Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gundalows in Dover

Have you visited the Captain Edward H. Adams gundalow docked in Henry Law Park? Gundalows have a long history in Dover.

During the 18th century, gundalows carried raw materials and finished goods back and forth to Portsmouth and the population of the “Village of Cochecho” gradually grew to the same size of that at Dover Point. Dover boatyards built small schooners and enterprising men like Michael Reade made fortunes in the lumber business. By the end of the 18th century, Dover Landing had a bakery, a tavern, retail stores, a clock maker, a newspaper (The Sun), a distillery, a tannery, a hardware store, and a dram shop.

By 1810, ten gundalows were in constant use on the river. Each could carry over 30 tons of cargo and could come up to the landing at half-tide. Over a dozen brickyards were prospering, using the good clay from the riverbanks here and firing their kilns with the 30,000 tons of cordwood that were delivered annually. Small packets also regularly sailed to Portsmouth, Portland, and Boston, although they could only reach Dover Landing at high tide.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Cochecho Reader Nominees Announced

The new list of nominees for the Cochecho Readers' Award is ready-- just in time for summer reading!

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 third and fourth graders in Dover. The criteria for selection are quality of writing and child appeal. Children are required to read or listen to at least three of the titles on the list in order to vote for their favorite in the Spring.
Click here for the new 2010-11 nominees list and start reading!

Go Local--Read Local

I was suprised to learn recently that the author from one of my favorite books from this year's Isinglass list (recommended books for 7th and 8th graders) is a local gal--yeah! Megan Frazer, author of The Secrets of Truth and Beauty, is from Madbury. So support the "Go Local" movement and check out this book. Here is the description:

When Dara Cohen was little, she was a bright, shiny star. She was the cutest seven-year-old who ever sang Ella Fitzgerald, and it was no wonder she was crowned Little Miss Maine.That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. So not little, that when her classmates find out about her illustrious resume, their jaws drop. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won’t get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives. When a disastrously misinterpreted English project lands her in the counselor’s office--and her parents pull her out of school to save face--Dara realizes she has a decision to make. She can keep following the rules and being misunderstood, or she can finally reach out to the sister she’s never met--a sister who lives on a collective goat farm in Massachusetts. Dara chooses B. What follows is a summer of revelations, some heartbreaking, some joyous; of friendship, romance, a local beauty pageant; and choices. And as autumn approaches, Dara finds she may have to let go of everything she's taken for granted in order to figure out who she really is, and what family really means.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Choosing a Book for Its Cover

We have often commented here on the importance of book covers. Right or wrong, it is frequently what leads us to pick up a book and consider reading it. The AIGA Nation Design Center has just released its choices for the best book covers of 2009, selected from over 800 entries. It is an interesting collection of books jackets. I would be curious to see which book jackets readers would have selected from the 800 entries. Many of the 50 winners would not inspire me to pick up a book. Yes, they are visually striking but as a reader only a few pique my interest. Frankenstein, Spent, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, Healing of America, The Craftsman, and Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life, are the only ones that I would investigate further.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite cover amongst the winners?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gone With The Wind


Dover was hit with another severe storm last night and once again the winds toppled trees around the Library. There was no damage to the building, thank goodness.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Slow Down

First there was the Slow Food Movement and now could there be a Slow Reading Movement? UNH Professor Thomas Newkirk hopes so. In a recent article in the Foster's Daily Democrat Prof. Newkirk makes a case for slowing down and reading a book thoughtfully. He mentions how accelerated reading goes along with current lifestyles of instant messaging, text messaging, and tweeting where everything happens quickly. This has really made me think about my own reading habits--I do sometimes race through a book because it is sooo good, and I need to know what happens. Is that bad? I have been known to skim a book when it becomes a bit repetitive. Is that bad? Unfair to the author who may have anguished over each sentence? I completely understand where Prof. Newkirk is coming from, but there are some books that I just cannot read slow--sorry.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Mystery of the Maimed Audiobook

Most of our  patrons are responsible and gentle with the Library's audiobooks. There are the occasional scratches that you just have to expect with heavy use. Then there are the CDs that come back to us gouged, cracked, spotted, even melted. I always wonder what people are doing with our audiobooks to damage them so severely. Sometimes we have a guessing game at the desk- used as a drinks coaster, used as a Frisbee, tap-danced on, used in a chemical experiment, microwaved, are some of the suggestions. One patron said while he would never do this to a library audiobook, he occasionally will fling a CD into the back of his car when he is done with it.
I think the title of the latest victim of carelessness says it all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Too Late CT

