Mystery Writers of America announce Edgar Awards

MWA Edgar logoThe Mystery Writers of America organization has just announced the winners of the 2017 Edgar awards! See the complete list of nominees and winners for every category at the official Edgars site, and see below for links to the winners in our library catalog so you can request them.

Best Novel: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Best First Novel: Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

Best Paperback Original: Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

Best Fact Crime: The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

Best Critical/Biographical: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin

Best Short Story: “Autumn at the Automat” from In Sunlight or in Shadow, edited by Lawrence Block

Best Juvenile: OCDaniel by Wesley King

Best Young Adult: Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Congratulations to the authors, and to the readers – enjoy!

Posted in Books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Blu-Ray Collection!

We’re very excited to announce that the library now offers Blu-Rays for rental, in addition to our DVDs!  Just remember, these won’t play on your standard DVD player.  You’ll need a device that is Blu-Ray compatible – like a Blu-Ray player, PS4, XBox One, etc.

The loan rules are the same for the Blu-Rays as they are for the DVDs:
Feature/Foreign $1 / 1 week checkout / No renewals
TV Series
– $1 / 2 week checkout / No renewals
Non-Fiction – No charge / 1 week checkout / 1 renewal

Though small now, the collection will grow as time goes on!  Keep an eye out for new selections being added regularly!

You can find the adult collection at the beginning of the adult Feature DVD section and the teen collection just after the teen TV Series – just look for the signage & the Blu-Ray cases!  If you’re having trouble finding the collection, ask a librarian!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Next Not-So-Young Adult Book Group Meeting

Our next book will be Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. Copies are available at the front desk.

Here’s a description from Goodreads:

“Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

Our meeting will be on Wednesday, May 17 at 7pm in the 4th floor conference room. I’m unable to make this meeting so your guest host will be Rob who, as the organizer of Queer Book Group, is a seasoned book group host. It’s sure to be a fun time!

Posted in Book group | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ever wonder about that yellow mansion behind the Library?

historical postcard of Whittemore-Robbins House

Come to the upcoming Library program:

          Glimpses of Family Life:                        The Whittemore-Robbins House                                   1800 – 1931

Did you know this home belonged to William Whittemore before it briefly became a girl’s school, and later became the home of Nathan & Eliza Robbins?  Built at the tail end of the 1700s it has been a focal point in Arlington Center for the past 217 years.  Do you think it was always yellow?

The Robbins granddaughters and philanthropists, Ida, Caira, and Eliza donated their family’s home to the town in 1931.

This  fascinating historical/architectural  tour led by historians, Ed Gordon,  and Doreen Stevens,  will begin at Robbins Library in the Community Room and will end at the Whittemore-Robbins House.  You will discover many of the secrets hidden there.

MAY 13

 2 – 4 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Free program                                                                                                 Space limited – Registration required                                            Register at:                                                        


Questions?  Contact Ellen or 781-316-3218



Posted in Local History, Programs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

National Library Week 2017: Wrap-up

Comment basket for National Library Week

National Library Week comment basket

Here’s what Robbins Library visitors had to say about the library during National Library Week. In your own words…

“My library is a safe haven.”

“My library has always represented a safe welcoming space where questions are always welcome – Thank you!”

“I love my library because it brightens our lives!”

“The library is a place of peace, inspiration and a lifeline. I love my library starting since elementary in Sudbury!”

“Books are like life for me.”

“Greatest community resource! Amazing trust of citizens.”

“I love my library because it is my literary heartbeat; I cannot imagine life without it.”

“My library is my happy place. I used to ‘collect’ libraries in every town I visited.”

“It means a lot to me. I love to come here and just sit and read or take [books] home to read them.”

“It is a wonderful library, well stocked, and the librarians are extremely helpful, knowledgeable, courteous and pleasant. They always have a smile welcoming you! Keep it alive and working!”

“I love my library because it connects us to what matters in our local, national, and global communities.”

“My favorite government institution – one of the best ideas Ben Franklin ever had – you go there – and pick a book and take it home – for free! And then return [it] so others may share. What a concept! Thank you.”

“My library is a beautiful place to go to, to be quiet, to get awesome books on CDs for my long commute. I love my library!! Thank you!”

“I love my library because everyone is so wonderful – Helpful in every way. My life revolves around reading (sometimes a book a day). Thank you for all you do.”

“Libraries are our key to whatever world we want to visit.”

These are only about half of the wonderful, heartfelt comments people wrote during National Library Week. Many of you expressed your appreciation for access to resources (books, music, movies), helpful staff, and a safe, quiet space.

Thank you for your comments – we look forward to continuing to provide our highest level of service to the Arlington community!

