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The From the Library column in the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript will not be published this week.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