December 18, 2015

Food for fines

The Jones library and branches will be offering a "food for fines" amnesty period from January 2-31, 2016. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to pay back all those book fines, bring in non-perishable, non-expired food donations and you're absolved!

If only it were that easy to keep all your New Year's resolutions...

December 14, 2015

This saturday, Jedi training is. Yes, hmmm.

And? Come see a funny movie.

As excitement builds for the next film in the Star Wars series, the Jones Library is taking a lighthearted look at the genre. Join us for a screening of the 1987 film written and directed by Mel Brooks, in which a space bum helps rescue a princess from an evil overlord with the help of a benevolent elder. Although it borrows most of its plot from the Star Wars series, this film also pokes fun at Star Trek, Snow White, and Planet of the Apes, in true Mel Brooks fashion.

Join us in the Woodbury Room this Saturday, December 19, at 2 p.m. for the screening of this feature film. More information about the movie can be found on the Jones Library website at The film is rated PG.

Children ages 7 and up are invited to attend a Jedi Training at 11 a.m. on the same day. Come make your Light Saber and a Star Wars craft, then test your skills with our Jedi obstacle course! Costumes welcomed and encouraged. Drop-ins are welcome for the Jedi obstacle course, but registration is required for the craft project. Please contact the Children's Room at 413.259.3091 (or by using Jedi mind tricks) to register.

Free and open to the public. Questions? Please contact Janet Ryan at 413.259.3223.

Also? THIS will be pretty useful to your training, young Jedi.

Friends Book Recommendation of the Month

Written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
This 2015 children’s picture book is simply a visual and literary masterpiece. Children of all ages and their adult companions are invited into a fantastical golden world with a little girl in a red hat who once was given a special book for a day. She soon discovers that many of the words just aren’t there. My favorite illustration shows this girl, so excited to read, running home with her book in hand as the words fly away, in the shape of birds migrating, only to be caught in a butterfly net by a fox. Zagarenski’s landscapes of overlapping shapes, light, and color in a palette reminiscent of Gustav Kilmt give us time to breathe and wonder.
Where are the stories, the little girl wants to know. Along with a lion, a rabbit, bees, bears, and other appealing creatures, she opens her book and reads page after page of beginnings. In a whisper sent to the girl by the wind, she is encouraged to make her own stories: “Start with a few simple words and imagine from there.” And, like the girl, we realize that we, too, can create our own beginnings, middles, and ends. Story-making is for everyone.
- Mary Ellen, member, Friends of the Jones Library System

December 11, 2015

That Charles Dickens...

Apparently Dickens created two bookshelves with completely fake books in his study. He made up the titles all himself and even asked a bookbinder to construct "imitation book-backs" to fill those bookshelves.

Although the Friends didn't get all the humor in the titles, we figured you might. You're way more literary than we are. Here's the list of Charles Dickens's ersatz books, for your reading amusement.

History of a Short Chancery Suit
Catalogue of Statues of the Duke of Wellington
Five Minutes in China. 3 vols.
Forty Winks at the Pyramids. 2 vols.
Abernethy on the Constitution. 2 vols.
Mr. Green's Overland Mail. 2 vols.
Captain Cook's Life of Savage. 2 vols.
A Carpenter's Bench of Bishops. 2 vols.
Toot's Universal Letter-Writer. 2 vols.
Orson's Art of Etiquette.
Downeaster's Complete Calculator.
History of the Middling Ages. 6 vols.
Jonah's Account of the Whale.
Captain Parry's Virtues of Cold Tar.
Kant's Ancient Humbugs. 10 vols.
Bowwowdom. A Poem.
The Quarrelly Review. 4 vols.
The Gunpowder Magazine. 4 vols.
Steele. By the Author of "Ion."
The Art of Cutting the Teeth.
Matthew's Nursery Songs. 2 vols.
Paxton's Bloomers. 5 vols.
On the Use of Mercury by the Ancient Poets.
Drowsy's Recollections of Nothing. 3 vols.
Heavyside's Conversations with Nobody. 3 vols.
Commonplace Book of the Oldest Inhabitant. 2 vols.
Growler's Gruffiology, with Appendix. 4 vols.
The Books of Moses and Sons. 2 vols.
Burke (of Edinburgh) on the Sublime and Beautiful. 2 vols.
Teazer's Commentaries.
King Henry the Eighth's Evidences of Christianity. 5 vols.
Miss Biffin on Deportment.
Morrison's Pills Progress. 2 vols.
Lady Godiva on the Horse.
Munchausen's Modern Miracles. 4 vols.
Richardson's Show of Dramatic Literature. 12 vols.
Hansard's Guide to Refreshing Sleep. As many volumes as possible.

