The Gettysburg Address, 150 years of dedication

November 19th, 2013 by cwood

Gettysburg address first draft

According to the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VII, Roy P. Basler, Editor
Copyright, 1953 by The Abraham Lincoln Association


Happy 10th Birthday WordPress!

May 27th, 2013 by cwood

I know I had an  old WordPress t-shirt around here somewhere 🙂

WordPress t-shirt

The West Deptford Free Public Library has partnered with WordPress enhancing the library’s web presence and social media outreach though a community blogging platform since December 2006.  WDFPL recently expanded departmental web autonomy using WordPress themes for the Teen and Children’s Department web updates and events.  Web content is easily created by librarians, departmental staff and teens.

The library’s blogs, West Deptford Reader Reviews and NovelIdeas, have retained the original 2006 designs in an effort to archive our adventures in social media.

Reflecting on Theme creation, which appears to be stressless fun for users and perhaps lucratively pleasurable for developers, the following Robert Kogan poem comes to mind:

   Wear Me

I want you to wear me
as you would a dress,
or the silver necklace that you wear
around your neck.
Comfortably, so that I am always
next to you:
but most important–
something you decide
each morning to select.

As they say at …




Technology Speed Dating @ your library

April 26th, 2013 by cwood

LibraryLinkNJ Technology Speed Dating provided WDFPL Reference and Adult Services librarians a chance to visit the Gloucester County Library Mullica Hill headquarters to briefly get to know some of the latest consumer technology a little bit better.  It was great fun to see the original New Jersey libraries Wireless Hotspot window cling archiving history on the interior door as New Jersey libraries went wireless back in 2002!

During August 1012,  the West Deptford Free Library staff had the opportunity to explore mobile devices included in the New Jersey State Library Mobile Device Discovery Kit. The library compiled a DVD full of data created during the grant period, from text documents to recorded video content. IPads were favored by staff members upon WDFPL’s technology trial, though not one staff member purchased one following the spring 2012 grant period.

LibraryLinkNJ, Technology Speed Dating expanded on the Mobile Device Discovery Kit by including introductions to many social outlets on the web.  LibraryLinkNJ’s next endeavor is an exciting follow up space to share tips on interacting with new technology at your library.

I considered adding actual online speed dating links. However, I have been out of the dating game for quite some time and today’s web is ever changing.  In some cases, random Internet advertising makes online linking problematic for online publishing.

Tech Speed Dating

Wrapping up second dates @ your library

April 23rd, 2013 by cwood

West Deptford Free Public Library is half way through the month of April’s Blind Date with a Book adventure and WDFPL staff is wrapping up a few second dates.

Blind Date wrapping 4-8-13 029

Unfortunately, feedback indicates first dates are not going all that well.  Here are a few recent responses from Blind Date with a Book daters.

“Date night was a bust.  We didn’t have much in common.  They kept talking about the end of the word but all I wanted was the end of the date.”

“Not a true mystery.  The date was rather dull.  I prefer dating a Nora Roberts type of mystery.”

“My date went terrible. I guess I should have expected this with online dating, crazy stalkers. I didn’t make it past Chapter 1. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, however if you choose to read, read at your own risk.”

Blind Date with a Book review forms did uncover a few successful matches, such as “If you are looking for tall, dark, and amazing this man is for you. He can run a nation and kill vampires. It’s everything a girl wants. It will definitely get your blood pulsing.”

Don’t be discouraged just yet; there are always more books on the shelves.

I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty. – Shakespeare, King Lear

Read more:

Still interested? If so, enjoy a few links to Blind Datewith a Book displays from a variety of library locations.

Blind Date with a Book displays 4-4-13 013


“I’d rather plant the little plants.”

April 22nd, 2013 by cwood

It is a beautiful Earth Day today!

Stop by the West Deptford Free Public Library and pick up a free packet of seeds to make the earth a more beautiful place this year.


“I’d rather plant the little plants,” said one gentleman today at the library.  “I would too,” I replied.

