Friday, May 28, 2010

Haunted Woods

I have had two residents of Dover come in recently, and ask about the empty house that is at the intersection of route 108 (Durham Rd.), and Back River Road. They had been looking at it for years and just wondering what the story of the house is. The house, which is known as Dunn's Tavern, was included in the The Dover Heritage Walking Tours in the years 1988 and 1995. There is also some interesting information from Mary P. Thompson's book "Landmarks in Ancient Dover." Here are some of the highlights:

"This colonial house is well over 200 years old. In 1780 it was operated as a tavern by Col. Benjamin Titcomb (1743-1799), a Revolutionary War veteran wounded in 3 battles. In 1820, Captain Samuel Dunn (1766 - 1850) bought the tavern. In 1825, Dover dignitaries gathered here to pay tribute to General Lafayette, who was touring New Hampshire. As the general entered from Durham, a thirteen gun salute was fired from atop Pine Hill to the assembly at the tavern."

"The tavern continued operations through the 1840s and the home remained in the Dunn family until Miss Eliza Dunn's death at the age of 80 in 1898. By 1899 the house had been converted to tenement housing for the workers at Sawyer Mills. The house is presently unoccupied due to pending litigation concerning its ownership (remember that was written in 1988)."

"Adjacent to Dunn's Tavern was a reputedly haunted area known as Dunn's Woods. These dark, damp, lonely woods were enclosed by hills and were remote from any dwelling. It was said to be the scene of many a robbery by day and supernatural occurance by night. The ghost stories originated from the phosphorescent lights which on dark nights were often seen to gleam among the bogs and decayed wood, startling the belated and weary traveler."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What was that book called?

I am excited to read Aimee Bender's new book The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which is due out on June 1. I read Ms. Bender's first book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, because I was enamored with the title, and I must say the title of her new book appeals to me. A colleague of mine mentioned yesterday that she wanted to read Going Bovine by Libba Bray because of the intriguing qualities of the title and cover. When I invest my time in reading a book I want the title to matter. I recently finished a book, a book I really enjoyed, and every time I tried to tell someone about it I couldn't remember the title (and this is not just because of my flightiness or forgetfulness). Even after reading the book I couldn't figure out the significance of the title, and so it made it highly forgettable, and I have to say that really annoys me. It seems to me to be counterproductive to have an esoteric or just plain silly book title--don't you want the title to be on the tip of everyone's tongue? OK that is my rant for the day, and I still can't remember the name of that book that I really enjoyed.

FYI: Great review of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake on the NPR web site.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More Tattoos

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, there has been a lot of anticipation of Stieg Larsson's third book in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, featuring the antiheroine, Lisbeth Salander. I have not read any of Mr. Larsson's books (I don't read a lot of crime thrillers.), and really haven't wanted to until I read Pat Ryan's article in the New York Times Book Review titled Pippi Longstocking with Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth Salander is being compared to a grown up Pippi Longstocking--I really, really loved Pippi as a young girl, so much so that I dressed up as her for Halloween one year. A colleague of Mr. Larsson's had a conversation with him, obviously prior to his death, about children's book characters and what they would be like as adults. He apparently liked the idea of a grown up Pippi. So the Millennium trilogy will get added to my long list of books to read. FYI--the New York Times Magazine also had an article about Mr. Larsson titled "The Afterlife of Stieg Larsson" which was quite interesting. Long live Pippi!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Two recent conversations that I have had with library users made me smile, because I realized there are people out there still as excited about the release date of a book, and not just the date of the final episode of Lost. (Am I the only one that is really sick of hearing about that?) The first conversation was about the release date of Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This woman came in to put a hold on the book, it is not being released until August 24, and I told her that we couldn't order forthcoming books prior to 17 weeks before their release date. Her response "I know and that is today!" She is really keeping us on our toes. The second incident happened first thing this morning when a patron came in looking for our "fast-read" copy of the The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, because she knew it was being released today. Excitement about books is alive and well at the Dover Public Library!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Great Reads for the Summer

The new Isinglass & Flume Award nominee lists for 2010-2011 have been announced, and they make for great summer reading for teens. The Isinglass list is for 7th & 8th graders, while the Flume list is for 9th - 12th graders. Follow the links above to see the full list, or visit the Teen Loft in the library, and you will find them on display.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bethumped by Words

I was listening to one of Kerry Greenwood's fabulous Phryne Fisher audiobooks, Death at Victoria Dock,when two things caught my attention. She started the chapter off with a quote from Shakespeare, "Zounds, I was never so bethumpt with words, Since I first called my brother's father Dad". 

