Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Best At His Game

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week.

While my children were growing up, holiday tradition always included playing games. As the years passed, Candyland, Sorry, and Go Fish! led to Scattergories, Balderdash, and Hearts. Jenga, a family-favorite tower game of stacking blocks, provided late afternoon fun for various generations. We’ll always miss my elderly aunt Betty who was the master of the steady hand into her late eighties.
Over the years the popularity of board games came and went as kids grew up. Sometimes adult patience wore thin with multiple hours of competitive Monopoly or with the more calculating and troublesome warring game of Risk. As time passed there came teenage angst, family divisions, leavings and comings and less opportunity for the Currier and Ives postcard holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On A Snowy Evening

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week.


Waking up to drifting snow against our windowpanes last Sunday I was reminded again of why I love living in New England. The romance of snowy woods and twinkling lights through the shrouded dawn cause me to catch my breath every time. The tradition of the seasons, the poetry of life and the rhythms of New England are part of my soul.
Although I was born in Massachusetts I moved away in 1959 and grew up in the San Francisco East Bay in Northern California. There we had a four-hour car ride to the Sierra Nevada mountain range with its constant wintery snowfalls. It’s not quite the same, however, when your own home’s front walk and backyard aren’t part of the seasonal fairytale

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Holiday Memory Play

Read Margot Sullivan's entire article in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


I began to think of memories of holidays and those memories are certainly not realistic but definitely emotional. At Thanksgiving I always remember the huge gatherings at my Aunt’s house in Brookline. She made everything from scratch – and often only slept two or three hours before the big day. Then afterwards the adults would settle in to play bridge. I loved that day of long ago!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Dicken's of a Tale

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week.


"There is nothing like a good holiday book or movie to fight off holiday trauma. One of Dickens’s reasons for writing “A Christmas Carol” was, in fact, to circumvent the holiday humbugness of the day. He and Washington Irving had an exceedingly romantic relationship with the glorious and harmonious Christmas traditions far from the madding crowd. Dickens merely translated them to the urban squalor of an industrial city of the 19th Century"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanking Fanny Farmer

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week.


These days I have to confess I don’t cook very much or at least I rely on tried-but-true recipes from my more-eager cooking days when I do. When I remarried over two years ago, that was one of the perks on the table, so to speak. I had only to show up for dinner each night (hopefully on time or with a good excuse if otherwise.)

My husband often relies on fast recipes for the weeknights due to the time crunch between his arrival home and our grandson’s homework and bedtime. And he always makes a stop at the grocery store for a last-minute purchase. One of his favorite new tricks is to use his new iPhone app, “Epicurious.” This handy Internet novelty not only hands over a recipe (using one or more search ingredients) but also gives him an exact shopping list. And all at the tap of his finger.

Would our most famous Boston cooks approve? Known for some of the most complicated recipes in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Julia Child could also make things as simple as possible. Julia’s roast turkey recipe includes a short list of ingredients: oil, salt, pepper, celery onions, lemon, butter. And Port or Madeira, if desired. Even Fanny would approve of that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The From the Library column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript will not be published this week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Simple Request

Read Kelly Unsworth's entire column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week.

A few weeks ago, an unsuspecting father came into the children’s room of the library to make a simple request: he wanted books that would help him teach his daughter to be kind to her younger brother. I’m sure he was looking for books with a story about sharing, being helpful and patient, and treating others as you would like to be treated.

He wanted books that would explain to his child why she shouldn’t hit her brother with a Lego block every time he cried, or pour raspberry Jell-O over his head when she didn’t want any more. A simple request.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paying it Forward

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week.


