Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On Display - Freshman IFA Pots

These are truly amazing when you realize that these pots are a freshman’s first attempt at ceramics. These pots are from Mrs. Okula’s freshman Intoduction to Fine Arts class. They are coil-built and then stone-polished. The students then scratch their own design into the surface before the piece is fired in an electric kiln with sawdust.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cameras rolling

The beauty of the library is that it can be used for a variety of reasons. It has become a popular location for students to work on their film projects. Drama, comedy, mystery - they have all been made here. Recently we had some students filming upstairs, as pictured.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Clara Pesky: “Cancun or Bust!”

Our favorite librarian, Clara, is anxiously awaiting Spring Break. With her bikini and a stash of her favorite Romance novels, she will enjoy her favorite pastime – reading on the beach. We invite all of you to visit the library this week and select a few books for your vacation reading as well. For a relaxing vacation, whether you are going to a warmer climate or just enjoying our New England winter, settling in with a good book is just the ticket.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What’s a Mardi Gras and who is that masked man?

To keep the winter doldrums at bay, even in ancient times there were celebrations. Mardi Gras, a colorful spectacle, actually goes back to an ancient Roman custom. Now we celebrate it the day before Lent begins, and it is the culminating event of a season that begins January 6th, or Twelfth Night. Mardi Gras means “fat Tuesday” in French and the French colonists brought the celebration to America in the early 1700’s. We associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, Louisiana, where the parades, balls and parties attract tourists from around the world. The wearing of masks, colorful costumes and beads are important aspects of the celebration. Mardi Gras is also celebrated in Germany where it is called Fastnacht, and in England where it is called Pancake Day.

Most Often Never Found on Shelves

We decided this year to scale back on some journals which can be accessed through databases and to increase the amount of “recreational” magazines, ones that browsers might select. Given how many of these are taken from the display shelves and are found on tables or on the floor beside comfy armchairs, we think it was a wise decision. These five are the ones I have reshelved most often in the past few weeks. Mental Floss : Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix has an article on “The 20 Greatest Mistakes in History” as well as one on “How Biodiesel Works” (with a sidebar on BioWillie, the first major brand in America which is marketed by Willie Nelson. Who knew?) Seed: Science is Culture looks at the ideas, issues, and icons shaping the culture of science. E: the Environmental Magazine covers green living. Analog: Science Fiction and Fact contains novellas, short stories, and a factual article, this month’s being “The Ice Age that Wasn’t” by Richard Lovett on “How Our Ancestors May Have Held the Ice at Bay.” And the last, rather surprising to us for a boarding school, is Everyday with Rachel Ray. After finding her cookbooks never residing on the shelves upstairs in proper Dewey order, we thought we’d give her a try. Probably, the most popular of all!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Masifunde Sonke

Through South Africa Partners, Dr. David and Donna McGrath have donated 25 books to our library. This is part of the initiative Masifunde Sonke: Let Us Read Together. The books, written and illustrated by South Africans, have themes of justice, hope, and renewal. In addition to our library receiving the books, an underserved school in South Africa will also receive the collection of books for its library.

South Africa Partners has four major goals for Masifunde Sonke: “to increase literacy and a joy of reading among students in rural and township public schools in South Africa, to foster an appreciation of South African children’s books in the U.S., to facilitate contact and exchanges between South African and U.S. schools, educators, and learners, and to stimulate the South African book publishing industry.”

These beautiful books are ready to be checked out. We are very appreciative that the McGraths included us in this wonderful initiative. You can read more about the books, the state of school libraries in South Africa (over 60% of schools have no library materials,) and Masifunde Sonke at South Africa Partners.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And the Runner Up Is...

Library Thing continues to be one of my favorite Web 2.0 tools, although it takes the best ideas of online sharing and technology, it is all about the BOOKS. When our Director, Susan heard of the Library Thing 10 Million Books contest, we had to jump in and give it a try. The Pesky Library was chosen as a runner up for the contest for our photograph highlighting the President’s in honor of President’s Day. It was actually a great way to think about this holiday (besides having the three day weekend and all of the car "sale" advertisements,) and to remember the leaders of our country, past and present. Read more about the contest and the winners at the Library Thing Blog.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chinese New Year

February 18th begins Chinese New Year. Having had the opportunity to be in China for 2 Chinese New Years, I was reminded of the occasions by our display in the library. Chinese New Year is a lot like our Christmas. Everyone buys presents and children get red envelopes with money in them. Since many people do not have a lot of material goods, this is a very big thing. Also, everyone travels to be with their families. The train and bus stations are extremely crowded and everyone is carrying large presents for their families. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom to get rid of any bad luck from the previous year. Like our Thanksgiving, a feast is prepared for the entire family, and every possible kind of treat is splurged on. At night there are loud fireworks to frighten away any remaining bad luck. 2007 is the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. If you were born in 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, or 2007, this will be an auspicious year for you.

A Shared Moment

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Valentine's Day Storm

I was going to blog on my three favorite components of the day - kissing (Pucker up Buttercup: How Kissing Works,) love as a life science (How Love Works,) and chocolate (Hey, It Grows on Trees.) But, as the four of us took turns digging ourselves out, I realized that this lovely shot of winter was worth a picture. The snow is giving way to stinging sleet. The wind is sweeping it across the fields to beat on our wall of windows. The usual pile of backpacks has disappeared early this afternoon and it's starting to feel lonely in the library.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You have been accepted...

