Monday, August 22nd, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Movie musicals are back this summer! A total of eight popular musicals will be shown this summer on consecutive Monday evenings through August 29, concluding with our only Wednesday night screening on August 31. The summer schedule of musicals continues as follows: “Mary Poppins” (Mon. 8/22), “The King and I” (Mon. 8/29), and “Moulin Rouge” (Wed. 8/31).
All films begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. in the air-conditioned Simoni Room, and complimentary popcorn is provided by Regal Cinemas in Bellingham. A CD of the soundtrack to that evening’s musical will be raffled off before each screening. To sign up, please call 781-769- 0200, x110 or 222, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the library Reference or Information Desk.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Experience the Star Wars saga at the Morrill Memorial Library this summer! Beginning July 13th and running every Wednesday at 6:30 pm through August 24th, we will be showing the Star Wars films in order, from Episode I through Episode VII. Join us to revisit these beloved films on the big screen, or to see them for the first time.
Finally, on August 24th we’ll show the 2015 box office hit “Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” rated PG-13, 2 hours 16 minutes.
To register for any and all of these films, please email email@example.com, call 781-769-0200 x110, or visit the Reference or Information Desk. Popcorn for these films will be provided by Regal Cinemas in Bellingham. All films will be shown in the air conditioned Simoni Room on the second floor.
Open any paper, stream the news, and soon you will feel overwhelmed with the world. A car bomb killing hundreds in Bagdad, a train going off the tracks in Pennsylvania. Truly it’s a wonder we get out of bed every day and head to work or the gym.
Lately I’ve found myself avoiding many things but reading isn’t one of them. Instead my tastes have changed. Now I’m searching for what I’ve termed a good “Pick-Me-Up” book. No, not a book on dating, but one that makes me smile. While I may be The Queen of Denial, a humorous escape seems like the perfect remedy to this world’s ills.
I’m sure many of you remember that old television ad for Calgon, the bath bubbles that “take you away” from your worries. In that vein, I’m including six books that can also carry you away. (Of course, if you check them out from the library be careful not to drop them into the bubble bath). Here they are:
F In Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers by Richard Benson. If you need a laugh, this is the book for you. Of course, teachers will find it amusing, having lived through these foibles in their classrooms, but anyone will get a chuckle. The book is divided by subject, ranging from Chemistry or Math to Psychology or English. Here’s a few samples to give you a taste. Under Biology the question on a test was “What is a fibula?” The student’s answer: “A little lie.” Under Physics: “Describe what happened during the Big Bang?” The answer: “A lot of noise.” And one of my favorites from History and Geography: “Define the term ‘intensive farming.” It takes a special student to reply: “It is when a farmer never has a day off.”
We Are Women: Celebrating Our Wit and Grit by June Cotner and Barb Mayer. This fun and flashy book is a real “feel good” read for summer. By combining vintage photos with inspirational and fun-loving quotations, the authors have created a power-packed package. As Cotner describes it, the pairing of photographs with famous sayings serves to “remind readers how women’s character and strength have endured through time.” So take this one to the beach. You can’t go wrong!
You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty by Dave Barry. Over the years I’ve fallen in love with numerous Barry books and he has yet to let me down. This time Barry tackles parenting and family issues with comical finesse. One of my favorite chapters touches on the modern day conveniences that have gone over the top, including a men’s public restroom where you no longer need to flush the urinal. As only Barry can describe it: “This tedious chore is a thing of the past because the urinal now has a small electronic “eye” connected to the Central Restroom Command Post, located deep underground somewhere near Omaha, Nebraska, where highly trained workers watch you on high-definition TV screens and make the flush decision for you.”
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler. It’s hard to believe but I haven’t read a book by Anne Tyler until now. Yes, I’ve been living under a rock, but this was a fabulous place to start. This is the story of Ira and Maggie’s marriage. It begins with a bang, literally, when Maggie is picking up her car from the repair shop. Surprised to hear her ex-daughter-in-law on the radio revealing that her one true love is still Maggie’s son, Maggie promptly shoots the car out of the garage into a passing Pepsi truck. Mind you, the car has just been repaired. Thus begins the couple’s literal journey to comfort a friend, Serena, during her husband’s funeral and the metaphorical journey to explore and reignite Maggie and Ira’s marriage. Their adventures are full of the joys and disappointments that await most married couples, all told with Tyler’s perfectly-timed sense of humor. (I hope to watch the 1994 movie with James Garner and Joanne Woodward too)
Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?: True Stories and Confessions by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. Another confession. I love short chapters. They make me happy, and so does this summer pick-me-up. This mother-daughter team really pack a punch and it begins this way: “People go to the beach for lots of reasons, namely, the sand, the sun, and the water. I go for the food.” As Scottoline reveals, growing up in a family of self-described “chubby Italian-Americans” molded her point of view on life. From Hollywood selfies to first dates, Scottoline and Serritella had me in stitches. After all, I can relate to these words: “I have met the love of my life, and it comes in a box. I’m talking, of course, about ThermaCare. The heat wrap you buy at a drugstore that you stick to various parts of your achy body.”
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. Think Des Moines, Iowa, 1950s, in combination with one of the best travel humorists, and you have one of my favorite books of all time. Bryson has come a long way from his childhood in the Midwest, but it becomes clear that his sense of humor started early. Take his view of his mother. He admires that she was a woman who dared to head back into the workplace when few others did the same, but he also revels in the outcome. As he writes, “We didn’t call it the kitchen in our house. We called it the Burns Unit.” He goes on to say, “Happily, all this suited my father. His palate only responded to two tastes — burnt and ice cream — so everything suited him so long as it was sufficiently dark and not too startlingly flavorful. Theirs truly was a marriage made in heaven for no one could burn food like my mother or eat it like my dad.”
Hopefully, one of two of these reads will float your boat this summer. Remember, even the resilient reader needs an escape now and then from this crazy place we call home.
Nancy Ling is an Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Nancy’s column in the July 21st issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
June 27th – September 2nd
Kindergarten and up
Registration begins June 20th
Get your reading skills in gear with the 2016 Summer Reading Program! Every year, public libraries across Massachusetts host this fun, laid back summer-long program to help kids keep up their literacy skills while school’s out. Join online, add titles to your readign log, and complete challenges to win cool prizes! Kids can access their summer reading accounts from any computer, anywhere! Reading logs can be printed out at the end of the summer.
To sign up, follow this link and click “Join Here”. If you need help registering, please call the Children’s Room at 781-769-0200 x225 or visit in person so a staff member can assist you.
Once your child is registered, click here to log in and start submitting titles.
In 1889, when Andrew Carnegie wrote his essay titled Wealth, it was published in the North American Review and soon after became known as The Gospel of Wealth. In the article, Carnegie reasoned that successful capitalists have an obligation to improve the world, both culturally and socially, with the bulk of their riches. They must, he contended, leave the world better than they found it. “I should consider it a disgrace to die a rich man,” in Carnegie’s words speaks to his legacy to the world. Carnegie’s wealth built over 3,000 public libraries in English-speaking countries, many of them in the United States. The foundation in his name endures to this day.
Although it can be argued that Carnegie was just one of the many American industrialists who made their fortunes using the sweat and blood of common laborers, there is no debate that he and many other capitalists left fortunes in foundations that are still enriching the world today. George Morrill, Norwood’s wealthy printing ink manufacturer, undoubtedly read The Gospel and Wealth written in 1889. Morrill not only provided the funds for our elegant public library, but he and his wife advocated for the location, hired the architects and contractors, chose the exterior granite and interior mahogany, and funded the furnishings and volumes of books. In 1898, Morrill turned the keys over to Norwood – with no strings attached. The building and its contents was erected as a monument to their youngest daughter, Sara Bond Morrill. Yet, it is also obvious that this legacy was also a testament to the love of their town and their personal way to leave Norwood (which they eventually did en route to New York) better than they had found it.
