Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker was challenged for violence, sexual content, racism, and offensive language.

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was banned by a California School district because it "criminalized the forestry industry".

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.

In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak was challenged for nudity and offensive language. Some Librarians were rumored to have drawn diapers over the little boy's nakedness!

Monday, September 28, 2009

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
America: The Book by Jon Stewart was challenged because the nine Supreme Court Justices heads were superimposed on naked bodies.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
Go Ask Alice was challenged for profanity, drug use, and sexual situations

Saturday, September 26, 2009

We Are Fearless Readers

This week the Dover Public Librarians are celebrating Banned Books Week. Celebrate with us by reading one of these banned or challenged books.The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney was challenged for sexual content and challenge to authority.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hemingway and Hand Grenades

I don't have much of an excuse to pass on this fascinating tidbit about Papa other than we have many books by and about Ernest Hemingway. Did you know during WWII, Hemingway used to take a small boat off of Cuba and lie in wait for Nazi subs with a machine gun and hand grenades? It does seem in character for the man. Just a few weeks ago I was thinking that I hadn't read much Hemingway, but I think I will have to remedy that with a biography and some of his novels. Which book should I should start with? What do you think is Hemingway at his best?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Reality" Reading

Amongst my "jack-of-all-trades" duties in the library lies some interesting work at circulation as well as collection development, technical services and cataloging. This week I happened upon a way to track the circulation statistics over a period of time for certain collections. Since tweets and blogs are often about hot new fiction and everyone's "faves", I want to pass on to you what new nonfiction had everyone beating a path for this year in the library. From last December through last week, Outliers: the story of success went out 26 times. Doing the math, 40 weeks with a 3-week loan period means an item could at the least been taken out 13 times. We happen to have two copies of this title, so 26 makes sense. Now look at what else has been nearly as popular over the past 10 months (and some of these actually arrived less than 10 months ago):
Dewey: a small town library cat who touched the world, circulated 25 times;
We went to war: New Hampshire remembers, 20;
Wicked intentions: the Sheila LaBarre murders, 18;
Animal, vegetable, miracle: a year of food life, 16;
Apartment Therapy presents real homes, real people, 16;
Wesley the owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl, 16;
Why we suck: a feel good guide to staying fat, loud, and lazy, 16;
Act like a lady, think like a man: what men really think, 15;
Buying a piece of Paris: A memoir, 15;
Do cats hear with their feet? where cats come from, 15;
The forever war, 15;
If not now when?: duty and sacrifice in America's time of need, 15;
Thin is the new happy, 15;
The Yankee years, 15.
So if you're up for a little more reality in your reading, you may want to jump on the bandwagon and check out the popular nonfiction!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Lovely Quote About Libraries

I am reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, which I highly recommend. I haven't come across such a spunky and intelligent heroine since Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, and 11 year-old Flavia is quite funny to top it off. Anyway, I loved this quote from Flavia, which was a lovely antidote to current day news stories of libraries losing hours and being shut down en masse.

"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."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blog Tours and Twitter Campaigns

Did you know there are blog tours and twitter campaigns? At the risk of sounding naive, I didn't. For those of you who are naive, like myself, the book publishing world is making use of blogs and Twitter as a way to expand on the traditional book tour. Apparently Philippa Gregory and her publisher made use of Twitter for her latest book, The White Queen. "A worldwide online marketing program included a Twitter campaign leading up to the August 18 pub date, which was tweeted in the voice of the main character, Elizabeth Woodville." I wonder what Elizabeth Woodville, Queen consort to Edward IV from 1464 to 1483, would think about tweeting? Kristin Cashore, popular teen author, recently started a blog tour to promote her upcoming release Fire. She will make the rounds of popular reading/book blogs as a guest blogger. Here is her schedule if you are interested. As Bob Dylan says "the times they are a-changin".

Friday, September 18, 2009

Boy, were we wrong about...

