Event: Wind over Wings: Birds of Prey – Monday June 8, 7 PM

May 7th, 2015

hope douglas Hope Douglas presents: a Golden Eagle, a Saw-whet Owl, an American Kestrel and a Common Raven (who thinks he is a bird of prey!)

Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science.

About Hope Douglas

Hope Douglas founded the “Wind Over Wings” nonprofit organization about twenty years ago.

Prior to this, she was Executive Director of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut for ten years.

Hope is past President of the Connecticut Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association and was Vice President of the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council as well as its Executive Director.

She teaches wildlife conservation internationally including India and Peru.

Hope has a Master’s Degree in Education and is featured in Who’s Who in the World.

Day & Time

Date & Time: Monday June 8, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Location: Morrell Meeting Room


Pamela Bobker 725-5242 X 214 | pbobker@curtislibrary.com

Ready to Garden? Visit the Curtis Seed Exchange

April 24th, 2015

seed exchangeThe Seed Exchange is located on the second floor of the Library.

Help yourself to seeds you would like for your garden.

Donate any seeds that you would like to share.

Packets include enough seeds to plant in a square foot garden.

Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science and the Community Health Information Partnership (CHIP).


The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.
—Alfred Austin

Fall Science Reads Summary

October 14th, 2014


On October 1, our first speaker, Barry Logan, Biology professor from Bowdoin College, explained cell division and the biology of cancer.

A cancer cell is a cell that grows out of control. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells ignore signals to stop dividing, to specialize, or to die and be shed.

These cells may then spread to other areas of the body.

To learn more about this topic, Professor Logan recommended reading The Emperor of All Maladies: Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Click here for availability.

On October 8, our second speaker, Dr. Tom Keating, oncologist from New England Cancer Specialists, went further into the explanation of cancer, diagnosis and treatment.

He gave his reactions to the book, saying that he felt that Henrietta Lacks did receive state of the art treatment available in the 1950‘s, but that it was unethical for the physician to take her cells without her permission.

For more information on cancer and treatment, he recommended the National Comprehensive Cancer Network website as a place to find trustworthy and up to date guidelines on cancer diagnosis, staging and treatment. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp

Also, visit the American Cancer Society website http://www.cancer.org/ and the National Cancer Institute website http://www.cancer.gov/.

On October 15, we watched “Cancer Cell Research: The Way of All Flesh,“ a 1997 BBC documentary about Henrietta Lacks and how unique her cells are.

This DVD is now available for check out. Click here for availability.

On October 22, Attorney Rita Heimes spoke on intellectual property rights and genetics.

The Fall 2014 Science Read Series concluded on October 29 with Professor Dana Waring’s presentation on "Social and Legal Implications of Personal Genetics."

Watch the Fall Science Reads Online

The 2014 Fall Science Reads were recorded on video.

If you missed any of the Fall Science Reads (or if you would like to see them again), you can watch them here.


Cornerstones of Science Fall Science Read

September 2nd, 2014

The_Immortal_Life_Henrietta_Lacks_(cover)The Fall Science Read for 2014 is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the award-winning book by Rebecca Skloot about a poor black woman whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and more.

Facilitated discussion sessions will be held each Wednesday in October in the Library’s Morrell Meeting Room. The discussions will begin at 12 Noon.

Feel free to bring your lunch!

The books are available in print and e-book format on the library’s e-readers. Click here for checkout status.


12noon – 1:15PM in Morrell Meeting Room

October 1

Professor Barry Logan,
Bowdoin College Biology Department
“The Biology of Cancer”

October 8

Dr. Thomas Keating, Oncologist
Maine Center for Cancer Medicine
“The Physician’s Perspective”

October 15

Viewing of BBC film “Cancer Cell Research: The Way of All Flesh”

October 22

Rita Heimes, Attorney,
Director of Center for Law and Innovation
“Intellectual Property Rights and Genetics”

October 29

Professor Dana Waring,
Educational Director and Co-founder
Personal Genetics Education Project
“Social and Legal Implications of Personal Genetics”

These are free programs and do not require registration.

The Fall Science Read is sponsored by Cornerstones of Science, a science literacy initiative that provides funding for excellent science books and programming for adults and children.

