Monday, August 31, 2009

Do Your Research at Home

The school year is fast approaching with all of its assignments. You will be happy to know that you can research magazines, newspapers, and books from home. Go to the Library website and click on Online Resources to see the databases that are available. EbscoHost databases are a great start for many homework assignments, and they are available for all ages. For example:

MasterFILE Premier database provides full text for nearly 1,750 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also contains full text for nearly 500 reference books and 164,424 primary source documents, as well as an Image Collection of over 453,000 photos, maps & flags.
Newspaper Source provides cover-to-cover full text for 35 national & international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for 375 regional.
Health Source: Consumer Edition provides access to nearly 80 full text, consumer health magazines.
MAS Ultra, designed for high school libraries, this database contains full text for more than 500 popular, high school magazines 360 full text reference books, 85,670 biographies, 105,786 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of over 453,000 photos, maps and flags.
Middle Search Plus provides full text for more than 140 popular, middle school magazines, 84,774 biographies, 105,786 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of over 453,000 photos, maps and flags.
Primary Search provides full text for more than 70 popular, magazines for elementary school research
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia provides over 25,000 encyclopedic entries covering a variety of subject areas.
Professional Development Collection, designed for professional educators, provides access to nearly 520 education journals, and more than 200 educational reports.
ERIC, the Education Resource Information Center, contains more than 1,300,000 records and links to more than 317,000 full-text documents dating back to 1966.
TOPICsearch contains full text for over 60,000 articles from 399 diverse sources including international and regional newspapers, periodicals, biographies, public opinion polls, book reviews, pamphlets, and government information.
Regional Business News provides comprehensive full text coverage coverage of more than 80 regional business publications covering all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States.

Business Source Premier provides full text for more than 2,300 journals, including full text for more than 1,100 peer-reviewed titles. This database provides full text back to 1886, and searchable cited references back to 1998
Academic Search Premier provides full text for more than 4,650 journals, including full text for more than 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals.
GreenFILE provides indexing and abstracts for more than 384,000 records, as well as Open Access full text for more than 4,700 records covering all aspects of human impact to the environment, including includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling,.
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) indexes more than 500 core library journals, more than 50 priority journals, and 125 selective journals; plus books, research reports and proceedings.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A History of Hurricanes in Dover

With the second hurricane in as many weeks bearing down on New England, I started wondering how many times Dover had actually been hit. This is what I found:

September 1938- an unnamed hurricane strikes Dover. The storm toppled numerous trees, destroyed the roof of the Sherman School, devastated Guppy Park, and smashed store windows on Central Avenue.

August 1954- Hurricane Carol

The Library skylight caved in during this storm, narrowly missing Librarian Anne Elizabeth Leach. Moore's Boatyard was almost wiped out and the B & M freight shed was blown to the ground.

September 1954- Hurricane Edna

Heavy rains brought flooding. Grove Street had four feet of water in the road. The sidewalk at Henry Law Park completely washed away.

September 1960 - Hurricane Donna
According to NOAA, Donna was the only hurricane of record to produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic states, and New England and was the fifth strongest hurricane of record to hit the United States. Foster's Daily Democrat proclaims, "Donna Was Dud in Dover".

September 1985- Hurricane Gloria

Hurricane Gloria knocked down trees and power lines leaving 30,000 homes without power. Residents were advised to seek shelter at the Dover High School.

August 1991- Hurricane Bob
Large trees were uprooted and utility poles were blown over. Most of Dover had lost power by 5 P.M.

Do you remember what it what like to ride out a hurricane in Dover? We would love to hear your story.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fictional Characters I Love to Hate

I just finished That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo, and I just loved it. My favorite character is the mother of the main character, Jack Griffin, who is just such a snob. She makes the book for me because she is so awful that you love to hate her, but secretly like her a little bit. This got me thinking about other characters that I felt similar about and came up with Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series, and the Bingley sisters from Pride and Prejudice. All four of these characters are self-centered and imperious which makes them ever so entertaining. Just love to hate them!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Open Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President:

I saw the White House release of your reading choices for your vacation on the Vineyard (see list below), and I must say I was concerned. While it is a commendable list the staff of the Dover Public Library have some suggestions for some reading on the lighter side--everyone needs some escapism once in awhile, even the commander-in-chief.
Our suggestions for the President:
Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter (mystery that takes place on the Vineyard with the main character being an African American law professor at an Ivy League University).
Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (described as a lusty romance which would have been considered shocking when it was released in 1944, but I think you can handle it).
Martha's Vineyard mystery series by Philip Craig (just good fun).
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (vampires invade Manhattan--this might make the economy seem like a small problem).
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo ( a recent release by one of my favorite authors with part of the story taking place on Cape Cod).

