Learn To Be Healthy In The New Year!

Being healthy is always one of the top New Year’s Resolutions every year. Abbot Public Library has items in digital and physical formats that can help you become mentally and physically healthier in the New Year!

Overdrive’s Health & Fitness Collection has ebooks, e-audiobooks, and downloadable magazines for children, teens, and adults about eating healthier, exercising, and living a healthier life. 

Kids can learn about the current pandemic in Coronavirus: A Book for Children written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts; and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book explains in a way for children to understand how you can catch coronavirus, if there is a cure, and more about the disease that has spread across the world during this past year. In Megan Borgert-Spaniol’s and Lauren Kukla’s ebook Crafting Calm, exercises, quizzes, crafts, and activities help children improve their emotional intelligence, boost their self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and help them connect with the world around them. My First Cookbook is a fun way for children ages 5-8 to begin learning how to cook with fun food projects they can do with their families! 

Meik Wiking’s New York Times Bestseller, The Little Book of Hygge, is a guide that explores the Danish concept of living a happier life with a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. Get inspired to find your reason for living in the international bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, for which the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds. Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. is one of the Health and Fitness books on Overdrive that can help you lose weight, sharpen your memory, and do more to make your mind and body healthier.

If you want more than what Overdrive’s collection can offer, try some of the 8,000+ titles in hoopla’s Health & Fitness ebooks collection. You’ll find some of the same titles on Overdrive plus some different titles, with many sub categories to choose from, including Diet & Nutrition, Exercise, Yoga, and Tai Chi. Learn how to make medicine with herbs and plants in Marysia Miernowska’s The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary. Figure out What to Eat When in the ebook by Michael Crupain, Michael F. Roizen, M. D., and Ted Spiker. Discover different yoga poses and how to accept your body in Jessamyn Stanley’s Every Body Yoga.

And if all these ebook titles aren’t enough, check out the Health & Fitness movies on hoopla, including the Yoga for Health with Jenny Cornero series, Kung Fu for Kids, A Healthy Diet For A Healthy Brain, In Defense of Food, and more! You can also stream video lectures with The Great Courses. Learn about everything from cooking with vegetables and making healthy food taste great to yoga, how to boost your physical and mental energy, and essentials of strength training,  as well as other interesting subjects related to being healthy. 

For those who prefer physical titles, reserve exercise books, and DVDs; health magazines, books, and DVDs, and more on you NOBLE account for Curbside Pickup! If you need help finding materials on a specific subject, feel free to contact a Reference Librarian at mar@noblenet.org or by calling 781-631-1481. 

Curbside Pickup: Hours and Service Instructions


Abbot Public Library currently offers a no-contact curbside pickup service, by appointment only. REVISED Curbside Pickup Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Wednesday mornings from 10:00 am – Noon, and Saturdays from 9:30 am – Noon & 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

Please note that the Curbside Service is constantly being updated to better serve you, so please always read the instructions carefully, both here and on the online registration, to stay current with procedures.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. You will be able to place holds through your online account at evergreen.noblenet.org. If you are having difficulty placing holds online, please contact the library at (781) 631-1481 during Curbside Service Hours (see above) or email us at mar@noblenet.org. If you need to register for a library card, please fill out this online form and a staff member will be in contact with you.
  2. Items that are available in Marblehead will be pulled within 48 hours of their request. Due to delays in interlibrary delivery service, some items will take longer to become available.
  3. When your holds are ready, you will receive a notification, via text, email, or phone call, according to your preference, from the library. To change your notification settings go to Account Preferences > Notification Preferences on your online account.
  4. Once you have received a notice that your items are available, please schedule an appointment to pick up your items.

    Appointments can be scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm and Saturdays from 9:30 am – Noon & 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm. We ask that you wait until the library has notified you that your requested items are available before scheduling a pickup appointment.
    1. Call the library at (781) 631-1481 during service hours to schedule a pickup time. 
    2. Register online with our new software, courtesy of the Friends of Abbot Library!

      If you receive email notifications, simply click on the registration link in your notice to be brought to our events calendar, or you can visit the library’s website and click on the “Curbside Pick-Up” button.

      On the registration calendar, choose the time slot that works best for you and hit “Register.” Please read the instructions carefully (they are subject to change) and fill out the registration form as completely as possible. Once you have submitted the form, you will receive an email confirming your appointment time. Should you need to cancel your appointment, it’s as easy as clicking on the cancellation link in your confirmation email.
  5. Please come to the library at your appointment time, to receive your items. Please wear a mask and follow social distancing protocols during pickup, as a safety measure to benefit all.

