Once again on May 23, 2017, the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2015-2016 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 25 columns were submitted. They were written by Charlotte Canelli, Nancy Ling, April Cushing, Allison Palmgren, Kate Tigue, Liz Reed, Bonnie Wyler, Diane Phillips, Norma Logan, Jeff Hartman, Sam Simas, Nicole Guerra-Coon, and Meredith Ruhl

On May 4, 2015 the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2013-2014 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 24 columns from 2013 and 2014 were submitted. They were written by Marg Corjay, Shelby Warner, Nancy Ling, Diane Phillips, Brian Samek, Bonnie Wyler, Marie Lydon, Norma Logan, Allison Palmgren, April Cushing, Liz Reed, Kate Tigue, Jillian Goss, and Charlotte Canelli.

Library staff have written over 435 columns since 2009.

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.

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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Step Into Reading Literacy Program

Read Kate Tigue's column in the August 28, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Kate is a Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The weather is getting cooler and less humid. The back-to-school sales are on. The summer reading program is winding down. It’s almost fall! Hurray! Autumn is New England’s season to shine with breathtaking foliage, crisp high weather, and amazing food. Librarians are usually happy to see September every year as summer is often the busiest season on the library calendar, especially in for the Children’s Department. Most libraries in Massachusetts provide an intensive summer reading program for school aged children during the summer months. This year, over 500 children participated in the Morrill Memorial Library’s Fizz Boom Read! Summer Reading Program by reading nearly 5,000 books! The library hosted a total of 36 programs that brought in a combined total of 800 people in a 10 week period. The Children’s Room staff has answered nearly 1,100 questions in July and August alone. That means we’ve had the best summer possible: every day was packed with helping patrons, running programs, marshalling volunteers, and generally keeping everyone busy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Quest for Longitude

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Charlotte's column in the August 21, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Most of my life, I was continually confused over the definitions of longitude and latitude. As an elementary school student, I thought of the earth as simply being measured by a ruler or yardstick, or straight up and down.  Therefore, longitude seemed logically (or illogically in this instance) as measuring the earth’s length, which is, of course, the north-south measurement or latitude, instead.

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.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beyond Dr. Spock

Charlotte Canelli is the library director at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA. Read Charlotte's column in the May 1, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Before becoming a professional librarian and library director, I was blessed to have spent nearly twenty-five years raising my three daughters. They were in the midst of their college careers when I finished my master’s degree, after figuring out just what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Now, I watch one of my daughters in that incredible role of motherhood – the job I once had.  I marvel at the ease and care at which my daughter navigates the fresh and sparkling (and treacherous) waters of motherhood.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Tips Across the Atlantic: Love from Jane

Charlotte Canelli is the library director at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA. Read Charlotte's column in the April 24, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.     

       At times I wonder if you are fatigued of my writing. Lately, my columns seem to include too many stories about disaster and loss. I’ve tried to tie those discussions to books in the library that might benefit one of our readers who might be intrigued by the topic or those who are journeying through experiences much like I have. I’ve tried to share stories that might strike a chord, touch a place in your own heart, or encourage you to read what I've shared with you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Going to the Dogs

Read Kate Tigue's column in the April 17, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Kate is a Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The library’s current community program, Norwood Reads: Following Atticus, kicked off with a fabulous author event at the end of March and is now in full swing! After reading the book and reflecting on Tom Ryan’s thoughts on dog ownership, I started to reminisce about dogs in my life. When I was a young child, I was deathly afraid of dogs. I blame Honeybun, a yappy dachshund with no love for small kids and overindulgent owner. If a dog was being walked down the street, I had to be on the other side, wailing while clutching the leg of a bewildered parent. My dad often had to carry me into dog owners’ homes. My two dog-loving parents didn’t get it and set out to find a permanent solution to my canine phobia.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boston Stronger

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the April 10, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Many of us remember where and when we first learned that President Kennedy was assassinated, that the Twin Towers had been struck on September 11th and that kindergarteners were murdered in cold blood in the classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  We hold that coffee cup again, we shake our heads in disbelief, we stare at the television screen or the words on a computer monitor. We wonder how we will face the world we now know and we mourn for the lives of childhoods that have lost their innocence.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Pitter Patter of Little ... Paws?

