Friday, February 29, 2008

Founders' Day (Observed)

Founders' Day (Observed)
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The Academy celebrates its founding each March 1, the day in 1763 when Master Moody first held classes in The Little Red Schoolhouse. A little early this year, Lieutenant Governor William Dummer of the Massachusetts Bay Colony made an appearance and read from his will. He left his farm here in what was Byfield Parish along with its profits and rents for a school first named Dumm’r Charity School. Minister of the Byfield Parish Church Moses Parsons selected the first schoolmaster Samuel Moody of York, Maine on the recommendation of the Great Awakening preacher George Whitfield.

Students presented snippets of school history in The Governor’s Academy Founder’s Day Colonial Quiz for Qualifying Students Who Never Quake Answering Questions Quickly! They quickly answered questions on some of our former illustrious students including Rufus King (signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,) Edward Preble (commander of the USS Constitution,) and Booker T. Washington, Jr. Other questions were on school history: William’s father was Jeremiah Dummer, the first American silversmith and mentor of Paul Revere who created the Academy’s seal. William Dummer freed his slaves in his will. Samuel Phillips graduated here and went on to found two academies of his own – Phillips Exeter and Phillips Andover.

A Revolutionary re-enactor's group participated and fired off salutes to William Dummer and his wife, the former Katherine Dudley. This is a wonderful celebration as it’s always good to be reminded that we are carrying through on a vision held by a remarkable man before our country was formed.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reading happens!

Evening Happenings
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
As we approach our March break, several students have again asked for suggestions for pleasure reading for the vacation. Librarians have many tools that help us find books that will appeal to Young Adult readers. One of my favorites is a list put out annually by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a branch of the American Library Association. This list of adult books "with specific teen appeal" is published annually on the ALA web page and the 10 books selected are given the Alex Award.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

International Collection

Each year as graduation approaches and students are packing up, our international students wander over with bags of books in their home languages. Some of the books are required texts and some are just for fun reading. Along side Shakespeare we have The Lord of the Rings trilogy. We also have some manga. I truly don't know much of what we do have. BUT, each fall we take our new international students upstairs to the collection where they often pounce on a book they know they'll need. Totally uncatalogued, the collection doesn't have any kind of shelf list. But, it is ever revolving and growing and a lovely gift by departing students.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MassCAT Evolves

Today we attended a session at the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System in Danvers on the next evolution of MassCAT, a resource sharing network of libraries - school, special, academic, and small public libraries. The network lets libraries share their collections online and facilitates borrowing among the member libraries. We both send out books and DVDs to schools around the state and receive things students here want that don't sit on our shelves. MassCAT is moving beyond being simply a shared network to include circulation and other library management pieces. The council which governs MassCAT has chosen LibLime's Koha open-source software to use. The new package will incorporate many customizable features to use and will allow for our students to be more engaged with our collection - very Library 2.0! As librarians who very much believe in resource sharing and an easy flow of books to and from other libraries, we are excited to move forward in exploring this option for the Academy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Putting the Pieces Together

We have some eager puzzle makers who have worked through all of the puzzles in our children’s area here at the library. Recently on a snowy day during lunch, this group of puzzle makers asked us for something new. Here is what they have done so far, this 300 piece puzzle poses to be a bit more challenging than the 50 piece puzzles they were able to finish during their lunch breaks. We are starting them off slowly to prepare them for the 500 and 1,000 piece puzzles waiting in the wings. Stay tuned and we’ll report on their progress as the puzzle nears completion!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival begins on the first day of the lunar month and ends on the fifteenth day with a Lantern Festival usually on the night of the full moon. The holiday is celebrated not only by the Chinese but also by Koreans, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Mongolians, Bhutanese and other countries with large Chinese populations such as the Philippines,Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Visiting friends and neighbors, family gatherings, fireworks, dragon dances and the giving of red envelopes are all part of the celebration. This year is the Year of the RAT, and in case you're wondering, the rat is seen as a positive symbol for the Chinese. Now that the holiday is officially over, we hope you all had a happy and prosperous New Year.

