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, 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.) He’s not a movie buff, although I do usually manage to get him to accompany me to most of the Academy Award best picture nominees every year. However, the last way he will spend a weekend afternoon is watching LaLa Land for the umpteenth time, as much as he liked it the first (and only) time.

My movie routine began when my daughters were young and with the advent of VHS. We cheerily sang along with all Disney musicals during their childhood. The practice continued through high school when my daughters and I would movie marathon a Sunday away with American President, Grease and Steel Magnolias. Those films either had us swooning (over Michael Douglas), singing (with Olivia Newton John) or sobbing (after Sally Field lost daughter Julia Roberts).

My daughters’ favorites – the VHS versions of the Star Wars films and Grease, and others from their childhood, have been recycled and not replaced. I brought bags of tapes to my Friends of the Library book sales in the early to mid-2000s. However, DVD-format movies in my current collection are those that replaced the worn-out VHS of my old favorites from the 80s and early 90s – Sleepless in Seattle, Big, Four Weddings and a Funeral and countless others.


Last weekend I thought about a long-ago movie I adored and hadn’t watched in some years because I’d never replaced the VHS tape of Paradise. It’s a bit of a sleeper of a movie starring (then married) Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, released in 1991. It’s one of those romantic dramas that you love … or not. In fact, I’ve yet to find anyone else who has actually seen the film. It also stars a soon-to-be-famous child actor, Elijah Wood who was only 10 years old when Paradise was produced. Eight years later, an eighteen-year old Elijah was cast as Frodo in the Lord of the Rings.

Alongside Elijah is his summer friend, nine-year old actress Thora Birch. Although Birch is not as well-known today as Elijah Wood, she is recognizable in her roles in Hocus Pokus, Monkey Trouble and Now and Then. She’s also known for playing Jack Ryan’s young daughter in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

Paradise’s star Melanie Griffith has had a long and prolific career since infancy through her 50s to the present day. She is the daughter of actress Tippi Hedren, who we remember from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie. Having Hollywood parents, Griffith was cast in commercials as early as nine months and was cast as an extra when she was 12 and 16. At 18, she won serious speaking roles in the Drowning Pool (with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) and Night Moves (with Gene Hackman). By 27 she had been married to and divorced from Don Johnson and was nominated for several Best Actresses performances for Body Double, winning the award from the National Society of Film Critics.

John and Griffith were married briefly while she was still in her teens (he was eight years older); that marriage was annulled in 1976 after only six months. In 1989, when Johnson had proved himself on screen (the television hit Miami Vice starred Johnson for four years), he and Griffith reconciled and married again. Griffith had just starred in the smash hit Working Girl with Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack.

In 1991, Griffith and Johnson worked together in Paradise.  The film did not do well with critics or the box office. In fact, several critics gave it horrible reviews and Rotten Tomatoes has rated it only 36 tomatoes! I’ve found, however, that some of my favorite movies are never loved by critics. The film is actually a remake of Le Grand Chemin, a French film that received awards and audiences alike. Paradise follows the same story line, but apparently with a less powerful message to American audiences.

            Griffith and Johnson play husband and wife, who having lost their only child, are well on the way to irreconcilable differences because of it. Griffith suffers unbearable grief and guilt. Johnson feels lost and unloved, suffering from the same unspeakable loss of their son. Bits and pieces of this story are revealed out throughout the film.

Elijah Wood is the young son of a friend who has dropped him off for part of the summer with her desperately unhappy friends, Griffith and Johnson. Thora Birch is their wild and precocious next-door neighbor. Through misdeeds and older-than-her-years insight, Birch helps Elijah deal with his own feelings of loss. In turn, Elijah is the catalyst for helping his older summer caretakers, Griffith and Johnson, heal.

            I loved this story because it is raw and simple and set in small-town America. Watching a preventable tragedy (the end of a marriage), I’m always swept up in the story’s angst AND the charm of the easy solution. I want to yell at both the adults and care for and love the younger ones.

            Johnson and Griffith, the real-life actors, ended up divorcing for the second time just five years after this film was released. Their daughter, Dakota Johnson (born in 1989 and now 28-years old) is, of course, a film star herself.

            Not one of the Minuteman Libraries had a copy of Paradise when I searched to re-watch it last weekend. Fortunately, the Morrill Memorial Library has now purchased one. I hope you’ll take a chance and perhaps you’ll prove the critics wrong about Paradise. If not, it’s still a short afternoon or evening spent back in small-town America with a family desperate to heal their pain.

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. If I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, my spouse would call me Mrs. Gummidge—the “lone lorn creetur’” in “David Copperfield” who “everythink goes contrary with.” The moniker stuck.


        It wasn’t all fun and games, however. As a high school English teacher, his students’ misuse of the mother tongue was no laughing matter. Those who committed the egregious error of spelling “a lot” as one word received an automatic “F”. Harsh? Perhaps. But if they gave a rat’s…I mean, if they cared a fig about their GPAs I bet they made that mistake only once.

        Our kids are forever quoting dialogue from favorite films--“Old School,” “Airplane,” “Wedding Crashers,” and “Groundhog Day” top the list. Before I left to visit my youngest, who was studying in Paris, her sister in San Francisco texted me, “Bring me back something French.” Really? I hadn’t planned on buying souvenirs, plus my carry-on was already crammed to capacity.

        “Mom,” my daughter explained patiently, “it’s a quote from ‘Home Alone’.”

        If you want to impress your loved ones with your ability to recite random movie lines, there’s no shortage of material at the Morrill Memorial Library.

        My mother, from whom I inherited the unfortunate stickler-for-grammar gene, was renowned for her own quotes. Eyeing the cot on which she was to sleep during a weekend visit, she exclaimed, “Prisoners sleep on thicker mattresses than this!” Contemplating the walk from the car to the water for a day of family fun on the Cape, she complained, “This beach has too much sand.” And the last time she saw her bearded grandson, the Christmas before she died, she told him, “You look terrible!” Mom did not mince words--or beat around the bush.

        I may have said “I’ll eat my hat!” once or twice myself, and I’m especially keen on “colder than a witch’s…” er, you get my drift. If idioms tickle your fancy as well, give this one a whirl--“I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms from Around the World” by Jag Bhalla. (That’s a new one on me, too.) 

        But back to my maternal parent. Regarding her youngest grandchild, who Mom believed showed particular promise: “At least she’s not going to grow up to be just a librarian.” Ouch. My daughter enjoys her job in TV news but once admitted that her dream was to be an archivist (read: librarian who likes old stuff). Have you heard the expression, “turning over in her grave”?

        While my mom was the Queen of Hyperbole, my partner—no stranger to the pun himself--dubbed his mother Cleopatra, Queen of Denial. Desperate for a girl after having produced three sons, she called her fourth child Mary for the first few days. The baby’s name was in fact Bill.

         I may be just a librarian, but my real passion is copy-editing. Put a red pen and the written word within my reach and I’m as happy as a clam at high tide. Knowing my penchant for proofreading, my boss printed out and presented me with this pearl: “My life is a constant battle between wanting to correct grammar and wanting to have friends.” I generally keep it zipped, but it requires a Herculean effort to refrain from fixing typos in the margins of whatever book I’m reading. If it weren’t for the shame of being caught defacing library property…

        Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night prevents me and my partner from tuning in to Jeopardy every night with our favorite host, Alex…Trebek! The only categories in which I have a snowball’s chance in…, that is, of distinguishing myself are those relating to language. “Proverbially Speaking” was a walk in the park, and I nailed “Words that Begin and End with N.” Although I’m hopeless in almost every other category, I still shout out an answer, or rather a question, each time. It’s extremely gratifying when I get one right. Except that when I don’t, the correct response tends to get drowned out in my eagerness to beat the buzzer.

        Another highly diverting word game is one we made up ourselves. If someone uses a remotely erudite or multi-syllabic word in conversation, the other will respond with a totally commonplace, understated comeback. For example, after a wedding we’d both attended, my friend commented, “Wasn’t the bride absolutely radiant?” Me: “Yeah, and she didn’t look half-bad, either.” When somebody was recently referred to as indigent, I couldn’t help saying, “He probably didn’t have a ton of money, either.” I engage in this type of witty repartee with just two people--my significant other and his ex-wife. It’s our way of poking a bit of fun at each other for using a ten-dollar word. I know, it’s just sad.

        Whatever form of wordplay floats your boat, the library will deliver. To learn the proper usage of “its” versus “it’s” or “me,” “myself,” and “I,” Strunk and White (“The Elements of Style”) are your go-to guys.  But if you want to dig deeper and enjoy a few chuckles in the bargain, check out Lynn Truss’s British bestseller, “Eats, Shoots & Leaves—the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.” Another must-read for the serious word buff is “Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen” by Mary Norris, who chronicles her long career at The New Yorker and shares helpful tips and humorous anecdotes. In “Word by Word: the Secret Life of Dictionaries,” Kory Stamper compensates for her less than inspired title with an irreverent inside look at the life of a lexicographer for Merriam-Webster.


        Regardless of your particular quest, make haste to your local library. And if you don’t find the holy grail of linguistic treasures, or whatever it is you seek, I’ll eat my hat.

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 which essentially stated that the cost of a lifetime pass for those over 62 years of age should be equal to the ANNUAL pass for everyone else. Included in the legislation was an additional level for seniors - $20 for a one-year pass.

Sometime in early summer I caught the bug with all the rest of America who was 62 years of age or older and I applied for our passes online. The extra $10 for an online application didn’t bother me, but I would have saved that money just by visiting one of Massachusetts National Parks that charge a fee – those in Quincy, Boston, Concord and others. The $10 passes were available at any one of them. Time was running out, however, and I wanted to make the deadline.


Within weeks, Gerry and I were official Senior Pass holders.  I was excited to see our names printed on the back of our colorful plastic cards.  Even more thrilling was the fact that each of our cards admits three others who can come along and visit one of the National Parks with us.  

On our recent trip to Hawaii this past October, we spent a few days on both ends of our trip nursing our jet-lag in Northern California. The beginning of our trip was unfortunately hindered by the tragic wildfires that raged across wine country and it seemed the entire northern half of the state was plagued by chocking smoke. By the time we returned 9 days later, however, the fires were well on their way to containment. We spent a lovely, warm fall day in the city of Napa and the town of St. Helena – places spared from the devastation in Santa Rosa and the surrounding hillsides.

We were on our way to a red-eye flight that would leave San Francisco later on our last night, when we drove up and over the mountains that snake up through the towns in Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  There we wound down the steep incline on the Pacific side to enter Muir Woods, nestled only a few miles from the ocean.

Muir Woods, home to some of the oldest and tallest coastal redwoods*, has been a lifelong destination for me. Beginning in the early 1960s, my mother insisted that every visiting aunt, uncle, or cousin walk among the tall and graceful redwoods just across the bay from our home. We made many trips to Muir Woods over decades as I continued the family tradition and visited many times during my years in California and nearly every visit “back home.” *Note that the very tallest, widest, and oldest coastal redwoods are found farther north up the coast in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Muir Woods National Monument (in the town of Mill Valley) is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation area that is just one of the 400 national parks across the United States.  After the Great San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906, crafty contractors and businessmen looked to the redwood forests just north of San Francisco for trees that would provide building materials for a city nearly burned to the ground.  Soon-to-be Congressman William Kent and his wife had purchased 611 acres of coastal redwoods in Mill Valley just a year before the quake. In 1908 the Kents donated that land to the United States. They insisted that conservationist, philosopher, author and scientist John Muir receive the honor of the name. It was President Teddy Roosevelt who used his executive powers to create the park we know as Muir Woods.

At the time when Muir Woods was created and dedicated, many of the redwoods were already hundreds of years old.  Currently, the tallest tree in the park is over 250 feet tall and the oldest may be over 1,200 years.  Their ancestors have been on the planet for more than 240 million years. These beautiful trees with reddish bark and coniferous needles stand majestically throughout the park.  They allow beams of sunlight to filter down to the forest floor which is rich in wildlife, plants of all kinds, and soil that was created by the dying trees of past centuries. When walking among the needles and leaves on the park trails, one can imagine this lovely place as home where an early Native American family could sleep among the hollows of trees and where their rituals were held in the redwood cathedrals.

The library and Minuteman Library Network has many recent books for you to enjoy about our national parks:  National Parks of America (with suggestions on how to experience all 59 of them) by The Lonely Planet; and Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks by Mark Woods. Both were published in 2016.

You can read more about Teddy’s Roosevelt’s environmental crusade in The Wilderness Warrior by Douglas Brinkley (2010). John Muir’s story is told in the Wilder Muir by Bonnie Gisel (2017); The Wild Muir (22 of his greatest adventures) by Lee Stetson (2013); and John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire (his efforts to conserve the glaciers of Alaska) by Kim Heacox (2015).  The California redwoods are championed in The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston (2008).


While only 118 of 417 of our national parks have an entrance fee, the National Park Service is particularly generous to Americans. In addition to the Senior Pass, four other free admission passes are available to citizens of the United States and permanent residents:  the Every Kid in a Park pass (4th grader); the Annual Pass for US Military; Access Pass with free admission and discounts on other amenity fees for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities; and the Volunteer Pass for those with 250 hours or more volunteer hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program.

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. I will go with friends to a ghoulish jump-out-and-say-boo haunted house every few years, but I will visit macabre historic locations any time of the year, and especially during Fall. From the Lizzie Borden house to Salem to the oldest graveyards in the country, New England has a lot to offer those looking for spooky entertainment. If you’re looking for ideas of local haunted treasures, check out “Haunted New England: A Devilish View of the Yankee Past” by Mary Eastman and Mary Bolté, or the ever popular “Weird Massachusetts” by Jeff Belanger. For thrill and chill seekers looking for something off the beaten path, I also recommend the website www.AtlasObscura.com, “the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places.”

Or, perhaps you’re more of an armchair explorer? There’s nothing quite like cracking open a scary novel, or better yet a nonfiction book about haunted places and first-hand paranormal accounts, all alone on a dark chilly night, candle lit, the house creaking in far-flung corners…then in your room…then right behind you! Author Colin Dickey is also fascinated with our nation’s ghosts and where to find them. His recent book, “Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places,” chronicles his treks to suss out not only some of our most haunted locations, but also how we continue to live with and in these spaces. What stories do we tell ourselves about these ghosts and spaces, how do these stories change in the telling, and how can these ghost stories inform our understanding of our own history?

            Why are we entertained by hauntings, monsters, curses, paranormal activity, and the undead? These are all things that, by rights, we should run screaming from every time. Yet culturally and as individuals we are fascinated by death and the dark to the point of seeking it out for entertainment. Literally millions of people spend countless hours and billions of dollars every year scaring themselves. We can’t seem to get enough of horror and the things that go “bump” in the night.

            According to Walter Kendrick, author of “The Thrill of Fear: 250 Years of Scary Entertainment,” horror has been part of moral and religious instruction for millennia, but has only been seen as a form of entertainment for about the last 250 years. Fans of the Lore Podcast by Aaron Mahnke, author of the new book “The World of Lore,” will agree that scary stories have long served as cautionary tales and to explain the things in life that can’t otherwise be explained. Two books in particular tackle the question of monsters and the human psyche: “On Monsters: An Unnatural History of our Worst Fears” by Stephen Asma, and “Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting” by W. Scott Poole. Monsters have compelled and repelled us for centuries, embodying our deepest vulnerabilities and anxieties while also representing the obscure unknown beyond our safe, rational thoughts. For a more in-depth discussion of one of the most famous creatures in literature, Frankenstein’s monster, check out “The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpieces,” by Roseanne Montillo.

            So how is it we can find fun in horror? Kendrick points out that the growth of horror as entertainment has “paralleled the almost total removal from most Western experience of the aftereffects of death, leaving them to cavort in the imagination.” Ah-ha. When there’s room for our imaginations to play, we will be entertained. In Western culture, horror and the supernatural really came into their own as entertainment in the Victorian era. According to Simone Natale in her new book, “Supernatural Entertainments: Victorian Spiritualism and the Rise of Modern Media Culture,” cultural fascination with the macabre was strongly tied to the rise of the media entertainment industry in the nineteenth century, including print media and photography.

            Once established as a genre for popular consumption, horror has been nearly unshakeable in film and literature. Tastes and trends have certainly evolved over time, from Gothic vampires to stranger slashers to the unquiet undead to unstoppable cyborgs. In his book, “The Horror of it All: One Moviegoer’s Love Affair with Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead,” author Adam Rockoff discusses our obsession with horrific tales played out on the big screen, and how trends in horror have shifted with our changing culture.


            Whether your tastes lie with books, audiobooks, or movies, the library has you covered for thrills, chills, and horror – and just in time for Halloween! Our horror novels are interfiled with the rest of fiction, but feel free to check with a library staff member to help locate books by your favorite authors. Hoopla Digital has a plethora of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and TV specials about horror, paranormal investigations, and more, all available for instant streaming and download. Be afraid, dear readers. Be very afraid.

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. 
I was never fortunate as a child and young adult to visit Hawaii. My peers, whose families were in the military, or were affluent enough to take the 2,399 mile flight across the Pacific, returned with stories of lush greenery, tropical fruit, and daily rainfall. Cliches of the Polynesian Hawaii, complete with grass skirts, fruity drinks, and sumptuous luaus were my simplistic concepts of this exotic place which was as far from Northern California as was my birthplace in Central Massachusetts. 
I was blessed this week to arrive in Honolulu for a planned vacation on two Hawaiian islands. Not only did I get to relax on Hawaiian beaches and soak in Hawaiian sunshine, but I visited several of Hawaii’s most precious historical sites in the capital city of Honolulu. One was the National Park Service’s visitor center at Pearl Harbor, including the sacred and emotional USS Arizona Memorial; the other was the Iolani Palace, home of the Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs, King Halakaua and his sister Queen Liliuokalani. 

Hawaii is the only U.S. state that is an island, or rather an archipelago made up of hundreds of islands. Only seven of them are inhabited. The Hawaiian islands were formed by an undersea volcano that is still active on the Big Island, which bears the significant name of Hawaii Island and is the home of the town of Hilo and the volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Maura Kea. New islands are still forming from the activity of Maura Loa. The seven smaller, but still largest islands that make up the State of Hawaii, are Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Kahoolawe, and Niihau. The State of Hawaii is home to over 1.430M people. Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the capital of the state of Hawaii and largest city is home to less than a half million of them.
It is believed that the earliest settlers on the Hawaiian islands traveled from Polynesia, perhaps from another archipelago, the Marquesas Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean, a distance of 2,000 miles. They traversed the Pacific Ocean as early as 300 B.C.E. However, it wasn’t until the 1770s that Captain James Cook and other European explorers began to explore the Hawaiian islands. With those visitors came influences and disease that forever changed Hawaiian history. 
Until the 1780s, Hawaiian chiefs fought and ruled, fought and ruled, until 1810 when one ruler united the islands into one. King Hamehameha-the-Great established a monarchy that governed until the death of his last heir in 1872.  Over the next two decades, several elections, concessions of power, and manipulations of American military and economic interests, resulted in the annexation of Hawaii as a United States territory in 1898. (There are Hawaiians today who still do not recognize the annexation or statehood as a legal act.)
Of course, U.S. military bases and personnel were integral to peace in the Pacific during the first half of the 20th Century after the annexation. However, peace with Japan began to fall apart when Europe went to war against Hitler and the Axis powers. America refused to go to war and Japan recognized this unique vulnerability. Crucial to weakening the U.S. defense was the naval stronghold on the Hawaiian islands, specifically that of Pearl Harbor where the Pacific fleet was critically and strategically maintained.

Call it what you will, naïveté, stupidity, or technological ineptitude, the series of mistakes by U.S. forces on December 7, 1941 sealed a fate. The forces and civilians in Pearl Harbor were caught unaware in the early morning hours that Sunday when the Japanese struck with a precise and fortunate vengeance. Two bombardments of hundreds of Japanese fighter planes wiped out the entire fleet of American battleships at Pearl Harbor and hundreds of its air defense. War was declared by President Roosevelt the next day. It was only months later that Germany declared war and the U.S. was fully immersed in conflict both to the east and to the west.
Roosevelt’s strong and resolute words to Congress on December 8, 1941 are haunting to this day. The attack on Pearl Harbor was one that “will live in infamy,” he declared. Visiting the National Park Service’s Pearl Harbor museum in Honolulu, one can read the original draft of Roosevelt’s speech that he dictated to his secretary just a few hours after the Pearl Harbor attack. In edits, he scratched out the words “world history,” changing it to “infamy” — a shameful, outrageous act. In videos screened at the visitor’s center, one can hear the urgency and anger in Roosevelt’s voice. 
Visiting Hawaii was a privilege. Beyond the blue surf, the fantastic views, and the lush landscape, I learned amazing things about my country and the State of Hawaii. I urge you to read more its history, including the heartbreak of Pearl Harbor. 
The Morrill Memorial Library’s newest free streaming service, Kanopy, has hundreds of thoughtful documentaries, including Remember Pearl Harbor, a 81 minute documentary narrated by actor Tom Selleck. Our original streaming service, Hoopla!, includes dozens of e-books, audiobooks, movies and documentaries featuring the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In addition, Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last monarch, wrote her biography before Hawaii was annexed by the United States. This story of six decades of Hawaiian history can be read as a Hoopla! download.
Of course, the Minuteman Library Network catalog holds a plethora of books, movies, audiobooks and e-books about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Craig Nelson narrates the audio version of his 2016 book Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness. The definitive book on Pearl Harbor written by Gordon Prange and Donald Goldstein, published in 1982, is available in many versions in Minuteman libraries. 

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.  

The Handmaid’s Tale is in the public eye at the moment, becoming a successful series on Hulu this year and winning eight Emmys, including those for best drama, best actress, best supporting actress, best writer, and best director. With a prominent career stretching back over fifty years, Margaret Atwood is one of Canada’s best and most-recognized authors.  She has won the Man Booker Prize for the best novel published in the British Commonwealth (The Blind Assassin, 2000) and has been shortlisted for four other novels.  She has earned the Canadian Governor’s General Prize for Poetry (The Circle Game, 1966) and Fiction (The Handmaid’s Tale, 1985) and has been a finalist on seven other occasions. In addition to accolades in literary society, Atwood is also a major figure in modern science fiction (or speculative fiction, as she prefers to call it) and fantasy, winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award for The Handmaid’s Tale, which was also nominated for the Nebula award in the US, and receiving accolades for Oryx and Crake (2003), The Penelopiad (2005), and The Heart Goes Last (2015).

             The Handmaid’s Tale is one of those rare events in film and television that matches or maybe even improves upon the original book.  The story envisions a near future where birth rates have fallen dramatically and an extremist religious group takes control of America, forcing fertile women into service for the families of the group’s leaders.  Elizabeth Moss portrays one of these women, Ofglen, who has been taken from her husband and daughter and made into a “handmaid” under the threat of torture, expected to provide a child for her master and his barren wife.  Atwood and the showrunners explore both the fear and paranoia of the handmaids, who are always under observation, and the bitterness and resentment of the wives, who support this conditional adultery but want the children for themselves.

            Both the book and the television show respond to contemporary trends in American (and Canadian) politics that threaten women’s rights to their own bodies.  The “Republic of Gilead” takes this to a totalitarian extreme, making it illegal for women to read or write, or to move about the streets of the Boston suburbs unescorted.  This imprisonment and imposition of power is central to several of Atwood’s other works as well.  Alias Grace (1996) arrives on television in November and looks to the past rather than the future for its titular prisoner.  Grace Marks was an Irish immigrant who became a house servant and was then convicted of the murder of her employer in the 1840s.  The fictionalized account of her life as told to a psychologist interviewing her reflects on the constraints and pressures that she felt as a working class woman with no legal recourse to protect her from either abuse or poverty.

            Two other recent books by Atwood also focus on prisons and the choices people make over the course of their lives that voluntarily limit their options.  The Heart Goes Last follows a couple who trade their personal privacy and freedom of movement for the safety and security of a prison compound.  An odd romance begins to tear their relationship apart as their constrained lives start to wear on them.  Hag-Seed (2017), Atwood’s newest novel, approaches these ideas from the direction of a modern crime story.  A failed theater director begins teaching classes at a remote prison and sees his new actors as a means to revenge on those who forced him from the stage.  The twist is that the play he is producing as well as the book itself are both modern adaptations of Shakespeare’s The Tempest about the wizard Prospero in exile on a remote island.  This is part of a series of books planned by Random House to adapt Shakespearean stories into modern novels of different genres, including Anne Tyler, reimagining The Taming of the Shrew in Vinegar Girl, as well as forthcoming books by Tracy Chevalier, Gillian Flynn, and Jo Nesbø, who will take on Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth.

            Despite the grim nature of some of these descriptions, The Handmaid’s Tale series is an excellent example of how hope and even some humor can be found in even the most desperate situations.  Despite the setting of each book, Atwood takes an unflinching look at some of the worst aspects of modern life and then creates characters that can adapt and persist in the face of adversity.  As her protagonist Ofglen repeats at her darkest moments, nolite te bastardes carborundorum (“don’t let the bastards grind you down”).

As a refreshing conclusion, Atwood has also recently published the Wandering Wenda series of children’s books about the adventures of a woman and her woodchuck companion and Angel Catbird, a tongue-in-cheek graphic novel featuring a superhero scientist who is part feline and part owl.  All of Atwood’s books are available through the library and The Handmaid’s Tale should be out on DVD in the spring.

[Photo options:
Picture of Margaret Atwood - © 2015 Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Handmaid’s Tale cover design, Fred Marcellino, 1987.]

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 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.

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.