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Monday, June 26, 2017

Wanna Feel Old?

Twenty years ago today, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in the UK! You read that right, 20 years ago! In the US, it was published the following year with the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [J ROW, YA ROW, also in audiobook and eBook].

Of course there's no need to repeat J. K. Rowling's success story, we've all heard it before. But, here are a few statistics you may not have seen: the first printing of hardcover Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was 500 copies. Five hundred! Since the first Harry Potter book was published, more than 450 million copies of the Harry Potter series books have been sold. Holy smokes!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Poetry Friday--Thunder Underground

Newly added to our children's room is a recent book by writer Jane Yolen, Thunder Underground, illustrated by Josée Masse [J 811.54 YOL].

It's a collection of poems dealing with the things you find underground such as seeds, ants, and moles, and, it take the concept a step further moving it away from the biological world to include things such as, ancient cities, tectonic plates, and subways!

Here's an example:

It should get kids thinking about what other things may be found underground, and, its light-hearted humor is sure to please readers!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted this week by My Juicy Little Universe. Stop by!

The National Week of Making

Sorry I learned about the National Week of Making, June 16-22, just as it is winding up. However, any week in which you can make something and be creative is a week to celebrate!

So what do the buzzwords "making" and "makerspace" mean? In the library world they can be defined as
an area and/or service that offers an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts supplies.
I think that's a pretty comprehensive definition. For a library such as the Nesmith Library, where we don't have a large area that can be devoted to equipment and soundproofing, we make do (pun intended) with occasional structured activities for kids and teens in our multi-purpose room such as LEGO® building, coding workshops, and arts projects. We also have Makerspace kits in the children's room that kids can use within the Library. The kits contain Magformers and Magformers magnets, Snap Circuits, and Brainflakes, to name a few (ask in the children's room for more information).

There are commercial spaces that are popping up across the country where a "maker" can go and use tools and other equipment, and share knowledge and resource with others. But for smaller needs, you may be able to use the Library. Don't forget we have a few tools here for borrowing such as a Dremel 7700 two-speed rotary tool with 15 accessories [KIT 621.9 DRE] or the Qooltek Laser Levelpro 3 [KIT 621.9 QOO].

Borrow the magazine Make: Technology on Your Time [MAG MAK] to see what projects others have created and written up to share.

Or, browse our shelves for books such as Electronics from the Ground Up: Learn by Hacking, Designing & Inventing by Ronald Quan [621.381 QUA] or 51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius by Brad Graham. (We don't judge your motives here at the library!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

International Day of Yoga

The United Nations has designated today, and every June 21 since 2014, as "International Day of Yoga."

In 2014 the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, described yoga in his address to the UN General Assembly:
It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.

Yoga has been used in schools to provide a way of dealing with children's social and emotional problems. It has been prescribed as a way to reduce blood pressure, deal with anxiety, and as a way to prepare for childbirth. Many people find it increases their energy levels. It seems like yoga has an endless number of uses, including providing one with pleasure and a sense of accomplishment!

If you're looking to try yoga, we have materials for beginners. Search our book and DVD shelves under 613.7046 or ask at one of our service desks for assistance. We're happy to help you find what you need.

If you're at home and want to start today, visit the "Videos" page on the International Day of Yoga site or check the offerings on YouTube using "beginning yoga" as your search term! You'll literally find thousands, so there's no reason not to start!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Last Day of Spring

It has been quite an interesting spring this year. Rain, rain, and more rain. Chilly temperatures. A heat wave! It's all about to switch. Today's the last day of spring and the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 12:24 AM tonight.

Despite the rather odd fluctuations in temperatures, it has been a marvelous spring for flowers. People have been reporting an abundance of blooms on their flowering shrubs. Our burgundy-hued rhododendrons were magnificent, although this photo is too bright to show them at their best.

America's Stonehenge, right in Salem, NH, is celebrating the solstice tomorrow with a lesson on archaeoastronomy at 1:00 pm, and a solstice ritual start beginning at 2:00 PM.

Although no special events seem to be scheduled for the summer solstice, it still might be fun to visit the McAuliffe-Shepard Discover Center this week and discover what is going on with the sun, moon, and stars at this time of year. The Friends of the Library has purchased a library pass for our users, click here to get started booking it.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

It's "Lightning Safety Awareness Week" and if you're pooh-poohing the idea of devoting a week to keeping safe from lightning, then consider this statistic provided by the National Weather Service:
Over the last 30 years, the U.S. has averaged 51 lightning fatalities per year.

Considering most of these deaths could have been avoided, perhaps it's good to instruct people in lightning safety.

It's important to instruct children on lightning safety and learning about the science of electrical storms is a good place to start. Try one of these:

Barnham, Kay. Fried!: When Lightning Strikes. [J 551.56 BAR]

Branley, Franklyn M. Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll. [J 551.5 BRA]

Kramer, Stephen P. Lightning. [J 551.5 KRA]

Nagelhout, Ryan. When Lightning Strikes. [J 551.5632 NAG]

Rajczak Nelson, Kristen Lightning. [J 551.563 RAJ]

Adults might enjoy reading Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning: Science, Superstition, and Amazing Stories of Survival by John S. Friedman [551.5632 FRI]

Stay safe everyone!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Poetry Friday--Local Booby News!

There has been quite a hubbub in town over the past week due to the spotting of a Brown Booby, a bird that, as far as we know, has never been seen in the state of New Hampshire. The Brown Booby is, according to the information provided by Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
A widespread seabird of tropical waters, the Brown Booby ranges as far north as the Gulf of California, and rarely to both coasts of the United States.

Spotted on Cobbetts Pond, Windham, news quickly spread to bird-lovers throughout the New England area. The pond has been overrun by journalists and photographers. Reports have been running in local media; click here, and for one with a video, here.)

Here's a video of a Brown Booby on Christmas Island (which is a territory of Australia):

The setting is nothing like Cobbetts Pond!

I didn't find a poem about the Brown Booby, but I did find this by James Tate:
The Blue Booby

The blue booby lives
on the bare rocks
of Galápagos
and fears nothing.
It is a simple life:
they live on fish,
and there are few predators.
Also, the males do not
make fools of themselves
chasing after the young
ladies. Rather,
they gather the blue
objects of the world
and construct from them

Read the rest and listen to an audio here.

Visit Carol's Corner for this week's Round-Up!

This should be a summer to remember here in Windham!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Windham's 275th Anniversary

I meant for this to post yesterday, but I neglected to change the status from "draft" to "publish." So, now, without further ado...

This summer should be an exciting one around town because Windham is celebrating its 275th anniversary! There will all sorts of fun and educational events, including outdoors movies, a barn dance, and a graveyard tour! (For a complete schedule, click here.)

Here at the Nesmith Library we will have a special "Meet and Greet" with the Boston Bruins official mascot, Blades, and guest reader Town Administrator Dave Sullivan on August 9. (Great photo op for the kids!)

In preparation for the events that will be taking place August 4-17, the Celebration Committee is asking the children of Windham, kindergarten through high school, to contribute art work and writing that will be the inspiration for a special edition hardcover book. Three pieces of art will be selected for the front and back covers and the title page. Student submissions will be part of the "Literary and Visual Celebration: Bridging the Present to the Past," which will be on display at Searles School on August 6.

Here at the Nesmith Library we are collecting entries, which must be accompanied by a completed application and parental release form.

The Library will also be a pick-up and drop-off spot for instructions and completed answer sheets for the Scavenger Hunt.

Get ready to celebrate our town and its history!