Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reading on the Job?

When I tell a new acquaintance that I am a librarian, I invariably hear "Oh so you get to read all day?" Well no I am not sitting at my desk reading the latest spy thriller, but yes there is some reading that is an integral part of a librarians' job. We recently received a complaint that a member of the library staff was seen reading a newspaper, and that this projected a negative image of the library (and its staff). Let me set the record straight. We do have a member of the staff whose job involves indexing the Foster's Daily Democrat. We have a Dover content index of the Foster's that dates back to the mid-1970s, and an online obituary index that dates back to the 1940s. These are both very useful tools that are heavily relied upon by genealogists and researchers, and the Dover Public Library is the only source for this information! Also, the library subscribes to several magazines-- Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, School Library Journal to name a few--that we rely upon to help us choose, through reviews, what books to purchase for our collection. So, while the majority of the staff could be categorized as voracious readers, we save our entertainment reading for our leisure time!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Saturday Matinees

Saturday Matinees at the Library will resume on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 2:00pm with Under the Mountain. As always our movies are FREE and open to the public. To see a complete listing of our Fall movie line-up visit our web site at http://www.dover.lib.nh.us/movies.htm.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Tree with a Literary History

Monday in Amsterdam, the Chestnut tree that provided Anne Frank with a glimpse of the outside world, and hope, crashed to the ground. Local authorities had known for years that the tree was diseased and in danger of falling. An international campaign to save the tree, known as the Anne Frank Tree, prevented them from cutting down the ailing tree. Helga Fassbinder of the Support Anne Frank Tree foundation said the remains of the trunk will be left in the ground so that a shoot growing out of healthy wood on one side can grow.

“From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind.”
Anne Frank, Feb. 23, 1944.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Interested in Learning About Dover Architecture?

Granite State College offers some short, usually one day, classes through their Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and one that is coming up in September is "Exploring New Hampshire Architecture As Seen in Dover". The class will be held on Monday, September 27 from 10:00 to 11:30 and has only a $5 fee. The class will be taught by Tessa McDonnell, former president of the Dover Historic Society, who has a long-time interest in historic preservation. Visit the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute web site to see a list of Seacoast location classes, and follow the register link on the left hand side to sign up, or come in to the library to pick up one of their fall catalogs. I don't know if the house pictured above is to be included in the class--I just like it. FYI it is located at 35 Cushing St., and you can find out more about it on our historical images web site.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Am Not Making This Up

We just received the first volume of the manga series Library Wars by Kiiro Yumi. Yes, I said Library Wars--libraries those bastions of knowledge and learning involved in a war? It is not what you might be thinking--we will not be taking up arms against the Somersworth Library in a battle for turf. Here is the description from the back of the book:

In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves---the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she's finally a recruit, she's finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it out for her!

Do you think that the Library Defense Force has a uniform? I am thinking of something involving a cape.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Library Love from Grammar Geeks

This blog post by the Society For The Promotion For Good Grammar warmed the cockles of this librarian's heart. Please read the post entitled, "Hey, Buddy: Your Ignorance Is Showing".

The author makes some very valid points. I could not have written them better myself, so I will just quote a small bit of that splendid post. However, I would be too polite to use the term "Moron". Although I might think it.

"We can't help but notice this disturbing trend in cities across the country in which libraries are being shut down, pecked at, and put on the chopping block to balance community budgets. 

People have no idea how much pleasure they could get and how much money they could save by making the library their first stop in entertainment. Libraries also level the playing field somewhat for the poor.

That is why we say to the creator of this sign, "You are a moron. A MORON. Perhaps if you spent more time in your library you would know there is no apostrophe in 'fees'.""

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mockingjay Will Soon Be Here!

