What the Tech? Gaylord’s got some new resources for you!

As you’ve probably already heard, Gaylord Library some fun new resources for you to check out. Below, I’ll be including some information about the new Chromebooks and access to the Commonwealth eBook Collection. Come check them out with your eyes and your library card today!

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Acer//Google Chromebook

Chromebooks are laptops that us Google Chrome as their Operating System (OS), rather than other mega-popular platforms developed by Microsoft and Apple and is developed from a Linux kernel. The Chromebook is structured to be primarily used while connected to the internet, and hosts things via a “cloud”-type storage. The first Chromebooks were produced by Acer and Samsung, released in Spring 2011. Starting in 2012, the Chromebox was released — the Chromebook’s desktop-residing-counterpart for those partial to a more permanent set-up.

For those of you who aren’t techies — this means you have the power of the internet at your fingers without having to worry about anything else. You can do anything that Google has an app for — and with cloud storage, there’s no risk of losing work if the computer does unexpectedly shut off like your current laptop probably has done at least once. The Chromebook is easy to navigate, and it’s nigh impossible to “do something wrong.” The Chromebook is easy to learn, no matter what kind of background you have in computers, and have made computer use accessible to communities that previously were either intimidated or could not afford the technology of a more complicated laptop.

What does that mean for you at Gaylord? Well — quite a bit, actually! We currently have two Acer Chromebooks available for loan. One is designated for in-library use only (two hour increments at a time) and the other is available for check out and can go home with you for one week at a time. When not checked out, this Chromebook can also be utilized within the library. There is no need to create a log-in, though you can choose to log onto your gMail account for full work and leisure capabilities. And the great thing is that once you are done with the Chromebook, you only need to sign out and none of your personal information will be stored or accessible by future users! It’s convenient to access your information, but it’s also safe.

In order to check out one of our Chromebooks, a library patron must be in good standing and sign a “Borrower’s Agreement” which we keep on file for future use/you only have to sign once! Chromebooks are also available to patrons under 18 years old, but their “Borrower’s Agreement” must also be signed by their parent/legal guardian/adult supervisor. We also have a “Quick Start” brochure that you can take to help you get started!

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Commonwealth eBook Collection

eBooks have become very popular in the recent past. They’re digital, so it’s easier to carry around one eReader than ten books when you’re traveling! Along with the ability for many eBooks to be manipulated in their formatting/presentation that have made reading accessible to many more people who may not fare well with traditional print books. eBooks are also generally less expensive to purchase, while also eliminating the use of paper products, inks, and plastics used in book printing and binding.

At Gaylord Memorial Library, we are committed to providing the most up-to-date and accessible reading collection that we can. Therefore, all Gaylord patrons can check out eBooks — much like library books — with their library card!

The Commonwealth eBook Collection is listed in a massive online catalog, accessible through our website under Catalog –> eBook Catalog. There you will find all titles available for checkout. Titles are then downloaded to your device using one of our three partners: Baker & Taylor (Axis380 & AxisReader), Biblioboard, and EBL. Our partner’s apps work on many phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers — Links and information for these applications and how to download from each partner can also be found on the eBook catalog page!

Interested in learning more? Want to try an eBook but never have before? An old eBook pro, but we’re using a different system than you’re used to? Come check out our eBook Tech Help Sessions on Thursdays July 9th & 16th from 5:30-8PM at Gaylord Memorial Library! We’ll get you started, and the book is yours to choose!


The Commonwealth eBook Collections project is brought to you by the Massachusetts Library System in partnership with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and your local library, funded in part, by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Reading List: Women in STEM

As many know, people are making way for women in STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematisc – especially at academic institutions like Mount Holyoke across the way! Have an inventive and inquisitive mind but want to hear an alternative narrative while still reading about a more analytic world? Check out these books about women in, around, writing about and doing science — and can be enjoyed regardless of gender. Each title links to their Goodreads page, including a synopsis plus reader reviews and ratings!

