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January 2011

New Printing System

There is a new printing system in the Library, the Resource Center, and on the Brookline campus.  Library staff are here to help as we make this transition.

We have put together a page on our website that we hope will answer most of your questions.  Please get in touch if we did not include something important!  On this page, you will also find links to several instructional documents about using the system.

We welcome your feedback!

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

When I was your age…

So you think this has been a bad winter? When I was much younger living in a nearby suburb we would get so much snow that instead of building snowmen, we would build snow elephants. That’s right, elephants. My father, three siblings and I would all get out there (my mother was the supervising artist) and roll massive balls of snow. The first elephant we built was a bit rough. It was very difficult to add the massive head with ears and a trunk. I will admit to there being a wooden prop used. As subsequent snowy winters came our technique improved, and there were no props and the trunk curled up over the head. This is a realtively early elephant with a snow monkey on his back.

We did this often enough that people came by our house each winter expecting to see some snow creations. We expanded our repertoire to include a kangaroo, a bear with a tree, Eskimos with a dog and igloo, even a huge heart and arrow for Valentine’s Day. With an engineer for a father and an artist for a mother, the possibilities were endless. The elephant was always the first creation each winter but as subsequent storms added more snow, more snow creations would appear. This is from the snowiest winter I remember.

So a snowy winter just brings back good memories for me. Go on out there, play in the snow, and build your own memories.

Where Are They?

No not Waldo, or Spot, or the Wild Things.

The kits, Big Books, children’s videos and children’s magazines – the curriculum materials. Where’d they go?

So that we can make it easier for you to find what you need and to minimize confusion between the Library’s curriculum materials collection and the Resource Center’s collections, we have re-assigned many items to the Resource Center, and re-located the rest of the curriculum materials within the Library building. We hope that by consolidating and streamlining collections you will not have to look in as many places for the items you want.

Kits, games, manipulatives: Resource Center
Big Books: Resource Center
Children’s magazines: Library Floor 2
Children’s videos: (VHS/DVD) Library Floor 2
K-8 Textbooks & curricula: Library Floor 2

Children’s books: Library Floor 2M (no change)

These changes also permit us to make the 2M conference room a little more spacious for group study use, as well as to put a computer in there.

All materials at both the Library and The Resource Center are still included in the Library Catalog (FLO), and the Library’s Curriculum Resources Subject Guide is still in the same old place – online through the Library’s website. And we’re in the same old place too —  in the building and through the Library’s website, so as always, let us know if we can help you find something.

Graphic Organizers – Not Just for Kids

Not Just for Kids

Maybe you used concept maps or other graphic organizers in elementary school.  Maybe you use them in your current work with elementary school children.  But how about using them for yourself now, even though you aren’t in elementary school anymore?

Far from being “just a worksheet” graphic organizers can be an effective tool for thinking as well as organizing.  Manipulating words or images on a page can reveal relationships between ideas, stimulate insights, and help develop a line of reasoning.  It is a great way to start work on a paper because you can capture vague notions, choice words, small details, overarching concepts, facts, opinions, questions, and reflections without getting stuck on trying to sort and synthesize them into fluent, coherent text.  The fun of creating the diagrams – selecting images, shapes, colors – and the ease of moving the figures around can stimulate creative thinking and facilitate problem solving.  You can watch your understanding grow concretely, and with that refine the development and presentation of your ideas.

Webspiration is one online tool for making concept maps.  It is easy to use, and for now, free.  (It is in public test mode, with no fixed end time, but at some point may become a subscription service.) There are plenty of others, including Spicy Nodes, Compendium, and Visio, but I have found Webspiration the easiest to use.  Webspiration Examples for College Students gives some good examples of how you might use it to create a summary, do an analysis, gather and organize ideas for a paper, or plan a project or presentation.

So take this opportunity to make good on that New Year’s resolution to get organized, and try it.

Here’s an example (click to enlarge):