December 24, 2014

How reading transforms us

A NY Times article discusses how people who read artistic stories or essays are actually changed by what they read. So cuddle up with that work of fiction without guilt. You're doing good stuff for your grey matter.

December 23, 2014

New Mystery Lovers Book Club!

·         The first book, "Gallows Hill" by Rory O’Brien of Salem, MA, will be available for check-out at the Library’s Reference Desk on January 5, 2015.
·         Participants will meet on January 14, 2015 at 3 pm to discuss the first half of the book.
·         On January 28, 2015 at 3 pm, author Rory O’Brien will meet with us to discuss his book and autograph your personal copies.

This event has been funded by the Friends of the Jones Library System!

Here's an early Christmas gift

Do you use a PC? Apple? E-reader? Tablet? Want a little help?  The Doctor is IN!

PC Software Doctor Hank will be holding a series of FREE clinics from 3-5 at the Munson Library on Tuesday afternoons starting December 30th and going through May 26th. Just bring in your device and the Doctor will be with you shortly.

Questions? 413.259.3095 after 2 p.m.

Brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood Friends. Ho ho ho.

December 22, 2014

Today! And tomorrow!

Monday & Tuesday
December 22 & 23
12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Zanna, 187 North Pleasant Street, Amherst

Bring in any/all of your holiday gifts for wrapping and make a donation to the Friends of the Jones Library System!

Zanna will provide the space, paper and trimmings.  Volunteers from the Friends will provide the wrapping.

Happy Holidays!

Need some advice

on good books to read? NPR's got a dozen they've enjoyed.

December 19, 2014

Sunday and Monday and Tuesday

Go support the Friends AND a local business while getting gorgeous clothes! It's a win-win-win situation!

Jones Library Curator "Meet and Greet"

Once the hullabaloo of the holidays dies down, you're going to go into party withdrawal.  You'll miss the buzz of a roomful of people.  You'll miss the plastic cup in your hand filled with a slightly warm seltzer.  You'll miss seeing folks in their Fancy Clothes.

Fear not! The Jones has your back!

Please come join us on Thursday, January 22, from 2-3 pm in the Goodwin Room of the Jones Library.  Come and meet ... (drum roll, please) ...

our new Head of Special Collections Cynthia Harbeson!

(Cue Kermit the Frog exiting stage left from the Muppet Show stage to wild applause.)

See you on the 22nd! Wear your fanciest Christmas sweater!

Reading literature makes us smarter and nicer

An article from Time Magazine last year highlights a couple of studies proving that people who often read fiction "appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them, and view the world from their perspective."

The Friends feel it goes without saying that it also makes them better looking.

Go forth and read, Friends! 
You're making the world a better place!

December 18, 2014

Need a holiday gift idea?

How about a subscription to jubilat?  Local, intellectual, compostable.

What more could you want?

December 16, 2014

December 15, 2014

Need a book concierge?

Do you ever stare at bookshelves in a bookstore and draw a complete and utter blank? Do you wander library stacks chanting over and over (quietly, in your head, because it's a library), "What to read? What to read?" Do you slip into a hot bath in defeat with only a lousy magazine because you couldn't find a book you wanted to read?

Flounder no more, dear Friends!

December 12, 2014

11 Things To Know Before You Date A Bookworm

We already know YOU'RE a bookworm. Maybe you should send this link to that special someone in your life, though.

December 11, 2014

685 reasons why we love our Friends

Yesterday the Friends gratefully received $685 in donations during Valley Gives Day.  We are so very thankful for each and every one of you who contributed to the Friends of the Jones Library.

Thank you.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Saturday, December 13, 2:30 pm
Woodbury Room

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a well-known holiday carol, whose familiar verses and repetitions seem to conjure a jolly English holiday party.  Yet some scholars think the lyrics hold deeper symbolic meaning and tell a coded story.  Dr. Thomas Bernard will lead us on an historical exploration of the possible hidden meanings behind these verses. 

Dr. Thomas Bernard is a professor emeritus of psychology at Springfield College.  Having become intrigued by the lyrics of the carol, he began to research the words, their meanings, and the evolution of the song from its earliest manuscript.  He is the author of a book on this project, The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Mystery and the Meaning, published by University Press Division of St. Charles Place.

Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.

December 9, 2014

People of the Book

This Thursday, Dec. 11, from 7:00-8:30 in the Amherst Room at the Jones Library, come be part of a discussion on Seize the Day by Saul Bellow.  UMass emeritus professor John Clayton will lead the talk.

