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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Getting Into EBooks

The Library has jumped into the ebook revolution with both feet. We offer ebooks through 3M and NH Downloadable Books (see a recent post here), and, we also have several devices that are either strictly ereaders (Nesmith Kindle), or that are tablets (Nesmith iPad and Nesmith Nook HD 7" For Children), upon which books can be read.

However, as much as we like to accommodate all readers' needs, we draw the line at lending the iPotty! Never heard of the iPotty? Click here to learn more.

Photo courtesy Mashable.com.

To potty train a child the old-fashioned way, look for one of these (we have plenty more, too, including ones specifically for the child being trained):

Brazelton, T. Berry. Toilet Training: The Brazelton Way. [FT 649.62 BRA]

Butler, Geraldine. Teach Yourself Successful Potty Training. [FT 649.62 BUT]

Sonna, Linda. Early-Start Potty Training. [649.62 SON]

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Fond Farewell

Last Wednesday the Library closed early so that the staff could attend a farewell celebration for Mary Lee Underhill. In March, Mary Lee finished up her term on the Nesmith Library board of trustees. She had served for more than a dozen years and in that time had worked tirelessly for the Library (including selling hamburgers at the annual Strawberry Festival).

Even before her stint on the board, Mary Lee, was an ardent Library supporter, and, in 1998, as a volunteer, she set up the Library's volunteer program. Without our trained volunteers, the thousands of books that go out each year, would never get back on the shelves for the next borrowers! The town of Windham has benefited greatly from the exceptional skills offered to us by Mary Lee!

As a token of our appreciation, a book has been added to the collection in her honor: Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Caroline Kennedy [J 821.008 POE].

We are grateful to Mary Lee for all that she has done for the Nesmith Library and we wish her well in her new home on the Cape.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Poetry Friday--What You Wish For

If you're a teen who lives in New Hampshire, you only have until next Wednesday, May 1, to vote for your favorite young adult title to be awarded the 2013 Isinglass Teen Read Award. If you'd like to read more about the Isinglass, which has been awarded annually since 2001-2002, click here.

On this year's list of nominated titles is What You Wish For: Stories and Poems for Darfur [J SC WHA].

Although there are more stories than poems, the ones that are included are outstanding, including this one by Naomi Shihab Nye:
Secret Song

Wishing is an open bowl.
I used to have one of my own.
It was shiny inside, with a wide fresh mouth.

I saw the bowl recently
in someone else's hands
Till now I am hoping

a person would say to me--
Please, could you help me hold this bowl?
And I would be so happy to.

"Wishing is an open bowl." Lovely! The other poets who are represented are: Nikki Giovanni, Marilyn Nelson, Gary Soto, and Jane Yolen.

What You Wish For is all about wishes and wishing, so please don't be afraid it'll be a downer of book about poverty, death, and refugees in Darfur! It's not! What's not to like about making a wish?

I wish you a lovely spring weekend, but first, head over to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted by Laura Purdie Salas.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What's in a Name?

What's in a name? Plenty! It's something expectant parents should, and do, take seriously. It's important to think of the ramifications of giving a child, as Johnny Cash sang about in "A Boy Named Sue," a name that could make a kid in middle-school the subject of intense teasing! And need I mention the way kids find words to rhyme with names? Hanna banana. Bart the fart.

We have recently added a number of new books to our collection of baby name books including these rather unusual guides:

Barden, Amanda Elizabeth. Baby Names Made Easy: The complete Reverse-Dictionary of Baby Names. [929.44 BAR] This book starts off with providing categories of meaning, such as "Blessings" or "Colors," and then gives names for the longed-for trait with their origins. For example, you know your new son is going to be the next Albert Einstein, but you don't want to saddle him with the name, Albert, so, you go to the category, "Intelligence & Wisdom." There you will find names such as Cassidy (Welsh), Rishi (Hindi), or Zeke (Arabic).

Vega, Phyllis. Numerology for Baby Names. [929.4 VEG] "Numerologists believe that a name is made up of a series of numerical vibrations that contain the essence of a person's identity."

Watts, Norma J. The Art of Baby Nameology: Explore the Deeper Meaning of Names for Your Baby. [929.44 WAT] This book also deals with numbers and names, but it seems to focus on the importance of letters within the name. "When looking at the letters and vowels of your name, you will see that intensity and power numbers say quite a bit."

Who knew it could all be so complicated? It kind of makes one look back to the days when almost every boy was named John, and every girl, Mary!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Literary Event This Weekend

This weekend, the beautiful town of Newburyport, Massachusetts is hosting its annual Literary Festival. Although there is a kick-off on Friday night, the real fun begins at 8:30 Saturday morning with "Coffee with the Poets," and continues throughout the day until the 7:00 closing ceremony! Click here for the complete schedule.

Here are just a few of the writers who will be appearing at the Festival, along with their most recently published title:

Biedrzycki, David. Me and My Dragon. [JP BIE]

Diaz, Junot. This is How You Lose Her. [F DIA]

Dubus III, Andre. Townie: A Memoir. [B DUB]

Genova, Lisa. Love Anthony. [F GEN]

Landey, William. Defending Jacob. [F LAN]

Quick, Matthew. Silver Linings Playbook. [AB/CD QUI]

Shapiro, Barbara A. The Art Forger. [F SHA]

Sutton, Jane. Don't Call Me Sidney. [JP SUT]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Feast Day!

Today is the feast day of Saint George, who is most famously known for tangling with a dragon!

Saint George is the patron saint of England, Georgia, and several other countries. He, and the dragon, are also the subject of these colorful children's books:

Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon. [J GRA, also J AB/CD GRA]

Hodges, Margaret. Saint George and the Dragon: A Golden Legend. [J 398.2 HOD]

British 1915 recruitment poster courtesy Library of Congress.

Monday, April 22, 2013

We Love Books Here!

And we love to read. If you're like us, you'll probably appreciate this video:

It's a little on the long side, but worth watching!

One of the best things you can do if you have young children is to model the importance of reading. Read to, or with your children, and make sure they see you reading for pleasure. Many parents read only at night, after the children are asleep. What you should do, is to make some quiet time before your children's bedtime, and have everyone in the family pick up a book and read.

If you read aloud to your young ones, we recently added a book to our "First Teacher" collection titled, Read With Me: Best Books for Preschoolers by Stephanie Zvirin [FT 028.533 ZVI].

Friday, April 19, 2013

Poetry Friday--Lisel Mueller

One of our newest books of poetry is Alive Together: New and Selected Poems by Lisel Mueller [811.540 MUE]. Somehow, we missed purchasing this one when it won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1997.

In browsing through it, I came upon this poem that is particularly appropriate for this time of year:
Why I Need the Birds

When I hear them call
in the morning, before
I am quite awake,
my bed is already traveling
the daily rainbow,
the arc toward evening;
and the birds, leading
their own discreet lives
of hunger and watchfulness,
are with me all the way,
always a little ahead of me
in the long-practiced manner
of unobtrusive guides.

By the time I arrive at evening,
they have just settled down to rest;
already invisible, they are turning
into the dreamwork of trees;
and all of us together--
myself and the purple finches,
the rusty blackbirds,
the ruby cardinals,
and the white-throated sparrows
with their liquid voices--
ride the dark curve of the earth
toward daylight, which they announce
from their high lookouts
before dawn has quite broken for me.
I love this line: "with their liquid voices"! And also the final line--it's just the way a spring morning arrives for me, too!

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Live Your Poem...with Irene Latham. Make sure you stop by.

Photo by VickyvS.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

EBooks: All You Need Is Your Library Card!

The Nesmith Library has been a member of the NH Downloadable Books consortium for a while now, allowing you to download free audiobooks and ebooks with a valid Nesmith Library card.

A year ago, we also joined the GMILCS libraries consortium, which has given our library users access to over a million books and other materials. Through the purchasing power of a dozen libraries, and with the generous donation of seed money from a grant through the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation, GMILCS has entered into an agreement with 3M to provide ebooks through its Cloud Library!

You can read ebooks on your computer, your iPad/iPhone, or your Android device. First, you will need to add an app. To find the necessary apps, click here, or visit your device's app store.

To borrow a 3M ebook, from our online catalog, log in to your account. Then search for a title if you're looking for something specific.

If you're just browsing, you can see what 3M titles are currently in the GMILCS collection, by typing "3M" in the search box. From the list you can narrow your search using the "Narrow your search" feature on the right.

Say, though, you don't want a list of thousand or so ebook titles to wade through. You're specifically looking for titles about dogs. Use "dogs 3M" as your search term and you will get 19 results!

If you do a keyword search of "dogs," you would have come up with more than 1700 items! Still, you can find the ebooks by going to the right-hand side of the screen. There you will see a list of material types. Click on the "Ebook" box (if "Ebook" isn't on the list, click "more" so that all material types are displayed). The material types box will reduce your search down to a more manageable 19 ebooks.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

3M makes it easy to borrow ebooks directly from our catalog--no going out to another intermediary site!

A little caveat: you will not be able to borrow ebooks if your card has expired, you have overdue items, or if you have outstanding fees or fines.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More New Nonfiction DVD Titles

We've added many more DVD titles to our collection over the past few weeks, including these:

Dinotasia. [567.9 DIN]

George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King. [DVD B WAS]

Money, Power and Wall Street, a Frontline production. [DVD 332.1 MON]

Saving the National Treasures, a NOVA production. [DVD 025.84 SAV]

Stolen. [DVD 363.259 STO] A documentary about the search for the paintings stolen in the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America. [DVD 791.43]

Click & Clack's As the Wrench Turns [DVD 791.45 CLI], is a hybrid, meaning it a fictional interpretation of the Car Talk call-in auto repair program with the Magliozzi brothers, Tom and Ray, that has run on NPR for many years. "The animated sitcom takes place in their garage, where they fend off disgruntled customers and do everything in their power to goof off more. They have help, if you can call it that, from their band of misfit mechanics..."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


You speak continuously, all day long. Do you ever stop to think about the words you use?

I recently read an article about words that have two opposite meanings. Amazing but true. You can read the eye-opening article, "14 Words That Are Their Own Opposites," here. It only goes to prove that perhaps we should pay more attention to how we say something!

There is a series of picture books for kids by Brian P. Cleary titled "Words are Categorical," which goes through the parts of speech: verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, and preposition. He also covers the "nym" words: synonym, homonym, and antonym. These books will help develop an awareness in children of words and their importance. The books titles themselves are fun! Here are a few [all JP CLE]:

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?

How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?: What are Homonyms and Homophones?

I and You and Don't Forget Who: What is a Pronoun?

A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Take A Walk Outside

On Friday I wrote about a new children's book of poetry, Forest Has a Song, by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. In that post, I mentioned poison ivy. We live in an area that has seen a proliferation of poison ivy in the past decade (at least in my yard). This is probably due to an increase in temperatures in the New England area (a.k.a. climate change), but there may be other reasons. In any case, walking outside can be a hazard if you don't know which plants are poisonous. The first step is to learn to recognize poison ivy. Always keep this little rhyme in mind: "leaves of three, let it be."

A Field Guide to Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac: Prevention and Remedies by Susan Carol Hauser [615.952 HAU] can help with identification. And, it offers advice on what to do about the poison ivy that you find creeping up your stone wall, or favorite oak.

Another recent addition to our collection is a book full of great ideas for parents and teachers to use with kids outdoors. It's The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie [508 LES]. I recommend browsing through the book and finding activities you can do right in your own backyard--from turning over logs to see what's hiding underneath, to learning what it is that may cause spring allergies. It is unfortunate that the book comes with pages designed for recording notes and observations. We only hope that parents and teachers will photocopy the worksheets rather than writing directly in the book. (An even better idea would be to make a journal! That would be a fine project for next week's school vacation if the weather prohibits walking outdoors.)

Children's writer and poet, Joyce Sidman, has a blog she calls Out & About: Cool Stuff I Find Outside. It really does have some cool stuff for you and your kids to read about.

The next time you visit us here at the library, look for one of Joyce Sidman's books of poetry about nature. I highly recommend Song of the Water Boatman: & Other Pond Poems [J 811 SID], and for the younger kids, Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors [JP SID].

Friday, April 12, 2013

Poetry Friday--Forest Has a Song

It's definitely spring now. I don't dare say all chance of snow has passed--I know better and remember snow on May 6 one year--but, flowers are starting to bloom and the birds are crazy nosy in the morning.

It's a great time of year, and a new book of poetry for kids, Forest Has a Song, by teacher and poet, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater [J 811.6 VAN], is perfect for when one starts thinking about walks in the woods.

The poems take us through the year. They also remind us that not every natural thing is good for us! Here's an example:

has three leaves.

climbs up trees.
Take care.

One green
touch can itch
so much.

Trust me.
I've been there.
I've been there, too. Poison ivy rash is awful!* But, to those unfamiliar with the plant, it could be helpful to memorize "Warning," with its short lines, and recite the poem as one walks. And though it's not shown in the poem's illustration, poison ivy's new leaves can be a striking shade of shiny reddish-green, almost inviting touch (see photo below). Stay away!

Photo by zen.

