Friday, August 7, 2020

Failure is Impossible


Mark your calendars for what promises to be a wonderful virtual event in September.  If you're interested, contact us the week of September 14th and we'll send you the info to access the event which will be followed by a "live" Q and A with Sheryl Faye in costume.  Heather Mitchell at the Hopkinton Historical Society will be displaying a "Rightfully Hers" pop up exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which brought with it voting rights for women.  Details to follow.  I am working on a bibliography--we have excellent titles for young people, but our adult collection is less strong.  Susan Ware the author of "Why they marched: untold stories of the women who fought for the right to vote" is making some recommendations on titles we can add to the collection.  Stay tuned for more on all of that.

Good weekend to all.  Summer bounty is rolling in.  Savor every minute.

Meanwhile, don't let the cat play with power tools.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

how soon we forget

It's difficult for me to believe, but the staff had to remind me of an anniversary.  I'm actually glad that it slipped my mind.  In 2018 on August 3rd the library was struck by lightning.  What followed was an extraordinary year of rebuilding, community support and staff stamina.  We didn't even get another year under our belts before we closed down again. 

Here are some images from that fateful day.  Covid makes it seem like a walk in the park...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

will it be a hat trick?

I use that term as if I am remotely sporty, although I often use it when chatting about cricket: "the taking of three wickets by the same bowler with successive balls"--what I'm referring to is the fact that the long list for the Booker Prize is out and Hillary Mantel is on it for the third time in a row, this time for "The Mirror and the Light," a marvel of a book.  Her final book in her series on Thomas Cromwell.  The first two won Bookers and the question is, will she bring in a record breaking third?

I'm of two minds on that.  She may indeed deserve the prize, though what does "deserve" mean?  Why not spread the wealth and give it to one of the other very worthy candidates, many of them first time authors.  I attach a summary of the list here for your perusal.  We already owned some of them (Apeirigon-McCann; "Such a Fun Age" -Reid and "Redhead by the Side of the Road- Tyler; and the Mantel.  Now I've ordered most of the remaining, so if you're interested, keep an eye out, or put a reserve on a title.

Tips on searching in the new catalog

Do you wish you could browse the New Book Shelves like you used to?  In our new catalog you can get pretty close to that experience by setting a few parameters.  Try it!

1. Go to the catalog
2. Go to More Search Options 

3. Under Advanced Search you can select the Material type (Adult Fiction or Adult Non-fiction say) and also select the location (New Book Shelves) 
4. You'll get a list of items on the New Book Shelves - green means the item is available and pink means the item is checked out.  If you are logged into your account, you can reserve items (checked in or checked out) by clicking on the Reserve button.
There are lots of combinations you can try!  Let us know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

something for everyone

Why not try a biography?  The cast of characters below offers something for every mood and temperament:  Churchill, Demi Moore, Houdini, Julie Andrews, Mitch Albom, Dorothy Day, Patti Smith, Jim Mattis, Lincoln...I could go on...Order one up today!  Give us a call or reserve the title on our website.
And just when one feels like one is drowning in the same covid details, another article pops up that actually sheds some interesting new light.  I share it here for what it's worth.  Be calm, be cautious, but don't make yourself crazy.  And wear a mask.  

Monday, July 27, 2020

A patron walked into the library

and the Librarian asked:  "Why the long face? "

Answer:  Because it's just not the way it used to be!!!

That is true.  For now. 

The good news is that we are putting together plans this month so you CAN walk into the library.  In early September!!  There will be guidelines, limits on numbers and reservations needed.  We will get the details out to you as things are finalized and people are back from vacation. 

One piece that is falling into place this week is that we will be having a MERV 13 air filter put on our HVAC system, we hope by the end of the week.  We will also be increasing rates of air circulation through the building.  This CDC recommended approach to improving the air quality in the building is just one of the steps we are taking to be sure that library staff and visitors are safe.

