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Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Remember back to elementary school when you repurposed milk cartons into bird feeders? Well, the repurposing movement continues to this day and has gone way beyond bird feeders! In December, lifehacker, had a round-up of the "Most Popular Repurposing Tricks of 2011," and although there was a project that used milk cartons, there were no bird feeders! At the end of the article are links to repurposing projects from 2008, 2009, and 2010.

If you're interested in repurposing with an eye toward making art, have we got a book for you! It's 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew by Garth Johnson [745.5 JOH]. It consists of nothing but photos of completed projects--there are no instructions, so it is not a do-it-yourself guide. But, if you are someone who is looking for inspiration you'll find all you need in this book!

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Almost Oscar Time!

Last Monday the nominations for this year's Academy Awards were announced. There is a startling number of nominees for "Best Picture"--there are nine titles up for the award! It makes you wonder if 2011 was a particularly artful year, or if there is some other reason for all the nominees? I'll leave you to ponder it on your own...

Of the nine nominees, five are films based on books! They are:

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer [F FOE].

The Help based on the book group favorite novel by Kathryn Stockett [F STO].

Hugo based on the children's graphic novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick [J SEL].

Moneyball based on the nonfiction title, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game [796.357 LEW].

War Horse based on the children's novel by Michael Morpurgo [J MOR].

The bookless nominees are The Artist, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, and The Tree of Life. The winners will be announce on Sunday, February 26.

Photo by Loren Javier.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gone Fishing!

Well, I'm not exactly off fishing, but I am off on my annual writer's retreat in Vermont and will not be posting today or tomorrow, other than to tell you that tomorrow's Poetry Friday Round-Up will be found at Hey, Jim Hill! Jim Hill is new to Poetry Friday--he only discovered it last month--and this is his first outing as a Round-Up host, so stop by and say "welcome aboard!"

Photo by bluebirdsandteapots.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm sure everyone is aware of the recent shipwreck off the Tuscan coast. The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground near the tiny island of Giglio and dozens lost their lives.

Some of the photos of the wreck are really spectacular, but the most striking one I've seen is a satellite image that reveals the massive hulk of the ship. Click here to view it.

Shipwrecks are the subject of many books in our collection, perhaps because New England has a long shipping history, and shipwrecks are obviously part of that history. Here's just a sampling:

Delaney, Frank. Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea. [910.9163 DEL]

McCollum, Sean. Anatomy of a Shipwreck. [J 363.123 MCC]

Quinn, William P. Shipwrecks around Boston. [910.452 QUI]

Ritchie, David. Shipwrecks: An Encyclopedia of the World's Worst Disasters at Sea. [910.4 RIT]

It probably won't be long before a tale of the Costa Concordia appears on our shelves!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Youth Media Awards

Yesterday, at their annual meeting, the American Library Association announced the winners of its Youth Media Awards. The two biggies are the Newbery Award and the Caldecott Award. The 2012 Newbery Award for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature is Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos [J GAN]. The 2012 Caldecott Award for the most distinguished American picture book for children is A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka [JP RAS].

The Newbery Honor Books are Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai [J LAI] and Breaking Stalin’s Nose, written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin [J YEL].

The Caldecott Honor Books are Blackout, illustrated and written by John Rocco [JP ROC], Grandpa Green illustrated and written by Lane Smith [on order], and Me...Jane illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell [JP MCD].

Many other awards were announced. The Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults went to Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley [YA WHA].

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Voice in the Heavenly Choir

Singer, Etta James, passed away last week. There's a nice tribute at Weekend Edition on NPR. Be sure to check it out.

We have Etta on CD: Etta James Her Best, and Heart of a Woman, [CD BLUES JAM]. She also appears on several compilation CDs such as The Ultimate Diva Collection [CD JAZZ ULT].

Friday, January 20, 2012

Poetry Friday--Frost in the Air!

There's nothing better than good ol' Robert Frost poem for a cold winter's day, especially one like "A Winter Eden," which makes me smile despite my cold-weather crotchetiness.
A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last year's berries shining scarlet red.

It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple tree's young tender bark,
What well may prove the year's high girdle mark.

So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o'clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life's while to wake and sport.

from West-Running Brook [811 FRO]

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is brought to you by Elaine at Wild Rose Reader.

Photo by samenstelling.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

9 Minutes and 19 Seconds That Could Change Your Life

Just sit down and watch this. Then give it a little thought and try to figure out how you can find 30 minutes in your day...

It seems to me that the best way to find those 30 minutes is to get yourself a dog! I have a friend who rescues dogs, so if you're serious about getting a dog, click here.

