From the Director’s Pocket

militaryEvery now and then I come across a terrific program offered at a different library that inspires me to consider offering something similar at PPL. One such program I pocketed online recently is “Military Memories” at the Abington Township Public Library in Abington, PA. Offered every third Tuesday of the month, a veteran volunteers to share his or her memories of service in the military. In addition to the presentation, there is a social hour before each presentation at which attendees are encouraged to bring artifacts to display for the evening. Don’t you think this would be a terrific program to offer at PPL? If you think so and/or if you would like to be involved in such a program, please send me your thoughts!

procrastinateAre you like the rest of us and tend to put off important tasks, preferring to distract yourself with other activities? Heck, I’ve been putting off writing this blog entry for months seemingly! Well guess what? According to one New York Times columnist and some researchers he references, “while procrastination is a vice for productivity…it’s a virtue for creativity.” In fact, “Steve Jobs procrastinated constantly….Bill Clinton has been described as a “chronic procrastinator” who waits until the last minute to revise his speeches. Frank Lloyd Wright spent almost a year procrastinating on a commission, to the point that his patron drove out and insisted that he produce a drawing on the spot.” Read the full column using our free New York Times Digital service to get more nuanced details.

spinWith the NH Presidential primaries having just passed, I’m sure you’ve heard of lot of political spin being applied to the results and the various debates that preceded the elections. At times, I find this sort of shaping of political events frivolous. But did you know that when looked at from a different perspective, this kind thing is actually good for our democracy? This is the argument put forward by David Greenberg in his New York Times op-ed titled “Why Spin Is Good for Democracy.” To learn more about the history of this art, read David’s new book, “Republic of Spin: an inside history of the American presidency.” And by the way, David was a childhood friend of mine going back to my years in Newton Central Little League!

What I’m reading: The World’s Largest Man (downloaded from OverDrive) for free with my library card)

What I’m listening to: pimp
To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar and The Essential Bruce Springsteen. (I recently attended the Bruce concert in Boston. It rocked!!!)


SteveFrom the Director’s Pocket is a blog series curated by Steve Butzel, Portsmouth Public Library director, dog lover, Phish (the band) aficionado, nonfiction reader, and natural resource, sustainable energy and international affairs enthusiast. If you have suggestions for something that should be included in a future blog post, email him at

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