Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

6493208By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

When Henrietta Lacks went to the doctor in 1951, she was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor took a sample of her cancer cells for medical research, along with several other patients, without telling them.  Henrietta’s cells survived unlike all the other samples and were known as He-La cells. Her cells revolutionized medical research; thus becoming the immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks.

In the 1950’s medical science was just beginning to modernize.  Scientists and researchers were trying to find a way to keep human cells alive for medical testing.  The first part of the book explains how He-La cells revolutionized medical research, which Ms. Skloot explains for both those knowledgeable in science and the layman.  The 2nd part tells a more personal story of how Henrietta Lacks’ family learned about the He-La cells and how they were affected by their fame and scientific value.

I learned about the history of medical research and the He-La cells. I was appalled by the cavalier attitude doctors and researchers had for patients at that time, especially those who had no money or choices in healthcare.  Though this book is set in the 1950’s I believe it is relevant in today’s times and can help to better understand our current healthcare situation.

Finding Your Family on Census Records Through Ancestry.com

by Dorris Douglass, Special Collections Librarian

CensusRecordUse of Ancestry.com is free In the Special Collections Department, open Tuesday-Saturday 9-5:30, and to help you use it, here are some very important tips to remember.

  • Pay absolutely no attention to spelling! Census takers couldn’t spell. This researcher has seen the name Jacob spelled “Jacup” on the census.
  • Pay close attention to extra people with a different last name in a household. Frequently those listed as “boarder” were aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and especially mothers-in-law.
  • Pay close attention to who is living next door. The guys either married the gal next door or their first cousin. This researcher looked for an ancestor for 10 years only to find him living next door to a grandson by a different last name.
  • Be aware that ages recorded in the census can be 2 to 3 years off. However, usually the younger the closer to the truth. By the time one got to their 80’s either he or his family members had forgotten how old he really was.
  • Know the abbreviations for Men’s first names: Alexr= Alexander, Benj = Benjamin, Geo =George, Hy=Henry, Jas = James, Jno =John ( Why I have no idea), Patk=Patrick, Robt= Robert Thos=Thomas, Wm=William. The last letter of the longer abbreviation are usually written as a superscripts, so that you might see only the Tho for Thomas unless you look carefully for the little tiny s. Periods were usually omitted after the abbreviation.
  • Know common nicknames and know that nicknames often rhyme. Some are very tricky.
    • Belle=Isabel, Mable, Sybil;
    • Beth, Betty, Betsy, Bessie =Elizabeth;
    • Biddy, Bridey= Bridget;
    • Bill = William, rhymes with Will;
    • Cal=Caleb, Calvin;
    • Cate (old spelling) =Catherine;
    • Carrie= Carololine;
    • Carey= Charles (modern nickname Chuck);
    • Cephus=Josephus;
    • Daisey = Margaret ( for a Queen Margaret whose favorite flower was a daisy);
    • Dick = Richard, rhymes with Rick;
    • Dollie, Dolly, Doll = Dorothy;
    • Duke=Marmaduke;
    • Ed, Ned, Ted =Edward, Edmond;
    • Elsie= Elizabeth:
    • Ella, Ellie, Nelly = Elle , but also Helen;
    • Etta, Nettie = Henrietta;
    • Fee = Felix;
    • Hi = Hiram,
    • Jack = John;
    • Kit = Christopher,
    • Lois= Louise,
    • Lottie = Charlotte;
    • Ky = Hezekiah;
    • Mae, May, Molly, Polly =Mary;
    • Mag, Maggie, Meg, Peg, Peggy = Margaret;
    • Mattie, Patty, Patsy = Martha;
    • Maud =Magdalene,
    • Maude (male) = Mordichi;
    • Nancy=Hannah,
    • Neil, Connie,=Cornelius;
    • Sallie, Sally = Sarah,
    • Stella = Estel, Esther;
    • Sukey ,Susan, = Susannah (Suckey, African American 1870/ 80 = a former slave midwife who took care of the sucklings);
    • Ted = Theodore (but can be = Edward).

Come join us to hunt for your ancestors!

Back to School!

By Jeffie Nicholson, Adult Services Manager

Book List by Julie Duke, Youth Services Manager

The first day of school is an exciting time for parents and children. Many of us experience different level of anxiety as the summer ends and the school year approaches. Make the beginning of school an easier transition for first-timers and returning students with some of these easy tips!