When the expert astronomers decided that Pluto was not a planet, most of our collection on Space became erroneous and out of date. These books have been weeded and new books, with updated, correct (for now anyway) information have been added to the Children’s Room collection for interested readers and those doing research for school reports. Check out some of these new &/or updated books:

11 Planets: a new view of the Solar System
by David Aguilar
The New Solar System; dwarf planets by Robin Birch
The planets by Gail Gibbons (3rd edition)
Pluto: from Planet to Dwarf by Elaine Landau
Our Solar System by Seymour Simon (updated edition)

One new book, Boy, Were We Wrong about the Solar System! by Kathleen Kudlinski (who also wrote Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs! ) got me thinking about all the things we once accepted as fact because of "experts" and wondering what other facts that we now accept as being true will be proven "wrong" in the future. It's always funny when "experts" get it wrong. Here are some famous quotes that, I bet, they would like to take back:

"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty - a fad." — The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903

"There will never be a bigger plane built."— A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that held ten people

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."--by Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."--by Ken Olson of Digital Equipment Corp in 1977

And so, as Kathleen Kudlinski writes at the end of her book, "What will we learn? It will probably surprise us. Perhaps you will be one of the scientists--or one of the astronauts--who makes us say, "Boy, were we wrong about..."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Agatha Christie Quiz

How well do you know the mysteries of Agatha Christie? The Guardian has a fun little quiz to help you find out. Looks like I need to do some studying...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where is Miss Manners When You Need Her?

It’s been an ill-mannered week. Yesterday, a visitor from British Columbia, whom I was trying to help, called me “a fraud” because the library didn’t have the original manuscript sources to back up some facts she disputed in several printed genealogies she’d found in some of our Historical Room books. This was on top of the news of Kanye’s rude interruption at the VMAs, Serena’s invective-filled rant at the U.S. Open, and Congressman Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst during President Obama’s health care address. I think we can all use a little bibliotherapy about respect, civility and public discourse. I politely, civilly, and courteously offer these books for your reading pleasure:

The Art of Being Kind by Stefan Einhorn
Civility: Manners, Morals and the Etiquette of Democracy by Stephen L. Carter
The Civility Solution by P.M. Forni
A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen
Do One Nice Thing by Debbie Tenzer
Make Peace with Anyone by David J. Lieberman
On Kindness by Adam Phillips
The Power of Nice by Linda Kaplan Thaler
Respect: an exploration by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
Say Please, Say Thank You: the Respect We Owe One Another by Don McCullough
Work Hard, Be Nice by Jay Mathews

Please have a nice day and thank you for reading!

Yes More Vampires!

The CW television network recently premiered The Vampire Diaries, yet another TV series to be created from a teen book series (the other that immediately comes to mind is Gossip Girls). So if you still have a thirst for more vampire novels check out The Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith.

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle
The Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall

Is it possible to write a blog post about vampires without a cheesy pun? Unlikely.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reading Highs and Lows

I thought I had lined up four great reads, newly published books I'd been awaiting eagerly. Never has a quartet of (unrelated) books surprised me so much in one month's time! I loved, loved, LOVED two of them and hated, hated, HATED the other two. Normally, my reading is on a much more even keel...I enjoy most things I pick out, but easily move on to start the next book without too much emotional attachment or detachment to the one just concluded. But, my reading highs and lows during September have had me riding a literary roller coaster. In order of appearance, here's my steep ups and downs:

The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I'd looked forward to delving into this so-called "Harry Potter in the Real World" novel where students attend Brakebills, an upstate NY college for magicians. I trudged through the book, thinking that at some point, I'd begin to see a transformation of the whiney, self-involved, unhappy characters and their wizardry. It never got better and I was extremely disappointed with this overly-long tale of dysfunctional relationships and misery that could have been written by the love child of Bret Easton Ellis and Robert Heinlein.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo. Truly one of the best books of the year and absolutely engaging from page one. A poignant, extremely funny, touching, sad yet ultimately uplifting story of a family and the three marriages that affect Jack Griffin's life: his parents', his own, and his daughter's upcoming nuptials on Cape Cod. A joy to read; you won't be able to put it down!

Jericho's Fall by Stephen L. Carter. Although I'd enjoyed Carter's previous novels, Emperor of Ocean Park and New England White, immensely, his attempt to write a spy thriller falls very short. Although the cover says "the best spy novel in 20 years", don't believe it. The action all takes place on a mountaintop in Colorado where the former head of the CIA is dying of cancer and has a secret to protect. By the end, you won't care about the secret or the characters. For top-notch spies, read Daniel Silva !

South of Broad by Pat Conroy. What can I add about Conroy that hasn't been said already? It's time to celebrate his first novel in 14 years and it's grand and compelling! Set in Charleston, it follows the lives of several friends, from different sides of the tracks, from their senior year in 1969 through the '90s. (One odd question: why did he name two of the characters Niles and Fraser?) The intertwined plots are artfully mixed with Conroy's beautiful descriptions and obvious love of South Carolina's Low Country. His characters' emotional traumas run the gamut and sometimes strain the imagination, but this is true storytelling in plush and elegant prose. I absolutely loved it!

So, for me, 2 thumbs way up and 2 thumbs way down! Anyone want to agree or disagree?

The Bigger the Better?

I came across an interesting blog post recently, well I thought it was interesting anyway. The author, Roger Sutton editor of The Horn Book, was comparing the average number of pages in YA books over the past thirty years, and the size of the books have more than doubled in that time period. Wow! I knew YA books were getting bigger, but I didn't realize the extent.

Average number of pages in books for teens reviewed in:
1979: 151
1989: 157
1999: 233
2009: 337

Mr. Sutton made interesting points about the popularity of fantasy--which tends to produce very large books--think Harry Potter. There were also some interesting reader comments, by names I recognized such as Kristin Cashore and Beth Kephart (popular YA authors). Kristin (I feel I can call her that seeing as we read the same blog, and I loved her book Graceling) commented that word count would be more accurate because publishers have been more creative with font, etc. perferring to have a lengthy book. "For what it's worth, the Graceling published by Harcourt Children's Books in the USA/Canada is 471 pages long. The Graceling published by Gollancz in the UK/Australia/NZ (for the adult market) is 340 pages long. Same word count. Big page number difference!" Why would the US/Canadian publisher want the book to be so much longer? Interesting.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Second Childhood

As a librarian with a young child I am very invested in making sure that my child develops a love of reading. These days I spend more time picking out his books than my own, and he is very disappointed if he looks in my book bag when I get home and doesn't find anything for him. Evening story time sessions are like my own second childhood, because I get to read silly stories complete with voices and hand gestures. I do not come close to equaling our lovely children's room staff that do professional story times, but luckily my son doesn't seem to care. I was pleased to see two new books come into the library that are aimed at helping parents know what to read to their children, when and how to do it most effectively.

What to Read When: the books and stories to read with your child--and all the best times to read them by Pam Ally

The Book Whisperer: awakening the inner reader in every child by Donalyn Miller

Happy reading!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Enjoy the Season

For many the fall season (yes I know it is not officially here) is just a grim reminder of what season comes after that--I, however, love the fall. Hate me if you will, but I love the crisp air, the crunching of leaves under foot, and the smell in the air. It is also a great time to get outside--the humidity is gone and the flying insects are more tolerable. Just in time we have 2 great new books on exploring New England:

Give it a try you just might like it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free Entertainment--You Can't Beat That

Fall is in the air (sorry), school is back in session (sorry again), and the DPL is back with our Saturday Matinee movie series, and the Friends of the Library are back with their monthly lecture series.

The first movie will be this Saturday, Sept. 12th at 2:00pm in the lecture hall. Due to our licensing agreements we cannot advertise the title or studio of the movie, but we can describe the movie: A taxi driver (played by The Rock) gets more than he bargained for when he picks up two teen runaways. Not only does the pair possess supernatural powers, but they're also trying desperately to escape people who have made them their targets. This is a remake of a 1975 movies. Rated PG. Please call 516-6050 for actual titles.

The first Friends lecture will be held on Tues, Sept. 15th at 7:00pm, and will feature Stephanie Curcio on the Harp. Stephanie Curcio will present a brief history of the harp from ancient times to the present. She will demonstrate and perform on both lever and pedal harps, explaining the differences and using a wide variety of musical styles. She welcomes questions and discussion from the audience.

Free entertainment--you can't beat that!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Snagged a book from the staff room the other day. The title which caught my eye was "Shelf Discovery: the Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, A Reading Memoir" by Lizzie Skurnick. I was game for a walk down memory lane. What did Lizzie consider teen classics and how old was this Lizzie and did this effect her choices? If I recall, the library I grew up with had a miniscule young adult section of two bookcases. It wasn't a big market in the late 70's and 80's and consisted of a lot of titles like "Nurse Nancy Meets Doctor Dan" which were from the 50's and the 60's. After that, you were either so depressed that you returned to the delights of the children's section or jumped off the deep end into the doom and gloom of the adult world. Lizzie's choices are a mixed bag and I wouldn't consider them all classics. I remember reading Judy Blume's , "Are You There God , It's Me Margaret?", the Madelaine L'Engle books, "Summer of My German Soldier" etc. But then she segues into a lot of books by Lois Duncan, which I don't remember seeing back then (or maybe I was too chicken to read) and a lot authors I don't recall. The funniest chapter is called "Panty Lines: I Can't Believe They Let us Read This" which she quotes the "good parts" of Auel's, "The Clan of the Cave Bear", and V.C.Andrews, "Flowers in the Attic". No need to rush to the shelves and relive it-it's all right there. Ahhh.. memories.
--by Miss Anne

