Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Phil Bradley on Google vs. The Librarians

Librarians are there:

To help, aid, assist. To teach, collate, enthuse. To catalogue, index, arrange, organise. To find, discover, promote, display. To interest, intrigue, amuse and amaze. To instill wonder. To help children, adults, old people, the underprivileged, the rich, the poor, those with voices and those without. To protect resources, to archive them, to store them, to save them for the future. To provide differing viewpoints, to engender thought, conversation, research, fun. To provide the best answer possible, to match the answer to the enquirer, to provide just enough information without overwhelming the user, but enough to always help. To better a local community, a company, a college, an organisation, a country, the world.

Google is there:

To make money.

[Phil Bradley, never one to mince words.Take that, Google!]


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Historical Fiction and Horror Genre Award Winners

Summer is here and the following are two you may want to add to your reading list.

If you like Historical Fiction, the Walter Scott prize winner, The Long Song, should be on your list. Andrea Levy creates the memoir of a 19th century Jamaican woman who has the opportunity to taste freedom after the end of slavery.

Horror fans must add the Bram Stoker award winner, A Dark Matter, by Peter Straub, a well-known name in the Horror genre. Straub pens the tale of a man who tries to help traumatized family and friends come to terms with a horrific night in the 1960s that has haunted all of them since. By revisiting this event the group the evil confronted on that night in the sixties is reawakened and unpredictable events occur. Be prepared to sleep with the lights on. SH

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Movie Tie-In : Moneyball

Opening September 13, 2011, Moneyball is the story of the Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. Joining with Ivy Leaguer Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), they recruit bargain players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs, and winning games. They'll either be the laughing stock of baseball or its vindicated underdogs.

Moneyball is a Columbia Pictures release directed by Bennett Miller (Capote), from the screenplay written by Steven Zaillian (Gangs of New York) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), and produced by Michael De Luca (The Social Network), and Scott Rudin (The Social Network).


Friday, June 17, 2011

What's New for July

What's coming out in fiction and mystery?

Quinn by Iris Johansen
Iris Johansen explores the darkest corners of the human heart as forensic sculptor Eve Duncan closes in on the killer who stole her daughter so many years ago.

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
With startling tenderness and laugh-out-loud humor, Jennifer Weiner takes readers into the heart of women's lives in an unforgettable, timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood.

A Death in Summer by Benjamin Black
One of Dublin’s most powerful men meets a violent end- and an acknowledged master of crime fiction delivers his most gripping novel yet.

Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons
A dramatic tale of a well-born Southern woman whose life is forever changed by the betrayal of her mother and by the man she loves .

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Summer Investor's Series

Please join us for


Whatever investment cycle you find yourself in—from beginner to post-retirement—you won’t want to miss these monthly classes that explore topics in personal investment such as planning for retirement, constructing a portfolio, and more.

Unlocking Wealth in the Library

Tuesday, June 21st 10-11am

Jackie’s Room

Join us for the inaugural session of our Summer Investor's Series where we discover how the library can help you become a more informed investor. The library offers a wealth of materials to help you stay informed about your investments and the economy, many of which can be used from the comfort of your home. In this class, we'll examine these resources, such as newsletters and ratings guides, and the impact they can have on your financial well-being. SIGN UP HERE

Blueprint for a Successful Retirement

Wednesday, July 13th 7-9pm

Arnold Room

Planning for retirement is likely the most pressing financial issue facing most Americans today; however, few have actually taken the steps necessary to reach this goal. Join John Spoto, founder and principal of Sentry Financial Planning, as he presents some of the most important elements of a sound retirement plan, including:Link

  • How much will you need to retire
  • How to build and manage a retirement portfolio
  • How to comply with IRS rules for required minimum withdrawals



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Favorite Childhood Books Program

Looking for a fun afternoon, being nostalgic over great children's books from your childhood?

Join us at the Hills Branch on Saturday, June 18 from 2-3:30, as adults and kids share their favorite children's book, play book trivia games, and enjoy snacks and Hoodies! SH

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sue Recommends Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

With Geraldine Brooks' Pulitzer Prize winning March and highly acclaimed People of the Book, she doesn't need much promotion for a lot of readers to try her new historical novel, Caleb's Crossing. The connection with Boston, Martha's Vineyard, the Wampanoag people, and Harvard College ensures it to be a local bestseller.

