Thursday, September 30, 2010

We Are Fearless Readers

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

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein was kept locked away by a librarian (for shame!) in a Colorado Public Library because she felt it was sexist.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
Guinness Book of World Records was challenged in a Wisconsin school for being sexually explicit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Followalibrary" Day on Twitter is Oct.1

The Dover Public Library has been on Twitter for over a year now and has tweeted book and library news via 1,000+ posts (called "tweets"). Our Twitter address is @DPLNH.

What would happen if each person on Twitter would mention his or her favorite library there? One definite outcome would be an enormous amount of positive attention to our great industry. October 1, 2010 has been declared "Follow a Library on Twitter" day.

How does it work? Participating is very simple: tweet on October 1st what your favorite twittering library (or libraries) is (or are). Use in your tweet the hashtag (or keyword) #followalibrary. More information on the Followalibrary event can be found on: and on

Remember, we are @DPLNH! And thanks in advance for your follow!

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury was challenged for profanity and taking God’s name in vain.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Speak Your Mind

There is a controversy brewing over the book Speak by Laurie H. Anderson. This is a book published in 1999, which went on to win many awards, and also to be oft challenged. Currently a Professor at Missouri State is trying to have Speak taken off the High School reading list calling the rape scene in the book "soft pornography". I think Ms. Anderson sums it up best in a statement she made against censorship:

"But censoring books that deal with difficult, adolescent issues does not protect anybody. Quite the opposite. It leaves kids in the darkness and makes them vulnerable. Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. Our children cannot afford to have the truth of the world withheld from them."

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
Doctor Dolittle by Hugh John Lofting was censored by two publishers and the author’s son to conform contemporary racial sensibilities.

We Are Fearless Readers

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

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld was removed from a school in California because a parent complained it was pornographic.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig was challenged because the illustrations portray police as pigs. All the characters are animals, and the police were shown in a positive manner.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We Are Fearless Readers

Dover Public Librarians celebrate Banned Books Week by reading our favorite banned and challenged books.
Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar was challenged for promoting bad manners and improper English.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Book Too Good To Put Down

The media has been full of reports about the Portland, Oregon bus driver who was caught on film driving a bus in rush hour traffic while reading his kindle. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked considering what I have seen other drivers at the wheel doing. What I am curious about is what book was he reading that was so good he couldn't put it down even in rush hour traffic?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jane vs. Iris

Several of us at the library have been reading Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman. I loved the book, and I think it would make a great book club selection. The story begins with the wedding of two young people in Maine--the groom a native Mainer and the bride a summer-only resident. On the way from the wedding ceremony to the reception the newlyweds are killed in a car accident. Now I am not giving anything away since this happens in the first couple of pages, and it is in the description of the book. The book is actually about the two very different families, and how the individual members deal with this tremendous loss. There had always been friction between the families because of their difference in circumstances: highly educated vs. not, year round residents vs. not, and financial security vs. you get the picture. Oddly enough I didn't find this book depressing though I was leery at the beginning. The contentious point among our staff is who is more irksome Jane or Iris? I am firmly on the Iris side, and just found Jane to be a stoic Mainer. Here is a quote from the book that seems to sum up Iris: (this is Ruthie, Iris' younger daughter, contemplating going back to school for a degree in Library Science, and dreading her Mother's reaction) "She knew exactly how Iris would regard such a career path: true intellectuals, true lovers of literature and of books, did not become librarians, they became scholars." Enough said! Read the book and let's talk.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Can Algebra Be Sexy?

Can you make Algebra sexy? Danica McKellar (remember little Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years?) thinks so. Her new book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed tries to make it fun with "her trademarked sass and style". It certainly looks more appealing than your average math text with its cute fonts and cartoons, and easily understood language. Check out this book if you have a math phobic teen trying to cope with Algebra.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Sylvan Roots" to Perform Sept. 21 @ 7pm

The Friends of the Dover Public Library will present Seacoast musicians “Sylvan Roots” in a concert on Tuesday evening, September 21 at 7pm in the library’s Lecture Hall. This accomplished trio features well-known and more obscure roots music of the folk and blues tradition, including influences as wide as Bill Staines, Woody Guthrie, Louis Armstrong, Nanci Griffith, Alison Krauss, the Grateful Dead, John Denver and Tom Paxton.
The repertoire of Sylvan Roots is eclectic, with vocal and instrumental selections, familiar covers, traditional American roots folk songs, plus blues to add some spice. In addition to playing and singing the songs, Sylvan Roots tells interesting stories about how the songs came to be.
The style of each member of the band is varied and comes from a long performance and listening tradition. Their music is driven by traditional folk, acoustic rock, protest-era songs of the 50’s and 60’s and also includes more contemporary sounds. Sylvan Roots is comprised of guitarist Neal Zweig (accompaniment and solo work); Dick Kruppa (vocals, guitar, banjo, & percussion); and Bob Moore (vocals and guitar). All have opened for "big name" groups around the country, and written and performed on movie and documentary soundtracks. All perform regularly around New England together and with other groups.
As the trio all have a connection to Pennsylvania, and perform Roots Music, they have taken the name "Sylvan Roots." Their slogan is "Sylvan Roots…roots, music and more." Come for some rousing toe tapping!
Friends of the Library programs are always free and open to all. Refreshments will be served following the performance. For more information, please call the Dover Public Library: 516-6050.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Books into Film

Did you know that Ben Affleck's new movie, "The Town", is based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan? Or that Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires, about the founding of Facebook, is now the movie "The Social Network"?
Here are some other new films that are based on books:
  • "The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole" (based on children's series by Kathryn Lasky)

  • "Never Let Me Go" (book by Kazuo Ishiguro) starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan

  • "The Romantics" (book by Galt Niederhoffer; starring Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin)

  • "Freakonomics" (documentary version of the book by Steven Levitt)

  • "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (young adult novel by Ned Vizzini, with Emma Roberts starring)

  • "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (pt. 3 of Larsson's trilogy---Swedish version)

  • "Fair Game" (book by Valerie Plame Wilson; with Naomi Watts as Plame)

  • "127 Hours" (based on Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston; starring James Franco and directed by Danny Boyle of "Slumdog" fame)

  • "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows" (final HP book split into 2 movies: this is Pt. 1)

  • "Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (C. S. Lewis, of course!)

  • "The Tempest" by Shakespeare (Julie Taymor version with Helen Mirren as "Prospera")

  • "True Grit" (book by Charles Portis; re-make by the Coen Brothers with Jeff Bridges in the John Wayne role)

Of course, we have to add our tag line: THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!

The Dreaded Slump

I think I am in a reading slump. Several books that I have been expectantly waiting for have failed to deliver. Carl Hiaasen's Star Island seemed formulaic, as did Suzanne Arruda's The Crocodile's Last Embrace. Even the lyrical James Lee Burke's The Glass Rainbow felt like more of the same, and even worse, I hated the inconclusive ending. I think I have finally found the book to break the slump. Dexter is Delicious by Jeffry Lindsay is as delightfully dark and droll as I had hoped for. This time Dexter has to contend with vampires, cannibals, and a newborn baby. Don't miss it.

Are You a Writer Wannabe?

Perhaps now is the time to act on your secret desire to be a writer! The Seacoast Writers Association Fall Conference will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the McConnell Center in Dover (right next door to the Dover Public Library). There are 4 different work shops available: Being There--Creating a Sense of Place, Getting Published, Finding Your Voice, and Prose Poems for Now People. Besides the available workshops the conference is a great way to network with other writers in the area. Visit the Association's web site, at, for details.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SwimGirl's Book Reviews

Two thumbs up to Emma, aka SwimGirl, who is a 10 year old Dover resident who has started her own blog. It makes us extra excited because it is a book review blog. Yeah Emma! Please take a look at her blog--she makes some good recommendations. Don't you think that Emma could be a librarian in training? Keep reading!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

The school year is back in full swing, and we know that kids schedules can make things very hectic--soccer practice, band practice, karate lessons, guitar lessons, student council--aaaahhhhhh! The library would like to remind you to not let reading fall through the cracks. I know that I am probably preaching to the choir, but honestly I don't think it can be said enough. Here are a few interesting, and some sobering statistics:
  • Out-of-school reading habits of students has shown that even 15 minutes a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year.
  • Forty-four percent of American 4th grade students cannot read fluently, even when they read grade-level stories aloud under supportive testing conditions.
  • Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years.
Hope to see you at the library!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Forget to Vote Tomorrow

The State Primary is Tuesday, September 14. You will be able to vote for Governor, US Senator, Congressional Representative, Executive Councilor, State Representatives, and other Strafford County positions.

Not sure where you will be voting?

The six (6) polling places in Dover are as follows:
WARD 1 - St. Mary' Church Hall - Chestnut St. (Between Third and Fourth Streets)
WARD 2 - First Parish Church Hall - Central Avenue (Between Church and Angle Streets)
WARD 3 - Langdon Place - Middle Road (Between Hubbard Road and Augusta Way)
WARD 4 - Maple Suites-Holiday Drive (Off Back River, between Durham and Mast)
WARD 5 - St. John's Methodist Church - Cataract Avenue.(Between Rutland Street and Sunset Drive)
WARD 6 - Riverside Rest Home - County Farm Road (At the intersection with County Farm Cross Road)

The City of Dover has a ward map on it's web site if you do not know which ward you live in. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Viewer on your computer as it is a PDF file.

You can register to vote at the City Clerk's office in City Hall if you are not registered yet. If you have questions you can reach the City Clerk at 516-6020.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Test Yourself

Did you know you can practice taking tests like the SAT, Praxis and Real Estate Brokers exam from home? Simply log onto the Library’s web page and click on Online Resources. Next, choose Learning Express and you will be prompted to enter your 14 digit library card number and to choose a password. Select your test from the 300 tests available and begin practicing. You can also use Learn-A-Test here at the Library.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that a librarian does not approve of burning books. When I first heard about the planned burning of the Quran, I thought of the Nazi's and their infamous book burnings. Really, is that the sort of group you wish to be associated with? I was curious as to what other book burnings had occurred throughout history. The Canadian web site Freedom to read has an interesting list of burnings and bannings. Even Harry Potter books have been tossed on the pile to burn.

My curiosity on the matter led me to some interesting new words which I hope I will never have cause to use. 
Libricide and biblioclasm mean the destruction of books, often in a ceremonial fashion.

I will let Helen Keller have the last word on the issue.

"History has taught you nothing if you think you can kill ideas. Tyrants have tried to do that often before, and the ideas have risen up in their might and destroyed them. You can burn my books and the books of the best minds in Europe, but the ideas in them have seeped through a million channels and will continue to quicken other minds." 

Banned Book Week begins September 25th. Feel free to come in and read our Quran anytime.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Skippy Dies

Catchy title don't you think? I am eagerly awaiting my turn to read Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, a book that has been called "extravagantly entertaining" by the New York Times Book Review. I was immediately intrigued after reading a glowing review, and I realized that I have a penchant for books that take place in boarding schools. I don't know the reason for this exactly but a few of my favorite books are The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris, Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, and of course Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling--all taking place in boarding schools.

Here is a description of the book that may intrigue you too!

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?

Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy’s rival in love?

Or could “the Automator”—the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school—have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketball playing midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Closed for the Holiday

Don't forget, the Library will be closed Saturday through Monday in honor of Labor Day. See you Tuesday!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Have We Entered the Twilight Zone?

Do you remember the Twilight Zone episode entitled "The Midnight Sun"? The Earth had moved out of its normal orbit.  Norma, and her landlady, Mrs. Bronson, were the last people in the apartment building. The rest of the tenants had either moved north where it was cooler or died in the heat. Rod Serling solemnly intoned, "One month ago, the Earth suddenly changed its elliptical orbit and in doing so began to follow a path which gradually, moment by moment, day by day, took it closer to the sun. And all of man's little devices to stir up the air are now no longer luxuries - they happen to be pitiful and panicky keys to survival. The time is five minutes to twelve, midnight. There is no more darkness. The place is New York City and this is the eve of the end, because even at midnight it's high noon, the hottest day in history, and you're about to spend it in the Twilight Zone."

That is how it has felt in Dover lately. If you would like to watch this intriguing episode, come in and check out volume 15 of  The Twilight Zone.
Hot enough for you yet?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Today is the 35th anniversary of Cathy Beaudoin, our Library Director, being hired at the Dover Public Library! We had a small celebration for her yesterday, and decorated with a purchased banner which was supposed to say "Congratulations". After stringing it up we realized it said "Congratulationattons". It seemed especially fitting for this to happen for a celebration for Cathy because she has been called the Grammar Goddess by some, and nit-picky by others (we are not naming names). Nevertheless we would like to say congratulationattons from the entire staff!