This Month’s Cornerstones of Science Books Display

August 13th, 2014

This month’s Cornerstones of Science display is “Butterflies and Butterfly Gardening:”


This display corresponds with the live monarch caterpillars in Youth Services, which have been overseen by "Jack the Butterfly Guy." Jack has graciously made himself available to answer questions about them from inquiring young minds:


The first Monarch (“Pat”) emerged on the morning of August 12th:


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
— Maya Angelou

Cornerstones of Science July Display

July 1st, 2014

Amazing Asimov and Fabulous (and funny) Feynman

COS booksIsaac Asimov (1920 – 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and popular science books.

He is widely considered a master of “hard science fiction” along with Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A Heinlein. His most famous work is the Foundation Series. As a science writer, he excelled in explaining scientific concepts in an historical way and his books are still worth reading today.

He is considered to be the most prolific writer of his time, having written or edited 500 books. In addition to his books on science, Asimov has written on a variety of other topics, such as Shakespeare and the bible. In fact, his books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal system.

  • Asimov’s Chronology of Science and Discovery
  • Foundation Series
  • I, Robot
  • Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare
  • Asimov Laughs Again: More than 700 Favorite Jokes, Limericks, and Anecdotes

Richard Feynman

Richard P. Feynman (1918 – 1988) was an American physicist and Nobel Prize winner who left his mark on virtually every area of modern physics. According to his biographer, James Gleick, Feynman ceaselessly questioned scientific truths – originality was his obsession. He worked on the atomic bomb as a young scientist during World War II, and went on to teach at CalTech.

He popularized physics through his books and lectures. Feynman has been called the “Great Explainer,” as he gained a reputation for taking great care when giving explanations to students at Caltech. He was known to be something of a gleeful showman.

Throughout his life, he exhibited a strong tendency toward curiosity and adventure. Those adventures are recounted in the book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” a collection of amusing anecdotes and outrageous exploits.

Notable books by Feynman:

  • Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher
  • The Meaning of it all: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist
  • The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Notable books about Feynman:

  • Feynman graphic novel by Ottaviani
  • Genius: the Life and Science of Richard Feyman by james Gleick

Wind Over Wings: Bird Brains

June 9th, 2014

Zachariah RavenMeet a red tailed hawk, a golden eagle, and the star this program, Zachariah, the raven! Learn about avian intelligence, adaptability and play. Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science. For ages 5-13. Space is limited; please register beginning June 11.

Suggested ages: 5 to 13.
Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science.

Wednesday, June 25, 10:30AM. Call to register. For the comfort of the animals, space is limited.

Contact: Youth Services 725-5242 x225; kids@curtislibrary.com

Location: Morrell Meeting Room

Animal Adaptations: Survival in the Wild

April 12th, 2014

webbed-toes-duck-16472000Webbed feet, camouflaged fur, or spines on your back are all amazing ways that animals use adaptations to survive in the wild everyday. Come see firsthand how three live non-releasable animals have adaptations that help them thrive in their specific habitats.

Suggested ages: 4 to 11. Presented by Chewonki. Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science.

Wednesday, April 23, 10:30AM and 12:30PM (Choose a session). Call to register. For the comfort of the animals, space is limited.

Contact: Youth Services 725-5242 x225; kids@curtislibrary.com

Location: Morrell Meeting Room


March 10th, 2014

[Photo by pleasantpointinn]What is it? A collaboration of birdwatchers gathering data on the current condition of breeding birds, such as when they nest, how many eggs are laid, and how many young survive. Common backyard birds such as finches, robins, and chickadees are among the focal species. Information gathered from around the country helps scientists understand how changing land-use and climate effects bird populations.

Who sponsors it? Cornell Lab of Ornithology

What do volunteers do? Locate and observe a bird nest. Using a checklist, post observations online. Lots of resources are available at the website to assist in learning about the birds and their nesting habits.

Time commitment: Short online training and 8-10 visits to the nest(s) during a nesting cycle (a visit about every 3-4 days). Most nest cycles happen between April and August.

Kid friendly? Not ideally suited to children. Due to the vulnerability of nesting birds, this opportunity is children must always be supervised by an adult at nesting sites.

Time of year? Spring and summer

Website: http://nestwatch.org/

Photo credit: Pleasant Point Inn

Drop-In Event: Seed Exchange & Ask A Master Gardener

February 20th, 2014

seed-swap_WEBOn Saturday, March 1st, come to the Library's Morrell Meeting Room any time between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and join Master Gardener Linton Studdiford and other community members for the Drop-In Event: Seed Exchange & Ask A Master Gardener.

