Monday, June 29, 2009

National Audiobook Month

Most would agree that June is a fabulous month! Classes are letting out, the days are longer, and the sun is shining - sometimes. June is also National Audio Book Month. If you haven't ever listened to a book, give it a try.

We have a notable collection of fiction and non-fiction titles on CD that you can check out for three weeks. There is something for everyone!

Some new acquisitions for you to try:

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Brimstone by Robert Parker

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Daniel Amen, MD

Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner

Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

First Family by David Baldacci

Ecological Intelligence : How knowing the hidden impacts of what we buy can change everything by Daniel Goleman


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Textbook Time of Year

Got 'em?...We need 'em!
Out of school? Have a bunch of textbooks you never want to see again for the rest of your life? How about donating your recent textbooks to the Library. Some subjects we're especially interested in are science and math, engineering, food science, finance, business, and history. If you have any recent textbooks that you have no need for, and would like to donate them to the Library, please bring them to the Reference Desk on the second floor. Thanks!

Massachusetts Book Awards Announced

Books by Massachusetts authors or books with a Massachusetts theme published in the previous year are eligible to be selected for the Massachusetts Book Awards. The 9th Annual Award was announced on June 22 and the winners were:


People o
f the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, which was rescued during the Bosnian war. When Hanna discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the book's ancient binding, she begins to unlock its mysteries.


Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li

In 1966 Moying, a student at a prestigious language school in Beijing, seems destined for a promising future. Everything changes when student Red Guards begin to orchestrate brutal assaults, violent public humiliations, and forced confessions. After watching her teachers and headmasters beaten in public, Moying flees school for the safety of home, only to witness her beloved grandmother denounced, her home ransacked, her father’s precious books flung onto the back of a truck, and Baba himself taken away. From labor camp, Baba smuggles a reading list of banned books to Moying so that she can continue to learn. Now, with so much of her life at risk, she finds sanctuary in the world of imagination and learning.

This inspiring memoir follows Moying Li from age twelve to twenty-two, illuminating a complex, dark time in China’s history as it tells the compelling story of one girl’s difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution. (Publisher Description)


The Ghost Soldiers by James Tate.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Tate returns with his fifteenth book of poetry, an exciting new collection that offers nearly one hundred fresh and thought-provoking pieces that embody Tate's trademark style and voice: his accessibility, his dark humor, and his exquisite sense of the absurd. Tate's work is stark-he writes in clear, everyday language-yet his seemingly simple and macabre stories are layered with broad and trenchant meaning. His characters are often lost or confused, his settings bizarre, his scenarios brilliantly surreal. Opaque, inscrutable people float through a dreamlike world where nothing is as it seems. The Ghost Soldiers offers resounding proof, once again, that Tate stands alone in American poetry.

Other book recommendations may be found at the Massachusetts Center for the Book web site. SH

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oh the Places You’ll Go With Interlibrary Loan

Working in Interlibrary Loan we have the pleasure of obtaining materials from very interesting and sometimes exotic locations. Sometimes it is the material that piques our interest.

Here are some of the recent interesting libraries and materials that have come across my desk.

Did you know that many US government agencies have their own libraries that lend us items you request? We do a lot of business with the Library of Congress, which is no surprise after one considers their massive holdings. We’ve also dealt with the US Air Force Historical Studies Office in D.C, the US Commission on Civil Rights, the Massachusetts Trial Court System, NASA, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

It is the rare exception that one of those libraries provides us with something a patron wants because public and university libraries tend to own most of what is desired. Every now and again something unique comes in and that is when those government institutions lend a helping hand.

Alternatively, we receive interesting tomes from less exotic locations. The demand for genealogical information has led to an array of data from days gone past. Or we may receive something in a foreign language. Russian, German, Chinese, and Hebrew seem to be the most popular and reflect the diverse makeup of the Metrowest Region.

I personally received several interesting books. Two of them were most surprising because they are primary sources from WWII published by Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer. Both propaganda pieces feature crystal clear photographs that open a window into the haunting world of one of history’s worst tyrants. These 1930's sources proved invaluable to my research and Interlibrary Loan made it possible for me to use them.

What have your experiences been with ILL providing materials from exotic locations or exotic material from any location?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Entrepreneur Magazine's How-To Guides

Entrepreneur magazine has a pretty fantastic website (in addition to their magazine) for people who want to be (or already are) their own boss. What I'm most impressed by are their online How-To guides. These range from the blanket Starting a Business and Advertising, to the more defined Home Based Biz or owning & operating a Franchise. They're filled with tons of information, glossary of terms, links to helpful resources, and more. If you want to see all the guides available, go to Entrepreneur's homepage and look at the left-hand column, which begins with "Starting A Business"--each of these topics contain How-To guides within.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Explore the World Maps, Flags, Information and More

The New CIA World Factbook Website provides information on
history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world
entities. World Factbook has a redesigned website with
cleaner look, improved navigation, and a host of added
features. Among the major enhancements are
and printable photos for nearly 100 countries,
built-in world rankings for many of the Factbook information fields.

Also included are maps of the major world regions, as well as
Flags of the World, a Physical Map of th
e World, a Political Map
of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map. Information in the World Factbook is updated every two weeks.

Can you name the flags on the right?
Send us a comment.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Bing!--A better mapper?

