Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day 2010
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Today, Dr. Daniel Leary, member of the class of 1955 and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, spoke to the entire community in the chapel. He told us a story of being wounded behind enemy lines and hearing that medical evacuation helicopters had been canceled. He then spoke of Ed Freeman, a chopper pilot who flew ten missions that day and evacuated 29 wounded men who thought they might never see their families again. He did this without orders, simply because he was in the area and heard of the need. Captain Freeman's machine gun wounds to his chest and leg weren't discovered until he'd rescued the last of the wounded soldiers. He said he didn't know when they'd happened. Today we thank Dr. Leary and all his fellow servicemen for their bravery and courage in their efforts to ensure our freedoms.
Following Dr. Leary's chapel speech, we followed him in silence to the memorial stone where he laid a wreath and we were treated to a beautiful two-bugle rendition of taps.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer, Sun, Sand - and Your Body?

Body Image Display 4
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Summer weather is here. Most will be glad to shed their long layers; for others, it's the start of another stressful season. You probably personally know someone with an eating disorder: according to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, it is estimated that 8 million Americans suffer from one. 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight.

Artificial constrains to what's beautiful and desirable have existed as long as humans have had the concept of fashion. It's the time to bring out your cheery summer outfits and enjoy the sun regardless of whether you're blond, tall, and blue-eyed; or short, thin, and brunette; or large, or pear-shaped, or svelte, or even rectangular and purple with green spots.

For information and stories, check out our display on body image in the Bragdon Reading Room.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memoirs for Memorial Day

Memoirs 2
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
"On my last birthday, Jonathan gave me more and better presents than any I have ever given him. From the north, where innocence lives in pristine and frozen purity, comes a cyclone of old feelings. Embarrasment. Financial concern. Shame. Then, from the south, where life is muckier, enter new feelings. Joy. Gluttony. Delight. Pleasure."

(Seeing the Crab: A Memoir of Dying Before I Do, Christina Middlebrook, 1996, p. 165)

This Memorial Day weekend, in addition to commemorating our service men and women, why not indulge in a story of someone's life? We set up a display of very different memoirs right in front of the circulation desk.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gaming Heads-Up

Just reminding that your opportunities to play computer games in the library are numbered! Friday evening's gamers' club is your last chance this academic year.

As exams are approaching, we'd also like to remind the students that gaming and using Facebook are not allowed in academic buildings - including the library - at any time. (Except for the gaming club meetings, of course.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Books to Read

Fiction - May 2010
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The preceding fowl-themed posts remind me of a library joke I heard recently:

A chicken walks into a library, and goes up to the circulation desk to talk to a librarian. "Book?," says the chicken. The librarian finds a book for the chicken; the chicken goes away.
The next day, the chicken comes back and finds the librarian again. "Book-book?," says the chicken. The librarian gets two books and sends the chicken on its way.
The third day, the chicken walks in again, and says "Book-book-book?" The librarian gives the chicken three books; the chicken goes away again. This time the librarian is curious and follows the chicken out to a little pond with an island in the middle. On the island sits a frog. The chicken stops and floats the books over to the frog, one at a time, and the frog goes "Reddit. Reddit. Reddit."

Should you find yourself in the frog's situation, check out the new books shelves in the library. We just shelved a brand new batch!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Turkeys at the Library

Turkeys at the Library
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Students sitting near the windows were treated to a view of this turkey as he walked the perimeter of the library before heading off toward the woods.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

At the "Chick-Out" Desk

At the "Chick-Out" Desk
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Mrs. Lutz brought her five-day-old chicks in for students and faculty children to see today.

The little girls were well-behaved; we barely heard a peep from them. When they moved they were pure poultry in motion. In all, they made egg-cellent visitors. And what did they request for reading material? Book-book-book-book!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Today's all-school meeting ended with a video reminding us all of how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful area in a land of plenty. If you feel that your life is difficult, watch the video we saw to put your life in perspective.

