Alt+ is back, now with more bikes

If you’ve ever been in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area late on a Saturday evening in nice weather, you may have seen a group of people riding around on unusual-looking modified bikes. You probably wondered who they are, where they’re going, and most importantly, if you’ll ever be that cool yourself. Now you’ll finally get a chance to answer all of these questions and more!

Join us on May 11 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Community Room where Fleet Admiral Skunk will tell you all about this group of friendly, talented, and cleverly-nicknamed folks in a talk called Space Exploration by Bicycle: The Adventures of SCUL.


This program is part of the Robbins Library’s ALT+Library series of quarterly events designed to be edgier than traditional fare to appeal to people in their 20s and 30s, but the programs are open to everyone.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brand New Books: April Edition

Missed the new March books? Check them out here.

Cover images of City of Secrets, Eligible, and Til Death Do Us Part

City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan
From the publisher: “a timely moral thriller of the Jewish underground resistance in Jerusalem after the Second World War.” O’Nan has written many other highly regarded novels, including Emily, Alone; West of Sunset; and Last Night at the Lobster.

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
It’s all there in the subtitle. You can trust the author of Prep, American Wife, and Sisterland to do a great job with Austen’s beloved classic.

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
Victorian romance with a Gothic twist. Read more at Shelf Awareness.

Cover images of Alice & Oliver, Keep Me Posted, and Now and Again

Alice & Oliver by Charles Bock
“In Alice & Oliver, Charles Bock (Beautiful Children) draws on the experience of his late wife’s battle with leukemia to create an intensely realistic and harrowing portrayal of a young woman’s desperate fight for life against a relentless disease.”-Shelf Awareness

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
“Lisa Beazley’s warmhearted first novel explores what happens when snail-mail letters between two sisters end up on the Internet.” –Shelf Awareness
If you liked other epistolary novels or memoirs like Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe, Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale, or Attachments by Rainbow Rowell,  Keep Me Posted is for you.

Now and Again by Charlotte Rogan
The author of The Lifeboat (2012) returns with another morally complex novel told in parallel narratives: Maggie, a wife and mother in Oklahoma, and a group of Iraq veterans who begin a website to share the truth about the war, all struggle to do the right thing – but first they have to figure out what that is.

RavenKingIf you’re an adult who reads YA (or a teen who’s reading this blog) and you like fantasy, you’ve probably been eagerly awaiting the fourth and final book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle: The Raven King. And this month it has finally arrived! If you’re not familiar with this series, you’ll definitely want to start at the beginning, with The Raven Boys. 

Remember to check Overdrive and hoopla for e-book and digital audiobook versions of these and many other new books!

Are you planning to read any of these? What other books are you looking forward to, or currently enjoying?

Happy reading!


Posted in Books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Listen to Prince for free on hoopla


The music world was dealt a crushing blow this week, and children of the 80’s everywhere are still reeling from the loss of one of our favorite musical icons. As you might expect, all of our Prince CDs are checked out and have waiting lists. But there’s no need to wait – you can download or stream Prince’s music for free on!

Just like the man himself, Prince’s music has been elusive online but with just your library card you can listen to all your favorite albums: Purple Rain, 1999, Dirty Mind, Around the World In a Day, Sign O’ the Times, and more!

Go to and click on “sign in.” If you haven’t used hoopla before, click “sign up now” to go through a quick registration process. Then party like it’s 1999!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group

hiredgirlOur next meeting is on May 18 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room.

We’ll be discussing The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, a historical novel about a 14-year-old girl who flees her family’s farm and tries to build a better life for herself working for an upper-class family in Baltimore.

Copies are available at the front desk now.

The Not-So-Young Adult Book Group is for adults, but we read and discuss books written for teens. Newcomers are always welcome!

Posted in Book group | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

National Library Week: Because…


The theme of National Library Week this year is “Libraries Transform” (or, if you’d prefer, #LibrariesTransform). You can tell us how the library has transformed your life in a comment on this blog (original NLW2016 post here) or in person – just fill out a comment card and drop it in the basket! We’ll share them online (anonymously) next week.


The basket is located near the Reference Desk on the first floor of the Robbins Library.

Posted in Books, Programs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

NSYA Book Group meets on 4/20

openlyThe Not-So-Young Adult Book will meet on Wednesday, April 20 at 7pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room.

We’ll be discussing Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg. Copies are still available at the front desk if you haven’t yet picked one up.

Here’s the description from the library catalog:

Tired of being known as “the gay kid”, Rafe Goldberg decides to assume a new persona when he comes east and enters an elite Massachusetts prep school–but trying to deny his identity has both complications and unexpected consequences.

I think there will be a lot to discuss about this book. I hope to see lots of you at the meeting!

Posted in Book group, Books | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

National Library Week 2016


It’s April, which means in addition to National Poetry Month (all month long!) we celebrate National Library Week this week, April 10-16. This year’s theme is “Libraries Transform.” Check out some of our past blog posts for National Library Week, and leave a comment here to tell us how the Arlington libraries have transformed you! (For extra special bonus points, leave a comment in poem form.)

You can also participate in the ALA promotion by posting to Twitter (#LibrariesTransform, #NLW16), Instagram, or the I Love Libraries Facebook page for a chance to win a gift card and a book with your “Because” statement:


Shy? I’ll start.


Now it’s your turn. Happy National Library Week!

Posted in Books, Programs, Technology | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Brand New Books: March Edition


I can’t believe it’s already April! Here are a few of last month’s popular new releases….

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Muslim Journeys


A few years ago the Somerville Public Library introduced a new collection and slate of programming about Muslims in America and around the world, made possible through grant funding from the ALA (American Library Association) and NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities.) Now they’ve generously made this collection into a travelling one available to all Minuteman libraries, and for the month of April it is here at the Robbins Library.

The NEH introduces the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf as “a carefully curated collection of resources recommended and reviewed by distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, and world literature, as well as interdisciplinary fields such as Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.” They describe the intention of the collection as “an invitation to hear from a diverse set of voices—those of Muslim men and women across time and place—about their daily experiences with their families and communities, and with literature, art, and religious belief. Whether familiar or unfamiliar, these Muslim Journeys offer readers an opportunity to experience other cultures through the prism of their own interests and concerns.”

A list of all the materials can be found here, and all the books and DVDs are available to check out. So be sure to stop by the display in the lobby when you visit the library this month!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ms.shelved, episode two


In this episode we talk about books we stopped reading and why, and also make a couple of recommendations for books we love.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment