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.