Admission into elite schools is intense, image raising the bar a bit more with a unique and challenging entrance exam; use of chopsticks. The Hisatagakuen Sasebo Girls High School in Japan is requiring all applicants to test their chopstick skills by using chopsticks with beads, dice, beans and marbles. Ms. Toumayan has created a wonderful display in our Reference area that allows our own Academy members to test their own chopstick skills. Stop by the library to learn more about this culture and education in Japan.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Abraham

Our official “Presidents Day” is celebrated next week, but today marks the birthday of one of the country’s greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln. As President’s Day has become the catch-all for all our nations Presidents, and not simply Washington and Lincoln, the history of these two men can be overlooked. Thankfully, there are authors who are bringing new life to our historic figures, and we have a few of these titles in our collection; Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: the untold story of how Abraham Lincoln used the telegraph to win the Civil War (973.709 WHE), The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the triumph of antislavery politics (973.711 OAK), and a graphic novel, The Murder of Abraham Lincoln (GN GEA). The Library of Congress holds many of Lincoln’s paper and the White House has an extensive biography on Lincoln worth looking at. All of these resources can help spark an interest to learn more about this fascinating leader. As we approach President’s Day next week, how will you remember the leaders of our country?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Valentine's Day Reading

Did you know that the custom of sending romantic messages on Valentine’s Day may have begun as early as the 1400’s? This holiday is celebrated in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark and other countries. The customs vary from country to country, but they all have to do with romance. Even Shakespeare and Chaucer mention St. Valentine’s Day in their writings. The history of the holiday is not certain. Some believe it started as an ancient Roman Festival. Others believe it had to do with a man named Valentine who was a martyr in the early Christian church. It was also believed that birds chose their mates on February 14th.
We celebrate the holiday with several displays in our library. Try some of the selections from the “Books you will Love” display, or go to the OPAC Card Catalog and search for Love Stories. We have 173 books listed, and one of them is sure to make you feel the LOVE.

Answers . . . To Go

It’s 11:00 pm. The library’s closed and Google’s not retrieving the search results you need to finish your homework. What do you do? Select Answers . . . To Go (Your @ Home Library.) Provided by the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System, this resource connects you to a variety of resources. Here find the link to the databases that the region and state supply to us. You’ll need the Academy’s library card (in Researching at the Library at Classrooms on Elm Street) to access them. Here also find CHAT Reference supplied by Mass Answers. You can talk in real time to a librarian 24/7 who will help you find an article, construct a better Google search, locate a book you can check-out the next morning – anything you need to finish your assignment. So, when our library’s not available, try Answers . . . To Go.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Library as refuge

Not only kitties sleep in the sunshine! Students are making good use of our comfy chairs on these bitterly cold afternoons.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Recommended Reads: The Thirteenth Tale

Our recommended read display has had a turnover of new titles added. I would add my own new title, but it has already been claimed before it even made it there. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (FIC SET) is getting rave reviews and although I am only partially through it, it is holding up to the praise. It is a must read for book lovers and one you will be unable to put down. For more information about The Thirteenth Tale, visit the book's Amazon page or see what people are saying about it on Library Thing. Until it makes it back to the shelves stop by our display to see what others are reading!

Monday, February 05, 2007

That is so cliche

Monday, what better day for clichés? Our magnet boards are back out on the library floor and feature clichés. Like quotations, clichés offer the user bang for their buck by summing up a feeling or idea in a few words and can give the reader something to ponder. Visitors can create their own clichés on our boards or check out books in reference, including The Facts on File Dictionary of Clichés (REF423.1 AMM). And so I leave you with some words to ponder….

Don't judge a book by its cover, take a page out of your book, there is harmony in disharmony, tomorrow is another day, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, every rose has its thorn, this too, shall pass, Rome was not built in a day, laughter is the best medicine, Smile. It makes people wonder, Carpe diem, as easy as pie, there's no place like home.

Friday, February 02, 2007

"A film festival at your fingertips"

Independent Lens (PBS) is presenting an Online Shorts Festival. The two Grand Prize winners were shown on television's Short Stack 2006. There are ten films in all and you are encouraged to vote for the Audience Award. The site also has links to Indie film resources and lists. I admit to watching just one since the link came my way - "Chickens in the City" (and I was charmed by Miss MoneyHenny.) But, the rest are part of my weekend plans.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Shopping, marketing, advertising

Shopping, marketing, and advertising are certainly fueling major news stories. A story in this morning's Boston Globe talked about the generational divide evident with the viral advertising campaign which shut down the city of Boston yesterday. TJX's data hack makes me wonder how much "stuff" do I really need? Is "stuff" really what I am getting out of shopping or is it something totally different? Marketing and product placement are interesting to contemplate but are infuriating if my grocer moves things so that I can't shop "in the zone." Approaching the top of my bookstack is Not Buying It : My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine (658.8 LEV.) TJX is pushing me in this direction (I've already been the route of the compromised credit card when the Boston Globe goofed last year.) Other newish books which are looking good include:
The Long Tail : Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson (658.802 AND)
Why We Buy : the Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill (658.8 UND)
Branded: the Buying and Selling of Teenagers by Alissa Quart (658.83 QUA)
Born to Buy : the Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture by Juliet B. Schor (305.23 SCH)
Packaging Girlhood : Rescuing our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes by Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown (306.3 LAM)
A Consumers' Republic by Lizabeth Cohen (339.47 COH)
The Overspent American : Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer by Juliet B. Schor (339.47 SCH)
Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin (659.13)