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the April 3, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


A few years ago, my husband Andy and I decided to expand our family of two. We settled on getting a puppy.

While I had had a dog as a kid, my family had rescued our Boxer, Helen (she was from Troy, New York), as an adult. Because she had been used for breeding in a puppy mill, the only thing she knew was how to be a mom. For all intents and purposes, she was a human that just happened to walk on four legs instead of two. She didn’t fetch or play with toys. Helen just liked to watch TV. We had never really trained her and while she didn’t know any fancy tricks, she knew how to act like a civilized person.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lost: Mysteries in the Air

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the March 27, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

           As I compose this column, there has been no news about the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that went missing on Saturday, March 8.  Searches are continuing in the Indian Ocean, numerous miles from the Australian coastline.  Families are frustrated with grief and disbelief. 26 countries are included in the search that now covers millions of square miles.

            Possibly by the time of printing of this column, some kind of explanation will have been determined.

            Of course, most of us have been baffled by this mystery.  Some ask how their cellphones disclose their actual location in Norwood, MA, but there is no means of finding the wreckage of this Boeing 777. Others ask why there is no tracking device for this immense jet other than its elusive black box.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Indianapolis - A City and a Ship

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the March 20, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Last week, a day or so before I was scheduled to travel to a professional library association conference in Indianapolis, I stumbled across a book on the discount shelf in the Barnes and Noble entryway. The name in the title, Indianapolis, piqued my interest because I was curious about the city that warned of over 8 inches of snow buffeting a bevy of hotels crowded around a busy convention center.

I’m a city-lover and I wondered what memories and images I take home with me from the Indiana's capitol. Conferences never leave me sufficient time for meandering or touring, yet I always try to fit in a journey to the library or to a park where I can learn a bit of a city's history or glean a taste of its culture.  So, I decided to check out a copy of Doug Stanton’s “In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors” (2001) from our the library and read it on the plane.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Lords of the Household

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader's advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin on March 13, 2014


The library will begin its ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY READ with multiple events on Tuesday March 25.  As many of you may already know the book that we chose is FOLLOWING ATTICUS: FORTY-EIGHT HIGH PEAKS, ONE LITTLE DOG, AND AN EXTRAORDINARY FRIENDSHIP by Tom Ryan.  I have already learned that Atticus is a miniature schnauzer and is a delightful dog to have as a companion. This got me thinking about the pets in my life and I was amazed to remember some names!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Long Winter

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the March 6, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


           This winter, the mounds of snow, the icy walks, and seemingly never-ending Nor’easters have reminded me of two famous books.  One is the “Winter of Our Discontent” by John Steinbeck.  The other is “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

            Of course, the “Winter of Our Discontent” by Steinbeck doesn't reference snow and ice and storms. Steinbeck’s “Winter” is based on the first lines of Shakespeare’s “Richard III”, a play that eludes to a stormy and metaphorical winter of discontent, contrasted by the analogous splendid summer.  The discontent is relevant because of the constant dialogue we’ve all had with ourselves and each other.  “I’ve had it with winter!”  “Winter makes me sick.”  Or “Winter.  I’m sooooo done with it.” Discontent might be an understatement.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Running with Conviction

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the February 27, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


            When Marian Walsh was 33 years old, she sensed that something was missing in her life. Born into a loving family in one of Boston’s southernmost neighborhoods - Roslindale, Walsh attended and graduated from Ursuline Academy in Dedham and Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Newton Centre (part of Boston College since 1974). 

             By 1988, she had several advanced degrees – a master’s degree from Harvard’s Divinity school and a law degree from Suffolk University.  Yet, Walsh felt what she now describes as a ‘void’ in her life. She had been raised with a sense of gratitude – or paying it back. That feeling of appreciation became a passion for public service as a means to pay it forward.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

All Dogs Go to Heaven

April Cushing is the Adult Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin on February 20, 2014.