The eagerly anticipated conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, will be available next Tuesday, August 24. Its been a long, hard wait for fans of the cult hit. Hunger Games came out last September and readers have been clamoring for the next installment from the second they turned the last page in the book. If your teen reader, or you (many adults are enjoying the series, myself included) are worried about what to read after Mockingjay, fear not. The Young Adult Library Services Association has created a list of read alike books for you. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three literary trends I've avoided reading (so far)

I confess I have no authority to comment on any of these recent publishing trends as I've not read a one of them, but it is worth mentioning that these types of books are flourishing and sales are growing:
1.) Graphic novels by so-called mainstream novelists: Janet Evanovich, Dean Koontz, Philip K. Dick, Stephenie Meyer, Sherilynn Kenyon and Jim Butcher are just some of the authors coming out with new novels written in cartoon style, or with illustrated adaptations of their previous works. (I will continue to avoid these: I am just not a visual reader...I even disdained comic books as a child, preferring actual words on a page with no pictures.)

2.) Literary "Mash-up" parodies: about 60-85% of a mash-up is the original text of a classic; the rest includes new plot twists added in by a contemporary author, usually involving vampires, zombies or other creatures. Hit titles in the past year have included: Android Karenina, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Little Women and Werewolves, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and Paul is Undead: the British Zombie Invasion. But as one mother said, "Hey at least my kid is reading Jane Austen!"

3.) Children's books by adult authors: James Patterson, John Grisham, and Alice Hoffman have each embraced writing for older children/teens. Patterson's "Maximum Ride" series, Grisham's new "Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer" series (#1 just published) and Alice Hoffman's mermaid tales have posed a problem for this library. Patrons hear that there's a new Grisham or Patterson title and place a hold immediately! We have had many disappointed customers show up and say, "but this is a children's book!" (Actually children's books can be great fun; you should read it anyway as long as you made the trip to the library to pick it up!)
Trendy or traditional, the library has it all!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did You Hear the One About J.D. Salinger's Toilet?

Did you hear that J.D. Salinger's toilet is being sold on eBay for 1 million dollars? Really, it's not a joke, although I am sure late night comedians will come up with some great punchlines.
I hope this doesn't start a new literary trend....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Matter of Taste

A delightful 531-page cookbook entitled “Food for the Hungry: A Complete Manual of Household Duties” appeared this week in a box of donations to the library. Written in 1896, it contains “well-tried recipes compiled from famous sources…together with Bills of Fare for All Seasons” and gives us a fascinating look into culinary tastes and habits from over a century ago.

Authors Julia MacNair Wright and Marion Harland remind us of the “close connection between good morals and good digestion” and assure us in the book’s introduction that there is “nothing here to tempt coarse gluttony, or to incite appetite for alcoholic stimulus.”

There are hundreds of recipes for popular items: Philadelphia Pepper Pot (start with two lbs of tripe), Scrambled Codfish (eggs and pickled fish), stewed beef kidneys, soused pigs’ feet, calf’s head cheese, piccalilli and chowchow, Johnnie Cake, Sally Lunn, Pompton Puffs, Gooseberry Fool, Dandy Pudding and Quaking Custard.

There’s also lots of stern-toned cooking advice: “do not scowl nor contort your mouth while carving meat”; “boil a lobster for ½ to ¾ hour…if cooked too long they will be tough”; “never cook poultry until 6-8 hours after killing it. Pluck feathers, then when it is picked clean, roll up a piece of white paper, set fire to it, and singe off all the hairs.”

In addition, there are whole chapters on household remedies and cleaning solutions: learn to make poultices, cure boils, banish ringworms, rid your home of bedbugs, or treat chilblains. Make your own mosquito repellent, ant traps, beauty creams and bayrum lotions; find out how to waterproof leather shoes, remove household stains from rugs and furniture, and clean your best kid gloves.

One section is devoted to table settings (no starch in the napkins, please, and never use your crumb-brush until the preparation for bringing in the dessert) and another to table etiquette: “once seated, gloves should be drawn off and laid in the lap under the napkin, which is spread lightly, not tucked in”. Also, “do not twirl your goblet, nor soil the tablecloth by placing bones or fragments upon it”; “Never blow on your soup”; “One’s teeth are not to be picked at table; but if it is impossible to hinder it, it should be done behind the napkin”; “Corn should be eaten from the cob, held with a single hand only” (oops, I’d flunk that one!); “Sit erect. Let the food be taken to the mouth and not the mouth to the food.” And above all, “Don’t come to the table half-dressed, half-washed, half-combed.”