Posted in Programs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

April’s readalike: The Hate U Give

This month’s readalike is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Even if you don’t usually read young adult fiction, you may have read about this one in the The New York Times article by Alexandra Alter last month, “New Crop of Young Adult Novels Explores Race and Police Brutality.”

Readalike graphic,

Cover image of The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017) is a bestselling young adult novel whose main character, Starr Carter, is the only witness to a white police officer shooting an unarmed African-American teenager. Told in Starr’s voice, it’s the story of her struggle to speak out against the pressure to keep quiet, in addition to the everyday pressure of switching between her mostly white private school and mostly black home neighborhood environments.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (2017): Allegedly is the story of Mary Addison, a sixteen-year-old black girl who has been living in a group home since being convicted of killing a three-month-old white baby when she was nine. Now pregnant herself and knowing she’ll be forced to give up her baby, Mary comes forward to say she did not kill baby Alyssa. Told in narrative form mixed with interviews, case studies, and depositions, Allegedly examines the juvenile justice system and social services system, as well as the line between right and wrong.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (2015): Two teenage boys – one black, one white – from the same school confront racism and police brutality from different angles when the black student is accused of stealing and is beaten by a police officer. The white student witnesses the violence, which is inflicted by his best friend’s older brother, a father figure to him.

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon (2014): Seventeen narrators tell the story of a black teenager shot and killed by a white gang member from their individual viewpoints.The multiple perspectives often contradict one another, but together paint a portrait of the last few seconds of Tariq Johnson’s life. According to School Library Journal, Heartbreaking and unputdownable, this is an important book about perception and race.”

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015): Written as a letter to the author’s teenage son, Between the World and Me is about coming to terms with what it means to be black in America today. Winner of the National Book Award.

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a new era in America’s racial justice movement by Wesley Lowery (2016): Washington Post reporter Lowery brings a personal angle to the #blacklivesmatter movement, focusing on the individuals behind the larger movement: the victims’ families, protestors, activists, and other reporters as he writes about the aftermath of the deaths of several black men in different U.S. cities.

After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (2008): Set in the borough of Queens in New York in the 1990s, this is the story of three girls’ friendship as they grow from childhood to adolescence, bonding through their love for Tupac’s music. Newbery Honor Book.

Black and White by Paul Volponi (2005): Marcus and Eddie, two Long Island high school seniors and basketball teammates known as “Black and White,” turn to crime to get money, but are eventually caught. The justice system treats them differently and their paths diverge: one goes to prison, one goes to college on a basketball scholarship.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers (1999): Presented in the form of a film script and a journal, Monster is the story of a sixteen-year-old on trial for murder after acting as lookout in a robbery.

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

NSYA Book Group Meets on 4/19

The Not-So-Young Adult Book Group will be meeting next Wednesday, April 19 at 7pm.

We’ll be discussing Nation by Terry Pratchett. Copies are still available at the front desk if you haven’t picked one up.

In addition to our regular discussion, we’ll also be voting on upcoming books at this meeting so you won’t want to miss it!

The Not-So-Young Adult Book Group is for adults, but we read books written for teens. Our meetings are casual and friendly and newcomers are always welcome!

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

Robbins Library Book Discussion: “The Things They Carried” on 5/1

The Robbins Library Book Discussion Group will next meet on Monday May 1 at 7 pm in the Robbins Library Community Room.

The group discusses “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. New members are welcome. Book will be available at the Circulation Desk after April 4. Read an ebook through overdrive or the Commonwealth Ebook Collection.

Here’s the description from the library catalog:

This work depicts the heroic young men of Alpha Company as they carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have.


Posted in Book group | Leave a comment

Henna tattoos at the library

A hand with a henna tattooHave you ever wanted to try henna? Now’s your chance! Mark your calendars for a week from today: on Tuesday, April 18, from 6-8pm at the Robbins Library, henna artist Mandy Roberge will be offering henna tattoos.

Henna is safe for all skin types, and the design lasts for several days. Come give it a try for free! This program is for adults (but Mandy will be back to offer henna tattoos for teens later this summer!).

Alt+ Library logo

Posted in Programs | Leave a comment

National Library Week 2017

Comment basket for National Library Week

For this week only (April 10-15, 2017), you’ll see the National Library Week basket next to the suggestion box on the front desk at the Robbins Library. Fill out a comment card to let us know what the library means to you.

Do you love the free books, the events, the DVD collection, the wireless, the heat/air conditioning (depending on the season), the Library of Things, the staff? Write a comment card for the basket, or write a comment on this blog post!

Posted in Programs | Tagged , | Leave a comment