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

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Virtual Rock & Roll’s 65th Birthday Celebration with Craig Harris: Thursday, June 4 at 7 p.m. Enjoy the golden days of groundbreaking music. Percussionist Craig Harris will guide you through this fun, fast-paced, 90-minute-plus program of archival audio tracks, rare video clips, behind-the-scenes stories, singing and music-making. Relive the days of rockabilly rebellion and street corner harmony. This program will take place online.  For details and registration, email Sarah Regan at [email protected]

Fresh and Fun on the Youth Services Facebook Page: Some highlights of the week include “Blackout Poetry” with Miss Kate, Storytime with Miss Ellen and Bernie (her adorable dog) – “Polar Bear’s Underwear”, Storytime with Miss Jennifer – “Mr. Pusskins”, Miss Jackie and Miss Nancy read “We Are in a Book”, and Miss Nancy reads Chapter 4 Part 2 from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. There are many other stories and activities available to you each week. 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 20 from 3-4:30 p.m. for “Successful Video Interviewing” with Cheryl Landes. For many candidates, video interviewing feels more challenging. With some preparation and awareness of the differences between interacting by video and other interview methods, candidates can be successful and land a job. In this webinar, Cheryl Landes will share tips from her experiences in video interviewing, along with advice from professional recruiters about how to succeed in this new interviewing medium. Cheryl Landes is a full-time freelance technical communications consultant. Virtual programs 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.

Virtual Book Club Meeting: The Monday Mystery Book Club will be meeting via Zoom on Monday, May 18 at 10:30 a.m.to discuss The Crossing Place by Elly Griffiths. E-book copies are available for download through Hoopla. Please note that we are meeting one week early due to the Memorial Day holiday. If you are interested in participating or you would like more information, please contact Sarah Regan.

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

Melissa’s Picks: Hope springs eternal! Are you looking for a positive pick-me-up? Try one (or ten!) of these titles that are all looking up! All of these materials are available (with no wait!) on Hoopla.

The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang (e-book): Everything falls apart for Charles Wang when he goes bankrupt. Join the Wang family on a cross country road trip as they try and put the pieces back together.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (e-book): The true story of a young man’s quest to give his community access to electricity and running water.

Departures (television show): Travel the world in search of different life-outlooks with friends, Scott and Justin.

Richard Simmons: Boogie Down the Pounds (movie): Why not get, up, move around and dance it out?!

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (e-book): It may be the end of the world, but love and friendship conquer all in this humorous modern classic.

RBG (movie): Explore the inspiring story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life.

Glass and Gardens by Sarena Ulibarri (e-book): Dip your toes into a positive outlook on the future through this anthology of science fiction stories.

The Art of Happiness at Work by Dalai Lama XVI and Howard C. Cutler (audiobook): “Work” is a difficult topic to navigate at the moment for many reasons. Give a listen to The Art Of Happiness At Work to try and make some sense of it all.

Amelie (movie): Amelie loves to make other people happy; maybe one day she will find the happiness that she, herself, deserves.

How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery (audiobook): Explore empathy through animals in Sy Montgomery’s memoir.

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.

I Am Big Bird: Just about everyone in the world knows who Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are. Everyone doesn’t know the story of Caroll Spinney, the man behind these characters. I Am Big Bird which is currently on Kanopy is a fascinating biography. Caroll’s mother was an influencing artist who built him his first puppet theater. His father was an unhappy man who had a violent temper. Because he was often the target of the violence, Caroll left home early joining the Air Force. After leaving the military at 23, he had his first job as a character on the Bozo the Clown show with Boston’s Frank Avruch. Soon after, in August of 1969, he had a chance meeting with Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets who invited him to work on his new show Sesame Street. There wasn’t much to do on the set, at first, as Big Bird/Oscar weren’t introduced yet, so Caroll became Ernie’s (as in Bert & Ernie) right hand man…quite literally. Apparently it took two puppeteers to control Ernie’s character. I enjoyed listening to various coworkers and friends (such as puppeteer Frank Oz & Jane Henson) recalling memories of this iconic man, as well as seeing vintage footage of Caroll at work. I highly recommend this title.

Young Adult Reading Recommendations: Our Young Adult Librarian, Kate, recommends the following audiobooks and e-books available on Hoopla and Overdrive for YA readers.

Audiobooks on Hoopla:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – The first book in an awesome adventure/science fiction series with a really wonderful narrator! The story starts on a planet reminiscent of earth where a (not-so-rag-tag) group of teenagers go up against internal government corruption as well as an invading alien force.

Divergent by Veronica Roth – I haven’t read this series but it’s definitely a go-to for Hunger Games fans.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – (the e-book is also available) This one would be my top pick for high school as it’s a little darker than even The Hunger Games. The Premise: How would history play out if the American Civil War sparked a zombie plague? Smart, thrilling, and intense, with as much political intrigue as zombie-fighting, Dread Nation is especially good as an audiobook.

Overdrive Audiobooks: 

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo  (the e-book is also available)- My #1 pick from Overdrive and #2 pick overall! This is an awesome adventure with some sci-fi and some superpowers/magic. The main characters are a teenage Diana (Wonder Woman) and Alia, a regular (or so she seems) kid from our world. They travel from Themyscira to NYC to Greece to save the planet from launching WWIII. Great narrator and the perfect mix of funny and serious.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer – Set in what seems like a utopia (but obviously isn’t or it wouldn’t make a very interesting book), the protagonist learns that his identity is not at all what he imagined. More sci-fi than adventure, but always on my suggestion list because it’s just so good. #3 suggestion overall.   

Legend by Marie Lu (also available as an e-book) – I haven’t read this but it’s been recommended to me by middle school kids twice this year so it’s on my list!

Overdrive e-Books:

The Giver by Lois Lowry  (also available as an audiobook)– The classic dystopia-disguised-as-utopia-set-on-earth-in-the-near-future book. More mystery than adventure but a quick, intriguing, read. The Giver hangs not on apocalypse but on individual choice: quietly rebel or live as the only one who knows the truth.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – The Maze Runner is cool, because unlike a lot of teen sci-fi, the protagonist knows from the outset that he is in some sort of post-apocalyptic world but even by the end of book one he never figures out the why/what/where.

Scythe by Neal Schusterman – The must-read sci-fi/dystopia series of the moment. Perfect for middle school, high school, and adult readers.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld – I haven’t read this series myself but I’ve had it recommended to me by kids who like The Hunger Games.

Hoopla e-book:

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge – Mystery, adventure, magic in a world that is truly unique. The protagonist lives in an underground city where expressions don’t show on people’s faces – except hers. She has to figure our how to keep herself safe when everyone can see what she’s feeling, and when some people think she’s too dangerous to live. This one will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Friends June Book Sale Canceled: For the health and safety of our customers and volunteers, we have made the decision to cancel our June Used Book Sale. We hope to see you all at our next scheduled book sale in October. Thank you for your continued support of the Friends of the J.V. Fletcher Library!

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 http://www.westfordlibrary.org or email us at [email protected]