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BNL Insider

After 45 years at the Bermuda National Library Ms. Joan Vidale has a few things to say in her last contribution to the BNL Insider. She is retiring from the library this August.


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Summer 2012 A production of the Adult Services Department Par-La-Ville • #13 Queen Street • Hamilton HM 11 Newsletter Committee Nikki Bowers Keith Caesar


Contributors Julie Bean Fredrina James Daurene Aubrey Ruth-Ella Smith Randy York Joan Vidale

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Our summer Reading Programme is underway. We really want you to experience reading and what it can do. Make sure to check out our website as well as our Facebook page for more information about the programmes we have to offer. 2


“O ne


for the road ”

e all know that every story has a beginning , a middle and an end, right? Well let me start at the beginning. I began my tenure here at the Bermuda National Library on September 4th, 1967 when it was “loyally” referred to as just The Bermuda Library. I had just turned nineteen years old , was married with a year-old baby son and I was green, this was all very new to me. The Head Librarian was Ms Mary Gray, and back then the staff was primarily all UK ex-patriots, a couple of white locals and one or two black Bermudians. The Bermuda Archives was also situated in this building where the “meeting room” and “ repository “ are presently housed. The reference area was on the ground floor together with the Bermuda Section, which was fiercely guarded by the then “keeper of the books” Ms Terry Tucker, a well- known author and Bermudiana Historian. You had to literally go through Ms Tucker to get to information well secured and guarded. One could easily become terrified of her, that is until you realized there was more bark to her than bite! (or maybe I just didn’t know my own danger!). Anyway that being said, the old adage “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” came into play and I quickly adapted to her ministrations, albeit with some caution and tact. When I came to work here is when I discovered that I was nearsighted. I was asked by a fellow – worker who was Welsh, her name was Anne somebody , if I had ever worn glasses? Of course I had not, thereupon she kindly advised me to have my sight tested and voila! I had automatic astigmatism in both eyes, probably had been born with it since the majority of my siblings and half of my own family are stricken with the same malady. Well…… testing proved I would definitely require some

Bermuda Corner with Joan Vidale

help from spectacles! A whole new world opened up for me, I COULD SEE!!!! Mind you I didn’t know that I couldn’t see before ! Thank-you Anne what’s-her-name! (long-time ago folks) . Now let me give you a little more to chew on! Do you know that we didn’t have air-conditioning back then? We did have HUGE fans positioned throughout the entire building that whirred and roared with gusto trying to circulate “good air” and keep us cool though. The windows were all thrown wide open and we didn’t have humpback flies or mosquitoes biting us either!!! There was no such problems as mould or mildew that I can recall. There was little or no carpet on the floors so everyone downstairs knew when we were walking (sometimes running) upstairs. I might also add that these halls of learning proved to be a place of fun and frivolous effervescence also. Back then the staff worked in shifts and the library closed on Thursday afternoons to the public. Even though we had loads of “duties” to catch up on we still managed to resort to such juvenile activities as racing the book trucks to the back of the first room, whoooooeeee!!! We could be as silly as we needed to be because we had the joint to ourselves and it was an opportunity to let off a little steam ! “We lot had de fun bye”. The entrance to the building was through the cedar /glass doors where the Bda. Historical Museum entrance is now located. We traversed the cedar stairwell every day to access the “desk “ and the “work area” which was a very small space behind the Circulating desk that was just in front of the Admin Assistant’s work area which used to be the reading room and the “dock” was out there where the Information



ONE FOR THE ROAD, from page 3

desk is now. The dock was a wooden /screened-in /plexi-glass enclosure where the person who did the cataloguing worked. The staff room was where the CMD Dept is now, and the kitchen was a nook in the corner of that room, with the ladies’ room bringing up the rear closest to the tank. In retrospect, imagine my surprise when I first arrived here to learn that, “the newest member of staff always had to make tea!” Tea I’m telling you, in a proper tea-pot and then to add insult to injury having to summon the rest of the staff “that tea was ready! “Yeah right! That didn’t go down too well with “moi” at all! I towed the line for a little while, then one day it just didn’t happen, THERE WAS MUTINY! How dare I, well I did dare and that was a major contribution to the demise of that hallowed tradition. Needless to say I could write of so many incidents that I experienced, some very negative and some were rather positive and enlightening. For instance my first novel read here was “A tree grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith, boy what a wonderful l and moving story, “Neely” remains my young heroine till this day ! Of course there was an abundance of others, I had discovered an endless supply to feed my reading addiction to say the least. Later on we had our “library people” too ! Although they were basically harmless they still posed a bit of a problem on the odd occasion when too much “spirits” had been imbibed, then they would amble into the building looking for “that pretty little brown skinned girl” or somebody they imagined was hiding out here. I don’t recall us having to summon the police or even having any violence demonstrated by them, they just allowed us to usher them out into the fresh air again. It was also the era of LSD a hallucinogen which added a bit too much excitement on occasion when some young people “dropped” it and then thought that they could fly off the back wall of the park!



