Message to the Marblehead Community from the Abbot Public Library – Current and Upcoming Services

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As we begin our third month offering curbside pickup service, as a way for patrons to safely borrow books, DVDs and other tangible items from our collections, we have been gratified by your very positive response to this structured individualized service. Most recently, funds generously provided by the Friends of Abbot Library have allowed us to add a new online system, to our curbside service, providing the ease and convenience of scheduling your pickup time, yourself, online. 

Looking ahead, health and safety priorities for both patrons and staff, in the new world of COVID-19, will continue to guide all our decisions regarding the introduction of in-building services. We envision this process as gradual and selective, to include browsing of newly acquired materials, access to computers and printers, and availability of copiers – all by individual appointment. We are eager to open our doors to you and are working hard to prepare our spaces and design procedures to safely offer these services, while continuing our curbside service in a more sheltered setting, as the weather turns cooler.

The date we reopen for in-building services (which will be by appointment only) will depend on the timetable for two major projects being undertaken to protect the health of patrons and staff.

We expect that our building will be ready for initial in-building services in the second half of October. The actual date will be largely dependent upon the timetable for two major projects being undertaken to protect the health of patrons and staff. One project is the fabrication and installation of plexiglass enclosures for all four of our public service areas. The second is the thorough cleaning of the library’s air circulation duct system, which will significantly improve both air flow and air quality. 

To help us in making sure that we use our limited resources to best match our users’ service priorities, we have created a survey for you to give us your input. You will be able to access this survey via the link on our websitewww.abbotlibrary.org — as an attachment to the email being sent to all our active Marblehead cardholders, and, in paper format, in our curbside service location at the back entrance to the Library. Please take a few minutes to complete and return our survey. Your valued responses will guide us, as we move forward! 

We sincerely thank you for your patience and support as we reshape our services to meet your needs, in this unprecedented time.

What’s Brewing for International Coffee Day?

Today is International Coffee Day, and to help celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of some coffee-themed items you can reserve for Curbside Pickup or check out online in digital format through Overdrive/the Libby app or hoopla. You’ll find fun fiction titles set in coffee shops, caffeinated cozy mysteries, and even some books on the history of coffee and how to make your own at home! So sit back and relax with some coffeehouse or coffee-themed music from hoopla as you make and enjoy your cup o’ joe. 

When it comes to making your own craft coffee at home, it can be overwhelming just to figure out what equipment you need. Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home (which you can reserve in print format for Curbside Pickup or read as an ebook with no wait on hoopla) can help you figure that out, as well as what coffee to get and how to make it the way you want it every day. Treat yourself to a specialty coffee from one of the recipes in Coffee: The Ultimate Guide for The Coffee Lover. Or learn the science behind the bean in Lani Kingston’s How To Make Coffee. And if having tasty coffee isn’t enough, you can even make coffee-flavored treats to go with your morning brew. Pudding cups, waffles, coffee-braised ribs – these are just a few of the recipes in Cooking with Coffee by Brandi Evans. 

If you’re curious about coffee, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood’s The Coffee Dictionary: An A-Z of Coffee, From Growing & Roasting To Brewing & Tasting has everything in the alphabet you need to know about coffee! Learn about the techniques and equipment you can use to make it, and the beans and roasts to use. You can also learn about coffee from different places. Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour will reveal coffee experiences from espresso bars, plantation tours, urban roasteries, and cafes from 37 different countries around the world. Stop in New York with Erin Meister in New York City Coffee or Louisiana with Suzanne Stone for New Orleans Coffee. And if all of these titles make you want more, peruse the rest of the Coffee & Tea items on hoopla.

Would you like some murder with your coffee? Enjoy a nice cozy mystery as you drink your caffeinated or decaf delight. Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries begins with On What Grounds, in which coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi goes to work to find the assistant manager’s body in the back of the store. You can find many of the titles in regular print  or large print format to reserve for Curbside Pickup, or listen to the e-audiobooks right away on hoopla. 

If you’re not into murder mysteries, try the following fiction stories, which take place in coffee houses or relate to coffee in some way. In The Coffee Trader by David Liss, Miguel Lienzo partners with Geertruid Damhouder to introduce coffee to seventeenth-century Amsterdam. Sunny runs a coffee shop in Kabul in A Cup of Friendship by Deborah Rodriguez. Chelsea works at a run-down old-fashioned coffee shop after separating from her NFL superstar husband in Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café by Max Lucado, with Eric Newman and Candace Lee. Katherine Reay’s character purchases and remodels the local coffee shop in Of Literature and Lattes, available in ebook and e-audiobook format on hoopla.

