MORRILL MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturdays: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sundays: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Closed Saturdays July 1 through Labor Day
Closed Sundays from Memorial Day - Columbus Day Weekend

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Hitchcock, Master of Suspense film series

The Morrill Memorial Library is presenting a Master of Suspense film series this fall featuring six Hitchcock classics, from October 6 to November 2. Get in the Halloween “spirit” by joining us for any or all of these classic thrillers, shown at either 10:30 a.m. OR 6:30 p.m. Complimentary popcorn is being donated by Regal Cinemas in Bellingham.

The-39-steps-movie-posterFriday, Oct. 6 @ 10:30 am – “The 39 Steps”
(1935, 1 hour 28 mins)

 

The-lady-vanishes-movie-posterFriday, Oct. 13 @ 10:30 am –  “The Lady Vanishes”
(1938, 1 hour 36 mins)

 

Rear-window-movie-posterMonday, Oct. 16 @ 10:30 am – “Rear Window”
(1954, 1 hour 52 mins)

 

North-by-northwest-movie-posterTuesday, Oct. 24 @ 6:30 pm – “North by Northwest”
(1959, 2 hours 38 mins)

 

Vertigo-movie-posterFriday, Oct. 27 @ 10:30 am – “Vertigo”
(1958, 2 hours 8 mins, Rated PG)

 

Hitchcock-movie-posterThursday, Nov. 2 @ 6:30 pm – “Hitchcock”
(2012, 1 hour 38 mins, Rated PG-13)

 

To sign up, please call 781-769-0200, x110 or 222, fill out the form below, or stop by either the library Reference or Information Desk.

 

Out of the Ashes

When President Kennedy was shot, I had yet to enter the world. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even a twinkle in my mother’s eye. Still, many Americans can pinpoint where they were when they heard the news of the president’s death in Dallas.

As a child of the Sixties, I have other events that stand out in my mind as unforgettable. Newspaper headlines of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal caught my eye as they lay on our kitchen table. The Iran Hostage Crisis and long gas lines were also part of my childhood, and yet there are few times in my life that one event stopped me in my tracks.

The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster was one of those times. On January 27, 1986, I was glued to the television with my college dormmates, watching our dreams and NASA’s break apart in 73 seconds after take-off. We swore we would never forget that day, and then 9-11 happened. It’s at this time of year that we remember that clear September morning that changed our world forever and, like JFK’s assassination, we remember exactly what we were doing when the news broke.

The day before the Attack on America, I’d taken a morning flight out of Boston with my husband and 18-month old daughter. We’d flown to San Francisco to see my in-laws for our annual visit. Because of the time change, we were up early and sitting around the kitchen table when the first plane struck. It wasn’t until that afternoon that we realized we’d exposed our daughter to the news as well. We found her in the living room, stacking up towers of blocks, then knocking them down like the Twin Towers.

It is hard to believe it’s been 16 years since that dreadful day. This summer my family took a bus to New York City to visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. We wanted our teenage daughters to view this history through their own eyes. Together we spent time reading the names of those who died. We touched the water in the twin reflecting pools, and walked past the Survivors’ Stairs that led many to escape and back to life.

For the longest time I refused to pick up a book on 9-11. I read the news and watched television specials but I preferred to read stories from other periods of history, such as World War II or the Vikings. That changed recently. I found a book that peeked my interest called The Red Bandanna: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy by Tom Rinaldi. It’s the true account of a previously unkown American hero from September 11th. Certainly, heroes rise up out of tragedies in surprising ways. Welles Crowther is one of those heroes. For the longest time after the Twin Towers fell, Crowther’s family had no idea what happened to him. They knew he worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower and that he’d gone to work early as usual. After that, there was no word. Silence.

