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 460 columns since 2009.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Memories of Ireland

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the December 28, 2017 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

While you might not remember how to pronounce it, you probably do remember what havoc the Iceland volcano named Eyjafjallajökull created in the early spring of 2010. Gerry and I were scheduled to visit my youngest daughter who was living in Dublin, Ireland completing a graduate degree.  Nasty volcanic ash spewed forth from Eyjafjallajökull and cancelled our trip. Chaos ensued for the entire week when our plans for a lovely Irish vacation were finally permanently shelved. Gerry’s disappointment was further complicated by my sadness that I wouldn’t be seeing my daughter who had left the previous fall for Dublin.

In 1983 I was lucky enough to live in Ireland for one full calendar year. My now-ex-husband and one-year old daughter and I arrived in the southern city of Cork just after Christmas in 1982. During our year, we spent many weekends driving back roads and touring practically every village, castle and sacred spot across the Republic. Our youngest daughter, Ciara, was born that summer in Cork which is the second largest city in Ireland with a population just over 125,000.

Our small family lived in the tiny village of Glounthaune, 7 kilometers east of Cork at the estuary of the River Lee. Not all houses in Ireland are named, of course, and not all years are spent magically, but ours was. Our rented home was surrounded by high stone walls. Near the wooden door opening to the entry was a plaque with the simple name: The Garden House. Our home was situated along a winding road leading north and overlooked an 18th century country house hotel and the Cork Harbour beyond.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Never Too Late To Change

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the December 21, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Funny. I had another article in mind to write for this week, and then it hit me. Garfield. Do you remember the craze around that persnickety cartoon cat by Jim Davis? When I was a teenager I loved following the comic strip. Actually, I loved everything cats (before I realized my allergies stemmed from my own cat, Oreo). I decorated my room with the Kliban Cat, the one who wore red sneakers. And every Sunday I couldn’t wait to sit down, newspaper in hand, to read Hägar the Horrible and Garfield.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Turn the Page at the Library with Louise Penny

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the December 14, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Life changed quickly at the end of the 20th century and it seems to continuing that rapid change in the 21st. Personal computers, cell phones, email, and the Internet were the first to crash onto the scene at public libraries before the Y2K scare. Since then, streaming video, digital books and magazines, gadgets, and much more have found their way into the library and onto the Cloud.

            Many of the library’s staff who served Norwood from its desks and telephones in the 20th century have retired in the past 17 years.  One of those librarians, Margot Sullivan, came to Norwood from the Boston Public Library in the 1980’s. Although she officially retired her position as Adult Services Librarian in 2008, she continued her very popular First Thursday book discussion group for nearly another decade. After 33 years leading the group, she recently decided to move closer to her son and his family in New Jersey. Of course no one could replace Margot or her leadership of the First Thursday book group.  Margot’s fans had read well over 250 books in the thirty-plus years that they met within the library’s rooms. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Review Wars

Kate Tigue is a children's librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Kate's column in the December 7, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


It’s an accepted fact that we are living in the era of information. More than ever, people have instant access to knowledge that can help them make decisions in their everyday lives.  People are using their smartphones, computers, and other devices to make informed choices about their medical care, their political views, and how to spend their money.  And it has never been easier to spend money thanks to the convenience of shopping online.  Open access to information about products and services means we now have endless choices to consider.  So how do people figure out the best way to get the most for their money? Even with all this new technology, people still rely on an old-school method:  recommendations and reviews.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The World's Worst ... and Best Puppy

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 30, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Let’s admit it. We had been warned. “Puppies are just like babies,” friends said. “At your age, a puppy will wear both of you out,” our kids told us. They chew. They make messes. They need so much attention.

            We lost our beloved 11-1/2 year old Boxer in September 2016. Over the next nine months as we grieved, we also managed to convince everyone, including each other and ourselves, that we weren’t anywhere ready for another dog. We were enjoying the freedom from having to be home on time. We didn’t miss the muddy paw prints, the dog toys strewn about, and our car no longer boasted a full coat of dog hair on the seats and the floor.