If you don't want to get a dog, I'd suggest finding a buddy! Then the two of you can get your exercise, keep up on current gossip, and perhaps discuss one of the exercise books in our collection such as Walking: A Complete Guide to the Complete Exercise by Casey Meyers [613.7 MEY].

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Whole New World of Borrowing!

We're back! Today's our first day as an active member of GMILCS Inc. I know you're going to find lots to like about this new integrated library system including the ability to have notifications emailed to you, or to receive them as a text messages on your cell.

Or, you might want to view the online catalog on your smart phone, if so, scan this QR code:

Want to keep track of the books you read? You can now keep a running list!

Are you interested in a particular subject? If so, you can search the catalog, save the search, and then set things up so that you can be notified when new items on that subject are added to the collection.

With your library card, also known as the Common Borrower Card, you have access to the collections of 12 libraries with more than a million items to pick from!

There's much to learn and much to explore! You can start from our website, or from the GMILCS Inc. site.

If you come to the Library this Saturday at noon, we will be having a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and there will be GMILCS demonstrations.

We look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Library Closed Today

The Library is closed to the public today while we switch over our data from one automated system to another. When we reopen tomorrow, we will be part of the GMILCS consortium!

Until then, check out these introductory videos on using features of the new system:

See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day!

The Library is closed today in celebration of Martin Luther King Day (we will also be closed to the public tomorrow while we switch over to a new Integrated Library System.

To celebrate MLK Day, I thought I'd share some of the memorable words of Dr. King. These are taken from a book in our collection, Martin Luther King, Jr. on Leadership: Inspiration & Wisdom for Challenging Times, by Donald T. Phillips [B KIN]:

When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind.

There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because his conscience tells him it is right.

Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education.

The essence of man is found in freedom.

Whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it's bent.

A leader has to be concerned with semantics.

Have a great day and come visit us at the Library on Wednesday when we'll be up and running as part of the GMILCS consortium with access to more than a million items!

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Poetry Friday--Break, Blow, Burn

There's nothing like a bright pink cover to grab your attention! Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems [821.009 PAG] did just that--it jumped out and grabbed me with its pinkness. Fortunately, what is inside the book went on to hold my attention.

Each of the 43 poems is accompanied by several pages of Camille Paglia's explanation of what is going on in the poem. Even a very short poem such as the one below, has more than two pages of commentary! The biggest advantage to the book is that Paglia not only includes old chestnuts such as "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams, which many students have to analyze, but it also has several relatively unknown contemporary poems.
My Makeup
by Rochelle Kraut

on my cheeks I wear
the flush of two beers

on my eyes I use
the dark circles of sleepless nights
to great advantage

for lipstick
I wear my lips
Head over to A Teaching Life where Tara is rounding up the Poetry Friday offerings for this week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Better Traveled Than I Am!

A yellow rubber ducky disappeared from outside a home in Hampton, NH last spring. The ducknapper has not been nabbed, and the duck is still missing--well, almost. Photos of the duck (now named Gale Ducky) have been appearing on Facebook. The photos show Gale Ducky in various settings around the world ! So, despite being abducted, the duck appears to be unharmed and quite happy traveling--most recently to Austria and Aruba!

Gale Ducky reminds me of the most famous rubber ducky of all--Ernie's Rubber Duckie! Let's all sing:

For more of Ernie's songs check out Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music [CD CHILDREN SON].

Photo courtesy Gale Ducky.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't Try This At Home

In the past I've written about "building" projects using unusual materials, for example, there is the person who constructed buildings out of staples.

Well, I've found an artist who uses the ultimate non-building material to construct her model cities--jello! Liz Hickok makes reproductions of cities such San Francisco and Scottsdale, AZ with molds and jello! Not only that, she makes videos of the installations. Here's "Godzilla Eats Scottdale":

You'd have to know we have a book on Jell-O--it's Jell-O: A Biography by Carolyn Wyman [664 WYM], and, if you looked through our cookbooks, you know you'll come upon a gazillion recipes for the former dessert item that now has so many other uses!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


If I had to venture a guess, I'd say that 90% of New Year's resolutions have to do with losing weight and/or getting in shape. I'd be lying if I said losing weight wasn't on my list for 2012!

Last year at this time I did a round-up of diet/exercise books in our collection that had been published in the prior 12 months. It's time to do it again!

Amen, Daniel G. The Amen Solution: The Brain Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Keep It Off. [613.25 AME]

Harlan, Timothy S. Just Tell Me What to Eat!: The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan for the Real World. [613.25 har]

Moreno, Mike. The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor's Plan Designed for Rapid Results. [613.25 MOR]

Taubes, Gary. Why We Get Fat and What to Do about It. [613.712 TAU, also AB/CD 613.712 TAU]

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. [641.5635 WEI]

We even have books that introduce the importance of a proper diet and exercise to young children:

Bunting, Eve. My Dog Jack is Fat. [JP BUN]

Ettinger, Steve. Wallie Exercises. [JP ETT]

Monday, January 09, 2012

Don't Forget!