We had our share of clients of varying personalities, oh yeah! Some were extremely difficult to deal with and some were very eccentric and single-minded to say the least ! Some were openly prejudiced and some very diplomatic. Some sneaked their pets into the building in their pocket-books no less and others brought their dogs in outright not caring what “policies” were in place! We were here to offer a service and offer it we did ( most times with a smile). We really had to be tactful, clever and open-minded and tried not to take things too personal, remember this was the late sixties early seventies and change was in the air (ready or not) . People all the world over were demanding their rights and standing up for what they truly believed in, some even became martyrs for their cause. There was no question about “growing”, it just became a part of everyday life, it was necessary. My early library experience included so many personalities and influences I do not dare begin to list them, “hats off to them “ because there is an old saying that every person or soul you encounter leaves an imprint on you somehow and I believe it totally. In the latter years, I have made many life-friends and associates. In my position as Outreach Assistant my eyes have truly been opened to the rich and abundant source of seniors in the community. To be able to add a little bit more joy and fulfillment to their lives and mine has been to say the least an enrichment and a privilege. As a child I always gravitated toward “ chronologically mature “ individuals and kept company with them regularly, thereby developing a natural kinship with them. I would like to say thank-you to them for trusting me and allowing me entrance into their homes and space, I will miss them but never will I forget them. Here at the library I have seen many people come and go, some on to higher ground academically and some completing their stay for

See ONE FOR THE ROAD, page 10

Summer Sizzlers 153.35 L Imagine By Jonah Lehrer


ew York Times”-bestselling author Lehrer (“How We Decide”) introduces readers to musicians, graphic artists, poets, and bartenders to show how they can use science to be more imaginative and make their cities, their companies, and their culture more creative.

613.04244 W


By Dr. Ruth Westheimer Sexually speaking : what every

An accidental affair By Eric Jerome Dickey

woman needs to know about sexual health


n this down-to-earth guide, celebrated sex expert and bestselling author Dr. Ruth Westheimer teams up with prominent gynecologist at Cornell and New York Presbyterian Medical Centers, Dr. Amos Grunebaum, to address the most pressing health issues women face


hen allegations about his actress wife’s infidelity are posted online, James, a screenwriter with a violent past, attacks his wife’s lover, sparking a media frenzy that compels him to go into hiding and resort to extreme measures to protect his wife.

154.2 M


Subliminal: how your unconscious mind rules your behavior (Apr 2012) By Leonard Mlodinow

Another piece of my heart By Jane Green


n examination of the ways in which the unconscious mind shapes everyday life traces recent scientific advances to reveal the pivotal role of the subliminal mind in influencing experiences and relationships.


arrying a divorced father of two, Andi finds herself struggling to gain her stepdaughters’ acceptance while preserving family peace in the face of daily dramas and competitions for her husband’s attention.





The wind through the keyhole : a dark

The reverend’s wife : a novel By Kimberla Lawson Roby

tower novel

By Stephen King


eturns to the rich landscape of Mid-World in a story within a story about gunslinger Roland

Deschain, who while investigating a murderous shape-shifter interviews a terrified teen who has witnessed the creature’s most recent killing.

F KIN Loving By Karen Kingsbury, Karen.


ailey Flanigan is making decisions that will shape her future, and is trying to decide if she will spend her life with Brandon Paul in Los Angeles, or if her heart will draw her back to Bloomington, Indiana and Cody Coleman, her first love.

Betrayal : a novel By Danielle Steel


er life shattered by her boyfriend’s infidelity, movie director Tallie Jones also discovers

that one of her closest associates has been stealing from her for years, and partners with a dashing FBI agent to identify a hidden enemy.