And just for the record? The Amherst libraries do not have any of these titles. Not even "Drowsy's Recollections of Nothing," Volumes 1-3.

But the Friends think they should.

December 10, 2015

Brazil has an excellent idea

In Brazil, people only read an average of two books a year. In order to promote more reading, some Brazilian publishers did this.

Take the subway, read a book. Your ticket is paid for.

How do you say 
"That's a wicked awesome idea, Brazilian publisher people" 
in Portuguese?

December 9, 2015

Michelle Obama Reads 'The Night Before Christmas' With Miss Piggy

And it may be that the very best part of the whole thing is that while the First Lady refers to her reading companion as "Miss Piggy," Miss Piggy calls the First Lady simply "Michelle."

Miss Piggy has always been known to keep it real.

Just giving you another reason to love Michelle Obama.

(Not that you need one.)

December 7, 2015

Books in your house

According to this weekend's New York Times, "Owning books in the home is one of the best things you can do for your children academically."
And if it's in the Times, you know it has to be true.

December 3, 2015

Hey, SOMEONE'S gotta win...

...why not you?

Enter to win a book lover's dream prize from Read It Forward.

And hey, if you win, share with your Friends, m'kay?

December 2, 2015

Tomorrow night

Before you get too wound up in all the holiday dinners and office parties and shopping trips and wrapping of gifts and humming of carols, take a break!

Come to the Jones tomorrow for Trivia Night! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. but the two rounds of quite challenging and utterly inconsequential questions start promptly at 6:30. Bring your team of ringers or make a team there with all the other friendly trivia lovers.

There will be refreshments. And? Maybe even eggnog. And? No fruitcake. How can you pass this up?

Suggested donation of $5 - $10 to benefit the Jones Library.

The Penguin Hotline

You know how Butterball has that turkey hotline you can call with questions about cooking your bird? The folks over at Penguin Random House have got your back when it comes to needing book recommendations for that special someone.

Hanukkah starts on Sunday -- give 'em a call quick!

December 1, 2015

November 30, 2015

Winter craft time at the Jones

For the small but oh-so-crafty people in your life...

November 28, 2015

17 Little House on the Prairie facts we betcha you didn't know

Sure you read (and re-read) the Little House on the Prairie series. Yeah, you hated Nellie Oleson with a passion. C'mon, who didn't? Maybe you dressed as Laura for Halloween for a couple of years. And hey, you watched it after school every day.

BUT did you know this about the cast of your beloved show?

We'll never view Pa the same again...

November 25, 2015

Perfectly Nerdy Thanksgiving Feast Ideas

Food is great. Books are great. Food inspired by books? Great! 

Happy Thanksgiving to our favorite book-loving eaters.

November 24, 2015

Calling all 1st and 2nd graders!

Book groups aren't just for the grownups in your life!

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November 21, 2015

SOS -- Calling All Black People

Come no matter what your color!

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November 20, 2015

Restoration Retrospective this Sunday

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Shoot Special Collections an email at

Come make stuff! For free!

Know someone ages 8-12?
Have a Saturday free?

Does the Jones have something cool for them! 

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Tomorrow afternoon

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November 19, 2015

TONIGHT! Professor Chris Appy @ the Jones

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Join us for two exciting engineering youth programs!

** Lego Club **
For ages 6-10. Saturdays from 3:00- 4:30 in the Woodbury Room 11/14 and 12/12. No registration is required. Imagine, build, and create using the library’s LEGO bricks.
** JONES/ ARPS Makerspace **
For ages 8-12. Saturdays 2-3:30 in the Crafts Room 11/21, 12/5, and 12/19. Please pre-register for one of the three sessions in the kids room. Use a variety of tools and materials to experiment and create! From robotics and coding to Legos and art supplies, this lab encourages kids to try out new technologies, learn new processes, and make something awesome!

November 18, 2015

Oh just for fun...

Let the British newspaper, The Independent, guess how old you are based on your favorite books.

November 16, 2015

Downtown Donation Days

The Blue Marble will be donating to the Friends this coming weekend (starting Thursday!). 
Please help support local businesses and local non-profits!
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November 12, 2015

Need technical assistance?

Come to the Munson every single Wednesday* for the rest of the calendar year. You can put away your Magic 8 Ball because all your questions will be answered by Dr. Hank.