Friday, May 14, 2010

SMART team presents to the faculty

During today's luncheon seminar, our SMART team presented their work to the faculty. Nine members of the team explained how they worked with researchers at MIT to learn to model proteins in the hope of adding to the scientific information being used to determine how these proteins work. The two proteins modeled by our students were NS1, involved in the 1918 flu epidemic, and RNR, which contributes to cancer growth and replication. All the presenters said they learned a lot and enjoyed the ability to work in conjunction with scientists at MIT.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Newbury 375 Years!

Newburyport 375
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The town of Newbury recently celebrated its 375th anniversary. The Academy's English, fine arts, and drama teacher, Mr. Wann, lead a small group of students on a re-enactment expedition for the celebration.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Series Reading

Series Reading 4
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Did you already see our Summer Reading display? That's not all - there is more summer reading and viewing inspiration! Why not take time and tear through a series, or two, or three...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weather, Almanacs, and Googling

"The weather's been on the chilly side lately," I thought to myself the other day. Having only lived in the area for a year, though, I had to check whether my impression was right. Indeed. The Byfield area varies between roughly 45 and 65 Fahrenheit this time of the year, with records in the 30s and 90s F. I was curious, though, and dug a little more. The record highs and lows for Massachusetts took me by surprise. According to the 6th edition of The Weather Almanac (REF 551.69 BAI), the highest measured temperature was 106 F (July of 1911 in Lawrence); the lowest -34 F (at the Birch Hill Dam station, January of 1957).

What is an almanac, then? According to Wikipedia, it is
"an annual publication containing tabular information in a particular field or fields often arranged according to the calendar. Astronomical data and various statistics are also found in almanacs, such as the times of the rising and setting of the sun and moon, eclipses, hours of full tide, stated festivals of churches, terms of courts, lists of all types, timelines, and more."
Modern almanacs, however, contain much more. They can list data from around the world, summarize recent events or popular phenomena, or describe developments in a given topic.

In 1967, for instance, you could have checked the final standings of the college basketball season - or the Hall of Fame - in an almanac (The World Almanac Commemorative Edition; REF 317.3 WOR). You could check all sorts of tidbits. Did you realize, for instance, that when biting into a hamburger, you're chewing on something over a 100 years old? According to The People's Almanac Presents the 20th Century, shelved at 031.02 WAL, the first hamburger or the first hot dog were created in 1900 and 1906, respectively. Instant coffee became available in 1901 and decaf in 1903. Speaking of old things, exactly a hundred years ago, Boston prohibited public dances or balls, because they're "uncongenial to the habits and manners of the citizens" (When in Boston: A Timeline and Almanac, p. 99; 974.461 VRA). Perhaps they were thinking balls lead to a special form of symbiosis... (Almanac of the Environment: The Ecology of Everyday Life, p. 19; 363.7 HAR).

So, in the days of yore, almanacs served the same function as the Internet and Google do now. Whether you think the Internet or a book is easier to search is perhaps up to you, but I do say one thing for old-style almanacs: they need no electricity. If your town's electrical grid should go down on a sweltering day of 106 degrees, that can be a blessing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sea Creatures Display

Are you interested in biology? Or oceans? Come and look at our World Oceans display before turning your thoughts towards water as summer recreation! We have books on surveying and exploring the seas, on the environments and organisms of the deep, and the science of ocean life.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

R U Ready 4 Summer Reading

R U Ready 4 Summer Reading
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Hot out of the press - or in this case, from our library shelves! Check out just some of the summer reading inspiration we've selected. This display is right in the first floor hallway.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Psychology of Dropped Things

Psychology students have had a bad case of slippery fingers this week. They've been dropping items all over campus to see what factors might affect a person's willingness to help someone who's just had an "accident."

Dropped books in the library saw the vast majority of students pitching right in - another sign that this is a caring community.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Parking Your Ride

Parking Your Ride
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Now that the weather allows it, students are rolling around campus on their scooters and skateboards. Here's one parked neatly beside the library main entrance.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Spring in Byfield

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Trees are blossoming, flowers are poking their heads through the ground, and the air is redolent with the sweet smells of Spring.