Did you know your child or grandchild can read their favorite book to Scout?


Did you know that once every other week, a friendly dachshund named Scout visits Chatham Community Library? It’s a fact.

Scout, a licensed therapy dog, is the library’s ambassador for the “All Ears” Reading Program. Scout arrives at the library every other Wednesday at 4:00 PM, ready to hear some stories. Each child (eligible ages are six to twelve years old) gets fifteen minutes of exclusive time with Scout to read him their favorite book. Scout’s handler is on hand if children have questions about their book (or about Scout).

Scout loves it, and so do the kids. In the first year of the “All Ears” Program (2013), over one hundred kids read to Scout, and 24 of them came back to do it again. Studies indicate that kids who might be disinclined to read are encouraged by “All Ears” service dogs’ calm, nonjudgmental companionship at the library. This can encourage reading outside the library, which can in turn raise their reading level and increase their test scores, confidence and self-esteem.

If you’d like for your child or grandchild to read to Scout, just call Children’s Services here at Chatham Community Library (919-545-8085) to register and schedule an appointment. Scout will see and hear you soon!


eBook Friday: The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

You could hear the voices murmuring, small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body.

A peerless American storyteller, Ray Bradbury brings wonders alive. The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury–eighteen startling visions of humankind’s destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin. In this phantasmagoric sideshow, living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets. Provocative and powerful,Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination,and truth–as exhilarating as interplanetary travel, as maddening as a walk in a million-year rain, and as comforting as simple, familiar rituals on the last night of the world.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


Remember Fans?

six-inch-fanNot the oscillating kind that sits on a table, or the big boys that hang from your ceiling – I’m talking about the kind of fan you used to grab from a box and wave at your own face to keep cool.

In the early twentieth century, one’s fan was considered a fashion accessory. This item from the February 25, 1904 edition of the Chatham Record notes a not-so-subtle development in fan fashion.

The Six-Inch Fan.

The small fans have been used for several seasons now, under the name of theatre fans. They were found the most useful thing for use at the play, where a large fan is almost as much of a nuisance to one’s neighbors as a large hat. And, having proved their convenience in this respect, they have been accepted for other uses as well. They are not nearly so picturesque and graceful as the large fans, especially those soft big ones, ones of ostrich feather which were in favor for some years. But one must bow to the fashion, and its decree is that the six-inch fan is the smart one this year. – Harpers’s Bazar (sic).


eBook Friday: The Berenstain Bears’ Thanksgiving

The Berenstain Bears’ Thanksgiving, by Stan & Jan Berenstain

The Bear Family discovers the true meaning of giving thanks when Bigpaw comes to Bear Country

Papa Bear can’t wait for the 3rd Thursday in November, when he can feast on turkey with all the trimmings and his favorite treat of all: mixed nuts. But a message in the harvest honeycomb strikes terror in the heart of Mama Bear. Bigpaw, the legendary Thanksgiving monster, is coming to Bear Country to make sure the bears are remembering to share nature’s great bounty with others. Papa pooh-poohs the legend because, after all, he knows best—no ifs, ands, or buts! Accompanied by Brother and Sister Bear, he travels to the mixed-nut forest to gather his special holiday treat. The animals are quaking in their boots—Bigpaw is already here! Are the cubs in danger?

In this delightful, illustrated poem, the Berenstain Bears discover the true gift of sharing.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The November 24, 1898 edition of The Chatham Record reprints a poem by Clinton Scollard, originally published in Harper’s Weekly:



Thanksgiving for the men who braved
The yet scarce furrowed sea,
Rather than cringe, with soul enslaved,
To Kingly tyranny;
Who sought upon this virgin sod
“Freedom to worship God!”

Thanksgiving for the men who met
The stormy brunt of war.
Who yielded life without regret
Lest wrong be conqueror:
For those who fought and lived to see
Triumphant liberty!

Thanksgiving that the olden scars
By time are hid and healed;
That now our flag’s close-clustering stars
Shine on no gory field,
But year by year a rich increase
Springs from the arts of peace!

Thanksgiving for a past that gleams With light so fair to see;
Thanksgiving for the glorious dreams Of triumphs yet to be;
Thanksgiving, all, with one accord,
Unto our father’s Lord!
Clinton Scollard, in Harper’s Weekly

I’d like to add: Thanksgiving I’ve never seen a turkey big enough to donate that wishbone.

eBook Friday: Veterans: The Last Survivors of the Great War

Veterans: The Last Survivors of the Great War, by Richard Van Emden

Using the veterans’ own words and photographs, the book brings to life a mixture of their excitement of embarkation for France, their unbound optimism and courage, the agony of the trenches, and numbing fear of going over the top. The fight for survival, the long ordeal of those who were wounded and the ever present grief caused by appalling loss and waste of life make for compelling reading.