“Seeds take a certain kind of patience.”

Happy Earth Day 2013!

Spring Basket 2013


Pockets full of poems @ your library

April 17th, 2013 by cwood

Poem in Your Pocket 2013

April is National Poetry Month and Thursday, April 18, 2013 is Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Stop by the West Deptford Free Public Library during the month and pick up a staff favorite from the pockets posted to the display bulletin board.  Feel free to drop a favorite of yours in the display table basket to share.

WDFPL staff favorites include:

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Humming-Bird by D.H. Lawrence
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
Snowball by Shel Silverstein
Trees by Joyce Kilmer
The Tyger (from Songs of Experience) by William Blake
Overdues by Shel Silverstein
Italian Food by Shel Silverstein
The Rainbow Bridge by Steve and Diane Bodofsky
Fog by Carl Sandburg
Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
The Romance by Shel Silverstein
Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins
Several Haikus by Nick Vergilio
The Man in the Glass by Peter Dale Wimbrow, Sr.
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Wishes by Ya-Ka-Nes (Patty L. Harjo)
Poets to Come by Walt Whitman
…and lots of limericks.

Poem in Your Pocket displays compressed 4-4-13 021

Feel free to enjoy poetry books available for check out on end panel displays throughout the Library.

Communities Matter @ your library

April 15th, 2013 by cwood

National Library Week 2013 begins as the final day for 2012 tax filing is upon us.  This timely coincidence underscores the importance of community libraries.  VITA volunteers have tirelessly conducted training and assisted the public in filing and completing federal and state income tax forms for 25+ years.  Volunteer training is underway at the West Deptford Free Public Library during mid-January with tax appointments filling up as early as the last week of the month.

Today this year’s VITA program coordinator was asked if there was anything he would like to say about this year’s volunteer efforts.  He quipped, “Yes, thank God it’s almost over.”  This has been a challenging year for tax prep volunteers.  Many tax documents were not mailed to individuals and non-profit venues such as libraries and post offices in 2013.  The West Deptford Free Public Library community pulled together with folks helped each other address tax needs.  While working on Saturday  April 6, 2013, I was particularly inspired by the West Deptford library patron who tabled his online gaming to assist others print out the tax forms they needed from and .  Believe it or not, the staff continues to field tax calls today.   As I conclude this post, I turn to see two volunteer tax preparers smile at each other nod and say “Sure we can do one more,” in unison.

VITA Tax assistance 4-4-13 023_compressed

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” ~ Claude Monet

March 28th, 2013 by cwood

Orchids grow wild all over the world.  They can be found in our own woods and valleys, and even up to 10,000 feet elevation in the Rocky Mountains.  The largest numbers grow in the tropics and subtropics, even the ones we cultivate at home may come from these regions.  The orchid growing in the West Deptford Free Public Library reference office was purchased at a mystery auction at a local church for $2.00.  Nobody new what the plant was or what it would become.

The reference office Phalaenopsis, also known as White Lightening is an example of the traditional white moth orchid, so popular with florists for weddings and other special occasions.  This beautiful monopodial genus is ideas for an orchid case in a south window, and it also does marvelously well under lights.  Although many other kinds of orchids can be grown in a case, phalaendopsis flowers are so showy and so long-lasting that they make a breathtaking display for many, many months.  The flowers of the big hybrids, particularly the white ones, stay fresh on the plant for from three to fie months, and more buds open at the end of the graceful spike as the first ones fade.  They need a temperature not lower than 60 degrees, preferable 65 degrees at night.  In a south window the course of the sun matches their seasonal needs very well.

Orchid 2013 027comp

The large hybrids have round flat flowers from three to four inches across, of a velvety texture, and in colors ranging from white to shares of yellow, pink, or rose.  Some are speckled with yellow or pink.  They have two or three pairs of broad flat leaves, six to twelve inches or more long.  Since they grow slowly and remain on short stature, a mature plant takes up about the same amount of space throughout its lifetime.  There are lovely species, but you are more likely to find hybrids listed in catalogs and online.