Still Working the Stacks

We are making our way through the nonfiction collection on the second floor of the library. The weeding project is complete and we expect Got Books to stop by sometime tomorrow to pick up our discards. Shifting is now taking place in the 800’s and we will work our way up to the front of the collection. I am trying to get upstairs to re-number and fine tune the call numbers in the collection as well. As I was up there sitting on a library step stool, I had a great expansive view of the stacks - they seem to go on and on. It is a good time of year for projects such as these and the reward will be a well organized collection for our users!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Capturing the News as it Happens

Fidel Resigns
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Here at the library we are always looking for current event displays, something timely that will utilize parts of the collection that may not always get seen. Yesterday brought about such a display when we learned that Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba for 49 years was resigning. It was a good day to whip up a display and Ms. Toumayan quickly got to work on the visuals, Castro’s letter of resignation and other facts from the news story of the day. Ms. Chase pulled together the collection of DVDs and books, and in a blink of the eye the display was up for visitors to browse. Some of the materials from the display include, Fidel: the untold story (DVD 972.91 FID), Moments with Fidel (DVD 972.91 MOM), Fidel: a critical portrait (972.91 SZU) and A Contemporary Cuba Reader (972.91 CON) . A listing of all the materials on display can be found in the display set in Flickr.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adding Microphones to our Inventory!

New Microphones
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
As I wrestled with the recalcitrant packaging of the new michrophones this morning, I was struck anew by the changing demands in the library. Not only do we supply the access to information in all manner of formats and the help in wading through it, we also supply the technical gadgetry for assessments. Students are doing more with recording themselves reading poems and personal essays. They are also doing interviews. Students in ESL do several interview projects throughout the year. Previously, we used the tape recorder. This year, it's a laptop with a microphone or a video camera. We now have barcoded in our collection headsets, microphones, wireless laptops, digital still cameras, a digital video camera, and a tripod. (The best part of having all this equipment in the library? The students show me how to use it!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Soup's On at the Academy

All of the librarians headed over to the Philips building today to take a glimpse at the colorful display of ceramic bowls and to help support Soup's On. A project led by students, Soup's On helps raise money for the Cape Ann food pantry. Students and some faculty make hundreds of bowls to sell during Parent's Weekend. I was able to take a quick picture after the crowds subsided, but between the hours of 11:00 and 1:00 there was not an empty space to stand. For more information about this event, take a look at The Governor's Academy webpage.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Humor to the Rescue

Carl Hiaasen Collection
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
This time of year calls for a change in our reading habits. No more sad or depressing fiction books to feed our winter doldrums. We need humor right now! I highly recommend any of the books by Carl Hiaasen. Not only are they set in sunny Florida, but they are laugh-out-loud hilarious. We have the following novels in our collection:
Basket Case, A death in China, Double Whammy, Hoot, Lucky You, Nature Girl, Powder Burn, Sick Puppy, Skinny Dip, Stormy Weather, Strip Tease, Tourist Season and Trap Line.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love Letters

Love Letters display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
In keeping with the theme of love and Valentine’s this week, we have a display in the main hall of the library that highlights Love Letters from over the centuries. There is nothing more romantic than expressing feelings from the heart with the written word. A letter is timeless. There is a diverse group of letters as part of the display, sonnets, poems, novels, a biography of letters, graphic novels and a book of photography. There is no wrong way to write a love letter, so get inspired, there is still time! Browse the books in our display, you never know what the loves of the past can teach us today. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Being part of NMRLS

In Massachusetts, if a school library has a Department of Ed certified librarian or has a librarian who has an MLS, that library can participate in one of the regional library systems. We are part of the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System which has libraries that are public, academic, special, and school. As part of this system, we get access to databases the region purchases, to Inter-library Loan, to supplementary reference, to consulting services, and to Continuing Education workshops. We also get more than just a list of services – we get access to librarians who support us as we grow in librarianship. Last year when we were stumped by a wiki format, Susan Babb came to our library and helped us move forward. As we embarked on our library planning, Susan and Mary Behrle came and participated in the beginning stages. Scott Kehoe has answered questions that arise with our participation in MassCAT.