Whether you take your coffee with sugar or literature, there are many ways you can celebrate this popular morning beverage!

Celebrate Your Freedom To Read With Banned Books Week!

Every year, certain books are challenged in public schools and libraries for a number of different reasons, including profanity, vulgarity, LGBTQIA+ content, references to magic and witchcraft, going against “family values/morals, being sensitive, controversial, or politically charged, and so on. In order to inform the public about this censorship, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top challenged books based on reports and media stories. 

566 books were targeted in 2019, and of those books the most challenged are listed below. You can check all of them out in at least one format from Abbot Public LIbrary, and many are in multiple physical or digital formats. Some even have movies or TV shows based on them, which you can reserve in DVD format for curbside pickup, currently with no charge! 

George by Alex Gino (print, Overdrive/Libby app ebook and e-audiobook, hoopla e-audiobook)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebook

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller (Overdrive/Libby app ebook and hoopla ebook)

Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth (print and hoopla ebook)

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis (print only)

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas (print only)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (regular print, large print, book on CD, related TV show Seasons 1-3, and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (print and Overdrive/Libby app ebooks)

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling:

All the Harry Potter books are also available on hoopla in different languages in ebook and audiobook format.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole (print and hoopla e-audiobook)

Celebrate your freedom to read what you choose by reserving the above titles for Curbside Pickup (please read about the process here for reserving titles and setting up an appointment to pick them up), or checking them out online through our digital services.

Find out more about Banned Books Week on the American Library Association website or the Banned Book Week website, including the history of Banned Books Week, virtual events taking place this week, the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books or the decade, and more! 

See It in September! New DVDs in the APL Collection

The whirl of back-to-school–under new circumstances–may have you in a bit of a post-summer tizzy. If so, you may want to set aside a bit of time for cinematic self-care with one or more of the Abbot Public Library’s brand-new DVDs. They’re currently fee-free, and you can check them out for two weeks (with renewals if there are no other patrons waiting), so if a demanding autumn schedule upends your movie-night plans, no need to stress!

Latest in are 17 recently-released titles that span the genres: documentary to docudrama,  romance to comedy, action/thriller to road-trip feature. Here’s hoping that our unique list, See It in September, will offer plenty to entertain you. You’ll be linked directly to the catalog, where you can place your holds right away!

If jazz is your beat, you’re in for a very special treat. Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool collects the artist’s music, home movies, manuscripts, and paintings for a close-up new look at his life. For timely social justice-themed films, The Infiltrators and Burden offer challenging perspectives on U.S. border detainment and the power of friendship and radical transformation across a racial divide.

Crowd pleaser The High Note explores themes of family, women’s ambition, and romance, all wrapped up in a fantastic soundtrack propelled by Tracee Ellis Ross. For another music-lover’s gem, have a look at Military Wives, a comic tribute to women’s resilience and friendship, with the brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas in the lead role. The pleasures of travel and a droll male friendship will also delight, as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon take you on a Trip to Greece. (Oh, and if you enjoy that, try the duo’s Trip to Italy and Trip to Spain, also ready for you at the Abbot Public Library!)

Recent weather events may draw you to the hurricane-related thriller Force of Nature, starring Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth, and Mel Gibson, while The Outpost spins a classic David-and-Goliath tale into a thriller pitting a few American soldiers against the ferocity of the Taliban militants.

If you’re in the mood for something quieter and more contemplative, you’ll also want to see the father-son road trip in Ireland that is End of Sentence, a film of reconciliation that has pleased critics and the public alike. If nothing else, the scenery will enchant you!

Once you’ve made your selections, placed your holds, and received notification that your holds are ready to pick up, visit this page or give us a call at 781-631-1481 to schedule your curbside pickup appointment

Happy viewing!

Check Out Our Lineup of Virtual Programs for October 2020!

In case you missed it on the Abbot Public Library’s website or Facebook page, our October 2020 calendar of virtual events has been revealed! This month, you can look forward to the continuation of many of our regular events, including the monthly Poetry Salon (this month featuring Major Jackson) and Story Time Yoga with Lindsey Kravitz; the weekly Songs with Spencer and Story Time A-Go-Go (see the latest video of each below); and the bi-monthly Music with Dara!

