Robbins is an emergency cooling center on 7/21

The Robbins Library is serving as an emergency cooling center this Sunday and will be open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Children’s Room will be closed, but we will be offering two films in the Community Room (take the elevator to LLR):

10 a.m. – Monsters, Inc. (92 mins, rated G)
2 p.m. – Inside Out (95 mins, rated PG)

On Saturday we’re open normal Summer Saturday hours, from 9 a.m. – noon, with full library services. We cannot extend our hours to be a cooling center all day Saturday because a private event is taking place in the afternoon.

Learn other ways to be safe in the heat on the Town website. If you don’t receive Town Alerts, sign up here so you can get important updates as they are released.

Stay cool, A-town!


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Write-Ins at Robbins Library (Reminder)

Copy of Robbins Write-InsNeed some time and space for your creative writing projects? Say no more! Stop by Robbins Library’s Conference Room tomorrow (July 17) from 6-8pm for the perfect balance of air conditioning and zero distractions.

Bring your own writing materials or check out a laptop from our Vendy machine – your choice!

**The next Write-In will take place on July 29 from 6-8pm in the Robbins Library Conference Room.

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Not-So Young Adult Book Group Reads The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler (August 19)

The next NSYA group meeting will take place on Monday, August 19 at 7pm in the 4th floor’s conference room. We’ll be discussing The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix.

Goodreads description:

37863426Interweaving handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his fight against the oppression of the German people during World War II. Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who was shocked to watch the German church embrace Hitler’s agenda of hatred. He spoke out against the Nazi party and led a breakaway church that rebelled against racist and nationalist beliefs of the Third Reich. Struggling with how his faith interacted with his ethics, Bonhoeffer eventually became convinced that Hitler and the Nazi Party needed to be stopped–and he was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to do so.

Copies of the book are available at the front desk.

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Minuteman Library Crawl 2019!

minuteman-libraries-mapMinuteman Library Crawl 2019
Thursday, August 1, 2019
10am – 5pm (except where noted)

Get to know awesome libraries in your area!

“Crawl” from library to library, meet cool staff, check out what they’ve got to offer, and participate in this 21st-century scavenger hunt!

Visit as many libraries as you can, take a picture of yourself with the designated item from each spot, and post your pics on social media with the hashtag #mincrawl2019

Each library will have goodies and handouts, so show us your pics! If you don’t have a camera, let us know you’re in for the crawl. Anyone and everyone can participate: adults, teens, and children. Start wherever you want – you’re the guide!

Click on the following to view participating libraries and more information:

Click here to print our handout [PDF]
Click here to print the MLN’s handout [PDF] 

Stop by Robbins Library and the Fox Branch anytime from 1-5pm.

Robbins Library
Adults: Spiral Staircase
Children: Picture Book Mural

Fox Branch
Everyone: Little Fox Resale Shop
Children: Book Clock

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NSYA Book Group Meeting – Reminder (July 15)

30269126 (1)The next NSYA book group meeting will take place Monday, July 15 at 7pm in Robbins Library’s conference room (4th floor). We’ll be discussing Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza.

Copies of the next book,  The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix, are on their way and will be available to pick up after the meeting.

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Introductory Creative Writing Workshop with Lynette Benton (July 8)

Lynette_Benton (1)Stop by Robbins and get started on your creative writing projects with the help of multi-published writer Lynette Benton! Whether you’re looking for guidance or trying to perfect your skills, this event is for you.

Lynette Benton has helped numerous writers start and complete their manuscripts, from 2,000 words to 50,000 words long. She will share her strategies, tips, and tactics to enable you to write efficiently and productively for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or for any of your writing projects, whether fiction or nonfiction. She has led many writing classes and workshops at Robbins Library, including the library’s Fall 2017 workshop to prepare writers to succeed in the NaNoWriMo challenge. Continue reading

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Next meeting of the Cookbook Club: August 12

Greetings, food lovers! The Cookbook Club will be meeting on Monday August 12 from 6:30-8 to share dishes from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: Tuesday Nights. We’ll each bring a dish to share, and talk about the book while sampling all the delicious food.

Space is limited, so grab a copy of the book at the Robbins Library front desk and email me at with the name and page number of the recipe you want to make. A list of recipes that have already been chosen, and more information about the group, is on our Cookbook Club page. RSVP by August 7 to secure your spot!

Per Massachusetts state law we need to let you know that the neither the food nor the facilities have been inspected by the state or by a local public health agency.

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Library Removes DVD Rental Fees

Beginning on July 1, 2019 Arlington’s libraries are making it easier to use library materials by removing the DVD rental fee on feature films, foreign films, and TV shows across all age categories.  

