Thankful November

November is here and that means  it is time to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner.


Thanksgiving dinner

I enjoy cooking so I am right in my element. I start planning my shopping list by the first weekend of November. My menu really doesn’t change: turkey, a white and sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce (homemade), and creamed onions (the recipe I use is from Yankee magazine), gravy, stuffing (not baked in the bird), carrots, cheese, and of course pumpkin pie! I start the cooking on Wednesday with the pie, stuffing, potato casserole, and carrots as the last three dishes can be heated in the microwave. Then on Thanksgiving morning the turkey goes in the oven, and next I begin cooking the cranberry sauce and creamed onions. The main meal is eaten in the afternoon leaving time to nibble on leftovers during the many football games on television. Now I have  visions of turkey, cranberries, and pilgrims dancing in my head — do you?

Here are some fun facts I thought I would share about Thanksgiving:

In 1789 George Washington announced that we should set aside a few days to be thankful that the War of Independence was won and the Declaration of Independence was accepted. It wasn’t until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln set a specific date for Thanksgiving in November. *


A vision of the first Thanksgiving

In 1621 the Pilgrims celebrated a thanksgiving with the Wampanoag Indians after a successful harvest.  Turkey was probably on the menu, but not cranberry sauce. Historians say that the sugar brought to the new world was nearly gone by 1621. Plus people didn’t start boiling the tart red berry until nearly half a century later. Celebrants did not enjoy a piece of pie after dinner. It seems that no one had the ingredients to make a pie crust, and cooks did not have an oven to bake in! **

The traditional black and white clothes that we think pilgrims wore all the time were worn for special occasions.  Pilgrims women dressed in colors of  red, green, blue, violet, and gray, while men’s color choices included white, beige, black, green and brown.***


gobble, gobble, gobble

Lastly the tradition of pardoning a turkey was thought to have originated with President Lincoln. It seems the president pardoned his son Tad’s turkey.****

Now that you know some fun facts you are welcome to share them at your Thanksgiving gathering.

Don’t forget to stop by the library for inspiration for planning your own Thanksgiving meal. You can browse books and magazines with recipe, craft, and decorating ideas for adults and children or check out some of the following Thanksgiving themed cookbooks:

Autumn Gatherings: Casual Food to Enjoy with Family and Friends by Rick Rodgers

The Best of Thanksgiving Recipes and Inspiration for a Festive Holiday Meal by Williams Sonoma

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations by Ree Drummond

Thanksgiving by Michael McLaughlin

Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton

Thanksgiving 101: Celebrate America’s Favorite Holiday with America’s Thanksgiving Expert  by Rick Rodgers

You’re So Invited by  Cheryl Najafi that has a chapter on planning an elegant Thanksgiving potluck




Hot July Happenings

beachI am late getting the July blog out due to my vacation and just being busy at the library. Summer is always hectic here as summer residents return, programs for adults and children are being held, and it is summer!



bbh_picI spent a few days of my vacation along the Maine coastline. It was a fun few days away from my usual routine. However, I did spend time at a library (it is impossible to keep me from a library) enjoying their activities. There were arts and handmade crafts to browse and purchase on the library’s front lawn. Children (and kids at heart) had a chance to hold starfish, hermit crabs, and lobsters plus a few other crustaceans. I suggest as you wander along this summer visit libraries and see what wonderful events are going on….just do not forget to visit Norway Memorial Library too. We have local artist Suzanne Hardy’s art on display until the end of August. Adult coloring takes center stage on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm. The library provides a variety of coloring books and colored pencils.


ReadingBookUnderTree (Small)As summer turns on the heat I like to sit in the shade and dive into a good book. Favorite genres include mysteries, biographies, and history – though I have been known to dip my toe into the science fiction genre (Andy Weir’s The Martian comes to mind). I keep a list of books to read so I am never without a book in my hand. If you need a good book to read stop by the library and checkout our new book section or just browse the bookshelves. If you need help finding a book stop at the information desk I or another staff person will help you find a book that suits your reading interest.

June: Getting new books ready

June is here and that means stocking up on books to read during the long, sunny days that are ahead of us. We all want books that will intrigue us. But, have you wondered how the books get processed and ready to loan at Norway Memorial Library? If so, this month is for you! I will explain what we do before you find that magical book on our shelves.

