Marblehead Racial Justice Team Will Be Hosting A New Conversations on Race Event This Monday, November 16th!

In the past, Abbot Public Library has teamed up with the Marblehead Racial Justice Team to bring our patrons a series of events, and we’re pleased to announce we’ve added a program, to take place Monday, November 17th, starting at 7:00 pm: Continuing Conversations on Race: What does it mean to “Do the Work?” 

You will be able to access the event on Zoom by clicking this link or by dialing +1 929 205 6099 from the New York Time Zone (for other time zones, click here to find the right number to dial) and enter the following Meeting ID: 463 613 7679. 

Find out more about the program in the description below!

Over the last few months there have been more and louder calls for us to “Do the Work.” But what is the work we can personally undertake? Our conversation will begin with a general discussion of the current state of racial justice in Marblehead and in Massachusetts and what work needs to be done. We will consider work to address systemic racism, both in our society and in ourselves.

Then, in smaller groups, we will discuss what our personal vision for racial justice is, and some actions we will take to advance that vision. To conclude, we will share our visions and actions, and perhaps we will hear some ideas that will prompt us to add a few more to our own lists.

Please join us for an invigorating conversation and some ideas to start “Doing the Work” for racial justice.

These ongoing conversations are a safe and welcoming place in which we explore our own privilege and biases, our questions, and continue to learn and grow by hearing each other’s stories so that we can best make a difference. It is a place for listening, conversation, and engagement.

Register Now For Our Virtual Pastel Painting Workshop!

“Snail Mail” by Janet Schwartz

You can now register for our limited virtual workshop, Fearless Pastel Painting with Janet Schwartz! Eight participants will be led by the presenter on Friday, November 20th through a two-hour workshop from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm using provided pastels. 

Register online here or by calling 781-631-1481, Ext. 201 during Curbside Pickup Hours (Mon-Fri 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm and Sat 9:30 am – Noon & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm). If you call in, please make sure you speak directly to a staff person so we cannot guarantee you a spot! After you register, you will receive information about how to pick up your free! pastel kit in our Curbside Pickup location, as well as how to access the event via Zoom (you will need a computer or iPad in order to participate). 

This program is funded by the generous support of the Marblehead Cultural Council. 

Read the full description of our event on our website or join the Facebook event!

Join Us On Zoom This Sunday To Discuss The Poetry Of Major Jackson!

Join us this weekend on Sunday, October 18th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm for this month’s Poetry Salon with Claire Keyes, featuring the poetry of Major Jackson! 

You can access this program on Zoom at 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 18th by clicking this link or by calling +1 929 205 6099 for the US (New York) time zone and entering the following:

Meeting ID: 945 9526 6387

Passcode: 636815

Please note: though we are offering an online program on this date, the Abbot Public Library remains CLOSED for Curbside Service on Sundays. Below is the full description of the program. We hope you can join us! 

On Sunday, October 18th, the Poetry Salon will convene in a Zoom session to discuss the poetry of Major Jackson, part of a series of discussions led by Claire Keyes on Black poetry in America. Major Jackson “makes poems that rumble and rock,says Dorianne Laux. He also makes poems that are quietly beautiful. While he has published five collections of poems, the Salon will focus on Roll Deep (2015), which you can reserve in print from the library catalog for Curbside Pickup.

Jackson was born and raised in Philadelphia and earned degrees from Temple University and the University of Oregon.  He is a professor of English at the University of Vermont and a graduate faculty member of the New York University Creative Writing Program.  Jackson serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review and has won numerous prizes and awards for his poetry, including a Guggenheim Fellowship. Afaa Weaver asserts that “Jackson knows the truth of black magic. It is a magic as simple as the belief in humanity that subverts racism, or the esoteric and mystical magic of making jazz, the music of hope and love.” Please join Claire Keyes and the Salon from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm on Zoom to discover more about this fascinating poet.

Our Monthly Poetry Salon Program Continues Online!

Many of Abbot Public Library’s programs are returning online, including our monthly Poetry Salon with Claire Keyes! Though we will be closed for Curbside Services on the day it is held, you can join us on Sunday, September 20th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm and participate in a live discussion via a Zoom conference. Instructions for accessing the event can be found on our website.

We are pleased to be able to continue our long-running monthly Poetry Salon as a virtual program via Zoom. This year, the Poetry Salon at the Abbot Public Library will feature Black poets. Some of the poetry may be revolutionary, while some may take place at home, watching a child play or smelling some flowers! When we gather at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 20th, 2020, Marblehead poet Claire Keyes will lead a virtual discussion by means of Zoom. The Salon will focus on the American poet and educator, Terrance Hayes, in particular his latest book, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, which you can reserve in print for Curbside Pickup, or listen to the audiobook with no wait on hoopla!