For a review of the book, click here.

Valley Gives

is a terrific way to contribute to the Friends!

Tomorrow's your chance to help support museum passes, poetry readings, book clubs, Every Child a Reader, art classes, author talks, Amherst Reads, and so much more!

Together, we can all lift a blue elephant with a red balloon.

Ever wonder...

... what books have been banned at Guantanamo?  The Friends have, too.

December 5, 2014

Biggest, Baddest Books for ... Boys???

7 year-old takes publisher to task over branding of "boy books" 
-- and wins!  You go, girl!

Dog lovers

Proof that there's something for everyone at the Friends of the Jones Library book sale.  This dog lover is probably looking for titles to suggest at his next book club meeting.

Are you a kindred spirit?  We've got some recs for you right here!  

Happy reading! Ruff, ruff!

December 4, 2014

Friends membership raffle

The moment you've all been waiting for! The Friends membership raffle drawing for free passes to the movies! Drum roll, please...

Let's all raise our glasses to Nancy D and Kelly E, both of Amherst! Enjoy the movies & thanks for supporting the Friends!

Also? Many thanks to the Amherst Cinema for supporting the Friends of the Jones Library System!

An Artist Inspired by Books of Hours

(click on image to enlarge)

Emily Dickinson, an artist, and a library. Get yourself to the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City before January 11 and you, too, can see this very cool exhibit.

December 2, 2014

Countdown to Valley Gives Day

"Latinos Beyond Reel" at the Jones Library

Thursday, December 4, 7 pm
Woodbury Room

Join us for a screening of Latinos Beyond Reel: Challenging a Media Stereotype, the third in a film & discussion series to be held over the next several months which will look at issues of race.  A facilitated discussion will be held after the screening.

Latinos Beyond Reel examines how US news and entertainment media portray - and do not portray - Latinos.  The film challenges viewers to think critically about the wide-ranging effects of these media stereotypes, and to envision alternative representations and models of production more capable of capturing the humanity and diversity of real Latinos.

Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223

This film series is co-sponsored by the Jones Library and The Coming Together Project.  More information about The Coming Together Project can be found at

December 1, 2014

Library museum passes available

If you'd like to visit a local-ish museum (as far away as the Clark, Mystic Aquarium, and Mass MoCA, actually!), first visit your local library.  You can check out museum passes giving you free or reduced admission to all these places below:

(click on either image to enlarge)
Want to learn more?  Click here!  And you can reserve 'em online, too.

No excuse not to get your culture on now!

November 28, 2014

Tomorrow at the Hadley Barnes & Noble

Please help support the Jones Library by shopping at the Hadley Barnes & Noble TOMORROW: Saturday, November 29!

We're raising funds for Children’s Programming at the Jones Library and YOU can help!

Use the voucher pictured below (or click here or type it in yourself here: or get your own copy in person at the Jones or...well, that's really it for your options.  Sorry.).

Can't brave the teeming masses? You can also shop online on 11-29-14 in support of the Jones Library by going here and include the Book Fair Voucher ID: 11487550 on the payment page during checkout.

Go buy some books and make the world a better place!

November 20, 2014

Got $5,000 lying around?

Probably not a book you'll pick up at a Friends of the Jones Library used book sale...

November 18, 2014

When in Russia...

In the Moscow metro you can download for free over 100 Russian classics, to read while you wait for your train.  The Friends say da to that, comrade.

'Course, if you can finish any of those tomes before your train comes, maybe you should consider an alternate source of transportation to work...

November 13, 2014

Mark your calendars to read

You know all those books you'll WANT to buy on Saturday?  The Friends offer you a legitimate reason to buy them ALL!

November 7, 2014

November 6, 2014

North Amherst Library closed 11/13/14

Next Wednesday, November 12th, the North Amherst Library will be CLOSED.  They're getting new carpeting!!  Woo hoo!  And on Thursday, November 13th?  There will be teeming masses at the North Amherst Library to see what it looks like.

Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.  But the Munson and Jones are still open for business!

November 5, 2014

Pizza soup?

Even starving writers need to eat.  Here are some recipes from 16 of your favorite authors.  

And the Friends would like you to know that no one needs to ever bring Ray Bradbury's pizza soup to a potluck. That's the kind of thing one should consume at home.  Alone.  Very, very alone.

However, should you whip up a batch of Edgar Allen Poe's eggnog? We'll be right over.

November 4, 2014

Authors and books and totes! Oh my!