Books new books

Delivery of new books

The books arrive via UPS and I unpack the boxes and check them against the packing slip. For me, a book lover, this is like Christmas. Opening the boxes and seeing all the new, shiny books waiting to be read.

I then divide the books into two groups: fiction and nonfiction. Next I type and print call numbers for the fiction books (example Louis Penny’s call number is F Penny). Call numbers tell us where the book is located on the shelf. Nonfiction books receive Dewey numbers. These numbers group like subjects together in order for patrons and staff to find them on the shelves. To find the correct numbers for the nonfiction books I use the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index. An example of a Dewey number is 973.3 Phi for Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition.

KM Unpacking

Unpacking the books

A volunteer processes the books: stamping Norway Memorial Library on the first page, title page, a secret page number and on all three sides of the book. Date dues and a call number are added.

Processing Bernice

Processing new books

Then I add the books to Sierra (the Integrated Library System that connects Minerva libraries to each other). I find a record that matches the book and add our specific Norway codes to the record, plus the bar code, call number, and price. A few of many elements I check to match the book to a record are: title, author, page number, and ISBN (International Standard Book Number). There are many more, but I will not bore with detailed cataloging rules. If I did you would fall asleep and I want you to finish reading my blog!

Though I kid about it, making sure I add the book correctly record is important. If I did not do this part of cataloging correctly you would end up with the wrong book. Think about: I add Louise Penny’s latest book and I see a similar title and think “Oh this is the right record” without checking the rest of the record. Then you request the book and Nancy calls and you rush to the library only to discover the book is written in a language you are not fluent in. I added it to the wrong record and you are disappointed and need to request the book again and wait by the phone for Nancy to call (or keep checking your phone for a Minerva text alert). So, all the boring cataloging rules are important. You do not need to know them, but I do.


New nonfiction books

Okay, back to how the books end up on our shelves and in your hands. I add the year date at the top of the outside spine (the year date is the date the book was published or the copyright date). I add the titles to the month’s new book list. Finally I check to see if there are holds. If so, I set the books aside that have holds for Norway patrons and for Minerva patrons. Norway patrons are called and books for Minerva patrons are sent via the delivery service (read the April blog to see how Minerva Interlibrary Loans work). All remaining books are shelved in the new book section waiting to be checked out and read.


New fiction books



Now you know how books are processed here at Norway Library.


May: warmer days

bird lilacs

first signs of spring

Chilly April is behind us and now we wait for warmer days and the lilacs to bloom. And if you are like me you start planning your flower garden and dusting off the grill. My go-to-plants are petunias, marigolds, and geraniums. Those plants thrive with my care (my thumb isn’t as green as I would like it to be) and they look great in my window boxes. I enjoy looking at gardening books to get ideas on planting flowers or sprucing up my shrubs. Though I really can’t produce great flower gardens, I have fun trying every spring and summer.


summer is on its way!

I do much better in the grilling department. I love cookbooks; in fact, I needed to go through my personal collection recently as the bookshelves were starting to bend in the middle. At this time of year the thought of cooking outside is very tantalizing. Nothing says summer like the smell of veggies and burgers (beef, turkey, veggie, take your pick) roasting on the grill and sitting in the warm sun and reading a good book while waiting for the food to cook.

book apple

joy of reading outside

Stop by the library to find books on gardening (flower & vegetable). Then stop in the cooking section to pick up a few books on outdoor grilling. Do not forget to browse and stock up on books.



Tell me what flowers you like to plant, favorite grilling recipes, and the author that makes your summer reading fun.

Behind the Totes: A Glimpse Into Minerva ILLs

The week of April 10-16 is National Library week and to help celebrate what libraries offer people in the community I thought I would take you Behind the Totes. You will get a peak at what happens when Minerva Interlibrary Loans (ILLs) arrive at Norway Memorial Library.

After you have requested an item (book, movie, CD) through Minerva, then a library that owns a copy of the item you want  receives a notice. The library then pulls it off from their shelves, scans it and packs it in a tote. A delivery service picks up the totes and then takes it to a warehouse where the totes are sorted by library.

On Friday, March 25, 2016 four totes arrived for us to unpack.

4 totes filled with books, CDs, and DVDs


A tote full of delivery bags


When Norway receives a delivery of totes Nancy and either Julia or I help unpack the totes full of books, CDs, and DVDs. We receive deliveries from Minerva Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  As we unpack we sort returning Norway items and items from other Minerva libraries.

