Friday, December 15, 2017

Ventress Voice - Winter 2018


Newsletter of the Ventress Memorial Library

Marshfield, Massachusetts

WINTER  2017-2018         Volume 24,   No. 2

Community Caring

From the Director…
The Ventress Library is proud and excited to announce a new partnership with the Marshfield FACTS. (Familes, Adolescents and Community Together Against Substances) Spearheaded by Jen Tucker Cantwell, Marshfield FACTS seeks to foster a community coalition and focus on a goal to prevent drug and alcohol use by youth. By raising awareness and providing education about substance abuse, Marshfield FACTS hopes to provide positive role models for the town’s youth and bring health, wellness and empowerment to them.  Here is how Ventress Library is helping. We will host a community read and book discussion and a series of ongoing events to promote positive culture in the town of Marshfield. Discussion will be spurred by the community’s response to the powerful memoir written by a Plymouth woman who watched her sister descend into the horrors of addiction, and eventually succumb to them. The book is titled “The Book: The Story of Red Tail Hawk – One Family’s Journey Through Addiction”, and is the story of Amanda Beth Randall as told by her sister K.A. “Katie” Morini. Marshfield FACTs and the library will host a presentation by the author on January 22, 2018 in the library’s new Program Room. Books will be distributed for the town to read in preparation for a discussion planned for Monday, March 26 at the library. Various outreach events will occur throughout 2018 to engage Marshfield town residents of all ages – from school age, to parents, to elders drawn to helping young people live more fulfilling and healthy lives. Won’t you join us in this initiative of community caring? It will benefit us all!!
Yours in reading,

Children’s Corner
By Monica Brennan, Head of Children’s Services,
Hi! My name is Monica Brennan. I’m delighted to be the new Children’s Librarian at Ventress Memorial Library. In my eight year library career, I have held many library jobs across the United States, but my favorite role is working as a public library Children’s Librarian. I am passionate about helping all children find books that inspire and excite them.  I believe that libraries are a center point for twenty first century communities. I love that Marshfield community members and the Ventress Memorial Library staff are working to make that a reality! I am eager to meet all of the wonderful patrons who use the resources offered by the library. If you have a free moment during this very busy season, please stop by and introduce yourself. Can’t wait to meet you!
Circulation Chat
By Nikole Kelleher, Circulation Supervisor,
With the winter months upon us, the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, it makes me think of a recent phenomenon: Hygge (pronounced hue-guh). Though there are many ways to describe Hygge, we see it simply as the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness. Contentment. Good Feelings. A warm cozy glow from a candle or fire. Certainly, Hygge is intrinsic to the Danish lifestyle, but the feeling of well-being, so deeply satisfying and cozy, is something we all should experience, each in our own way.
At the Ventress Memorial Library we have some items that can assist with this. We have many books on this exact subject to get you started. Check out the latest best seller to make these long, cold, days and nights go by faster. Listen to music by a roaring fire. Snuggle up under a blanket and watch a classic or new movie. Want to spend some quality time with the family? Ventress Library offers puzzles to be checked out. We have large ones and small ones. These next few months are what we make them, please let us help you make them as cozy and content as possible.

Reference Notes
By Chris Woods, Assistant Director,
We are happy to welcome two new librarians to the Reference Desk. Kelsey Socha introduces herself in this month’s “Teen Time” column. Nancy Hickey shares a brief biography with us below. Welcome, Kelsey and Nancy!
Nancy Hickey is delighted to join the staff of the Ventress Memorial Library as a Substitute Reference Librarian.  Nancy received her MSLIS degree from Simmons College in 2009 and has worked in public libraries for over five years.  As a Temporary Reference Librarian at Watertown Free Public Library, she enjoyed working with people of all ages and sharing her technology and reference advisory knowledge.  Nancy also currently works at the West Falmouth Library as a Development Administrative Assistant.  She grew up on the Cape and recently relocated to the South Shore after living in the greater Boston area for more than 20 years. 

