MAY, 2017



Since the Friends of the Kenai Community Library have generously begun to cover the costs of library programs, classes fill up quickly, and often even the wait-lists overflow, which is great of course, except we are experiencing a growing problem with patrons who sign up for multiple programs, and then cancel at the last minute or simply don’t show up.  This leaves us scrambling to notify people on the waiting list, or with empty spaces and unused materials for programs in which there had been a lot of interest.

In the name of fairness, we will now be asking that cancellations to be made at least 24 hours before a scheduled class, and will be keeping track of patrons who are not showing up for programs and not letting us know when they cannot attend.  We do understand that things come up, so reasonable excuses will be accepted, but patrons who are chronic no-shows will no longer be allowed to sign up for classes, but will only be allowed to join the wait-list.



Some scholars think that the original Mother Goose was based partially on Bertrada, Queen of Laon, mother of Charlemagne and doting grandmother to several dozen children.  One of her feet was bigger than the other, and she was known as  Bertrada al Grand Pied,  (Bertha Big-Foot).   She may also have been the model for a legendary French figure, La Reina Pédauque (Queen Goosefoot), who is often pictured surrounded by children.

The origins of most of the nursery rhymes we know today are obscure, though some contain hints they are very, very old.  Ring-Around-the-Rosy may have the same pagan origins as the may-pole dance (and probably not with the Bubonic Plague, as sometimes surmised), and Who Killed Cock Robin” rhymes “Owl” and “Shovel,” which suggests a Middle English pronunciation; some scholars equate Cock Robin with the Celtic sun-god Lugh, also known as “Coch Rhi Ben,” (The Red Sun), whose feast day is about the first of August, a day marked on a Celtic pictographic calendar with a bow-and-arrow shape.  The “sparrow” is associated with Bran, the winter god.

Many of the rhymes may actually have their roots in politics of days gone by.  For instance, it is believed that “Baa Baa Black Sheep” refers to taxes on wool, and may date to the thirteenth century; while “”Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” was most likely either Mary, Queen of Scots, or Queen Mary 1 of England.  The “Muffin Man” was an actual baker who tried to fix a boxing match in 1825 by bribing one of the fighters; he identified some accomplices, but they claimed they “did not know the Muffin Man”.

The authors of some nursery rhymes are actually known, for instance, a version of Three Blind Mice, words and melody, was published in 1609 by 16-year-old Thomas Ravenscroft, who may have been the composer.   Mary Had a Little Lamb was written by Sarah Josepha Hale of Boston in 1830 and is supposedly based on a true event.  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a poem written by June Taylor first published in 1806, and later set to a French tune from the late 1700s.



The Kenai Community Library will be Closed on SUNDAYS during  the months of June, July and August (Memorial Day through Labor Day).  We will remain open as usual Monday through Saturday.



The Alaska Digital Library (Listen Alaska) will be making the following modifications to their system in an attempt to lessen the average length of time patrons spend waiting in queue to borrow online books, effective May 1:

♦  The number of items a patron can have checked out at a time will change from 10 to 7. Someone who as of May 1 has more than 7 checkouts will be allowed to keep them as before, but they will not be able to check out any new items until their total goes below 7.

♦  The number of holds a patron is allowed at one time will also change from 10 to 7. If a person has 7-10 current holds, nothing will happen (their holds remain), they will just not be able to add any new holds until their total goes below 7.

♦  The time allowed to check out an item on hold when it becomes available will change from 96 hours (4 days) to 72 hours (3 days). This only affects patrons who have turned off auto-checkout.

In the coming months the Alaska Digital Library will be posting tips on making the wait for books shorter for everyone—for instance:  How to return a book before its due date if it has been read, or how to suspend holds for vacations.



There was a young fellow who thought

Very little, but he thought it a lot.

When at long last he knew

What he wanted to do,

But before he could start, he forgot.


The Library will be closed May 27-29 for Memorial Day