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Archive for Category: Reading Room
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People of the Book, a Novel Conversations Selection for February.

   Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - by: Christine Sharbrough, Head of Reader Services

peoplebookThis book has been on my nightstand for a long time and I finally had the time to read it. Stitched into a series of vignettes, the story follows the life of a 500 year-old illuminated Haggadah. Hanna Heath, a book conservator tasked with the job of ensuring the stability of the book, travels from her home in Australia to Sarajevo, Bosnia where the book is under heavy guard. Upon taking the book apart to restitch and fix small holes in the binding and seams, she finds evidence of where the book has been throughout its 500-year history. The story alternates between the present (in this case 1996) and the past. The story of the Haggadah is told in reverse chronology - moving steadily backwards, ending with the creation of the drawings that become the Haggadah.

Not only a story of a book as the title would suggest, but in many ways a history of the Jewish struggle to exist in a world that found reason after reason to make that as difficult as possible. For a student of history as I am, I found more questions than answers that have led me onto more history books about the history of the Jewish people.

If you have never seen an illuminated Haggadah take a look. They are absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea until now that they existed.

Bottom line: I am told that it is a tough book to read because of the alternating plot lines. I didn't have the same sensation perhaps because I listened to it. Try it and see and then come join us at the main library on February 6th, 2015 at Noon to discuss.

NB:  I checked this book out of the Chelmsford Public Library.  I received no compensation from this review.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »




Digital Services at the Chelmsford Library

   Friday, January 9th, 2015 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

econtent tabletAre you paying for a subscription to a service like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix to receive digital books, movies, music and television? Did you know that similar services are available for free through your library?

With just a library card, you can download bestselling eBooks, like John Grisham's Gray Mountain; full-color magazines, like National Geographic; classic films, like "To Kill a Mockingbird;" and popular television shows, like "Wallander" and "MI-5." You can even download and keep up to five songs per week. Whether it's Mozart or Megan Trainor, select from among 8 million songs to keep for as long as you want.

Connect to any of these services from the library's webpage at http://www.chelmsfordlibrary.org/econtent/. For assistance with these services, contact or visit the library, sign up for a one-on-one help session, or register for one of the Tech Talk workshops held each month. The next workshops are scheduled for January 28 at 10 a.m. and February 4 at 10 a.m. Bring in laptops or mobile devices for help setting up, or just attend to learn more. Contact the library's Reference Desk with questions at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211.

   Posted in Reading Room, Resources, Web Tools | No Comments »




Adult/Teen Summer Reading Program 2014

   Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Summer Reading 2014Chelmsford's Adult & Teen Summer Reading Program is on!

The theme this year is Literary Elements, because each book you read is a building block for your reading history. And in keeping with the idea of blocks, we're using a Bingo board to make tracking your reading this summer fun. Here's how it works:

  • Choose any five (or more!) categories on your Bingo Card
  • Read a book within each of your chosen categories
  • Log the title and author on the back of the bingo card (Include any notes about the book or whether you liked it if you wish!)
  • Turn in your Bingo card to either the Main Library or the MacKay branch by the end of the summer to be entered into a raffle for some great prizes!

You can download and print your own Summer Reading Bingo Card [pdf], or pick one up at the Readers Services Desk in the Main Library or at the MacKay Branch. And if you get stuck for ideas, we also have a list of suggestions based on the Bingo Card boxes [pdf].

Here are some common questions:

Q: When does the program start?
A: The program runs June 9th - August 15

Q: Who can participate?
A: Teens 13+ and adults

Q: Which books are eligible?
A: Any book you read or listen to - including graphic novels!

Q: How do I join?
A: Download and print a Bingo Card [pdf], or pick up a packet at the Readers Services Desk. Start recording your books and turn your completed sheet in by August 15th

All completed Bingo cards turned in by August 15th will be entered into our drawing for summer reading prizes. The drawing will take place on Tuesday, August 19th.

If you need more reading suggestions, check out our Reading Room webpage - or contact our Readers Service staff.

The Children's Summer Reading Program, Fizz Boom Read, has also started!

   Posted in Books, Events, Reading Room | No Comments »




Reading Suggestions for the Summer

   Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Reading on the beachIn case you missed the latest Friday Fiction program, the lists of suggested reads are below. This time, in addition to the usual list of suggestions, there is also a bonus list of staff suggestions for great summer beach reads:

If you need more suggestions, or have specific questions about reading or books, check in with Christine S. at the Readers Services Desk on the main level of the library (across from the Front Desk). She's there 9:30 - 4:30 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or you can reach her by email at csharbrough@mvlc.org.

You can also find reading suggestions through our Reading Room webpage, which groups suggestions into lots of different categories to make them easy to locate. It also has links to all of our book groups, great free web resources, and much more.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »




One Book Chelmsford 2013: Townie, by Andre Dubus III

   Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

One Book Chelmsford 2013: Townie, by Andre Dubus IIIThe book chosen for One Book Chelmsford 2013 is Townie, by Andre Dubus III. There are lots of events planned over the next few months, including a visit from the author - check out http://chelmsfordlibrary.org/onebook/ for more information.

Townie is a memoir of the author's early life in Newburyport and Haverhill.

After their parents divorce in the 1970's, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and crime. To protect himself and those he loved from street violence, Andre learned to use his fists so well that he was even scared of himself. He was on a fast track to getting killed, or killing someone else, or to beatings-for-pay as a boxer. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds couldn't have been more stark or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by becoming a writer himself could Andre begin to bridge the abyss and save himself.

Copies of Townie are available at the library - after you read it, please return it to the library or pass it along to someone else.

Townie book display in the libraryHere's an overview of One Book events - check http://chelmsfordlibrary.org/onebook/ for more information.

  • "Keeping Your Heart Open in Hell: Jump Start Your Memoir" by Nancy Slonim Aronie, author of "Writing From The Heart"
    Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the main library

  • "Connecting Boys with Books" presented by Michael Sullivan
    Tue, Mar 26 at 7 p.m.

  • Townie Book Discussion
    Mon, Apr 1, 2013: the Evening Book Group will discuss "Townie" at 7 p.m. in the fireplace room at the main library

  • "From Memory to Memoir: How do we turn fragments of memory into stories that others care about?" by Mimi Schwartz, author of "Writing True, the Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction"
    Wed, Apr 3, 2013 10 a.m. - noon at the Senior Center

  • "The Fatherhood Project" presented by Dr Ray Levy
    Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the main library

  • Townie Book Discussion
    Fri, Apr 5, 2013: the Novel Conversations Book Group will talk about "Townie" at noon at the MacKay Library

  • "Why Write Memoir?" presented by Professor Maureen Stanton
    Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the main library

  • Author Visit with Andre Dubus III
    Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 1 p.m. at the McCarthy Middle School

Enjoy One Book Chelmsford 2013, and be sure to let library staff know what you think!

   Posted in Books, One Book, Reading Room | No Comments »




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