Hayes has published seven poetry collections. His 2010 collection, Lighthead, won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010.  In September 2014, he was a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur fellowship awarded to individuals who show outstanding creativity in their work. Hayes is a poet who reflects on race, gender, and family in works marked by formal dexterity and a reverence for history and the artistry of crafting verse. Employing an almost improvisational approach to writing, Hayes conjoins fluid, often humorous wordplay with references to popular culture, both past and present, in his subversion of canonical poetic forms.

Join us at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 20th on Zoom! Details for accessing this event will be posted on our website.

Sneak Peak at our September Virtual Programs!

We are pleased to announce we will be offering more virtual programs in September, via Zoom and the new Abbot Public Library YouTube Channel!

In the past few months, we have offered “Story Time A-Go-Go” with Debbie Leibowitz. Each week, Debbie writes a new story and posts a video of her reading it on YouTube to entertain and educate children. Check out this week’s video below:

We also offered “Music with Dara” on Fridays, and are happy to say Dara VanRemoortel, an early childhood music specialist, will be returning in September to offer her virtual program of songs and visual props. Check out these videos featuring original music by Dara!

These two programs will be continuing in September, but the videos will now be compiled on the Abbot Public Library’s brand new YouTube Channel, along with a couple new-to-the-screen children’s presenters and a familiar monthly adult program!

Joining Debbie and Dara for the first time online are some faces you will recognize from the children’s programs we offered inside the library. Yoga Story Time with Lindsey Kravitz will be a half-hour video geared towards babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. And, returning to the library’s lineup is Songs with Spencer! Spencer and his orange monster friend, Bowie, will share stories and tunes to get kids singing and dancing!

For adult programs, the library’s monthly Poetry Salon will be continuing virtually! Marblehead poet Claire Keyes will be discussing the poetry of Terrance Hayes via Zoom! Stay tuned for details on accessing this meeting on the Abbot Public LIbrary website

In the meantime, you can prepare for the Salon by reserving the featured book, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, in print for Curbside Pickup, or listen to the audiobook on hoopla with no wait!

Visit the Abbot Public Library’s website News & Events page for more information on these programs! 

Save The Date For A Virtual Baseball-Themed Author Talk!

Step up to the plate and put this date in your calendar – on Wednesday, August 26th, at 7:00 pm, you are invited to join a special event via Zoom! Co-sponsored by Abbot Public Library, Jewish Community Center of the North Shore (JCCNS), and Lappin Foundation, this event will feature Larry Ruttman of Brookline, who will be discussing his book, American Jews and America’s Game (chosen the best baseball book in the country in 2013 by Sports Collectors Digest); as well as his forthcoming  memoir, Larry Ruttman – A Memoir: An Existential Triad of Friendship, Maturation and Inquisitiveness. And, moderating the event will be baseball polymath and legal expert, Professor Jack Beermann!

Visit the library’s website for more details about this event and how to access it! All the information for joining on Zoom is also listed below. 

Author Larry Ruttman
Professor Jack Beermann

Reserve your copy of American Jews and America’s Game today for Curbside Pickup or read the ebook version on Overdrive/the Libby app. 

If you want even more baseball books and other materials, check out more print baseball books or DVDs (with no checkout fee while we offer Curbside Service!) to include in your bag o’books, or see what items are available online on Overdrive and hoopla


Information to access the Zoom meeting is as follows: 

Topic: Larry Ruttman

Time: Aug 26, 2020 06:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking this link

Meeting ID: 846 2054 3240

Passcode: 556041

One tap mobile (for Massachusetts, use the New York line)

+13126266799,,84620543240#,,,,,,0#,,556041# US (Chicago)

+19292056099,,84620543240#,,,,,,0#,,556041# US (New York)

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

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Meeting ID: 846 2054 3240

Passcode: 556041

Find your local number here.

Pen Pals in Lockdown!

Are you missing your friends? It’s tough not to see your favorite people at school every day! Maybe you’re tired of texting or Zooming with them–it’s just not very fun anymore.

Maybe you feel like the very bored giraffe in this funny chapter book: Sincerely Yours, Giraffe

Or maybe you’re here but want to be there – with your friends – like the characters in this wonderful picture book: From Here to There.

Here’s an idea: write your friends letters instead! REAL letters. On paper. With a pen or pencil. Sound like a plan?