Pick-up, exchange or donate seeds for vegetables, flowers and herbs.

Not necessary to have seeds to exchange in order to attend.

Master Gardener, Linton Studdiford will also share information for gardeners who have large gardens or an extra row. He encourages these fortunate gardeners to explore the Harvest for Hunger initiative on the Cooperative Extension website:http://www.umaine.edu/harvest-for-hunger/

Free, no registration.

Date & Time: Saturday, March 1st, any time between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Location: Morrell Meeting Room

Contact: 725-5242 x 510.

Sponsors: Community Health Information Partnership, Cornerstones of Science, Curtis Library and UMaine Cooperative Extension.

Snow Date: Sunday, March 2 from noon to 2 p.m.

There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry.
— Ed Asner

Mad Science: Up, Up and Away!

February 1st, 2014

madscienceYou think homework is pressure? Just wait until you learn how the weight of the earth’s atmosphere pushes down on you with the force of an elephant! Explore how Bernoulli’s principle creates enough lift to make a jumbo jet fly or how air pressure can be used to launch a hot air balloon. Watch in amazement as our vortex generator creates giant smoke rings. Want even more pressure? Take a ride on our amazing Mad Science Hovercraft! Mad Science shows are fun and educational and this program will leave you flying high! Suggested ages: 5 to 11.  Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science.

Tuesday, February 18 at 10:30AM. Register beginning 2/3.

Contact: Youth Services 725-5242 x225; kids@curtislibrary.com

Location: Morrell Meeting Room

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network

January 9th, 2014

[Photo by Chiot's Run]What is it? Volunteer weather monitoring program across the United States. Provides real-time precipitation data which can be used to predict flash flooding, show trends, and help the public better understand weather and climate.  Information is used by the National Weather services, insurance adjusters, teachers and students.

Who sponsors it? A collaborative including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service, National Science Foundation, and Maine Department of Marine Resources.

What do volunteers do? Take daily measurements of precipitation in your backyard. Report observations online.

Time commitment:  Asks for a commitment of one season, but longer is preferred. About 5 minutes per day. (Vacations allowed)

Kid friendly?      Yes

Time of year?    Any

Website: http://www.cocorahs.org/state.aspx?state=me

Photo credit: Chiot's Run

Marble Run Roller Coasters – Saturday December 28, 10:30 AM

December 24th, 2013

IMG_0003Feeling loopy? Team up with family and friends to build marble roller coasters.

A great opportunity for children, grandparents, siblings, parents, etc. to build together.

Use paper towel tubes, funnels, clothespins, straws, and other materials to send a marble rolling.

Suggested ages 6 through adult. Sponsored by Cornerstones of Science.

Date & Time: Saturday, December 28, 10:30 AM

Location: The Library’s Morrell Meeting Room

Contact: Youth Services 725-5242, x225

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
—Carl Sagan

Top Science Books Picks for 2013

December 18th, 2013

this-explains-everythingAt NPR, Ira Flatow interviewed Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist and author of The Poisoner's Handbook: murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York and Brainpickings.org editor Maria Popov and asked them to share their top science, technology, and environmental books of 2013

For the transcript of their conversation, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/12/13/250730974/science-book-picks-for-2013

Maria Popova was one of the interviewees on NPR about her selection. The link to her beautifully annotated selection of the 13 Best Science and Technology Books 2013 is http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/12/10/best-science-technology-books-2013/

Science Librarian, John Dupois from York University in Toronto annually posts lists of the best "sciencey books" from sources such as The Economist, Science Friday, New Scientist and more. To see his lists, visit his blog Confessions of A Science Librarian at http://scienceblogs.com/confessions/

Midcoast Hunger Prevention Film & Discussion, Monday, November 18 at 7pm

November 6th, 2013

A-Place-at-the-Table-posterMCHPP, Cornerstones of Science and Brunswick Topsham Land Trust present the film “A Place at the Table” followed by a discussion session, featuring Karen Parker, Executive Director of Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program and Meredith Sciacca, teacher from Coffin Elementary School.

“A Place at the Table” is a well-reported documentary that raises important questions about the state of hunger in American culture.

The film, narrated by Jeff Bridges, tells the powerful stories of three Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat

Date & Time: Monday, November 18th at 7pm

Location: The Library’s Morrell Meeting Room

Contact: 725-5242 x510 | loliver@curtislibrary.com