Thursday, November 28, 2019

Who's Right About Rights?

Lydia Sampson is the Assistant Director/Technical Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read her column in the November 28, 2019 issue of the Transcript & Bulletin.

Imagine working at your job, at the library, police station or Town Hall, for instance, and seeing a few strangers walk in with video cameras and iPhones pointed at you. They don’t identify themselves, but ask for your name and title. They speak calmly, but decline to answer when you ask for their names and the nature of their business. In fact, they inform you that they do not need to answer, and that they have the right to film you, a public employee, and the building, a public space.

How do you react? Do you debate their rights and yours, or the Constitution itself? Do you demand that they stop filming, or kick them out, or threaten to call security? Do you smile or scowl? Think carefully, because all of this footage may appear on YouTube and go viral.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Ties That Bond

Librarian April Cushing is head of Adult and Information Services at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the November 21, 2019 issue of the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.

I never thought I’d end up marrying my former best friend’s husband. 

In their Halloween class picture, our preschoolers are standing side-by-side dressed as Batman and a ballerina. I have photos of their son giving my youngest a bottle, and of our six kids hanging out in the hot tub at Sugarloaf while the guys played golf. Over the years my friend and I logged countless hours confiding in and commiserating with each other. When both our marriages went south, I found myself looking at Batman’s dad in a whole new light. And, evidently, vice versa.

But how to break the news to someone with whom you’ve shared everything from babies to book groups that you’re about to take sharing to a whole new level? I knew she had moved on romantically so there was no residual torch-holding, but still.

Heart pounding, I finally just blurted it out over the phone and braced for the backlash.

“That’s great, I’m so happy for you! I always thought you and Brad would be good together.” Whoa.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Living the College Dream

Nancy Ling is the Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Nancy’s column in the November 14, 2019 issue of the Transcript and Bulletin.

Open any website, turn on any television, and you will see the latest updates regarding the SAT scandal, dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” According to an article by Natalie Hope McDonald, “About 50 people (including more than 30 parents) have been indicted by the U.S. Attorney in what could become the biggest bribery scandal in college history.”  The story is hard to ignore because of the involvement of Hollywood stars like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin but, as a mother of two teenagers, I find it upsetting on many levels.

For example, a slew of questions come to mind:
How much pressure have we put on our kids these days? How unfair is the college admission process, economically and racially? What must students accomplish in order to get into college?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Food for the Soul from the Biggest Little Farm

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the November 7, 2019 edition of the Transcript & Bulletin.

I stumbled upon this year's must-see documentary, The Biggest Little Farm. Perhaps it was a teaser trailer online or a review I read somewhere.  I'm a documentary enthusiast, so I was more than thrilled to find the award-winning gem.
          I instantly fell for the story of Apricot Lane Farm. The documentary begins with hand-drawn animation - John and Molly and their marriage, hopes and dreams that actually revolved around their annoying yet loveable blue-eyed dog, Todd. Their love of Todd, a rescue who would not stop barking when he was left alone, reminded me of the love I've had for my own dogs. It didn't surprise me at all, as the documentary starts, that John and Molly chose to move away from Los Angeles and purchase a farm so that Todd could be with them all day long.
          John and Molly found a 213-acre farm only 40 miles north of LA for sale and purchased it with help from a family investor. Initial video footage in the documentary reveals a dry and barren wasteland with abandoned beehives, unproductive land, and fruitless and dying trees. With the advice of a farming mentor, the miracle of nature, and their absolute perseverance, Molly and John built Apricot Lane Farm into a thriving, biodynamic business. The film's cinematography takes your breath away. The captivating animals break or sooth your heart. Yet it's the documentary's clear messages –  heed Mother Nature and work with the land and be patient – that will inspire everyone.