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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

American Ingenuity

America has long been a nation of creative thinkers and inventors. On July 31, 1790, the United States Patent Office opened in the newly independent nation. The first patent issued was signed by none other than George Washington and was issued to a Vermonter for a method of producing potash for use in fertilizer.

On June 19 of this year, the Patent Office issued its ten-millionth patent! For a timeline of Patent Office history, click here. Ingenuity is still alive and well! Learn more:

Brown, Travis. Popular patents: America's first inventions from the airplane to the zipper. [608.773 BRO]

Inventions That Changed Our Lives: Inventions and Innovations. [DVD 609.2 INV]

Klein, Maury. The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America. [609.73 KLE]

Macdonald, Anne L. Feminine Ingenuity: Women and Invention in America. [609 MAC]

Monosoff, Tamara. The mom inventors handbook : how to turn your great idea into the next big thing. [658.1141 MON]

Rossi, Ann. Bright Ideas: The Age of Invention in America, 1870-1910. [J 609.73 ROS]

Tucker, Tom. Brainstorms!: The Stories of Twenty American Kid Inventors. [J 920 TUC]

Vare, Ethlie Ann. Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners: Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas. [609 VAR]

Monday, July 30, 2018

Happy Birthday, Emily Bronte!

The author of the classic novel, Wuthering Heights [F BRO, AB/CD BRO, eBook, DVD WUT], Emily Brontë would have been 200 today!

Emily, along with sisters Charlotte and Anne, published under male names, and achieved a degree of success in their lifetimes. Today, though, I think the story of their lives has been slightly upstaged by their writings. Look for The Brontës of Haworth [DVD BRO], or catch the Masterpiece presentation on PBS, To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters.

Although the novels of Emily and Charlotte enjoy a continuing readership, none of the sisters lived beyond their 30s to enjoy it.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Poetry Friday--Imperfect

The title of the book is Imperfect, but isn't this cover perfectly colorful?

IMPERFECT: Poems about Mistakes: An Anthology for Middle Schoolers [YA 811.6 IMP], edited by Tabatha Yeatts, celebrates imperfection and mistakes because no one is perfect, and EVERYONE makes mistakes. And even though mistakes may be frustrating and embarrassing, they also provide an opportunity for improvement and learning. There's nothing wrong with that!

Kurious Kitty is happy to note that within the pages of this anthology there is a poem about a cat:

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." ~ Thomas Edison

I told my cat what Edison said,
and she agrees that my biggest
mistake would be to give up.

I keep at it--this equation--while
Cat bats my pencils to the floor.
They roll. Only she knows where.

I spent hours last night. More
today. I will get it. I will get it!
Cat gives me an approving nod.

She says, "You will not be a failure!
But, we may run out of no. 2 pencils."

by Diane Mayr

There's even a poem BY a Kat (Kat Apel)! Kat is joined by 49 other poets, including several middle school poets!

Sprinkled throughout the book are also inspirational quotes such as this one by comedian and film maker, Mel Brooks:
As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes.
So hold on tight!

Catherine at Reading to the Core is playing Round-Up host this week!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

In August

Next week August begins and if you haven't gone away on vacation this summer, you may want to consider a road trip to New York state. If you go in August, you can be one of the first people to visit National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY, which opens on August 1.

If you're wondering why Jamestown, NY was picked for this new cultural center, it's because Jamestown is where beloved television comedian, Lucille Ball, was born. I don't think I need tell you who Lucille Ball was, but, on the off-chance that the name doesn't ring a bell, Ball, and her husband Desi Arnaz, brought the sit-com, I Love Lucy to television viewers of the 1950s. Re-watch all the episodes, or view some of them for the first time, by borrowing I Love Lucy: The Complete Series [DVD TV SERIES I]. The series ran for nine seasons from from 1951-1960.

After the National Comedy Center, you can visit the Lucy-Desi Museum, also in Jamestown. Enjoy your trip--it's sure to keep you laughing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Hard Day's Night

1964 was the height of the Beatles craze, and on this date in '64, the record album, A Hard Day's Night went to the top of the charts and stayed at #1 for 14 weeks.

The album had been released a month earlier and was the first Beatles album on which all the songs were written/composed by Lennon and McCartney.

We no longer own the album, but we do have a copy of the movie, A Hard Day's Night [DVD HAR]. Sit down and watch it and you'll be transported to a time when life seemed a little more carefree.

Did you know we have video games for you to borrow? If you have an X360, you can enjoy the Beatles in a more interactive way with The Beatles Rockband [VIDEO GAME BEA XBOX 360].

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Open House Tonight!

Tonight, 5-8 pm, the Nesmith Library Board of Trustees and Windham Recreation Department are hosting an Open House here at the Library to celebrate this summer's reading theme, "Libraries Rock!" Music will be performed by local cover band, Pop RoKs, there will be an instrument "petting zoo," and, local Grammy winner (Educator of the Year), Jared Cassedy, will meet-and-greet parents and students.

If you've never visited the Nesmith Library now is the time as staff will be available to show you around!

For a preview, here's the Library's slideshow from the 2018 Strawberry Festival:

Monday, July 23, 2018

eBooks and More!

We've offered eBooks and eAudiobooks for more than five years now, but maybe, you've come late to the whole smartphone, eReader business? If that describes you, then you'll be happy to know we have materials available to borrow on your device day and night, seven days a week--no need to wait for the Library to open or to have someone give you a ride to the Library! There's basic information on the Cloud Library (through our GMILCS consortium) and NH Downloadables/Overdrive (through a statewide consortium of public libraries services) found on the Library's website.

We don't have eBooks and eAudios, only, we also have online magazines! The Overdrive service has 25 titles. (More information is available at NH Downloadables/Overdrive.) And, through a Nesmith Library contracted service, RBdigital Magazines, there are more than 50.

How nice it will be if you're stuck in a waiting room with nothing to read but three-year-old Highlights for Children magazines! Now you can check out the offerings online and start reading a current issue in a minute's time. All you'll need is a valid Nesmith Library borrower's card.

If you have problems getting started with our e-services, bring your device with you to the Library and we'll see what we can do to help you out.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Poetry Friday--Look Up!

Look up tonight because it is the anniversary of the first moon landing. In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out of the Apollo spacecraft 11 and made their famous leap. The landing was watched world-wide and is reported to have been seen by 530 million people as it happened!

A mere seven years later, on this very day, the unmanned Viking 1 landed on Mars. So, look up to get a look at Mars, too! Space.com has this to say about Mars:
Mars owns the summer sky of 2018! Without a question of doubt, this is indeed the "Summer of Mars."
Let's celebrate these two space anniversaries with poems from Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian [J 811.54 FLO]:

the moon

A NEW moon isn't really new,
It's merely somewhat dark to view.

A CRESCENT moon may seem to smile,
Gladly back after a while.

A HALF moon is half dark, half light.
At sunset look due south to sight.

A FULL moon is a sight to see,
Circular in geometry.

After full, the moon will wane
Night by night, then start again.


Mars is red,
And Mars is rusty,
Sandy, rocky,
Very dusty.
Mars has ice caps.
Once had streams.
Mars has Martians...
In your dreams!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up this week will be found at My Juicy Little Universe!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Seneca Falls Convention

On this day in 1848 a two-day Woman's Rights Convention began in the Seneca Falls, New York. There were 300 attendees who were interested in equal rights for women, and, in a woman't right to vote. It would be 72 years before women became eligible to vote in national elections, and today, 170 years later, an equal rights amendment to the Constitution has yet to be passed!

The "Report of the Woman's Rights Convention" can be found here.

Please note: in the United States, women working on the suffrage issue were known as "suffragists," not "suffragettes," which was the term used for British women. You will also see "woman's" applied to rights, suffrage, etc. When the movement began, the term was used in the same way "man" was used to universally denote all men, thus, the 1848 convention was the Woman's Rights Convention.

Conkling, Winifred. Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot. [YA 324.623 CON]

Harris, Duchess. Women's Suffrage. [J 324.623 HAR]

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

History of Fashion

Fashion is a multi-trillion dollar industry--you read that right--TRILLION! Certain fashion trends become cultural markers and forever recall a specific period of time, think of the mini-skirt for example.

Fashion came about once man progressed beyond loincloths and tunics. It has a history that most of us are unaware of. To learn more, I recommend a series of podcasts titled "Dressed: The History of Fashion." Each week you'll learn about fashion trends and the people behind those trends. Everything from the environmentally disastrous use of real and rare bird feathers on hats, to designer Elsa Schiaparelli, to the Wonderbra. Find all the past episodes here.

The best part of fashion history is the visuals. Here is a look at 100 years of wedding gowns:

Look in our 391 section for fashion history books with illustrations and photos, and, if you want to explore fashion design, look for Fashion Design Course by Steven Faerm [746.92 FAE].

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

She Just Keeps Rollin' Along

What do you know about the history of this planet we live on? Through the wonders of the internet, you can visualize the Earth, as seen from space, and as it appeared as far back as 750 million years ago! (Warning: the slowly spinning globe is a wee bit hypnotic!) There's lots more to be found on DinosaurPictures.org, including pictures of dinosaurs--always a kid favorite.