Last month I wrote about Ben Franklin in my column about Daylight Savings Time. Imagine my surprise when I would come across Ben again in this week’s research.
Franklin’s wisdom and understanding of paying it forward was exemplified in April of 1784 when he wrote in a letter to a Benjamin Webb: “I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”
(And while Ben Franklin gets the credit for writing the letter above we must give credit where credit is due. Robert Heinlein actually coined the phrase, “paying it forward” in his book “Between Planets,” in 1951.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eating Crow and Other Unpalatable Expressions

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column this week in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


One of our newest books in the library is the just-published “I’m Not Hanging Noodles In Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World,” by Jag Bhalla. The useful information in this book might be learning what not to say. The cover of the book includes the information that the expression (in Bengali) of “thighs shaped like banana trees” is a compliment to women.

One might avoid the expression in this country, however.

Some of my favorite expressions explained in Bhalla’s book are Hindi. To address the ground? To be dejected. To loosen the turban? To be crestfallen. To drink a mouthful of blood? Essentially, to eat crow. In any language it’s a humiliating experience. Charlotte Canelli, Library Director

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1001 Ways To Spend Your Time

Read Margot Sullivan's entire article in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

"All of a sudden I was seeing 1,000 and 1,001 books on many subjects everywhere I went! In our summer Beach Reads book review program Beth Goldman reviewed “1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die.” Not only was this a daunting task but at least half of the foods I had never heard of.
Then I discovered “1,000 Films to Change Your Life.” My life is kind of humdrum so I should watch a film every day in between reading my book, eating a new food, and preparing a new recipe.
But wait a minute, what is missing? “1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.” How will I fit in listening to a recording? I guess I will never sleep.
" Margot Sullivan, Reference Librarian

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Year of Living ... Literally

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire article in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript this week

Nina Sankovitch and Christopher Beha both read through the emotional paralysis of their separate griefs and found strength; Nina and Roger Martin battled their demons in books they had never read before and found enlightenment; she and A.J. Jacobs were able to put their lives on hold for a time to accomplish their finite goals.

Nina is near the end of the 365 books in the past year and she admitted in the BBC radio interview that there are many dust bunnies under her furniture and that she will attend to more of the daily chores in her life once her quest is done. Something tells me, though, that Nina Sankovitch’s dust bunnies will still be there, tomorrow and next year, while she travels the country on a book tour to promote her year of living … literally.
Charlotte Canelli, Library Director

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Times They Are A-Changin'

Read the entire article this week in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript by librarians Marie Lydon, Hope Anderson, and Tina Blood.


"It’s been our privilege to serve with many wonderful and dedicated staff members who have become not just co-workers, but friends and family throughout our years. They accepted, adjusted and adapted to the many policy, personnel and procedural changes, allowing the library to hum along without any interruptions.

In all these 41 years of library history, our dedication to the Morrill Memorial Library and our devotion to each other have remained constant. We are: Hope Anderson, Children’s Librarian, Tina Blood, Literacy Volunteer Coordinator and Marie Lydon, Reference Librarian and we have served the library and the Town of Norwood for a total of 123 years."
Tina Blood, Hope Anderson, Marie Lydon

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Saving Time With Ben

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire article in the Norwood Transcript and Record this week.


"Did you know it was our Ben who also gave the world the idea for a daylight saving time as early as 1784? Ben Franklin was an American delegate in Paris and the Parisian sleeping habits made no sense to him. In his essay, “An Economical Project,” Franklin estimated that much money would be saved if the residents of Paris would just change their clocks to awaken early with the daylight.
Parisians, it seems, were notorious for late bedtimes, eating, reading, conversing, and living by candlelight. If those Paris dwellers would just reset their clocks, the sunlight would “awaken the sluggards effectually and make them open their eyes to see their true interests…All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days; after which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present irregularity…Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is probable he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening.”
Parisians were not amused. Something tells me, however, that our Ben was. Charlotte Canelli, Library Director

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll See

Read Marie Lydon's entire column in the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin this week.


