Category Archives: From the Library – A Weekly Column

The Facts and Fears About Ebola – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the October 30, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

The Ebola virus was first identified in remote villages in Central Africa in Sudan and Zaire nearly forty years ago in 19 The Ebola virus was first identified in remote villages in Central Africa in Sudan and Zaire nearly forty years ago in 1976. Between 1976 and 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) documented 2,387 cases (restrained to Africa only) and about half have died. Of course, in the last two years that number has now climbed to over 10,000 cases. On October 23, WHO convened a crisis meeting to figure out how get the two vaccines now in development, through clinical trials, and developed at an “accelerated pace.”

An epidemic involves a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease in one community all in a particular time period. A pandemic, on the other hand, means (from the Greek) “pertaining to all people.” A pandemic, then, is an outbreak in a wide area or global sphere. Pandemics in history have included notorious outbreaks, including the Black Death and Bubonic Plagues that devastated Europe in the 1300s and 1800s. There have been extensive outbreaks of Cholera and Influenza. The Spanish Flu was responsible for millions of deaths in 1918, 1919 and 1920. (Read local author, and past library trustee, Patti Fanning’s account in “Influenza and Inequality,” published in 2010 in which she discusses how that epidemic affected our Norwood community.) In just three years, the Spanish Flu affected 500 million people worldwide and killed 50-100 million of them. (more…)

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Sailing: No Day at the Beach – by April Cushing

April Cushing is the Adult and Information Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column published in the October 23, 2014 issue of the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.

I spent a week in the winter of 2012 cruising the BVIs on a friend’s 54-foot yawl—which, I soon learned, is your basic sailboat with two masts. Sunny skies, warm trade winds, rum drinks sprouting paper parasols; it was paradise.

I couldn’t wait to get home.

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Living and Building Small – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the October 16, 2014 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

The small-house phenomenon is a social and architectural movement that is sweeping the United States. It is a helpful trend for those who yearn to make their lifestyle sustainable … or for those who wish to deliberately downsize, or for those who want a little of both. The revelation about the small house movement is that small houses are actually nothing new. Most of the world’s inhabitants have lived in small homes like dug-outs, pit-houses and igloos throughout history. Only a small percentage of civilization have lived in palaces, mansions and castles. In fact, some might say that the American Tiny House movement has its roots in our very own Henry David Thoreau and his little, idyllic home on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. (more…)

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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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