The DVD series, How the Earth Was Made [DVD 551.7 HOW], a History Channel production, will fill in the knowledge blanks you may have found after viewing the spinning globe online.
From the Great Lakes to Iceland, the San Andreas Fault to Krakatoa, travel the globe to reveal the physical processes that have shaped some of the most well-known locations and geological phenomena in the world. With rocks as their clues and volcanoes, ice sheets, and colliding continents as their suspects, scientists launch a forensic investigation that helps visualize how the earth has evolved and formed over billions of years.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hallmark Movies--They're Not Just for the Holidays

Do you crave a little light romance year-round? If so, we added a whole crop of non-holiday Hallmark movies!

Turn on the a/c, pop a little popcorn, then put your feet up and enjoy one of these:

The Beach House. [DVD BEA]

Moonlight in Vermont. [DVD MOO]

Royal Hearts. [DVD ROY]

A Smile As Big As the Moon. [DVD SMI]

Stranded in Paradise. [DVD STR]

Unleashing Mr. Darcy. [DVD UNL]

Friday, July 13, 2018

Poetry Friday--Celebrating Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday was the 201st birthday of New England's own Henry David Thoreau. If you've read his books you may have noticed how he drops in bits of poetry and rhyme throughout his narrative. Many of these tidbits have been collected in Thoreau: Collected Essays and Poems [818 THO].

I don't know if anyone else in this area has noticed an abundance of rabbits this year, but I've had at least three in my yard. There have been lots of turtles, too. And wild turkeys! 2018 is a wildlife bonanza!

When I found this short untitled poem by Thoreau, I knew it would be the perfect one to celebrate his birthday!

"Rabbits" by John Sherrin; altered by Diane Mayr.

The Rabbit leaps
The mouse outcreeps
The flag out-peeps
    Beside the brook.

The ferret weeps
The marmot sleeps
The owlet keeps
    In his snug nook.

The apples thaw
The ravens caw
The squirrels gnaw
    The frozen fruit;

To their retreat
We track the feet
Of mice that eat
    The apples root.

The willows droop
The alders stoop
The pheasants group
    Beneath the snow.

The catkins green
Cast o'er the scene
A summer sheen
    A genial glow.

The snow dust falls
The otter crawls
The partridge calls
    Far in the wood

The traveller dreams
The tree-ice gleams
The blue jay screams
    In angry mood.
What is most surprising about this little poem is how concise it is. Illustrated, it could be mistaken for the text to a contemporary children's picture book.

Happy Birthday, Henry! You were ahead of your times in more ways than one!

Sylvia is hosting the Round-Up at Poetry For Children--do stop by!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Happy Birthday, Henry David Thoreau!

Today, we're celebrating the 201st anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau, in Concord, MA. I realize that last year was the big year to celebrate, it being a nice round number, but Thoreau's legacy continues to grow. There is renewed interest in his writings for the way in which he detailed the flora and fauna of New England. We can see how climate change has effected the environment in the years since he wrote about the region nearly two centuries ago.

Thoreau has been introduced to the very youngest reader through a series of books by D. B. Johnson in which Thoreau is portrayed as a big lovable bear. His lessons are obvious, but Johnson's approach is not as didactic as one would expect! They are well worth reading!

Henry Builds a Cabin. [JP JOH]

Henry Climbs a Mountain. [JP JOH]

Henry Hikes to Fitchberg. [JP JOH]

Henry Works. [JP JOH]

Henry's Night. [JP JOH]

I hope children will be inspired to read more about the real Thoreau!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Getting Hooked on Crochet

Someone recently posted that there are only 24 weeks until Christmas!

This summer, if you have a little spare time, and you're in a nice air-conditioned space (like the Library), you may wish to take up crocheting so that you can get a headstart on holiday gift making. If you're a rank beginner, then look for the Learn to Crochet kit [YA KIT 746.434 LEA] among our unusual items. It comes with a beginner's guide, crochet hooks, and more. This way if you decide crocheting is not for you, you haven't invested a lot of money to purchase equipment. However, thinking more positively, if you find yourself loving crochet, then visit the 746.434 section where we have guides, and patterns, and project ideas to inspire you.

Once you get the basics down, and if you're feeling especially creative, you might want to combine art and crochet and embark on a project such as this:

Photo by Ernest Neto, included as part of the "A 65-Foot Hand-Crocheted Tree Gives Visitors to Zurich’s Train Station a Full Sensory Experience" article by Kate Sierzputowski.

Get started today since the holidays will be here before you know it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What Am I Looking At?

You don't have to take a hike to come across wildflowers. They'll often sprout between paving stones or along the edges of a sports field or even in the middle of your lawn. Same thing with trees. You'll find them sprouting in the strangest of places! Weeds, as you well know, take every and all opportunities to take root.