It's too late CT--those publishers could not keep their "ink-stained fingers" away from Laura Ingalls Wilder!
Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Bell (for ages 12 & up) just arrived at DPL. The story is about Genevieve, a not too happy 13- year-old, who has to spend the entire summer with her family "living like 1890 pioneers" at a frontier camp.
Gen keeps her sanity by secretly text messaging friends (with a cell phone that she sneaked in) about her daily life on this "Little Hell on the Prairie". Her friends then use her messages to start a blog that attracts national attention.
Take heart CT, at least it wasn't about a Zombie!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Louisa May Alcott the Next Jane Austen?

Poor Jane Austen has been so parodied and borrowed from that we were able to create a whole bookmark of books inspired by her novels. That doesn't even include all the literary mash ups. Now it looks like it is Louisa May Alcott's turn. I noticed Oprah's summer reading list include a book called The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. Then when I passed through our office I saw a new book titled Little Women and Werewolves. Oh, please is nothing sacred? All I can say is publishers better keep their ink stained fingers off Laura Ingalls Wilder. I really don't want to see any books called Little Zombie on the Prairie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Surprising History of the Children's Museum Building

Did you know that the Children's Museum of New Hampshire building used to be an armory? Dover’s Armory was formally opened November 25, 1930. It was built in 1930 to house Battery B, 197th Regiment, Coast Artillery Anti Aircraft (AA) of the New Hampshire National Guard. The building was described as thoroughly modern with every up to date convenience. The building was constructed of brick with ornamental stonework. The central feature of the building was the drill shed, which had a floor space of 60 by 90 feet. The northeast corner of the building had a gun room for the anti-aircraft gun. “The floor is on a level with the main floor, but is of concrete, sunk to a depth halfway between that of the basement and the street floor, with wide doors through which the anti-aircraft gun mounted on its truck may be run in. And by a clever arrangement of doors opening out into the drill shed on the north end of the room, the muzzle of the gun may be pointed through the opening thus made and drill with the gun, sighting at a target hung on one of the steel girders in the drill shed”.

In 1962 the Dover Recreation Department acquired the armory and turned it into Butterfield Gym. In 2008, the renovated building was rented to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hell Has Frozen Over!

Neil Young is the latest celebrity to jump on the graphic novel band wagon. Greendale is a fictional town that he created on his 2003 album, and this is what the graphic novel, Neil Young's Greendale, is based on. The novel was written by Joshua Dysart and Mr. Young was bound and determined to get Cliff Chiang as the illustrator. Mr. Young was told that Mr. Chiang's schedule was booked for for quite awhile, but he sent him an email that said he would wait "until hell froze over." I guess you can say that kind of stuff when you are Neil Young, and people will listen. So as you can guess Cliff Chiang illustrated the novel--he spent almost 2 years on it. You can read a great article about it on the New York Times book section. I have ordered a copy for the library so be sure to look for it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Do You Do With a Garlic Scape?

Farmers' Markets are officially open! The Dover Market is now located in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot at the corner of Central Ave. & Sixth St. and will be open on Wednesdays from 2:15 to 6:00--be sure to visit them and support your local farmers. You can find a listing of who will be at the market on the Seacoast Growers Association web site. Of course now that you have access to beautiful, local produce how do you prepare it? Visit the library and check out one of our wonderful cookbooks that will inspire you to cook amazing, delicious, and healthy meals. Here are a few examples of what you will find:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Non-Resident Student Card Fee Being Reduced!

Dover is fortunate to have several excellent parochial and charter schools in our city, along with our five public schools. Many of the students at the private schools, however, are not residents of the city and thus do not qualify for a free library card. They must pay for what's called a Non-Resident Student Card.
But, we're happy to report that, as of July 1, 2010, the fee for a non-resident student attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover, St. Mary Academy, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, or the Cocheco Arts & Technology Academy will be lowered from $150 annually to $80, an almost 47% reduction in price. A half-year non-resident student card will be $50 (a 38% decrease). These students often use our library for research or as an afterschool hangout and we're pleased to be able to offer our services more affordably to these elementary and high school age patrons! For more information, call 516-6050.

Library Meeting Room Use is Free for Non-Profit Orgs!

