Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spooky Books

Spooky Books
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
A favorite quote of mine is Macbeth's "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes . . ." Whether I'm reading or movie watching, the anticipation of the macabre or the wickedness promised in a blurb or a review can be better than the actual unfolding of plot. To celebrate the day, the library pulled together a collection of spooky books and DVD's. A new title not there is on my kitchen table. I am in the midst of a quirky ghost story, The Dead Father's Club by Matt Haig. It's an update of Hamlet but it is not simply a retelling of the story. Main protagonist Philip has a wonderfully strong adolescent voice. Once again the ghost is selfish and the mother is rather silly but the other characters don't mirror the originals so closely. I am not really sure where it's going to end but, as I wait for trick-or-treaters tonight, I hope to find out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Elvinson's Sculpture

Elvinson's Sculpture
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Fine Arts Department Chair Geoff Brace recently brought this ceramic sculpture to its new home in the library. I remember back several years when the then senior Elvinson Corporan was starting it during AP Ceramics. He came to me researching hieroglyphics. I asked ceramics teacher Irina Okula for more info on it.

She replied, "Elvinson came to GDA never having touched clay.He took every ceramics class offered . In his senior year, he took AP Ceramics and worked on this large sculpture for a good part of the year. He started it in January and worked on it until June. As the date of graduation quickly approached, he would have Security let him in at 5:00 a.m. to work on it before his classes started. He also spent many late nights trying to complete it. He finished it, but not to his satisfaction so he came back the following summer and last summer to finish it. He spent three weeks this summer sanding it and glazing it. What a dedicated student! I love when he said he did not care so much for the outcome of the piece but that it was the process that he really loved. He constructed the form with large flat coils. He did research on Egyptian hieroglyphics and carved a beautiful poem in hieroglyphics about his family into the clay."

The library is so very happy to have this part of Elvinson with us. BTW, Elvinson is presently a senior at Brown studying buisness.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Admissions Open House at the Library

Saturday, October 27 was the Academy’s Annual Open House and we saw hundreds of people visit the campus to learn more about the Academy’s program. Situated at the heart of the campus, the library becomes a popular spot for families to explore. In addition to the families who came to visit, a few student groups lead by some of our upperclassmen strolled through the building as well. The library provided Moo cards to visitors as they entered the foyer with links to the library’s blog and library services.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Adopted Books from Parents' Weekend

As part of Parents' Weekend, the Allies operate a "book sale" in the library, offering the opportunity to place a donation bookplate in a book already selected by the library or a different book of choice. Sometimes parents make a donation and request that we purchase a specific title or subject area while others ask that we get requests from their children. Pictured are the specific books chosen from our collection. We have been busy putting orders into Amazon to fill requests. Parents were very generous this year and we are grateful. The money raised goes into a special account. As new reference materials come available in the spring and the library's budget is winding down, we know we have a source we can draw from.
We love when we open a book on the shelf, read the name on the book plate, and have memories of that past student pop up!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


There is still time to get yourself ready for Halloween. If you are not sure what to wear for a costume for the dance, the library is here to help. Under the heading COSTUME, in the card catalog, there are 25 books listed with the call number 391. With everything from ancient Egyptian and Roman costumes to fashions of the decades, there is sure to be something for every taste. Check us out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The series begins

Red Sox
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
There is nothing like the anticipation of a National Championship being played in your home town. Tonight marks the start of the World Series, Red Sox versus the Rockies here in Boston. The library is ready to celebrate each win with our Red Sox display located center stage in the foyer. Besides an extensive display of books on the Sox, checkout the Official Red Sox website for up-to-date information on the series as it progresses. Time to play ball – enjoy the game!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Civics Letter

Freshmen were busy in the library last week. As part of the Civics class, each student needs to select a topic to research for both a paper and a letter to the Congressional delegation from home. A course on writing the letter is among the library's courses on Classrooms on Elmstreet. The course walks students through finding the names and addresses of their Congressional delegation, selecting a topic, finding books in our library, using select databases (CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, and ELibrary,) effective Internet searching, and citing sources the MLA way. As Mrs. Brown worked with one class in the Electronic Classroom, Ms. Chase worked with another in the reference area. Students found the Pro/Con (REF 170) and the Taking Sides (REF 170) series as well as the Social Issues in America Encyclopedia (REF 361.97 SOC) especially helpful in reference.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Allies Book Sale