I checked Alibris.com, the used/rare book site, and this book is selling there for $38. We won’t be adding it to the library’s collection (the binding is in pretty poor condition and pp. 9-20 are missing) but if you know someone who might be entertained and amused by it, I’d certainly sell it at the same price to a cookbook collector! Call the library, 603-516-6050 if you’re interested!

The Unwelcome Visitor

We love it when we have visitors at the Library, except for the flying variety of visitor. Behold your brave librarians in action when a bat visited the Circulation Desk last week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Good Time Had By All

About 150 people celebrated at the Summer Readers' Party hosted by the Children's Room staff. As promised T-Bone had everyone clapping, dancing, and limboing--I'm serious. Pictures don't lie take a look.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Do two halves make a whole?

These two novels, both by women, both first novels, and both centered around women in transition, arrived at the library today in the same box. It struck me immediately that their covers were nearly a match to make a whole torso!

Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson

Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette


I am happy to report that reading is alive and well in Dover! The Summer Reading Programs are over for another year, and I think they were an enormous success, but you be the judge. We had a total of 590 kids participate. The youngest group, 5 & 6 year olds, read a total of 500 books, while all other age groups read for a whopping 1,755 hours. I think that they deserve a virtual round of applause--well done!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Party Planning for the Walking Un-Dead and the (over 21) fans who love them

At the risk of pushing our patrons' vampire obsession one step closer to “beyond out-of-control,” I would like to recommend a great new drink for your next Sookie Soiree or Eclipse-a-thon, (where you watch both movies back to back, twice - not that I’ve done that). Unlike those crazy concoctions you get when you google “vampire drinks” (okay, maybe I did that once) this libation is an actual drink. It’s called the Sookie Cocktail and it has been around for so long it actually made it in to A.J. Rathbun’s excellent reference book for mixologists , Good Spirits (page 188). It’s a nutty combination of bourbon, macadamia nut liquor, and a splash of OJ, perfect for a meeting of the “Dead in Dover” Book Club (not that I would ever belong to a book club with a name like that). So, put down the Bloodbath (red wine, Chambord and cranberry juice) yuck! For goodness sake, would any self-respecting cocktail waitress (vampire or not) serve someone such a thing, and give your guests a proper drink, even if, technically, it isn’t named after our Sookie, it’s still hands down better than a Bloody-Bud (beer and Grenadine) not that I ever tried that.

Monday, August 09, 2010


A party for all readers enrolled in the summer reading program will be held Wednesday, August 11 from 10:30-12:00.
After refreshments, Tom Stankus (or "T-Bone" to his audiences) will entertain us with his show @ 10:45 a.m. on the library lawn. "T-Bone" will have everyone clapping, dancing, and singing to his musical performance.
"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."
Please join us as we "Make a Splash" celebrating your summer reading!

Share These Books With Your Teenager

Flashlight Worthy has put together a nice list of Teen books that also make good reading for adults. Remember Harry Potter? All ages enjoyed those. I don't even have a teenager in the house and I loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (sort of a futuristic Survivor competition) and Fire by Kristin Cashore (a young girl must hide her powers to protect herself and others). These books are so good adults are snatching them up too.The Hunger Games has a cult following of eager readers that are counting the minutes until the third book comes out. Don't miss out on some exciting reads just because they are labeled for teens!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Looking for a Thrilling Book?

Make sure to peruse NPR's list of the top 100 thrillers, as chosen by NPR listeners.

The tops picks were:

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. The Shining, by Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy 
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I have to admit the winning entry, Silence of the Lambs, is the only book that ever caused me to leave the lights on. However, Hell House by Richard Matheson is the only book that actually made the hair rise on the back of my neck.
What is the most thrilling book you have read?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Don't Be A Wimp--Come To Our Movie

Our last summer Monday Movie Matinee will be held this Monday, August 9th @ 2:00pm in the Library Lecture Hall, and will feature The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The movie is based on the books by Jeff Kinney, and is rated PG. We will resume our Saturday Matinees this fall beginning on Sept. 11th @ 2:00pm with Under the Mountain, rated PG13. A complete fall movie listing is coming soon--stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Boys, Boogies & Books

What does it say about me if I brought home a book home for my 3 year old son, and he was grossed out by it and I thought it was hilarious (& cute)? The book in question is Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo by E. S. Redmond. Felicity Floo takes a trip to the zoo, even though she has a terrible cold, and she fails to bring tissues. She touches all the animals and leaves slimy, green hand-prints on them, and, of course, they all come down with colds. The hand prints are done with shiny green ink, and seem to jump off the page. It is a funny, cute story about the value of hygiene, with a few boogies (well actually quite a few of them) thrown in for good measure. The illustrations are wonderful, and Felicity is adorable despite her green hands and red nose. "Mama, I don't like that book Felicity puts her boogie hands on everything"--you just never know with those boys!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Lisbeth would not be amused...

... by this wonderful parody of Steig Larsson's Millennium trilogy. It's by Nora Ephron, entitled "The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut" and appeared in The New Yorker.

A Gift of Magazines

Thanks to a generous donation from a kind patron we have been able to re-order magazines that we lost in last year’s budget cuts. Fans of UTNE Reader, Woodsmith, New England Home, and the Whole Dog Journal should be sure to check for the new issues. They’re back!

Monday, August 02, 2010

2 part-time positions open in the Children's Room!

Many of you who are customers of our Children's Room will be dismayed to learn that we are losing one of our long-term (almost 23 years!), part-time library assistants. Sarah Hydorn will be leaving us August 11 to become the full-time Children's Librarian at the Amherst (NH) Public Library. We are thrilled for Sarah, of course, but will sorely miss her enthusiasm, extensive talents and her children's literature expertise in Dover. Please join us in wishing Sarah all the best in her new position!

As a result, we are creating two (2) new part-time positions in the Children's Room, encompassing Sarah's former hours. Here's officially what we'll need in a new DPL employee:

2 Part-time Library Assistants I, Children’s Room Circulation Desk:
Average 12 hours/week: rotating weekly schedule includes some morning, afternoon, evening, and Saturday hours (availability for occasional extra subbing a plus).

We are looking for 2 people with an extensive knowledge of children’s literature, a background (academic degree or practical experience) in early childhood education, well-developed customer relations skills, artistic or graphic design ability, and familiarity with computer technology. Public library experience not required, but highly desirable.

Duties include checking library materials in and out, registering new borrowers, providing readers’ advisory services and guidance in locating library materials, and assisting patrons in the use of computer workstations and Internet access. Duties may also include creating displays & materials to promote reading, and conducting preschool story times.

Hourly rate starts at $12.09. Position is open until filled. Starting date: early to mid-September. Benefits include vacation, holiday and sick leave on a proportional basis.

Applications may be picked up at the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, or downloaded at http://tiny.cc/on3id. A full job description is available at the Children’s Room Circulation Desk, or can be viewed at
http://www.dover.nh.gov/employment.htm. All completed applications must be returned to the City Manager’s Office or mailed to:
Office of the City Manager
City of Dover
288 Central Avenue
Dover, NH 03820
(Completed applications may not be faxed or emailed.)

Remembering Ramona, part 2

Ramona the Pest fans should be sure to look at NPR's interview with her creator, author Beverly Cleary. Did you know, "When Cleary created the character Ramona, she thought of a little girl from her childhood who lived in a house behind hers in Portland, Oregon. She remembers the day she saw the little girl on the sidewalk."She had been sent to the neighborhood store for a pound of butter," says Cleary. "In those days, it was all in one piece, not in cubes. And she had opened the butter and was eating it."