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.

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

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

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

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 ldyndiuk@minlib.net 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.

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

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Books, Movies, TV, Video Games | 1 Comment

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.

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

The 2019 Adult Summer Reading Challenge Begins Today!

Copy of Copy of A Universe of Stories_ promo flyerThe adult summer reading challenge officially begins today!
Participate from June 13 until August 30 for a summer full of fun activities!

This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories” and prizes include a telescope, space-themed books, a space projector, Lush products, and a $105 massage gift card.

Stop by and ask for a bingo sheet at the reference desk (or at the Fox Branch). You can earn raffle tickets by completing the activities listed in the bingo squares, which range from reading to stargazing. Continue reading

Posted in Summer Reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A plethora of presidential candidates

It’s not too early to think about the 2020 presidential election. As you might have noticed, there are a LOT of candidates in the primary, mostly on the Democratic side. In order to make good choices for the primary election, we thought it would be helpful to make a list of the candidates and books by or about them. The Massachusetts primary isn’t until March 3, 2020 but it will probably take that long to read about all twenty-something of the candidates so you better start now!

All titles below are linked to the catalog so you can see if they’re available and request them if they’re not. I’ve also included links to large print, audiobook, and ebook editions. Some candidates don’t have any books, but I’ve included their names on the list in case you want to research them (you can start at our Databases page!)

Let’s start with the current President, Donald Trump. He’s written more business books than we can list here, so here are his more political books and most well-known business book.

Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again | Audiobook CD | eBook

Time To Get Tough: Making America #1 Again | Audiobook CD | Downloadable Audiobook

Trump: The Art of the Deal | Large Print | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook

There’s only one Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. He doesn’t have a memoir, nor are there any biographies about him, but he does write fiction.


Mackerel By Moonlight

Big Ugly

Here are all the current Democratic candidates, in alphabetical order:

Michael Bennet, US Senator from Colorado

Joe Biden, former US Vice-President

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose| Large Print | eBook

Promises To Keep: On Life and Politics

Cory Booker, US Senator from New Jersey

United: Thoughts On Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good | Audiobook CD | Large Print | Downloadable Audiobook

Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana

Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model For America’s Future | Audiobook CD | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook

Julian Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio

An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up From My American Dream  | Audiobook CDLarge Print

Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City

Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the Movement to End America’s Tale of Two Cities

The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio’s Quest to Save the Soul of New York

John Delaney, former US Representative from Maryland

The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation

Tulsi Gabbard, US Representative from Hawaii

Kirsten Gillibrand, US Senator from New York

Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World | Audiobook CD | eBook

Mike Gravel, former US Senator from Alaska

A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man’s Fight To Stop It

The Kingmakers: How the Media Threatens Our Security and our Democracy

Kamala Harris, US Senator from California

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey | Audiobook CD | Large Print | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook

John Hickenlooper, former Governor of Colorado, former Mayor of Denver

The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics | Audiobook CD

Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington

Amy Klobuchar, US Senator from Minnesota

The Senator Next Door: A Memoir From the Heartland

Wayne Messam, Mayor of Miramar, Florida

Seth Moulton, US Representative from Massachusetts

Beto O’Rourke, former US Representative from Texas

Tim Ryan, US Representative from Ohio

A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit

The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family Farm | eBook

Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont

Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance | Audiobook CD | Large Print

Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In | Audiobook CD | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook

Bernie Sanders: Guide to Political Revolution | Audiobook CD | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook

Outsider in the White House

The Speech: A Historic Filibuster On Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class

Eric Swalwell, US Representative from California

Elizabeth Warren, US Senator from Massachusetts

This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle To Save America’s Middle Class | Audiobook CD | eBook

A Fighting Chance | Audiobook CD | eBook | Downloadable Audiobook

Marianne Williamson, author/lecturer. She has too many books to link to here, but the most recent is: A Politics of Love: A Handbook For a New American Revolution

Andrew Yang, entrepreneur

The War On Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future | eBook

Smart People Should Build Things: How To Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path For Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America

Happy reading!

For information on voting in Arlington, including how to register to vote, visit the Town’s Elections & Voting page.

Posted in Books | Tagged | Leave a comment

Summer Reading for Kids, Teens and Adults at Arlington’s Libraries

Summer is coming, and here at the library we have the perfect prescription for long summer days: summer reading for everyone!  At the Robbins and Fox libraries, we’ll be celebrating the joys of summer reading with special programs for kids, teens, and adults all summer long.

Summer reading programs for children are a library mainstay.  Pam Watts-Flavin, Head of Children’s Services at the Robbins Library, notes, “Research shows that Summer Reading is important to continue growth in reading from year to year.”  For Watts-Flavin, keeping Summer Reading fun is equally important, “For us, the Summer Reading program is also all about fabulous fun!” Summer Reading at the library is designed to be a non-competitive program that encourages kids of ALL ages (plus their families) to read for fun throughout the summer months.  

For kids, Summer Reading kicks off on June 15 at 10:00 am with “A Universe of Stories!”  Children aged 0-14 are invited to sign up for Summer reading, pick up a free book, play games, blow bubbles, eat a popsicle, have your face painted and more in the Robbins Library Community Room.  

Kids who sign up for summer reading at either the Robbins or Fox library choose a free book to keep.  Kids then track reading hours with a bookmark chart. Readers return completed charts to the libraries, are invited to  put shapes on the walls, and vote for the libraries’ end-of-summer movie. Special summer programs for kids are listed on the libraries website and the Round Robbins newsletter, available at both library locations.  

Summer reading programs for teens and adults give everyone in the community a chance to join in on the fun. Teens and adults who sign up for library Summer Reading can pick up a Summer Reading Bingo Card starting on June 13.  For each Bingo square completed, teens and adults receive raffle tickets to enter in one of our great Summer Reading raffles.  

Summer Reading is a great way to bring back the joy of reading to teenagers who may have felt more stifled in their reading selections during the school year. Not only do they get to read WHATEVER; they get to be rewarded for it too!,” Katy Kania, head of Teen Services.

Bingo cards for Teens are filled with fun challenges like “Download the Libby app” for access to e-books and downloadable audiobooks from the library and “Reduce light pollution, turn off ALL electronics for one night.”   

Head of Adult Services Linda Dyndiuk says of the Adult Bingo cards, “We tried to include a variety of activities that people can do to earn raffle tickets, ones that will push them outside their comfort zone and hopefully introduce them to library collections and programs they didn’t know about. Having a summer reading program for adults as well as teens and kids means that the whole family can take part, and learn and grow together.”  

Adult  will see challenges that range from “Read About Women’s Contributions to Space Exploration,” to less library focused topics like “Train like an astronaut and do 20 mins of exercise 3x in 1 week.”  

Adult raffle prizes include items like Museum of Science planetarium tickets, a telescope, space-themed books, a Lush gift basket and gift card for a massage, and many more. Teen Prizes range from Room Decor with an Alien Head Lava Lamp to a drawing tablet or brand new stack of graphic novels.

With something for everyone, summer reading is bound to be fun for all in Arlington.  In the words of Hermione Granger, “When in doubt, go to the library!”

Posted in Summer Reading | 1 Comment

NSYA Book Group Meeting – Reminder (June 17)

32571395The next NSYA book group meeting will take place Monday, June 17 at 7pm in Robbins Library’s conference room (4th floor). We’ll be discussing One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Copies of the next book, Empress of a thousand skies by Rhoda Belleza, are on their way and will be available to pick up after the meeting.

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