Since it is April, here's an April poem from Forest Has a Song:
April Waking

Ferny frondy fiddleheads
unfurl curls from dirty beds.
Stretching stems they sweetly sing
greenest greetings sent to Spring.
Take a walk through the woods today and look for the unfurling curls singing!

I also recommend visiting the author's blog, The Poem Farm, for fun poetry and suggestions for parents and teachers.

My alter-ego is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Random Noodling. See you there!

*Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, but after many family bouts, I've found the only thing that works is Burow's solution, sold under the name Domeboro!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Next Week Is National Library Week!

You may have seen the article in Monday's Union Leader, in which New Hampshire's libraries are commended for their offerings to the public--everything from story hours to ebooks to access for the public to the internet. And, as NH State Librarian, Michael York, reported, in 2011 there were 7.5 million visits to public libraries in the state!

There's plenty of reason to celebrate! To encourage you to visit next week, we're having a special raffle to win a box full of fun items. We have author-signed books, children's books, a Windham puzzle, a Nesmith Library pen and a Nesmith Library penlight, a pair of handmade earrings, and more, all for the winning! The only catch is that you have to visit the Library to fill out the ticket with your name. The raffle begins Monday, April 15 and will run through Sunday, April 21. The winner will be drawn on Monday, April 22.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Swimming Lessons

I found this video through Facebook and thought it was too cute not to share! However, it also provides an opportunity to let you know that swimming is a skill we should all learn. Preferably when we're young!

If your child hasn't had swimming lessons, perhaps now's the time to look for a course. (Salem Athletic Club offers American Red Cross swim lessons, and you don't need to be a member. To find other places that offer lessons, do a Google search using "swimming lessons for children southern nh.")

If your young child is afraid of the water, look for a little bibliotherapy in Froggy Learns to Swim, by Jonathan London [JP LON].

Another thing to empasize, even with kids who know how to swim, is water safety. We have a video, part of the "Disney Wild about Safety" series, titled Safety Smart in the Water [J DVD SAF]. And for the whole family we have Water Fun by Terri Lees [613.716 LEE].

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Hey, Hey!

If you remember "Hey, Hey, we're the Monkees," then you'll appreciate this post! One of the original Monkees is Mike
Nesmith. I have a Google Alert set up for "Nesmith Library," so that I can see whenever the Library gets a mention somewhere online. The other day, I received this alert notice,
Monkees member plans local concert during solo tour
Uniontown Herald Standard
Mike Nesmith's first US solo tour since 1992 includes a Tuesday concert at the Carnegie Library Music Hall of Homestead. Mike Nesmith's first US solo tour...
Click on the link and it brings you to an interview with Mike Nesmith. The photo accompanying the article is quite a shock! When did he (we) get so old!

The Monkees, in their heyday (Mike Nesmith is the one in the middle, wearing the hat), are seen on this album cover:

You can borrow our copy of The Essentials: The Monkees [CD ROCK MON]. And if you can't wait...

Monday, April 08, 2013

PBS Bonanza

Shop PBS has had a fabulous sale on DVDs, and we've taken advantage of it! So, when you next visit us, look for one of these:

America Revealed
. [DVD 973 AME]

Birdsong. [DVD BIR] Based on the novel of the same name by Sebastian Faulks.

Great Expectations. [DVD GRE] Based on the novel by Charles Dickens.

Margaret Mitchell American Rebel

The Musical Brain: A Journey of Discovery into the Mystery of Music. [DVD 781.11 MUS]

My Life As a Turkey
. [DVD 598.619 MY]

Penguins: The Birds That Wanted To Be Fish. [DVD 598.47 PEN]

If none of these appeal to you, we have about 40 more!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Poetry Friday--NPM and Remembering Our NH Poet Laureate

Poster courtesy Poets.org.

April is National Poetry Month!

Before going any further we must pay tribute to Walter E. Butts, who had been serving as our NH State Poet Laureate since 2009. Walter passed away on Sunday, on the eve of NPM. New Hampshire mourns his passing.

In an interview, recorded in 2010, Butts reads his poetry; listen to it here.

A fitting tribute would be for us to read a poem in his memory, better yet, share one of your favorites with someone. We have many, many shelves of poetry in our 800s section if you don't have a current favorite!

Here's one of mine to share with you:
by Robert Frost

A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree
That had eased itself of its summer load,
And of all but its trivial foliage free,
Now breathed as light as a lady's fan.
For there had been an apple fall
As complete as the apple had given man.
The ground was one circle of solid red.

May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.

Found in Collected Poems, Prose & Plays [811 FRO]
Robyn Hood Black is this week's hostess with the mostess for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Stop by!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Are You a Knitwit?

If you like to knit, you might be taking a break since we're moving out of sweater/blanket season and into shorts and tee-shirt time. However, there are plenty of other knitting projects to keep your hands busy all year long. Here's one project, which I think is awesome:

Image courtesy Lion Brand.

The instructions for the blue tit are available online for free from Lion Brand! Click here.

What else might you knit that isn't a sweater or an afghan?

We have a Lion Brand book in our collection: Just Gifts: Favorite Patterns to Knit and Crochet [746.43 JUS], which will show you a variety of different gift ideas including a bracelet!

Other projects are found in Laura Long's Knitted Toy Tales: Irresistible Characters for All Ages [746.432 LON], or Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel [746.43 HAN]. Wizards need hats, robes, and owl companions all year long!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Cooperative Extension

Do you know that there is a Cooperative Extension program out of the University of New Hampshire? Never heard of Cooperative Extension? It's a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You're not a farmer, so what does the Cooperative Extension mean for you?

Wikipedia describes it
The Cooperative Extension Service, also known as the Extension Service of the USDA, is a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant universities. In most states the educational offerings are in the areas of agriculture and food, home and family, the environment, community economic development, and youth and 4-H.

In other words, the Extension can work for you. One way is through educational courses that can improve your garden, explain the night skies, help you get your finances in order, prune your apple tree, or teach teens in the family how to cook. Here's the Rockingham County calendar.

Of course we have plenty of materials to supplement Cooperative Extension course work. Titles such as The Fruit Gardener's Bible by Lewis Hill [634 HIL], Teens Cook: How To Make What You Want To Eat by Megan Carle [YA 641.5 CAR], or New England Starwatch: The Essential Guide To Our Night Sky by Mike Lynch [522 LYN].

A video, which can be accessed here, titled "Drying Fruits," originates with the Alaska Cooperative Extension, it will give you an idea of the kind of things you can learn through UNH's Cooperative Extension.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Math and Art

I was never a big fan of in my early education days, but, if I had been introduced to the concept of math and art, I might have become more interested.

The Museum of the Golden Ratio: A Geometry of Life and Art is a fascinating site that is "dedicated to collecting and preserving individual expressions in art of the myriad aspects of the Golden Ratio, a mysterious and magical principle which appears in nature, architecture, and mathematics."

If you're unfamiliar with the golden ratio, here's a page from MathisFun.com.

Here's a bit more about the art aspect:
The Golden Ratio, also know as the Golden Mean Proportion, the Golden Section, and the Divine Proportion is found in nature, architecture, science, mathematics, music and especially in this context, in art. The principle is inherent in the Octave, the Platonic Solids and the Fibonacci Numbers and finds expression in many works of art as triangles, pentagrams, spirals and Golden Rectangles, ever since the Renaissance and up to the present day.

Artists have used the proportion in both overt and subtle ways to lend harmony and balance to a painting or sculpture. Some choose a single Golden Rectangle or two adjoining ones as a support for their work, others divide the rectangle in countless creative ways. While some may have used the Golden Proportion quite unconsciously, others adhere to it exactingly, using compass and ruler.

Here's a painting from Vincent Van Gogh, can you see the Golden Ratio element?

I never would have thought someone could write a whole book on the Golden Ratio, but I was wrong! There's The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number by Mario Livio [516.2 LIV], and it's sitting on our shelf just waiting for you to borrow it!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Guess What Today Is?

It's opening day! The Red Sox are playing the evil empire on enemy turf (the lineup is posted here), but they will be coming back for Boston opening day on April 8 against the Orioles.

Remember this?

Here are three new books from our ever-growing collection on the Red Sox: Francona: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona [B FRA], The Boston Red Sox by Mark Stewart [J 796.357 STE], and, I Love the Red Sox/I Hate the Yankees by Jon Chattman [796.357 CHA].

We have so much more Red Sox related material, including several DVDs--from the history of The Curse of the Bambino [DVD 796.357 CUR], to the 2004 curse-breaking season, Faith Rewarded: The Historic Season of the 2004 Boston Red Sox [DVD 796.357 FAI], to the Hollywood romantic comedy, Fever Pitch [DVD FEV].

I hope you can get to a Fenway game this year. It's possible! Unbelievably, there are tickets still available!