Category Archives: From the Library – A Weekly Column

Parenting in the Digital Age – by Diane Phillips

Diane Phillips is the Technical Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library.  Read Diane Phillips’ column in the October 9, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

While classifying a stack of non-fiction books, I came across one title that caught my attention, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing Up, by Janell Burley Hofmann. This book intrigued me because my husband and I just recently gave our son an iPad mini for his birthday. He unwrapped the gift and actually said, “Is this real or is something else in the box?” We told him that yes, indeed it was real but before he could have it, he had to listen to some rules regarding its use and care. I could tell that he was only absorbing about half (if that much) of what we were telling him. He just kept looking at the box and nodding his head and saying, “uh huh” every once in a while as we were listing the do’s and don’ts. He already knew how to do most everything already having used my iPad or his friends’ devices. I wanted to make sure that he fully grasped the restrictions and guidelines that we were trying to communicate. This is where Hofmann’s book, iRules, comes in handy.

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A Young Librarian – by Jillian Goss

Jillian Goss is a circulation assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Jillian’s column in the October 2, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

In 2007, about a week after my fifteenth birthday, I began working at the Morrill Memorial Library.  I never could have known at the beginning what an adventure I would be in for.

When I was a child I would come to Miss Hope’s story times. I would talk to Michele when checking out.  I would pick up stacks of books that would tower over my short frame and I started reading books from the Young Adult room by the age of eight.  I am thankful everyday that my mother made it a priority to get her children involved in the library early in life. It has definitely had a grand and inspiring effect on me.

One of the biggest things that the library has done for me is help me grow up. I’ve spent the last few years growing up and growing into myself. I’ve weeded my friend garden many times over and I carry the library’s quiet confidence in me. I’ve been lucky enough to accumulate many special bonds while working here, between my lovely co-workers, the patrons I get to interact with, as well as my wonderful craft time crew and class.

Working at the library over the years has taught me about people, it has allowed me to learn from my mistakes, and qualified me to be an adult. The library has witnessed me grow up and it has stood in wait while I went on grand adventures while supplying me with the tools I needed to grow into myself.

I’ve learned to laugh between these walls; I’ve learned and I’ve loved, I’ve contemplated life. But it wasn’t an easy journey.

I’ve lived in Norwood for twenty-two years. I graduated from the old building of Norwood High in 2010. Then I went to the University of Massachusetts Boston for Nursing.

Looking back, my reasons for becoming a nurse were less well thought-out than I had originally conceived. Between my grandparents and my aunt, I had almost always had someone to visit in the hospital and I was grateful for the work that the nurses did to help them feel better. That, coupled with throwing a career decision at a seventeen year old, led me to choose Nursing as my major. It wasn’t a dumb decision but it definitely wasn’t right for me.

My first year of college I struggled to keep up in classes where nothing made sense to me, and nothing truly interested me. My only refuge was my work at the library. There was always this calming balm when I walked through the library’s doors, and it became my sanctuary.

If you ask my family, I am someone who loves to give up on things, be it sports (I am the exact opposite of athletically inclined), instruments, or whatever else. But giving up on Nursing, the life raft I’d grabbed onto when leaving high school, was terrifying. Once again, the only thing that calmed that fear was working at the library. Finally it clicked and I nearly bopped myself on the head.  Why not become a librarian?  While I wouldn’t be making people feel better in the medicinal sense, I could try and nurture their minds.

After fighting so hard to keep up with my Nursing coursework, transferring to a major in English was like easing into a warm bath. While it was still work, it was work that I enjoyed and it helped ease the burn left behind by my Nursing studies.  The last three years of school have been amazing. I have had the opportunity to interact with like-minded people and discuss my favorite thing: books!

In order to continue my journey into a literary career I aim to get my Master’s degree in Library Science starting in January. I’ve recently been accepted to several programs all across the country.  Now with graduate school on the horizon I’m excited to achieve my MLIS but I’m worried about leaving this library behind.  While I may be an adult by most standards (twenty-two meaning I can frequent night clubs, casinos, and other places I will probably never go to) I feel like this library has been an integral part of my continuing growth. Working at the library has given me the big-girl shoes I needed to get out there and kick the world’s butt.  I love seeing families come in with their kids and I hope that our library is able to make as big an impact on them as it did on me.

There have been many amazing novels that have helped me mature.  Our library has an amazing assortment of books to help ease the painful process of growing up and accepting yourself, including loving yourself when it’s hard:

“The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend” by Kody Keplinger

“You Are Here” by Jennifer E Smith

“The Princess Diaries” by Meg Cabot

“The Distance Between Us” by Kasie West

“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Fat Round Things” by Carolyn Mackler

These books are some of my favorite reads; they have really helped me in my journey of self-acceptance. Plus most of them are hilarious.

In order to get your child involved in the library at an early age, please check out some of our amazing children’s programs.  The library can help your kids love learning, and help them develop as tiny people too!  Get in touch with the Children’s Department by calling us at 781-769-0200 x225 or emailing us at norchild@minlib.net.

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The Season for Stitching – by Liz Reed

Liz Reed is an Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Liz’s column in the September 25, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

You can feel it in the air, you can smell it on the crisp morning breeze – Autumn has arrived.  The Fall season means different things to different people: to parents and their children, it means the back-to-school hustle and bustle.  To gardeners, the season means harvest and preparing the ground for a winter respite.  For others, this is the time to enjoy changing leaves, picking apples to bake apple pies, and hot beverages on chilly mornings.  For me though, Fall means knitting, Fall IS knitting. (more…)

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Vermeer: Master of Light

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the September 18, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Johannes Vermeer died at the age of 43 in 1675. He left his wife and family of ten children in debt and certainly could not have been considered a financial success. Although it is believed that Vermeer may have produced as many as 60 works of art, only 35 known paintings remain known to the world. 21 are housed around the globe and the majority are housed by museums in Europe. Another 14 of them are owned by institutions or private collections in the United States. One of those is, of course, missing. The Concert was stolen from the Isabella Gardner Museum in a notorious theft on March 18, 1990.

The net worth of Vermeer’s paintings would certainly astound his poor wife today. The Concert, the painting stolen from Boston’s museum, is estimated to be worth $200 million. The Saint Praxedis, a painting attributed to Vermeer, was auctioned at Christie’s this past summer and sold for over $10 million dollars. It stands to reason, then, that Vermeer’s complete works total over a billion dollars.

Vermeer has mystified and delighted us for about 1-1/2 century. The funny thing is he had actually been forgotten until the mid-nineteenth century before a French art critic began singing his praises. Over the years since, Vermeer paintings have become major works of art. In fact, the real sign of a worthy artist might be the amount of forgeries made of his art. Many Vermeer forgeries were bought and sold beginning in the1920s when wealthy Americans came into large discretionary incomes and had enormous amounts of money to invest in art. (more…)

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