The same research that supported the libraries’ move to eliminate fines in February, 2019 supported the decision to eliminate DVD fees as well.  Research demonstrates that: 

  • Eliminating fines and fees helps close the opportunity gap.
  • Families and individuals with limited or fixed income depend upon the materials that libraries offer. 
  • Fees hinder library use.
  • Fees do not apply to digital films available via OverDrive and Kanopy, which creates inequality between those who borrow digital materials and those who borrow physical materials. Digital borrowing has increased since becoming available and continues to increase.
  • When fines and fees disappear, library use goes up. 

Robbins and Fox libraries began charging $1.00 for DVD rentals in 2003 when the Friends of the Robbins Library provided seed money for enhanced VHS and DVD collections at both libraries. For many years DVD rental fees supported the budget for the DVD collection. Since the libraries went fine free in February, library staff have looked for additional ways to remove barriers to library access. Fees on DVDs became the next obvious place.  

Library staff collaborated with the Friends of Robbins Library board to bring about this change. The Friends were eager to support the libraries’ goal of removing fines and fees and have said yes to other initiatives to make the library more accessible. In July of 2018 the Friends of the Robbins Library began subsidizing public printing.  The move to eliminate DVD rental fees is another step that the Friends group is taking in partnership with library administration to remove barriers to library access in Arlington.  

“I’m grateful to the Friends of the Robbins Library for supporting our video collection goals in the first place and for being so receptive to this significant change,” says library director Andrea Nicolay. “The Friends were quick to embrace this opportunity.”  Ruth Hersch, Friends of the Robbins Library president adds, “Deciding to end DVD rentals at the library is part of a larger deliberate and intentional effort to remove barriers to library access and informational resources.It is exciting to be part of those efforts!”

The Friends of Robbins Library are developing new ways to continue fundraising in support of  the library. “We’ve seen that the community is eager to donate to the Friends of the Robbins Library in appreciation of support for public printing, and we expect even more goodwill towards the Friends as a result of this move,” says Nicolay.  

The Arlington Libraries Foundation, the Friends of the Fox Library, the Little Fox Shop and  the Friends of the Robbins Library provide direct funding for collections, spaces, and programs at Arlington’s libraries.

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Comfort Reads (& Listens & Watches & Plays)

This month we asked our librarians to share their comfort reads/listens/watches/plays.  Things that we can’t stop going back to, especially when we’re in need of a little pick-me-up.

I read Jon Klassen picture books. Circle, Triangle, Square, I Want My Hat Back.
Also, anything Gail Carriger writes is a comfort read.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my favorite comfort movie.
Stardew Valley is my comfort game.


This will probably be the only time I respond with far more titles for watching than reading. I rarely re-read books, but I’ve read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series many times, and I always find it comforting. I also recently had a great time re-experiencing the Harry Potter series on audio and I imagine it won’t be the last time I read these books either.

But usually it’s movies I turn to when I need to make myself feel better. Especially these:
BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (I know it’s 5 hours long but I can always find the time if I need it)
Sleepless in Seattle
Finding Nemo
Finally, any episode of The Simpsons is a real pick-me up.


I keep going back to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I always find a detail I had previously missed. There’s also a nostalgic element since it brings back memories of my childhood. I have been purchasing the latest illustrated editions and reading them little by little. Who knows? I may consider the audiobooks at some point.
TV Show:
The original Roswell series that ran from 1999-2002 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve been trying to get back into The X-Files, but haven’t had the time!
The Witcher III and all the Fallout games before Fallout 76. I enjoy games with world building where you can just lose yourself in the story and details.
Stardew Valley is just as addictive but much less detailed and involved.


Books: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman, The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett, To A Fault by Nick Laird, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

TV: The Office (seasons 2-4), Parks & Rec, Lovesick

Movies: The Princess Bride, Empire Records

Games: Scattergories

When I’m low I LOVE to read comics or fun picture books such as the hilarious story of my recent life – Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman. I add Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester (a picture book) for sentimentality and giggles. For longer term comfort, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver or Pigs in Heaven. The King of Comfort for me is E.B. White and his book of essays – One Man’s Meat. Seventy-five years later E.B. White’s quiet humor, thoughtful intelligence and wise observations bring such joy.

I don’t usually revisit things I’ve read, watched, or played because there’s so much new stuff coming out all the time that I already can’t keep up with!  But I watch (actually more like listen to) Futurama as I’m falling asleep every night for the past decade or so. As a result, I quote the show constantly & it’s become a lot like a security blanket.

I also always pick up the newest Pokemon, Tales of series, SaGa series, and Persona games that come out, because revisiting those universes and gameplay systems bring me lots of comfort and joy.

What are your comfort reads?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Not-So Young Adult Book Group Reads Empress of a Thousand Skies (July 15)

The next NSYA group meeting will take place on Monday, July 15 at 7pm in the 4th floor’s conference room. We’ll be discussing Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza.

Goodreads description:

30269126 (1)Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an wants vengeance.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rheehas spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

Copies of the book are available at the front desk.

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