"I am reminded of all this because PBS has been promoting its series on the national parks beginning this fall. It should be stunning. Although I have not been to most of the parks, I love looking at the books and planning trips that we hope to take some day. In the meantime, we can all be armchair travelers with some of the following books at the library:
America’s National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan is a beautiful and informative book published in conjunction with the PBS series.
Great Lodges of the National Parks by Christine Barnes, volumes 1 and 2, illustrate the ideas and industry of our predecessors in building these magnificent structures.
Fodor’s Official Guide to America’s National Parks gives a brief, state by state description of 391 parks.
Frommer’s National Parks with Kids by Kurt Repanshek highlights great family activities at 14 parks including Acadia and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
·“Haunted Hikes: Spine-Tingling Tales and Trails from North America’s National Parksby Andrea Lankford, which unfortunately does not include any New England parks.
There are many more books about the national parks to consult if you are planning a trip. It is never too soon to start thinking about next summer. If we do not have a specific book in our library, you can request that it be delivered here.
Marie Lydon, Reference Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back to Business

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in this week's Norwood Transcript.


And so, in true librarian-mother form, I decided to make up a bibliography of must-read business books for my youngest daughter, already in an MBA program, and for the eldest who will begin next fall.

There were plenty of places to go online to gather information for this list. Some of the best online spots are Business Week Online, Personal MBA, Forbes, etc. However, as often is the case, I might have actually found a good answer right on our shelves. It’s “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You” by Jack Covert and Todd Satterson.
Charlotte Canelli, Library Director

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Twitter 19th Century Style

Read Shelby Warner's entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.


"Old newspapers are fun to browse. Read the front page of one and you’ll find “Twittering” is not just a present day phenomenon. The local news back then included reports of who went where and when, fell down their front steps or broke a bone, put in a cement sidewalk, painted their house the same color as their brother’s, bought a new team of horses, or seemed a little corpulent at their birthday party.

Twitter, indeed."
Shelby Warner, Reference Librarian

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chilling Mysteries From the North

Read Margot Sullivan's article in the Daily News Transcript this week.


Last but not least I love the Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason, whose atmospheric, involved mysteries take place in Reykjavik and feature police inspector Erlendur.

“Silence of the Grave” is absolutely haunting. A young female skeleton is found at a building construction site and is finally determined to be around 50 years old, putting her death back around World War II. Strands of stories and long forgotten family secrets of abuse in the Icelandic countryside make for a riveting mystery.

Should I see a therapist? Nope. Reading is therapy no matter what one reads. Books, and tapes and CD’s are all free for loan from the library. Therapists cost money. I’ll stick with my library.
Margot Sullivan, Retired Adult Services Librarian

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Investment In the Future

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire article in the Daily News Transcript this week.


When we prepared to return to the States and I was packing up our household 25 years ago, one of my last tasks was to truck the coins to a local Irish bank. I chose the EBS or Educational Building Society and deposited the heavy packets of coin into an account for my daughter who was only five months old. I had fantasies that the 50 plus Irish punts (or Irish “pounds” worth about $99 at the time) would grow and be somewhat meaningful to her one day.

She had a “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” or so we told her over the years. We added gift amounts to the fund a few times early on and that money accrued interest for the last quarter of a century when we basically forgot about it in the last two decades.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Self-Help Is Just Around the Corner

Read April Cushing's complete hilarious column in this week's Daily News Transcript.


It all started with the car window that wouldn’t close. My kids make fun of my minivan, which I’ve defended to the last dent. Until, that is, I tried to raise the passenger window on a recent Monday morning and it wouldn’t budge.

I enjoy a gale-force breeze as much as the next passenger, but halfway home from a weekend on the Cape I’m burrowing into my hoodie ready to join my canine companion in the back seat when I glance over my shoulder and, uh oh, no Duffy. As I said, I blame it on the window. Since I’m due at the Morrill Memorial Library reference desk at 9 a.m. there’s no time to turn around.

But being the resourceful librarian I am, I immediately call my neighbor Story Fish—his real name, and yes, he’s a fisherman—who rescued the pup waiting patiently at my back door. Story was chuckling but I was horrified. I mean, I’ve left my kids behind before, sure, but never my dog.
April Cushing, Adult Services Librarian

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What I Read On My Summer Vacation

Read Kelly Unsworth's entire library column in the Daily News Transcript.