I hope you like our suggestions, and have a wonderful vacation.


The Staff of the Dover Public Library

The official list of the President's vacation reading:
The Way Home by George Pelecanos
Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
Lush Life by Richard Price
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
John Adams by David McCullough

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Mess With These Librarians

The San Francisco Chronicle published this amusing list of 11 fictional librarians you shouldn't mess with. I didn't realize there were so many tough librarians out there- and they even missed two; Stephen King's Library Policeman, and Seinfeld's Library Policeman.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If I had the time...

If I had the time I would read The Book of Will: How Shakespeare's first folio conquered the world, by Paul Collins. Ever since reading the literary thriller Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell, I have been fascinated by all things folio related. The first folio was the first book that contained all (well, almost all) of Shakespeare's plays. It was assembled by two of his closest friends and fellow actors from the Globe Theatre. Later folios were to follow but the first folio is considered to be the closest thing we'll ever have to what Shakespeare really wrote. The intervening centuries have not been kind to that first run of folios and those that still exist are each worth a fortune. To tell the story of the folio, Collins takes the reader on a tour of seemingly unimpressive locations throughout modern day London and then proceeds to deconstruct the now bus stop or chip shop back to the 1600's where there once stood a famous printer or bookstore. So, if I had the time, not only would I read The Book of Will, I would read it in London and follow the path of the famous folio that Collins has so meticulously mapped out. And when I needed a break from reading I would prowl around some old shops looking for an ancient, tattered old "promt book" for a play entitled Love's Labour's Wonne, for even though a folio sold recently at Sotheby's for 5 million dollars it's still not perfect. It's still missing that pesky little play...hmm. I wonder how much that would bring in at auction?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Read This Book!!!

During our Summer Reading Program, the bulletin board display in the Children's Room filled up with "bugs" (reader recommendations for kids, by kids). Here are some of the (unedited) recommendations that we enjoyed:

Title: Keisha to the Rescue
Author: Teresa Reed
it's good because: It encourged me to beleive in myself.

Title: Junie B Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine
Author: Barbara Park
it's good because: The ending is good.

Title: The Sisters Club
Author: Megan McDonald
it's good because: it's funny and teaches you a lesson of how sisters are forever no matter how mean you are to them!

Title: Warriors #1/; into the wild
Author: Erin hunter
it's good because: It makes you wonder what your cat has been doing while you're away...

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
it's good because: it's not funny but it's humorous in a special way. Best book EVER!

Title: Circle of Doom
Author: Tim Kennemore
it's good because: my family read it aloud and we all cracked up! I think you should too!

Altered Book Art as Social Commentary

One of the Librarians was moved by the media's unfair criticism of Michelle Obama for wearing shorts in the blistering heat of the Grand Canyon. The faux shorts she gave the book cover say, "Oh No! First Ladies can't wear shorts! Horrors!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An innovative solution...!

The Library is getting new carpeting! Hooray! The pattern, by the way, is called "Einstein" and thus we can guarantee that everyone who walks on it will come out of the library smarter!

I met today with our installer and we discussed many logistics about the project, including how the sequence of installation will proceed throughout the whole building while we attempt to stay open through the course of the work. We must empty each room of books, bookcases, furniture, and computers so that the new carpet may be laid. This is indeed a weighty problem! Think of just the Children's Room for a moment: aside from all the desks, tables, chairs, picture book bins and bookstacks, about 20,000 books will need to be removed (and hopefully kept in some semblance of order out in the adjacent corridor so we can find things) for a couple of days. This will be a very difficult period for those of us who love order (and what librarian doesn't?) so we beg your patience and your endurance as we look confused and bewildered as we detour you around the library in September.