1. Delusions of Gender
Cornelia Fine

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2. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions
Lisa Randall

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3. Black Women Scientists in the United States
Wini Warren

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4. Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan,
American’s First Female Rocket Scientist
George D. Morgan

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5. Blazing The Trail: Essays by Leading Women in Science
Emma Ideal & Rhiannon Meharchand

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6. The Poisoner’s Handbook:
Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
Deborah Blum

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7. Madame Curie: A Biography
Eve Curie

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8. Beating Back The Devil:
On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service
Maryn McKennabackdevil

9. She’s Such A Geek!:
Women Write About Science, Technology, and other Nerdy Stuff
Annalee Newitz & Charlie Jane Anders

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10. And if you are interested in Bioethics, I strongly recommend checking out The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. You may know her as “HeLa,” and her cervical cancer cells were harvested and used without her permission — and continue to be used today — but have also lead the way for numerous answers, medications, and cures. This novel explores the history of medical testing and it’s relationship with racism/sexism in the United States. Content may be upsetting.

HeLa

Let us know in the comments your favorite books about women in STEM fields — and also science in general! Happy reading!

Reading List: 10 Books On Broadway!

Have you ever wondered where the inspiration for a musical comes from? If you didn’t know, they are often from books that are right at your local library and have been in circulation for decades! Gaston Leroux Phantom of the Opera has been haunting readers since 1909 while Alain Boubil’s Les Miserables bring to life the characters of the book of the same name, first published in 1862.

Audiences love seeing stories they recognize and resonate with presented in new and flashier lights (gobos and strobes often includes). However, it’s important to know where some of out favorite song-and-dance numbers come from and the story behind the song. Perhaps next time you’ll be able to read it before you see it!

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1. Wicked, Stephen Schwartz & Winnie Holzman

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Ever wonder where the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda got their start? What happened Pre-DG (Dorothy Gale)? This musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s 1996 book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Maguires book shows us Oz through the eyes of two unlikely friends, Elphaba and Galinda. This novel itself is based on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, which also was adapted into the well-loved Judy Garland film — and multiple musicals!

2. Jane Eyre, Paul Gordon & John Caird

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Based on Charlotte Brönte’s 1847 novel of the same name, this gothic retelling follows the life of Jane Eyre. Jane makes a life for herself after being orphaned and forsaken by her family, teaching and eventually working at Thornfield, the estate of Edward Rochester. A tale of love, tragedy, loss, and the enduring human spirit, this musical will strike a chord with fans of the novel.

3. Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber

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The Jellicle Ball that we get from Lloyd Webbers Cats finds it’s inspiration in T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Cats (1939). Favorites like Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, Grizabella, Rum Tum Tugger, and Mr. Mistoffelees are based on cats featured in this poem and amalgamations from Eliot’s work. So Cats becomes not only a great excuse for some 80s-style spandex, but a change to dive into poetry surrounding some of our favorite household companions.

4. Matilda, Dennis Kelly & Ted Minchin

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Roald Dahl’s classic tale of a little girl who loved to read, discovered she had some super powers, and didn’t quite fit in found it’s home on Broadway in 2013. Originally premiered in the West End, Kelly & Minchin breathe new life into Matilda, the Wormwoods, Miss Honey, Bruce, and Miss Trunchbull. The musical’s content is appropriate for kids and adults alike, but let’s face it — “sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty!”

5. A Tale of Two Cities, Jill Santoriello

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Charles Dickens is no stranger to Broadway. Beginning with Oliver Twist’s transformation into the well-loved musical Oliver!, Dickens’ complex stories and close examinations of the human experience have resonated with readers. Blending elements of operatic presentation within the musical, this piece is comparable to the style of Les Mis. However, it didn’t have the same staying power and is largely considered a flop. But with beautiful and intricate music paired with a story that has stood the test of time, it’s worth both a listen and a read.

6. Little Women, Jason Howland, Mindi Dickstein, & Allan Knee

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Luisa May Alcott brightened the lives of many young women with her autofiction novel Little Women. The story focuses on the four March sisters and their different ways of existing in the world over the passage of time from childhood to womanhood. The Original Broadway Cast starred newly-famous Millie star Sutton Foster in the role of tomboy Jo, and now boasts a musical theatre standard for many young female performers: “Astonishing.”

