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Friday, November 16, 2018

Poetry Friday--Thanksgiving Poems

Yes, it's coming! Thanksgiving Day is a week away. How did that happen?

Don't you love this illustration by Stephen Gammell?

At this time of year I turn to an old favorite, Thanksgiving Poems selected by Myra Cohn Livingston (illustrated by Stephen Gammell) [J 808.81 THA]. Even though the book was published 33 years ago, whenever I browse through it, there always seems to be a poem that is perfect for the particular year. In 2018, this poem by Emanuel di Pasquale, "Joy of an Immigrant, a Thanksgiving," resonates:
Joy of an Immigrant, a Thanksgiving
by Emanuel di Pasquale

Like a bird grown weak in a land
where it always rains
and where all the trees have died,
I have flown long and long
to find sunlight pouring over branches
and leaves. I have journeyed, oh God,
to find a land where I can build a dry nest,
a land where my song can echo.

Travel now to the western part of the country where Linda at Teacher Dance is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Safe travels to wherever you're going for Thanksgiving! Have a great holiday!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Oh, No! Snow!

You know winter's right around the corner when they start naming the storms. First up is Avery!

So, it's time to review the Library's weather-related closings procedures. Whenever possible (always dependent on a staff member having Wifi access and/or electricity) we will post closings on our Facebook page. If you've never visited our page, head there now and "follow" us https://www.facebook.com/nesmithlibrary/. If you use Twitter, be aware that everything posted to our Facebook page will also appear on Twitter @NesmithLibrary. If you have access to WMUR on your tv or device, we will post a notice there, too. However, do not look for us under "W" for Windham. We'll be listed under "N" for Nesmith.

On days when Windham schools are closed/delayed due to weather, we will cancel our story hours.

When in doubt, please stay home! It is easier for snowplows to do their work when the roads are empty of vehicles.

Speaking of snowplows...

Resident of New Hampshire, and writer of children's books, Deborah Bruss, has a new picture book that was just released. The timing is perfect since her book is titled, Good Morning, Snowplow! [JP BRU].

As the town goes to sleep, a snowstorm begins, and the man who drives the snowplow goes to work, keeping the streets clear throughout the night.
You're going to love this book! It's got everything one could ask for in a children's picture book--rhythm and rhyme, gorgeous illustrations (by the team of Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson), SNOW, a DOG, and, a TRUCK (snowplow). If you need a holiday gift for a NH preschooler, this would definitely fit the bill!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Groups: Here Are Some Titles Worth Discussing

A few years ago, every book group in the state wanted to discuss All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr [F DOE]. Then it was A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles [F TOW]. This year it has been Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng [F NG] and Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate [F WIN]--don't even suggest either one to your book group for the next six months or so!

Here are five titles well worth discussing that you may have missed over the past few years:

Blume, Judy. In the Unlikely Event. [F BLU]

Cleave, Chris. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven. [F CLE]

Hoffman, Alice. The Marriage of Opposites. [F HOF]

McLain, Paula. Circling the Sun. [F MCL]

Sweeney, Cynthia. The Nest. [F SWE]

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Unusual Items

For the past two years or so, we've been developing a collection we call our "Unusual Items." These are items that are not books or audio/visual materials, but are things you wouldn't normally expect to borrow from the Library.

We have a telescope, ukelele, sock loom, metal detector, games, thermal leak detector, Dremel drill, bodhran (Irish drum), and more! Please stop by and browse our collection, and also look for these brand-new items: jigsaw puzzles, a snare drum, and a full-sized acoustic guitar! We will be adding more items over the next few months, so stay tuned! We also welcome suggestions, so if there's something you think we should loan, let us know!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Veterans Day

Veterans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day to remember the end to "The Great War" on November 11, 1918. Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of that day. If you missed this segment on Weekend Edition Sunday on NPR, it's worth listening to:

The Library is closed today for the Federal Holiday observance.

Thank a veteran for his/her service. Please work for peace in the world.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Poetry Friday--"The Little Girl by the Fence at School"

Autumn leaves were swept away by pouring rains earlier this week. Now they make up matted piles of decaying matter on lawns, under trees, on the roads. It won't be long before the trees are totally bare, and rains will be replaced by snow...but we won't think about that today.

Autumn, being the bridge between the active life of summer and the repose of winter, often becomes a poetic theme used in writing about difficult subjects. An example is "The Little Girl by the Fence at School" by William Stafford.
The Little Girl by the Fence at School

Grass that was moving found all shades of brown,
moved them along, flowed autumn away
galloping southward where summer had gone.

And that was the morning someone’s heart stopped
and all became still. A girl said, "Forever?"
And the grass. "Yes. Forever." While the sky--

The sky--the sky--the sky.
This simple poem could make for a great discussion with kids. I found it in Poetry Rocks! Contemporary American Poetry: "Not the End, But the Beginning" by Sheila Griffin Llanas [YA 811.54 LLA], which conveniently includes discussion starters with most of the poems.

Head over to Today's Little Ditty where my friend, Michelle, is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Enjoy what little remains of the fall!

National STEM/STEAM Day!

Today is National STEM/STEAM Day, and if STEM/STEAM is a new concept for you, it simply an abbreviation for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. The A in STEAM stands for ART. You'll often find the STEM/STEAM paired with "makerspace." The STEM/STEAM and makerspace movement has been growing during the 2010s, and if you need to know why, take a look at this chart from the Learning Counsel:

We have beefed up our collections to keep up with the educational trend, and, to provide a way to get, and keep, kids interested in a field which will have employment opportunities for years to come.

Burke, Lisa. The STEAM Team: Simple Science Explained. [J 500 BUR]

Challoner, Jack. Maker Lab Outdoors: 25 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover. [J 507.8 CHA]

Heinecke, Liz Lee. Star Wars Maker Lab.. [J 507.8 HEI]

Heinecke, Liz Lee. STEAM Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Hands-On Projects Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. [J 507.8 HEI]

Junior Maker. [J 745.5 JUN]

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover. [J 507.8 MAK]

Miller, John. Unofficial Minecraft STEM Lab for Kids: Family-Friendly Projects For Exploring Concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. [J 793.932 MIL]

Purcell, Karen D. Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. [331.48 PUR]

Vasquez, Jo Anne. STEM Lesson Essentials, Grades 3-8: Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. [372.35 VAS]

Wagner, Tony. Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. [373 WAG]

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Civics and Citizenship

Yesterday was all about a citizen's right to vote. And we've all heard about the "First Amendment" to the U. S. Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And, there are even more rights to be aware of.

Civics education in American schools is spotty at best. If you're interested, the American Federation of Teachers has provided "A Look at Civics Education in the United States."

So, how much do you know about the U. S. government and a citizen's rights and responsibilities? Probably not as much as you should! How would you know? Try taking the civics test required for American Citizenship.

If you'd like to brush up on your basic civics knowledge, we have recently added a graphic format book (meaning: using comics instead of text only) titled How to be an American: A Field Guide to Citizenship by Silvia Hidalgo [323.623 HID]. In it you'll find a "Civics" section, as well as one on "History & Geography," and another on "Immigration."

Those who are interested in becoming U. S. citizens, can explore the citizenship process by borrowing our kit Civics and Citizenship Toolkit: A Collection of Educational Resources for Immigrants [KIT 323.62 CIV 2016].