With passage of the FY'11 municipal budget, the City Council also approved a new Fee Schedule for city departments. We're very happy to report that, at the recommendation of the Library Director, the fee for non-profit organizations to use the two meeting rooms (Trustees Room or Lecture Hall) at the Dover Public Library has been removed! As of July 1, 2010, we'd like to welcome back---for free!---all those local non-profit groups and organizations who could no afford to meet at the library when we started charging a fee.

There is still a per-use-fee for profit-making organizations ($30 for the Trustees Room; $60 for the Lecture Hall), but all non-profits, many struggling with fundraising to stay afloat, may book meeting rooms for free once again at the DPL!

How do you book a meeting room? Well, first a representative of the group must come in and fill out an Application, then it's first come, first serve for the rooms. If you can book way ahead, you'll probably get the day and time you wish. And as they say, certain other restrictions apply and we can fill you in on the rules! Call the Circulation Desk 516-6050 for more information on this service.

When Stephen King Talks, People Listen

I am so done with vampires. They are on TV, in half the books that come out, and the movies, enough already! So when I heard that the must read summer blockbuster book was The Passage by Justin Cronin, I decided to give it a miss. The story line describes a virus sweeping the world, almost destroying civilization by turning people into super human vampire-like beings called Virals. A six year old girl holds the key to defeating them. Then I saw the interview with the author on Good Morning America. Stephen King interrupted the interview by telephone. His voice came from above a very shocked Justin Cronin, like a god with post nasal drip,  praising the book, saying Cronin has put the scare back in vampires and he couldn't think of a better book to read in summer. Its worth watching the video just to see the stunned look on Cronin's face.

The Passage does have interesting post-apocalyptic elements I always love. The author is being compared to Michale Crichton, Robert McCammon, Cormac McCarthy, and of course, Stephen King. His writing is described as lyrical, enthralling, terrifying, entertaining, and deeply satisfying. I think I will have to give it a try.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Reading Programs Just Around the Corner

Summer Reading Programs for Children and Teens begin July 6 at the Dover Public Library

“Make a Splash…Read” is the theme for this year’s Children’s Summer Reading Program. This five-week reading adventure is for children ages 5-12 and will begin on Tuesday, July 6 and continue through Tuesday, August 10. The program is designed to encourage children to make reading an enjoyable part of their summer activities.

Sign-ups begin on Tuesday, July 6 and continue throughout the summer for Dover Public Library cardholders (including non-resident borrowers). Children must come to the library in person to register and to receive their personal booklet or reading log in which to record the books/minutes they read. All participants will also receive a book bag, a bookmark, and a voucher for a free ticket to a Portland Seadogs baseball game!

During the summer program, children are invited to make a new craft each week at our “Make-it, Take-it” Craft Table. The table will be available for creating projects all day, every day during the five weeks. Children will bring in their booklets or reading logs (after recording books/minutes read) to earn stickers and prizes.

The library’s Monday Matinees will feature free first-run movies in the Lecture Hall every Monday afternoon at 2pm beginning on July 12. Here is the line-up:
· The Lightning Thief, July 12, rated PG.
· Garfield’s Pet Force, July 19, not rated.
· Space Buddies, July 26, rated G.
· Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie, Aug. 2, rated PG.
· Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Aug. 9, rated PG.
Everyone is welcome! Feel free to bring your own refreshments!

Participants are also invited to sign up for a “Paws for Reading” session. Goldie, a Certified Therapy Dog, and her handler, Karen, will be in the Children’s Room on Saturday, July 10 from 10:30-11:30am, Tuesday, July 20 from 6:30-7:30pm, and Saturday, August 7 from 10:30-11:30am. Goldie loves a good story but needs someone to read it to her! If interested in helping Goldie and practicing reading aloud, sign up for a 15 minute reading session during one of these times (and don’t forget to cross off 15 minutes on your reading log or record the book you’ve read to Goldie in your reading folder!).

Also, all participants and their families are invited to “Make a Splash” at our final celebration. The Summer Readers’ Party will be held on the library lawn on Wednesday, August 11 at 10:30am. After refreshments, children's entertainer Tom Stankus (or T-Bone to his audiences) will have everyone clapping, dancing and singing to his music. “I love making people happy, especially children,” says T-Bone, “and it is particularly satisfying when my audiences feel that they are the most important part of the show--which they are.”