In October, you can also look forward to the return of the Teen Advisory Group, for teens in grades 7-12, which will continue on Discord! Teens will need their own library card to register for this program through our online registration service. If you do not have a library card in your name, email the Teen Librarian at marteen@noblenet.org or call her at 781-631-1481, Ext. 218 to find out how to get one. On the afternoon of Monday, October 19th, you’ll also be able to hear the Teen Librarian give reading suggestions on YouTube for ya books to enjoy this fall!

We’ll also be working with the Swampscott Public Library and JCCNS to bring Medicare 101, presented by Scott Maibor, to Zoom! This free program will help those turning 65 to better understand the Medicare system.

All the programs are free, so please join us! Read more details about them on our website, where you will find the PDF version of the print calendar we will have available in the Curbside Pickup area.

Exploring Interlibrary Borrowing Services and How to Get the Most Out of Them

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a wonderful service and a great tool which allows you to get access not only to the collection owned by your local library, but also to the collections of other libraries within our library network, as well as numerous public and academic libraries within the state of Massachusetts and even beyond, in the far reaches all across the country.

If the item you wish to borrow is owned by the Abbot Public Library or any other library within our NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange) network, it can be very easily requested by placing a hold on it through the online account

If you do not have an online account and would like to open one, all you need is your library card and a temporary password. A temporary (initial) password can be requested over the phone by calling the Abbot Public Library’s Reference Desk during service hours at 781-631-1481 – you can change it later after you log into your new account.

When you perform a catalog search, you will see multiple editions of the same title – usually, a choice between a paperback or hardcover, a print copy or an electronic book, etc.

  • First, make sure you are requesting the title in the desired format (audiobook vs ebook vs print copy).
  • Next, try to see if the Abbot Public Library owns a copy, or if there exist multiple copies of the title owned by various libraries. This will make your chances of acquiring an item much better.

You are also able to request items through the Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat), which bands together collections of many libraries in our state.

  • While it seems like going through the Commonwealth Catalog to find and request an item would be the easiest solution, it should actually be done only after a NOBLE search has been exhausted. If an item, found and requested through the ComCat, exists within NOBLE, the ComCat hold will be automatically cancelled and will – eventually – need to be placed through the local network. 
  • The same goes for the very recently published books (less than 3-6 months) and especially popular items on big demand.
  • If a popular item with a future publication date does not yet appear in the NOBLE catalog but is listed in the ComCat, it is better to suggest the purchase to the local library, rather than placing a hold in ComCat.  The library might be very much in favor of purchasing the item and circulating it. Meanwhile, an in-demand item, constantly requested through the ComCat, will not be made available to external libraries until first, the library that owns it has exhausted its own demand, and secondly, the network that the library belongs to has satisfied the demand, as well. Therefore, a ComCat hold on a popular item will result in a very long wait.
  • It is entirely possible that an item is so rare that it is owned only by a few libraries in the country, and neither the local network, nor the state-wide catalog system is able to locate it. Despair not: a team of ILL librarians at the Massachusetts Library System are able to search catalogs across the country.  The mediated ILL needs to be requested at the local library by the library staff. 
  • Whatever you are searching for, library staff are always happy to request items for you through any of the ILL services – please call us during service hours at 781-631-1481 or email us at mar@noblenet.org

If you would like to conduct a search yourself, please do not hesitate to ask us any questions and we will assist you!

Celebrate Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week!

Hobbit Day started in 1978 and was chosen to be September 22nd, the date referenced in The Hobbit and The Lord of the RIngs as being the birthdate of both the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Tolkien Week – a celebration of both J. R. R. Tolkien and his son and editor, Christopher J. R. Tolkien – takes place through the whole calendar week of Hobbit Day, which this year would fall from Sunday, September 20th through Saturday, September 26th.

In honor of this Middle Earthian Celebration, we invite you to check out Tolkein’s books (in physical or digital formats) as well as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies (which currently have no check out fee)! You’ll also find some other hobbit and LOTR-related items which can teach you more about Middle Earth and the brave creatures therein.