The NH Presidential Primary is tomorrow. The polls open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. Voting takes place at the Windham High School.

While at the High School, take a look at the Nesmith Quilters' latest effort. It is not yet completed and already it is gorgeous (see last year's quilt here)! You can purchase raffle tickets to win the 2012 quilt. The winner will be drawn at the Strawberry Festival and Book Sale on June 2, and proceeds will be used to purchase books and materials for the Library (and materials for next year's quilting project).

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here's NH's own Fred Marple (he sometimes goes by the name of one of his other personalities, Ken Sheldon) explaining NH's First in the Nation Primary:

For more official information about the primary, visit the NH Secretary of State website.

And don't forget that new voters can register at the polls tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Poetry Friday--"My Bomb"

I came across a poem in The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women [811 EXT], by Beckian Fritz Goldberg, which took me back to my youth and the threat of nuclear holocaust that hung over us during the cold war years with Russia. Perhaps it'll bring back memories for you, too.
My Bomb

Better than a dream, it left gargantuan
roses in the Japanese garden, and the rabbits
heavy as children. we would crouch
in the classroom beneath our desks
and concentrate on being small, study
the whitecaps of our knees. Once

we went below the library,
the dark shelves stacked with cans
of creamed corn, green beans, mandarin oranges
we'd eat like the dead for five years
and rise again. Thus,

I learned the catechism: proton, electron,
neutron. I learned to contemplate
the Invisible. I went to sleep

in the fire-cloud folding like the brain
and dreamt about the power of my bomb,
girls flashing to the sidewalks, cities
filigreed, the bird-cinders,
light bright as the mirror on the shoe of God

and afterward, pink as phoenixes,
the American Beauties pressing
their mammoth lips to the charge of the ski.
This is how I loved the earth

with my life. With the pure nuclei of
my matter. How it fell into my hands.
Better than desire,
my bomb lit the face of my own

twentieth century. I had it
so no one could use it. I would have more
so no one could have enough.

We're not building fallout shelters anymore, but the threat of nuclear disaster is always there. So, for 2012, I pray that the people of our planet will wake up and learn to co-exist without threatening each other with annihilation.

I didn't mean to start the year off on a depressing note! I'm certain there will be many more uplifting poems found at the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted at Teaching Authors .

Photo by MaestroBen.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Here's a Chance to Speak Up and Be Heard!

NH Digital Resource Consortium from DeerfieldCS on Vimeo.

View the video and then head over to the U.S. Department of Education for the National Education Technology Plan, or, go directly to the survey for New Hampshire by clicking here. You may also like to visit NH Educators Online.

If you don't make an effort to participate, then you've missed a great opportunity to shape the future for NH's youth.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A New Ambassador

A new "National Ambassador for Young People's Literature" was announced on Monday. It is Walter Dean Myers. Myers takes the place of Katherine Paterson who has been Ambassador since 2010.

Myers is a talented writer of poetry, fiction, biographies, and picture books for children and young adults. A small sampling of his titles that are in our collection includes Blues Journey [J 811 MYE], The Greatest: Muhammad Ali [J B ALI], Jazz [JP MYE], Monster [YA MYE], 145th Street: Short Stories [YA MYE], and Sunrise Over Fallujah [YA MYE, also YA AB/CD MYE].

To read more about Myers and his new post, click here and here.

Mr. Myers has as his platform for his term, "Reading Is Not Optional."

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What Is a Luddite?

If you were resistant to adopt the world of social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you may have been labeled a "Luddite." I've seen this word used for several years now, but I'd never seen an explanation of the origins of the term...until now. In looking for something completely unrelated I came upon an "Advertisement for the Nottingham Hosiery Company" on the British Library Online Gallery . The information accompanying the advertisement told of the revolutionary development of a machine used to make knit stockings:
The machine was also the target of some hostility from professional hand-knitters around the country. Most famously, in Leicester in 1779, a man called Ned Lud broke into a cottage and ("in a fit of insane rage," according to the Oxford English Dictionary) destroyed two stocking frames. Mr Lud unwittingly lent his name to the 18th century anarchist, anti-technology movement, the Luddites.
So that's the story behind the word!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Library News

The Library is closed today for the New Year's holiday. Please come back tomorrow, and in weeks to follow. Starting mid-month we're going to be part of GMILCS Inc., a consortium of southern New Hampshire libraries! Through a common borrower card, Nesmith Library users will have access to the collections of 12 libraries, which adds up to over a million items! To get a taste of the online catalog, click here.

Have a happy New Year!