So, how do you find out what it is you're looking at? Borrow a field guide such as A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs: Field Marks of All Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines That Grow Wild in the Northeastern and North-Central United States and in Southeastern and South-Central Canada by George Petrides [582 PET], Wildflowers of the Eastern United States by John Eastman [582.13 EAS], or Weeds of the Northeast by Richard H. Uva [581.6 UVA]. (What? You didn't think there's be a field guide for weeds? Ha!)

If you come across some plant you want to identify, snap a picture of it with your smart phone. There are many free apps that will help you to identify what you are looking at. I've not had the best of luck with the few I've tried, but it may just be me. I find a field guide works better.

I've also found a site developed by the New England Wild Flower Society, Go Botany, which is quite good. It has a "Simple ID Key" that is easy to use and is great for introducing kids to identifying plants. Plus, it covers the plants that grow in our region so you don't get bogged down with unnecessary information.

Remember, snap a picture "in the field," then at your leisure, you can do a little internet research. Soon, you'll find you and your kids are on the road to being plant scientists!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Museum Passes

Don't forget that the Library has reduced admission passes to many museums that you can reserve with your valid Nesmith Library card. For a complete list, click here. Our library pass program is made possible by the generosity of the Friends of the Library of Windham (FLOW).

Manchester's Currier Museum of Art has an exhibit running through September 9, which celebrates the art of children's book illustration. Three artists are featured and all three are residents of New Hampshire.

Before heading to the Currier, stop by the Library to borrow one of the many books, illustrated by the three artists, which we have in our collection. (If you're signed up for the Library event taking place on Wednesday, Wild about Turtles with Mary Doane, you'll surely benefit by picking up David Carroll's The Year of the Turtle: A Natural History [597.92 CAR].)

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Poetry Friday--Spiders!

Yesterday's post contained a fascinating video about flying spiders! If you missed it, click here.

Spiders, are not exactly cute and cuddly, and thus, many people tend to avoid them at all costs. One piece of advice, though, let them live! They're an important part of the ecosystem--including within your home environment!

I got to thinking about spider poems and my mind immediately went to, "come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly." It turns out that I have mis-remembered it. The line goes, "Will you walk into my parlour? said the spider to the fly." It is from "The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt, which was first published in 1829.

Contrary to what I would have expected, there are many poems about spiders. From three line haiku to others, like "The Spider and the Fly," which is 7 stanzas long (44 lines).

Here's a sample haiku from Japanese poet, Issa, translated by Robert Hass:
Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house

From The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa. [895.6 ESS]

A spider's skill in web-building provides a great subject for illustrators, too! Here are two examples from our collection. The first is from a book by Betsy Franco titled Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes...Naturally, illustrated by Steve Jenkins [811.54 FRA].

The second is from an anthology, The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom selected by Jack Prelutsky, and illustrated by Meilo So.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at The Miss Rumphius Effect, hosted by Tricia.

Spiders Fly?

Actually, they balloon! Here is the concept explained:

Some people are terrified seeing a spider, but if you can get beyond the scream stage, spiders are really quite interesting creatures!

If you want to learn more we've got you covered, especially in the children's section where you'll find books in the J 595.4 section, including Totally Amazing Spiders by Christine Morley with this totally amazing photo on the cover:

In the adult section, the spider books are in 595.4 and include The World of the Spider by Adrienne Mason. And look who's on the cover!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Beat the Heat with a Cool Book

One good way of beating this summer’s heat is to visit the Library where our air conditioning makes it a pleasure to sit and read.

Another way is to look for a story set in a land of ice and snow. Or one to make your blood run cold...

Bashardoust, Melissa. Girls Made of Snow and Glass. [YA BAS]

Clark, Mary Higgins. Every Breath You Take. [F CLA, LP CLA, AB/CD CLA, eBook]

Jonasson, Ragnar. Snowblind. [eBook]

Kukafka, Danya. Girl in Snow. [F KUK, LP KUK, eBook]

Nijkamp, Marieke. Before I Let Go. [YA NIJ, eBook]

Oliveira, Robin. Winter Sisters. [F OLI, eBook]

Pamuk, Orhan. The Red-Haired Woman. [F PAM, eBook]

Roberts, Nora. Come Sundown. [F ROB, LP ROB, AB/CD ROB, eBook]

Remember, the Library will be closed tomorrow for the Fourth of July holiday. Have a great summer and keep cool!

Monday, July 02, 2018

What We Don't Know

Isn't it funny that the more things you learn, the more you realize you don't know? Much has been discovered about a secret life of trees.

More secrets are revealed in The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben [582.16 WOH, eBook, eAudiobook].

And for kids, there's an "Eyewitness Reader," The Secret Life of Trees by Chiara Chevallier [E CHE].