Some 30 years later, my daughter experienced her own version of the “Giant Peach” vacation when we happened upon a small, stone building that houses the Shelburne Free Public Library in Shelburne, Mass. We were fortunate to be passing by while the library was open, as it is only open for three hours every other day. The building had seen no renovations, and consequently had the smell and feel of a cozy one-room schoolhouse. What it lacked in modernity, however, it made up for with charm and a surprisingly good selection of books overflowing the wooden shelves. Kelly Unsworth, Children's Librarian

Friday, August 14, 2009

For Reading Out Loud!

Read Charlotte Canelli's entire column in the Daily News Transcript this week.


Reading aloud has become somewhat of a lost art in our culture and in the 21st Century. Before television and radio, and mercy me! computers, families spent valuable time reading to each other. And not just to children. Rhythms and language, descriptions and visions were shared with utmost attention to the written word by entire families of all ages. The Read Aloud America and United Through Reading groups are two of the non-profit organizations encouraging a rebirth of a read-aloud generation.

Most experts agree that reading to children is the single most important factor in later reading success.

As adults, we know the importance of reading to our children. We stop – or our children stop us – at some point in the chain. We rarely read to them after a certain age and certainly not to each other. While the electronic audio books serve its purpose well, listening to audio books in any format is a solitary activity. Too much of our present-day e-World is convenient but lonely as it lacks the connectness and comfort we find in the shared experience of listening and reading to each other. There is something lost in the translation – the attention we must pay to read and to listen.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tweet, Tweeting, Tweeted

Read my entire article this week in the Daily News Transcript.


Twitter’s claim on its homepage is that you can “share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.” My problem with Twitter is that the world is a very big place. I can’t possibly keep up with all my email, my Google Reader aggregator and my online feeds, my Facebook family and friends. How can I possible discover and share with the rest of the world in constant 140-character Tweets? Why do I have to know these things?
Recent studies of this phenomenon called Twitter have found that millions of others haven’t caught on either. Recent studies (on the Internet and in print media) claim that Tweeters flock to the site and then never return. Around 60 percent of those who register are just not staying around to “get it.” Some predictions claim that only 10 percent of all Internet users are really using Twitter.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's All In the Delivery

Read the entire article this week in the Daily News Transcript.


It’s a bird … it’s a plane … No! It’s a book! And it’s on its way to your library.
Most Morrill Memorial Library users know that they can request a book (or an audio book, a music CD, a DVD, or a video) from another library within our Minuteman Library Network. Most know that it arrives at the speed of…well, a book. Have you ever marveled at how this system works so well and so fast? Do you wonder how we work this magic?
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weekday, a.m. Library has not opened yet. Come in and walk up the stairs and turn on the Waiting List computer. Check to be sure Print Station is up.

Uh-oh, strange message. That’s because the power went off last night during the thunder and lightning storm. Go to the Reference Desk, drop off books, papers, reviews taken home, turn on Reference Desk computer, and then turn on the reference computer in the office and check to be sure the printer is turned on.
Beth Goldman, Reference, Outreach and Technology Library

Read the entire article by Beth Goldman, Outreach and Reference Librarian, in the Daily News Transcript.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Food for Thought

When my book club met at the end of the summer, 2008, we courageously decided to tackle fresh mozzarella cheese. Call me a skeptic once again but I never imagined that a cheese made at home, in an ordinary kitchen, could be palatable, let alone absolutely delicious. I was amazed when my group of wine-sipping book ladies frothed up a delicious, fresh hunk of mozzarella in the time it took us to make a quick dinner.
Excited, I deigned to make my own cheese weekly. You guessed right - that never happened because I am, after all, not living the good life in the Virginia mountains that Kingsolver did. I’m not forced to invent my dinner each night but instead come home only to serve it.
Yet, I appreciate the effort and seek out those homemade, local creations to add to my family table. Perhaps that is what Kingsolver hoped we all would do - food for thought.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Read my entire article in the Daily News Transcript this week.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Traveler's Tale

We might have heeded the weather report and waited until morning. We might have turned around before we hit torrential downpours just 20 miles northeast. Yet, we were hearty, hardy, and determined travelers and we left on our three-hour trip mid afternoon on the 1st of July.

