Our library is a vital source of information and entertainment. Aside from books, CDs, DVDs and videos, there are infra-red and Go-Pro cameras to borrow, toys in the Children's Section, a telescope, free faxing and copies at $0.10 each! The library subscribes to close to 20 different magazines and journals. There's free high speed wi-fi for your own laptop, or use one of the three library computers (two are new!). Through inter-library loans you can get any book, CD or DVD from another library.
Story Hour (Monthly) - 1st Mondays at 10 am: Hosted by Clare Green at the Library and running to 10:30 or a bit longer. Toddlers and preschoolers are welcomed with parents; nature discovery, song and story included.
Scrabble Time - Tuesdays at 6:30: All welcome. We'll have one or two board sets here, so feel free to bring your own in case a crowd shows up. New to the game? Come a few minutes early.
Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 pm - Weaver Kathy Litchfield: The Library's "Made Here At Home" series continues with Warwickian weaver Kathy Litchfield. Kathy learned to weave in her 20s, and what started as a hobby developed into a professional career a decade later. Kathy will share her journey to become a master weaver; do a show-and-tell of some of her master's projects demonstrating the many varied weave structures and fibers one can use in weaving; and bring along a floor loom so you can try throwing the shuttle through the shed yourself! Light refreshments will be served.
Saturday, Jan. 25th - State senator Jo Comerford at the Library: As part of her People's Office Library Tour, Senator Comerford will be in Warwick on Jan. 25th from 11 am to noon. "We're celebrating the central role that libraries play as democracy engines," said Elena Cohen, Comerford's district director. Comerford plans to speak for about 10 minutes, followed by questions and discussions.
Sunday's birch tree painting class with Kerry Stone was a smashing success. Picture below shows all the paintings (and most of the painters).
You can find out if the book, CD, DVD or video you are looking for is in the Warwick Library or any other Central or Western Massachusetts library by clicking here: search the Warwick library's collection or any other CWMars library - or search them all. Order books on-line through CWMARS and have them delivered to Warwick.
General Library Rules
Policy for the Public Use of the Internet
2020 Public Libraries of Western Massachusetts Calendar available: The Warwick Free Public Library has been included in a new 2020 calendar featuring color photos of a dozen attractive public libraries in western MA taken by Priscilla White-Tocker, a former librarian and current Shelburne Falls resident. All the libraries selected are in buildings over 100 years old. The calendar sells for $16, with $4 going to the Library. Don't wait till the last minute - you can reserve one by letting me know.
First library in America: from the Nov. 8th Writer's Almanac: On this day in 1731, a group of young men in Philadelphia pooled their money to set up the first library in America. The idea for a library came about when Benjamin Franklin started a club with about 50 friends so they could debate about politics, morality, and the natural sciences. The group was called the Club of Mutual Improvement. When they disagreed about a topic, they liked to consult books. But books were expensive in those days, so they combined their resources to found a subscription library. They called it the Philadelphia Library Company. The rule was that any "civil gentleman" could browse through the volumes, but only subscribers were allowed to borrow them. The library expanded over the years. Later it moved to Carpenter's Hall, the building where the First Continental Congress met in 1774. Franklin said that after the library opened, "reading became fashionable, and our people, having no public amusements to divert their attention from study, became better acquainted with books."
Statewide Library Resources: On October 11th I attended a workshop at UMass Amherst to learn about the many resources and services available to state residents through the Boston Public Library and UMass Libraries. I can only mention some of them briefly here: details, web addresses and contact info can be found below.
Darwin on Worms: Also on October 11, 2019 - from the Writer's Almanac: On this day Charles Darwin published The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms on this date in 1881. It was his last scientific book, and his most successful. In it, he explains that the very ground we walk upon has passed through the bodies of worms and emerged as castings. He also estimated that there are more than 53,000 worms at work in any given acre of land, and reported that they had turned a rocky field behind his uncle's house into smooth soil over the course of many years. He was fascinated by the work of the earthworm, which he called an "unsung creature which, in its untold millions, transformed the land as the coral polyps did the tropical sea." On the surface, the study of earthworms seems to have little to do with the work on evolution and natural selection that made him famous. But this book, too, was about the inexorable processes of nature that, over long spans of time, can bring about dramatic changes.