First was the narrators pronunciation of zounds. I always assumed it rhymed with mounds, but the the narrator pronounced it to sound like zoonds. Well, I thought, that can't be right. I had a dim memory of an old movie, perhaps starring Errol Flynn, in which the actor clearly pronounced it rhyming with mounds. The movies can't be wrong, can they? I took a look in the dictionary and low and behold, the narrator was correct. Zounds is a euphemism for a 15th century exclamation, "God's Wounds". I shall endeavor to pronounce zounds to rhyme with wounds from now on. 

The second thing that I noticed was the use of the word "Dad" in a Shakespeare quote. No way could "Dad" have been around that long! I thought it came into use in the 1950's. Surely Father and Papa were in use before then. Wrong again. The dictionary said Dad has been in use since at least 1592. 
I must have been thinking of "daddy-o", which did indeed come into use in the mid 1950s. You learn something new every day.

Later, Daddy-o.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cochecho Readers' Award Winner

The Cochecho Readers' Award is sponsored by the children's librarians of Dover, New Hampshire. This award, named after the Cochecho River which runs through the heart of Dover, is given each year to an author whose book receives the most votes from a list of nominees. Dover children in the third & fourth grades vote for their favorite every Spring.

And the winner for 2009-10 is...Medusa Jones by Ross Collins.

(One dad had told me that he enjoyed reading this book with his children and that it had awakened a real interest in Mythology for all of them!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not in My Books, yahoo!

Playing on the NIMBY acronym, I want to advise all Dover Public Library patrons that our library has recently been innundated with over 3000 surreptitiously placed bookmarks in our stacks. Please be aware that blue bookmarks from "Freedomainradio" and the "Schoolsucksproject" that you may find in our books have no connection to the library and are not endorsed by the library. In fact, this distribution violates library rules which cover where and how and what literature may be displayed in the library by outside organizations.

I want to thank the many volunteers and Friends of the Library who've answered the call to help us remove these bookmarks from all the books affected. This is a time-consuming and laborious process and we appreciate their efforts.

I also want to spread the word about this "bookmark project" to other libraries in NH who may be targeted as well. According to my research, there is an organized plan to place such literature inside library books. Needless to say, this is not an indictment of their cause; we would remove bookmarks placed by any organization without our express permission. However, we find it a bit ironic that anti-government literature has been used inside a government-funded institution! Although troublesome to deal with, it does warm our heart just a bit to think that these groups feel there is such power on the shelves of a public library!

Hunger Games Takes the Prize

The Isinglass Award winner for 2009-2010 is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! The Isinglass Award is a list of 20 books, nominated by kids, and voted on by 7th and 8th graders. I love their choice for this year because I have been enjoying the Hunger Games trilogy. The first book in the series is Hunger Games, the second Catching Fire, and the third, Mockingjay, is being published on August 24th (we have it on order already so place your holds now)! The Hunger Games is also being made into a movie, and fans are all abuzz about who the cast will be. I would highly recommend Hunger Games--it is not just for kids.

Stephenie Meyer has a gift for you

Stephenie Meyer has written a 200 page novella about a newborn vampire she introduced in Eclipse, Bree Tanner. It"tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion". For more background on the story, read Stephenie Meyer's March 30th blog posting. The book is going to be available on the web FREE starting at noon on June 7th until July 5th at Of course, if you would prefer to read an actual book, you can reserve the Library's copy of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Free Library Concert Tuesday May 18

Come and hear (and sing along with) Mac McHale and Emery Hutchins "Two Old Friends" who will perform at the Library on Tuesday evening May 18 at 7pm. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, this duo will delight with a combination of Irish and Appalachian country music, all performed on banjo, guitar, mandolin, concertina, and bodhran, telling the immigrant experience through song and musical story. Please join us for a rousing good time! FREE!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Award Winner Announced

The Great Stone Face Book Award is sponsored by the Children's Librarians of New Hampshire and is given each year to an author whose book receives the most votes from fourth through sixth graders throughout the state. Each year a committee chooses 25 recently published titles, which children then use as a guide for voting. The vote takes place every April during National Library Week, and the winner is announced in May. The purpose of the award is to promote reading enjoyment, to increase awareness of contemporary writing, and to allow children to honor their favorite author.

And the winner for 2009-10 is...

