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JUNE 28, 2009
***Updated 7/29/09-The Lazy Days of Summer Reading

If you're like me you probably have a stack of books you've been saving to read during the lazy, warm summer days. Though I have a huge list of possibilities I can't help but look to see what's on the summer reading lists of newspapers, columnists and the like. Take a look and see if any pique your interest. Let me know if there are other lists you'd like to see included. I'll update as time permits.

And of course, I'd love to know what You'll be reading this summer.

From NPR:

NPR asked and their audience responded. 16,000 listeners  cast some 136,000 votes for their favorite beach book ever.
Audience Picks: 100 Best Beach Books Ever

Librarian Nancy Pearl's Picks
Independent Bookseller's Summer's Best Reads
Maureen Corrigan"s List for Summer Sleuths

The rest of the bunch:
Amazon's Summer Reading List
Daily Beast's 5 Hot Summer Thrillers
The New York Times Girls of Summer
Oprah Magazine Summer Reading List - 25 Books You Can't Put Down
Stephen King's 7 Great Books for Summer - Entertainment Weekly
Wall Street Journal's Book Lover's Summer – Fiction
Wall Street Journal's Book Lover's Summer – Non-Fiction
Dallas Morning News - 4 Thrillers for Summer
Bill O'Reilly's Summer Reading List
It's Summer Not Dumber ~ Who wouldn't love a list with this title
   21 Great Meaty Reads from The Globe

CarolK's Summer Reading Picks
The Last Child John Hart
Absolute Scandal Penny Vincenzi
The Lovers John Connolly
The Senator's Wife Sue Miller
Moloka'i Alan Brennert

***Here's a site that might excite teens needing a good book to read this summer. Take a look, there's lots of good suggestions here: 



Wherever you're reading; porch, deck, beach, hammock - enjoy!

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


JUNE 26, 2009
The Library that cried "Wolf!"

We had an arctic gray wolf visit us this week! Staff members, Josh and Rebecca, and ambassador wolf, Atka, visited us from the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY. The event was part of our Summer Reading Program which began this past Monday (sign up is open all summer!). We held the program at the local elementary school, which is a good thing, because over 200 people attended!


We learned A LOT about wolves, their habitats, eating habits, their role in the ecosystem, and of course about their bad reputation:



By and large, the most exciting part of the program is when they brought out Atka. Atka walked back and forth through the aisles for about 20 minutes while Josh took questions from the audience. As you can see below Atka was on a leash that looked more like car towing chain:


Please check out the Wolf Conservation Center website by copy and pasting this address:


Of course we have TONS of books featuring wolves, but as Josh pointed out during his presentation, many of them make the wolf out to be the bad guy!




And in other canine news:

We will have Therapy dogs in the library tomorrow, so call today if you want a chance to read with them!!





Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Megan Q.


JUNE 24, 2009
We are ready for our close up, Mr. DeMille...

In this day and age it is not uncommon for ‘movie stars” to receive contracts in the double digit millions for a single film. However, it was today, on June 24, 1916, the most lucrative movie contract for the time and many years to come was signed by silent movie actress Mary Pickford.   Rather than 20 million a film, Ms. Pickford was awarded $250,000 per film, with a guaranteed minimum of $100,000. It occurs to me, that today, this is less than most houses.

 Clearly Ms. Pickford  was just as much a star as Julia, Cameron and  Angelina.  Apparently, she also had gumption!  

