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Author Archives:Liz Reed

Summer Reading 2019 for Adults and Teens

photo-fo-books-and-beach-umbrellasHello, Norwood readers! Once again, we have two great options for adults and teens to take part in summer reading with the Morrill Memorial Library in 2019. Everyone high school-aged or older can take part, and don’t worry, audiobooks and graphic novels definitely count.

Weekly Prizes – July, August, and first week of September

Log all the books you read for a chance to win prizes! Every week in July and August we’ll be drawing for a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card from that week’s entries. To enter these weekly prize drawings, fill out and submit this form, OR fill out the paper version and return it to the submission box on the Circulation Desk. Paper forms can be found on the Circulation and Reference Desks. There will be a grand prize drawing on Friday September 6 from all these entries for a $35 Barnes & Noble gift card. If you write a book review on your form, we’ll post it (anonymously) on our website. This way, we can all share book recommendations!

Readers’ BINGO – all of June, July, August, and first week of September

Plus, you can take part in Summer Reading BINGO! Download BINGO sheets below, or pick them up in the library. BINGO sheets can be submitted to Nancy Ling in Outreach or to Liz Reed in Reference, in person or via email. Turn them in even if you’ve only completed one or two rows – you might win! You can double-dip with both the weekly prize entry and the BINGO sheet, but each title can only be counted once on the BINGO sheet itself. For every completed BINGO row, you get one entry in the drawing for gift cards provided by several generous local sponsors. For BINGO, feel free to count any books you read in June, July, August, and the first week of September. Sheets must be turned in by the end of the day on Friday September 6. Note, there are a number of squares this year that are activities rather than completed books, so take a close look!

Download BINGO sheets here!

Gift certificate prizes will be provided by these local sponsors:

Minas-cafe-steakhouseOne-bistro-logo  More sponsors TBA soon!




Questions? Please contact either Nancy Ling (, 781-769-0200 x228) or Liz Reed (, 781-769-0200 x110). Have fun!

Viola Sastavickas Scholarship

The family of Viola Sastavickas made a donation to the Morrill Memorial Library in 2007 in order to create a permanent scholarship in the amount of $500. This scholarship was to be awarded annually to a current or former library employee or library volunteer for one of the following purposes: undergraduate or graduate school, a formal course of study, or an enrichment opportunity (continuing education).

This scholarship has been awarded ten times since 2007: (Elizabeth Porter, 2007; Lauren Bailey, 2008; Carolyn Bradley, 2009; Jillian Goss, 2010; Samantha Sherburne, 2011; Odhran O’Carroll, 2012; Laura Hogan, 2013; Hallie Miller, 2014; Maureen Riordan, 2015; Chloe Belanger, 2016; Jyotika Tandan, 2017; and Dina Delic, 2018.)  The scholarship will once again be awarded in 2019 thanks to the continued generosity of the Sastavickas family.

Viola Sastavickas was a life-long resident of Norwood and a frequent library user. According to her daughter Kathy, the scholarship is “a fitting tribute to our beautiful mother and to the library and staff who treated her with great respect and affection.”

A brief application form is available to pick up at the library as well as on the library’s website, Please contact Charlotte Canelli at 781-769-0200, ext. 101. Applications are due by May 15, 2019 and must be submitted electronically to the director: The scholarship will be awarded by June 30, 2019.

Sastavickas Scholarship Application


An Unlikely Advocate of Aromatherapy

flowers-and-essential-oil-bottleAromatherapy became an interest of mine, oddly enough, after attending a technology conference. A few years back, I was lucky enough to attend the “Computers in Libraries” conference in Virginia. As an Information Technology Librarian, I have always loved attending this conference. It’s very exciting to see what other libraries around the country (and beyond!) are doing with technology to better serve their communities.

After my first day at the conference, I was just exhausted. There is so much information to process, and I had two more days to go, so I went back to the small AirBnB that I had rented to relax. On the nightstand next to the bed, my hosts had left an essential oil diffuser with some instructions. I was totally unfamiliar with diffusers and even essential oils at that point, but filled it up with water, put some drops of peppermint oil in, and started it up. It was SO relaxing! I immediately texted my wife and told her about it. She was really excited and mentioned that she had been eyeing several different diffusers online, but thought that I would think she was crazy! When I got home, we ordered a really nice diffuser from Amazon and hit up our local health food store for the oils to go with it. My wife and I have incorporated it into our nightly routine, and after the kids are in bed, we put on a good show and a nice relaxing essential oil blend in the diffuser to unwind. When the kids are particularly energetic near bedtime, we also use a roll-on combination of lavender and a carrier oil (oils should never be applied directly to the skin!) to help calm them down- it works wonders!

