Friday, September 25, 2009


The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa is the book selected by the Westport Public Library for the ONE book that all interested readers in Westport will focus on in January 2010 as part of WESTPORT READS. Many activities are being planned to complement and enhance the themes of this book.

The book deals with a math professor's brain injury and resulting short-term memory loss after each 80 minutes. The story details the relationships between the professor and his housekeeper, and the housekeeper's young son, "Root." The professor relies on his knowledge of equations and mathematical relationships, as well as his knowledge of Japanese baseball, to create strong, meaningful connections between the principal players.

Today Maxine Bleiweis, director of the WPL and Marta Campbell, collection development & readers' services coodinator, met at Staples High School with Lis Comm, 6-12 English curriculum leader, Frank Corbo, 6-12 Math curriculum leader, Julia Roberts, SHS library media specialist, Robin Stiles, SHS library media specialist, Rita Hennessey, BMS library media specialist, John Horrigan, CMS library media specialist and me.

We learned about some of the plans the Westport Public Library has for Westport Reads, and the curriculum leaders and library media specialists talked about how they could support the upcoming January community event. Here are some of the ideas or plans that were presented, planned or discussed during the meeting:
  • The translator of the book, Stephen Snyder, a teacher at Middlebury College will present at the WPL on January 11th.
  • A neurosurgeon will speak at the WPL about memory loss.
  • A speaker on Japanese baseball will possibly present at the WPL.
  • WPL wants to involve school kids in Westport Reads.
  • Frank Corbo reported that Bill Walsh, Math teacher at SHS, had presented about the book at a Math department meeting. Talked about the possibility of creating a panel of kids who could talk about why they enjoy Math.
  • Possibly the panel of Math kids could present during a lunch time activity in the library media center.
  • Is there a possible ART connection that can be made?
  • There are 10 community book groups that are planning to focus on the book in January.
  • Could be a connection with Math Counts in the two middle schools.
  • Maybe students will create a promotion for the book on SHS, BMS and CMS morning television programs.
Lis Comm is planning to purchase 24 books, one for each English teacher.
  • The library media center will purchase 10 copies of the book, create a display and plan for some lunch time activities and presentations in January.
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