Even in my vacation reverie, snatched from car ride slumber, I knew that Gerry’s words “We’ve lost it” were extremely bad news. The not-quite-locked-down Space Cadet, buffeted by wind and rain, had finally rebelled against her load. Her lid had burst upward and she had carelessly spilled her guts onto the slick, wet, and crowded highway at the worst time of the day: the evening commute.

We braved a nerve-jangling stop in the breakdown lane and then forlornly watched our brave driver – husband and grandfather – retreat backwards and disappear around the curve and to seek out what remained of our rooftop load. The three of us helplessly left behind held our breaths as large UPS and Wal-Mart trucks whipped by at breakneck speeds. Our hearts sank as we imagined shreds of sleeping bags, tents, and towels pummeled into the tarmac of the busy highway. We anticipated turning toward home, sheepishly admitting defeat after the very best of attitudes and intentions. Worst of all, of course, we realized our champion was braving the speeding lanes of vehicles.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

You can read my entire article in the Daily News Transcript this week. Happy travels!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Databases At Your Fingertips

If you are interested in learning a foreign language, just scroll down the alphabetical list to Mango Languages and voila, you are there! We just added this to our database collection but this program has been very popular with patrons at other libraries and we expect you will love it. If offers 12 languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Greek, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, ESL Polish (English for Polish Speakers), ESL Spanish (English for Spanish Speakers), and ESL Brazilian Portuguese (English for Brazilian Portuguese Speakers). Marie Lydon, Reference Librarian
Read Marie Lydon's entire article in the Daily News Transcript this week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sane in Maine

Whenever I go over the Piscataquis Bridge from New Hampshire to Maine everyone in the car with me must open their windows and let the “clean Maine air” fill the car no matter what time of the year. Then I wave my arms out the window and yell, “Yippee, I am in Maine!”

I always wonder what the people think in the cars behind us. My family smiles and humors me. Now I have my library friends doing the same thing!

I love Maine. Most of you head to Cape Cod and, yes, it is a shorter drive, it is nice off season, and the water is warmer, but the rocky coast of Maine is beautiful; and there are a multitude of unexplored places to enjoy down many of the peninsulas.
Margot Sullivan, Reference Librarian
Read Margot Sullivan's entire article this week in the Daily News Transcript.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's All In a Name

Near the turn of the 20th Century, and on the eve of the first Centennial of the library building, the Committee of One Hundred Names was formed in time for the celebration. The mission of this committee of seven was to find eleven more names. What a daunting task! A century of writers had been born since the building had been built. Some of the original names were hidden or lost during the ensuing years and the two additions. The committee noted that only four women’s names now graced the building and that most of the authors carved on its walls were writers for adults.
For three months the public was asked to nominate. Names came from elementary schools, from library users, and from the general public and 144 names were received. The file of nominations is several inches thick and includes testimony and heartfelt letters from an enthusiastic public.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Read my entire article this week in the Daily News Transcript.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Frankly, My Dear

Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to remember back half a day let alone nearly a half-century. After our visit to the Margaret Mitchell House last Saturday we rented the 226-minute epic movie in all its glorious color. Watching it brought back memories of Kleenex-fisted hours mourning Scarlett’s mother, father, and daughter and the epic and historically conjured scenes of Atlanta and Civil War.
Viewing it again after many years I realized that I’d somehow forgotten some of the details of the book and the momentous movie. I did remember, however, exactly where I’d shelved the book at home and wondered if I will pick it up now that I know where Margaret Mitchell sat in her apartment and where she placed the many editions of the varying manuscripts. Frankly, my dear reader, I just might.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Read my entire article this week in the Daily News Transcript.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summertime and the Reading Should Be Easy

My eldest daughter spent her whole summers reading from first grade on. What always amazed me was the fact that she brought many of her elementary favorites along with her everywhere we traveled even into high school. Roald Dahl’s “BFG” (or known as Big Friendly Giant) hung on among her summer reading collection that included Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” and Stephen King’s “Carrie.” I must admit my raised eyebrows annoyed her but she, as usual, knew what she was doing. Today she is an educational consultant, and not surprisingly, an extremely prolific reader who actually reads while she is walking to her ride on the T in Boston.