Then I hit upon a radical temporary solution for getting all the books off the floor. Here it is:

What do you think?
Will it work?

(This is actually from an art exhibit at the Tate Gallery in London. It's called "False Ceiling" and was created in 1995 by British sculptor Richard Wentworth. These are all second-hand books suspended from steel wires and Wentworth has been called "the scrap dealer of British Art".)

Hmmm.......What if we asked every library cardholder in Dover to come in and check out 5 books each? That would pretty much clear out all our volumes!

Seriously, we will keep you posted on this blog and on Twitter, as soon as we know, about the schedule of carpet installation and what areas of the library will be affected on each day of the project. With a good sense of purpose and a better sense of humor, I'm sure we can all live through this together!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scott Fitgerald vs. Britney

The second Tina Brown recommended article (see previous post) that I enjoyed is from Intelligent Life Magazine, and is entitled When Novelists Sober Up. I have always known that novelists can be a wild and unpredictable bunch, but this article really put things into perspective. Did you know that of America's 7 Nobel Laureates 5 were "lushes"? It is a pretty sobering statistic (couldn't help myself), but I do question how they came up with 7. They did not list the 7 so I am not sure who they counted, but I found at least 10, and 11 if you count Czeslaw Milosz, who is listed as United States/Poland. Anyhow, I knew about Hemingway (who doesn't!) and few of the others, but did not realize the extent of the situation. They describe William Faulkner and Scott Fitzgerald as the Paris and Britney of their day, and Hemingway as Amy Winehouse. Take a look at the article, you may learn a few things about your favorite authors.

FYI: American Nobel laureates in Literature are Sinclair Lewis (1930), Eugene O'Neill (1936), Pearl S. Buck (1938), William Faulker (1949), Ernest Hemingway (1954), John Steinbeck (1962), Saul Bellow (1976), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978), Czeslaw Milosz (1980), Joseph Brodsky (1987), and Toni Morrison (1993).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cuff Links and Long Hand

I recently heard an NPR interview with Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast (which is worth a look), about how difficult it is to cull through the information overload on the web. She shared a couple of the gems that she has found recently, and two of them really interested me. One was a Paris Review interview with Gay Talese. It is a fascinating article about his habits (he dresses in a tie and cuff-links to write in his "bunker"!!), the writing process (he writes in long hand), his experiences as a journalist, and the role of non-fiction writing. I have never read anything by Gay Talese, but I find writers themselves intriguing. I love reading about the writing process and how it is so different for every author--like how some must stick to a very defined routine while others write in bursts. How some are superstitious and must write in their lucky chair or use a very specific type of pen. I think I might be living vicariously through them, but it is all good fun. I heartily suggest a look at the article! As for the second gem that I found interesting stay tuned until tomorrow...

Monday, August 10, 2009


I have an unusual obsession with maps which originated, I believe, with the American Automobile Association. All those summer trips to Nebraska to visit my grandparents when I was young were fueled by AAA Triptiks. (Anyone else remember those paper versions?) I would study the magic-marker-highlighted routes contained in those neat spiral-bound notebooks so intently that I would miss all the scenery happening outside my back-seat window on our midwestern treks. Triptiks were my guide to the world and I loved them!

This map mania has continued into my adult life: I curse when our protective library tape, which seals the book jacket to the book, covers any map pasted to the endpapers. I need full access to that map and its secrets! I cannot go to the L.L. Bean Store in Freeport without a side trip to the Delorme Map Store (and its giant globe) in nearby Yarmouth. In July, I watched every Tour de France stage on TV each evening and had to follow along with my official “Tour de France” route map, printed from their website, close by my side.

Recently I was very excited to read a review of a new book (coming out November 3) called The Fourth Part of the World: the Race to the Ends of the Earth and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America its Name by Toby Lester. It’s about the re-discovery, in 1901, of the long lost Waldseemuller Map, created ca. 1507 in Europe.

This is the first map to show the New World as a separate continent, the first to use the word “America” to name it, and the first map to suggest the existence of the Pacific Ocean. It’s now in the Library of Congress, having been purchased in 2008 for $10 million! Toby Lester’s book will detail the map’s creation and its history, and trace its long journey to America.

