Sunday, May 14, 2017

On This Day in Government Documents: May 14th: America Explores! Lewis and Clark and Skylab

May 14th, 1804: Lewis and Clark set out on their Corps of Discovery 


The first federally funded scientific expedition set out to fulfill President Thomas Jefferson's instructions "to explore the Missouri [R]iver, & such principal stream of it as by it's course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce."



Lewis and Clark crossed into the western portion of the United States for the first time by Americans, exploring the recently acquired Louisiana land, mapping a path all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Their mission was not solely for science and research but also to establish an American presence before other European countries and to gather information on the native peoples of the western land with regard to culture and population size.

Explore their journey through Worcester Public Library's pamphlets, brochures, and other documents.

May 14th, 1973: Skylab launched into orbit


On this same date in 1973, another federally funded mission set out to explore. With the end of the Apollo missions, NASA set its sights on more long-term missions to research how humans and other organisms would fare in space.
   


Skylab was launched as an unmanned orbital workshop by the re-purposed Saturn V rocket from the Apollo missions in an effort to save money due to a dwindling budget. However, the vibrations from the launch resulted in several malfunctions including a torn off micrometeroid shield and damaged solar panels used to generate electricity. This left Skylab with only half of its power-generating capability and caused the lab to overheat.



Between 1973 and 1974, three manned missions traveled to Skylab to conduct scientific experiments, Skylab 1, Skylab 2, and Skylab 3. The first mission was able to repair the damage done to Skylab during the launch making the orbiting lab habitable for humans. Experiments conducted by the Skylab missions ranged from sleep monitoring to nuclear emulsion. One study from Biomedical Results from Skylab observed the zero-gravity effects on living human cells during Skylab 3. 





Interested in learning more about how important it is to fund science? Check out our reading list on the Skylab missions.


























Thursday, May 11, 2017

Treasures From the Worcester Room: A Historic Cartoon

As the library looks ahead to its 2017-2022 strategic plan, it is interesting and important to look back to the library's past.  While many of the glimpses to the library's past housed in the library's Worcester Room Collection include such items as historic board minutes, circulation records and photographs, we do have many less traditional items as well.  One such example is a cartoon depicting a day in the life of the Worcester Public Library from noted award-winning illustrator and Worcester resident Vitty Mattus.

According to articles in the Worcester Telegram, Mattus had a long and distinguished career as an illustrator, becoming well known for Hawaiian landscapes painted during the Second World War.  He also assisted Leon Kroll in creating the war memorial paintings in the Worcester Memorial Auditorium.  Not to mention, he had a decades long career as an illustrator for the Worcester Telegram, which led to the creation of this particular cartoon.  While undated, this particular cartoon likely appeared in the Worcester Sunday Telegram's Feature Parade Magazine during the 1940s or 50s.  The item in question appears to be Mattus's original drawing, and contains notations telling newspaper staff how much to reduce the image for inclusion into the paper.

Many things have definitely changed in the years since Mattus's cartoon was first published.  For example, the library no longer lends out record albums, and cataloging staff no longer must hand-write out cards for a card catalog.  However, as Mattus charmingly illustrates, the library then as now serves as a place for young and old alike to check out items, converse socially and learn more about the world.  It just goes to show, the more things change, the more they remain the same.  This historic cartoon is just another example of the unique and fascinating items that you can find in the library's Worcester Room Collection.

More about Mattus and his work: http://www.telegram.com/article/20140626/NEWS/306269949

Thursday, April 27, 2017

MegaSlam IV: The Final Battle for Worcester

For the past four years, it has been my pleasure to work with Victor Infante, to put on MegaSlam: The Battle for Worcester.  Even now, it blows my mind that this year 64 people came  to the library on a random Wednesday night to listen to poetry!

The poets, in their inimitable fashion,  broke all of the rules, and they did it in style. The winner, Joe Fusco, Jr. walked away with bragging rights and a spiffy custom t-shirt! My sincere thanks go to all of the poets and all of the big-hearted and supportive audience members. You guys always make it worth it.

Joe Fusco Jr.

Joe Fusco, Jr. Winner, MegaSlam IV


Poetry Crowd
Poetry People

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Lists for Days II


Fiction Set in World War I

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WWI, here's a list of historical fiction titles set during WWI.



Earth Day

Earth Day may have come and gone but book about the environment are always an interesting read.  From Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, click here for a list of titles from our catalog.



Autism Awareness

Here are several titles to bring awareness and compassion to a disorder which affects 1 in 68 children.








On This Day in Government Documents: April 25, 1990, Hubble Space Telescope Deployed

Deployed on this day in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope brought the promise of high-resolution images of our universe without the distortion of the Earth's atmosphere and light pollution.

Once the Hubble Space Telescope was launched by Discovery, NASA and the world would soon realize a problem with Hubble's main mirror would delay the much anticipated high-resolution telescope images. It took three years to design a solution for the problem and to send a shuttle crew to repair the faulty mirror.

Interested in learning more about one of the largest space telescopes? Worcester Main Library has many government documents published by NASA on the telescope and much more.

Check out our reading list and browse the documents below for more information. Want to view the sky through the lens of a telescope? Place a hold on one of Worcester Public Library's telescopes here.



Exploring the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope


Edwin P. Hubble - The namesake of our largest space telescope

Space telescope program review : 

hearing before the Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications of the 

Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, 

Ninety-fifth Congress, second session, 

July 13, 1978.


Hubble: an overview of the space telescope


Hubble science year in review

Science with the Hubble Space Telescope-II

What a view: realizing a vision: first mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day 2017

Need some books to get you into the spirit of Earth Day? We've got you covered! From Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring our book display will get you thinking about ways you can help our planet. Come visit the Worcester Public Main Library on the 2nd floor and grab some books from our Earth Day display today! Click here for a list of titles from our catalog.