you can smell it on the crisp morning breeze – Autumn has arrived.  The Fall season means different things to different people: to parents and their children, it means the back-to-school hustle and bustle.  To gardeners, the season means harvest and preparing the ground for a winter respite.  For others, this is the time to enjoy changing leaves, picking apples to bake apple pies, and hot beverages on chilly mornings.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vermeer - Master of Light

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the September 18, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Johannes Vermeer died at the age of 43 in 1675. He left his wife and family of ten children in debt and certainly could not have been considered a financial success.  Although it is believed that Vermeer may have produced as many as 60 works of art, only 35 known paintings remain known to the world.  21 are housed around the globe and the majority are housed by museums in Europe.  Another 14 of them are owned by institutions or private collections in the United States. One of those is, of course, missing.  The Concert was stolen from the Isabella Gardner Museum in a notorious theft on March 18, 1990.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Boys Will Be Boys

Norma Logan is the Literacy Coordinator at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Norma's column in the September 11, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

The day my grandson was born, 6 years ago in September, I knew that the pink frilly clothes, dolls and tea sets from my three daughters would have to continue to stay retired in the closet.

I would have to start all over with collecting cars, trucks, and boy things since I had not had any sons. The first toy/book that my husband and I bought for our new grandson was a board book in the shape of a tractor, wheels and all. More books and toys followed. That was the easy part. As time went on, and I watched his development, it became clear he did not respond or act in any way that resembled my three girls. As he is now approaching his 6th year, it is more apparent.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

California's Trembling Hills

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the September 4, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


In 1984, an earthquake hit Northern California on April 24. The Morgan Hill quake was situated on a less famous fault than the San Andreas, the Calaveras Fault, which runs along the San Jose area (south of San Francisco and a bit to the west).  It registered 6.2 on the Richter scale and  resulted in damages in several communities, San Jose among them.

At that time, my daughters and I lived further north in the East Bay area of San Francisco, near the American Canyon. We might have felt a jolt, but it wasn’t particularly memorable.

In the fall of 1984, we moved south to the foothills of Mt. Hamilton, near the epicenter of that very Morgan Hill quake. Later, in the spring of 1985, I distinctly remember an earthquake that rocked my house with enough force that I ran for the doorway of my sleeping daughters’ bedroom. That quake is not even mentioned on any significant earthquake list except the United States Geological Survey, which lists hundreds of quakes between 2.0 and 6.0 in both 1984 and 1985.

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 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.