"You'll see yellow a dumpster on your right"
Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, Google Maps--Everyone has a favorite and everyone loves to complain about the dumb directions they've been given to get from A to B. Enter Microsoft's new search engine Bing with its own map/directions generator. I haven't used it yet to actually go someplace, but it does have one great innovation: the directions include landmarks you will pass on the way to your destination. For example in driving from Wellesley College to Wellesley Free Library, we are warned if we reach Wakelin Way, we've gone too far. Other helpful notes (on other searches, that is) include "Pass Getty in 3.6 miles" or "Road name changes to Riverway," or "Stop for tolls." I'm psyched to try it out next time I try to drive somewhere I haven't visited at least a dozen times before.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Interlibrary Loan – More than Minuteman

Have you ever had the following experience? You read an interesting book or hear an interesting program on radio or television. There is a reference given to a particular book. The next time you are at the Wellesley Free Library, you check the computerized catalog only to find that no library in the Minuteman Library Network owns the book you would like to read. You turn away in the disappointment and go home frustrated. This does not need to be. Instead, go to the reference desk and fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form. Your request will be handed on to the Wellesley Interlibrary Loan office along with over 9,200 other requests from all over the Metrowest Region.

Since July 2008 Interlibrary Loan has received over 9,200 borrowing requests and has filled 87% or over 8,000 requests. We service all 41 Minuteman libraries and the entire Metrowest Region. Libraries such as the one at the Caritas Norwood Hospital, Sherborn Public Library, and the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis are just a few of the non-Minuteman libraries we regularly service.

Our Wellesley patrons have borrowed items on crafts and hobbies, medical topics, business topics and topics in art and music. We are also perfectly happy to try to get fiction not available within Minuteman. We have borrowed from every state in the Union and most of the Canadian provinces. Our office also handles a lending operation, sending items owned by Wellesley and the other Minuteman libraries all over the country. We loaned out over 5,200 so far this fiscal year.

In these tough economic times more people use their local libraries increasing the demand on limited budgets. Interlibrary Loan does its best to maximize every dollar spent to provide a great service for our Metrowest patrons. We cannot get every item we’re asked for but we try our best.

Every Minuteman member library has access to our office through your local reference department. Whether you live in Franklin or Framingham, Dedham or Weston, Cambridge or Waltham we’re here to serve you. If there is an item you want that Minuteman doesn’t own ask the reference department to submit a request with Interlibrary Loan.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Jazz & Blues Display

Come to the library and check out the new display celebrating Jazz & Blues music. This display features tons of books, music CDs, and DVDs. There's also a handout which will refer you to some of the jazz & blues greats in case you're not already familiar with these fantastic genres. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baby Be-Bop Causes a Stir

Baby Be-Bop (a prequel to the popular Weetzie Bat Series) has sparked a fierce battle in West Bend, Wisconsin. After four months of protest and counter-protest, the library board unanimously decided to maintain their young adult collection as. Is that the end of the story? Well not quite. Four board members have not been re-appointed, a Christian group has applied for a permit to publicly burn copies of the book and four elderly Wisconsin residents are suing the city for $120,000 for the emotional damage having the book at the library has caused. Read all about it...

Twittering for our Tweeps

The Wellesley Free Library has joined the ranks at Twitter and are encapsulating announcements, updates, websites of interest, and more into 140 character "micro blogs." If you're new to Twitter and want to learn more, check out their resources on the Getting Started page. If you're already on Twitter, follow us at our WellesleyLib account.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Few Vacation Reads

Want some reading for your trips to the beach this summer? It's tough to find that balance between the latest Danielle Steel and Anna Karenina. Here are two not-too-light but not-too-heavy titles to try:

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

Remember Cannie Shapiro, the heroine from Weiner's debut novel Good In Bed? Cannie found her happy ending after her mother came out of the closet, her father fell out of her life, and her ex-boyfriend started chronicling their ex-sex life in the pages of a national magazine. Well, Cannie's back with Certain Girls. Find out what happens to Cannie and enjoy Weiner's sharp observations of modern life.

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

A landmark building at a fashionable address connects the characters introduced in this new novel by the author of Sex and the City and Lipstick Jungle. An elderly socialite who lives in the building dies, and her apartment is up for grabs. Plots twists and a breezy pace will keep any reader interested.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Books into Movies - In Theaters Soon

The Taking of Pelham 123 - (June 12) is a remake of the 1974 thriller based on the 1973 NYC-subway-set novel by John Godey. Directed by Tony Scott, the film stars Denzel Washington and John Travolta.

Cheri- (June 26) is based on Colette's (real name Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette) 1920 classic romance novel. Directed by Stephen Frears, the film stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Felicity Jones and Rupert Friend.

My Sister's Keeper - (June 26), directed by Nick Cassavetes, is adapted from Jodi Picoult's 2004 bestselling novel about the increasing medical sacrifices a healthy young teen makes for her sister with leukemia. The film stars Alex Baldwin, Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassileva.

The Stoning of Soraya M. (June 26) is a human rights drama based on French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam's true-story-inspired 1994 novel. Directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, the film stars Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jim Caviezel and Mozhan Marno in the title role.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July) is based on the sixth installment in the fantasy series by J.K. Rowling. Directed by David Yates, the film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane.

The Friday Night Knitting Club - Actress Julia Roberts has plans to produce and star in the film based on Kate Jacobs' book. Release date is unknown.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The ease of manipulating Google maps has spawned any number of useful, imaginative adaptations. Take a look at You can find the "walkability" rating of your house (or any other house, of course). Walkability includes the proximity of a location to stores, parks, schools and other destinations as well as other pedestrian-friendly qualities. (My house scored 94. Yay!) So whether you're thinking about relocating or just curious, you'll have fun plugging in addresses at WalkScore.