By Mary Monroe God don’t make no mistakes

Afraid to die By Lisa Jackson


etectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli investigate after two women’s bodies are found frozen and deliberately displayed with both victims wearing a piece of Selena’s jewelry.



Sinners & saints By Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley

11th hour By James Patterson


asmine Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams are each fighting to become the first lady of the National Baptist

Association, until the current first lady steps in, a woman bigger, badder, and more devious than either of them.




est friends Annette and Rhoda find their lives in turmoil as Annette tries to balance her new found love life as she tries to reconcile with her husband Pee Wee and discovers a devastating secret while Rhoda must deal with her daughter Jade, whose antics lead Rhoda to throw her out of the house



aintaining a cordial relationship with the unfaithful Charlotte while planning a divorce when their son graduates from high school, the Reverend Curtis Black resists his wife’s efforts to reconcile and considers a proposition by a woman who desperately wants to marry him.


hen millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, Lindsay Boxer discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco’s most untouchable criminals. Then she’s called next to the most bizarre crime scene she’s ever witnessed: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor.



Come home By Lisa Scottoline

Need you now By James Grippando


ill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her--though it is stressful--and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team. But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead.

F HAL The underside of joy By Sere Prince Halverson


n the aftermath of her beloved husband’s drowning death, Ella’s initial support from her in-laws dissolves as long-buried secrets and family tragedies are revealed in the wake of a bitter custody battle against her stepchildren’s biological mother.


atrick Lloyd and his girlfriend Lilly, both hurt by a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, must uncover the truth about the evil genius at the heart of the setup.

M COO Death benefit By Robin Cook


aunching a private investigation when their mentor dies under suspicious circumstances, medical students Pia Grazdani and George Wilson uncover a sinister operation through which private life insurance policies are being manipulated to allow investors to benefit from the deaths of others.



The Choir director By Carl Weber

The Retribution By Val McDermid

hen he hires charismatic choir director Anthony Mackie to rejuvenate the First Jamaica Ministries, Bishop T.K. Knight discovers that Anthony has secrets that could destroy the church, while his wife, Monique, tries to discover who has been robbing the church blind.

latest crime thriller by the best-selling author of Fever of the Bone finds clinical psychologist Tony Hill and detective Carol Jordan struggling to survive and recapture celebrity sociopath Jack Vance, who has broken out of prison with the intention of exacting violent revenge.



Boundaries By Elizabeth Nunez

The Jaguar By T. Jefferson Parker



s Caribbean American Anna Sinclair, the head of a publishing imprint that focuses on ethnic writ-

ers, faces challenges at work, she struggles with her mother’s cancer diagnosis and starts dating her mother’s oncologist.


hen the songwriter wife of a corrupt sheriff’s deputy is kidnapped by a ruthless Gulf cartel leader who orders her to compose a folk ballad about his life, her resulting song captures the attentions of her husband and Charlie Hood, who work





Dream new dreams By Jai Pausch

Rather outspoken: my life in the


he widow of pancreatic cancer victim Randy Pausch recounts her transitions from wife to caregiver to single parent while describing the changes and sacrifices endured by people facing grim health challenges.

B JOS Panther baby : a life of rebellion and reinvention

By Jamal Joseph


he author chronicles his journey from radical Black Panther to his stint at Rikers Island prison, from his awakening while incarcerated at Leavenworth to his rise to chair of Columbia University’s School of the Arts film division.


By Dan Rather


he noted broadcast journalist traces his career while reflecting on the historical events of his time, sharing new insights into such topics as the Abu Ghraib scandal, the George W. Bush Air National Guard controversy, and JFK’s assassination.


And Then Life Happens ByAuma Obama


moving account by Auma Obama about her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, Barack Obama. While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared father.



In the water they can’t see you cry By Amanda Beard

me down and found myself


seven-time Olympic medalist describes her battles with depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse in spite of her successful career, recounting how she hid her struggles from her loved ones before seeking help and finding renewal in the birth of her son.

I got this: how I lost what weighed


By Jennifer Hudson

his book is a personal and inspirational memoir from the author, an Emmy and Oscar winner that is focused on her transformation as she embraced a healthy lifestyle and lost over eighty pounds. Soulful and sultry, she wowed the world with her powerful voice in American Idol’s third season, and

then took Hollywood by storm.