The veterans give us first hand accounts of stark honesty, as they describe in many cases more freely than ever before about experiences which have lived with them for over 80 years.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


Um, yeah. They still have guns, right?


This dispatch appeared near the end of the United States’ siege  on Santiago de Cuba in the July 14, 1898 issue of The Chatham Record.

I’m guessing the element of surprise was off the table by then.

eBook Friday: First Test (Tortall: Protector of the Small Quartet, Book 1)

First Test (Tortall: Protector of the Small Quartet, Book 1), by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce returns to the land of Tortall with a heroine who refuses to quit in this first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Protector of the Small series.

Ten years after knighthood training was opened to both males and females, no girl has been brave enough to try. But knighthood is Keladry’s one true desire, and so she steps forward to put herself to the test.

Up against the traditional hazing of pages and a grueling schedule, Kel faces one roadblock that seems insurmountable: Lord Wyldon, the training master of pages and squires. He is absolutely against girls becoming knights. So while he is forced to train her, Wyldon puts her on a probationary trial period that no male page has ever had to endure. Further set apart from her fellow trainees, Kel’s path to knighthood is now that much harder. But she is determined to try, and she’s making friends in the most unlikely places. One thing is for sure, Kel is not a girl to underestimate.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


eBook Friday: Modern Girls

Modern Girls, by Jennifer S. Brown

A dazzling debut novel set in New York City’s Jewish immigrant community in 1935…

How was it that out of all the girls in the office, I was the one to find myself in this situation? This didn’t happen to nice Jewish girls.

In 1935, Dottie Krasinsky is the epitome of the modern girl. A bookkeeper in Midtown Manhattan, Dottie steals kisses from her steady beau, meets her girlfriends for drinks, and eyes the latest fashions. Yet at heart, she is a dutiful daughter, living with her Yiddish-speaking parents on the Lower East Side. So when, after a single careless night, she finds herself in a family way by a charismatic but unsuitable man, she is desperate: unwed, unsure, and running out of options.

After the birth of five children—and twenty years as a housewife—Dottie’s immigrant mother, Rose, is itching to return to the social activism she embraced as a young woman. With strikes and breadlines at home and National Socialism rising in Europe, there is much more important work to do than cooking and cleaning. So when she realizes that she, too, is pregnant, she struggles to reconcile her longings with her faith.

As mother and daughter wrestle with unthinkable choices, they are forced to confront their beliefs, the changing world, and the fact that their lives will never again be the same….


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!


In the Interest of Fairness to Snakes

how-a-snake-eats-a-frog…or to illustrate why some people want them all dead, here’s a story (from the October 31, 1895 Chatham Record) about a snake having a good day for a change.

Breathlessly told, kind of gruesome.

How a Snake Eats a Frog.

How a snake eats frogs is worth the telling. The writer distinctly remembers witnessing a dramatic meal of the kind, in which, of course, the snake came out the winner, getting his dinner in excellent style and completely vanquishing the frog.

The snake invariably grabs the frog by one of his hind legs. This preliminary struggle is one of the most impressive features of the combat. With a well-defined natural instinct the chief effort of the frog is to keep his other hind leg far away from the snake’s mouth, in the hope that he may speedily exhaust his enemy’s strength, and also because he feels that if his other hind leg is made captive he will have less power to fight.

Once both hind legs are within the serpent’s fangs the act of swallowing begins. Inch by inch the struggling frog is drawn further into the yawning orifice that expands at each gulp. The channel through which the frog has to pass is gradually enlarged by slow efforts on the snake’s part, accompanied by the fiercer and fiercer convulsions of the wretched wiggler.

The gullet of the snake in its natural proportions is quite large enough to contain the limbs of the frog, but as by frequent gulps the body is drawn further and further into the gullet the difficulty of swallowing increases. Gradually the ophidian’s throat is distended, gradually the frog is compressed and drawn out. Finally the latter is double its normal length and half his circumference. As the process of expansion on the on hand and contraction on the other goes on, the frog is worked down little, by little until he is finally “Jonahed,” and the snake starts in on his afternoon nap. – New York World