Another reason for the long face?  I just learned this about the hand sanitizer, that we will have placed hither and thither around the library (I'll have mine with the fish...):


Of Wine, Hand Sanitizer and Heartbreak

Between the coronavirus and the Trump tariffs, the French wine market has collapsed. So winemakers are — sadly — sending their excess product off to another life as hand sanitizer.
Credit...Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
HUNAWIHR, France — The tanker-truck pulled up and it was time to let it go. The decision to send the wine to the distillery had been made weeks ago. It still hurt. Soon the wine would be sanitizing hand gel.
“We’ve got to load it up now,” said Jérôme Mader, a 38-year-old winemaker, muttering to himself. “OK, I am not even going to think about it anymore,” he said quietly. “It’s over.”
Head down, he dragged the hoses out through his shed, affixed them to the truck’s valves with the help of the driver, walked up to his cool cellar, and turned on the pumps. The wine — good Alsace white wine, drinkable wine — coursed through the hoses and into the truck’s belly. Its fate didn’t bear thinking about.
Across the emerald Alsace wine country, now carpeted in deep-green vines — and across France’s other wine regions as well — thousands of winemakers, famous and obscure, are facing similar moments of heartbreak.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday Hello

Well, the good news is that the boil order was lifted for Contoocook.  That really was cruel and unusual.  And further good news, our first session of Summer Reading Program was a great success.  It is on vacation for a week, but starts up again on July 27th.  We need to savor every single day of this summer. 

I continue to work on our Phased in Reopening Plan.  We are looking at a filtering system for the library air handler and refining protocols for having people in the building around capacity, cleaning and signage.  Just want you to know that we are hard at it, staying cautious, but moving forward.  Meanwhile, curbside pickup is alive and well and new books are coming in every day.

An interesting obit below for the woman behind the "Magic School Bus" series that turned countless kids into science.  My daughter loved Miss Frizzle!

And, for those Miss Fisher murder mystery fans, I've just learned that a new movie was produced based on the TV series.  Frankly, it doesn't get great reviews, but for the pleasure of seeing Phryne and Jack together again, I will happily watch it!!  I ordered it yesterday!!  Stay tuned!  Good weekend to all.  Stay cool. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

it will be locusts next

Doubtless you have already heard that Contoocook water is currently undrinkable due to E coli.  Good lord, what next??  This seems a bit cruel and unusual.  Rumor has it that this order will last through 7/20.  Let's hope that's not correct. 
Contoocook Village Precinct - BOIL ORDER NOTICE 7/14/20
The water system is contaminated with E. coli bacteria BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING

These bacteria can make you sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.
E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short‐term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for 2 minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Pre‐boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, brushing teeth, washing vegetables, food preparation, washing dishes, making infant formula, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Fact sheet WD‐DWGB 4‐12 provides guidance to consumers under a boil order and is available online at

Meanwhile, Deedy Jensen's virtual book launch for her new rhyming history book Liberty-Loving Lafayette: How “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman” Helped Win Our Independence." was a great success.  (Gracious, how many fonts can I use in one paragraph??) Her video  is still up and available on our website.  She did a great job and had a singularly clever idea (well Lin Manuel Miranda was first with "Hamilton"). Take a peak!
Log onto

Monday, July 13, 2020

covid pleasures

Who says we don't have fun at the Hopkinton Town Library??  Here is Leigh Maynard demonstrating one of the projects that she has sent out to participants in the summer reading program.  Don't you want to try a marshmallow catapult??!!

Also a shout out to Sienna Larson.  I just got a new mask from her after admiring one on a friend.  She has an amazing assortment of fabrics (why not dress it up?) and hers have one tie that goes on the back of your head, a godsend if you wear hearing aids.  Or not.  She's reachable at
Take a look.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Friday fry up

It's not quite a video, but the below will take you through a virtual tour of some of the new non-fiction.  We are getting more books in all the time.  Our new online catalog is a great way to browse as well and also offers recommendations (I hate to say it, but ala Amazon..."if you like x, you might like y").  check it out if you haven't already done so.

Today I read the following in an article on (what else) responses to the pandemic.  It may become my new mantra:  Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  I pray for the presence of mind  not to waste these months with fruitless churning.  Good weekend to you all. May you find cool things to do and many cool sips of your drink of choice...