1. Practice the morning and evening routine. Give yourselves a week or two before school to ‘reset’ your internal clocks and on a sleep to rise schedule that will be the norm for the next 9 months.
2. Let them pick out a school supply with you that will help them get excited about the school year. It can be anything from unique pencils to their backpack. It’s fun to have something special and gives one a sense of control over events.
3. Remind them that everyone is nervous and excited even the teachers! First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a funny picture book that illustrates this point perfectly.
4. Visit the school before the first day. Lots of our local schools have an evening opportunity to visit before the first day so everyone gets to see their classroom and meet each other. You can still visit the playground and walk around the outside of the school. Returning students could have a playdate on the school playground as several are open to use year-round.
5. Talk about it. Be realistic and optimistic. For some, it can be disappointing if the first day isn’t as wonderful as they thought so temper enthusiasm with realism. Be prepared to deal with ‘the teacher didn’t let me lead the line’ disappointments with the fact that there are still 270 days of the school year so plenty of opportunities are left to be had.
6. Read about it. A book about the first day of school is a great gift. The library also has several to choose from to help prepare for the big day. Our favorites include:

o   The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Parents may need a box of tissues when reading this one)364588

o   The Ticky-Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant

o   Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate

o   Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss

o   I Don’t Want to Go Back to School by Marisabina Russo

o   Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School by Herman Parish

o   Arthur’s Back to School Day by Lillian Hoban443799

o   The Berenstain Bears Go Back to School by Stan Berenstain

o   Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson

o   How do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen

o   First Day of School by Anne Rockwell

o   Emily’s First Day of School by Sarah, Duchess of York615265

o    Clifford’s First School Day by Norman Bridwell

o   Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Capucilli

7. Take lots pictures and give lots of hugs. Make time that evening to talk about the first day with your child, their work and any special moments that they had on the first day of school.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

349347Shadow Moon, just released from prison, accepts a job from a shady character named Mr. Wednesday, and becomes involved in a battle for America. The gods from the old world, who came to America with emigrants from all over the globe, are fighting for prominence against the new gods of technology, which they see as ruling over American life. As Shadow gets pulled further into the struggle, he ends up on a very strange road trip, meeting gods from all over, trying to figure out what is really going on.

American Gods is an interestingly layered book with the battle of the Gods theme utilized to tell multiple shorter stories as Shadow travels in America on his job. There are several vignettes and short stories of varying lengths about the deities as they have coped with the changing times that will delight readers with humor and chills. Shadow has his own story as the hero of the book who goes from tragedy to triumph.

Mr. Gaiman, who now lives in the United States, won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for this novel. Last year he received the Newbery, Carnegie, Audie, and Hugo Awards for his novel The Graveyard Book.

 

Miniature Horses at Leiper’s Fork

By Emily Anglin, Leiper’s Fork Branch Head

Cowboys and Cowgirls gathered from all over the Leipers Fork area in July to hear cowboy and horse stories at Leipers Fork’s Cowboy Story Time. I read one of my favorite stories to the children, Are You a Horse? By Andy Rash. It’s about a cowboy who gets a saddle for his birthday, but he doesn’t know what a horse even looks like! We also enjoyed an award winning book about miniature horses: Bucky & Bonnie’s Library Adventure, written by our very own director Dolores Greenwald and library staff.

Now we’ll get down to the real reason so many kids and parents were here. To see our very special guest Buddy the miniature horse from Angel Heart Farm. He was such a sweet little fellow. The children enjoyed getting to pet Buddy and have their pictures made with him. Yes, we had a horse inside the library!

What makes Buddy such a special horse? He works with children that have chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Buddy’s human Tracy Buddy4Kujawa, founder of Angel Heart Farm says that “it’s our mission to bring horses and children together for healing.” “We have created a safe and caring environment where children can experience the warmth and peace of bonding with animals, which has a positive effect in the healing process.” And that is why Buddy is such a special little guy, along with all the other horses on Tracy’s farm. Angel Heart Farm is a non-profit organization. If you’d like more information about this organization visit angelheartfarm.net, if you’d like to see some books about cowboys and horses visit your local library branch.

Bird Appreciation Books 101 for Children—Starters

By Lance Hickerson, Reference Assistant

My fourth grade elementary school teacher was an avid bird watcher, even when she was teaching class. We might be in the middle of multiplication tables, when a rare bird at the class feeder would turn our attention from the wall-to-wall chalk board to the windows behind us. I had no idea at the time how I was being taught a love of nature in general and of birds in particular. Bird watching has been a highly rewarding hobby ever since.   Since it is only natural to want to pass on a love of nature and birds to the next generation, I am always on the lookout for books in the library that might instill, and maybe even ignite, aviary wonder.