For Parents and Educators: Two new educational resource books have been added to the collection: The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Abstraction, by Meghan Cox Gurdon; and Middle School Matters: The 10 Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond - How Parents Can Help, by Phyllis Fogell. Several top fiction CD audio books and a slew of excellent non-fiction books have also been added to the Children's Section, courtesy of educator extraordinaire Brian Snell (look for more additions next month!). Check the new additions section further down on this page.
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream: A new addition to the collection, this 2009 award winning childrens book (ages 10 and up) chronicles the quixotic efforts of 13 women to win admission into NASA's initial astronaut training program in the early 1960s. The women were all pilots (one, Jerrie Cobb, had more hours in the air than John Glenn or Scott Carpenter), earned high scores in preliminary tests, and even counted a senator's wife among their number. But resistance came from all directions. Properly noting, however, that losing "depends on where you draw the finish line," the book closes with chapters on how women did ultimately win their way into space.
2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Warwick Free Public Library in its current building. It was gifted by the Baptist Church, which had experienced a serious decline in enrollment, and the Library moved across the street from Town Hall, where it had been housed in the present-day Assessors Office since that building's construction in 1894. We'll be celebrating later this summer!
A visitor from Worcester recently returned an old copy of The Door by Mary Rhinehart. Its age drew my attention, which led the traveler to remark that he'd wanted to take a drive, and he told me and another Warwickian that he'd become curious about Rhinehart after her name appeared as a Jeopardy! clue in connection with the phrase "The butler did it." He said she was the American equivalent of Agatha Christie - before Agatha Christie. The Warwickian, being a mystery fan, decided to take it out on the spot. And, as she was leaving, another patron walked in to return Christie's Easy to Kill. Cycle complete!
Ongoing work on the Historical Collection has uncovered, among other treasures, a clean 1937 edition of Audubon's "The Birds of America". This classic, full of color plates of his original drawings, is now on display - take a look!
A generous donor has gifted the Library with a copy of Lost Words, an artistic rendering of 20 common nature words among the 40 dropped from a recent edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary. The lost words include such familiars as acorn, dandelion, fern, heron and newt. Their replacements include such more modern familiars as blog, broadband, bullet-point and voicemail. This self-described "spell-book" has, the publishers, say, "begun a grassroots movement to re-wild childhood across Britain, Europe and North America".
A striking book of colorized historical photographs called The Paper Time Machine was on display when I began, and the time came to switch it out with one of the many other impressive large format art-related documentary volumes from the shelf below. Before putting this one to bed I opened it at random (of course) to a photo c. 1912 titled "A young woman uses a hand-cranked battery charger to power her electric Columbia Mark 68 Victoria automobile." The accompanying text notes: "At the beginning of the 1910s, around 38 percent of all cars in America were electric." I decided to take it home and found it needed to be catalogued. When I tried to catalog it I learned it was the only copy of the book in all of Central and Western Mass! And on the following page - a photo of the massive iceberg thought to have sunk The Titanic.
Authors speak - Library of Congress videos from the 2019 National Book Festival: Click here to find dozens of presentations by esteemed authors of adult and teen books, including such favorites as Richard Powers discussing The Overstory and Barbara Kingsolver discussing Unsheltered.
New - Story Time from Space: Yep, you can now watch astronauts read stories from the Space Station! The newest video features astronaut Scott Kelly reading "Mousetronaut Goes to Mars," written by his brother, New York Times bestselling author and retired NASA astronaut Commander Mark Kelly (9 minutes).
New - Reading Champions: 6 short video clips from CSLP supporting "A Universe of Stories," the 2019 Summer Reading Program's space theme. Featuring astronaut Kjell Lindgren, astronomer Seth Shostak and others.
Book donations: Please check with me before you donate books to the Library. Don't leave them in the book drop. We do not take old text books, magazines or other library discards. Hospitals or nursing homes are better bets when looking for homes for books - most people are looking for brand new books at the Library.