Nancy and Katherine unpacking



Nancy and I sorted the items in two piles: all of Norway’s returning items and the other pile for all Minerva ILLs.

Norway’s items returned


Minerva ILLs








After the items are sorted, Nancy scans the Minerva items, and then calls you to let you know your item has arrived at Norway Library.  My job is to scan  and check in Norway’s items and put them on the cart to be shelved. For Friday, March 25 we had 39 Minerva ILLs arrive for patrons, and 59 of Norway’s items returned. So far in this fiscal year (July 1, 2015– June 30, 2016) Norway has sent 3862 items and we received 2566 items.

For other fun events for National Library Week (April 10-16) please stop by the library!  Please share why you love libraries — I enjoy reading your comments!


Book Madness at Norway Library

Hello Book Lovers,

March Madness is about to start! I do not mean the madness that involves basketballs, gyms, and Diaper Dandies. There is another tournament starting at Norway Memorial Library that may have a Cinderella and does include bracketology. The Tournament of Books begins March 1 with twelve books pitted against each other and at the end of six weeks one book will have its own One Shining Moment just like the NCAA men’s basketball champion.


For six weeks you can vote for your favorite books at the library or on the library’s Facebook page. Each week there will be two match-ups of books going head to head in single-elimination challenges culminating with a champion book. Vote for your favorite titles and see them advance to the next round! Week one will see H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald go against Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker vs. The Martian by Andy Weir. All voters will be entered in a raffle drawing to win a book selected from among the contenders. There is also another way to win. During week one you can fill out a bracket with your predictions of the winners and be entered to win copy of the all around book champion! Week six will also see a match-up of classical proportions.

To access the library’s Facebook page visit the library’s web site at and click the “Find Us On Facebook” link and while you’re there like us!
Do you like to cook? If so please join me for a cookbook discussion at the library on Thursday, March 31 from 6:30-8:00pm. The selected cookbook is Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor. The idea is to look through the cookbook, chose a recipe, make it, and bring it to the discussion. We will sample the dishes and then talk about the book and food. I hosted a similar discussion in October and it was fun to sample the food and talk to other foodies. You do not have to be a great chef, just someone who enjoys cooking and talking about food. Also, bring containers with you to bring home delicious samples of the prepared food. At the October discussion we realized we should have done this, so remember to bring containers. It is okay to change the recipe if you choose to. A few of us did last time to accommodate taste or just to add their own twist to the recipe. To register and request a copy of the cookbook call the information desk at 743-5309 ext.1.

Also, for adults hooked on adult coloring  or those wanting to try the latest form of relaxation the library will be hosting an adult coloring evening on the first Wednesday of every month from 6:30-7:30pm. We are starting Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at the back of the library. The library will supply coloring books and colored pencils, but if you have your own supplies feel free to bring them.


For those of you with little ones the Norway Easter Fest is Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:00-1:00pm.

February is around the corner

February is almost here and that means Groundhog Day plus it is Leap Year! Yes, we have an extra day!

I was curious about why we celebrate Groundhog Day and here is what I found from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) web site. Hundred of years ago people celebrated the halfway point between winter and spring — February 2. Folklore was that if the skies were sunny more winter storms were coming, but if the skies were cloudy then spring was on its way.
During the 1880’s the editor of Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper, Clymer H. Freas, declared groundhog Phil as the official forecaster in determining the next six weeks of weather. The story caught on and soon Phil was nationally known with officials on hand to welcome him out of his den as he predicted our weather until the spring equinox.

If you want to check the accuracy of Phil’s weather forecast and find more information about Groundhog Day check out this link from NOAA:
For Groundhog Day the library is planning some fun events for the public. We will show a movie throughout the day starring Bill Murray who finds himself reliving February 2 over and over again. The film will be shown at the back of the library. Plus our crafty reference librarian, Julia will be hosting a Scrabble Tile Necklace program at 3:00pm. For more information and to register for the craft program please call the information desk at 743-5309 ext.1.

Now to Leap Day. It could be “Oh, no another day doing the same old thing”, or it would be “Cool, a whole extra day for reading!” I prefer the later; I guess I am a glass half-full person and I love books. I am reading Sonia Purnell’s Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill. Purnell gives the reader a behind the scenes look into the woman who helped steer Winston Churchill into power and kept him on an even keel throughout their life especially during the dark days of World War II. What are you reading at the mid point of winter?