There were no streaky nose prints on the car windows or on the French doors at home. There was no annoying barking at the mailman and any friend or foe who came near our home.  There were no stray dog toys and bones tripping us up, and no more slippery water sploshes on the kitchen floor.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Revisiting New England Favorites from Fluff to Baked Beans

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the November 23, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


The United States is a diverse country. We are a culturally, intellectually, and religiously diverse people, and our regional foods reflect that. Every state, and even every city can lay claim to its own slice of American culinary culture. Buffalo, NY contributed the chicken wings that are so popular on game day, Philadelphia is all about the cheese steak, and it is hard to think of Chicago without thinking of deep dish pizza. While New England may not have a dish as popular as the buffalo wing or as iconic as Texas barbeque, a surprising number of amazing foods have roots right in our own back yard.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Praise for Paradise

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 16, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


I have dozens of DVDs in my personal at-home collection. On rainy or wintry weekend, I’ve watched my favorites over and over and over again. One of my movie marathons might feature some of my favorite actors - Pierce Brosnan, Diane Keaton, Amy Adams or Harrison Ford. I could begin with Working Girl, Sabrina and Indiana Jones and end the film fest up with Frantic and Air Force One. Both Brosnan and Adams star in musicals (Mamma Mia and Enchanted, respectively) which might be on my playlist, mixed in, of course, with their films of more serious work (The Thomas Crown Affair and Julia and Julia.)

My husband doesn’t understand my peculiar habit of re-watching the same videos. Viewing a movie once is enough for him (and sometimes once is too much.)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Holy Grail of Grammar (and other Humdingers)

Librarian April Cushing is head of Adult and Information Services at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the November 9, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript Bulletin.

        My family is big on wordplay—the sillier the better. Whether it’s deliberately mispronouncing or making up words for comic effect (strictly ours), overusing idioms (beating a dead horse), or simply quoting dumb movie lines, we delight in linguistic levity. As our Commander-in-Chief might tweet, “That’s just sad!” No doubt, but entertaining nonetheless.

        My ex-husband and I had a thing for Monty Python and Charles Dickens--“that’s Dikkens with two K’s, the well-known Dutch author.” Certain catch phrases, like this one from the Monty Python “Bookshop” sketch, still make me smile.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Visiting the Giant Redwoods in California

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 2, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Important news from the National Park Service hit the media (print, online and social) this past spring and summer. The $10 lifetime price of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass was ending at the end of August. The cost of the pass was then immediately increasing for the first time since 1994 to $80.
Image: National Park Service NPS.gov


The change was a result of legislation passed in December of 2016

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Things that Go "Bump"

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the October 26, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


“Don’t worry, all the hauntings here are friendly,” the curator reassured us at the start of the tour. He felt the need to offer this calming statement because we were just about to be led on a paranormal ghost tour of the Fairbanks House Historical Site in Dedham, MA. The date was Friday October 13th.

Dear readers, your reaction to the idea of a ghost tour of the oldest timber frame structure in North America on the night of Friday the thirteenth is probably similar to the reaction of my friends when I suggested it. For some strange reason, this was the date with the largest block of unreserved tickets – go figure. The tour was very interesting, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an evening with a bit of seasonal atmosphere, a lot of history, and a large dollop of local flavor.

         
   Personally, I love haunted history tours.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Remembering Pearl Harbor - A Hawaiian Visit to the Arizona

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the October 19, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I had just recently become a new Californian when Hawaii became the 50th of our United States in 1959.  This remarkable event in American history was undoubtedly front page news on the west coast for months leading up to the official admission date of August 21. Alaska had become the 49th state just months before on January 3. At seven years of age, however, I was unaware of the magnitude of these historical moments.
Growing up in California as an student in elementary, middle and high school, my education was steeped in the history of California statehood and its proximity on the Pacific Ocean to western geography, Less than two decades following the end of World War II in 1945 (in both the European and Pacific conflicts), stories of the war west of California were richly described by middle-aged men who had returned from the bloody and watery battlefields. Germany  surrendered on May 8, 1945 and Japan on September 1945, just seven years before I was born. It was the battle of Pearl Harbor that still seemed to be in everyone’s consciousness. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Saving Time with Audiobooks

Sam Simas is a Technology Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library this winter and spring. Read Sam's column in the October 12, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.