July 6, 2013—seven months and seven days ago today—was an unlucky one for me. It was the day my dog got run over and killed. It happened in my driveway on the Cape while I was in the backyard. It was an accident, I know, and Duffy was no pup. Nonetheless, I was devastated, and so was the driver. My devoted companion of almost 14 years was gone and I never even got to say goodbye.

Shortly afterwards I received a condolence note from my boyfriend’s mother. “I’m sure it cast a pall over the entire weekend,” she wrote. You have to admire someone who has so thoroughly mastered the art of understatement. I handed the note to her son to read.

“Mom’s not much of a dog person,” he admitted.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sweetness and Light

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the February 13, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Volunteers from Norwood (and some surrounding towns) donate thousands of hours each year working in the Morrill Memorial Library.  From those who pick up canvas bags of books to deliver to the those who can’t physically make it into our building, to those who tutor students from countries all over the world, our volunteers are a wonderful bunch of people.  We have volunteers in every department of the library who contribute an hour or two or more of their time each and every week giving generously to the Norwood community.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Once" Upon a Time

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the February 6, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Sometime in the last year or so, I saw the DVD of the Indie film “Once”.  I’m not certain if the film was one of the lucky things I stumbled across when working at the front desk of the library, or whether I heard about it from someone else first. One of the delightful advantages of being a librarian is that the world of books, music, movies and more that sit within my easy reach every day.

I adored the movie – it's the story of a somewhat hapless Dublin busker and a young Czech girl who meet on the streets of Ireland. Although it is the fictional tale of a story of unrequited, yet star-crossed, love, it is also a story of hope. The movie is full of tenderness and lovely musical moments – surely ingredients for success in my book.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Accounting for Dogs

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the January 30, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As with many children growing up in the seventies, I had a love of dogs that began with one television show—Lassie. Didn’t every kid long for heroic friend to push all the world’s bad guys into a well? While Lassie took less than 30 minutes to solve her weekly drama, I’d wait on the edge of my seat for the commercials to wrap up and a happy ending to occur.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The New England Connection: Authors We Love

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the January 23, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

It goes without saying that we live in a region of the country abundant in literary tradition.  For several centuries, much of the literature of our country had its roots in Massachusetts and the five other states in New England. No college American literature course is complete without a discussion of John Winthrop, William Bradford, Increase Mather and Roger Williams. And while many of us may have struggled to keep awake reading “The History of the Plymouth Plantation”, we only had a century or two to get through before we could indulge ourselves with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” and “House of Seven Gables”.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Broken Hearts - Grieving a Child

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the January 16, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

This column might be troublesome to read.  I know.  It was difficult to write.

The unthinkable has happened once again to our extended family, one that has been especially saddened by the loss of now four children.  That incomprehensible loss touched us again just days after Christmas when my husband Gerry's sister's son - and another extended family - lost their precious 2-year old child, Noah.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Beginnings - Coming to America

Read Norma Logan's column in the January 9, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
New beginnings in life happen all the time, but the start of a New Year always signals a fresh start with New Year’s resolutions. Along the way to a new year, babies are born, marriages are celebrated, and people move and start new jobs. Some new beginnings are chosen, and others are not; some are happy, and some are sad.
The ultimate new beginning to me is experienced by the foreign born literacy students whom I meet and see every day in the Literacy Office at the Library. They are adults who are seeking our free tutoring service to help them learn to speak, read and write English better. They know that learning the English language is instrumental to having a better life in their new country.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Norwood Reads Following Atticus

Read Charlotte Canelli's column in the January 2, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
I met Atticus Finch in October 2011 in Burlington, Vermont.  No, not THAT Atticus Finch, the heroic attorney fictionalized by Harper Lee in the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
The Atticus M. Finch I met on that lovely fall day in 2011 was a four-footed version.

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, Kate Tigue, Nicole Guerra-Coon, Children's Librarians; Allison Palmgren, Technology Librarian; Sam Simas, Web Designer; 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; Jeff Hartman, Sr. 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 Kirstie David, Meredith Ruhl, Samantha Sherburne, Melissa Theroux and Khara Whitney-Marsh.