WDFPL staff enjoyed photographing the plant, which seems to change with every photograph taken.

Orchid 2013comp

The information source for this post is Orchids as House Plants by Rebecca Tyson Northern. The books is available to check out at your library!

Orchid 01comp


The art and science of growing relationships @ your library

March 11th, 2013 by cwood

Michael Tchong tackles to topic of relationship science this morning.  Analyzing relationships is timely given today’s shift toward online social interaction.  The challenges in developing, maintaining and growing relationship networks online is worthy of study as it appears this is the path we have chosen to tread to economic prosperity.

“A discoverer uncovers that which is.  T.S. Eliot says: “Poetry takes something that we know already and turns it into something new.” Madeleine continues, “Perhaps art is seeing the obvious in such a new light that the old becomes new.”- p.210. M. L’Engle,  Walking on Water

Ann and Harvey Dow are longtime members of the West Deptford Free Public Library friends group. This photograph was taken at the RiverWinds Restaurant located a short distance from the Library.  The couple was honored at a farewell luncheon for their years of community camaraderie and support.

Ann  & Harvey Dow's luncheon

Ann’s passion for literature and words is reflected in her scholarly pursuits, publications, and witty West Deptford Free Public Library book discussion.  Harvey enjoys his own interests while remaining an integral support system establishing a comfortable space for Ann and him to grow a strong vibrant personal relationship.  The decision to move was difficult.  The couple leaves many friends and memories built during their West Deptford years.

Ann and Harvey “do it the analog way.” Michael Tchong states is his article linked above, “What sets the company apart from most online directories is its interface.” As Josh Mait describes it, Relationship Science offers “institutional grade data in a consumer-friendly interface.”  This is exactly what Ann is doing in the couple’s move to Alabama.  She and Harvey are moving close to extended family, including grandchildren.  Ann’s scholarly insights and creativity will be a wonderful resource for budding family writers and artists. I believe this couple will settle into a rewarding life experience in the South and the time spent nurturing family ties will bring rewards beyond measure.  After all, what more consumer-friendly interface can a child discover than a grandparent?

I defer to Ann, as published in the Valentine’s Day issue of the Star Herald…

  “Do Unto Others…”

     By  February 14th of 1954, my husband and I had been married just five months and were living in Norfolk, VA, where he was stationed.  Each of us wanted to give the other an extra special gift for our first Valentine’s Day together.  We woke up early that morning and made our way to the kitchen so that we could place our cards next to the coffee cups that I set out each night before going to bed.  I could hardly wait to see the surprise on Harvey’s face when he saw what was enclosed along with the card.  I held my breath as he opened the envelope and I saw his puzzled look.  He stared down at the two tickets to the ice show  to be held at the civic center that very evening.; from the expression  he wore, he could have been clutching hot coals in his hands.  Finally, he smiled and insisted that I open my card.

I was nervous as I tore it open, and  I  nearly fainted when I saw the contents.  In addition to a romantic greeting promising undying love, there were two tickets to a hockey game to be held the following Saturday night at the same arena as the ice show.  In our zeal to produce the perfect gift, each of us had chosen  our own “perfect gift.”

At that moment, now frozen in time, I realized that my dreams were not necessarily his, and vice versa.  I had grown up in Atlantic City, where the Ice Capades show was a  wildly popular attraction appearing at Convention Hall all summer.  Every girl in town longed to strap on the graceful white skates, don the colorful short skirt and glide across the ice in the arms of a lean, handsome Prince Charming.  On the other hand, my husband’s home was in a coastal Maine town where the many lakes and ponds were frozen solid for at least four months a year, and children learned to skate almost as they took their first steps.  Every boy had a pair of clunky black skates, a home made hockey stick, and a helmet of sorts.  All winter long, they assembled on somebody’s pond and chased an improvised puck across the ice.  There was nothing graceful about those trips across the ice!

As newlyweds, we were determined to please one another, and so we thanked each other for the presents. As it turned out, his gift to me was to attend the ice show without complaint and mine was to be a good sport about sitting through the entire game without asking  questions.  Actually, I had no idea what was happening and could not have cared less.  I stayed warm with cups of hot chocolate and spent some of the most exciting moments of the game making my way to and from the ladies’ room.

This experience made me aware that the “Golden Rule”  that I had always tried to practice needed a slight modification:  instead of “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you” it should read “Do unto others as they want to be done unto.”  We don’t all like chocolate ice cream and should not have to eat what is someone else’s favorite flavor.

By the way, the rosy glow that my husband and I wore the entire second week of that first February was not a result of frostbite! – Ann Dow

“Friendship is too precious a thing to let die.  Thank you for today and for all the other days you have been in our lives and made them richer as a result. Thank you, one and all from the bottom of our hearts.” — Ann & Harvey

Walk shows warmth is a state of mind.

February 14th, 2013 by cwood

It is January, the holidays are over and the decorations are stowed away for another year. This is the beginning of what is traditionally the depressing period of the year, when days are bitterly cold, nights are dark and long, and spring is too far in the future to bring a sense of hope.

The mail carrier delivers not seed catalogs, but holiday bills and an occasional postcard from a friend who is prosperous enough to be spending this month in a warm place. Longing to be in Key West, Oahu or Scottsdale, Ariz., I decide to settle for a brisk walk in a more familiar setting.

It takes me 10 minutes to assemble the necessary clothing and another five to don the layers. Feeling like the Goodyear blimp, I venture into the bracing cold.

To my surprise and delight, I do not freeze on the spot, but take a deep breath and notice that the air is clear and the sun dazzling. The thermometer affixed to one of our trees registers 20 degrees, but my heavy sweatshirt, jeans and long johns, ski jacket, wool hat, gloves, and scarf keep me safe from winter’s icy blast.

With a renewed spirit and an expanded sense of possibilities I strike out for the park along the Delaware River. Surely I shall have the walking path to myself.

It takes some time to reach the park because walking is not easy when one is wearing an entire wardrobe on one’s back. I think of the late Jack Benny and his joke about wearing three suits when boarding a plan in order to avoid paying an excess baggage charge.

This is not easy work. I also think of combat soldiers who must carry a much heavier load of gear while performing their duties in all kind of weather and remain alert to dangers at the same time. The only I face is that of an oncoming car when I cross the street, because I am incapable of looking both ways. My outfit permits only forward sight, as it’s nearly impossible to turn my head.

As I near the park, I hear the buzz of voice and children’s laughter. I am not the only one to be drawn to this place, after all.

At least a half-dozen mother are walking the   path along the river, some pushing strollers while their toddlers run circles around them, jumping and whooping in the exuberance of youth and innocence. From time to time, the mothers stop chatting to remind their children of the dangers of straying too far.

It is not only the very young who have been attracted to this spot. I am particularly attracted to an elderly couple who haltingly make their way toward a bench looking across to the airport.

They walk hand in hand, supporting each other as they go. They say little, but occasionally one turns and smiles at the other. They, too, are dressed warmly, but from the glow of those smiles, I conclude that they share a warmth no scarf or gloves can provide.

He brushes off the bench, and she lays down a square of cloth on which they sit. They look at the water, each seemingly lost I some distant memory. Suddenly he takes her gloved, hand, raises it to his lips, and kisses it.  I turn my eyes because somehow this moment appears to be too intimate for an onlooker to share.

I decide that I have had enough of the great outdoor son this wintry afternoon. I leave it to the very young and very old to enjoy. But as I walk a little more briskly back to my warm house and a hot beverage, I am reminded that warmth is a state of mind and can be found in January on the Delaware River, as well as in July on the Danube.     Ann Dow writes from Thorofare.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on January 29, 2004.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ann Dow