C/W MARS app: The latest version of the CW/MARS app for mobile devices is now available. You can find it in the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and in the Apple Store (for iOS devices). You'll recognize it by the name "CW/MARS Libraries" and logo. You'll see the author as either "apps by kenstir" or "Kenneth Cox. The app is easy to use, great on the go, well rated, and free! Use it to search the catalog, place holds and set how you want to be notified, see your checked out items, see your holds, see your fines, and see your "My Lists." Another useful feature is "Show Card", the ability to display your library card barcode right on your device for scanning.
DVD and music CD collections: If you have any suggestions for the DVD film collection or the Wallace Music collection, please let me know. And, if you'd like to donate any old films or CDs that are in excellent condition, please check with me before you drop any items off.
DVD courses: Major Transitions in Evolution, Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology and Understanding the World's Greatest Structures. Each course has DVDs, course book and transcripts of the lectures.
Electronic resources: To access OverDrive's extensive collection of ebooks and audio books via C/W MARS, simply visit https://cwmars.overdrive.com/ and login with your C/W MARS library card. Contact me at the Library if you have questions about Overdrive, or are interested in using it. All you need to get started is a library card - or at least your account # (on file).
To access the statewide database of millions of full text articles from magazines and newspapers, visit https://www.galepages.com/mlin_w_warwick. There are great resources for school research and for hobbies and leisure. No login should be required as long as you are in Massachusetts.
Heat loss camera: The Library's infrared camera can show you where you are losing heat in your home. It's easy to use and you may check it out for a week at a time.
Items to borrow: Infra-red camera, museum & State Park passes, Go Pro camera, telescope, ukuleles, Watt Meter - and books, too!
Library cards: If you don't have a CW/MARS card from the Warwick Library or another library in our region, stop in and fill out an application. A CW/MARS card or account is needed to check out items at the Library. If you already have a card at one of the other CW/MARS libraries, these will work as well.
Library for the Commonwealth: Through Boston Public Library's (bpl.org) Library for the Commonwealth program you can register online for an eCard - https://www.bpl.org/ecard: enjoy instant access to online services, including a broad selection of online resources, e-books, downloadable audio books and music, streaming services with audiobooks, music, television shows, and movies. An eCard provides access to over 100 databases and electronic resources. There are also Skill Building and Workplace Development resources for test prep, languages, resume creation, and "everything from web development to marketing." Contact BPL's Research Services team at 617-536-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum & Park passes available: Eric Carle Museum, Clark Museum, Magic Wings, MA State Parks, Mass MOCA, Springfield Museums (until April 2019 only) with Dr. Seuss museum and gardens, Tower Hill Botanic Gardens and Worcester Art Museum.
Program/Workshop ideas wanted: What types of programs would you like to see at the Library? For adults? For young people? Let's get creative, have some fun, and maybe even learn something!
Puzzles: Thanks to generous donations from town newsletter readers, a collection of puzzles of various size and complexity is available for borrowing.
Reading group: Meets the second Wednesday of each month to discuss a book read by all. Books are provided by the Library and a facilitator helps move the discussion along.
Rare Children's Books - now available for free online: The Library of Congress has digitized dozens of rare children's books published in the United States and England before 1924. The books "are no longer under copyright, and free to read, share, and reuse however you'd like." The collection includes classic works still read by children today and lesser-known treasures. The oldest book in the digital collection is A Little Pretty Pocket Book, originally published in 1744 by John Newbery and considered to be the first book written specifically for children. Highlights of the collection include examples of the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell, and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway. As historical documents, these books reflect the attitudes, perspectives and beliefs of different times.
Saturday socials: The Library serves coffee and snacks during Saturday morning open hours from 10 am to 12:30 pm - except for when it's closed during the summer. Come relax and schmooze with your neighbors, get trash bags and/or grab a book or movie!
Trail maps: New England Trail Maps and Guides for 10 hikes each in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Stop by and borrow this waterproof map and take a hike!
Trash bags for the Transfer Station: $3.00 for 33 gal. size or $1.50 for 13 gal size.
UMass Library Services include:
Young Reviewers Initiative from Tanglewood Press: All Tanglewood books are vetted by young readers to ensure authenticity of voice and a fun read. Now, they are looking to expand and make it more official. If you are parents with kids (8-12) and teens (13-18) you think might be interested in the initiative, please contact me at the Library and I'll forward the follow-up information.
"Something for everyone" - "The Complicated Role of the Modern Public Library": Check out this fascinating article in the current (November) issue of Humanities magazine.
Where Libraries are the Tourist Attractions: "To attract visitors from home and abroad, many libraries have advanced, even quirky amenities. They have rooftop gardens, public parks, verandas, play spaces, teen centers, movie theaters, gaming rooms, art galleries, restaurants and more. The new library in Aarhus, Denmark, has a massive gong that rings whenever a mother in a nearby hospital gives birth" - from the 8-10-19 New York Times.
The Library Land Project: Here's what happens when two fan(atic)s decide to visit every public library in Massachusetts (Boston Magazine, 4-24-19).
A (Visual) History of the American Public Library: A stunning exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be, from Citylab (citylab.com).
A great discussion of the powerful role that libraries play in our communities can be found on a recent 99% Invisible podcast (3-19-19). The program features Eric Kline, the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/palaces-for-the-people/
A recent episode of This American Life focuses on ways that public libraries meet very specific needs. Libraries are compared to the Room of Requirement from the Harry Potter series. For you non-Potters out there, the room magically becomes exactly what a young wizard needs when they want it. You can hear the full episode here.
Also worth a listen is the "The Librarian is LIVE" episode of The Librarian is In! It's another great discussion on the inherent value of libraries and the social capital they provide for communities.
Audio Books: The Bitterroots, by C.J. Box; The Body: A Guide for Occupants, by Bill Bryson; Shamed, by Linda Castillo; Things You Save in a Fire, by Katherine Center; A Single Thread, by Tracy Chevalier; Blue Moon, by Lee Child; by Reed Farrell Coleman; The Titanic Secret, by Clive Cussler and Jack du Brul; Life Under Cover: Coming of Age in the CIA, by Amaryllis Fox; Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carre; Edison, by Edmund Morris; 29 Seconds, by T. M. Logan; Blowout, by Rachel Maddow; A Better Man, by Louise Penny; Vendetta in Death, by J. D. Robb; Bloody Genius, by John Sandford; Stealth, by Stuart Woods.
Childrens: The One and Only Ivan, by K. A. Applegate; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball, by Jeff Kinney.
Fiction: Nothing Ventured, by Jeffrey Archer; The Bitterroots, by C.J. Box; Shamed, by Linda Castillo; Imaginary Friend, by Stephen Chbosky; A Single Thread, by Tracy Chevalier; Blue Moon, by Lee Child; Robert B. Parker's The Bitterest Pill, by Reed Farrell Coleman; Night Fire, by Michael Connelly; The Titanic Secret, by Clive Cussler and Jack du Brul; The Perfect Wife, by J.P. Delaney; Agent Running in the Field, by John le Carre; 29 Seconds, by T. M. Logan; Vendetta in Death, by J. D. Robb; Bloody Genius, by John Sandford; Grand Union: Stories, by Zadie Smith; Olive Again, by Elizabeth Street; Stealth, by Stuart Woods.
Non-Fiction: Life Under Cover: Coming of Age in the CIA, by Amaryllis Fox; Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know, by Malcolm Gladwell; Edison, by Edmund Morris; Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Union, by David Remnick.
CDs: Hyperspace, by Beck; U.F.O.F., by Big Thief; Foo Fighters, by Foo Fighters; Wildcard, by Miranda Lambert; The Live Long Day, by Lankum; 12 Songs, by Randy Newman; In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, by The New Pornographers.
DVDs: All is True; The Biggest Little Farm; Blade Runner 2049; Blinded by the Light; The Farewell; The Final Year; Game of Thrones - Season 8; The Goonies; I Am Not Your Negro; The Kitchen; Mary Poppins; Monterey Pop; Official Secrets; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; Planet of the Apes; Stockholm; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Woodstock.
A small Warwickian enjoys the children's section
Jim McRae tries out one of the ukuleles
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