As I began to do more research, I learned that diffusing essential oils is part of a holistic healing treatment known as “aromatherapy.” In aromatherapy, inhaling the steam from essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, and the beneficial molecules from the diffused oil then enter into the lungs, where they are then dispersed throughout the body. When the molecules reach the brain, they stimulate (or relax) the emotions. Diffusing different essential oils will, of course, produce different scents, but depending on the essential oil (or oil mixtures) that you use, you can also improve your mood, boost your immune system, improve sleep quality, treat headaches and migraines, and help with relaxation and meditation.

The library offers some great books on essential oils and aromatherapy, in particular through our Hoopla app, which will give you instant access to a plethora of useful titles on the subject. Perhaps one the best and most comprehensive offered through the Hoopla app is “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood. Worwood’s book delves deep into not only the many essential oils that exist, but is also organized into chapters that give essential oil recommendations for specific individuals (men, women, children, athletes, travelers, etc.). Worwood further divides each individual type into a specific ailment or consideration that might pertain to them, for example, babies and young children should only be exposed to certain types of diffused oils and in specific ratios, due to their extra sensitive skin, so the book gives a good overview of what oils are appropriate for which age type to assist caregivers in diffusing appropriate oil types.

If you are new to diffusing essential oils, or essential oils in general, my best recommendation to start with is “the mother of all essential oils:” lavender. Lavender is a great essential oil that has a lot of utility and health benefits. It’s safe for babies (when diluted) and some recent evidence
shows it has been effective in reducing the symptoms of colic in babies (take note, restless parents!). It has a very flowery aroma, and is an antiseptic, antibiotic, and antidepressant. Lavender can also easily mix well with other essential oils like rose, grapefruit, and sweet orange, which smell great and have health benefits of their own. If properly diluted, lavender can also be applied topically to heal rashes and burns.

I have tried many different essential oils and oil blends, and I have a lot of favorites, but my personal favorite, both in terms of scent, health benefits, and mood relaxing properties, is frankincense. In case you ever wondered why one of the Magi presented frankincense to the baby Jesus; it is because it was highly prized due to its powerful rejuvenating and revitalizing qualities (perhaps you can also see the symbolism of the gift). Frankincense is a natural disinfectant that boosts the immune system, refreshes skin, can ease respiratory infection symptoms, and is, to me, the perfect essential oil for meditation. Frankincense is the yin to lavender’s yang. Lavender is soft and floral, frankincense by contrast, has a strong woody, smoky, earthy scent to it, which I really enjoy, but might not be to everyone’s liking. You can learn more about frankincense, and other seasonally relevant scents, myrrh, pine needle, mistletoe, and others from the article “Gifts of Healing… from Herbs of the Season” which can be found though our Gale Database section on the library website.

I hope that you check out what the library has to offer on aromatherapy, learn more, and try diffusing some oils yourself. As a thirty-five year old man, I never thought that I would be writing a column about essential oils, and my discovery of aromatherapy was very unlikely to say the least, but I am a believer in the benefits that it can offer. Remember, if you are new to using our Hoopla app, or would like assistance in setting it up, you can schedule a one-on-one tech appointment here at the library. We are happy to get you connected and on your way to learning more!

Brian DeFelice is the Technology Services Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA. Look for his article in the December 19, 2018 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Fall Flavors Sans Pumpkin Spice

Saving-the-season-cookbook-coverLast fall, I was unpacking the groceries from a trip to the market. My husband popped into the kitchen to “help” put the food away, a.k.a. survey my selections so he can plan what I refer to as his “snack-tivities” for the week.

After a few minutes of cupboards opening, I heard him exclaim, “Ugh! Why would anyone buy this?!” I turned around, expecting him to be holding one of the weird veggies I buy without knowing what I’ll do with them, but nope, he’s holding a box of pumpkin spice Cheerios. I thought they looked good, but my husband thought I was trying to poison him. This was the moment that I learned that my husband hates almost all pumpkin spice flavored things.

