Queer Book Group gets chatty about Orange is the New Black, 10/29


Hi, Friends.  It’s here. Orange is the New Black has finally made it to the Robbins.  We’ve also got a special guest for our discussion.  One of the fine folks from the Mass Incarceration Working Group (over at the First Parish UU, next door), will be there to give us some insight into the criminal justice system.  It’s going to be a good night.

We have a limited number of copies available for you at the circulation desk.  You’ll want to grab yours ASAP.

10/29 at 7 PM in the 4th floor conference room.  Robbins Library.  700 Mass Ave., Arlington, MA.

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Do you borrow e-books from the library? The new version of Adobe Digital Editions is not secure

Updated 10/16/14

Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their E-book Libraries.” This was the title of an article by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader on October 6, and though there have been updates since then, the privacy breach has not been resolved just yet.

Overdrive, our digital library platform, requires the use of the Adobe Digital Editions software, so library patrons’ data has been exposed. To clarify: The Overdrive app does not use ADE4. Patrons who have upgraded to ADE4 on their computers can go back to using an earlier version until the privacy issues with ADE4 are resolved. We as librarians take this very seriously; our Code of Ethics states, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”

In this case, the software we relied on to keep patron data secure and private has failed. Our library director is working with the Minuteman Library Network and the Massachusetts Library Association to address this issue. In the meantime, those who have not yet upgraded to the new version of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE4) should continue using an older version of the software. Another alternative anyone can use is the Overdrive Read option, which allows you to read an e-book in your browser, whether or not you are connected to the Internet.

Here are a few more articles on this topic:

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Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group Meeting is Nov 10

forgivemeThe NSYA book group is on hiatus this month because of scheduling, but we’ll be meeting on November 10 at 7pm to discuss Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick.

On the morning of Leonard Peacock’s 18th birthday, he packs a gun in his backpack along with four gifts. The gifts are for the four people who are most important to him: his elderly neighbor Walt with whom he watches Humphrey Bogart movies; a young woman he developed a crush on when she handed him a religious pamphlet at the subway; a guy from his school who lets Leonard listen to him practice his violin; and his favorite teacher, Herr Silverman. Once he distributes these gifts, Leonard plans to take his gun and murder his former best friend before killing himself.

I’ll admit I was skeptical before I read this book, because enough violence already! But. This is not a violent book. It’s primarily about Leonard’s relationships with all four recipients of his gifts, and how these relationships have touched him. Leonard is smart and funny there are many sweet moments in this story. I loved it a whole lot and I hope that you do too.

Copies are available at the circulation desk. If you’re unfamiliar with the NSYA book group, we are adults who read and discuss books written for teens. Our discussions are casual and fun and new faces are always welcome!

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These books changed our lives

All month on the Banned Books Week display table, there was a jar. A label on the jar read “Books change lives.” Next to the jar were slips of paper and pencils. The jar was empty on September 1, but by September 30…

bookschangelives…it was full! These are the books that made a difference in the lives of Arlington’s readers, and I’m sure there are many, many more.

annieonmymindThe book titles in the jar included many children’s classics: Green Eggs & Ham, The Railway Children, Flat Stanley, Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, The Lemming Condition, and the historical biography “Who Was…?” series. There were a number of old and new teen titles as well, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Ender’s Game, Celine, The Golden Compass, The Fault in Our Stars, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Annie on My Mind.

littleprinceUnsurprisingly, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was in the jar. This book, as many readers know, transcends age and genre, and is beloved by many.

There were the traditional classics: two people mentioned To Kill A Mockingbird, one said Moby Dick, and another said the poems of Dylan Thomas were “like reading English for the first time.”

But newer formats were represented right alongside the traditional ones; two graphic novels, Maus by Art Spiegelman and Capacity by Theo Ellsworth, also earned the “books change lives” honor.

Adult fiction held its own, with Pillars of the Earth, Middlesex, The Untouchable, Marjorie Morningstar, The Spook Who Sat By the Door, and The River in Winter.
Adult nonfiction titles were in the jar too: River of Doubt, Women Who Run With the Wolves, and Godel, Escher, Bach.

exactreplica_mccrackenThen there were the titles with a religious, spiritual, philosophical, or mythological bent: The Bible, Beyond God the Father, Prayer and Personal Religion, My Grandfather’s Blessings, Kitchen Table Wisdom, and C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. And there were two memoirs: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and Elizabeth McCracken’s An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.

The diversity of titles listed above reflects the diversity of our community, and highlights the value of the library as a resource to all – no matter your age, beliefs, opinions, or tastes, the library has something for you. In addition to little slips of paper, the “books change lives” jar contains something else: the essential importance of the freedom to read. The contents of this jar affirm the importance of the library in providing access to all kinds of books, so that everyone can find what they want or need.

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And the 2015 Arlington Reads Together book is… (drumroll, please)

The selection committee has been busy reading the proposed candidates for Arlington’s next “community read,” Arlington Reads Together (A.R.T.). After a summer of reading and some intense discussion, the committee selected…

(drumroll, please)

mysisterlivesonthemantelpieceMy Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher!

Come March 2015, this is the book everyone in Arlington will be talking about, and we’ll have plenty of copies for everyone, as well as book discussions and other events free and open to the public.

In the meantime, though, you might be curious about some of the other books we considered for our next A.R.T. choice. These are all extraordinary books, and we recommend them, even though we didn’t choose them for A.R.T….yet. (It was hard to choose just one…and there’s always next year!)

Without further ado, the longlist (with shortlisted titles, a.k.a. runners-up, in bold):

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks

The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown

Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle

Reality Boy, A.S. King

Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline

Wild, Cheryl Strayed

The Wordy Shipmates, Sarah Vowell

Boxers & Saints, Gene Luen Yang

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NaNoWriMo 2014

nano_12_new_Come_Write_In_Logo1Hellooooooo WriMos!

All of a sudden it’s October, which means once we blink a few times it’ll be November, also known as National Novel Writing Month!

For the third year in a row, the library is throwing open its doors (metaphorically – November’s usually pretty chilly around these parts) and inviting local WriMos to “Come Write In.”

This year we have twelve (12) Write Ins scheduled. Download our 2014 Write In calendar here: 2014-11_ARL_NaNoWriMoCalendar [PDF], or see below.

Mondays 6-9pm in the Community Room

Wednesdays 9am-noon in the Conference Room (11/12 in the Community Room)

Fridays 9am-noon in the Conference Room

Write Ins are a great time to focus on your novel, meet other writers, use the library’s resources, and of course get a free NaNoWriMo bookmark. Check out this word count calendar as well – it’ll help you keep track of your word count throughout the month. Visit the official NaNoWriMo site as well, and remember to check out the Regional Forum.

Stay tuned for more!

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Dear queer gamers! Rainbow Rumble is on Monday!


Get those thumbs ready.  Monday night is the Rainbow Rumble (in which we have a tournament style video game night with pizza and new friends). Very exciting.  Winner gets a  super tiny Teacup Pomeranian just like Paris Hilton our everlasting admiration and the pleasure of our company.  18+ event.

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