 Mary Pickford was born Gladys Smith on April 8, 1892 in Toronto, Canada.  She was one of three children who grew up with a strong mother and a financially uneasy childhood. Gladys was nearly six when her father died from an accidental blow to the head, leaving his family without savings or income, and forcing her mother to open the house up to boarders.
It was through the family’s boarding house guests that the young Gladys decided she wanted a career in what was then called “Flickers”. The typical film at the time was a single reel, only eight to twelve minutes long.
With high hopes, Mary moved on her own to New York at the age of 15, and the rest, as they say, was history. With a new name, she fairly quickly landed a role on Broadway, met D.W. Griffith, and went to Hollywood, playing everything from Gibson goddesses to Indian maidens. She also wrote a few scenarios, since Griffith occasionally purchased them for twenty-five dollars apiece.
Making film after film, at a time when the average annual family income was under $2000, Mary Pickford was making $150,000 a year, thus her record breaking 1916 deal was no surprise at the time.
In 1920, Mary would marry Douglas Fairbanks. The marriage lasting fifteen years, but only the first eight years  are reported to be happy ones.  In early 1927 Mary joined other film professionals as one of the founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  
June 24, turned out to be a lucky day for Mary. On June 24, 1937, Mary Pickford and Charles “Buddy” Rogers married at the home of Hope Loring, the writer who had introduced them ten years earlier. Mary’s new husband was twelve years her junior, but he had pursued her for some time. Their partnership proved an enduring one, lasting more than 40 years until her death.
Over the next several decades Mary continued to act, then produce.   In 1956, she ended her career in the film business, selling all her shares in United Artists. She and Charlie Chaplin were then fifty-fifty owners of the Corporation, and the last of the original founders to leave the company. Instead of film work, Mary turned her attention to charity.
At the suggestion of her lawyer and accountant, the Mary Pickford Foundation (originally the Mary Pickford Charitable Trust) was established in 1956, in order to create an enduring charitable organization that could address Mary’s concerns on a continuing basis. Finally, in 1976, Mary was given an Honorary second “Oscar” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The presentation was filmed in advance at Pickfair, and inserted into the live broadcast. It was Mary’s last public appearance as she died on May 29, 1979 at the age of  87.
Mary Pickford was a remarkable lady for her time, but not alone. Check out these books @  the Library of other remarkable women.

And thanks to the Mary Pickford Foundation for much of the information provided in this blog entry!

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Su


JUNE 21, 2009
The Voice Makes the Book

Any audiobook enthusiast will tell you the narrator can make or break a book. If you don't like the voice, nothing will save the story.

Barbara Rosenblat is one of my favorite narrators. She has recorded over 400 books and if you're a listener I can't imagine that you haven't come across something she has preformed. For me, she is Anna Pigeon, National Park Ranger and is as recognizable for this as the author of that series, Nevada Barr. When my co-workers and I attended BookExpo a few weeks back, a highlight of my day was getting a book signed by Barr, but the icing on the cake was having a 15 minute conversation with Rosenblat. What amazes me most is how distinctive her voice is in conversation, yet how easily she becomes the characters in the books. With small nuances you know when a character or scene changes and when a male or female is speaking. No small accomplishment. She has won numerous awards including this year’s Voice of Choice, Booklist Magazine’s recognition of lasting impact in the world of audiobook narration.

Among the many other narrations I've enjoyed are Frank McCourt's reading of Angela's Ashes and Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen) narrated by David Ledoux, and John Randolph Jones who give voice to the main character Jacob Jankowski. Superior!

Along the way there have also been some listens that didn't make the grade. It all had to do with a voice that didn't work for me, often grating on my nerves and frequently a male overdoing a female voice. That's surprising as most of my favorite narrators are men with the exception of Rosenblat.

Did you know narrators have their very own special awards? One of the most coveted awards is The Audie. Given by The Audio Publisher Association it is the only award devoted entirely to spoken word. Awards are given for several categories including Audiobook of the Year, Solo Narration by a Male or Female, Fiction, Non-fiction. There is also a hall of fame for narrators called The Golden Voices. It showcases those narrators who have shown a commitment to the craft and who have achieved excellence in spoken word production. You can view the 2009 audie winners and a list of Golden Voices by going to

Saxton B. has a fine collection of audiobooks, in various formats, including our relatively new downloadable service (details can be found at Of course, we can't have everything, so we're very willing to try to borrow your choice from an area library via interlibrary loan.

As we mark June as AudioBook Month, who gets your award for audiobook narration?

Add a comment  (3 comments) posted by CarolK


JUNE 17, 2009
If it’s online, it’s okay to copy right?
For years and years and years now, we have told people: the internet is very public! Don’t give out your info! It doesn’t matter if its ‘only on your pages.’ As a Librarian and teacher I’ve tried to explain the concept of intellectual property and copyright. I’ve explained just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Still… almost daily I see young people copying pictures from websites into Word documents, power point presentations, printed to cut out for display. Are there teachers at the receiving end of these projects asking: where did you get this picture? Do you have permission to use it? I doubt it. 
So is it any wonder that a personal American family photo ended up on a billboard in Prague? Not to me. 
I’ve now heard this story from a few sources. Some report the family as being amused, some report the family as being upset. All seem to report the family as being surprised. I suppose hearing from a traveling friend that he saw your Christmas photo in a shop window, would be a bit surprising, but after you’ve posted it online?
Although I heard this story on the radio (two different stations), in a two minute search, I found the first hand account online. You can read it at:
You can also see the pictures. 
I have to wonder, did the radio stations that announced to the universe, come to their website and see the pictures get permission? Did this family stop posting their pictures online? Did the business owner in Prague give it a second thought that smiling photo he was using were real people somewhere who might not like it? Will anyone else even pause before they click the “copy” button?
I doubt it. If you don’t want your photo on a billboard, in a Middle School power point project, on someone’s bedroom wall – don’t upload it.

