What’s Happening at the J.V. Fletcher Library

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New and Noteworthy on the Youth Services Facebook Page : Some highlights of the week include “Weave Yarn Flowers on Fork” with Miss Kate, Storytime with Miss Ellen and Bernie (her adorable dog) – “You Are (Not) Small”, Storytime with Miss Jennifer – “Lola at the Library”, Miss Jackie and Miss Nancy read “There’s a Bird on Your Head.”

The Youth Services Department has created a private Facebook page with story time videos, Arts and Crafts, and other activities for kids of all ages. Please feel free to tell your friends about us! On Facebook – search for J. V. Fletcher Library Youth Services Department – and send us a request to become a member.

Job Seekers Virtual Meeting: Join us on May 13 from 3-4:30 p.m. for “My Journey From the Corporate World to Self-Employment – Lessons For Your Job Search” with entrepreneur, Jack Wang. Virtual program will take place via zoom. To attend a WJS Meeting, please email Dina Kanabar at [email protected]. Attendees will receive a link to access the Zoom Meeting via email. Weekly topics may be found on our job seekers web page.

Ancestry.com Library Edition: With so many of us forced to spend more time inside, this could be the perfect time to tackle that genealogy project that you have been meaning to get to. The library has a subscription to the Ancestry.com Library Edition Search records from the U.S. census, military records, court, land, and probate records, vital and church records, passenger lists, and more all from the comfort of home. You will need your library card and pin numbers to access this database. If you need assistance, reach out to us at [email protected]

COVID-19 Digital Archive: The Library is collecting a digital archive of community members’ experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in real time. There are multiple ways you can participate and submit your experiences to this archive. Record and submit a daily digital journal, or submit photos, or both. A staff member will review your submissions and get back to you. Please be aware that all submitted journals and photos will be assumed submissions to the archive.

Virtual Book Club Meeting: The Thursday night Adult Book Club will be meeting via Zoom on Thursday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.to discuss I Was Told to Come Alone, by Souad Mekhennet Audiobook and e-book copies are available for download through Overdrive. If you are interested in participating or you would like more information, please contact Kristina Leedberg.

Staff Recommendations: Many of our patrons rely on our staff members, to make personalized reading recommendations for them. Each week we will highlight some of our digital titles available for downloading through Hoopla or Overdrive.

Lauren’s Pick: A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner (Listen to it on Hoopla. Read or listen to it on Overdrive.) This book tells a marvelous tale of a beautiful scarf covered with marigolds.  Two women, nurse Clara Wood and Taryn Michaels, who both encounter this scarf during two tragic events in New York City’s history and the stories of how the scarf changed their lives.  Clara is a nurse working in Manhattan who was in love with a man she meets on an elevator one day. On the day he was to show her his workplace he must grab the hand of a young worker at the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and jump to his death.  Now she wonders what might have been. She flees Manhattan and takes a nursing assignment on Ellis Island to care for the ill immigrants who arrive daily.  Here she meets a newlywed gentleman whose wife died on the passage from scarlet fever and now he too has the fever.  After she nurses him to health, he gifts her the scarf that once belonged to his wife.  Read how the scarf passes through history and winds up in the hands of a young widow of the events of Sept. 11 and all the twists it has been part of through time. 

Melissa’s Pick: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Read it or listen to it on Overdrive or Hoopla) Lovers of a modern mystery and a good, old fashioned whodunnit should definitely take a look at Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. This 500 pager may look long on the outside, but its length comes from the fact that it actually contains not one, but two mysteries between its covers. The story centers around an editor at a publishing company, Susan Ryeland, who is reading though the much anticipated new novel of the company’s most popular author, mystery writer Alan Conway. Conway’s manuscript, which is rendered in a classic whodunnit style, makes up the first half of the book before switching back to Susan’s point of view when an actual murder occurs. Susan notices some peculiar parallels between the manuscript and the real murder, and decides to play the part of detective to try to solve the crime. Magpie Murders has a leisurely start that feels very much like reading a book by Agatha Christie. The pace picks up once Susan is on the hunt for the real-life murderer, and a tempting breadcrumb-trail of clues will keep the reader turning pages until the dramatic climax. Anthony Horowitz does an exceptional job of capturing that small-English-village-murder feel, and it’s no surprise as he’s the individual who originally adapted the Chief Inspector Barnaby books by Caroline Graham for the Midsomer Murders television show.

Paula’s Pick: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman (Read or listen to it on Overdrive.) brings us back to the alternate world created by the author in the trilogy: His Dark Materials. Book of Dust is Book one of a new trilogy. In this book, a young boy, Malcolm from a local pub, the Trout, becomes fascinated with a mysterious baby, Lyra, who is being protected and hidden by nearby nuns. There is espionage and intrigue as well as danger and adventure in this absorbing fantasy. Malcolm is a true hero as he and his friend Alice fight and escape a relentless villain to bring baby Lyra to safety. Although rated for juvenile or young adults, be aware there are some dark allusions to sexual assault that may be more appropriate for more mature readers. The author is a master at fleshing out the primary and secondary characters. There was not a moment when I wasn’t rooting for Malcolm. I found the villain revolting and terrifying. Please consider this a must-read if you loved the “His Dark Materials” trilogy. The audio version with reader Michael Sheen really enhances the story as he meets the challenge of numerous characters’ unique voices. Very recommended.

Looking for more recommendations? Reach out to us at [email protected] or check out our Staff Recommendations page.

Kanopy Streaming Films with Carol: Have you tried Kanopy yet? Are you looking for recommendations of what to watch? If you visit our Fine Arts Desk, you have probably met Carol who is our go to for film recommendations. Below is one of her latest picks from the Kanopy collection.

The documentary Learning to See: the World of Insects isn’t so much about those insects, as it is about the photographer of those subjects. FilmmakerJake Oelman pays tribute to his father, Robert who had become disillusioned after spending 25 years as a Boston-based psychotherapist.  Robert had read Love in the Time of Cholera which inspired him to follow his instinct and move to Columbia in the early 90’s. It was there that he saw “spectacular things that exist on this Earth that we don’t know much about.” He invested in specialized photography equipment, hired one of the locals as an assistant and began the next few decades discovering nature up close. The likeable Robert takes us into the Jurassic-like rain forest where we see the various exotic, strange and beautiful specimens of the insect world.  Part of the purpose of this film is to get people interested in conservation.  “I’m using macro photography to magnify something that’s basically small,”  Robert explains, “If something is small, human beings can ignore it…and that’s a problem.”  This 70 minute film is available on Kanopy and I totally recommend it.

Still Serving You: While the Library remains closed to the public due to COVID-19, please know that Library staff continue to work remotely and are available to answer your questions. The best way to reach staff is through email at [email protected] Reach out to us if you need your card number or a new card to access our downloadable collections and services. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The J.V. Fletcher Library is located at 50 Main St., Westford. For more information, visit westfordlibrary.org or email us at [email protected].