    Items will be in paper bags labelled with your last name, on a cart by the rear entrance, through the parking lot. Since this is a no-contact service, staff will not be outside. Items will already be checked out to you in advance and have a due date slip, so feel free to grab your bag and go! 

Please only return items to a book return, located in front of the library on Pleasant Street, or near the rear entrance by the Maverick Street parking lot. 

ABOVE: Library Returns out front
RIGHT: Library Return by rear entrance


We are delighted to be able to offer curbside pickup service, as a way for patrons to borrow tangible items again! Please continue to check our website, Facebook page, or the Abbot Public Library Blog for updates to curbside pickup or returns procedures and hours. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time for library services, and we look forward to serving you!

History of Pandemics and Medicine

Sometimes the best way to learn about something is to study the history of it. And in this time of quarantine and social distancing, the history of pandemics and medicine may be one to catch your interest. So, if this applies to you, check out some of the YA titles below. The physical copies of these books can be reserved for Curbside Pickup. Please carefully read the instructions about this service to receive print books and other tangible library materials. 

*All book descriptions are from the publisher.

Very, Very, Very Dreadful by Albert Marrin

In spring of 1918, World War I was underway, and troops at Fort Riley, Kansas, found themselves felled by influenza. By the summer of 1918, the second wave struck as a highly contagious and lethal epidemic and within weeks exploded into a pandemic, an illness that travels rapidly from one continent to another. It would impact the course of the war, and kill many millions more soldiers than warfare itself.

Of all diseases, the 1918 flu was by far the worst that has ever afflicted humankind; not even the Black Death of the Middle Ages comes close in terms of the number of lives it took. No war, no natural disaster, no famine has claimed so many. In the space of eighteen months in 1918-1919, about 500 million people—one-third of the global population at the time—came down with influenza. The exact total of lives lost will never be known, but the best estimate is between 50 and 100 million.

In this powerful book, filled with black and white photographs, nonfiction master Albert Marrin examines the history, science, and impact of this great scourge—and the possibility for another worldwide pandemic today.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook and physical book.

Vaccination Investigation by Tara Haelle

Vaccines are biological substances that cause the human immune system to build up its defenses against specific diseases. Public health officials recommend a series of vaccines for all children, as well as some vaccines for teenagers and adults. But not everyone gets the vaccines they need. Many poor nations don’t have the resources to deliver vaccines to every community. Some parents refuse to have their children vaccinated because they don’t believe the evidence proving that vaccines are safe.

The effort to wipe out diseases using vaccines continues. Vaccine Investigation recounts the fascinating history of vaccines, their important role in protecting community health, and the excitement of cutting-edge research.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, hoopla ebook, and physical book.

Pandemic: How Climate, the Environment, and Superbugs Increase the Risk by Connie Goldsmith

How close are we to having another worldwide health crisis? Epidemiologists predict that another pandemic is coming—one that could kill hundreds of millions of people. Learn about factors that contribute to the spread of disease by examining past pandemics and epidemics. Examine case studies of potential pandemic diseases, and discover how scientists strive to contain and control the spread of disease both locally and globally. See how human activities such as global air travel and the disruption of animal habitats contribute to the risk of a new pandemic. And investigate the challenges we face with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and mutating viruses. Can scientists control the spread of disease and prevent the next pandemic?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, hoopla ebook, and physical book

For the Good of Mankind? By Vicki Oransky Wittenstein

Experiment: A child is deliberately infected with the deadly smallpox disease without his parents’ informed consent. Result: The world’s first vaccine.

Experiment: A slave woman is forced to undergo more than thirty operations without anesthesia. Result: The beginnings of modern gynecology.

Incidents like these paved the way for crucial, lifesaving medical discoveries. But they also harmed and humiliated their test subjects. How do doctors balance the need to test new medicines and procedures with their ethical duty to protect the rights of humans? Take a journey through some of history’s greatest medical advances—and its most horrifying medical atrocities—to discover how human suffering has gone hand in hand with medical advancement.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook and hoopla ebook

Outbreak! By Bryn Barnard

Did the Black Death destroy medieval Europe? Did cholera pave the way for modern Manhattan? Did yellow fever help end the slave trade? Remarkably, the answer to all of these questions is yes. Time and again, diseases have impacted the course of human history in surprisingly powerful ways. From influenza to smallpox, from tuberculosis to yellow fever, Bryn Barnard describes the symptoms and paths of the world’s worst diseases—and how the epidemics they spawned have changed history forever.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook.

Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge: The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine by J. Marin Younker

Riots over the medical use of cadavers. Public access to institutions for the insane. And full-blown surgeries without the aid of anesthetics or painkillers. Welcome to the middle ages of American medicine. Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge exposes the extraordinary practices and major players of American medical history, from the colonial era to the late 1800s. It’s hard to believe that today’s cutting-edge medicine originated from such crude beginnings, but this book reminds us to be grateful for today’s medical care, while also raising the question: what current medical practices will be the horrors of tomorrow?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook, hoopla ebook, and physical book.

The Pull of the Stars: An LGBT Novel in the Time of a Pandemic

Start placing your holds now for this highly reviewed story of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love in a maternity ward in 1918 Dublin.

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders — Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumored Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

This title is coming soon to Libby & Overdrive! Begin placing your holds now; you don’t want to miss out!

Mental Health Awareness Month: Acknowledging Personal Struggle During Global Crisis

The month of May, designated Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949, gives us the opportunity to remember that well-being means mental as well as physical health. Most of us are feeling a bit more stressed and anxious than usual: what about those whose struggles are chronic or even life-long? Perhaps now is a good time to try to understand and empathize with the challenges faced by those suffering from long-stigmatized mental illnesses.

Our e-collections can support this quest! Two specially-curated collections in hoopla offer audio-visual perspective on some specific mental health issues, from bipolar disorder to eating disorders to manic depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder to schizophrenia and even postpartum depression. 2020 APL Mental Health Awareness Month: Audio offers a sample reading list from medical professionals, biographers, memoirists, and historians.

For a compelling autobiography written by a medical expert who, in the throes of fighting brain cancer, experienced symptoms similar to those suffered by dementia and schizophrenia patients, you might try the well-regarded book The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara K. Lipska. Talk about learning empathy from the inside out!

The companion film collection in hoopla (2020 APL Mental Health Awareness Month: Film) features a number of documentary approaches to mental illness. By observing and acknowledging others’ struggles with mental health, we can individually and collectively remove the age-old stigma and fear of “madness” and strive to make the world a kinder place for sufferers.

Some of the bravest and most affecting writing about mental illness comes from those who have been there themselves. Amazingly, some of these writers have been able to wring humor and hope from otherwise harrowing experiences. For searingly honest but strangely uplifting–and yes, even funny–listens, try Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things and the newly-released The Hilarious World of Depression by radio announcer and podcaster John Moe. Both audio titles are available in Overdrive/Libby.

And remember that your awareness and concern support those who might otherwise be suffering almost invisibly during these difficult times.

What’s New in Our Digital Resources

If you’ve scanned our digital resources recently, you may have seen a slight change in our list! While you’ve always been able to explore encyclopedic texts from each decade from the 1920s to the 1990s, you’re now able to go beyond the 80-year span in American history. 

Newly labeled as Salem Press in our Digital Resources tab, you have access to the Encyclopedia of American Immigration, Milestone Documents in American History, and information ranging from social justice, to pandemics, to treaties in the news. Salem Press also provides information in science and health for students and general readers alike!

Library card holders are able to access the essential coverage of all major aspects of the Earth’s solar system in a completely revised and updated way. For information on health, feel free to explore the 8th edition of Magill’s Medical Guide, or learn more topics on cancer, psychology, and mental health. Whether you have a research project or just want to learn, Salem Press might have the right information for you!

Poets, Poetry, and Film

Poetic expression often thrives in times of upheaval, as a means of mastering hardship and mustering hope. With that in mind, why not have a look at two library-curated collections of films available through hoopla that observe poets and poems doing just that: 2020 APL Poets, Poetry, & Film and 2020 APL Poets, Poetry, & TV? While poetry and film may seem to be unlikely bedfellows, you might well be amazed by how potent their artistic partnership can be!

History, culture, and sociopolitical issues often find expression in the poetic. Documentaries like O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War remind us that the tragedies of war and the consolations of poetry have always coexisted. Certain poets can come to embody historical eras, as is the case with the 12th-century polymath Hildegard von Bingen (Vision) and, more familiarly, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat movement in Howl. Themes of societal trauma and incarceration surface in Voices Beyond The Wall: Twelve Love Poems from The Murder Capital of The World and A Place to Stand.

Not surprisingly, a number of the films we’ve curated live at the intersections of poetry with biography or romance. Get to know the elusive Emily Dickinson in My Letter to the World or the larger-than-life Byron in a biopic starring Jonny Lee Miller. Explore relationships through a poetic lens with the suicidal lovers of Amour Fou or with former lovers awkwardly reunited in The Song of Lunch. Or just curl up and savor the romantic romp through iambic pentameter that is Shakespeare in Love.

This is just a sampling of the poetry-infused film collection available to explore on hoopla–we hope you’ll celebrate National Poetry Month with us there!