Archive for the “Volunteers” Category
Here is a review of Saturday’s program by Kim Philips Millican, who is a member of the Friends of the Library. Thank you Kim!
On Saturday, the Friends of the Somerville Public Library held a showing of “In the Blood”, a documentary by Sumner McKane that illustrated the history of the Maine lumbermen and river drivers. According to the documentary’s website (http://inthebloodmovie.com), Mr. McKane presents “a historical subject with a contemporary and entertaining presentation” which turns a history lesson into a “vivid and virtual journey into a bygone world”. This was certainly the case with “In the Blood”.
The men often worked 12-14 hours a day and were paid up to $2 a day. They lived in the camps from October to March. The documentary showed several black-and-white photos and film footage of the harsh Maine winters. Amazingly, none of the lumberman became sick or caught pneumonia while working in the camps.
There was a known hierarchy within the communities. At the top of the hierarchy was the Camp Boss and his role was providing leadership and creating an efficient team. Other roles within the hierarchy include the under-cutter, sawyer, knotter, swamper, and cook.
The documentary included oral histories from the men who worked in the logging camps. Some of the interviews had subtitles, as the authentic accents were difficult to follow and understand. The interviews were honest, full of emotion, and gave the viewer a sense of what life was like in the logging camps. One such interview was with a gentleman whose brother-in-law died in a logging accident. He went into great detail about the accident. In the end, it took the crew 20 days to find his brother-in-law buried in the river.
One interview really grasped the attention of the audience – the raw account of the smell of the logging camp. The interviewee gave a vivid description of the stink and sweat that permeated the camp. He explained that some of the men did not bath all winter. The men slept in a row, underneath one quilt, and many of the men slept in their wet and sweaty work clothes. Another account was provided about the camp’s “stink pole” – a long pole used to hang wet clothes on.
“In the Blood” definitely had a sense of humor. For example, the interview regarding the lumbermen’s diet was quite funny. The interviewee emphasized that the men ate beans, beans, and more beans and they ate their beans with knives, as there were not any forks available. The men also ate molasses, homemade biscuits, and donuts. Hot drinks were served every day at noon.
The standing room only crowd enjoyed delicious food including Verna’s donuts, cider, and cheddar cheese. It was a relaxing way to spend a cold and gloomy Saturday afternoon. A raffle drawing was held after the movie.
Kim Phillips Millican
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Last Saturday the Friends of the Library sponsored another great program. We were fortunate to have a new volunteer, Kim Millican Phillips, tell us about the event. Many thanks to Kim, who in addition to blogging has also joined the Friends of the Library.
As a part of the Design Talk series, Stephen Tourlentes and Amber Davis Tourlentes, instructors from Mass Art, reflected upon Kodachrome and took the audience on a journey about the evolution of Kodachrome slides.
Kodachrome was a type of color reversal film. It was introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1935 and utilized until 2010. Kodachrome was known for producing photographs with rich colors and ultra-fine details. Both professionals and amateurs used it around the world. Of interest, there were enough professional photographers in Boston using Kodachrome to justify daily flights to deliver the film for development.
Kodachrome film was developed using a 14-step process. The detailed process, which required a chemist on the processing line, produced photographs with vivid colors and incredible archival properties.
As camera phones and computer applications, such as Instagram, gain in popularity, society is developing a greater appreciation for photography. As a result, many of the Kodachrome slides and pictures are resurfacing.
Throughout the presentation, Mr. Tourlentes showed classic Kodachrome slides. The audience was impressed at how the photographs popped with saturated colors and crispness. An example of the slides shown includes photos taken by Bill Manbo inside a Japanese-American Internment camp. In an era that was previously captured in black and white, history can now be revisited through the color archives created by Kodachrome photographs.
The standing room only crowd shared their personal photography experiences. Of interest, Mr. Tourlentes mentioned his favorite camera is a large-format 8” x 10” Deardorff camera. The group also discussed digital photography and whether the formats in which they are saved will be accessible in years to come.
Kim Phillips Millican
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Blogging on this site was fun while it lasted. I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and favorite books with everyone. However, today is my last day as a Somerville Public Library staff member, therefore this will be my last blog post.
I would like to say good-bye and thank you to all the staff for such a wonderful work experience. Maria is a kind and caring director. Ellen is so nice, kind-hearted, and helpful. I loved talking to Marita about good books. Ron is really friendly and a perfect teen librarian. George was funny. I enjoyed working with Zoe and Max. As always, Cathy and Ann were nice, loving, and ready to answer any question I had. Weini and Patty were really kind to me. Wendy and Jim were down to business, but also very kind. Again thank-you to all the staff I have and haven’t mentioned. I’m glad that I got to know you better by working here. I hope to see you around when I stop by as a library “customer!”