Okay, so maybe this is a new thing for you. It really can be fun! You don’t just have to write words. Think about the pictures in books you like. Could you draw what you want to say to your friend? Maybe a picture of the place where you spend most of your day. Or your favorite lockdown food. Or your pet. Who knows where your crayons will take you?

Oh, and don’t forget the stickers! And maybe just a teeny bit of glitter…

On to the next step: what will you put your letter in to keep it safe? Maybe you don’t have any envelopes at home right now. What to do? Don’t worry–here’s a video that shows you just how to make one yourself! All you need is paper and glue:

What next? Ask a grown-up for a stamp and some help with addressing your letter. That way you can send it through the mail. If you can’t find a stamp, try taking great photos of the envelope and letter and sending those to your friend by text. Maybe they’ll write you back, and you’ll become real pen pals!

What’s a pen pal? Sometimes it’s someone you don’t even know. You can become friends by writing letters. But you can definitely be pen pals with someone who’s your friend already. You might even learn things about them that you didn’t know before! Here’s an audiobook on hoopla –featuring a favorite character–to give you some inspiration: Arthur’s Pen Pal.

Be careful to wash your hands before creating your letter and envelope, as well as before you send it, after touching the mailbox, and after you touch a letter you’ve received. Talk to your parents about whether you should put letters you receive in a safe place for a while before reading them. And be sure not to touch your face when you’re handling letters.

Zoom’s Boom

Typing “Zoom hacking” into Google will yield you 113,000,000 results. Going a step broader, and typing “Zoom privacy” will pull up 1,390,000,000 results. So, what’s the big deal with this Zoom thing anyways?

Odds are that you’ve taken part in at least one conference call, fitness class, or family meet-up on the Zoom app. Zoom is one of the many apps that people are finding to be godsends while we are stuck indoors. Zoom’s function is very simple. You get a group of people together via an invite link, and have a video-conferencing call. It couldn’t be simpler, really. Is that where things go wrong?

In the past week, Zoom has been under intense scrutiny, particularly for how they handle user privacy. The backlash has even pushed Zoom’s CEO to admit that he “really messed up.”

Like Facebook, Zoom’s privacy policy included the right to collect data, store it, and share it with third-parties such as advertisers. This ‘data’ includes your name and location. Most companies request this data. So, what makes Zoom different? Zoom’s right to collect your data also included “the content contained in cloud recordings and instant messages, files, [and] whiteboards…shared while using the service.” Still feel great about using Zoom?

Another issue is something called “Zoombombing”. Similar to photo-bombing and party-crashing, Zoombombing occurs when an uninvited guest joins your Zoom meeting. Also similar to photo-bombing and party-crashing, Zoombombing can be aggravating and disruptive. Zoombombers can join a Zoom meeting simply by acquiring the invite link, which may have been forwarded one too many times by a real guest. Zoombombers have been known to broadcast pornographic, racist, or otherwise vitriolic content. These incidents have prompted Boston’s FBI office to issue warnings about Zoom.

So, how can you stay safe on Zoom? And, what is Zoom doing to fix their clear issues? As bad as all of this sounds, Zoom has made huge improvements in their handling of privacy, as well as implementing strong procedures to protect against unwanted guests.

For starters, this week Zoom revised their privacy policy. Zoom no longer has rights to distribute users’ personal data. It will no longer store and keep any names or locations of users. Further, Zoom wants you to know that “your meetings are yours” and they “do not monitor them or even store them after your meeting is done”.

As for the Zoombombing issue, Zoom has added two big safeguards to protect against these unwanted guests. Firstly, Zoom users must enter a meeting-specific password when joining a meeting. Secondly, Zoom now uses a virtual waiting room, which allows the host to see participants before allowing them access to the meeting. This virtual staging area will be crucial in stopping unwanted guests from entering a public meeting.

We should also take steps personally to prevent Zoombombers. Make sure that you have mastered the use of Zoom before hosting a large or public meeting. For example, did you know that by clicking on a participant’s name, you can mute them, or prevent screen sharing? Remember not to let the Trojan horse into your Zoom meeting. Keep a close eye on your guests, and if you see something, say something. Zoom can be a safe and important tool for us, especially at this critical time. Just make sure that you are cautious and alert while on a Zoom meeting. Now, when you’ve mastered Zoom, take a deep breath in, and enjoy your Zoom yoga session, 18th work meeting this week, happy hour, or that family meet-up with your in-laws, and that weird uncle that you “really don’t want to attend. I’m tired,” (Smile — If you’re lucky, the host is using a basic account, and the meeting can only last 40 minutes).