Category Archives: From the Library – A Weekly Column

Children of the Orphan Trains – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the November 19th 2015 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

One-hundred and seventy-five years ago, social workers and philanthropists in Boston in 1840 began the “Boston Plan”. Orphaned or homeless children were “placed out” in the hope that they would be adopted by families who wanted them. Children from Massachusetts were sent to what they hoped would be new homes in states as close as Vermont or as far-flung as the farms and prairies across the American Midwest in the Westward Expansion.  Some of the children had lost both parents; others had lost only one, but the surviving parent could not care for them. (more…)

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Crafting – by Allison Palmgren

Allison Palmgren is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Allison’s column in the November 12, 2015 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I really look forward to the first Thursday of each month. I work the late shift on Thursdays, so my mornings are generally free. This is when I make most of my appointments, run errands, and once a month, head to the Norwood Senior Center to do crafts. Now, I know that I’m closer in age to the seniors that spend their days at 245 Nichols Street than to the seniors that spend time at 275 Prospect Street, but several months ago I was actually invited to lead a monthly craft class, I jumped at the opportunity. (more…)

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Boston’s Race to Be First – by Charlotte Canelli

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the November 5th 2015 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

We can be proud of many things in Massachusetts, especially those attributed to our fair city Boston. In Boston Firsts (2006), author Lynda Morgenroth describes forty of the “feats or innovation and invention that happened in first in Boston and helped make America great.” Among the most admirable was the bravery of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment in the Civil War. Over 1000 African American men from Boston and beyond fought courageously as Union soldiers in South Carolina. Another first, of course, was the passage of the Same-Sex Marriage Law in 2003, leading the nation in marriage equality. The YMCA, Fanny Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook, the USS Constitution, and the Public Garden are all Boston innovations. Boston is also famous for inventions of shipping ice around the globe, the Boston Cream Pie, and the Gillette Safety Razor. (more…)

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Help! Writer’s Block – by Margot Sullivan

Margot Sullivan is a part-time reader’s advisory and reference librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column as published in the October 29, 2015 issue of the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.

This past summer I vowed to begin writing a story that has been swirling around in my head for years!  I was on my favorite Maine island where creativity abounds with artists, writers, poets, and craft persons.  Since I just cannot seem to get going I asked some friends “when do you write?” and received a variety of answers. One poet starts her day with her coffee and just jots down anything that comes to mind. A children’s author sets aside some time each day but also admitted to having a book idea hanging around for years.  I even went to one session of a creative writing course in the library.  I actually started the story and reviewed some of the letters, photos, and clippings I might use! I did not write a whole lot but liked what I wrote. It is fiction, maybe a mystery, and takes place in Maine! But I have come to a complete halt.  I have not figured out how to go forward! (more…)

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