7. Carrie, Dean Pitchford & Michael Gore

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No one thought they could do it, but they did it. Pitchford & Gore turned Stephen King’s novel of the same name into a musical. The story followed Carrie, a young girl with a strict religious upbringing who finds out she has special telekinetic powers. Though a flop, this has become a cult classic: including both the shower scene and a blood-drenched prom — and it has an amazing musical score to back it up. If you’re new to King’s writing, this is a good place to start!

8. Jekyll & Hyde, Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Briscusse, & Steve Cuden

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Most high school English classes require students to read Louis Stevenson’s Victorian thriller The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Did you know that this well-known scary story and Broadway both have David Hasselhoff in common? This version of the story delves deeper into the idea of duty to family, romance, and the duality of human nature. The story is just that, a story and a quick read — definitely worth picking up before listening to Wildhorn’s engaging and gripping musical score.

9. Lestat, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, & Linda Woolverton

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Vampires are all the rage these days, and based on their lifespans — for a while now. Based on Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, we follow famous vampire Lestat. The Original Broadway Cast featured Carolee Carmello as Lestat’s mother and later companion. An unlikely pairing in Elton John, but as the show states and the character demands: “I am the Vampire Lestat, and I will live forever.”

10. Drood, Rupert Holmes

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Another Dickens tale! The Mystery of Edwin Drood was Dickens’ final novel — and remains unfinished. Taking that into account, the musical has multiple endings, to be voted upon by the audience members. Who is behind Drood’s mysterious disappearance? Will the audience find the culprit? A great read and tale if you like to choose-your-own-ending and let your imagination soar.

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Other musicals that have been transformed from text include: 42nd Street, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Bridges of Madison County, Dracula, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Man of La Mancha, Once On This Island, Ragtime, State Fair, The Three Musketeers, A Very Potter Musical, The Wiz, The Woman in White, Wonderland, Zorro, and MANY more! These books cover a variety of themes/topics, age ranges, world views, and handles on reality (or rather, unreality).

If you’re interested in finding out more about this topic, the internet is also a good place to start as Wikipedia has a list for everything, including: Musicals based on Novels, Musicals based on Film (Bring It On!, Xanadu, Newsies), Musicals based on Comics (Annie, Peanuts, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark), and lists of every musical ever written organized just about any way you could fancy (year, title, authors/composers, etc)!

So “ease on down the road” to you local library to explore your next crossover favorite! 

Leave a comment below with your favorite book-turned-musical!

“Looking for a Moose” by Phyllis Root

Looking for a Moose, written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Randy Cecil, follows a group of children as they go in search of “long-leggy, dinner-diving ” moose. Their search takes them through swamps and woods as they look high and low for the moose. When they finally climb a rocky hillside, it’s uncertain what they’ll find when they reach the top!

This is an exciting and suspenseful story perfect for kids ages 3-6!

looking for a moose

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Massachusetts Digital Treasures

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(South Hadley view from Holyoke: 1894 – Photo courtesy of MA Digital Treasures) 

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brings together libraries, archives, and museums around the country through a massive digital archive system. These archives are available to anyone with internet access. It’s a resource that provides books, images, historical records, and audiovisual materials. Conceptualized in 2010, the creation of the DPLA took two years.

Similar to the DPLA, we here in Massachusetts have  a more local source for archival history and digital resources: The Massachusetts Digital Treasures Project. The project was a collaborative effort made by the Central and Western MA Automated Resource Sharing System, and the Central and Western MA Regional Library Systems. Initiated in 2006, it began as a pilot program with a headquarters in Worcester. Massachusetts Digital Tresures now has 36 collections from MA libraries with over 1,300 accessible images.

Browsing the Massachusetts Digital Treasures library gives us all an opportunity to take a look back at and learn about the local history of this state. Through the many photographs available, we are able to see the incredible ways in which places change with the passing of time. This digital library project continues as a collaborative effort among the MA library systems to bring funding, guidance, and expertise to the archives.

mt holyoke summit hous ma digital archives

 

(Mt. Holyoke Summit House, North Side – Photo courtesy of MA Digital Treasures)