We asked Jennifer Woodward, our brand new Assistant Director, to write something about her first week at FPL for the blog, and she did! We are so delighted she is here!
“Hello! My name is Jennifer Woodward and I am the new Assistant Director here at the Falmouth Public Library. I am thrilled to be here. I spent my first week on the job getting to know the library staff and the library building, as well as learning my new tasks and more about Falmouth. The library staff welcomed me with a party which featured a pie making contest! Both Liz Farland and Tammy Amon won the coveted Golden Spatula awards.
My most recent position was the Director of the public library in Northbridge Massachusetts. I’ve also worked in a corporate library, a law library and two other public libraries in Massachusetts. I grew up in Massachusetts, mostly in Plymouth, and spent my adult years (to date) in Metrowest and Central Massachusetts.
One of my new tasks is to choose which fiction books and DVDs to buy for adults. If you have any suggestions or thoughts about what you would like us to buy, I would love to talk to you about it!
Thank you to the library staff and Director Linda Collins for helping make my first week a successful one. And I hope to see you at the library soon!”
Mindy and Jill were delighted to be joined today by Ken Gloss of the Brattle Book Shop located in Boston. Ken arrived with piles of ephemera, and below you will find the books that Jill mentioned, with a few bonus titles. If you are interested in local postcards, check out our digital Robert C. Hunt Postcard Collection, and for menus drop by the New York Public Library Lab’s historical menu collection! Miss the show? You can listen online!
I am always astonished by all the science that takes place in the town of Falmouth, thanks to all of our scientific institutions. Recently I met Simon Ryder-Burbidge who is a guest student at WHOI. He and his colleagues are conducting a survey to understand how the community of Falmouth experiences “connection” to the ocean. They want to build a model for the design of community-based ocean policy, and they need your help! The survey is daunting at first, but as Simon tells me: ” It was a difficult balance to make it a manageable length without losing too much.” However, he also shares: “That being said, I’ve been very impressed by the level of participation so far. Some of the open-ended responses have been an absolute joy to read, and others very informative. People have been really generous with their time, and I do feel that something good is growing here.”
Simon and his colleagues are only looking for Falmouth residents, but Heather Goldstone, of WCAI, is also interested in your ocean stories. She writes: “Wherever you’re from, tell us your best ocean story. Throughout the summer, Living Lab Radio will be featuring your tales of ocean connections. E-mail a brief version of your story and your contact information to Living Lab Radio, or leave us a voicemail at (508) 289-1285.”
So you have two great opportunities to tell the world what the ocean means to you! You can find Simon’s survey for resident’s of Falmouth at www.lowlanderpress.com. As long as I was chatting with Simon, I also thought I’d ask him if he had any favorite books about the ocean, and this is what he told me:
“As for books, I have really been enjoying one called Codby Mark Kurlansky (very locally relevant) at current. Blowing my mind about once per chapter so far.
Another one I really liked was Sex in the Sea by Marah Hardt. Some crazy stuff going on under the water. “
The full titles are Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and Sex in theSea: Our Intimate Connection with Kinky Crustaceans, Sex–Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters and Other Salty Erotica. Try some ocean reading to get you in the mood for filling out a survey or telling your ocean story!
This morning was pledge drive at WCAI, so the book show was a little bit shorter than normal, but we had lots of calls! Thanks to all of you who called with your boat book suggestions! There was so little time and so many calls, that both Vicky and I are going to give you some bonus books in today’s book blog. If you missed the show, not to worry, you can listen online!
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus – based on the true story of Manjiro, a 14 year old Japanese boy who was shipwrecked in 1841 and picked up by an American whaling ship whose captain was from Fairhaven
A Storm Without Rain by Jan Adkins – 15 year old boy from Buzzards Bay goes back in time and meets his grandfather.
On today’s radio book show on The Point on WCAI we talked about great books for summer reading, if you have time for summer reading. If not, hold on to our suggestions until the autumn! Mindy Todd was joined by Jill Erickson, Head of Reference and Adult Services at the Falmouth Public Library and Jennifer Gaines, librarian at the Woods Hole Library. Thanks to all of our many callers, with all of your great book suggestions!
Our Books & Authors Festival will feature 16 authors over 8 weeks with 11 events! Authors include Robert Finch, Ellen Herrick, Patrick Dacey, Anne LeClair, and Anita Diamant! You can see all the details here! Geoff Wisner will be here on August 2nd, and you can read more about his visit and Thoreau’s 200th anniversary here.
The Falmouth Public Library is one of three Cape libraries hosting an exhibit of international labor day posters which will give you a taste of May Day from around the world during the month of May.
May Day, the first of May is known throughout much of the world as the day for workers. It is celebrated in over one hundred countries by workers and trade unions. In most countries, the celebrations are not about military parades, but rather about highlighting the struggles workers are going through. It is not a recognized holiday in the US and Canada. Instead these two countries celebrate Labor Day. The reason for this is that the celebration of May Day was linked to Communism, Socialism, militant workers and other activists who fought for improving the lot of workers. The irony of this is that the movement of celebrating May Day as a workers holiday emanated from the US. A national strike was called for May 1, 1886, if Congress did not pass legislation shortening the work day to eight hours. On May 1, 60,000 workers went on strike in Chicago. The movement spread worldwide. The struggle for the 8-hour day was realized years later.
