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Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Lynda for Network Members

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

We’ve purchased access to for our Network Members.  We have two subscriptions that can be borrowed on a first-come, first serve basis.  Members can have access to for three weeks  or more.  So, what is offers on-demand training, 24/7 learning, thousands of courses on wide variety of topics including design, photography, Photoshop, JavaScript, universal principles of design, gamification of learning, flipping the classroom, Exel, Access, video production, and much more.

To request access to, please email us at


Ayer Library: Story-time Garden

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015


[Guest post by Samantha Benoit]

The Ayer Library has been hosting a weekly story-time every Thursday for many years, it is during this time that we, as a librarians, try to expose this rambunctious group of toddlers to a variety of life experiences. With the introduction of STEM the library has been trying to incorporate science based events into its weekly story-time program. In early spring we had the idea to plant a garden with kids, and give them the experience of caring for, and growing plants.

The inspiration for this program stemmed from a number of families who lamented the fact they would not be able to plant a garden of their own. Many of the families in Ayer rent either apartments or houses, and cannot cultivate gardens on their property. Most of the staff however grew-up having gardens, and learned how to care for and harvest plants. We thought that planting a garden at the library would be a way to provide this learning experience for the kids, and it fit in nicely with the STEM programming we had been encouraging.

We had decided upon a raised bed for the garden, for easy maintenance, and so we would not have to ruin the library’s lawn. The bed is 4ftx6ft, and 7in. deep, and made from a few boards of untreated wood, and was built by the library staff. We lined the bottom with newspaper to prevent the grass from growing through, and then it was filled with soil. When buying plants for the garden, we kept in mind that we wanted the kids to interact with the plants, so a variety of vegetables were purchased, as well as herbs that had distinctive smells. From this planning we have a number of easy to grow vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, green beans and cucumbers, as well as herbs like mint, rosemary and lavender.

There were two programs running on the day of planting, one where a small group of kids planted and another where the kids were able to learn about worms. Since worms are essential to a garden’s health, we felt it was important of the kids to be able to have some hands on experience with them. This also broke up the group into two smaller and much easier to handle groups for planting. The worms were later released into the garden. Many of the kids loved planting the garden and continue to check on it each week. They like to report on how big their plants have grown. The parents have also shown an interest in the garden’s progress, which is encouraging. Other patrons have been asked to become involved in this project, we leave watering cans by the garden so that everyone can help take care of it. We have tried to make this a community effort, and it has been very successful, and we will definitely continue this project in the next few years.

Samantha Benoit, MLIS – Young Adult Librarian

Amy Leonard, M.Ed – Children’s Librarian

Christina Zoller – Assistant Children’s Librarian



Healthnet News

Friday, September 18th, 2015

[Guest post by Wendy Urciuoli]

Hello everyone:

Just under the end-of-summer deadline… Whew!!

The current issue of HEALTHNET News focuses on America’s overconsumption of medical services and its adverse consequences. The issue also discusses how decision aids are helping patients choose how much care and what kind of care is right for them. Online resources for decision aids are included.

Here is the link to our summer issue:



OFFICE: 860.679.4047 | FAX: 860.679.1068

Protection of Human Participants in Research

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

[From the NLM]

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to revise the Common Rule for the protection of human participants in research has been released.  It is now posted on the Federal Register’s public inspection website and will appear on Tuesday, September 8, in the printed version of the Federal Register for a 90-day public comment period. The public inspection site is at  HHS issued a press release ( ).

The NPRM is a much-needed and years-in-the-making update of the Common Rule.  The major reforms propose to: 1) calibrate oversight to level of risk; 2) enhance respect for research participants; 3) facilitate broad participation in research; 4) increase privacy and security safeguards for research with biospecimens and data; 5) simplify consent documents; and 6) streamline IRB review.

All interested stakeholders are encouraged to engage in this historic opportunity to modernize the Common Rule.

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