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Su


JUNE 15, 2009

No, I'm not talking about the reality TV program; I mean the analog to digital transition. For the last year and a half or so, along with many others owning old TV's and antennas, I've been warned after x date, analog TV will cease to exist. Scary, isn't it? If I didn't want to lose my signal I could buy a new TV or a converter box and all would be ok. The government was even offering $40 coupons for the box which in most stores would cover most, if not all of the cost. Also, I was assured if I had cable service or Direct TV, I'd be fine. I needn't do a thing.

Wanting a new TV, my plan was devised. My husband, who can do pretty much everything from building to plumbing, you name it; for some reason, stays clear of all things electronic. I saw this as my best chance to convince him we needed a new 42" (at least) flat screen, high def, TV or television as we knew it would die. My mistake was the timing and President Obama's urging to delay the actual date for the changeover. Originally planned for February 17th , the date was postponed to June 12th. Most stations planned to go digital after midnight that date. I had started my new TV campaign last February. The delay gave my husband enough time to truly listen to what was being said about the transition. We have Direct TV, the converter box would allow use of my antenna. There went my new TV.

As June 12th approached, rational thinking told me that after midnight I would still have a picture on my screen. Still, a little inkling of skepticism made me sweat as midnight approached. As the clock struck 12...well, I survived! TV went on as before.

My picture hasn't improved, my sound is the same, and my old TV can't take advantage of the host of other wondrous things that digital can provide but I still can watch my old favorites.

If you still have questions or need help with the transition there are many good sites on the Internet. Try

Still need a converter box coupon - they're available on a first come, first serve basis until July 12th 

Most of our local stations have tips and basic information online. Try WFSB, channel 3's site at:

TV has come a long way in my day. For a bit of a history from our collection try 
Stay tuned : television's unforgettable moments / Joe Garner. ;

or borrow interlibrary loan:
History of Broadcasting in the United States Douglas Gomery
Columbia History of American Television Professor Gary Edgerton

and if any of you have noticed a big difference in picture quality, etc., invite my husband over to see for himself. There may be hope yet for a new TV!

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


JUNE 12, 2009
“People need to see more of the fierceness”

And they will. In SEASON 6 OF PROJECT RUNWAY! I just read in entertainment magazine that season 6 will finally air this summer on Lifetime – not Bravo, and from LA – not NYC. Wooohooo! 

I don’t watch much T.V. But, as Su knows (because she is a fellow addict) I have watched Project Runway since the beginning. I could delve into all my favorite designers and quotes, but since you may not watch the show and because this is a library blog, I’ll spare you. I will say this though, you don’t have to be into fashion or reality TV to enjoy the show. The main appeal (I think) is that the contestants are SO talented, and creative, and artistic, and usually hilarious too. 

I swear you don’t have to be into fashion – and I will only write this here because I know he will never read it: even my boyfriend loves the show.  

 Ok, mostly I just wanted to share my Project Runway excitement, but I also think that the show relates really well to this year’s Summer Reading theme which is “Be Creative.” If you are interested in being more creative with fashion stop by and check out one of the following:







I'll leave you with this: 





Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Megan Q.


JUNE 10, 2009
Three Cheers for Volunteers!


Today the Friends of the Library held their annual meeting. In conjunction with this meeting we distributed honor books to thank our volunteers. These are library books, selected specifically with a volunteer in mind. We place a book plate naming the volunteer in the book and check the book out to the volunteer first.
I have been very lucky in my library career to have great volunteers. Some have become long time friends and people I will never forget. The volunteers at the Saxton B. Little Library are definitely included in this. They are a wonderful, talented and interesting group of people who work tirelessly to help us. We couldn’t do what we do without them.
So to
We thank you!

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by S Epstein


JUNE 7, 2009
Lepidoptera ~ Updated 8/11/09

          ***Updated 8/11/09***
Click here for a great bookmark featuring books about Caterpillars created by Linda Williams, CT State Library.

Sounds pretty exotic, doesn't it? Caterpillars are the larval form of a member of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths). My interest in caterpillars was piqued this week when my husband began painting our garage floor. Something in the paint has attracted hundreds of caterpillars. We've been invaded and it's not pretty! They're everywhere, on the sidewalk, all over the house, but particularly on the garage floor. I suppose you could call it justice that many of them have become stuck in the paint. Those that have escaped have left a strange squiggly pattern we hadn't planned.