Allies Book Sale
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
During Parents' Weekend, the Allies raise money for library books by "selling" books to parents. Parents select specific books to have plates put in honoring a child's birthday or maybe honoring a teacher. We are grateful for their never-ending support.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


While putting away magazines this evening I was again impressed with the wonderful assortment of periodicals to which we subscribe. The Pesky Library subscribes to well over a hundred magazine titles, many of which are academic journals used for research. But we also subscribe to magazines that have high appeal to our students and staff. Our head librarian does her best to honor student and staff requests. Some of our new titles this year are: Mental Floss, Beadwork, Wrestling, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Backpacker and Fine Gardening. HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

50 Years of Advertising

50 Years of Advertising
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We took a look at how ads evolved over the past 50 years. Using our issues of Time magazine, we copied cigarette ads and automobile ads. Car ads used phrase like "bound to be noticed" and "enjoy being looked at" along with words like "happiest" and "excitement" and "pride." The cigarette ads focused on taste and flavor. Gender roles really come through in both sets. (Virginia Slims are especially curious looked at today.) Stop by and take a look at the questions these ads raise. You can find a list of the books we have on marketing and being consumers here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sputnik 50 years later

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. On October 4, 1957 Russians launched the first artificial satellite and in doing so, leapt ahead of the Americans in the race for space. The space race is often a topic our history students choose for their thesis papers and we have many books that have been recently added to the collection. A few of the titles on display include, Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the hidden rivalries that ignited the Space Race (629.4 BRZ), Live From Cape Canaveral: covering the space race, from Sputnik to today (629.45 BAR), and Space Race: the spic battle between America and the Soviet Union for dominion of space (629.409 CAD). Our Sputnik display can be found in the foyer of the library.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New YA

The Pesky Library Flickr page now has a set for New Acquisitions. Young Adult fiction titles were recently added to this set. We love to see these titles fly off the shelf and into the hands of our students. In Flickr you can view the Young Adult books added this fall and see the notes listed on many of the titles for further information. Other titles not highlighted by the notes include: Life on the Refrigerator Door (FIC KUI), M is for Magic (SC GAI), The Last Chicken in America (FIC LIT), Parrotfish (FIC WIT), American Youth (FIC LAM), Gifted (FIC LAL), and Territory (FIC BUL). We are excited to provide a new list of acquisitions as orders arrive along with a great visual that Flickr allows us to provide.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Laptops on the Move

I think all would agree that the laptops are our most popular service. We have five that students or faculty can check out to use within the library. Even when there are available desktops, students prefer the laptops to take to a quiet corner or a comfy chair. We have started documenting the places they go. Take a look at The Life of a Pesky Laptop.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


While the Juniors are busy researching their American History papers, the Seniors are focused on next year. There is a steady buzz of conversation as they visit colleges and return with new information. Many students began their search during Junior year or during summer visits to campuses everywhere. You can almost feel their anxiety now that the time has come to make decisions about where to apply. Most are looking forward to having the application process finished. Of course, then there is a new level of anxiety as they wait to hear about their acceptances. Senior year is a roller-coaster ride, but one that most students will say they enjoyed when they finally get off.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More on Lori Ehrlich and the Convocation

Lori Ehrlich was the Academy’s first Spirituality speaker of the year. Her speech centered on three cases which drew her into the environmental movement: the Salem Power Plant owned by P.G. & E, Erin Brockovich’s research into P.G. & E. and health issues in Hinckley, California, and the Wenham Lake Reservoir. If you want to read further, here are the websites she referenced in her talk. HealthLink has the list of what you can do to be part of the solution.

