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b-bIf you have had the opportunity to walk through the lobby of the Hanover Inn this holiday season, you have been welcomed by the Inn’s amazing gingerbread display located in the center of the room. While always a work of art, this year’s theme in particular struck our fancy. Bedecked in icing snow and fondant figures, Baker-Berry Library proudly stands its ground in league with a myriad of Stormtroopers, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and other "Star Wars" characters. ‘Tis the season!!

2015-12-15 10.26.05As my colleague and I studied the display from every angle, many questions arose for which we had no answers. We decided that if we wanted to know the answers, others probably did as well. Thanks to Alex Zullo, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Inn, our questions were answered quickly, and we thought we would share them with you. Below are the results of an email interview in which Ms. Zullo kindly resolved our inquiries. Thank you to Alex for taking the time to share her knowledge, and to Pastry Chef Pam for her amazing creation!

Baker-Berry Library: How does the Inn decide on a theme for the gingerbread display each year?
Alex: Pam, our Pastry Chef, is the one that makes the decision as she is the leader in creating the display. She bounces ideas off of Executive Chef Justin Dain and the team and then she decides. She like to work with themes that children will relate to.

Baker-Berry Library: How many people actually work on the display?
Alex: Pam is the leader, along with her assistant Ashley.IMG_2290

Baker-Berry Library: How early do you have to start making the gingerbread display before you are ready to mount it?
Alex: Pam starts making it right after Halloween as it is made completely from scratch.

Baker-Berry Library: Is the display totally edible, or do you have to use inedible materials as well?
Alex: Completely edible, but by the time it is a month old it might not be too tasty!

Baker-Berry Library: What do you do with the display once the holiday season is over?
Alex: The gingerbread walls are recycled or sustainable for the organic farm. Some of the candies make it but typically it is taken apart and discarded.

Baker-Berry Library: How many years has the Hanover Inn been putting up a holiday display (I’ve worked at the Library for 20 years, and I don’t remember ever NOT seeing one)?
Alex: This is a good question and I love to say since the beginning of time! I am checking all over the property with a few of the employees that have been here for 28 years and as far as they can remember there has always been one.2015-12-15 10.26.42

Laura Braunstein, Digital Humanities and English Librarian, has been accepted into the pilot Digital Humanities Institute for Mid-Career Librarians. The Institute will take place at the University of Rochester's River Campus in mid-July and is funded primarily through a Mellon Foundation Grant. The Institute will advance institutional support for digital humanities by strengthening librarians’ competencies in digital scholarship.

As one of only twenty librarians accepted into the highly competitive program, Laura will participate in a three-day residential experience, followed by one year of online engagement and support. The Institute offers four tracks and Laura will participate, with four other librarians, in the track entitled "Text Encoding, Analysis and Visualization for Humanists." This track will explore the methods and process of bringing context to digitization and dissemination of texts through text encoding, as well as a range of visualization tools employing that coding: timelines, word clouds, concept maps, geographic maps and more. For more information, visit the Institute's web site.

Laura's participation in and skills learned from this institute will enrich the College's developing programs in the digital humanities and help to support other areas of digital scholarship within the institution.

Laura BraunsteinPlease join us in congratulating Laura Braunstein, the College's Digital Humanities and English Librarian, on her successful election as incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of LES, the 'Literatures in English' section of the American Library Association!  Laura's term as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect commences at the end of the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco on July 1, 2015. Well done, Laura!