Friday, November 20, 2009

Getting Ready for Travel......

Mr. Wann's trusty steed
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We close today at 4:00 and reopen Tuesday, December 1 at 7:30 for a normal day. Hope the break is peaceful and the holiday joyous.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Future of Our Books

Second floor stacks
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Since Cushing Academy, a New England Independent School, made the decision to ban books in paper format from its library, there’s been a lot of discussion about the “future of the book.” Boston University recently held a conference with that title. Members of the Cooperative Library Association reported on the conference at a meeting that I recently attended. They reported that not all presenters were as certain as Cushing’s headmaster that the future of the world would be a future without paper books. Christopher Ricks, Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, stated that information, data, knowledge, and culture are not interchangeable terms and that reading while being bombarded with electronic messages from your computer screen is “like exercising on a treadmill while you munch on a bag of chips.”

Here at the Governor’s Academy we have no desire to rid our shelves of books. Students who wish to read online can find plenty to read. We purchase access to databases containing thousands of magazine, journal, and newspaper articles. However, when our students need reliable information and archived writings of the history of knowledge, we will continue to provide them with distraction free, wireless connection to paper content in our 28,000 volume library.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Biology on Display

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Even if your biology project doesn't call for it, feel free to have a look at our cellular biology display when you pass by the lobby.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apples and Oranges May Compare After All

The word orange can't have anything in common with the Spanish naranja (for 'orange'), can it? The words look and sound so different. Actually, they share a historical connection.

As a word, orange came to the English language in the 15th century ultimately from Persian through French and Italian. The Persian original, nāranj or nārang, shows the connection between the English and Spanish words. The connotation between the fruit and the color orange was also formed centuries ago, in Middle French, and the form of the word changed under the influence of the word or ('gold'; in Latin aurum). This fascinating tidbit was brought to you by An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, shelved at REF 422 SKE.

There are other European languages where the word for oranges is a compound formed basically of references to apples and China. For example, in German the word is die Apfelsine and in Danish appelsin.

If you know to look for it, all these words preserve a minute detail of the history of citrus fruit in Europe and the trade routes to the Far East.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Freshman IFA fall projects - Ceramics

Currently on display are tiles made by freshmen in Ms. Irina Okula's Introduction to Fine Arts class. These tiles were each made individually and then combined and mounted onto a display board. After forming the tiles the students had to polish them smooth. Each student was required to create a recognizable animal, flower or person on one tile. The shapes and lines were created by wrapping or forming copper wire against the tile while it was being fired in the kiln.

All these tiles were fired in a “saggar” pot. The tiles were put in the pot with sawdust soaked in cobalt, yellow ochre, or just left plain, along with a bowl of salt, and then fired in a gas kiln at 1,700 degrees.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Try Knitting for the Winter Season

The fall season is coming to an end and students are being asked to select an activity for the winter season. One choice is Knit Club, open to both the novice and the expert knitter. Instruction and guidance is supplied by Chris Robinson. Students knit warm scarfs, hats and mittens which are donated to the Pettengill House in Salisbury. As stated on their website: "Pettengill House strongly supports education, health and self determination. Our programs continue to have built in self sufficiency mandates which foster independence, dignity, self advocacy and responsibility."
Knit Club is a great place to learn new skills and help keep people warm! Talk to Mrs. Robinson in the bookstore and then come check out one of our knitting books for patterns and inspiration.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

America Recycles Day, November 15

America Recycles Day is a nationwide initiative promoted by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAP) and the National Recycling Coalition (NRC).

The purpose of America Recycles Day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment. It is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. 2009 marks the 12th ARD.

The Governor's Academy has had its own green program for a number of years now. Our library has recycling bins for paper, bottles, and cans, both for patrons and staff. We encourage you to use them - we do!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Special Olympics Soccer Volunteers

Every year the Governor's community looks forward to combining our motto "Not for self, but for others" with a fun filled day of soccer and hundreds of very special athletes. On Sunday students, faculty, and staff from Governor's Academy and Triton Regional High School hosted the annual Massachusetts Special Olympics Soccer Tournament Finals. The skies were sunny, the athletes were ecstatic, and the smiles were evident all around.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Learning to Learn - But How?

Here at the Pesky Library we attempt to support all learners and learning styles. The reading/writing-preference learners are easiest to accommodate simply because of how libraries as an institution developed. Modern libraries, however, contain much, much more than just printed word.

For auditory learners, we have language aids, for example, as both tapes and CD-ROMs. We carry both fiction and non-fiction audiobooks (shelved at AC, near the entertainment DVD collection). For visual learners, we not only have films and documentaries, but also visual dictionaries of English (REF 423) and teach yourself books loaded with diagrams. Check out the various crafts books, for instance. You can also browse our movie versions of classic works of literature - but be aware, they often take surprising liberties with the story compared with their written 'ancestors!' Tactile learners are, perhaps, the most challenging to serve, but we do try. All through the academic year, we set up displays that include reading materials for browsing, captions and explanations, and accessories.

If you have an idea of how we could help you learn better or better take your learning style into account, please let us know!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Berlin, 20 Years Ago

Today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event led Germany to reunify, plus caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War's end.

Today, Berlin residents and visitors alike gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to remember how the Germans rejected the dividing lines represented by the wall. German Chancellor Angela Merkel - who grew up in East Germany - presided over the celebrations, which were attended by tens of thousands of people despite a downpour of rain. After the leaders spoke, a chain of 1,000 giant foam dominoes, painted with messages of freedom by young people, was toppled along where the wall once stood. The festivities were capped with fireworks and a concert featuring music from Berlin's State Opera and the American rock band Bon Jovi.

Pop into the library for more information, and don't forget to check out the Berlin Wall display in the lobby.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Steaming the Display

Steaming the Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Our community service volunteers are helping us prepare our November displays. They are steaming the wrinkles from the bunting which will be used as a backdrop for "Letters to and from the homefront." We have really enjoyed having these two be part of our library program during the afternoons this fall.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


November is the National Novel Writing Month, a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Part of the reason behind NaNoWriMo is just to get a book written. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

The way to win NaNoWriMo is by writing 50,000 words by midnight on November 30. Every year, there are many, many winners. You must be 13 or older to have an account on But all ages are very welcome to take part in National Novel Writing Month. It is an international event despite the "National" in the title - it does not refer only to the United States. This is an event for all nations. You can write novels in any language you like.

Check out our library display for inspiration, or go to for more information.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

H1N1 at TGA

Yesterday The Governor’s Academy vaccinated 100 high risk students and faculty against H1N1.

The H1N1 flu, also known as "swine flu," is a respiratory disease caused by a type of flu virus. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has collected a number of resources to help you better understand the disease. They include audio files, podcasts, and tips on how to protect yourself from catching the H1N1 virus.

For the most up to date information on the spread of H1N1 flu and state programs in Massachusetts, please visit the DPH blog. The updates include downloadable weekly PDF reports.

Naturally, the school Health Services can also help with questions. The Duncan Health Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact them at (978) 499-3126.

Please remember that most cases of the H1N1 influenza have been mild. Most people have not required hospitalization and have recovered uneventfully.

Although there is an increase in the number of influenza cases on campus, all classes and activities are proceeding as planned at the moment.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lost and Found

The first quarter is barely finished, and already there is a surprising number of books, notebooks, and umbrellas in the Lost and Found bin in the copier room. There is also a tall stack of clothing, including jackets. Please go check the bin and retrieve yours!