The Teen Summer Reading Program theme is “Make Waves at Your Library” and also runs from July 6 to August 10. For every two hours of reading completed, participants will be given a raffle ticket—and will get to choose which prize to put in for. Lots of great prizes will be offered throughout the five-week program—including gift certificates to local business, fun-pack gift bags, iTunes gift certificates, and much more.

You choose what to read—novels, magazines, graphic novels, comic books, nonfiction—whatever you might enjoy.

Middle school readers are eligible participate in both the Children’s Program and the Teen Program. Drop by the library’s reference desk to sign up for the “Make Waves” Teen Program, visit online at, or call 516-6082. Come in person to the Children’s Room to sign up for “Make a Splash…Read” or call 516-6052. Don’t miss all the fun! Plus, it’s a proven fact: kids who keep reading over the summer do better in school in the fall!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Twilight

The new Twilight novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is currently available for free online--here is what the official web site is saying: "Welcome to – the official site where you can read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner for FREE – a special gift from Stephenie Meyer to her fans." The free version is available through July 5th so you don't have much time. The library has ordered the book version, but it is not here yet and is sure to have a waiting list. Here is the description of the novella:
Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer 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.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Skip the Hummus

I read an article in Publishers Weekly magazine yesterday, titled "Into the Studio", about the process of recording an audio book. It was an interesting article, but I was particularly taken with the story of Kathy Lee Gifford's stomach. Apparently, the microphone in the studio is highly sensitive and can pick up "jaw clicks, breath, the rustle of paper, and pretty much everything that emanates the {the actors}" bodies." Too much information? Nah...they went on to tell the story of Kathy Lee Gifford and how she had eaten hummus before one of her recording sessions and her stomach was gurgling something fierce. They used a "trick of the trade" and put a pillow under her shirt to muffle the sound. It doesn't sound so glamorous anymore does it? I am going to be paying extra attention next time I listen to an audio book!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wild Visitors to the Library

Our Serviceberry Tree at the back of the Library has produced a bumper crop of berries. We noticed a lot of activity in the tree and found three bold Cedar Waxwings were busily harvesting the berries, ignoring the crowd of curious faces on the other side of the window. Make sure to take a look if you walk through the parking lot. They are very handsome birds.

We also had a not so handsome visitor the other day. Our custodian found a small brown bat had become trapped in the building. He was escorted outside.

You just never know who will visit the library next!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Women in their own Words

I took some books on vacation with me last week and found that two of them were memoirs of ordinary women. I don't read a great deal of non-fiction so I was surprised to realize the two memoirs were the best of all the books I brought with me. Meghan Daum wrote about her obsession with houses in Life Would be Perfect if I lived in That House. I love to watch HGTV shows on finding, selling, and redecorating houses so I could relate to her mania, especially when it was presented so amusingly. There was no humor in Saddled by Susan Richards but it was engrossing. Richards finds herself rescued from alcoholism and an abusive marriage by her love for a horse. Both of these books which were fascinating glimpses into the lives of ordinary women reminded by of another book I enjoyed this year, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen. When Rhoda's husband left her for another man and she was badly injured in a car crash she retreated to the safety of her parent's Mennonite home. This book is not so much about the Mennonites but rather what it is like to return home to pull your life together. It is salted with Mennonite trivia and a great deal of humor. I had a hard time putting it down, it read like a novel at times. 

Sometimes ordinary women have extraordinary stories.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Summer Monday Movie Matinees

We will be showing movies this summer during the 5 weeks of our summer reading programs. As always these movies are free and open to the public. Here is the line-up:

  • Lightning Thief--Monday, July 12 @ 2:00pm, rated PG.
  • Garfield's Pet Force--Monday, July 19 @ 2:00pm, not rated.
  • Space Buddies--Monday, July 26 @ 2:00pm, rated G.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: the Movie--Monday, August 2 @ 2:00pm, rated PG.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid--Monday, August 9 @ 2:00pm, rated PG.

For descriptions of the movies visit our web site.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Is This Book for Real?

Little Blog on the Prairie? I love book titles that make me laugh. This seems to be the book version of The Frontier House--remember that PBS series where families went back to living Old West style. Here is the description of the book:

Gen's family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen's mom signs them up for Camp Frontier—a vacation that promises the "thrill" of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at "Little Hell on the Prairie," as she's renamed the camp. It turns out frontier life isn't without its good points—like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation—and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had.