I might be the only person neurotic enough to worry that I will die without having read enough books. Some books, like Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia or Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (no offense?), will probably not create an existential void if I never crack them open. But others contain stories and worlds so well wrought that they could change my life, and perhaps make me even more neurotic (i.e., What if the last book I read was the best one and I’ll never read anything better?). In order to cram as much story as I can into my life, I’ve identified areas that produce stress, like a commute around the Boston area or listening to the news, and have replaced them or supplemented them with audiobooks.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Total Eclipse of the Sun!

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the October 5, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


            As a child and teenager growing up in 1960s California, I should have witnessed a handful of eclipses of the sun. I don’t remember much about them, though. I have a vague memory of watching the sun disappear while viewing it through a pinhole box as a teenager.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Margaret Atwood's Prisons

Jeff Hartman is the Senior Circulation Assistant, Paging Supervisor, and Graphics Designer at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Jeff's column in the September 28, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


The most common of library problems is requesting one thing and getting something else by mistake.  Recently there’s been a recurring issue with patrons finding themselves in possession of a mediocre film adaptation from 1990 rather than a recent hit show.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Surviving the Crazy Time

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the September 21, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


While I became officially divorced just ten months into the 21st century, I received the news that my marriage was over at the end of the 20th.  I faced Y2K and The Millennium as a divorcee. The implications of the end of the world as we knew it, and the promises of a new start, were both frightening and unfamiliar.

I’d had my suspicions about a possible breakup for several years before that summer in 1999, but I was still blindsided when it ended. And while I was not shocked when my ex-husband began dating (and eventually married) one of my then-closest friends, it was a staggering conclusion.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Out of the Ashes

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the September 14, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


When President Kennedy was shot, I had yet to enter the world. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even a twinkle in my mother’s eye. Still, many Americans can pinpoint where they were when they heard the news of the president’s death in Dallas.

As a child of the Sixties, I have other events that stand out in my mind as unforgettable. Newspaper headlines of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal caught my eye as they lay on our kitchen table. The Iran Hostage Crisis and long gas lines were also part of my childhood, and yet there are few times in my life that one event stopped me in my tracks.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mrs. Rabbitt and the Little Nearsighted Girl

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the September 7, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


This past August, I attended a professional institute with 50 other library professionals at a beautiful Maine mountain resort. We enjoyed meals and participated in workshops for two full days, facilitated by RIPL, the Research Institute for Public Libraries.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

All the Books I've Never Read

Kate Tigue is the Assistant Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the August 31, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


After contributing to this column for over three years, I should learn to take my own advice. I’ve written several articles on strategies to cultivate and diversify your reading interests and on tools to help you find your next book.  For all of the knowledge I dispense on a daily basis about finding the right book for the right person, I can’t find one for me!  That’s right, I’m admitting it out loud (or in print):  My name is Kate, and I’m a librarian who can’t find a good book to read.  I’m floating in a state of non-reading, a place filled with aimless internet surfing and too many piles of unread books on my nightstand.  Instead of reading, I spend my time watching YouTube videos (gasp!) and musing about various Instagram memes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Reading through My Privilege

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the August 24, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. complete reading list that accompanies this article is in PDF brochure format and is available at the library (and is linked to this and the Library's online version of the newspaper article.)


On my eighth birthday, my mother gave me a butterfly party. My dress was pale pink polished cotton. The fabric was printed with the most beautiful winged creatures across the fitted bodice and full skirt. Mom created my cake using The Baker’s Cut-Up Cake Party Book. Colored shredded coconut and jelly beans made it the most yummy, lovely butterfly I’ve ever eaten. I remember the day as delicious and very, very special.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sisterhood of the Traveling Twins

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the August 17, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


I worked a lot my freshman year of college. I saved every penny I made from my work study job in the library and I took on extra shifts in the tool department at our local Sears whenever I was back in my hometown. Similarly, my sister didn’t spend a dime of her megre ROTC stipend and stocked fruit at the grocery store down the street until she couldn’t look at another banana.

Eventually, all of our hard work paid off and by mid-spring, Jessi and I had socked away enough money for something we’d been dreaming about for ages: an epic European backpacking trip. Ignoring our parents’ protests (“You’ll be kidnapped!” exclaimed my father), we applied for passports and booked our plane tickets. This was exciting stuff for two New Hampshire kids that had never crossed the Mississippi River, nevermind the Atlantic.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Doing the Right Thing or What Would You Do?

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the August 10, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


            A few years ago, when our grandson was still in high school, he worked at the local Dunkin’ Donuts in the center of Norwood. This work location was perfect because he could walk to work after school and he could walk to our Norwood home in the evening or on weekends if we weren’t around to give him a ride.

            He was 16 when he got the job and one afternoon on one of his first trips home from work he found two twenty dollar bills folded up lying in the crosswalk. He picked the cash up but told us about it when he got home, asking what he should do with it.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Lost Art of Listening

Kate Tigue is the Assistant Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the August 3, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Screen time.  It’s the new buzzword in parental anxiety. Parents are constantly bombarded with advice and warnings regarding how much time their kids spend in front of the TV, computer, tablet, and phone.  To be sure, our lives definitely revolve around screens.  Even adults spend most of our working lives and leisure time (and all those “in between” times like waiting in line or at a doctor’s office) are spent in front of screens.

I think we can all appeal to common sense when it comes to limiting screen time.  Rather than giving into hysteria or the latest trend, let’s acknowledge we all live in the 21st century and technology is deeply enmeshed in our individual lives and society at large.  But we all know when enough is enough.  Kids who are staring blankly at a TV or phone like zombies or refuse to go outside on a sunny day need a break.  Adults who are constantly posting on social media or teens who can’t let go of the phone at the dinner table need a break. Even just feeling anxious can be a sign that a digital detox is a must.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wedding Bells Blue and Bliss

Librarian April Cushing is head of Adult and Information Services at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the July 27, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript Bulletin.



Now that it’s summer--the traditional wedding season--I find myself wondering each weekend about all the brave souls who’ll be tying the proverbial knot, for better or worse. I always hope the sun will shine, literally and figuratively, on these happy couples whom I don’t even know.

Of course if I do know them I’m even more invested in the weather, especially if I’m going to their wedding. Sure, I hope their special day is superlative, but a small part of me longs for just a touch of drama to add to the happily-ever-after ambiance. The sole exception to this sentiment is if either the bride or groom shares my DNA.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Chicago: My Kind of Town

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the July 13, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Frank Sinatra sang My Kind of Town in the 1964 Rat Pack film (Robin and the 7 Hoods), he was joined by the crowds on the street as he walked out of the court house a free man. Mobster Robbo (played by Sinatra) had been framed and he was a grateful man that day and he was cheered on by onlokers. The song was nominated for an Academy award, but it lost out that year to another joyous tune, Chim-Chim-Chere-ee from the 1964 musical Mary Poppins.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lobster Phone and Melting Clocks

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the July 6, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Imagine a Florida vacation: calm sandy beaches on the Gulf, fruity drinks, theme parks, exotic wildlife, and long evenings spent with friends might all come to mind. Many people don’t necessarily count museum visits among their top tropical vacation things-to-do, and far fewer would list lobster phones and melting clocks. On a recent trip to St. Petersburg Florida, though, I knew that one of the things I absolutely did not want to miss was the Salvador Dali Museum.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the June 29, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

It was one year after the release of the Steven Spielberg horror/thriller Jaws that Universal Studios Hollywood created their Jaws ride on their Studio or Backlot Tour. In that pre-digital age, the awesome special effects of the Jaws exhibit were animatronic Jaws, some foamy water and bright red blood, and a terrorizing tram ride along the shores of Amityville. Hardy riders watched the demise of a replication of the notorious boat, The Orca.

For four decades the ride scared, thrilled and mesmerized millions of visitors, especially those who had seen the movie. And who hadn’t seen the movie? The Jaws sensation was perfected and redesigned at Universal Studios Florida and at Universal Studios Japan.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Word for Potatoes

Sam Simas is a Technology Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library this winter and spring. Read Sam's column in the June 22, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
Much of my family history has been washed away on the river behind the soap mills in Rhode Island.  That is where my grandparents worked, lived, and abandoned speaking Portuguese for English, and where they hoped that their children would learn English, too, but with a Rhode Island accent that misplaced “r’s”.  They hoped that their children would learn math from strict nuns-turned-schoolteachers; that their children would one day have jobs better than their own.  What my great grandparents had hoped for when they left the Azores was something better, but not for them.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Visit with JFK

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the June 15, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


I was in sixth grade when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. My family lived in Berkeley, California.  I was home ill that fateful day with yet another bout of chronic tonsillitis.

As I watched morning television at 10:20 am with my 3-year old younger brother, KTVU (Oakland) interrupted Miss Nancy’s Romper Room. We heard shocking news that the President had been shot. (I lived on the West Coast. If you lived on the East Coast, it was 1:20 pm when Walter Cronkite interrupted the daytime soap opera, As the World Turns, to tell you this horrific news.)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stuck on a Desert Island

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the June 8, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


For our 6th annual library essay contest the topic was “If You Were Stuck on a Desert Island, What Book Would You Bring and Why?” Yes, this is an oft used question but we had as many different answers as sand upon the shore.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

When My Story Began

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the June 1, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

This week, I returned from a professional conference in Hyannis. As you might guess, I spent four days surrounded by colleagues – librarians of all types from Massachusetts libraries, organizations and associations.

Did we spend the time shushing each other? No, of course not! Instead, we introverted types arose early each morning and going to bed late, devoted each day to sharing our hopes and dreams for the present and future of libraries.

What drives librarians to reach well past our own comfort levels and beyond our own communities? We attempt to grow as professionals, to learn from our colleagues, and share with other librarians our own unique way of serving our Massachusetts communities in the best way we can. For many of us, this burden of extroversion is an assault on our systems. It is entirely true that we are drawn to the field of librarianship by our love of information and our love of sharing it. Most of us are altruistic and generous with both our time and our resources. We are extremely enthusiastic about learning, researching and reading.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Your Friend, The House Rabbit

Jeff Hartman is the Senior Circulation Assistant, Paging Supervisor, and Graphics Designer at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Jeff's column in the May 25, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


With Easter in the rearview mirror, now is a great time to talk about having a bunny in your life every day, not just once a year!  After cats and dogs, rabbits vie with fish and birds for the position of third most popular pet in America, with as many as three million living with families across the country.  In the last few decades, perception of rabbit ownership has changed considerably, from thinking about them as farm animals good for learning about breeding and responsibility to a long-term commitment as a family pet.  My wife and I have been “rabbit people” for about ten years now and have come to love and understand much more about how smart, fun, and loveable bunnies can be.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Big Papi and the Library Ladies

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the May 18, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

If you were lucky enough to come to the library on April 25th, you most assuredly did a double take when you saw the Retirement Rookie – or Big Papi shelving books in the stacks. You saw him shushing patrons, chatting it up with readers in our quiet Cushing Reading Room, or checking out books at the front desk. The adorable storytime in the Children’s Room was so much fun for the children, Big Papi, the parents, and onlookers.

Big Papi (aka David Ortiz) retired from the Red Sox at the young age of 40 and now he apparently has time on his hands. In April, viewers online were asked by John Hancock Retirement to tweet ideas for how Big Papi could spend his free time.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Books in the Time of Exhaustion

Kate Tigue is the Assistant Children's Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the May 11th edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Every expectant mother goes through a period of anxiety when she imagines what life will be like after the baby arrives. Will anything be the same? It’s one of those rubicon moments that you can’t totally fathom until it happens. Most of us realize that life will never be the same once a child enters the picture but understanding the enormity and permanence of that change can take some time to process.

One of my chief worries during pregnancy about life as a new mom was wondering how I would keep reading. Compared to concerns about the baby’s health, it’s a little trivial but reading is my only lifelong hobby. I’ve never been dedicated to crafting or outdoor pursuits or any other recreational activity. Reading has been one of the constants in my life since childhood and the one thing I truly love to do. Like many moms-to-be, I was trying to figure out how I could hang on to some small part of myself during an intense life change.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

In the La La Land of Dreams

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the May 4, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Each year after the Academy Award nominations have been announced, I begin a manic quest to see as many of the top movie contenders as I can. I’m apparently not the only one who needs to catch up because theaters across the county hold marathons screenings in those weeks before the Oscar ceremony.

