Goodbye to E.L. Doctorow and Ann Rule

Two major, but very different, authors passed away recently: E.L. Doctorow, author of Ragtime, and true crime author Ann Rule.

Doctorow (1931-2015) wrote novels, short stories, essays, and commentary. According to the July 21 New York Times article, “Doctorow was widely lauded for the originality, versatility and audacity of his imagination.” Doctorow’s last novel was Andrew’s Brain in 2014.

Sign for E.L. Doctorow and a display of his books on a counter top in the reference area

Check out one of E.L. Doctorow’s novels from the display near the reference desk.

Rule (1931-2015) was a police officer-turned-writer of true crime books, beginning with The Stranger Beside Me in 1980, about Ted Bundy. Her writing was motivated by a need to know: “I want to know why these things happen, and so do my readers,” she said in an interview. (Read more about Rule in The Seattle Times article from July 27.)

A display of Ann Rule's books on a counter in the reference area.

Check out one of E.L. Doctorow’s novels from the display near the reference desk.

Though authors are mortal and pass away like everyone else, they live on in their books. Check out a book by one of these authors today, or request one from the library catalog.

Have you read a book by E.L. Doctorow, Ann Rule, or another author who has passed away recently? Please share by leaving a comment below.

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TAKE A BITE OUT OF HISTORY – hidden in plain sight – Can you guess?


REX (2)As you walk around Arlington this summer, you may spot some of the following pieces of history  —   but do you know what they are or why they are a  part of our town’s history?   Or, alternatively, do you know where they might be “hidden?”

If you like, write in your guesses at the end of the blog post under Comments.

Answers will be revealed in an upcoming post.

Some are easier to guess than others.

No clues will be  given yet.

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ALT + Library / October 2015


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DC Comics and Vertigo now available to download

You may already be aware of our service through hoopla that allows you to download and stream music, movies and audiobooks. They keep adding more content and the latest is a collection of comics from DC and Vertigo.

The comics collection includes a wide variety with something to please every comic lover. If you browse by genre, you’ll see categories like dystopia, horror, LGBT, literary, manga, non-fiction, and romance. Here’s just a short list of some of the titles you might find interesting:

  • Lumberjanes
  • Locke & Key
  • My Little Pony
  • Sandman
  • Doctor Who
  • The Watchmen
  • Wonder Woman
  • Star Trek
  • …and so much more!

Like all hoopla content these titles are available for simultaneous use, which means there’s no waiting – read what you want, when you want!

To access hoopla, click here and choose “Log in.” If it’s your first time, just click on “Sign up now” and choose Robbins Library and then enter your library card number. Happy reading!

DC Comics Approved

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Not-So-Young Adult Book Group meets on 7/21

ugliesIt seems like we were just together eating wacky Russian candy, but it’s already almost time to meet again.

This time we’ll be discussing Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, the first volume in one of my favorite dystopia series. We’ll meet on Tuesday July 21st at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room.

Copies of our next book, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart are starting to arrive, so you’ll be able to grab that one the same evening.

Hope to see lots of you on the 21st!

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Searching the library catalog

How do you find a book, audiobook, CD, DVD, magazine, game, or anything else in the library? There are a few ways: you could wander around (also known as browsing), ask a librarian, or use the online catalog.

You probably recognize our “classic” catalog, which looks like this:

screenshot of classic catalog search barBut if you click the link to try the “NEW Minuteman Catalog!” you get something that looks like slightly different:

screenshot of new catalog search boxJust type your search in the box and hit enter (or click the arrow), and you’re off! You can also choose to search the “Articles & Reviews” tab, which will bring you results from our many library databases.

You might notice that with the new catalog, you can’t “limit” your search right away by choosing whether to search by keyword, title, author, subject, etc. or by choosing a location (e.g. Arlington), but you can limit the results of your search after the fact – or you can choose to use the Advanced Search option to begin with.

For example, I did a search for “how the light gets in” in the new catalog, and along the left hand sidebar are all the ways I can limit/filter/refine the results: by format (book, e-book, book on CD, etc.), by location (which libraries is it at?), by availability, by language, and more.

screenshot of search results

If you have more questions about the new catalog, called Encore, check out this helpful FAQ from Minuteman, or ask a librarian. We will be bidding goodbye to the classic catalog come September 1, so now is a good time to start experimenting with Encore, if you haven’t started using it already.

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Book Chat: International Books

Mark your calendars! Our next book chat will be on Tuesday, July 28 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room. Our theme this month is international books, which means any books that are set outside of the United States.

For those who haven’t attended a book chat yet, these are monthly get-togethers that are kind of like book groups, but without the requirement to read a particular book. Instead we pick a theme and talk about books that fit the theme. We like if everyone who attends can bring one book (or just the title and author) that fits the theme to recommend to the group. The librarian hostess will prepare a whole list of books as well, so attendees should leave with a fairly robust reading list.

We hope to see many of you on July 28 to talk about books set all over the globe!


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