Both of us: my life with Farrah By O’Neal, Ryan

Barefoot stories: my extraordinary


yan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett. He was the handsome Academy Award--nominated star of Paper Moon and the classic romance Love Story. She was the beautiful, all-American Charlie’s Angel, whose poster adorned the bedroom walls of teenage boys everywhere. One of the most storied love affairs in Hollywood history, their romance has captivated fans and media alike for more than three decades. In a tragic turn, the world lost Farrah after a tragic battle with cancer in 2009.



ordinary life

By Sissy Spacek


he actress shares her story in a memoir that spans her childhood in Texas, her arrival in New York City, her distinguished acting career, and her loyalty to her rural roots.


SUMMER FILMS JULY 7 The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees.

JULY 14 Remy is a young rat in the French countryside who arrives in Paris, only to find out that his cooking idol is dead. When he makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant’s new garbage boy, the culinary and personal adventures begin despite Remy’s family’s skepticism and the rat-hating world of humans.

JULY 21 A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know.

JULY 28 Babette unexpectedly wins a lottery, and decides to create a real French dinner for the repressed villagers. The village elders all resolve not to enjoy the meal, but can their moral fiber resist the sensual pleasure of Babette’s cooking?


Chocolat tells the story of a young mother, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives at the fictional, repressed French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter and opens La Chocolaterie Maya, a small chocolaterie. Her chocolate quickly begins to change the lives of the townspeople.


Tita and Pedro want to get married, but Tita has to take care of her ageing mother and is not allowed to marry. Pedro ends up marrying Tita’s sister, but lets Tita know he only married her sister to be closer to her. When Tita is forced to make the wedding cake, the guests at the wedding are overcome with sadness... Tita has discovered she can do strange things with her cooking.

AUGUST 18 Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.



ONE FOR THE ROAD, from page 4

other reasons. The one thing I do know is that each one has a place in the tapestry that has been my work experience. My tenure here of nearly 45 years has allowed me to embrace and grow to love my co-workers and care for them as though they were my kin. I have claimed surrogate mothers, aunts, adopted sons and daughters and sisters and brothers. I have opened my heart to many and they to me in genuine caring and camaraderie. There were times I felt like spanking and times I offered hugs, it’s all good. There have been times I have had to speak my piece and suffer the consequences, and other times when I have had to hold my tongue while my eyebrows raised involuntarily in surprise, protest and annoyance. There have been outrageous times filled with laughter and fun then again there have been disagreements and strained times just like in any family, with personality clashes and opinions not always appreciated . Today as my retirement date awaits on the horizon, I have many memories to draw upon. I will keep them close to my heart and they will cause me to smile on many a day I’m certain. There will be times when I will miss my Library friends I’m sure, but I know that because we have become “family” we will continue to keep tabs on one another and keep abreast of what’s happening in this great adventure of life, that’s an order you lot !!!! I have personally learned so much and am grateful for the professional experience gained at the BNL (but I’m technology impaired by choice you know) sometimes in resistance, sometimes willingly (yeah right) but I plodded on regardless. It would be remiss of me not to mention one of the greatest highlights in my experience and that is, THE FLOAT,



yes the first BNL entry in the Bermuda Day Parade celebrating our local heritage. We offered a beautiful entry depicting the then “Par-LaVille” park, complete with a garden featuring a four-foot banana doll posing as an artist capturing the BNL and the park scene, a bird bath, a majestic pergola, brilliant flowers , diverse plants, park bench , the library logo and lettering featuring artiste extraordinaire Ms Ronnie Chameau . With the help of willing staff and a few volunteers we somehow managed to pull it off ! For our many hours of hard work and diligence ( very short space of time too) the BNL was awarded blue ribbons and plaques to forever remind us of our collective success in that venture. Congratulations to the BNL, Yeah! There have been many other times I can recall worth mentioning but maybe I’ll write a book about them who knows? What with all the time I’ll soon have in the near future! God willing! However I am certain that my life lessons will continue as long as my faculties allow (please Jesus!) so to all my fellow members of staff and my lovely clients, I bid you adieu for now, but like a bad penny I think I’ll just keep turning up ! Hmmmmmmm……. I wonder what kind of patron I will be? What with all this absorbing……that’s a lot of years to take in stuff…….… My love to you all, from ME ! P.S. 45 years is not such a long time when you are having so much fun! “HOOT!”

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