Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Future Library Will Look Like . . .

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the August 15, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


There are lots of books about the future. From classics like Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to modern books like Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, authors have spent years imagining the world that awaits us. Needless to say, most of these portrayals are downright dystopic.

 So it was with some trepidation that we announced the topic for this year’s essay contest—“My Future Library Will Look Like. . ..” Sponsored by the Andrew and Ernest J. Boch Memorial Fund, our essay contest had become quite the hit around town. Still we wondered if we were opening up a can of worms with this year’s prompt.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Big Ditch - The Cape Cod Canal

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the August 7, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


The Panama Canal and the Cape Cod Canal both opened the same year – 1914.  The Cape Cod Canal, 7 miles long, opened to some traffic on July 29 just one day after the start of World War One (or the Great War) on July 28.  The Panama Canal, 48 miles long, opened two weeks later on August 15. These amazing feats of engineering may have started years before by entrepreneurial investors, but both were completed as American ventures.

The centennial of these two principal waterways were celebrated this summer.
  The Panama Canal has, of course, world significance as it provides a water route between the two oceans, or more accurately from the Caribbean Sea through the Isthmus of Panama to the Gulf of Panama at the Atlantic Ocean. Noted author David McCullough wrote “The Path Between the Seas” (2001), the story of the 400 years of blood, sweat and tears and the eventual successful building of the Panama Canal. The canal’s rich history includes its ownership by several countries and partnerships, its triumphant completion by the United States government, and its final control by the Panamanian government in 1999.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

To App or Not to App - What's Best for My Baby's Brain

Read Jean Todesca's column in the July 31, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.


As children’s librarians, we are often faced with the screen time question.  What is too much?  Should babies and young children be allowed screen time?  We are often challenged over the use of iPad and computers.  We are currently developing a storytime that incorporates the use of iPad and apps.  As we move forward, we understand some parents will have concerns.

Dr. Dimtri Christakis, Director of Child Health Behavior & Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute states “Screens are purely a delivery mechanism.  What parents should be focused on is content”.  He feels former statements by the American Academy of Pediatrics are out of date.  I agree.

Apps and games need to be interactive not passive to stimulate and develop the child’s brain.  Recently, I participated in a class where app reviews were a requirement.  I compared the “Pop-Up Peter Rabbit” storytime app to “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” app.  The pop-up version promoted exploration within the app while the other version was flat with no interaction.  Often when a parent has a young child who does not want to sit and be read to, I suggest interactive books.  Interactive books will draw the child into the story through the use of flaps, pop-up, touch & feel or repetitive verse.  They are all vehicles to involve the child in the reading process.  Apps are the same approach, but a different mode of delivery.  The child will explore and grow with activities that call for their response or touch/swipe to control the activity.  Young children can improve eye/hand coordination, speech & language and conceptual thinking.  The library has recently added iPads for young children’s use.  One of the apps that was loaded on to the iPads is Color Zen Kids.  It’s a great example of design to develop conceptual thinking. 

Parents as well as teachers and librarians must make thoughtful app choices.  Some of the best sites for app reviews are Common Sense Media, Graphite and Google Play for Education.

Like any other technology or activity, moderation is the key.  Screen time can be fun, entertaining and educational, but only screen time is too much for anyone whether an adult or child.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Do You Scream for Ice Cream?

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the July 24, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association's website, President Ronald Reagan selected the third Sunday of the month of July as National Ice Cream Day.  At the same time, he chose July as National Ice Cream Month.
Now, that’s a celebration I can get behind. Of course, most New Englanders understand the importance of summer in our lives and in what way ice cream plays into it.  Some of us even know the exact date our local ice cream stand will open.  We also mourn the day that it closes for the season.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Home Remedies: Turning A House into a Home

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the July 17, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


For the past few years, my husband and I lived in a rented house located in his hometown.  The location was great and the rent was beyond cheap, but it would be kind to call the house a fixer-upper. The roof leaked, the ceiling in the master bedroom was so low that my husband once put his head through it while putting on a pair of pants, we used one of the bathrooms as a closet because the plumbing was not functional, and so many critters found their way in that we could have started a wildlife sanctuary. In short, the house was a dump.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rock On, James Dean

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the July 10, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


While James Dean acted in both television and commercials from the beginning of his career starting in the early 1950s, he made three movies and three movies only. Of course, the iconic star’s films were released when I was only 3 and 4 years old and I didn’t catch them on reruns as a teenager and never quite bothered to watch them on television or DVD. I watched two of them for the first time this past weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fast Riding and Other Local Color

Shelby Warner is a Reference Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Shelby's column in the July 3 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