Eight months after the attack, Crowther’s mother was reading a news account that mentioned a mysterious stranger wearing a red bandanna who led many to safety. In the midst of the harrowing ordeal, this mysterious man kept turning around to rescue more. That’s when his mother knew. That single detail—the red bandanna—defined her son. When Crowther was a young boy his father gave him his red bandanna from his back pocket before church. From that day forward, Crowther had kept that signature bandanna in his possession. Ironically, Crowther had been considering a life-change right before 9-11. For years he’d wanted to pursue a lifelong dream—to become a firefighter for the FDNY. In any role he’d played, he’d gone above in beyond his duty. He cared about others, and his heroic actions on 9-11 were of no surprise to those who knew and loved him. In her poem The Summer Day, Mary Oliver asks the reader a question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The Red Bandanna answers this question for Welles Crowther—one man who made a difference with his life.

As it turns out another favorite book of mine, The Fall of Marigolds, by Susan Meissner demonstrates this resolve in the face of tragedy. While a work of fiction, Meissner’s novel weaves together the lives of two women through an embroidered scarf. For Clara Wood, it is the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire disaster that takes the life of the man she loves. For Taryn Michaels it’s her husband’s death in the World Trade Towers that turns her world upside down. Kirkus Review describes Taryn’s dilemma as follows: “A recently discovered photo from that day is published in a national magazine and now, 10 years after 9/11, Taryn is forced to relive the events and face the guilt she’s harbored because she acceded to a customer’s request and stopped by a hotel to pick up a marigold scarf, an action that delayed Taryn from joining her husband at Windows on the World for a celebration she’d planned.” Meissner reveals the heart of two survivors and the strength of character that often emerges from tragedy.

Sometimes as adults we forget we’re not the only ones who had to grapple with heartache after 9-11. Many children lost family and friends as well, and those children have grown up in the shadow of that fateful day. True, a variety of picture books have emerged on this topic for children, but I’m particularly impressed by Janet Nolan’s Seven and a Half Tons of Steel. While everyone should check out this book for Thomas Gonzalez’s illustrations alone (they are gorgeous), it is Nolan who uses a delicate hand to tell how the bow of the USS New York came to be fashioned from the remains of a World Trade Tower’s steel beam. How beautiful is that! Out of ashes comes renewed strength. I think I will cling to that hope this year on September 11th.

 Nancy Ling is the Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts.  Read Nancy’s column in the September 14th issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Mrs. Rabbit and the Little Nearsighted Girl

This past August, I attended a professional institute with 50 other library professionals at a beautiful Maine mountain resort. We enjoyed meals and participated in workshops for two full days, facilitated by RIPL, the Research Institute for Public Libraries.

During the workshops, we were often instructed to break into small groups of two to six to discuss the ways we can improve our service to the residents of the communities we serve. We also discussed how we were already doing a terrific job as librarians.

In one such small group on the second day, we were asked to turn to the person next to us and recall an inspiring story of our work. It could be something we had done or something we had witnessed at our library.

Now, give me a keyboard and some free time, and I won’t stop typing.  Ask me on the spot to think and I’m tongue-tied and brain dead!  One time, in a professional meeting, participants were asked to go around the room and share some little-known interesting fact about themselves.

When it came to my turn, and after an awkward silence, a friend and colleague sitting next to me jabbed me in the ribs and said “You have a dish fetish!” I laughed and announced to the room that, yes, I did have an addiction to collecting, displaying, using, and storing dishes of all kinds. At least the silence turned to chuckles.

Back to the institute in Maine, I thought, hard, and a memory materialized somewhere from the recesses of my brain.

I turned to my partner with a smile. “I can go first,” I said (much to her relief) and I began to tell my story.

I began my professional career as a children’s librarian as soon as I graduated with my master’s degree. Spending my days in the children’s room of a library was a no-brainer for me.   I loved working with children, it was an extension of my days spent mothering my daughters. And my name (my past married name at the time) was Mrs. Rabbitt. A perfect name for a children’s librarian.

And so Mrs. Rabbitt’s new career began at the Peterborough Town Library in New Hampshire. The library served the community of Peterborough and the families and children in the surrounding nine towns. Families with children from infancy through high school began to rely on my expertise in children’s literature and my passion for librarianship. I loved my job there for four lovely years.