New Writing and Genealogy Groups
The Ventress Library is pleased to announce the formation of two new groups! Here is some information about each:

VML Adult Writing Group “Let’s Write!”
For adults 18 years and over…no experience needed…we write spontaneously during each session in whatever style or format you feel most comfortable (non-fiction, fiction, poetry, dialogue). Facilitated by librarian Chris Woods and local author Bob McNulty. Group meets twice per month on this schedule:  first Monday of each month from 6:00-7:30 p.m. and the third Monday of each month from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in the library’s Historical Room. No need to sign up – just show up.  All you need to bring is your creativity! For more information contact Chris at 781-834-5535 or
VML Genealogy Group
Interested in starting or continuing your family tree? Come join the library’s new genealogy group to help you get going or solve research conundrums. Learn how to best use Ancestry Library Edition and other relevant sources. We will meet on the last Wednesday of each month from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the library’s Historical Room. Facilitated by librarian Chris Woods. Bring your questions, your stories, your photos, and your history to this lively group of researchers. No experience necessary, and no sign-up required – just come on the night. Hope to see you there! For more information contact Chris at 781-834-5535 or

Teen Time
By Kelsey Socha, Young Adult and Reference Librarian,

Hello! It’s so wonderful to be starting work in such a vibrant and close-knit community, and even nicer to be doing it while becoming Ventress’s first official Young Adult Reference Librarian. You can find me working in the Teen Area or at the Reference Desk, and I’m always happy to help with any research, reader’s advisory, or technology concerns you might have.

A little bit about me: I just moved to the area from Boston, where I worked at several public and academic libraries. I’ve done a lot of work with teens, adults, and children of all ages, so don’t hesitate to ask me for a book recommendation!
I’m so excited to be here and to be building up the teen collection and programming. I’ll also be coordinating some programs for adults, so be on the lookout for that as well!

Some YA Picks for the next few months:

*The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo—This selection of short stories by the author of the Six of Crows series is a beautiful set of re-imagined fairytales- perfect for fans of her other books, but also totally accessible for first-time readers. The illustrations and simple, magical tales make this read perfectly cozy for the holidays.

*Spinning by Tillie Walden—This graphic novel memoir about figure skating and high school came out just a few months ago, but it’s already been getting an incredible amount of positive press. Any former or current athletes can relate to the pressures of dedicated practice, and the choices between your passion and the rest of your life, and Walden’s illustrations are totally gorgeous.

*Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds—This prose poetry book details one elevator ride taken by Will Hollowman, who is about to avenge his older brother’s murder. In a Christmas Carol-esque ride, he meets the ghosts of past as he decides what to do at the bottom floor.

Teen Events Coming Up in the Next Few Months:
*All Teen Events for Ages 11-17 Unless Otherwise Noted! Please register online or by calling the library!*

WRITING & ART CLUB, First Tuesday of the Month @ 5 pm!
Come write or make art! Prompts and inspiration provided, Bring a notebook and pen or your sketchbook or craft supplies!

DIY ORNAMENT MAKING, Tues. Dec. 12 @ 5:30 pm
*For ages 12 to 112*
Relax before the holidays and make two unique ornaments to bring home as gifts!

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD, Thurs. Dec. 14 @ 5 pm, Third Thursdays of the Month!
Help us to plan future teen events and earn community service hours! Apply to be a member today!

TEEN MOVIE NIGHT, Last Thursday of the Month @ 5 pm!
Come see a movie at the library! Film choice to be selected by moviegoers.

HOLIDAY PARTY, Tues. Dec. 19 @ 5 PM
Come play games, make gifts for your loved ones, decorate cookies, and enjoy winter-themed refreshments!

Look for more events to be posted on our website and calendar each month!

Friend-ly Notes
Ask at the Circulation Desk how to become a Friend of the Library. The group is always looking for members to help out on their mission to support the Ventress Library in many ways. Be a Friend!!

By Janet Dawson Dwyer, Reference Librarian
Memories of Green Harbor

A visit to my grandparents’ cottage was always the highlight of my summer.  Driving down the old “red road” and finally seeing Camp Cedarcrest meant we would soon arrive at the house on the horseshoe shaped road that straddled the Green Harbor/Duxbury line.

The cottage was so special.  When it rained, the drops pounded the open ceiling of the second floor.  The bead board walls only went up part way, with the roof exposed.  I could see a small sparkly bit of the ocean from the bedroom window.

