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Sarina Bluhm, Library Director
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Norfolk Reads Together

Norfolk Reads Together is a community-based reading program for EVERYONE! The trustees and staff of the NPL have selected an award-winning non-fiction book by Nathaniel Philbrick, a Massachusetts author as the main title. We’re sure you’ll find this critically acclaimed bestseller to be compelling reading.

heartofthesea2.jpgFor Adults:

In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

scan0003.jpgFor Grades 5 & up:

Revenge of the Whale by Nathaniel Philbrick

Moby Dick classic starts.jpgFor Grades 3—6:

Moby Dick: Classic Starts adapted by Kathleen Olmstead

Moby Dick.jpgFor Grades K—3:

Moby Dick illustrated by Allan Drummond


1112010_33011_19.pngThe Story of Whaling & Early New Bedford

Tue., Jan. 26 - 7:00 pm

Registration is NOT required. Middle School through Adults.

Take a step back in time with Seth Mendell when whale oil carried on New Bedford ships lit the lamps of the western world.  Seth will trace the history of New England whaling starting with watch towers on the sand dunes of Nantucket in the 1600's and ending with New Bedford as the whaling capital of the world.  He will describe a whaling voyage, the development of the Pacific whaling grounds and the reasons for the demise of the industry in New England following the Civil War.    


1112010_30200_5.pngSea Chanteys & Sea Lore from America’s Whaling Past

Sun., Jan. 31 - 1:00 pm

Seating is limited. Please pick up FREE tickets at the Circulation Desk.  Elementary School through adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Join performers from Mystic Seaport for a special afternoon of sea chanteys and storytelling! Chanty singers will share songs, better known as chanteys, that were sung by sailors to the varying rhythms of their seaboard chores. This participatory program will include audience call-backs. After intermission, storyteller Hank Savin will regale the audience with stories of shipwrecks and life at sea. Friends of the Library will provide refreshments. 

 1112010_33133_21.pngWhales’ Tails for Preschool!

During our storytime sessions in the first week of February, we will be reading Moby-Dick (picture book) and learning all about whales! Rhymes, songs and a craft will also be included.

Registration is not required, so stop by!


Tue.., Feb. 2 -  1:30 – 2 pm,  On My Own (Age 3+)

Wed., Feb. 3 -  1:30 – 2 pm,  On My Own

Thu., Feb. 4 -  10:15 – 10:45 am,  On My Own

Thu., Feb. 4 -  11:00 – 11:30 am,  Multi-Age (Age 2-3 with a caregiver

Nathaniel Philbrick – Meet the Author

Tue., Feb. 2 - 7:00 p.m. King Philip Middle School

Lecture, book sale, and book signing. Books will be available to purchase. Reception to follow. Pick up FREE ticket at the Library Circulation Desk.  For Teens & Adults

1112010_30251_7.jpgPhilbrick is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MA in American Literature from Duke University. He is an avid sailor and worked for Sailing World magazine. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore:  Nantucket Island and Its People.  He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Institute in 1995, and in 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea, followed by Sea of Glory, in 2003, and Mayflower in 2007. His latest book "Starting at Standing Rock: Following Custer and Sitting Bull to the Little Bighorn," is due out this Spring.

     Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award for nonfiction; Revenge of the Whale won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; Sea of Glory won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society, and the New England Book Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association.

Calling all Whalers!

Thu., Feb. 4 -  3:30 – 4:15 pm

Registration is required.

Join us as we team up with Stonybrook to learn the life of a whaler! For adventurers in grade 2 and up.


1112010_30323_8.pngTasty Tuesday Presents: Fisherman’s Grub!

Tue., Feb. 9 -  3:30 – 4:30 pm

Registration is required.

AHOY! Somethin’ smells grand! Join Captain Andrea in the galley as we whip up some grub! Fellow sailors will be making and taking cornbread together (ingredients list available upon request).


1112010_33359_22.pngCupid’s Cool Craft Convention

Wed., Feb. 10 -  4 – 6 pm

Sat., Feb. 6 - 10 am – 2 pm, including a bake sale!