In case there are other map-obsessive people out there, here’s my short list of other great map-inspired novels and non-fiction:
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. (2009). Illustrated by a 12-year old map prodigy on a cross-country trip to the Smithsonian. (fiction)
The Map Thief by Heather Terrell. (2008) An art sleuth searches for a rare Chinese map. (fiction)
The Island of Lost Maps: a True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey. (2000) Art thief Gilbert Bland’s robberies from 22 academic libraries’ map collections.
Mapping the World by Ralph E. Ehrenberg. (2006) Wonderful National Geographic illustrated history of cartography.
Putting “America” on the Map: the Story of the Most Important Graphic Document in the History of the United States by Seymour I. Schwartz. (2007) A similar tale to Lester’s forthcoming book.
Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World by Trevor Paglen. (2009) All the places Dick Cheney knows about!
How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein. (2008) Why Oklahoma has that panhandle and West Virginia those two odd bump-outs.
Mercator: the Man Who Mapped the Planet by Nicholas Crane. (2003) Mercator’s 16th century theory of “projection” is still used today by NASA!

Now the bad news: you know all those recent reports about how texting while driving causes more accidents? Well, I don’t text, but we did just buy a portable GPS for the car. We call her Gertie and she loves showing me maps and routes on her little screen as I drive along. You might not want to drive too close when I’m mapping!

Friday, August 07, 2009

How About Time Travel?

The Time Traveler's Wife is an intriguing book that has recently been made into a movie. It looks like the film has done a beautiful job of capturing the book which may get you interested in reading more time travel themed novels. Linda Buckley-Archer, who has written an excellent time travel trilogy for teens about Gideon the Cutpurse and two 21st-century children lost in 1763, has an article in The Guardian recommending her favorites. Make sure to pick up the bookmark we created here at the Library with our favorite time travel books, you'll find hours of great reading!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Librarians Rule!

A short while ago, Denise tweeted ( about the short shrift given to librarians in Katherine Howe's new novel The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. I agreed. We in the book-ish profession often have lots to protest about our stereotyped (scowling, sshhh-ing) portrayal in print and the media. Interestingly, the next two books I read both had library-related comments which I loved:
In the charming new British mystery, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, featuring an 11-year old amateur sleuth investigating a murder on her family's estate, our heroine Flavia de Luce bicycles to her village library to do some detective work and finds it closed. She muses: "As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. No...eight days a week." Thumbs-up Flavia!!

My next book was the LeCarre-ish spy novel The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. The CIA protagonist, Milo Weaver, tries to keep his wife, a librarian, from finding out too much about his "Company" work. His boss counsels him, "Librarians," Grainger sniffed... "You should have listened to me. There are absolutely no odds in marrying smart women." This one made me chuckle!

I'm Just Wild About Harry

You have read the books, seen the movies, and soon you can enter the world of Harry Potter at the Boston Museum of Science. Harry Potter; the Exhibition will run at the museum from October 25, 2009 through February 21, 2010. You can see "more than 200 authentic costumes and props from the Harry Potter films, all displayed in settings inspired by the film sets. View iconic items such as Harry's original wand and eyeglasses, the Marauder's Map, and even pull your own Mandrake". Remember, the Library does have a pass to the Boston Museum of Science but it does not cover special exhibits.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Join us for a Wild & Furry Bug Adventure!

The library will be hosting a Children's Summer Reading Program Wrap-Up Party on Friday, August 7th from 10:30 to 12 on the front lawn of the library. All readers enrolled in the summer program are welcome. Children's entertainer Leslie Smith will delight us with a Wild & Furry Bug Adventure, which will include puppets, stories and songs. After the show refreshments and dessert will be available.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Creature Feature

Seth Grahame-Smith didn't realize what he was starting with his unexpected hit Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In the forthcoming year expect to see several more books which mix monsters and classics. The Immortal Jane Austen has Jane joining the vampire resistance to fight the invading French. In Jane Bites Back we discover Jane Austen is in fact a 200 year old vampire. Mr. Darcy, Vampire proposes that Darcy, and his family are all vampires. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters ignores vampires in favor of giant lobsters and two-headed sea serpents.

What next, will the Mummy attack Wuthering Heights?