It was a tough decision but in 2004 I had decided to move back to Massachusetts to be closer to my now-adult children, an elderly aunt, and a directorship in a central Massachusetts town.

Now you must fast forward to the spring of 2013 when one day a former Peterborough colleague stumbled upon a post on an online blog, ShelfTalker for Publisher’s Weekly. He included a link in his email and wrote – “You must read this.”
ShelfTalker has many contributors and one of them is a bookseller, children’s book author, and avid reader, Elizabeth Bluemle. She is also the owner of the children’s bookshop, the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont.  Elizabeth’s blog post that month was titled “The Best Author Letter Ever.”

In ShelfTalker, Elizabeth relayed the story of a now-seventeen year old teenager named Sylvia.  Sylvia had just written to her out of the blue to thank her for writing a book that had changed her life a decade earlier when she was eight years old in 2004.  The “book” wasn’t actually a book, but an unpublished manuscript that had found its way into her hands. Sylvia continued her story in her thank you note and Elizabeth posted it in its entirety.

Sylvia had spent her short childhood unable to see clearly but when she was eight years old new technology finally gifted her with glasses – “enormous, larger-than-Harry-Potter” glasses. Huge that they were, she could actually see! Yet near-sighted Sylvia was a bit terrified of the world and she became more introverted, spending her days and nights reading everything she could get her hands on. And what she desperately wanted was to read was a great book about girls and a great book about that girl’s love of glasses. She begged her parents to find one. And that’s when she and her mother made their regular visit to the library and, Sylvia wrote, they “enlisted the help of one extraordinary world-class children’s librarian, Charlotte Rabbitt.”

By this time, as you can imagine, tears were streaming down my face as I sat in my office reading Elizabeth’s blog post and Sylvia’s letter. I vividly remembered that day Sylvia came with her mother to the library with her request. Their family was one of my favorites. Older brother Peter was a member of my Redwall Fan club and my Pizza-to-Pages book club. Sylvia was sweetly intent and always ready for a reading suggestion.

One characteristic of librarians is their innate desire to find answers … and their quest to put books in everyone’s hands. After searching for books that met Sylvia’s specifications, a book about a girl who loves her glasses, I came up with a few things … but not the right thing. I enlisted the help of peers in the children’s librarians’ world through a listserv and soon heard from aspiring author, Elizabeth Bluemle. She sent me the unpublished manuscript of a book she was hoping to get published, Iris Spectacle: Accidental Private Eye. I called Sylvia’s mom and told her I had something very special for Sylvia to read.

In her letter to Elizabeth, Sylvia wrote that she read and re-read that book. She bragged to her friends that she had a book that wasn’t yet published. Most importantly, she believed that girls who had glasses were invincible and also very, very cool.

I contacted Elizabeth and told her just what the blog post, and Sylvia’s letter had meant to me.

Many stories and letters find their way back to us, the librarians of the world. There are many times when we learn that we are able to change a tear into a smile, or frustration and sadness into understanding and joy. Sylvia’s story is just one of them.

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the September 7, 2017 issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

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King’s Cage

Kings-cage-book-cover“King’s Cage” by Victoria Aveyard
Fantasy/Sci Fi – 3 stars

Ugh, another formerly exciting YA series down the tubes. Almost nothing happened the first three quarters of the book, yet somehow there was an exhausting amount of angst and faux drama. Furthermore, there were several totally unnecessary characters with their own storylines competing for the readers attention. Basically, this book could have been cut by about 75% and been pretty entertaining, but it seems like the editor gave up trying to rein in the author.

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Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

Library-of-lost-souls-book-cover“Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
Young Adult/Fantasy – 3 stars

This was the final novel in the trilogy. I will admit that quite some time elapsed between my reading of the second book and the final book; however, it didn’t take me very long to jump back into the world of peculiardom. As always, I enjoyed the assortment of odd vintage photographs to go along with the story.

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