I haven’t had the time to sit in a darkened movie theater for a few weekends so I watch those nominated films that are available on video or On Demand at home in the comfort of my own easy chair. Or I scramble from theater to theater in those last few weeks, always missing a few movies that seem to only be screened at the art spots in and around Boston. (Luckily, we have a terrific little gem of a theater in the town next door at the Dedham Community Theater and they always have a handful of Oscar candidates on either of their two big screens.)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

D-Day in a Day

Librarian April Cushing is head of Adult and Information Services at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the April 27 issue of the Norwood Transcript Bulletin.

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you… We will accept nothing less than full victory!”  Yikes. Talk about pressure.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Standing Beside Our Bill of Rights

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the April 20, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Unlike the Ten Commandments that I memorized in Sunday School, I admit that I haven’t been quite as painstakingly thorough with the first ten amendments of our Bill of Rights. I can readily refer to the First Amendment (freedom or religion, speech, press, assembly and petition) and the Second (right to bear arms).  Yet, the other eight get a little vague as I search around in my memory for them.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

More Than Little Green Men and Faeries

Read Alli Palmgren's column in the April 23, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Alli is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.


I am a very eclectic reader. There is hardly a genre that won’t grace my to-read pile. For that reason, I really enjoy the Reader’s Bingo competition that the library holds periodically (OK, so everyone else thinks that it is a game, but I can make anything into a blood sport).

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Stories of S-Town

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the April 6, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Season One of the astonishingly-popular Serial podcast had a profound effect on an entire world of listeners. When the 12-episode podcast ended on December 18, 2014, there had been 40 million downloads but I was not one of them. I discovered it sometime later, in the spring of 2015, and I binge-listened to every single minute, totally addicted.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Make It Work

Liz Reed is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz's column in the March 30, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

“Everything old is new again.” We’ve all heard variations of this famous line, usually applied to fashion. We’re supposed to change our wardrobes seasonally, and seasonal staples change from year to year. All fans of Project Runway know that the fashion world moves quickly; as Heidi Klum says, “In fashion, one day you’re in, the next day – you’re out.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who Loves Opera

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the March 23, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Gerry and I were listening to Sirius’s The 70s channel on a long turnpike ride home from our New Jersey children. There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon riding shotgun, my knitting in my lap, while I occasionally look up to notice the landscapes of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island slide by. Knowing most of the words to the songs on the radio is a bonus.  Gerry and I often switch to the 60s so that we know ALL the words to the songs. We were simply Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon.

As we were singing along to The Pinball Wizard, the Who’s rock opera Tommy came to mind that afternoon.  Images from the 1975 musical and Roger Daltrey’s luscious golden curls apparently entered my consciousness from that area of my hard-driven brain that stores my young adulthood memories.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Creative Potential of Freckles

Sam Simas is a Technology Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library this winter and spring. Read Sam's column in the March 16, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


As a child, when I still drank grape-flavored juice-boxes and stared into the sky, my friend Emily sat with me at a splintered picnic table under Camp Y--’s pavilion and taught me that my freckles had creative potential; that I could use pens or permanent markers or lip-stick and do what she did: connect one dot to the other, make a diamond, or a sailboat, or a horse (she had a lot of freckles).  But my freckles have always been too linear; I could come up with a line, or at best a slanting Orien’s Belt.  Otherwise, I let myself become dejected by the inferior quantity of my skin abnormalities.  For this, I need someone to blame, and so I blamed the sun.

            In defiance of my mother and father, I abandoned all SPF and counted the hours of direct sunlight I could catch on my arms.  Sometimes, in school, I would sit in the window and roll my sleeves back, hoping for a freckle or two.  This, as you may imagine, did not work.  After many years of bright pink sunburn at Camp Y--, no more freckles had appeared on my arms, and I stopped trying to keep up with Emily and her horse-shaped freckle constellations.