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fall Story Hour Registration

Registration for our 6 pre-school story times begins on Monday, September 14. Story Times begin the week of September 21 and continue for 5 weeks.
Registration will be divided into two parts for each session:

*Sign-up begins at 9:00a.m. (in person) for the Monday l:30p.m., Monday Bedtime (7:00p.m.) and Tuesday 9:30a.m. groups (3-6 year-olds). Phone call registration begins at 9:15 a.m.

*Sign-up begins at 6:00p.m. (in person) for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (9:30 a.m.) toddler groups (2 year-olds). Phone call registration begins at 6:15 p.m.

For more information pick up one of our 2009-2010 Story Time brochures, visit our website @, or call the Children's Room (516-6052).

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Are You Prepared?

The Center for Disease Control has put released some helpful information on what to do if there is indeed a flu pandemic. What I particularly liked is the checklist of items that you should already have on hand. They suggest you have two weeks worth of food supplies that would store well such as peanut butter, granola, crackers; and don't forget food for your pets. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make all these preparations as they would come in handy for blizzards also.

It is also a very good idea to have lots of library books around to read in case you are stuck at home for a week. Just a thought....

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Must See Textile Exhibit at the Library

We have a brand new art exhibit, and it consists of gorgeous tribal textiles, collected by David Kenny, from Guizhou Province, China. I have posted some examples of the textiles, but the photos do not do the originals justice--you need to come in and see for yourself! The exhibit will be up for the month of September.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Labor of Love

I watched Willard Scott announce his birthday congratulations to centenarians around the country this morning on The Today Show. One lady named Edna was a 110 year old retired librarian who, according to Willard, still loves to regale folks with her library memories. Good for her! Long(er) life, good health and all that!

But then Willard, trying I’m sure to be kind to the elderly, said that librarians were such good people because we did such “laborious” work. Huh? I’ve heard our profession called many things, but never laborious. Sounds like he thinks that we’re 9th century monks transcribing The Book of Kells or something!

Definitions of the word laborious mention: “arduous, backbreaking, grueling, requiring sacrifice, toilsome and tiresome.” Sounds like we’re working on a chain gang, doesn’t it? I will confess there are some days that have some elements of laboriousness, but overall, being a librarian is joyous, interesting, varied, and intellectually invigorating.

When you come right down to it, our job is to connect the customer with the information or materials they need, whether for education, self-empowerment or entertainment. When a user finds what they want, they’re happy and we’re happier. We learn something new every day. We never know what questions we’ll get asked and we enjoy that challenge. We’re surrounded, for the most part, by patrons who want to visit our facility and who find (here’s our motto…) “Solutions and Delight.” If I ever categorize my job as “laborious” that is the day I will retire!

Library Receives Moose Plate Grant

The Dover Public Library has been awarded a $5,189 FY2010 Conservation License Plate grant by the New Hampshire State Library for its project to microfilm, and thus preserve, historic New Hampshire newspapers. These original bound volumes, all published in Dover, include The Morning Star from 1826—1833, The Dover Daily Republican from 1880—1891, and The State Press/The Press from 1876—1880. In their current state, the newspapers are virtually unusable due to their fragile and brittle condition. These are the only copies that exist in the state and these early newspapers can be indispensable resources for researchers and genealogists. The library is pleased that their unique content and historical significance will be preserved on microfilm for use of future generations.

The Historical and Genealogical Collection at the Dover Public Library, begun in 1900 by a local genealogical society, includes over 6,000 items of local history and welcomes researchers from all over the country. The addition of these Dover newspapers in microfilm format will further enhance the collection and add significantly to the body of historic newspapers on microfilm which the library has currently.

The New Hampshire State Library has awarded a total of $46,325 in Moose Plate Conservation grants this year to ten NH libraries and archives. For more information about this microfilming project, please call the Dover Public Library’s Reference Desk at 516-6082.