The daily trek to the beach involved a decision, which of the three little paths through the horseshoe should we take?  The ocean water seemed ankle-numbing cold every day, unlike these days.  Of course, we had to wait an hour to go back in for a swim after lunch.  On cloudy or rainy days Nana would teach me how to sew clothes for my Shirley Temple doll.  The highlight of the day would be a walk to the Moonbeam or the Genny for a treat.

I was the oldest of my siblings so my week to visit was over the July holiday.  The bonfires and fireworks for July 3rd were incredible.  Trucks would cart huge amounts of wood all day for the bonfires, which might be topped by a stuffed teddy bear.  A celebration like I’d never seen.

Food for Sunday dinner was purchased at a farm stand on Webster street.  As a treat, dessert would be a trip to Charlie’s in Brant Rock for an ice cream.  I’ve never had salt water taffy as delicious as Estes Candy Kitchen in Brant Rock.

I was so fortunate to have these wonderful childhood memories.  And I’m very happy to live here year-round now.

Lifestyle Love
By Chris Woods, Assistant Director,

Mrs. Murphy’s Christmas Cookies

My mother, Dot Murphy, was such a festive Christmas person. She loved to spread holiday joy in our house, to our neighbors and with her many friends. As a tribute to her, I plan to make these delicious confections this December. I have so many memories of watching my mother mix and roll the dough for the butter balls, form the spritz from *her* mother’s cookie press into holiday wreaths and candy canes and smell the toasted nut deliciousness of the bird’s nests as they came out of the oven. The one missing ingredient in recipes below…always add a touch of love!
Merry Christmas!!

Bird’s Nest Cookies
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
  • 4 eggs, whites separated from yolks
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 cups white flour
  • pinch salt
  • chopped walnuts (about one cup, chopped fine)
  • raspberry or strawberry jam (about 1/2 cup)
  • Cream sugars, salt, butter, and shortening.
  • Add egg yolks and flour. Mix to combine until a soft dough forms.
  • Shape into small balls, using about a teaspoon of dough for each.
  • Dip each in egg whites and then in nuts.
  • Turn over (nut side up) and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for five minutes at 325 degrees F.
  • Remove from oven and make a dent in the center of each.
  • Put ¼ teaspoon raspberry or strawberry jam in each dent. (My husband insists on raspberry jam.)
  • Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes more.
Walnut Butterballs
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 20 cookies
  • 1 cup all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pound butter (at room temperature)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar, to coat (about 1 cup)
1 Preheat the oven to 300°F and prepare a large cookie sheet.
2 Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, walnuts, salt, sugar) in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Add the butter in little pieces, and combine everything together with your (clean!) hands until the mixture looks like a coarse meal with nut bits in it. Form the dough into small balls no larger than a walnut and place on the cookie sheet, spaced at least an inch apart from each other.
3 Bake for 35 minutes. When they are still warm, but cool enough to touch, roll the cookies in some powdered sugar. Set aside on a rack to cool completely. When cool, dust again in powdered sugar.

Almond Spritz Press Cookies


1.     Cream shortening, adding sugar in gradually.
2.     Add unbeaten egg, sifted dry ingredients, flavoring and a few drops of food coloring. Mix well.
3.     Fill cookie press. Form cookies on ungreased cookie sheets using the tree plate. Decorate with tiny multi-colored sprinkles.
4.     Bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes. Cool just slightly and remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. (If you wait too long, they will break when you try to move them.).

 Staying Healthy
By Carol Fairbanks, Library Assistant,
As cold and flu season is right around the corner, there are some precautions you can take.  But first, let’s take a look at whether it’s a cold or it’s the flu.
High (100-102) F; can last 3-4 days
General aches, pains
Usual; often severe
Fatigue, weakness
Usual; starts early
Stuffy nose
Sore throat
Sinus congestion or earache
Bronchitis, pneumonia
You may have to go to the hospital

Prevention for both ailments is to wash your hands – a lot! To completely get rid of viruses from you skin, you need to scrub hard for 20 seconds or more.  Try singing the “Happy Birthday” song two times through to make sure you’re scrubbing long enough!
Get a flu shot.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid getting close to people who are sick.
Keep up a healthy lifestyle:  as always, eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest.
If you do come down with a bug, there are some remedies that may help. For both a cold and the flu, take over-the-counter products to ease the symptoms. For the flu, ask your doctor for antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza. However, these must be taken within the first 24-48 hours after symptoms start.
So let’s try to stay healthy. Spring will be here before you know it!

Ventress Vignettes
By Belle Bibliotheque

 This edition finds us musing on something beautiful that we are all FEELING, and something you all will grow to feel aussi.  Here at la bibliotheque, we have been tres chanceux to have a staff who can count their longevity in decades. We know that you all appreciate seeing familiar, friendly faces who know your name, and plus important, know what you like to read! We, in turn, truly enjoy our faithful “library friends”. On that note, we would like to give recognition to two of our former beautiful librarians who have recently left the fold: Miss Jen our former Children’s Librarian and Rachel, our former Information Services Librarian. We had all, patrons and staff alike, grown to love their sweet personalities and their dedication to their jobs. Miss Jen was fantastique at making everyone feel welcome, and enjoyed introducing literacy in inventive ways to our littlest patrons. Rachel was sensationnel – an enthusiastic researcher and creative planner of myriad programs and book groups, patient and pleasant, with a delicieux giggle! We wholeheartedly miss them both, and wish them only the best in their future careers.
But, with great happiness we would like to tell you about the arrival of two new, beautiful librarians. They will introduce themselves elsewhere in this publication, but we wanted to tell you how very excited we are to welcome them into the fold! Kelsey, our new Young Adult/ Reference Librarian is sweet and kind, and has eagerly embraced her new position, already planning events for our tweens and teens, whilst jumping right into the Reference Department. Miss Monica is equally delightful, with a lovely, gentle manner with the little ones and their caregivers, and a warm, passionate and creative planner of activities for our library’s children. Please go and introduce yourselves and give them a great big seaside welcome to our Marshfield community!

Jenks Jazz and Jive
By Karen Jenks, Library Assistant,
Greetings of the Season!

Let winter begin by listening to some new CDs from the Ventress Library’s holiday music collection.

Trumpeter Herb Alpert has assembled a selection of traditional Christmas carols and beloved holiday tunes on The Christmas Wish.  Enhanced by a lush orchestra and choir, this album takes us on a sentimental journey that evokes memories of the beautiful holiday music many of us listened to on our record players and radios decades ago.

Smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz has teamed with trumpeter Rick Braun, pianist David Benoit, and acoustic guitarist Peter White to create Dave Koz & Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas.  The musicians played a holiday showcase twenty years ago each to honor the memory of a parent. Started with just a handful of shows, the annual event grew over twenty years to include concerts in multiple cities and more elaborate production.  To mark the 20th anniversary of the tour, the group convened to record this commemorative album.  Updated with the talents of contemporary vocalists Gabriel Orengo, Selina Albright, Javier Colon, Jeffrey Osborne and Kenny Lattimore, the album showcases Dave Koz’s silky jazz styling and the instrumental talents of his musical partners.

For renditions of traditional hymns and carols, you’ll enjoy the interpretations of Annie Lennox on her 2010 album A Christmas Cornucopia.  On many selections, Lennox is accompanied by the African Children’s Chorus.  Comprised of children ages 7 to 12 from many African nations, these young vocalists all have endured extreme poverty.  Their voices create a vibrant, rich and magical sound.  On the album’s liner notes Lennox writes, “Music is the international language…it has no borders…it links us all through melody, harmony and rhythm.”

If simplicity is more your style, check out Boston area musician Doug Hammer’s Noel from the library’s holiday archives.  An award winning pianist, composer and producer, Hammer has been a guest performer on many occasions at the Ventress Cultural Series programs.  This joyful album, infused with contemporary, classical and jazz piano arrangements of some of the best loved traditional carols and hymns, is the perfect backdrop to your holiday activities.

May music make your days merry and bright!
It is official: the Ventress Voice mascot now has a name –
Congrats to Tynan, Age 8, for submitting the winning entry
Meet T. C. Ventress

Name the Ventress Library Troll Doll
See Circulation Desk for Entry Forms
Yes, you could be the one to pick the name for this lovable troll –enter today!

Ventress Memorial Library, 15 Library Plaza, Marshfield, MA 02050 781-834-5535
Library hours:  Mon-Th 9-8, Fri/Sat 9-4:30,  closed Sundays visit
Newsletter staff:  Chris Woods/Editor   Jaclyn Robinson/Illustrator