I’d learned a lot from trying to fry my skin, more perhaps than a kid should have known; that the sun’s rays were once measured with a Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder (think of a magnifying glass for frying ants, but adult-sized), and fascination with the power of weather lead to me to explore other weather phenomena: tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rediscover James Michener

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the March 9, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


When I was a young teenager in the mid-1960s, the young adult genre of books was a mish-mash of Nancy Drew, Sue Barton, The Hardy Boys, Little Women, Treasure Island and David Copperfield. Once we teens had devoured all of those books, including Black Stallion, Johnny Tremain and I Capture the Castle, we seemed to move quickly and deliberately into books written for adults. We read John Steinbeck’s Mice and Men, Conrad Richter’s A Light in the Forest, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. We carried dog-eared copies of Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pearl Buck’s Good Earth, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

           
There were many of us who wanted something more meaningful than the romance, science fiction, and adventure written in the 40s and 50s for teenagers. Bestselling author Steve Berry writes that “what we now know as the young adult genre [in the early 60s] had yet to be invented”. Steven King’s Carrie was a decade away and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was more than 30 years from being published.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Discovering an Old Spirit

Diane Phillips is the Technical Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.  Read Diane's  column in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I took my first sip of bourbon at Thanksgiving.  A few friends gathered for a Friendsgiving celebration and I was bringing dessert.  I didn't want to bring a traditional pie or cake.  That was boring to me.  I remembered seeing a book in our collection that had caught my eye – "Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients" by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  The cover of the book is well done and inviting but it was the layout that really captured my attention and got me to look into it further.  Each chapter of recipes is organized by the authors' favorite ingredients that are found in many popular dessert staples such as peanut butter, caramel, cinnamon and chocolate.  Chapter four is what got me curious - Booze.  I knew that spirits are used in both cooking and baking but I hadn't tried adding any to desserts that I've made in the past, so I was intrigued. The first recipe listed in the Booze chapter is Bourbon, Vanilla, and Chocolate Milk Shakes.  That sounded, and looked, really good and super easy to do.  I had my dessert! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fireside Reads

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader's advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the February 23, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow”Henry David Thoreau
“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish”Charles Dickens
“Thoughts come clearly while one walks”Thomas Mann

      Walking has become a part of my daily routine – not just around the house but outside in my neighborhood or with friends whenever I can. The joys of walking are multitude.  I greet neighbors walking their dogs.  I am not a dog person (cats are my favorite) but have met some nice friendly well-behaved dogs. There is one orange and white cat who rules the street on my route and I delight seeing him roll in front of me on “his” street.  I might hear or see a bird or two (and remember how much my husband enjoyed bird-watching) or check the local pond for ducks! I watch for hawks sitting high up in the trees or in the sky.  I occasionally see our postman who has family on an island in Maine so, of course, I check in with him as I have a house on a Maine island. While walking last week a neighbor said “I have just read the best book – ‘News of the World’ by Paulette Jiles”.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Forget Monopoly! Let's Play Eurogames

Jeff Hartman is the Senior Circulation Assistant, Paging Supervisor, and Graphics Designer at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Jeff's column in the February 16, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Growing up, everyone has a favorite board game. Mine was Scrabble.  I memorized all the two- letter words and most of the three-letter words. I knew that in a pinch, you could get rid of a pesky Q by playing QAT or QI and that great parallel plays depended on ridiculous Scrabble-only “words” like AA, OE, or UT. But there were other games that I liked less.  Sometimes a lot less. Monopoly was probably my least favorite.

At least my family and friends didn’t have the habit of stealing money from the bank. But the game would always start with miserable inequality and get worse from there – one person would get Baltic and Connecticut Avenues, another would get Park Place and Boardwalk, and a third would somehow end up with all the railroads. Hours would pass as players were slowly forced into debt and mortgages, to be strung along by Chance or Community Chest or Free Parking, but still agonizingly moving towards defeat for all but one.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Love Letters for the Library

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the February 9, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


 It’s no secret that many of you love the Morrill Memorial Library. We receive compliments each day – at all the desks of the library – from many of you.

Often, we hear it on Norwood’s community Facebook page, Norwood Now. You praise us for the print books and magazines we have in the library. You love the streaming and downloading services we offer 24/7. You are thrilled that we now offer appointments for passport and notary services.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mindfulness is Everywhere

Bonnie Wyler is a Literacy/Outreach Librarian at the library. Read Bonnie's column in the February 2, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

When I was in my teens and twenties, it seemed to me that my parents worried about everything.  I was determined that I would never worry like they did when I grew older.  I would be calm and relaxed and take all of life’s ups and downs in stride.  Now I know better.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that worry and stress are my constant companions.  The challenges of work, parenting adult children, and aging, not to mention worrying about the state of the world, cause me stress from which I find it difficult to escape.  It appears I’m not the only one struggling with the stresses of 21st century living.  One researcher reported that 7 in 10 Americans suffer from physical symptoms due to stress, and 67% reported high levels of daily stress.  Given that ongoing daily stresses can contribute to serious health problems, as well as taking away from enjoyment of life, what can we do to manage our stress?  One answer is mindfulness.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bird Brain

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 26, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Over a decade of birdwatching has taught me that “if you feed them, they will come.” This works with teenagers and a multitude of other creatures, too. Let me explain.