She learned the best lesson there is: that reading could be easy and fun, especially in the good old summertime.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read my entire article this week in the Daily News Transcript.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Travel Adventures With April

I couldn’t have planned a trip to Paris without going to the library first. Since I work there, admittedly all it took was a detour to the 914s on the Morrill Memorial Library’s second floor and I was good to go. I’m a travel book junkie. For me, half the fun of going anywhere is to read about it first, then point to the passage in the guidebook and say (to myself), “I’ve been there,” or “I did that,” even if it wasn’t all that great.

I’ve never set foot in Seattle or Siena but I’ve been to the City of Light three times. Three of my four daughters have spent at least a semester there, and three times I’ve crammed my carry-on with travel guides from Fodor, Frommer, and Rick Steves. April Cushing, Adult Services Librarian

Read the entire article by April Cushing, Adult Services Library at the Morrill Memorial Librarian, in the Daily News Transcript.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Historical

It is our nature as humans to identify with the brick and mortar, the clapboard and granite of our lives. Many of us leave memories behind in the houses we leave as we move on in life. Yet, we expect that our places of worship, education, recreation, and culture will be there when we return to them. This must be especially so in Norwood, a town of deep familial and community roots. From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire article in the Daily News Transcript.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reading With the Lunch Crowd

Working with children is always one of the best jobs around and my years as youth services librarian in the Peterborough, N.H., community left me with some of the very best memories. My “customers” there were the area’s children between the ages of a few days to 18 years. I’ll never forget the delight and pride in the eyes of singing toddlers, reading kindergartners, after-school visitors, and graduating seniors.

A Chinese philosopher has been credited with saying, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Confucius certainly got that right and librarians are here to prove it. From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire article in the Daily News Transcript.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Global Distress

"My wanderings having ceased, my children having grown, the Sunday Globe is more than just an informing, leisurely weekend read; it is a sign of my permanence in the area. It’s a time I relish – those easy, thoughtful morning hours I spend decorating the carpet with newsprint and ads. I have lovingly made reading the Globe’s Ideas section and the Globe Magazine my ritual on the weekends." From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript and Norwood Bulletin.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Literacy Librarians Make a Difference

In the more than 25 years since the program began, the lives of more than 1,000 people have been enriched. They include immigrant families who learned English and started their own businesses, a learning disabled electrician who needed to pass a test to become licensed, a foreign born quadriplegic whose dream was to attend college, a retired public employee who was in an accident and never learned to read due to a brain injury, and a young girl who achieved her GED after dropping out of school to take care of her ill parents. Tina Blood, Literacy Librarian
Read the entire column: From the Library: Literacy volunteers make a difference - Norwood, MA - Norwood Bulletin

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nothin' But a Voice and a Microphone

Miss Marion. “Lida Rose.” Think “Music Man,” the wonderful 1957 Broadway play and 1962 smash movie. Who could forget Miss Marion, River City’s lovely “Madame Librarian.” Or “Lida Rose,” the song sung by four cranky, argumentative school board members who made up a perfect barbershop quartet. Four handlebar moustaches, four straw hats, four voices and a simple way to bring four points of view together. Ah, harmony. And so what’s all this got to do with the Morrill Memorial Library? Read on. From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Between the Covers

One of my all time favorite books, one of the very few I have read twice, going on three times, is Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” I remember very clearly a co-worker of mine at the Boston Public Library was reading “The Two Towers.” I picked it up and started it and he said, “Oh you must start with the first volume, ‘The Fellowship of the Ring.” Ace had released an unauthorized version in the United States. The covers in order were red, yellow, and blue with illustrations of the characters. I should have kept those unauthorized editions as they are now scarce and worth money. Margot Sullivan, Reference Librarian
Read the entire article in the From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?