Did you know there are hundreds of species of caterpillars? Neither did I until I started doing some research about them. Some turn into butterflies, some turn into moths. Some are hairy, some are spiny, some give off an obnoxious odor. I read somewhere that they have 4,000 muscles as compared to humans who have 629 (do you believe everything you read?). They're rich in protein, not that I've ever tried one. They rely on their antennae to help them find food. Most eat only plants. So what are they doing in my garage?

I couldn't tell you what kind are visiting us. I think they're gypsy moths or possibly tent caterpillars. Though they're kind of cute, they're kind of messy too.

I think the best kind of caterpillars are those who are characters in books. What could be cuter than Henry Hump : born to fly / written by Steve Tiller ; illustrated by Robert Cremeans, or The caterpillar that roared / by Michael Lawrence ; illustrated by Alison Bartlett. ; or my very favorite, The very hungry caterpillar / by Eric Carle.

Oh, and that picture that starts this blog...Believe it or not, that's Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar. from Alice in Wonderland.


Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


JUNE 5, 2009
BEA Highlights

Last Saturday Su, Carol, and I all went down to NYC for Book Expo America. It was my first time going and I’m excited to share the highlights of my day. Just a warning; you’ll probably be jealous!


Right when I walked into the Children’s area I saw people walking around with advanced copies of Catching Fire, the squeal to The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I grabbed a stranger and asked her where I could get one and she pointed me in the direction of the Scholastic Booth. I ran over and asked for a copy and they gave me THE LAST ONE! I held it up in the air like a trophy. The day was off to a good start. By the way, I already read it and it is SO good. I liked even better than the Hunger Games, too bad I have to wait now for the third in the series. Catching Fire will be out in September.


Soon after that I got a signed copy of Swing, by Rufus Butler Seder. He makes scanimation picture books where the images look like they are moving across the page – very cool. We own both Gallop and Swing and he has a new one called Waddle coming out soon. 




Later on I met Youme Landowne, the co-writer/illustrator of Pitch Black, a new graphic novel. I had read a lot about Pitch Black before it came out, so I ordered it for the library and read it when it came in. She was very nice, and now I have my own signed copy!




 In the afternoon I went to a panel discussion called ‘Hot Fall Graphic Novels for Libraries.’ I am VERY happy I went. The panel was great; really funny and very convincing. I left wanting to purchase every single book they talked about!  A few to be on the lookout for:



Stitches: A Memoir, by David Small – by far the most promoted one; I will definitely be getting this one!



Binky the Space Cat, by Ashley Spires




The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, by Way and Ba


After this panel discussion, I ran upstairs to the Dark Horse Booth and got the last copy of Umbrella Academy – score!


I can't wait for next year!! 










Add a comment  (4 comments) posted by Megan Q.


JUNE 3, 2009
Another Obsessed Fan



I never understood the young women who hung out by alleys hoping to catch glimpses of famous stars or worse, got front row tickets so they could swoon and scream over a singer.  Not that I haven’t gotten autographs or been excited to see some celebrity “live,” or that I can't tell you my favorite actor's birthday and credits,  but there are levels of fandom. 


 Wait in line like that? Me? No way. I don’t write fan fiction. I don’t write fan letters. I don’t faithfully check websites or blogs. However …
Last Saturday, the SBL Librarians went to Book Expo America in New York. It was a long full day, which was tiring but fun. This was my first experience at BEA, and it was fun to see new books, authors, and hang out with people who like that sort of thing.  But most exciting, I got to meet my favorite author!
I read a great deal of Young Adult fiction. I like it.
Several years ago, I discovered an author that was getting a fair amount of praise, but no one had heard of: Sarah Dessen. Now, 9 books later, she’s one of the most popular YA authors.
Saturday morning, along with what must have been easily fifty or seventy-five other fans, I did something I never thought I would. I stood in line for 40 minutes to meet Sarah Dessen.
Our exchange took all of a minute. I thanked her. We chatted. (Yes, I couldn’t resist, I did say, I love your work!) I received an autographed copy of her new book.  New book! Pre-release, it’s not even out yet! (I read it cover to cover Sunday.)
I was thrilled. I have told everyone who would listen. Twice. At least.
So, I had to share this with you as well. Because after all, if you’re going to be an obsessed fan, who waits in line to see someone, who better than an author and where better to share than a library blog?
Check out Sarah Dessen’s books @ the Library!
  The truth about forever    (my personal fav)


Add a comment  (3 comments) posted by Su


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