            I became a novice birder when I married my husband, Gerry, who has been watching birds most of his life. His backyards have always boasted bird feeders and bird houses and he’s been known to grandfather dozens of nest of bluebirds in the spring. His bookshelves were full of bird books when I met him, and they’ve become fuller since he married me.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Missing Paul

Read Jean Todesca's column in the January 19, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.
It had only been a month since my two year old brother Paul had died as I padded down the stairs for my daily evening cry in my parents arms. Paul and I were best buddies. Since I was the big girl of the family, a fourth grader, I was often given the responsibility of watching him. We would hang out on my parent’s bed. Paul would giggle in hysterics as I bounced the bed below him. Paul was born with disabilities. He was two years and hadn’t learned how to sit up. Often he would have seizures that frightened me and my siblings. Having four germy older brothers and sisters would unfortunately cause the pneumonia that took his life.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tomorrow I Will ...

Norma Logan is the Literacy Coordinator at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Norma Logan's column in the January 12, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

2017 has dawned, and it’s time to think of new beginnings and challenges.  It’s always a healthy thing to think about how one can change and improve, and what better time than the New Year? 

When I was younger, I used to take New Year’s Resolutions more seriously and engage in them ambitiously, at least for a short time.   Health options are always good.  Exercising and eating better have been on my list on and off for years, but neither has a good track record. 

In the computer age, I have spent more time looking at a screen than a page in a book.  So I want to plan to read more books.  I have, of course, read some books on screen, but the comfort level is still not there.  

Speaking of books, I have sort out some guidance by looking for resolutions in books. “52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier Healthier You” by Brett Blumenthal is a fun and comprehensive book.  Each chapter is a week (52) and gives a suggested life change for each one.  Changes range from diet/nutrition and fitness/prevention to mental well-being and green living.   It is very specific by giving sample diets and instructional exercises.  Blumenthal’s premise is that change takes time, and if one follows a change each week, by the end of the year, one will feel happier and healthier.   It would take a lot of discipline to follow his recommendations that closely, but the book gives some very interesting and realistic changes from which one can choose.

“30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans” by Karl Pillemer,Ph.D. is a book that can make one think what changes can be made to have a more fulfilling life.  Pillemer is a gerontologist who collected advice of wisdom from people over the age of 65.  He wanted to “find out what older people know about life that the rest of us don’t.”  Advice is given in the book for lessons on such life issues as marriage, career, money, children, aging, regret and happiness.  Pillemere claimed that interviewing the people and writing the book changed his own perspective on life.

“Pivot: The Art and Science of reinventing your career and Life” by Adam Markel is a newer self-help book on how to change one’s life.  The idea for the book came from a health scare that Markel had as a result of a stressful and unhealthy life style.  He presents the book as a toolkit and roadmap for reinventing one’s life.  Markel’s advice goes beyond simply choosing a new year’s resolution, but the book is an interesting read for anyone who is considering some serious and sweeping life changes.


Benjamin Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every
New Year find you a better man”.  I guess that sums it for all time.  New Year’s resolutions at least give us the chance for pause and reflection.  Happy 2017!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Public Library--Where All Your Resolutions Are Met

Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Nancy Ling's column in the January 5, 2017 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


One of my favorite childhood memories is spending New Year’s Eve with my grandparents. They lived in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, a spot overlooking Mt Shaw and surrounded by pine trees and heaps of snow in the winter. During this time, I remember a fire in the fireplace and the smell of Nana’s homemade fish chowder. Sometimes my family would stay up to watch the ball drop in New York City but more often we’d gather in the living room where each person would share what they were grateful for in the past year. It was a peaceful, reflective time.

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.