A few weeks back I confessed in this column that I am not a technological geek. This week I have yet another personal confession: I am not a sportswoman. Oh, yes, I did climb Mount Washington under extreme duress many years ago, I spent countless summers camping with my family, and I watched them ice skate, race, swim and ski, joining in until I was outclassed. I cheer my adult triathlete daughter on along with the best of parents.

I often get caught up in the World Series Mania in the fall and Superbowl Fever in January. But, yes, I sometimes have to ask dumb questions as I watch. I am, therefore, sadly never to be confused with a true sports fanatic.

So, you might ask, “Are you kidding me? Why is this librarian purchasing the sports books in the library?’”

And I will answer, “It’s a fun job and somebody has to do it.” This spring is especially enjoyable as a plethora of books hit the market and our library shelves and I get to order them.
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Library Expands Its Offerings

Growing up, one of my favorite memories was waiting for the evening newspaper to arrive at the door, especially when I was supposed to be practicing piano. The first thing we did in our house after we got ready for school was to read the morning newspaper, as we were lucky enough to have two papers. In college, one of my favorite things to do, when I was supposedly at the library studying, was to read the local Chicago newspapers and take little “study breaks” in the stacks to read old bound copies of “Life,” “Look,” “Time,” and “Newsweek.” Today, we would say that I needed to get a life. Marie Lydon, Reference Librarian
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Animal, Vegetable ... Kindle?

A Kindle? If you haven’t heard, the Kindle is’s very popular e-reader or electronic book. There are many amazing things about the Kindle – the lightweight design, the easy-to-read text, the text-to-speech capability, and wireless capability to download books in seconds, anytime and anywhere. I was recently at a friend’s mountain ski house where to get cell service we need to stand very close to a window on the second floor leaning over a balcony (you’ve got the “Can you hear me now” picture?). Yet, I downloaded a Kindle book sitting at a kitchen chair using Amazon’s Whispernet wireless. In just seconds. (The Kindle version of most books costs between $8 and $12 and is delivered free from’s Web site.) From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript. Read or listen to some other opinions about the Kindle: How the Kindle Changed the World at, A Kind Society Can Be Literate at NPR, Kindle e-Reader, A Trojan Horse For Free Thought in the Christian Science Monitor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's All the Fuss About Blogs?

What is a blog, anyway? Why read them, why write them. In short, why care?

Online definitions of the word “blog” differ. defines a blog simply as “a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.” Another online definition defines a blog as a “personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption.” Well, consume we do. Blogs can be found on all newspaper and magazine Web sites, conference and political Web sites; there are millions of them and they are everywhere and can be used for all types of purposes. From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire article in the From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The School Project: It's a Family Thing

Last Thursday night my husband and I attended an amazing program at the elementary school in our hometown of Norfolk. The event was the annual Wax Museum and included the exhibits of over 150 fifth-graders as famous personalities. That night I met Amelia Earhart, Charles Schultz, Ben Franklin, Christa McAuliffe, Theodore Geisel, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson and many others, including our own grandson, Colin, as Norman Rockwell. I don’t know if I was the most impressed adult in the crowd but I was certainly awed by the creativity and brilliance of these confident 10-year olds. From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Reading About Reading

When I leave the library each day I try not to look around me. What I mean is that working as a librarian has its shortcomings. I often use the analogy of working in a candy story while having to watch sugar intake. I often overload my bedside table with books that I’ve read about, hear about or watched come and go from our busy library. It’s a tough job and someone has to do it … but it can be pretty frustrating when you’re a busy person with little time to read. From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Books and Librarians Onscreen