Today, the hype about gifts and grants from philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, and dozens of others are splashed across the print and online news. We may claim that this philanthropy is only a portion of their wealth. Or we may debate the fact that the American rich have made their millions and billions exploiting American workers or insulting our intellect. However, without philanthropy in America, many social, educational, medical and cultural initiatives would not have been funded in the past or continue to be funded today. To date, Warren Buffet has donated over $30 billion. Bill and Melinda Gates over $29 billion. Others like George Clooney and Angelina Jolie raise millions of dollars to support humanitarian causes. Money may make the world go ‘round, but philanthropy (or from the Greek, love of man) makes the world a far better place.
One of Boston’s many philanthropists is responsible for making Boston a better place to be in the summers. Fun Free Fridays is the brainchild of the Highland Street Foundation. Libraries promote Fun Free Fridays even though you don’t need to get a coupon or pass at the library. Each Friday, 10 wonderful places are open to the public for free all day. Attendees are only asked their zip code as they enter.
The Highland Street Foundation was established by David McGrath in 1989. Friends and entrepreneurs, David McGrath and Tom Cook were both MIT students when built their company, TAD Resources International in 1956. From there, McGrath and Cook became very successful and McGrath and his wife decided to give back by endowing the Highland Foundation. After David McGrath’s early death at the age of 62 in 1995, TAD (a staffing and contract services company) was sold and the proceeds from that sale make up the majority of the endowment of the Highland Street Foundation today. David’s wife and their five children oversee the Foundation and over $170 million has been given to non-profit organizations to date. Dozens of grants, community events and programs, and initiatives are funded each year. Best Buddies, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Cradles to Crayons, and the Tadpole Playground in the Boston Common are just a few of Highland Street’s beneficiaries.
The Fun Free Fridays project was rolled out in 2009 and nearly a million visitors have taken advantage of this generous program over the past eight summers. Parks, museums, zoos, and exhibits across the state from east to west and north to south are participating venues. From the end of June to the end of August, about eight of the eighty locations each Friday are open to the public absolutely free. Included are Sturbridge Village, the Franklin Park Zoo, the USS Constitution, the JFK Presidential Library, and 76 others.
Gerry and I were lucky enough to have two of our grandchildren and their mothers visiting us over the Fourth of July week. While out and about in along the south coast of Massachusetts, we decided to have our picnic lunch in New Bedford on Friday. In the center of New Bedford’s Buttonwood Park is the Buttonwood Park Zoo and it was open free to the public that day as part of the Fun Free Fridays program.
This perfectly-sized zoo in the center of New Bedford was a delightful excursion for our eighteen-month old twin grandchildren, Ava and Judah. The Buttonwood Park Zoo’s ten acres of creatures include elephants (Emily and Ruth who are 51 and 56 years old, respectively), three black bears, one coyote, a bison, and assorted other mammals, amphibians, fish and fowl.
The Buttonwood Park Zoo has been named one of America’s best small zoos and is definitely affordable even on non-free days. It’s the twelfth oldest zoo in the United States and was founded in New Bedford during its prosperous 19th century whaling and textile eras. It’s owned and operated by the city of New Bedford (which funds 1/3 of its operating costs) and is open year-round, welcoming about 150,000 visitors a year. It is supported by donations through the Buttonwood Zoological Society.
Come to the library and pick up a Fun Free Fridays brochure or visit the Highland Street Foundation’s website for a downloadable one. The library continues to post the Fun Free Friday dates poster on our Facebook page and website. Thanks to the Highland Street Foundation and the family of David McGrath for this delightful venue for a summer picnic and romp with our grandchildren on a Fun Free Friday of summer.
Charlotte Canelli is the Director at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read Charlotte’s column in the July 14th issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.