The exhibit is interesting as graphic art, and as culture and political history. Artists may appreciate the ways a similar theme is depicted in different countries and cultures. Lewis has made the foreign language posters more accessible by including information, including the translation of key phrases. Historians can see what social and political changes were being advocated for in different countries at different times. Activists can see some of their favorite causes, including the celebration of May Day itself in these posters. One example of interest Lewis points out is the difference between the tame language in the Liechtenstein posters, where workers are generally treated well, and the much more militant language in posters from countries like El Salvador, where labor unions are severely repressed.
Stephen Lewis is exhibiting May Day posters at the Falmouth, Mashpee and Bourne public libraries. Lewis has numerous May Day posters that he has collected, from France, Spain, Namibia, Australia, Denmark, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Germany and Liechtenstein to name only a few.
This project is supported in part by grants from the Falmouth and Mashpee Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and by a number of labor unions including Roofers Local 33, Asbestos Workers Local 6, IBEW Local 103, Painters DC 35 and Laborer’s Local 1249 in memory of Norman P. Thayer.
Lewis has a collection of 6,400 posters which he exhibits regularly around Massachusetts. He can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s The Point with Mindy Todd on WCAI featured books about Ireland and by Irish authors. We think all of today’s Spring green was a perfect setting for Irish books. Joining Jill Erickson, Head of Reference & Adult Services, was Vicki Titcomb of Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich. What a pleasure it was to have Vicki back in the studio with us! And if you missed the show this morning, you can listen online.
I did have a few updates on past shows this morning. Thanks again to the anonymous donor who brought me six paperback copies of Josephine Tey mysteries, after I mentioned I had not read them, last February when we did the mystery book show with Jennifer Gaines of the Woods Hole Library. I have now begun to read Josephine Tey, and very much enjoyed reading Miss Pym Disposes.
Last month, when we were talking about bird books, I had mentioned a novel that I had not yet read nor even seen, but had learned about via Twitter! It was published in Australia, and thus was a bit tricky to find a copy. However, I now have read The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley, a very beautiful and moving novel about Elizabeth Gould, wife of ornithologist John Gould. Thanks to the Biodiversity Heritage Library you can see many of her bird paintings on Flickr! The novel is also chock full of details about painting and science, childbirth, and most especially the collecting of birds to identify new species. It also is a particularly beautiful book, with fabulous endpapers and jacket and even the paper is lovely, all thanks to Affirm Press, as they say on their web page: “an independent Melbourne-based publisher dedicated to publishing great Australian stories, big ideas, and the most engaging local and international authors.” The novel is now available at the Falmouth Public Library, and I hope soon will be picked up by an American publisher! If you want your very own copy, you currently can purchase a copy via Book Depository. As they describe themselves on their web page: Book Depository is “the world’s leading specialist online bookstore. We’re proud to offer over 17 million titles, all at unbeatable prices with free delivery worldwide to over 100 countries.”
So here are the lists, and now I have to go do my reference librarian homework, and see if Frank Zappa really was the first to say: “So many books, so little time.”
Today was the monthly WCAI book show with Mindy Todd on The Point. We hope you got to hear Dennis Minsky and Jill Erickson talk about bird books. We had such big piles of bird books, we think we’ll be doing another bird book show in the fall! Sorry we were pre-recorded today, so you couldn’t call in with your favorites, but if you have a favorite bird book, please add a comment to our list! Miss the show? You can listen here!
Last night, we had a great discussion about fake news, media literacy, and the role of the public library to help people find reliable sources. Big thanks to Sean Corcoran and Allison Butler for leading the discussion, and to FCTV for streaming the program live to Channel 13. I also would like to thank the audience for all of their participation and thoughtful comments and questions. I hope everyone learned a little bit more about how to identify reliable news sources. At the bottom of this blog, you will see a list of online news resources and ways to improve your media literacy.
I began the evening with a few quotations:
“The highest purpose of the library is to serve as the armory of the truth, to defend it against lies that serve the powerful.” John Overholt, Curator of Early Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” Neil Gaiman
“Standing up for our values also means, as we all surely know, that we must be especially careful to provide the highest level and quality of service to people and communities who see the world differently, and who maybe aren’t unhappy about the new direction of the country.
Indeed, the American Library Association Code of Ethics states: ‘We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.” That’s not always easy or comfortable, it’s just crucial because it’s everyone’s library. We absolutely cannot afford to start eroding confidence in who we are and what we do.” Joseph Janes, Library Journal, March/April 2017
And for those of you interested in the erroneous Moby-Dick quotation about cranberries that I mentioned last night, you can read my blog on this here. And as a bonus, my blog on an erroneous Scott F. Fitzgerald quotation! (And do read the comments at the bottom of that blog entry! We even were mentioned on a blog created in New Zealand!)
All of the resources below will help you with your media literacy skills and give you a hand identifying true news from untrue news. And remember, you can always ask a reference librarian for more help!
Center for News Literacy: Stony Brook University School of Journalism. It is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in order to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television or the Internet.
Mass Media Literacy: Their mission is to ensure that all Massachusetts students are taught the critical thinking skills needed to engage with media as active and informed participants in the 21st century.
The News Literacy Project: a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that works with educators and journalists to teach middle school and high school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age.
Snopes: a small staff of researchers and writers dedicated to investigating and analyzing rumors.
You might also be interested in this six volume set of books in the Reference Room: Encyclopedia of Journalism, General Editor, Christopher H. Sterling. Of particular interest, the section on “Self-Regulation” which includes a history of news scandals.
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