I was thrilled to see Kate Winslet accept the award for best actress in “The Reader”, a film adapted from the book of the same name by Bernard Schlink. It was written in 1995 (translated into English in 1997) and has been widely read around the world in the past decade. The story is fiction and is not just a Holocaust story. One of the prevailing themes is illiteracy, of course a topic near and dear to a librarian’s heart. A favorite and touching scene for me was when Kate Winslet’s mid-life adult character enters the library and checks out her very first library book. The shame of both illiteracy and of a generation too-far removed from the atrocities of the Holocaust are woven throughout the story of both the movie and the book.
There are several databases (on library websites) from which you can search the literary beginnings of the majority of movies. “Based on the Book”, a website compilation by Mid-Continent Public Library system in Missouri, is one of them and it is searchable in four ways: by the movie title, the film release date, the book title and the book author. Are you curious about which of Charles Dickens’, John Grisham’s or Philip Roth’s books have become movies? Did you know there were more than eighteen that hit the theaters in 2008, among them “Horton Hears a Who” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”? The latter was based upon a short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. You might be very surprised how many movies had their beginnings in literature. One surprise book-to-movie connection is “Slumdog Millionaire” based on the 2005 book, Q &A, written by Vikas Swarup. Another 2008 award nominee was “Revolutionary Road” based on the book written by Massachusetts writer Richard Yates in the 1960’s. Even “Hellboy” and “The Watchman began as books” – graphic novels. The hit movies “Coraline” and “Twilight” began as books for young adults. Other websites list the movies that will come out in 2009, including My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Piccoult and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
Now getting back to Kate Winslet and her library book, I must tell you that cringed when I witnessed her circling words with pencil … in her library book. Perhaps her librarian forgave her – the audience did I’m sure but I hid my gasp in my fist in the theater. Librarians are portrayed very interestingly on film and run the gamut of stereotypes. From Parker Posey’s nonsensical “Party Girl” to Marian in “The Music Man”, librarians are portrayed as sweet as River City Pie to maniacal shrews. Yet who can forget James Whitmore’s portrayal as a bright and caring librarian, albeit a prisoner himself, in “Shawshank Redemption.” Of the devoted Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” There are several websites devoted to librarians on film – The Film Librarian, Librarians in the Movies and Movie Librarians. There is even a movie devoted to our brand – Hollywood Librarian, a full-length documentary including many, many film clips and published in 2007. It was presented in special screenings in … libraries. Seemingly, only librarians themselves are interested in this type of study as we try to figure out just why the public bestows us with their knowing smiles … or extends their shaky hands.
Perhaps the some of the best quotes we can find about libraries and librarians as portrayed in film are from “IQ” (1994):
“I always imagined heaven to be one enormous library, only you can't take out the books”. Or from “Doctor Who” (2005):
"You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room's the greatest arsenal we could have - arm yourselves!”
From the Daily News Transcript, From the Library, Charlotte Canelli, columnist

Please call the library (781-769-0200) or visit our website ( to see if we have your favorite book or movie.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weird Massachusetts

When Jeff Belanger was in his late twenties, he did what many of us might dream of doing; he relinquished his paid employment and pursued his love – writing. Not quite a decade later, Jeff has nine books for sale on

Jeff began writing when he was very young, was published while a teenager and became well known in the “ghostly” community after founding his own Web site, Jeff has become so well known among the circles exploring “the unexplained” that October of every year has become a month of non-stop radio interviews and public speaking. He has appeared on over 100 radio and television programs including NPR and the History Channel. Luckily this kind of schedule leaves many other months to pursue his love of writing
Read the entire From the Library column in the Daily News Transcript.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Was In the Air

As a library director, two words I can’t hear enough are “thank” and “you,” and in that exact order. It’s not necessarily because I am looking for thanks or compliments. No, it is rather that, as a librarian, I am hoping to find exactly what you’d like to read, view or listen to. This past Sunday there was plenty of thanks to go around and I couldn’t have been happier.
Read the entire From the Library column here in the Daily News Transcript.