     Back in the 1890’s Warren Taylor was charged for “fast riding”.   Norwood’s finest said he had exceeded the town’s posted 10 mile an hour speed limit.  He suggested there was collusion between the police and “some” clergyman.  To add to the charge, the offense happened on Sunday. 
     This took place during the time bicycling became very popular in Norwood.  Those who purchased “wheels” even made it to the front page of the newspaper.  In a letter to the editor, Taylor defended himself, claiming the charge against him “opened a wide door for the arrest of every driver of vehicles into and through the town”.    He had many supporters.  Those who opposed him thought bicycle riding on Sunday opened the door for baseball, football and other Sunday events.  Well, wouldn’t those people turn over in their graves today?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fighting for the Mentally Ill

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's columns in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

In the 80s, when we lived in a small Central Massachusetts town, my eldest daughter had a particular admirer named Micah. Micah was a precocious and very handsome six-year old classmate. His mom, Paula, asked me to arrange a playdate for the two first-graders and shortly after, we mothers became fast friends.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Fox or a Hedgehog?

Liz Reed is an Adult and Information Services Library at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Liz's column in the June 19, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


I recently returned to my undergraduate alma mater for my five-year reunion.  St. Lawrence University (SLU) is a small liberal arts college nestled in the river valley between the Adirondack Mountains and the St. Lawrence River in Northern New York State.  New York State covers a huge geographical area, and in this case, “northern” does not mean just north of New York City, or even near Syracuse or Rochester.  The university, located in Canton NY, is at the tippy-top of the state, about a half hour drive from Canada.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Bright Morning Dawning - Maya Angelou

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

It was a crisp and brilliant morning when I first became acquainted with Maya Angelou. Oh, I don’t suggest I actually met Ms. Angelou. It was more like I was stirred to her powerful genius.

I’ll give away my political inclinations (love me or hate me) when I declare that I was thrilled to attend the presidential inauguration of William Jefferson Clinton on January 20, 1993. A life-long democrat since my early days in a Democratic household, I was first registered to vote in the early days of 1970s. Congress had passed the 26th Amendment in 1971 providing the right to vote to any American aged 18 or over and so, the 1972 election was just around the corner. I was a starry-eyed and idealistic young politico. In neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, I knocked on doors for Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern. Some of my best friends joined me and we felt that we could change the world.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Power of Music

Bonnie Wyler is a Literacy/Outreach Librarian at the library. Read Bonnie's column in the June 5, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I began playing the piano when I was nine years old, and very quickly found that playing music was an outlet for my emotions, feelings I could not have articulated but that I felt intensely when I played beautiful music.  There is something very powerful and life-affirming about expressing yourself in this way.  Recently I’ve found that other people in some very unlikely places are having this same experience.  One of the places is a garbage dump in Paraguay and the other is in the Republic of Congo in Central Africa.  These stories are from two of the poorest countries on earth, yet in each instance, the power of music allows people to transform their lives and find hope.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the May 29, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As a very young child, I played outside in every season (as children of past generations did). In the 50s and 60s, our parents said goodbye to us on a summer day and simply hoped that we would show up for lunch and dinner. This was a childhood in a small city: tennis and swimming lessons, backyard croquet, day camp in the California foothills parks.

Then came my teen years when I developed allergies to grass and tree pollens that made outdoor living virtually impossible for me from spring through summer. I was a miserable, sniffling mess for four months of every year – either in complete misery or groggy from allergy medications (none of the daytime use prescriptions had been invented yet).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Films We Love, Actually

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the May 22, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


The 2003 holiday hit. “Love Actually” is one of my favorite movies.  That explains to a few people that it’s obvious I have no taste in movies. "A few" people include my dearest oldest daughter.  She loathes "Love Actually" and she is not alone.  Critic Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in Salon (December 2012) that “Love Actually” is “one of cinema’s nastiest, most depression commentaries on love.”  Other reviewers call it the worst Christmas movie of all time.  Ha, what do they know? My youngest daughter and I adore watching it several times each year.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Hesitant Traveler

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the May 15, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


The world has changed immensely since I took a trip overseas more than a decade ago. My personal world has changed as well. Last time I traveled across “The Pond,” I didn’t have children. Also, my cell phone was the size of a brief case, and maps were things that I folded and unfolded rather than tap and click.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Along the Way: Mothering Daughters

Charlotte Canelli is the library director at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA. Read Charlotte's column in the May 8, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. 


            I wasn’t born on Mother’s Day, but every six or seven years, my birthday falls on the holiday. Growing up next door to my best friend (who was born on May 8), we shared a very special week. Mother’s Day fell smack among the six days between our birthdays.

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 guest columns. They include: April Cushing and Elizabeth 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.