But, in addition to receiving, we are also participating. I have been on the Continuing Ed Committee for several years. We survey members, look at needs, and try to create workshops that meet at times amenable to members working very different kinds of schedules. We also try to anticipate the training needs to respond to Library 2.0.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tell Us What You Love

Tell Us What You Love
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
As part of our Valentine Week celebration we have an interactive board in the front lobby where people can share what they love. Several book titles have been added to the board with colorful heart sticky notes, many being favorites from childhood. For those who are stumped about a book title, they can post what inspires them, many interesting ideas have been posted so far. We hope to see the board fill up as the week goes on. The books that were pulled for this display include The Top Ten: writers pick their favorite books (028.9 TOP), Chocolate for a Teen’s Heart (158.2 ALL), Women Who Love Books Too Much (028.9 KNI), My Life as a Furry Red Monster (170.44 CLA), and Leave Me Alone I’m Reading (028.9 COR). As the winter winds howl outside the library here in Byfield, it is the perfect time to think of those things that we love most, I may need to add “a warm sunny day, on the beach, with a great book…” Happy Reading!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Guess the kisses

Guess the kisses
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The library has fallen back on some old-fashioned fun with our "Guess the Kisses" jar. The guessing will last until the end of the day on Valentine's Day, and the person with the closest guess, without going over, will win the jar. Good Luck!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Freshman IFA Pots

Freshman IFA Pots
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Twice a year, Mrs. Okula brings Indian pots made by her freshman in her Introduction to Fine Arts class for display in the library. It is a much anticipated treat for us each time she brings them to us. Each one is carefully wrapped in wads of newspaper and safely placed in a cardboard box. We unwrap each one like a Christmas gift, giddy with anticipation. 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. They are always magnificent, each differing in design and shape.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Poet With Local Ties

Edna St. Vincent Millay is the subject one of our displays for the month of February. A poet with local ties, the display depicts a timeline of her life including her childhood at Ring’s Island and Lime Street in Newburyport. Recently, Library Director Susan Chase took a trip to Ring’s Island to take photos of the home Millay stayed at with her family. Millay was the first woman poet to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. Events from the time period of Millay’s life are highlighted with the titles on display, including the depression, the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, authors of the 1920’s, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and numerous biographies on Millay. For more information on Edna St. Vincent Millay, read her profile on

Monday, February 04, 2008

An Eye on Haiku

Eye Haiku
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The magnet boards in the library have been getting heavy use as you can see from our haiku board pictured to the right. A haiku was not necessarily created on this day, but someone was indeed creative by piecing together this magnetic eye. We often times stumble upon interesting and creative uses of the words provided in the haiku set. For those who enjoy exploring the world of poetry and specifically, haiku, there are some wonderful forums where haiku can be submitted to online journals. Simply Haiku provides wonderful examples of this poetic form, along with many others. The Heron’s Nest and Roadrunner Journal, other quarterly online journals, allow budding haiku poets to submit their work for publication. Next time you are in the library, seek out one of our magnetic poetry boards. You may be surprised by what you can come up with.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Kiss the Frog

“Kiss the Frog” is our newest display to greet visitors as they walk into the front door of the library. Filled with fairy tales for older readers, some titles have already magically found their way into the hands of the library’s most enthusiastic readers. Titles such as The Frog Prince: a fairy tale for consenting adults (FIC MIT) by Mitchell, Goose Chase (FIC KIN) by Kindl and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (FIC MAG) by Maguire are just a few of the titles on display. For a complete listing, visit the Pesky Display page in Flickr. You are never too young or old for a fairy tale. Great stories are ones that can be retold and reshaped again and again. Come visit our display and hop on in to a great read!