Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hearing the Call

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the July 30, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

When my oldest daughter was four year’s old she informed us that she wanted to be an ornithologist when she grew up. I’m not sure where she learned that word, probably from her favorite television show at the time, Blue’s Clues, but I do know that she loved birds from early on. Soon her little sister caught the passion too. Rather than collecting American Girl or Barbie dolls, it was the Audubon toy birds that filled our house.
You’ve probably seen these stuffed birds in a variety of stores. My girls loved to squeeze each bird’s belly to hear its individual song. As parents, we never minded the girls saving their funds in order to add the next bird to add to their collection. At least they were learning about nature while playing. More than this, the reward came when walking outdoors together. When we heard a sound like birdie birdie birdie, our girls would turn their heads, invariably one of them saying “Mama, there’s the Cardinal.”

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Monkey Bars and Rope Swings Just Got Real

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the July 23, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

“Ah-roo!” “Ah-roo!” This is the call-and-response chant of modern day Spartans, as heard by yours truly several weeks ago in Barre, MA.  I accompanied my boyfriend to his first-ever Spartan race on a farm in Barre where he scaled greased walls, carried boulders, crawled under barbed wire, and ran about 8 miles with over 2,100 other racers. About 5,000 Spartans raced in Barre over the course of the weekend.
            Spartan Race is one form of Obstacle Course Race (OCR). Other popular OCR events include: Tough Mudder, and other mud runs; BattleFrog; CrossFit Games; Ironman; Ultraman; Peak Races; Death Race; and weekend warriors. The sport is growing in popularity so quickly that by the end of this summer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see new forms of OCR springing up. According to journalist Erin Beresini in her book about her immersion in the world of endurance racing, “Off Course: Inside the Mad, Muddy World of Obstacle Course Racing”: “Obstacle course racing is the fastest-growing sport in U.S. history. Every week, thousands of marathoners, CrossFitters, and casual weekend warriors shell out money to run through mud and fire, crawl under barbed wire, scramble over ten-foot walls, and dodge baton-wielding gladiators. They are a new wave of athlete for whom running thirteen or twenty-six miles just isn’t enough. They crave a primal challenge…”  The USA Obstacle Racing Association ( estimates that over 400 obstacle racing events are produced in the United States, and almost half that number are produced in other countries.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tackling the Appalachian Trail

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the July 16, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

 This past weekend, an ultra-marathoner (41-year old Scott Jurek of Boulder, Colorado) finished “hiking” all 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail. His journey ended at Mount Katahdin in Baxter, State Park, Maine. Katahdin.

What makes his hike unusual is the fact that he finished in the fastest time ever – 46 days, 8 hours, and 8 minutes. He averaged 50 miles per day, beginning on Springer Mountain in Georgia on a day in mid-spring, May 27. Katahdin means “the greatest mountain” and the hike ends in Maine in what is called the One Hundred Mile Wilderness.

 I once fancied hiking the Appalachian Trail – an entirely unrealistic journey for me. It was fun dreaming, though, and I took books out of the library and briefly charted a course until I remembered that I didn’t really like to hike.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hot and Steamy Reader's Advisory

Read Kate Tigue's column in the July 9, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Kate is a Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.

After a long and dreary winter, the hot weather we thought would never arrive is here!  It’s July and that means the dog days of summer are right around the corner.  And whether (get it?!?) or not we realize it, many of us change our reading habits with the change in weather (ha, I can’t stop!).  Some of us eschew heavier tomes and gravitate towards light beach reads.  Others (like myself) use the summer to catch up on books we’ve wanted to read, the ones we never seem to get to during the rest of the year.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

First Place Ribbon!

We are proud to report that 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" categories. 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.

Little Golden Books Old and New Again

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the July 2, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

As a former children’s librarian, a mother to three daughters, and a grandmother to a brood of grandchildren, I can’t imagine life without shelves of books for children. Hundreds of picture books are published every year, and libraries have the challenge of fitting them on the shelves of their children’s rooms. In libraries like ours in Norwood, we often have to defer to a one-in, one-out policy which means “weeding out” the worn and unread books to fit the new. It sometimes breaks our hearts to withdraw a lovely book that hasn’t acquired the following that some of the newest books have.

As a very young child, my family treasured reading and books. I don’t remember my own experiences reading many picture books, though. Besides our well-worn copy of Make Way for Ducklings (published in 1941), and my mother’s own copies of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, not many children’s books made our family’s cross-country move with in the late 1950s.