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Books free for the taking!

Looking for a beach read?

The Library has a cart full of books that can fill that need for a “good beach read”. Before you go on vacation, stop by the Library and check out the Book Exchange cart located near the Service Desk. These books are free for the taking. After your vacation, you can bring back any books you picked up (here or elsewhere) that others might also enjoy reading. The Book Exchange is available year round and the collection of books is being constantly refreshed. Enjoy!

Return Library Items by May 3 and Win a Prize!

Attention Wheelock students!  All items checked out from the Library are due on Thursday, May 3.

When you return your books, stop by the front desk and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

On May 4, we will randomly select and notify two winners.  You must have zero items checked out and have no outstanding fines as of the 3rd to be eligible.  Duplicate entries will be removed before the prize drawing is made.

Enter to win at the Library front desk!

Book Exchange fully stocked

The Book Exchange cart by the Library’s front desk has been restocked just in time for spring break!  There’s popular fiction like The Da Vinci Code, non-fiction such as The Boys of Summer (a timely read with the recent death of Duke Snider), and even a few magazines.

Come snag a beach book or pick up something to read in your free time at home. All books are first-come, first-served, so stop by soon for the best selection.

The Book Exchange is user supported — take a book, leave a book, read for fun!

Why I Don’t Like [Reading] Poetry

Image from Rexlace Club; used with permission

I don’t read poetry because I don’t get it. I wish the poem would just say what it means – too often I don’t know what the poet is talking about and then I feel stupid and then resentful that it made me feel that way and so I don’t read poetry.  I realize I am not supposed to take this view or at least not supposed to voice it, but I can’t help it.  Reading poetry reminds me of trying to do crossword puzzles – I hate those cutesy hints – just ask me what you want to know!  It feels passive-aggressive…

Why then do I find listening to poetry to be so different?  I often hear The Writer’s Almanac on my morning commute.  In it Garrison Keillor (who by the way along with Jim Dale is one of the two best read-alouders in the world) reads a poem.  I almost always appreciate it, and oftentimes I really like it.  I heard the poet Billy Collins read his poem The Lanyard on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion and have cherished it ever since. [Use RealPlayer to listen to segment 2 of the show.] And years ago I heard Robert Bly read his work and loved it.

I don’t know why hearing a poem makes it more understandable to me, but when I hear a poem it says exactly what it means, way better than if it just said what it meant.   And once I have heard a poem read well, I can go back and read it myself and enjoy it.  So I am led to conclude that this all has to do with voice.  I need to hear a literal voice before I can hear the figurative voice.  (The inverse of this is that I cannot bear to listen to a recorded book if the voice isn’t “right.” Which is why I appreciate Keillor and Dale so much.)

The poet Robert Browning is said to have remarked:  When I wrote that poem only God and I knew what it meant. Now only God knows.  Points for honesty, Bob.  Maybe it would have helped to hear it read aloud?

Haiti – Do Your Homework


When asked how to help the children and families in Haiti, one recommendation from the panelists at yesterday’s Half Year Program was: do your homework.  Learn about the people and the place, the culture and concerns.

Here are a few resources to help you build your background knowledge, and learn more about relief and development efforts and service opportunities that could be of interest.



Online reference

Global Issues in Context

Earthquake in Haiti

Credo Reference

“Haiti” in The World of Child Labor: An Historical and Regional Survey

“Haiti” in New Americans: A Guide to Immigration Since 1965


Cadet, J. (1998).  Restavec: from Haitian slave child to middle-class American. Austin : University of Texas Press, 1998.

Kidder, T. (2003). Mountains beyond mountains: The quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a man who would cure the world. New York, Random House.


Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation

Haiti Fund – Resources

International Rescue Committee –Haiti, One Year On

Research Guides

Helping Children Cope with Stress

Coping With Traumatic Events

Resources on the Web

Boston Haitian Reporter

Boston Haitian Reporter – Community Resources

Haitian Health Institute at the Boston Medical Center

CCHER (Center for Community Health, Education & Research)

CCHER – List of Boston Haitian Resources

60 Minutes videos

Haiti: Frustration and Anger

The Lost Children of Haiti