Among the many good books out there, here are a few I came across.

I.   Starting for K-2nd grade:

  1. Feathers For Lunch

Feathers for Lunchby Lois Ehlert (Harcourt, Inc.: 1990, 36 pages)

Storyline: A housecat escapes to the outdoors and encounters twelve species of birds, but is unable to catch even one. Along the way the cat and the reader learn something about each bird, from its appearance to song.

Sideline: The birds are shown by effective cut-paper illustrations. Along with the birds are cut-paper plants common to the bird’s environment.  So a plant book as well as an animal book.

Bonus: Several back pages contain more information on each cut-paper bird

  1. BirdsongsBirdsongs 2

by Betsy Franco and Steve Jenkins {illustrator} (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007, 40 pages) Caldecott Honor Medalist

Storyline: The book begins early one morning and goes through to the end of the day identifying some 11 birds and their sounds. The illustrations sport a dimensional appearance due to being refined cut paper designs.

Sideline: There is a counting theme throughout as the birds call out their songs a given number of times. In addition to bird sounds, children can practice counting.

Bonus: The last few pages tell interesting “feathery facts” about the birds.

  1. Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalogue and Instruction Manual

Aviary Wondersby Kate Samworth {author and illustrator} (Clarion Books: 2014, 32 pages)

Storyline: This wonderfully illustrated book is an imaginary and futuristic catalogue that permits readers to design their own birds. There is more to the bird than most imagine as choices include types of beaks, tails, legs, wings, flight patterns, and colors.

Sideline: The reader learns about various extinct birds in our history. There is an environmental, conservationist theme throughout.

Bonus: By involving the imagination in applying bird anatomy, the reader becomes aware of many various markers that are important for understanding and identifying birds.

  1. Birds: A Guide to Familiar American Birds  A Golden Guide - Birds

by Herbert Zim and Ira Gabrielson {illustrated by James Gordon Irving} (Golden Press: 1987, 160 pages)

Storyline: No story but rather a straightforward and simple guide to 129 birds commonly seen in America. Each bird has its own page and is illustrated by colorful and accurate drawings. The simplicity of this now classic book makes it a wonderful beginner’s guide. It is important to supplement the many photo books available today with artful drawings like here, for the drawings can emphasize significant markings of the bird that photos often do not. For instance, because I had seen the Wood Thrush painting in this book, I was able to recognize a real Wood Thrush in nature several years later.

  1. The New Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America: Peterson Field Guides

A New Birder's Guideby Bill Thompson III {illustrations by Julie Zickefoose and Michael Digiorgio} (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 368 pages)

Storyline: No story but a wonderful new beginner’s bird guide to common birds in America. Carefully selected photos and drawings help in positive identification. There is just enough information to make it interesting and useful. It’s the best new beginning bird book to bring into the field with children. It might well become a classic in its own right.

Bonus: Wow Facts are given for each bird disclosing interesting and significant information

The Pros of Chess

0225By Robin Ebelt, Reference Department

What game gives you constant feedback, shows your psychological strengths and weaknesses and gives you great possibilities for self-improvement? It’s chess, of course. You don’t play? No problem! It’s never too late to learn how to play chess. The Williamson County Public Library has a Chess Club that meets monthly in the Young Adult fiction room. All levels are welcome!

Why should you play chess?

  1. Chess is cheap!
  2. Chess is a game for people of all ages.
  3. Chess develops logical thinking.
  4. Chess develops memory.
  5. Chess improves concentration.
  6. Chess develops analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which they can transfer to real life.
  7. Chess shows that success rewards hard work.
  8. Chess is part of the curricula in nearly 30 countries. In Venezuela, Iceland, Russia and other countries, chess is a subject in all public schools.
  9. Chess is always changing. There is always new theory, new players, new puzzles and ALWAYS new game.
  10. Chess is fun!

Come join us! The Chess Club will meet August 2 at 2:00 PM in the Young Adult fiction room. All levels are welcome!

Fairview in Transition

By Dawn Green, Fairview Branch Librarian

fairviewThis month finds the Fairview Branch in a transition.  Kathy Grimenstein, Branch Manager, is retiring after 17 years with the Williamson County Public Library system. She has been in Fairview all that time except for a period of time (2005-2007) during which she served as Assistant Director at the Main Branch.

A beloved figure in Fairview, “Miss Kathy” has actively led Toddler-Time and Preschool Story-Time for many years. She says “ My favorite tasks are working with the preschool children” and having the preschool children grow into high school seniors and still call me “Miss Kathy” are highlights for her. She also enjoys helping patrons with questions about books or anything in general.

Kathy is proud of the fact that the Fairview Branch is a fast-growing and popular part of the Fairview community. The library programs that she has developed have been well attended and are enjoyed by children of all ages. She is proud of the library’s position as a valued asset in the town where her children were raised, She and her husband Jim have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. She is looking forward to having more time to spend with them during her upcoming retirement. She plans to do some volunteer work, relax and read, read, read!

We are pleased to welcome Philip McAndrew as the new Branch Manager. He comes to Fairview from the Main Branch where he was previously the YA department head. The library is looking forward to good things for all.

Dogs in the Library!

Dog_with_book_5516202508By Betty Kirkeminde, College Grove Branch Manager

Every Thursday afternoon, there is a dog in the College Grove Community Library. In libraries across the country, you can find the same scene, children reading to friendly, tail-wagging dogs. The atmosphere is relaxed. Reading to a dog is fun!

For some children, it is more than just a novel experience. Reading ability, like any new skill, takes practice. For beginning and struggling readers, reading aloud to adults or classmates can be stressful. Reading to a trained therapy dog takes away the stress – the dog is a non-judgmental listener. The child can relax with the dog and focus on reading.

Two recent studies by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine showed improvements of as much as 30% in reading fluency when children were paired with reading therapy dogs.

A five week study by Tufts University found that reading to a dog improved children’s reading ability and attitude toward reading.

Those involved in reading therapy programs find that children who participate are more comfortable reading aloud and read more often. As their literacy skills improve, they look forward to reading.

Two branches of the Williamson County Public Library system have reading therapy dogs who visit regularly. Children of all ages and reading abilities are invited to read to one of our reading dogs.

Betsy or Darby, who are certified by Therapy Dogs International as Tail Waggin’ Tutors, will be at the College Grove Community Library on Thursdays at 2:00 pm during July.

Reuben or Sadie, registered Reading Education Assistance Dogs, are at the Nolensville Public Library one Saturday each month. Their next visit will be on Saturday, July 26, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Please check the library’s website, wcpltn, or call the branch for updates to the schedule.

Make your summer safer – Boat Access Points and TWRA Boating Test Proctoring!

TURTLE_BAY_RESORT_BOATING_DSC01590By Lindsay Roseberry and Rebecca Tischler, Reference Department

If you enjoy boating during the summer, you may have noticed that there are not too many boating access points in Williamson County.  In fact, the only access point that I could find in Williamson County is an unnamed boat ramp on the Harpeth River just North of Mack Hatcher Pkwy and on the East Side of Lewisburg Pk.  However, if you don’t mind heading out of the Williamson County area, we are surrounded by Rivers and access points.

There are numerous access points along the Percy Priest Reservoir in the north in Davidson and Rutherford County.  Toward the south, there are even more along the Duck River, which crosses the counties Maury, Marshall, and Bedford as well as passing through Hickman County in the west.  Of course, these two rivers are very popular boating sites, so if you would like to have a little less company, there are a few other spots you could try.  The West Fork Stone River in Rutherford County  has 2 access points in total and the Harpeth River also provides a couple more access points in Davidson County.

But remember that in order to go boating, you have to have your license, and if you don’t have a boating license to ride your Sea-Doo or boat this summer, you can take the TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) boating exam at the library.

You will have to have a library card (or guest pass) with us. Keep any mind, anyone under 18 has to have a parent or guardian with them to get a library card or guest pass. To get a library card you need a current address and a picture I.D. You’ll also need a Type 600 ticket. You can get this ticket at any sporting goods store, where you would get your boating license; the fee is $10.00. You will have to make an appointment to take the online exam, which is why you have to have a library card or guest pass. You can take the exam twice in one day; you have to get 48 out of 60 questions correct. We do have study guide books on the second floor available for free.

The Franklin branch is open Monday – Thursday 9:00 to 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. We also have Sunday hours—1:00 to 5:30. Call us at 595-1243 to make an appointment.

The other branches that proctor TWRA exams are:

Bethesda Branch – call 790-1887 for appointments (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Fairview Branch – call 224-6087 for appointments (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Leiper’s Fork Branch – call 794-7091 for appointments (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Nolensville Branch – call 776-5490 for appointments (closed Sundays and Mondays)

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