And? Buy one of these and get two free books!

the Friends

Coming Together

Many people in the Amherst area would like to see us become a community that deals with race issues more constructively, in which people are more connected with each other, and where equity, inclusion, and open communication prevail.  Three events in November, starting this week, for people of all racial backgrounds, will provide chances for us to come together, learn, and talk with each other in a safe environment.

Please click on the image below to learn more or visit

Lego Club cancelled

Due to a “series of unfortunate events,” the Jones Library’s Lego Club has been cancelled for November and December 2014.

See you in 2015!

October 31, 2014

Waterstones bookshop has sleepovers

Would it be a dream come true to spend the night in a bookstore?  Did you read "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" wishing it weren't non-fiction?  Well then, dear Friend, British mega-bookstore Waterstones has a deal for you!

Yet another thing to thank American tourists for.  

October 30, 2014

Guess which country...

...publishes more books than any other country in the world (per million inhabitants)?  We're talking 20 new titles every hour.  Go on.  Guess...

Think you know?  Click here, smarty.

October 29, 2014

Carving a pumpkin in the next day or two?

Here's some inspiration.

John Clayton at the Jones Library

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
7 pm
Woodbury Room

Local author John J. Clayton will speak and read from his new book Many Seconds into the Future, a collection of short stories, published by Texas Tech University Press in April 2014.

The probing short stories in this collection explore spiritual and emotional growth, coming of age, and the impact of death in a family. The stories “Many Seconds into the Future” and “All the Children are Isaac” are tragic; others like “The Name Changer” are comic. Many of the stories were originally published in Commentary, Notre Dame Review, Sewanee Review, Missouri Review, and The Journal.

John J. Clayton, born and raised in New York City, taught modern literature and fiction writ­ing as Professor and then Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and as Visiting Professor at Mt. Holyoke College and Hampshire College. He lives with his wife in Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

Free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at413/259-3223.

October 28, 2014

The Hobbit in 72 seconds

Sure JRR Tolkien was a master of his craft.  Sure The Hobbit is an amazing read.  But really, who has the time to read all 300 or so pages??  There are so many other things that need to be done in life! The Friends have found a video to help check one more thing off your to-do list.

"Read The Hobbit"?  DONE!

You're welcome.

October 27, 2014

For the grammarian in your life

The Friends know it's getting close to the holidays.  In addition to doing much of your shopping at the FRIENDS USED BOOK SALE on SATURDAY NOVEMBER 15th FROM 9-3 (mark your calendars), you can round off your gift purchasing with a few of these babies.

Because who doesn't need an ampersand cheese board?

October 24, 2014

Free For All

Watch this.  It's the best 3:36 minutes you'll spend today.

For all you English nerds out there

And you know who you are, you will totally like this.  The secret emotional lives of five punctuation marks.

There's more to the . than meets the i.

October 22, 2014

It was a hot and muggy night... a city that already was already feverish.  The fan in my office just blew hot air around a hot room on a hot night.  It was the kind of night where every booze party ends in a fight.  A night where anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.  She walked into my office and from 30 feet away she looked like she had a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.

A fan of Raymond Chandler?  Here's a fun time-waster for you.  A map of Raymond Chandler's fictional LA in real LA.

If any part of LA is real...

October 19, 2014

Hey! All you tree huggers!

Have you been pining for a nature-themed book group?  Yew don't need to look any further!  The Friends of the Jones has some re-leaf to offer you.  We've got a new book club to offer that's sure to be poplar.  Wood we lead you astray?

Announcing our newest adult book club:  The Nature & Environment Book Club!

First Meeting:

Thursday, November 6, 2014
7-9 pm
Goodwin Room

In this club, we will read and have lively discussions about historical and contemporary books; fiction as well as non-fiction. The club will meet on the first Thursday of the month from 7-9 pm (except for January, when it will meet on the 8th because of the holiday), and will be moderated by Ellen X. Silverberg, an avid amateur naturalist, photographer, and educator. 

For the kick-off meeting, we will discuss Walden, by Henry David Thoreau (any edition). Copies are available to borrow at the reference desk.

For more information, please contact Jones Library staff member Linda Wentworth at

Sorry if we were barking up the wrong tree with all the puns.

Amherst Ballet Company at the Jones

The Jones Library presents dancers from the AMHERST BALLET CO. performing excerpts from the classic fairy tale CINDERELLA in the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library on Saturday, October 25 at 11 a.m.

Totally. Free.

And if "ballet" and "free" doesn't start your toes tappin', we give up.