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Susan Hassan :)
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Hi everyone! I am Susan Hassan, a new part-time student employee at the Somerville Public Library. Next year, I will be a junior at Somerville High School. I love to read, shop, and travel. I excel academically and enjoy joining clubs and participating in community service. Next year, I will be the vice president of the community service club in the high school! I have been an SPF 100 youth leader for 2 years, which is a group of about 10 youth leaders under SCAP, where we work to reduce substance abuse in Somerville teens.
I am very excited to work here, at the library. Ever since I have moved to Somerville, at the age of seven, the central library has been my favorite place to visit. I have grown up coming here. I love to read and the library provides me with endless books, thanks to the requesting system. I also come to the library to hang out with friends sometimes and to study. I also enjoy coming here to play checkers with my younger sister and win! I think that will all become so much more fun and private once we teenagers get our own teen room. I really hope that I get a chance to help design that while I am working here!
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Hello! My name is Zoe Blickenderfer. I graduated from Somerville High School last month and I will be working at the Somerville Public Library for the next five weeks. During my stay, I will be blogging about the projects I am working on, events at the library, and books I am reading.
As you may or may not know, right now the library is in the middle of redoing its invoicing system. This will be the biggest project that volunteers, Susan (the other student worker), and I will be focusing on. Every book will be getting a bar code on its front cover in addition to the one on the first page. This will facilitate the process of checking books in and out and make it easier for the people who transport the books to know where each book is going.
There are a lot of fun events planned for the summer, so continue to check the blog and the Somerville Public Library website for dates and times. Happy reading!
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Friend of the Library and guest blogger, Sarah Wolf, attended last night’s program and had this to share. A big thank you to Sarah for writing this, and to Patricia for speaking at the Somerville Public Library!
Meet, Mingle, Read (May 31, 2012)
“I hope the book serves as a reminder not just to Alex as she grows,
but to all of us, that if you want to do something big, something daring
and grand and huge, then don’t automatically shrug and assume you’re
too young, too old, too weak, too busy, too poor, too frazzled, or too small.
Learn, persevere, sweat. Take the time to figure out how to do it correctly,
then go to it with a giant spirit of adventure and enjoy the climb.”
Patricia Ellis Herr, Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure
On Thursday, May 31, 2012, Somerville writer Patricia Ellis Herr spent the evening sharing anecdotes and life lessons she learned while she and her five-year-old (at the time) daughter Alex took on the challenge of summiting the forty-eight peaks known collectively as the New Hampshire Four-thousand Footers (or 4ks). Starting out, this mother/daughter duo knew very little about what taking on this kind of challenge entailed but together, they quickly learned what the physical, material, and mental requirements were and proved that things like age, size, and gender don’t stand in the way of achieving a goal.
In attendance were Herr’s two young daughters Alex and Sage who have both successfully climbed all forty-eight peaks. The book focuses mostly on Alex’s quest for this goal but at the time of the book’s writing, Sage, who is two years younger, had not yet decided if she was going to follow in her sister’s footsteps. Since the book’s publication, Sage has “joined the club” and the family continues to set new hiking goals for themselves.
Herr is clearly very proud of her children and supports their inclination to think big and play hard. “I don’t understand parents that don’t let their kids get dirty,” she says. “It’s not a real hike unless there’s mud or blood.” Herr wants her daughters to get out there and find their passion. In their case, it’s hiking.
Herr spoke about hurdles along the way, namely unpredictable weather, the occasional wild animal, and nay-sayers who criticized five-year-old Alex’s ability to take on such a challenge both because of her age and her gender. Of all the potential set-backs, the idea that a stranger could dictate what Alex could or could not do based on surface factors got under the skin of both mother and daughter. A strong recurring theme in the memoir, Herr spoke about this with a great deal of incredulity. After all, Alex (and later Sage) proved more than capable of summiting those “grown up” peaks.
Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure is a memoir about rising to the challenge – it’s about setting a goal and achieving it with gusto, something Patricia, Alex, and Sage Herr have all done in spades.
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The Somerville Public Library had its very first Teen Advisory Board Meeting last Wednesday and we are off to a good start.
The group talked about designing a space that was special for teens and welcoming. Our teens suggested furniture that would be cozy and relaxing for when you just want to curl up with a good book and funky study booths for serious studying. They also liked the idea of general lounging.
Gaming areas for electronics and board games were also encouraged.
A lot of great ideas were discussed and many possibilities were presented.
Our next meeting will be in the auditorium of the Central Library on Wednesday, April 11th at 4pm. We encourage anyone with an interest to join us!
Thank you to Djinnie, Lilliana, and Karen for taking time out of their busy schedules to be here and be a part of this exciting new part of the Somerville Public Library.
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Come to the Main Library, April 5th from 6-7 pm. Meet with staff and volunteers to generate ideas about fundraising possibilities for the West Branch Children’s Room.
Originally to be held at the West Branch, but since the Children’s Room is closed for repairs, the meeting will now be held at the Main Library.
Students from the Boston Architectural College recently shared plans they’ve created and so far the staff is intrigued by some of the ideas they’ve come up with.
Please come and bring your thoughts and enthusiasm for the West Branch Children’s Room.
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