May 28, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009—Laura Purdie Salas runs a great weekly challenge over at her site, where you write a quick poem (15 words or less) inspired by an image posted on the site. Here’s this week’s challenge. This was my first week jumping in. I put myself on the clock and made myself post something before another morning commitment.
I was back at my desk around 10:00 and quickly fell into stride on some edits I was struggling with yesterday. And a new poem has begun percolating. I suppose it could be the second chai latte I made, but I think it was Laura’s writing challenge that kickstarted the good energy flow this morning. So thanks, Laura! Now back to work!
May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009—I’m not a political blogger, but I feel compelled to say something about the travesty of justice that continues to take place in Burma. This business of Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial underscores how low the military regime will go to preserve its hold on power. The news I read today says that the Nobel Peace laureate is expected to take the stand tomorrow. However, it is widely speculated that a guilty verdict already has been scripted. Here’s hoping that, somehow, there will be some positive turn of events.
Reuters story in today’ Boston Globe.
Amnesty International USA’s home page, including a link to information on the case and an e-mail action in support of the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other prisoners of conscience in Burma.
More information on Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the current trial at U.S. Campaign for Burma.
I noticed through an Amazon search a few titles about Aung San Suu Kyi for younger readers, including a 2007 YA biography by Judy L. Hasday, Aung San Suu Kyi (Modern Peacemakers) and Whitney Stewart’s Aung San Suu Kyi Fearless Voice of Burma: Second Edition (paperback, 2008; ages 9 to 12). I’m going to add these to my reading list.
May 18, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009—This story is over a month old, though blogging about it on the late side seems fitting to me: A library book overdue for 110 years has been returned.
The book: a five-inch-thick, leather-bound Webster’s Dictionary.
The library: Lyn Public Library in Ontario, Canada.
The story: A man named Mutt Baird checked out the dictionary in 1899, but forgot to return it when he moved with his family to New York State that winter. Last month, Baird’s nephew, 83-year-old Dale Fenton Baird, Sr., of Denver, Colorado presented the book to the Lyn Heritage Place Museum in time for Lyn’s 225th anniversary. The library fine of $9,000 has been waived.
This story does make me feel a little better about my own record of overdue books. It also underscores the forgiving nature of many public libraries. And for anyone who has ever questioned why their library keeps a copy of the dictionary for library use only, this might explain why.
I think of the evolution of language and the many words that have been added to the dictionary in the years since 1899. Interesting to note that today’s Webster’s does, in fact, include the word “oops.”
And if you have any library books that need to be returned, you might want to take care of that sometime soon.
Image by fotolia.
May 15, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009—Unfortunately, 21 wasn’t with us. And we ended up at the library late in the day, too close to closing time for a lengthy visit. So we debated whether we should call last weekend’s visit to the Framingham Public Library (main branch) an official stop on the One-Card Tour. We’re calling it official, but with an asterisk to go back again with our full group, for a full visit. We love this library.
This is one of those places where you feel pulled in as soon as you enter. Stacks, tables, racks filled with books beckon you. Signs abound telling you where you’ll find what. It’s casual and comfortable here.
We like the kids’ room, too, thoughtfully organized so kids can jump right in and locate favorite series or books by interest. The room also includes good old-fashioned play space as well as a souped-up, kids-only computer area.
We’ll be back.
As a postscript, there’s lots of news and information on the library’s Web site, including a notice about new Massachusetts library license plates (proceeds to benefit public, academic, special, and school libraries that belong to a regional system). Also news about an online voting competition to bring $100,000 to Framingham for a restoration project involving the historic Edgell Memorial Library. (The library is one of several historic places in competition for a preservation grant. Too bad these sites need to compete with each other for funding. But that’s an editorial for another time.)
May 8, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009—I’ve been digging in on some poetry revisions lately, so maybe it should come as no surprise that I’m starting to see poetry everywhere I look. Still, a bottle of shower gel? Well, marketing copy really, but it inspired a few lines in tribute to poetry. Here’s the original, followed by my poem:
AS SEEN ON A BOTTLE OF
LEMON VERBENA AND BERGAMOT SHOWER GEL
with an aqueous infusion
of ginseng, aloe vera,
chamomile and green tea
with a wondrous infusion
of rhythm, artful wordplay,
metaphor and bold truth
Happy Poetry Friday! This week’s roundup is hosted by Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day.
May 7, 2009
We’d all been to this library before. (Having grown up in the town next door, I remember going to this library to work on reports when I was a kid, though I’ve only been there a couple of times in recent years.) Nonetheless, when you go as a “library tourist,” you might notice things you wouldn’t otherwise.
And let me back up a little. We picked Concord so that we could also stop and see the Concord Art Association’s The Unique Print show, celebrating a really cool variety of techniques in printmaking by New England artists (I probably could do better than saying “really cool,” but I’ll leave that for the art reviewers. Some of the techniques on display were really cool.) I also appreciate the historic space the association occupies, the 1750 John Ball House–or rather, the juxtaposition of old New England house with new works of art in the upstairs gallery. Good call, Virginia, on taking in the show before it closed this week. Added bonus: free admission.
The Concord Art Association, by the way, is just a stone’s throw from the Alcotts’ Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women. Also quite close to Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau lived for a couple of years, inspiring the book Walden.
The list goes on as far as places of historical significance in Concord. And that list includes the Concord Free Public Library.
Just walk in the front door and look to the left to read a bit about the founding of this library:
Or look to your right:
Walk into the great room—with balconied second and third floors, books wrapping around the room; statue of Ralph Waldo Emerson; and busts of Louisa May Alcott, her father, transcendentalist Amos Bronson Alcott, politician and lawyer Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, and Ephraim Wales Bull, the “Father of the Concord Grape,” among details your eye takes in—you know you are in a place that celebrates the town’s connection to history. (There is also a piano in the room, covered and not in use the day we were there. Maybe for special events? It’s a good fit, music and books.)
Continue into the building, and you’ll come to the YA room and children’s area (which you can also access by coming in the side door). The children’s section includes a spacious, bright yellow reading room. And while you can view a painting of Paul Revere’s ride and artifacts from the Revolutionary War elsewhere in the library, here, the treasures are kids’ books—and, lining the wall, signed artwork by author/illustrators Tomie dePaola, Eric Carle, Susan Meddaugh, Grace Lin, Steven Kellogg, and others!
Thinking about “favorite things” about this library, Virginia notes that the art section alone is “worth the drive,” and also appreciates the book write-ups/recommendations that are posted in the library, through which she has found some new treatures.
Bubble’s favorite part of the library is the YA room. Lola was glad to have found more FoxTrot comic-strip collections to add to her reading pile. And 21′s favorite part of the day actually came after the library; she liked best (climbing) the wonderful old trees near the North Bridge, part of Minute Man National Historical Park.
One additional note, I happened to be reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Chains around the time of our Concord trip—historical fiction about a teenage girl who is sold as a slave to a Loyalist family in New York during the time of the American Revolution. A moving story and a great read for anyone interested in history beyond the battles we learned about in social studies class.
And a final note: Those interested in the town’s history can learn more from the Concord Library’s Special Collections, “the most comprehensive archive of primary and secondary source material related to Concord history, life, landscape, literature, people, and influence from 1635 to the present day.” The collections include these online exhibits.