He always ate my squash pie at Thanksgiving dinner, which has the same flavoring as pumpkin spice, so why this sudden hatred for this popular fall flavor? Apparently, the problem is over-exposure. Dunkin’s introduced a pumpkin muffin a few years ago, which I thought was a good fit. New Englanders have been eating spiced pumpkin bread for centuries, so why not make it muffin shaped? But the pumpkin spicing didn’t stop there. Now there are pumpkin spice Oreos, pumpkin spice tea, and pumpkin spice Peeps. Even I draw the line at pumpkin-y marshmallow chicks.

Still, I love warm flavors. Fall and winter are my favorite food seasons and my taste trends toward old fashioned. My favorite meals are the ones served from one giant roasting pan and heat up the whole house in their making. Give me apples, squash that will last months in a root cellar, cozy breads, and warm Indian pudding. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy a good avocado and egg sandwich- I am a millennial after all (barely), but if I knew it was my last meal, I would be ordering my grandmother’s Canadian boiled dinner followed by a gigantic slice of squash pie.

My husband is the opposite. He also likes warm flavors, if by warm, you mean HOT. He loves thermonuclear chicken wings, spicy and tangy fish tacos, and self-concocted barbecue sauces that make my eyes water. If I am an autumn/winter eater, he is all about summer flavors. I think that might be why he hates seeing pumpkin spice flavored everything lining the grocery store shelves- it is a signal that summer is over.

For my husband’s sake, I am trying to avoid pumpkin spice overload this autumn and am seeking out fresh fall flavors that won’t induce winter woes, but will still use the ingredients available from our local farms and orchards. Luckily, the library has more than a few books to help me.

The first book I found does less to celebrate the upcoming cooler weather and more to stretch the tastes of summer further. Saving the Season: a Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving, by Kevin West is a super book for gardeners and farm-share households. I am always scrambling in October to preserve the glut of late season tomatoes and other garden goodies practically falling off the tangle of vines that is my vegetable patch. This book gives options- tasty, tasty options.

The book that I am just loving right now is Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons, by Andrea Bemis. The author is a passionate farmer and has crafted recipes that take advantage of what her organic farms has on offer each season. She experiments with flavors in recipes like her beet, walnut and kale pizza or winter squash carbonara, but still includes new twists on classic recipes, like tomato sauce to use up the last of the season’s tomatoes, and sweet potato pie.

Another book that made my mouth water is America Farm to Table, by Mario Batali. Batali also takes on using local, seasonal ingredients to make yummy dishes that will please a crowd. He looks to towns and cities across the country for inspiration. I found that the recipes inspired by Vail, Colorado fit well with what my garden is producing and what is available at nearby farmers markets. The beef and chard meatballs were lick-the-plate-clean good.

Even with summer quickly fading away, I am hoping to ease the transition into fall for my anti-pumpkin spice husband with a few recipes from these great titles. Maybe I can even save a few recipes to take the sting out of that first snowfall.

Alli Palmgren is the Technology Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Alli’s column in the September 20, 2018 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.


Musical Movie Mondays Film Series

De-lovely-movie-posterThe Morrill Memorial Library is continuing its popular summer tradition of showing a selection of movie musicals on most Monday evenings from July 2 through August 27 starting at 6:30 pm. A few biographical films about famous musicians, featuring lots of great music, will be included this year along with more traditional musicals. Kicking off the series on July 2–in honor of Independence Day–is the 1952 film “Stars and Stripes Forever,” starring Robert Wagner, about composer John Philip Sousa.

Subsequent musical screenings include “An American in Paris” (1951), a George Gershwin classic starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, on July 16; “The Greatest Showman” (2017) inspired by P.T Barnum and starring Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams on July 23; “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980) about country music singer Loretta Lynn, with Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, on July 30; “Mame” (1974) starring Lucille Ball and Bea Arthur on August 13; “De-Lovely” (2004) about composer Cole Porter, with Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, on August 20; and “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973) based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera on August 27.

Attendees will have a chance to win the soundtrack for “An American in Paris,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Mame,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in a raffle held before these film screenings. Popcorn is being generously donated by Regal Cinemas in Bellingham. To sign up, please call 781-769-0200, x110 or 222, fill out the form below, or visit either the Reference or Information Desk.

"7/30 Coal Miners Daughter""8/13 Mame""8/20 De-Lovely""8/27 Jesus Christ Superstar"

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