Swindle by Gordon Korman

The new Great Stone Face nominees list for 2010-11 is now available in the Children's Room and on our website (click here to view).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010 Evening of Poetry

This past Tuesday the library celebrated the end of the 8th Annual Poetry Contest, with an Evening of Poetry. It was a lovely evening where those in attendance were treated to readings by kids in kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade! We have more photos from the event posted on our web site.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Fowl Hobby

I was watching NECN's Secret Life of Animals Sunday when they were talking about how popular raising chickens in one's backyard has become. This caught my attention because two of my neighbors began raising chickens this year, a co-worker is currently raising chickens, and another one wants to. Stories are popping up everywhere about"urban farms". If you would like to start your own chicken flock in your backyard be sure to check some of our books on the topic.

Backyard Poultry raising by John F. Adams
Joy of Keeping Chickens by Jennifer Megyesi
Homemade Living keeping chickens with Ashley English : all you need to know to care for a happy, healthy flock by Ashley English

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Children's Room Staff Gets Some Respect

I was reading a book to my son last night that had a librarian in it. I asked him "who do you know that is a librarian?", his first response was Miss Karin (FYI this is not my name, or any kind of a nickname). I asked "who else?" his response was Miss Sarah (again not my name). When my husband piped in with "how about Mama?" my son gave him a perplexed look and said--why? For those of you who are not familiar with Miss Karin or Miss Sarah they are part of the children's room staff. I think the moral of this story is that children's librarians are the only ones that count to little kids. Ahhhhhh.

My apologies to the rest of the children's room staff, apparently you have to work the Monday night shift to count.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Library Budget Presentation Notes

Notes from the Library Director’s FY11 Budget Presentation to the Dover City Council May 5, 2010

Ø The Library is busiest it’s ever been: set records in circulation, program attendance, public Internet hours, holds filled, and website use.
Ø 76% of Dover resident visited the library in the past year, higher than national benchmark.
Ø 86% of visitors surveyed rated us “Excellent” or ‘Good”.
Ø Library’s FY’11 book budget is proposed to increase by $2,792, 1st increase in 7 years!
Ø $12,500 has been allotted for badly needed interior woodwork and ceiling repairs.
Ø Library is just 1.2% of General Fund budget ($70.55 in taxes per avg household) yet we have over 27,000 cardholders and an average of 627 customers per day. A great bang for the buck!

Ø Library’s proposed FY’11 budget is only $4,600 higher than it was in FY’05.
Ø Staffing has decreased by 146.5 hours weekly since FY’07.
Ø Reduced staffing = loss of 3.66 people over 4 years (-22%)
Ø Saturday hours now reduced from 9-5 to 9-1.
Ø Already lost Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon hours in the current FY’10 budget.
Ø Library previously open 63.5 hrs/wk; FY’11 proposal is 52.5 hrs/wk.
Ø 17% reduction in hours over past two years.
Ø Library budget decreased by $110,000 since FY’07
Ø With 13FTEs, we are, by far, the least-staffed library among NH cities our size.

The gist of our plea to the Dover City Council on May 5 was to restore $30,000 to the library’s FY’11 operating budget. This would allow us to maintain full-day Saturdays and restore 32 hours of part-time staffing weekly.

Members of the City Council would appreciate hearing from any and all Dover citizens about the FY’11 proposed municipal budget. All City Departmental budget presentations are currently running on Channel 22 for further information.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Don't Miss this DVD

I took home the library's DVD The Young Victoria this week. I was not excited about it due to Queen Victoria's usual depiction as a stuffy, pompous, grumpy old lady. I found myself swept away by the portrayal of the young Victoria as passionate, fun loving, yet determined to rule in her own right despite numerous people trying their best to manipulate and control her. It is a true feast for the eyes, and a must for anyone interested in English history. Don't let your perception of Queen Victoria dissuade you, as I almost did.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

An Evening of Poetry

The Dover Public Library's Evening of Poetry will be held on Tuesday, May 11th @ 6:30pm in the Library Lecture Hall. We invite all students that participated in our 8th Annual Poetry Contest to come and share their poetry, and we encourage the general public to come and enjoy the readings. This is a really wonderful community event, and it is a pleasure to hear kids of all ages reciting their poems. Please join us in encouraging and supporting these young poets!

Monday, May 03, 2010

If You Like Alice Hoffman

If you enjoy the magical realism of Alice Hoffman, you may want to pick up the latest bookmark we have created for DPL readers called "If You like Alice Hoffman, Try".

A few of the titles we recommend are:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb