Thursday, November 30, 2006

Books Make Great Gifts

Are you stymied as to what to buy for those special people during the holiday season? Let me suggest a gift that is sure to please. Gift certificates to book stores make wonderful gifts for everyone on your list. The New York Times has just made available on line their annual list of "100 Notable Books of the Year". You might want to give the list along with the gift certificate to help make choosing a little easier. Happy holidays from the Pesky Librarians!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Although a case can be made for whether or not one is artistic if one is crafty, I always think of myself as the latter, never the former. So I am grateful to the toys on the Web which allow me to try different "artistic" presentations. Today I looked at the Flickr Toys I have been reading about. The Warholizer allows you to upload a picture (either one in your Flickr account or on your computer) and give it a silkscreen effect. I took three from Flickr: our stairway, a reflective student, and Jen's cup of tea from Richmond Park.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Winter Season is Upon Us

You would never guess it from the weather we are having, but a new season of afternoon acivities has begun. The fields will rest during the coming months and the gym, field house, rink and PAC will be a-buzz with students taking part in their winter activities. We have received a new book for the hockey lover, Hockey: a people's history by Michael McKinley (796.962), that will gear up fans for another season. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs depicting the story of of hockey not so much from the pro viewpoint, but from those who love the game. Learn more about the book by visiting our online catalog or Library Thing page. If you are a fan of hockey, this is a wonderful title to have a look at.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No "turkeys" here!

How often do I hear students and staff saying they wish they had more time for pleasure reading? In our busy lives sometimes a long book just feels like a burden. My suggestion for these readers is a series of books that are “the best”: short stories, plays, science and nature writing, mystery stories, essays, travel writing, spiritual writing and non-required reading. Each “the best” book has many stories by many authors, and in this way the reader can enjoy excellent writing in areas of interest to him or her, without the need to spend too much time. Here is a list of some of our library’s “best” selection, but there are many more listed in the card catalog:
The Best American Spiritual Writing 230 ZAL
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 500 BES
The Best American Sports Writing 796 BES
The Best American Non-required Reading 810.08 BES
Best American Plays 812.08 BES
The Best American Essays 814.54 BES
The Best American Travel Writing 818.54
The Best American Mystery Stories SC BES

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Destined to be always Beta?

We are the Library Spotlight in the November Newsletter of the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System! The article is about how we are using Web 2.0 here at the Academy. It includes our successes and our “modifications." I think that trying these new Web tools means being in a constant state of tweaking – trying, evaluating, tweaking, and repeating this process. I believe that as we go about tweaking, we should be sharing our learning with one another so that the collective wisdom helps us more easily create tools which fit our program.

This makes me feel, however, that I am always in Beta mode, never finished. This is hard for librarians. I think we always want to present a perfectly designed finished product to our users. But, I believe we need to let that go and step blindly forward. We are stepping forward again but this time with a wiki for staff training. We have a staff large in numbers but small in consecutive work hours. Trying to find time together to learn new things is hard. Hence, the wiki, a collaborative web document which any user can add to, update, or change. Jen and I signed up for a free pbwiki. Advertised as “As easy to make as a peanut butter sandwich,” the wiki format suggested we weren't expert sandwich chefs. Susan Babb of NMRLS came last Friday and gave us some insights. Tuesday, Jen and I were able to make the PB sandwich. I am excited to see how all of us at the library will use the wiki. It’s Beta once more but I believe we’ll learn how to use it as a tool to share with our users. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Discover a great ancient treasure

It was on November 4, 1922 that the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered by the persistent archeologist Howard Carter with the financial backing of Lord Carnarvon. After years of searching this historical and archeological treasure was uncovered. Ms. Toumayan has created a display in honor of this anniversary and provides intriguing information from our Jackdaws collection. For further reading check out The Complete Tutankhamun (923.014 REE), The Murder of Tutankhamun (923 BRU), and Egypt: Quest for Eternity (VC 932 EGY).

Monday, November 13, 2006

What's new in DVD at the Pesky Library

The Pescosolido Library’s DVD collection is ever growing. There are displays throughout the library highlighting some of our new acquisitions. Some of the new entertainment titles include, V for Vendetta (DVD V), Capote (DVD CAP), and Memoirs of a Geisha (DVD MEM). Our new “Read the Book and Watch the Movie” Classics include, The Old Man and the Sea (DVD OLD), and Lawrence of Arabia (DVD LAW). In addition, many new titles from Films for the Humanities and PBS have been purchased, these include, A World Without Borders: what is happening with Globalization?(DVD 337 WOR), Martin Luther (DVD LUT), and The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (DVD 945.5 MED).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Are you ready for some football?

Football is the great American Fall pastime. ‘Tis the season, and it’s a good one. Our beloved Patriots until the other night were playing beautifully and our own Governors are having a terrific year falling for the first time last week in a hard fought match with Milton. Some of us even watch college ball with interest, looking for our Governor boys who have made the big time. Watching is a fun diversion and a long standing traditional part of Fall.
For those of you who would like to read about the game, our sports books can be found upstairs in 796 and those pertaining specifically to football are 796.332. A popular selection is David Halberstam’s, Education of a Coach 796.332 HAL, The which examines the amazing coaching life of Bill Belichick as he propelled his team to three Super Bowls in five years.

Welcome Clara A. Pesky

Welcome to the newest member of our staff, Clara A. Pesky! She arrived several weeks ago and has been busily learning the ins and outs of our library. In fact, she’s showing up in every corner of the library. (Check out the new library tour and see!) Because she’s a 2.0 librarian, she would like to introduce herself by sharing her librarian trading card, a 2.0 tool you can also see at the Pool of Cards. She invites you to stop by the library, check out a book for the upcoming holiday break (nothing better than curling up and reading while the pies are baking says she,) and make her acquaintance.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rotunda Gallery

Students in David Oxton's photography class have transformed the rotunda on the second floor of the library. Their framed photos now adorn the walls. Check back frequently for new additions to the gallery. All photos can also be seen online in the Rotunda Gallery.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Stolen Child

When I saw this tree at Richmond Park during our recent trip to London, I thought it would be the perfect hide out for any number of small creatures. Maybe the deer that roam this park make it their home when all is quiet, a small child could easily make this hide-a-way their own, or maybe something else, some other creature that is not seen, but lives in our imagination and the stories we read. This image lead me to the new and highly acclaimed novel, The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (FIC DON). Keith Donohue has a wonderful Amazon site for this book, including a video interview in the Amazon Fishbowl, an author profile, and an insider’s look at the “story inside the story.” In this description Donohue writes, “The very first image that came to me when I began The Stolen Child was of a young boy hiding in a hollow tree, face pressed against its wooden ribs, determined not to be found by anyone.” The Stolen Child has been described as an “adult fairy tale” inspired by a poem by William Butler Yeats. In this novel seven year old Henry Day is taken by the changelings (think wild fairy children,) and they make him one of their own, living in the woods. In his place, a changeling takes on the life of Henry Day with his family in the modern world. To read more about this book take a look at the conversations people are having in Library Thing by finding it in the Pesky Library, Library Thing collection.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Keeping Warm

So far it has been a sparkling fall with the temperatures in the 50s nearly everyday. That is why I found it so funny when one of our new students from Thailand came into the library the other day hugging himself and telling me he was so-o-o cold. I laughed and tried to explain that this is only fall and it is going to get a lot colder. I told him he is going to have to get some nice warm mittens, a scarf and a stocking hat.
This little conversation led me to browse through our collection of knitting books. Our selections cover basic knitting instructions to Celebrity Scarves and Exquisite Little Knits. They can be found upstairs in 746.43.

Archives added to CQ Researcher!

When we learned that the Archives of our CQ Researcher database were on sale, we had to have them. Going back to 1923, the archives provide incredible support for the U.S. History thesis paper for our juniors. Researcher provides information on issues of the day. While researching the internment of Japanese-Americans, we found information from April of 1942 on "Enemy Aliens and the American War Effort." In looking at the politics of the Christian right we found that in 1928 there was a discussion of "American Churches and National Politics." That same year there was a discussion of why a declining number of Americans were casting ballots in national elections. It's a fascinating resource! Thanks to our parents' group, the Allies, whose financial support of the library allows us the flexibility to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Feeling Blue

While posting to Book Displays in Libraries, we noted that the Lansing Library had a display of red books. A library in Florida was inspired and did an orange display. We were, quite frankly, intrigued. Displays are usually thematic. What would happen if a color rather than an idea or genre supplied the parameters? First, we’re amazed at how many blue book jackets there were. Second, books came to light that had probably only before appeared in a new books display. Side-by-side are now Stephen Fair (Tim Wynne-Jones,) The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind (David Guterson,) A Strong West Wind (Gail Caldwell,) Sky in a Bottle (Peter Pesic,) and Fire Bringer ( David Clement-Davis.) Some really great reads are to be found here. Mrs. Healey, who arranged this display, is already considering the next color!