This is a drop-in event for children; registration is NOT required.

Make and Take Valentine’s greetings, crafts, treats and more for all your loved ones! This year, we are featuring SAILOR’s VALENTINES, just like the whalers of the 19th century! The Junior Friends supply the materials and the know-how. Proceeds to benefit the Junior Friends of the Library and our attempt to APOPT A WHALE for the Norfolk Public Library!


1112010_33419_23.jpgMake It and Take It: Sailor’s Valentine

Postponed New Date
Wed., Feb 17 -  6:30 pm

For teens and adults. Registration is required. Still time to sign up;

Try your hand at making a “sailor’s valentine” – a craft that originated on the long voyages of whaling ships. Made in the shape of an octagon, a sailor’s valentine is filled with an arrangement of shells in a variety of patterns. We’ll supply the shells –you supply the inspiration for a valentine your favorite someone will be sure to treasure. Donations accepted for our ADOPT A WHALE fund.


Field Trip: New Bedford Whaling Museum1112010_30413_11.png


Reservations REQUIRED as space is limited. $5.00 co-pay due at the time of registration.

Meet in the library parking lot for a bus trip to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. There will be a guided tour of the museum with ample time to explore the exhibits on your own, view an introductory film, and visit the museum store. All ages welcome. All children must be accompanied by an adult.


252010_120329_0.jpgMoby Dick:  Movie screening

Rescheduled to Wednesday evening, Feb 24th at 6:30   

Registration is NOT required.

See the 1956 motion picture with Gregory Peck, Orson Welles and Richard Basehart. Pop corn and lemonade provided by the Jr. Friends. All children must be accompanied by an adult. (Note for parents—this movie is not rated; suggested age is 10 & up.) 

Whales, Whaleships & Whalers1112010_30443_13.png
Registration IS required

Join us in welcoming professionals from Mystic Seaport and learn about the life of a whaler! In this program, children use the tools of the whaler and learn their stories. A harpoon, samples of baleen, in addition to other artifacts and primary documents illustrate the dangerous and exciting work of 19th-century whalers.

Thu., Feb. 18 -  1 – 2 pm

Ages 6 - 8
 Thu., Feb. 18 -  2 – 3 pm

Ages 7 and up


In the Heart of the Sea Book Discussion

Monday, February 8,  2:00 pm

Join Chris Cormier-Hayes who will lead the discussion of In the Heart of the Sea. Chris is an adjunct professor at Simmons College where she teaches English and writing classes.  A Mansfield resident, she has led over 800 book discussions since 1995!


In the Heart of the Sea Book Discussion

Wednesday, February 10,  7:00 pm

Join the Norfolk History Books Discussion Group this month as they discuss Philbrick’s book. Open to all.


In the Heart of the Sea Book Discussion

Wednesday, February 17,  1:00 pm at the Norfolk Senior Center

Join Norfolk’s own, Chris Cleverdon who will lead this discussion of In the Heart of the Sea. Chris is a retired history teacher and leads the library’s monthly history book discussion group, in addition to a general book discussion club.


Revenge of the Whale Book Discussion

Wednesday, February 24, 3:30 – 4:15 pm

For readers in grade 5 and up. Join us as we discuss Revenge of the Whale by Nathaniel Philbrick. All are welcome, registration is NOT required. Snacks will be served. Please come prepared to discuss the book.


Classic Starts: Moby-Dick Book Discussion

Thursday, February 25, 3:30 – 4:15 pm

For readers in grades 2 – 5. Join us as we discuss Classic Starts: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. All are welcome, registration is NOT required. Snacks will be served. Please come prepared to discuss the book.


In the Heart of the Sea Book Discussion

Thursday, February 25,  7:00 pm

Join Chris Cormier-Hayes for the final discussion of In the Heart of the Sea.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010
Questions and Comments are welcome. 
Norfolk Public Library, 139 Main Street, Norfolk, MA 02056    Phone: 508-528-3380   FAX: 508-528-6417