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Girls of Atomic City: Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

March 29th, 2014 · Book Group, Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch


The Thursday evening book group will be reading Girls of Atomic City:  Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan.  This riveting novel tells the story of the women who were recruited to work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the secret uranium enrichment project that led to the bomb.  One of the Manhattan Project’s secret cities, it didn’t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships—and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men!  In The Girls of Atomic City, Denise Kiernan traces the astonishing story of these unsung WWII workers through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is history and science made fresh and vibrant—a beautifully told, deeply researched story that unfolds in a suspenseful and exciting way. Join us on the evening of April 10th from 7-8:15 Pm at the main library to discuss this fascinating novel. For more information please contact Sarah at 624-6560.


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What Manchester Was Reading in 1914 : New Books

March 26th, 2014 · 100th Anniversary, Books, City Library, Events, Local History, Main Branch, News, NH Room

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The year was 1914.  The war, later to be known as World War I, was just beginning in Europe. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria had been assassinated and Imperialism was on the rise.

Here in the United States we were watching the events of the European countries and did not enter the war until 1917.  Without television or computers, we were listening to radio broadcasts and reading the news in our local newspapers.  The books we were reading were not about war until 1915.  Symbolism in the books that were published in the United States was not yet confined to topics of war and nobody expected that the United States would be drawn into this conflict.

The year 1914 was also the time of the dedication of the Carpenter Memorial Building donated to the City of Manchester by Frank Pierce Carpenter in memory of his wife, Elenora Blood Carpenter.  The beautiful library was a place to read the new books which some patrons could not afford on their own means. Manchester’s population in 1910 was 70,063 residents and there were 9,865 registered borrowers and 74,000 volumes in the library by the end of 1914.  For Manchester it was a happy time.

Many of the books published in 1914, that Manchester residents and the world were reading have become “classics” today, and many of the authors have become famous.  James Joyce’s Dubliners, Carl Sandburg’s Chicago, Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Guest, and Sigmund Freud’s On Narcissism have been reprinted many times.  North of Boston by Robert Frost and Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde are still popular. And who can forget Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thornton W. Burgess?  Some of books have been made into movies.

Of course there were many books published prior to 1914 that were still being read by our patrons. G. Waldo Brown‘s With Rogers’ Rangers (1906) and The Hills O’ New Hampshire by Will Cressey and James Clarence Harvey (1913) are New Hampshire titles. Others were Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) and Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome (1911), both very popular today.

As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Carpenter Memorial Building we also celebrate the 100th Anniversary of some of the much enjoyed titles within our library!

C. O’Neil  3/19/2014

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History of Tea

March 23rd, 2014 · 100th Anniversary, Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch, West Branch

So where did tea come from?  The origins of tea can be found in China.  According to legend, tea was discovered by accident over 5000 years ago.  An evil and despotic emperor, Shen Nung, was overthrown and banished to a remote section of Southern China.  Driven by poverty to drinking only hot water, one day he was pleasantly surprised when a gust of wind blew some leaves from a nearby tree into his pot of boiling water.  The resulting infusion was so relaxing that he lived under the tree for the next 7 years, drinking only tea which he named “Tai&apos”, (peace).  It is generally agreed that tea did come form China.

By 80 AD, tea had spread to Japan .  After a passage of 200 years, small quantities of tea were taken west on Persian caravan routes.  It is possible that the first Europeans to taste tea were the Crusaders.  By the middle of the 16th century the Venetians were importing tea as a medicine for stomach troubles.  It was their trade rivals, the Dutch and a queen who was to introduce Europe to tea.

We know that in 1622, King Charles II married the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza.  Catherine brought tea chests to England as part of her wedding dowry and popularized the custom of taking tea at court.  Some 50 years later tea drinking became more popular, thanks to the Royal Family, when Queen Anne starting drinking tea with her breakfast rather than the customary beer.

Afternoon Tea
Tea consumption increased dramatically in the early nineteenth century. Thanks to a duchess  Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of having a sinking feeling in the late afternoon.  At that time it was usual for people to take only two meals a day, breakfast and then dinner around 8  o’clock in the evening.  The solution for the Duchess was a pot of hot tea and some bead and butter sandwiches.  This was taken in her private sitting room.  Later friends were invited to join in her rooms at Woburn Abbey.  This summer practice became so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London for the “London Season”.  Other social hostesses quickly adopted the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room.  Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling dainty “ladies” sandwiches  and eating thin slices of cake in the middle of the afternoon.

Low Tea
Traditionally, the upper classes would serve a “low” or “afternoon” tea between the hours of 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock.

High Tea
The lower and middle classes would have a more substantial “high” tea late in the day, at five or six o’clock.  High tea is a family affair.  The names derive from the height of the tables on which the tea is served.

If you ever go to London, try to do to one of the teas served in the hotel.  Some of the better known ones are Harrods, the Churchill Hotel on Oxford St., the Royal Garden at Kensington Court and the Metropolitan at Mayfair.  Afternoon tea is a true luxury and the English “do it” to their very best.

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Brown Bag Book Club – The Professor and the Madman

March 20th, 2014 · Book Group, Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch


The Brown Bag Book Club will be reading The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester .  The “madman” being Dr. W. C. Minor, who contributed over 10,000 entries to the Oxford English Dictionary.  Prior to being honored for his contributions, the shocking discovery was made that he was an inmate in an asylum for the criminally insane.

It all began when Minor responded to a call for volunteers.

The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness and genius, and the incredible obsessions of two men at the heart of the Oxford English Dictionary and literary history. With riveting insight and detail, Simon Winchester crafts a fascinating glimpse into one man’s tortured mind and his contribution to another man’s magnificent dictionary.

Join us on Tuesday, March 25th from 12:15-1:00 PM to discuss this very interesting novel. For more information contact Information Desk at 624-6550ext. 319

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Dreaming of Spring

March 17th, 2014 · Books, Children, City Library, Main Branch, Teens, West Branch

lily-of-the-valley“Every intoxicating delight of early spring was in the air. The breeze that fanned her cheek was laden with subtle perfume and the crisp, fresh odor of unfolding leaves.”
Gene Stratton-Porter, The Song of the Cardinal

So it’s been a long winter.  I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming of spring lately.  The snow will melt, the sun will be shining and flowers will start to bloom.  I can’t wait, and I don’t think I’m the only one. Below are some library materials to get you thinking spring.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Chasing spring : an American journey through a changing season by Bruce Stutz

Ambient Flowers. Spring Ultimate Video Garden & Reference DVD

Rebecca’s Garden. Volume 3, Spring Gardening

Winter into Spring by George Winston (CD)

Onward and Upward in the Garden by Katharine Sergeant Angell White

Children’s Materials:

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

And then it’s spring by Julie Fogliano

It’s spring! by Linda Glaser

Snow rabbit, spring rabbit : a book of changing seasons by Il Sung Na

Spring story backpack.

How Robin saved spring by Debbie Ouellet

Sun through small leaves : poems of spring

Crafts to make in the spring by Kathy Ross

“The spring has sprung, the grass is rizz. I wonder where them birdies is?” A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

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Lucky Leprechaun Lollapalooza

March 13th, 2014 · Ages 0-2, Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Children, City Library, Events, Main Branch


On Monday, March 17 at 10:00 am in the Winchell Room, wee folks unite and wear green today! Join us for stories, games, crafts, music, and a very special treat. We just might find the pot of gold. Registration is required. This program is for children ages 2-5. For more information, please call 624-6550 ext. 328.

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Submit Your March Madness Brackets!

March 12th, 2014 · Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch


Submit your filled out bracket for March Madness and you may win a $25.00 gift card to Cactus Jack’s Restaurant!
The deadline to turn in your bracket is Saturday, March 15th! You DON’T have to read all of the books on the bracket-just make a guess as to which competing books will be the most popular.
Print up your bracket from our website or pick one up at the library, fill it out and return it to the circulation desk.


Don’t forget to vote in round one in the March Madness Tournament of Books!

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Free Films – Spring 2014

March 12th, 2014 · City Library, Events, Main Branch, Movies, News


Here is the line up for our Spring 2014 Wednesday “afternoon at the movies” series. All movies are closed captioned and show at 1:00 PM in the library auditorium.

March 05    Absence of Malice PG 116 Min.
March 12    Coal Miner’s Daughter PG 125 Min.
March 19    Doc Hollywood PG 103 Min.
March 26    The Lone Ranger (2013) PG13 135 Min.

April 02    Some Like It Hot NR 125 Min.
April 09    Practical Magic PG13 108 Min.
April 16    White House Down PG13 137 Min.
April 23    Hoot PG 91 Min.
April 30    Despicable Me 2 PG 98 Min.

May 07     Swing Kids PG13 112 Min.
May 14     Mr. Holland’s Opus PG 143 Min.
May 21     Spies Like Us PG 109 Min.
May 28     Fly Boys PG13 140 Min.

See you at the movies!

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Library website down temporarily

March 11th, 2014 · Uncategorized

The library’s website (with the exception of the home page) is down as of Tuesday night, 3/11/14. We’re working to bring it up as soon as possible.

Downloadable books and the library catalog are still available.

Steve Viggiano

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Teen Tech Week: Get Connected (March 9th-15th)

March 10th, 2014 · City Library, Events, Grades 6-12, Main Branch, Teens, West Branch


Come explore teen-friendly tech with members from the Future Tech Women-Women in Tech Hangout.  Enjoy hands-on fun with books, games, and projects for all abilities, from those who are new to programmer pros.  For grades 6 to 12.  For more information contact Amy Graves at 624-6550 ext. 345

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