There are other elements, especially social issues, of this must read selection that will fascinate anyone who chances to begin this story based upon intensive historical research by Ms. Brooks:
  • first Native American graduate from Harvard
  • consequences of the relationship between the Wampanoag tribes and Englishmen
  • clashing of cultures
  • discrimination of and attitudes toward Native Americans
  • religion's influence in Massachusetts settlements
  • attitudes toward women
  • value and love of education
  • maturing love and friendship of a young woman (Bethia) and young Native American chief's son (Caleb) and the barriers to their relationship.
Brooks continues her magic with words as she weaves a wonderful story told through the memories of Bethia beginning in 1660 as she relates the crossing of Caleb, not just across Massachusetts Bay, but from the world of the Wampanoags to that of the English.

This book will be on my list of titles to give to family and close friends.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finding Foreign Language Books

Do you ever read books in foreign languages? If so, you may know that Wellesley Free Library has a growing collection of items in a variety of languages. They are shelved on the second floor, to the right of the Reference Desk as you stand facing it. We have books in Chinese, Danish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish and audio books in Spanish. In some cases, we have a few books that were donated to the library. In other cases, we are actively buying items to meet a perceived demand.

But, what if you want something in a language other than these? The Children’s Department has items in some other languages…Cambodian, Catalan or Farsi, anyone? They also have access to a digital collection of children’s picture books in a variety of languages. Click here to have a look. The library also has foreign language films. But, what if you were hoping to find adult level material in another language, perhaps even on a particular topic?

Your next option might be to check whether any other Minuteman Library has items in your desired language. There are many materials in many different languages among the member libraries. But what if you don’t see the language you would like to read in any Minuteman library?

All is not lost. The Wellesley Free Library Interlibrary Loan Department may be able to help. We borrow from libraries beyond Minuteman and often beyond Massachusetts We use WorldCat, a database of items owned by 72,000 libraries around the world. If you go to the WorldCat Language Cloud and hold your mouse over a language, you can see how many items in WorldCat are in that language. We don’t want to overpromise, because many of these items might be owned by libraries that do not lend their items, but we have had some surprising success stories. We have borrowed a Sidamo-English dictionary. Sidamo is a language from Ethiopia, with a very elegant script. We have borrowed a Chinese-English dictionary of accounting terms. We have borrowed material in Serbian, Farsi, Japanese, Doric (a Scottish language,) Tagalog, Telugu (a language from India,) Tibetan and Turkic, to name a few. We have also had our failures. We have tried for a Gujarati audio set several times, without success. You’ll never know whether we could find something in your preferred language unless you try us. To make your request, consult with the Reference Staff at 781-235-1610 x1117 or welmail3@minlib.net. The Interlibrary Loan staff sometimes feels like one of the best hidden secrets in the library, so feel free to give us a try!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

One Point Seven Zillion* Users

OK, maybe it's not quite a zillion. (And OK, maybe a zillion is not actually a real number.) But anyway, if you step back a moment and look at the statistics relating to almost anything on the Web, the magnitude is truly staggering. For example, over 10 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple App store. Or imagine a world resounding with 1600 tweets per second. For these and more staggering stats (with citations!) check out the Technology Liberation Front blog for May 18.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Audies--Best Audiobooks for 2011

On May 23, Keith Richard's Life won
Best Audiobook and Best Spoken Biography/Memoir for 2011. The book was read by Keith Richards, Johnny Depp and Joe Hurley.

If you love audiobooks, listen to some of the winners and the nominees for the 2011 award!

Other Audie winners include:

Best Fiction
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell; read by Emma Galvin.

Best Mystery and Suspense
The Reversal by Michael Connelly; read by Peter Giles.

Best Thriller/Suspense
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson; read by Simon Vance.

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy
The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison; read by Phil Gigante

Best Romance
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James; read by Bianca Amato

Best Non-Fiction
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot; read by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin.


The Hunger Games Latest Cast Member

Lionsgate has been spinning marketing gold out of each new casting announcement for the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Yesterday, the studio announced that the role of tyrannical President Snow, the ruler of the dystopian universe Panem, will be played by veteran actor Donald Sutherland.

If you need a quick review, the online version of E! offers a handy scorecard of the cast.

The film is scheduled for release on March 23, 2012. Directed by Gary Ross, it has begun shooting in North Carolina.