*Well, not the day before Thanksgiving since you'll be cooking and all. And not Wednesday 12/23. But other than that...

19th Century Women Artists

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November 11, 2015

Breathe deeply, Friend.

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Holiday Book Fair!

Don't forget! 9-3 this Saturday at the Jones! 
You can browse used books for sale and, 
best of all, Friends of the Jones Library SWAG!

We're talking private label Friends tea, 
lovely Friends mugs to enjoy it in, and 
fashionable totes. Totes, people!

The 10 best quotes in a crisis

"Who knows, my friend? 
Maybe the sword does have some magic. 
Personally, I think it's the warrior who wields it."

-- Redwall, Brian Jacques

November 5, 2015

Barnes & Noble book fair

Bring your holiday gift list to Barnes & Noble on Saturday, Nov. 28, and get all your shopping done and benefit the Jones Library. Extra added bonus: Donate a coupla bucks and get your newly purchased items wrapped for you by the Friends right in the bookstore!

And then? Well, then you can sit back and relax the rest of the holiday season. Pat yourself on the back and sip that well-deserved pumpkin latte.

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Can't make it to the store in-person? Shop online at Barnes & Noble! Just remember to type in the Bookfair ID 11714409.

And hey. Thanks.

November 2, 2015

Friends Book Recommendation of the Month

by Ian McEwan

In 1962 Florence and Edward celebrate their wedding at a hotel on the coast of Dorset. Each brings different experiences and expectations to their first night together, and they are unaware that decisions made that evening will have dramatic consequences for the future. This is a story described as how lives are transformed by gestures not made, and words not spoken. It is a short, beautifully written novel that lingers long after reading it.

-- Tamson, Trustee, Jones Library

November 1, 2015

Hear ye, hear ye!

(Don't happen to have your Victorian era monocle on you? 
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October 30, 2015

October 29, 2015

Come join us!

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Here's a bookshelf idea

In case you never, ever want to know where that one book is. 
Ever again. 

October 28, 2015

Halloween's almost here

If you still don't have your costume figured out, the Friends have some inspiration found in children's books for you!

October 27, 2015

Come! Freak yourself out!

Did you catch last week's letter to the editor in the Gazette?

The Friends are feeling the love...

UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library

Tuesday, November 3, 7 p.m.: Carla Panciera, winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and author of Bewildered: StoriesCarla Panciera is the author of two collections of poetry, One of the Cimalores and No Day, No Dusk, No Love. A high school English teacher, she lives with her husband and three daughters in Rowley, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, November 10, 7 p.m.: Bruce Laurie, author of Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton AbolitionistsBruce Laurie is professor of history emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform.

Thursday, November 19, 7 p.m.: Chris Appy and Clark Dougan, editors of the series Culture, Politics, and the Cold War, discuss the genesis of the UMass Press Cold War series, writing about the American war in Vietnam, and Appy’s newest book, American Reckoning (Viking).

Tuesday, November 24, 7 pm: John Bracey, James Smethurst, and UMass Amherst Afro-American Studies students read from SOS—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. Bracey and Smethurst are both professors of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Please join us!

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

October 25, 2015


Please join us on Saturday November 7th at 1:30 in the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library for The Victorian Lady: Dressing from Corsets to Gloves with performance artist Kandie Carle. Come discover the fashion and customs that existed during Emily Dickinson's lifetime. While dressing in actual vintage and authentically reproduced undergarments, clothing, and accessories, Kandie Carle adds humor, history, and intriguing anecdotes about fashion, home life, and etiquette of men and women during the Victorian Era.

Free and open to the public with refreshments to follow. Arrival at the library by horse-drawn carriage optional.

October 24, 2015

jubilat/Jones Reading Series continues

Next Sunday, November 1, at 3:00 pm in the Goodwin Room of the Jones Library, come hear the poetry of Monica McClure and Paige Taggart.

Want more details? Click here.

Because the Friends have attended poetry readings before, we know that not all poems are limericks.

There are haikus, too.

littleBits is back!

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October 23, 2015

You think you're soooo smart...

Do you own a Thinking Cap? What about Smarty Pants? On occasion have you donned a Rally Cap? Put 'em all on, baby. It's Trivia Night at the Jones!

On the first Thursday of the month (that's this coming Nov. 5th, Einstein), from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm, join your fellow Mensa Members for Trivia Night in the Woodbury Room. All trivia buffs are invited to participate and support the Jones Library.

Bring your college friends! Bring your know-it-all boss! Bring your crazy Uncle Irwin! But mostly? Just bring it.

For your budding novelist...

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