Also, the library has many books on environmental topics. Three of the newest are Feeding the fire : the lost history and uncertain future of mankind's energy addiction by Mark E. Eberhart, Moving mountains : how one woman and her community won justice from big coal by Penny Loeb, and Lights out : the electricity crisis, the global economy, and what it means to you by Jason Makansi.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What’s New in History

The library loves to share new book titles with students, faculty and staff just as much as we enjoy opening that new box of delivered books. Usually we pull together a list of the latest and greatest titles and will share this with the community, as well as post them to our Library Thing account. We are adding a new dimension to our “New Titles” list by taking a photograph of the newest books in a given category. Today we begin with new history titles. The full listing of new history books can be found with it’s photograph in Flickr. Stay tuned for other categories of new books in the coming weeks.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Life of a Book - from Selection to the Reader's Hands

Building the library's collection is my favorite professional task. I enjoy reading reviews, gathering suggestions from students and colleagues, or simply going to the Jabberwocky and filling my arms with books. There's nothing like the satisfacton involved in matching a reader to an author or a researcher to a text. BUT, selecting the books is simply the beginning of the books becoming part of the collection. Processing, being entered into the database and added to LibraryThing comprise many steps which different hands complete. We are more focused on the steps involved during the fall when we are adding many books (new and used) to support the Junior History thesis topics chosen. Curious one week about how many steps there really are, we created a step-by-step montage of what is involved. Take a look.....

Friday, October 05, 2007

Academy Alum Invented Wire Trap

The wire lobster trap was created by James M. Knott, Class of 1947. First used off the coast of Gloucester in 1957, the trap was found to be lighter out of the water but heavier in it. Water flowed more easily through the wire mesh than through the wooden slats so the traps stayed on the bottom during rough seas. As the years passed, the traps found more and more acceptance with lobstermen who discovered the traps required less maintenance and had a longer lifespan than the standard wooden traps. On exhibit is a wire trap given by Mr. Knott, articles outlining its invention, and books on lobsters and lobstering. The Gulf of Maine Aqaurium has some great information and pictures on lobsters and the history of lobstering. Visit The Lobsterman’s Page to learn more about the fishery and how the gear is handled.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

First Settlers

Did you know that the Pescosolido Library is used for other purposes beyond student and faculty research and book borrowing? We have groups that meet here and use our facilities as well. This week, for example, “The Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury”, a genealogical society, met in our Glass Room, a beautiful round room with large windows overlooking our athletic fields. Mr. Carl Panall, the husband of our head librarian, Ms. Susan Chase, is a member of this group, as is Peter Swift, a member of the GA staff. We are happy to accommodate groups such as these in our spacious facilities. The sole criteria for reserving a room would be that there is an educational purpose for the meeting. See you at the library!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Banned on Flickr

Banned Books can be found not only in libraries and bookstores, but on Flickr as well. We have recently discovered a Banned Books Week group where libraries of all kinds are adding their banned books photos. One of the Pesky Library favorites is from the Dayton Metro Library East Branch. The picture includes 99 of the top 100 banned books and they are still looking for someone to come up with the one title that is missing. Can you figure it out? Read the comments below the picture to see what people have guessed so far.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Banned Books Ahoy!

We celebrate our right to read freely this week, a right to cherish and not to take lightly. Book censorship has been with us in America (especially Massachusetts) since our earliest days. The first book was censored in 1650 on the grounds that it challenged Puritan doctrine and was heretical. As time went on "Banned in Boston" became a familiar phrase. According to the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, 2d ed, 1988, "During the 1920s the phrase banned in Boston became famous because the long-established Watch and Ward Society of the so-called Hub of the Universe was forever getting the city censor to ban books from sale. Many publishers actively sought to have their books banned in Boston because they knew the label would increase their sales in the rest of the country..." Now individuals challenge and hope to suppress books that they feel are subversive, especially to young minds. U Penn has a good overview of Banned Books On-line and the reasons for the challenges. Stop by the library and see if you have read any of the titles in our display. You might be amazed at what you find. Read a banned book today!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bags all around

As part of their orientation freshmen received welcome bags from the library with supplies to help them as they embark on their first year at The Governor’s Academy. Juniors are the next group to receive bags as they embark in a different type of journey: the U.S. History Thesis paper. When Juniors attend their reference interview with a librarian, they will be given a thesis bag with supplies to help them as they research. The bag includes, a highlighter to help locate keywords, sticky notes to mark important pages, note cards to help create and outline, a first edition Pesky Library pen and pencil, and holding it all together is a clip and Moo card. The Moo card will give Juniors the address to the U.S. History Moodle page and library contact information.