Tolkien’s Tales of Middle Earth 

The Hobbit (print copies and annotated version, book on CD, Overdrive ebooks and e-audiobooks, and hoopla ebook and e-audiobook)

The Fellowship of the Ring (print copies, Overdrive ebooks and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

The Two Towers (print copies, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

The Return of the King (print copies, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

Bilbo’s Last Song (print and ebook)

The Silmarillion (print and ebook)

The Fall of Gondolin

Narn i chîn Húrin : the Tale of the Children of Húrin  

The Book of Lost Tales: Part One (print and ebook)

The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two (print and ebook)

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth (print and ebook)

The Lost Road and Other Writings: Language and Legend Before ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movies and Music

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Check out the music from or inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on hoopla!

Other Books By Tolkein

Beowulf (print and ebook

The Fall of Arthur (print, Overdrive ebook, and hoopla ebook)

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (print and ebook)

Letters from Father Christmas

Tales From The Perilous Realm 

The Lay Of Aotrou & Itroun 

The Story of Kullervo 

A Rare Recording Of J.R.R. Tolkien

Check out all the books by J. R. R. Tolkien in the library catalog, Overdrive, and hoopla. Hoopla also has a multitude of Tolkien biographies and materials about hobbits, which include trivia books, reader’s companions, literary criticisms, and more!

Face the Music: September is Classical Music Month on hoopla!

We’re past Labor Day Weekend now, and autumn is in the air. For some of us, the transition may bring back memories of previous Boston Symphony Orchestra seasons, which typically begin in September. But while the concert hall may be dark this fall, the music hasn’t stopped. Not only is there much to sample on the BSO at Home website, but one of hoopla’s latest collections will be music to your ears!

With its Classical Music Month collection, hoopla offers everything from themed compilations to acclaimed artists’ recordings to child-friendly albums. You’ll find the top 100 or top 40 cello classics, songs from musicals, and “most relaxing” pieces. If your chief goal is stress relief, then Classical Music for Relaxation (featuring Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin) might fit the bill. You can thrill to the best of the best with recordings from the likes of superstar pianist Lang Lang, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist Hilary Hahn. If you or your little one is having trouble drifting off to dreamland, press play for Beethoven at Bedtime: A Gentle Prelude to Sleep. Or perhaps you’d like to share some creative downtime with the kids. If so, the rather unique album Color Me Classical: Calming Classics for Coloring can help you get into the flow!

For opera buffs, there are a few fabulous albums to take you to another world for a while. Bask in Diana Damrau’s rich coloratura soprano performances, Andrea Bocelli’s Passione, and the late, great Luciano Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits. And if you’d like a helping of pop with your classical, consider a couple of crossover titles: Classical Beatles with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which features many of the greats (“Michelle,” “Hey Jude,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” to name a few), and Sarah Brightman’s A Winter Symphony

By the way, once you’ve found an artist that you love, you can always click on the hyperlinked name and get a collection of his/her available albums. And don’t forget that hoopla offers at least 23,860 classical titles, so you should never be at a loss for inspiring listening!

If you’re new to hoopla, please do have a look at our FAQs section to get started. Need a Marblehead library card? You can go here to get one!

Check out These Books From the 2020 Salem Lit Festival!

It’s one thing to read a good book. It’s another to hear an author talk about it, especially from the comfort of their own home. If you attended this past weekend’s virtual Salem Lit Fest and want to read the books you heard about, never fear! Abbot Public Library has many of the books by the authors who presented programs, and many of the ones we don’t have can be reserved from other libraries. See what authors and moderators participated in the festival, and if you missed any of the programs, many of them have been posted on Salem Lit Fest’s Facebook page.

As we move closer towards Halloween, and especially being a neighbor to Witch City, this may be a good time to start reading stories of witches and vampires. Rose Mortiz deals with family secrets and learning to understand her new powers in Zoraida Córdova’s Wayward Witch. More family secrets are revealed in The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. Immanuelle Moore’s family is disgraced by her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race, and so she does her best to behave in her puritanical society until she finds herself in the forbidden Darkwood, where four powerful witches were once chased and killed by the first prophet. Estranged family members can also be found in The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman. In order to save Four Paths, May Hawthorne is stepping up when no one else seems to be, seeking help from her despised father. This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling steps away from familial problems. Hannah and her girlfriend instead must face the Hunters who are hunting them down to steal their magic. If you prefer fangs to broomsticks, Vampires Never Get Old (previously mentioned in Our Favorite YA Vampire Stories) is a collection of vampire stories which includes one by Zoraida Córdova. 

Not long after Halloween is election day! In The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, when Marva Sheridan is voting for the first time, she sees someone denied his right to vote and does everything she can to help. The whole book takes place in a single day! Natalia Sylvester gets even closer to the candidates than the voting booth in Running. Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president and she sees the reality of his public life vs. his private life. For more political teen books, take a look at our Read. Think. Vote post. 

This is just a small sampling of all the wonderful authors who spoke last weekend. Below is a list of all the books from this year’s Salem Lit Fest which can be checked out from Abbot Public Library or one of our partner libraries. If you don’t see a book here that was featured in the Salem Lit Fest events, feel free to contact one of our Reference Librarians at mar@noblenet.org or at 781-631-1481 (please only call during Curbside Pickup Service Hours). 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

 TEEN BOOKS

ADULT BOOKS 

What’s New in Nonfiction Books: History

Recently, many distinguished, interesting, or even outstanding nonfiction books have been published; books that received starred reviews in leading newspapers and captured readers’ interest.

Here are some of the latest library acquisitions of history books.

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson is one of those books that is both hailed by the critics and also has attracted numerous readers.

Deeply researched, the book explores and examines the American caste system that has shaped the country through its history and demonstrates the effects of the system on the country’s culture and politics. You can read a splendid review in The New York Times.

Reserve the print book or book on CD for Curbside Pickup, or the ebook or audiobook on Overdrive.

Isabel Wilkerson is also the author of The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize. Publication of Caste revived an interest in her previous work and placed The Warmth of Other Suns on hold shelves again.

Reserve the print book or Playaway (audio format) for Curbside Pickup, or read the ebook on Overdrive. 

also available as a hoopla audiobook

Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein (in print and ebook format) is another book on American history. This is the fourth book by the author, which concludes a saga about the rise of conservatism in modern American politics. The others that come before it are Before the Storm (print and hoopla audiobook), Nixonland, and The Invisible Bridge. The author examines the four years of the Carter administration (1976-1980), and shows how that time period created a Launchpad for conservatism that is still alive today. The New York Times reviewed the book.

The 20TH Annual Massachusetts Book Awards were recently announced, and the books below received nonfiction Honors:

American Radicals: How 19th-Century Protest Shaped the Nation by Holly Jackson explores the turbulent history of the nineteenth-century political activism and activists. Many names are forgotten today, but those people were influential in their time, and their work is associated with reformers such as Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Cody Stanton.

The book was named one of Ten Best History Books of 2019. Check it out in ebook or audiobook format. 

Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter by Kerri K. Greenidge is a very well researched, meticulously documented, and well-written biography of William Monroe Trotter, a Harvard-educated Black radical, and the founder, editor, and publisher of the weekly Boston Guardian that launched in 1901. Written by a Tufts University professor, the book offers a fresh perspective on African-American history.

Check out Black Radical in print, Overdrive ebook, Overdrive audiobook, or hoopla ebook

And here is yet another history book, which explores a fascinating subject: the history of hurricanes.

It is a particular pleasure to introduce this book, written by Eric Dolin, who is a successful nonfiction writer and resident of Marblehead. The Abbot Public Library has hosted several of his book presentations, including talks about his books Black Flags, Blue Waters and Brilliant Beacons.

A Furious Sky is Dolin’s latest book, which earned him very positive reviews, including from The New York Times. The author chronicles the history of American hurricanes from the 16th century through 2017, discusses their nature, and traces the development of hurricane science. He reflects on the American history and shows how hurricanes impacted it.

Reserve A Furious Sky in print, book on CD, or ebook format. He will be speaking about this book at the local Jewish Book Month, sponsored by the JCCNS, which will be held online starting on Tuesday, October 6th!

Other books by Eric Dolin include:

All books are available in print format or digital, very frequently both. Browse Dolin’s books in the library catalog or on Overdrive or hoopla

The library’s digital nonfiction collection has grown significantly in the last few years, and even more so in the past 6 months. You can access the collection through Overdrive/Libby or hoopla with your library card.

Currently, almost every book published on paper is also available in digital format, as the library strives to satisfy public demand, and purchase books to appease diverse tastes and interests.

If you have a choice between print and digital formats, please know that digital books circulate much faster, since they cannot be kept overdue, and do not need to be quarantined. You can reserve print books to pick up in our Curbside Service – please read our instructions carefully about how to reserve titles and set up an appointment once all your items come in.