Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group

LoveStoryI completely forgot to post about the next NSYA book group meeting. Whoops! It will be on May 12 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room. We’ll be talking about Emily Horner’s novel, A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend. Copies are available now at the circulation desk.

We also voted on our book for June, which will be The Notorious Benedict Arnold: a true story of adventure, heroism, & bravery by Steve Sheinkin. (Just in case any of you want to get a head start.)

Hope to see you all on May12!

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National Library Week feedback…Aw, shucks, we’re blushing.

2014-04_ILoveMyLibraryBecauseY’all are just so nice! Our National Library Week feedback board filled up in no time with lots of lovely comments from patrons. Here are just a few of the responses to the prompts:

I love my library because… “Smart, funny, helpful people (often in the same package!) – DVDs for $1 (and 2-fer Wednesdays!). Not to mention the gorgeous building! And all the books I can probably ever read and more, AND they host NaNoWriMo!!”

This is all true: our DVD rentals are 2-for-$1 on Wednesdays; we are home to a fair number of books; and we are a proud host location for National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.

I know my library loves me because… “They let me borrow books from the entire Minuteman Library Network. Amazing!”

Also true! The Minuteman Library Network (MLN for short) includes more than 40 public and academic libraries, all of which share their resources. This means that if we don’t have what you want, one of our neighbor libraries will happily send it over for you to borrow.

I love my library because… “I volunteered to do Spanish story time, then learned so much about Arlington and our community.”

Fantastic! Libraries foster community. And story time is one of the most popular times to be in the children’s room!

2014-04_IKnowMyLibraryI know my library loves me because… “It is so BEAUTIFUL! Books saved my life and sanity as a child. Go Books!”

Books aren’t all we offer, of course, but most people still associate the word “library” with the word “book.” And yes, books do save lives!

I love my library because… “They are open on Sundays! And they have fabulous books! And fabulous and helpful librarians!!”

Aww, now we’re blushing. Thanks!

I know my library loves me because… “The staff is SO helpful. *Helping navigate through ebooks and audiobooks. *Suggesting great titles for YA. *Cheerily checking out my loans. I <3 my library and my LIBRARIANS! Thank you!”

Thank you! We want to be your #1 stop for help with e-books, cheery checkouts, and young adult book suggestions. (Have you visited the teen blog?)

One of our very first commenters mentioned our Head of Children’s Services librarian by name: “Pam really helps me each time I come in and even gave me a book about bookmaking which I love! Thanks!”

We like to think the library offers something for everyone. Didn’t get a chance to put a note on the National Library Week board? Leave a comment here!


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Pulitzer Prize Winners 2014

The 2014 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced. Here are the winners of the book categories (links go to the library catalog):

goldfinch_tarttFictionThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

HistoryThe Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor

BiographyMargaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall

tomsriverGeneral NonfictionToms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin

Poetry3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri

DramaThe Flick by Annie Baker (will be published August 5, 2014)

internalenemy margaretfuller 3sections

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A Year in Reading Suggestions

Booklist Online just published a list of reading suggestions that I loved and wanted to share. These aren’t suggestions about particular titles or even specific genres; they’re ideas that provide a framework while leaving plenty of room for choice.

The list as published suggests one of these idea for each month, but there’s no need to do them in order, or even to read one a month: you could take much longer to do this project, or, if you’re ambitious and have the time, read all twelve books in one month. (If you do that, please come back and leave a comment telling us which you liked best!)

  • Read a book published the same year you were born.
  • Read a book recommended on a blog. Like our very own Robbins Library blog, for example!
  • Read a book that has been made into a movie. There are so many to choose from these days…
  • Reread your favorite book from childhood.
  • Read a book from another country. Check out the display of international books in the fiction room.
  • Read that classic you never read. 
  • Read a book you found via a library database, website, or social reading account. Access library databases through the library website; try Books and Authors or NoveList for good reading suggestions. Several Robbins librarians also contribute to a Goodreads account, where you can see what we’ve read and what we thought of it. There are more reading suggestions and links on our Book Recommendations page.
  • Read a genre or format you don’t usually read. Mystery, memoir, romance, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, graphic novel or graphic memoir…
  • Read a book from an opposing viewpoint. Ann Coulter, meet Al Franken. Al, meet Ann.
  • Read a selection from a local book club. Did you know the library has six (6) book groups? Of course you can read the books without coming to the meeting, but we’d love to see new faces!
  • Read an award winner. Remember to check the Book Recommendations page for links to several awards, including the Pulitzer and the Man Booker prize, among others.
  • Read someone else’s favorite book. Organized book clubs are great, but a book club of two can also be fun. Ask a grandparent, parent, kid, sibling, cousin, friend, teacher…or librarian.

What do you think? Are any of these ideas exciting or inspiring? Let us know if you embark on this reading project – we’d love to hear from you!

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National Library Week, April 13-19

DSC06768Along with the beautiful spring weather comes National Library Week! This year it’s April 13-19, and we’ve got a display up where you can tell us why you love the library, and how you know the library loves you. Come visit! And while you’re here, check out a book*, attend a program (see the calendar), use a library laptop, browse the magazines and newspapers, or just sit and read in the beautiful Reading Room.

*In addition to books, you can also check out audiobooks on CD, Playaways, music CDs, TV shows and movies on DVD, magazines, and more! Or “visit” the library from home and download an audiobook or e-book.

Last year the honorary chair of National Library Week was Caroline Kennedy, and this year it’s an equally recognizable name: Judy Blume. Blume is a longtime advocate for libraries and the author of such enduring favorites as Are You There, God? It’s Me, MargaretForever, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

Watch Judy Blume’s National Library Week video or read more about her.

“Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.” –Judy Blume, 1993

Happy National Library Week! Twitter users can follow along all week at #NLW14.

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Please Please Mr. Postman: Come Write Letters at the Library


When was the last time you wrote a real, paper-and-pen letter? Whether you’re a regular pen-pal or can’t remember the last letter you wrote, come to the library on Monday, May 5 and join in a letter-writing session in the Community Room from 4:30-6:30pm. This is a casual, drop-in event for ages 13+. We’ll have lots of paper, cards, and envelopes, but if you have special stationery at home, feel free to bring that to use.

If your letter-writing skills are a bit rusty, here are some ideas:

E-mail and social media are part of our everyday lives now, but that doesn’t mean we have to let letters fall by the wayside. It’s still lovely to receive a letter in the mail, and it’s equally lovely to sit down and write one. So bring your favorite pen, pencil, markers or crayons* and join us in the Robbins Library Community Room on Monday, May 5 from 4:30-6:30.

*Maybe don’t write to your senator in crayon.


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Not-So-Young Adult Book Group on 4/14

584599Please join the Not-So-Young Adult Book Group next Monday night, 4/14 at 7pm for a discussion of The Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein.

Copies are still available if you haven’t started it yet. I’ve finished reading it and I think there’s some great fodder here for discussion. Even if, like me, you consistently performed poorly in science all through high school (and college!) you still may be fascinated by this kid’s science project.

Also at Monday’s meeting, we’ll be voting on upcoming books so if you have recommendations, bring them to the meeting or post here in the comments.

The Not-So-Young Adult Book Group is a book group for adults in which we discuss books written for teens. No registration is necessary – just show up!

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