March 30, 2016

Tanglewood Marionettes THIS Saturday

Come join us for a free puppet show at Grace Episcopal Church, 14 Boltwood Avenue!

The Tanglewood Marionettes will perform Hansel and Gretel, from 10:30-11:30, this Saturday.

Fun for all ages but especially the people in your life in grades 1-6.

For more information, click here.

Uke can play!

(Get it??)

Come and strum!
(Click on image to enlarge.)

March 29, 2016

Next week is Trivia Night at the Jones!

Did you know the word "golf" came from 
"Gentlemen Only ... Ladies Forbidden?" 
That cows will climb stairs but not go down them? 
That elephants can't jump?

Learn all these fascinating facts and more at next Thursday's 
Good luck, Einstein!

March 28, 2016

Edible landscaping

Spring is springing. 
Here's something to get you in the mood.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

March 24, 2016

Throw a literary party

Here are 19 ways to incorporate books into any party -- or wedding, since that's what the article focuses on. (Might even make you want to renew your vows just to do some of these.) 

March 23, 2016

Habsolutely Hexcellent

40 highfalutin H-words to heighten your vocabulary.
The Friends find it absolutely horrisonant we didn't know all of these earlier.

March 20, 2016

Alternative birthday parties

Maybe you have a small house? Maybe you have too much stuff already? Maybe you just want your kid to have a different kind of birthday party? If so, here are a few suggestions the Friends would like to offer.

We're especially enamored with the Book-Signing Swap Party.

March 19, 2016

Spring break

It's spring break for some folks and the Friends would like to recommend the following vacation spots for the book nerds among us.

Happy reading.

March 16, 2016

Money, money, money

The Friends love the idea that so many other countries have of putting authors and literary characters on their currency. In the latest addition, the UK will be issuing a 50p coin with everyone's favorite rabbit.

Well, okay, maybe not Mr. McGregor's...

March 14, 2016

Have you ever wondered just... much would it cost to buy just ONE of everything at You're not alone, our curious Friend. A computer scientist in Switzerland figured it out for you.

But you know what? The library is FREE!

Libraries. FTW.

March 13, 2016

What do you think?

Could this possibly be the world's least-fun book group

There's a suggested $2,000 donation to join. Each month a designated lawmaker chooses a book and keeps the financial haul (generally in the $60,000-80,000 range). If, by chance, you don't go to a couple of meetings because, perhaps, you're busy or the lawmakers in question aren't folks you'd care to contribute to? You're out. 

We're really hoping they at least serve wine...

March 12, 2016

Walden for the 21st century

Rewriting Henry David Thoreau's landmark 1854 classic with modernized vocabulary.

Here's a guy who wants to make Walden more accessible to all of us 21st century folks. "While widely quoted, Walden is rarely read anymore, and our society's familiarity with the story is fading...By creating an updated version of Walden, I want to create more opportunities for other people's lives to be enriched by this book."

Just be sure you read it outside, with your back up agains the trunk of a tree. Preferably by a pond.

March 11, 2016

The horror story of publishing children’s books in Russia

"You would think that publishing a book for 6-year-olds wouldn't entail political risks, even in a country where political risks abound. You would be wrong." Read Russian Purge.

A 2010 law, only selectively enforced, has put significant limits as to what can and cannot be published in Russia. "The law's message is simple: Books are dangerous to kids and publishers need to be put in their place."

Food for thought, Friends.

March 10, 2016

Comic book club!

Kapow! Shazam! 
Do you know someone who loves comics?
Send them to the Jones Thursday, March 31st!

Call to pre-register your caped crusader.

March 9, 2016

Oh. My.

Mr. Darcy's shirt is coming to America.

JK Rowling is so cool

When the Saturday Slaughters murder mystery library book club in Orkney, Scotland, met to discuss Robert Galbraith's novel "The Cuckoo's Calling," they probably never dreamed the author herself would show up.

And yet, she did...

JK Rowling. Author of the best-selling book series in history. The 2010 "Most Influential Woman in Britain." Just popped in to chat with the library book group.

We love her.

March 8, 2016

The Jones needs your help!

The children's room of the Jones Library is applying for a Mind in the Making grant. This grant would help establish or enhance play spaces for 0-6 year old patrons. "These play spaces are aimed at early learning and social interaction among children and their caregivers."


In order to strengthen the Jones's application, the library needs testimonials from the community, capturing how well-loved the Jones is. Any anecdotes you have about using the children's room with your own families that will help convey the warmth and support we all feel at the Jones would be so welcome.

If you can write just a simple, one paragraph email to help the Jones as they apply for this grant, that would be completely wonderful. Please email it to Mia Cabana, Head of Youth Services Librarian, by the close of businessThursday, April 7th.

Validation that fiction is good for you!

The Wall Street Journal says so.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Do you know someone with a large vocabulary who loves to use esoteric words? We've got just the website for you! Sure the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows contains only made-up words. But sometimes it's just the word you need.

Case in point: 
Kudoclasm -- when lifelong dreams are brought down to earth.

March 7, 2016

Discussions Across Differences

Click on image to enlarge.

Transgender books for YAs

In case you're looking around for some YA transgender books, the Friends have a little help to offer. Here's a list of 10 books to check out by trans authors. Maybe the folks over at GayYA can give you more book ideas.

But as the Guardian itself points out: "Please keep in mind that many of these books are published through small presses, so they likely won't be available in physical bookshops." The Friends would like you to know that at least HALF of them are available in the Western MA library system, though.

March 4, 2016

Take a load off, Fannie...

Money you donate to the Friends goes to buying books, CDs, DVDs, Sing With Your Baby, chess club, Lego club, book groups, movies, museum passes, the Kinsey Memorial Garden, On The Same Page, and? Benches. To give you a break when you're looking at the wonderful Burnett Gallery art.

The Friends. Supporting our community in oh-so many ways.

March 3, 2016

Trivia night!

Click on image to enlarge.

The New York Public Library

is good people. They're letting people scroll through, drool over, and download 2,000 really beautiful turn-of-the-century posters. We love this stuff.

Thank you, NYPL.

March 1, 2016

So hey, here's a thought, Amherst.

The San Francisco public library system hosts a drag queen story hour for children. 

** Friends Book Recommendation of the Month **

by Austin Sarat

Why oppose capital punishment?  You may believe that the state should never kill anyone.   Or that, unfortunately, sometimes an innocent person is (incurably) executed.  But an important book by Amherst College professor (and Jones Library Trustees chair) Austin Sarat: GruesomeSpectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty (2014), focuses differently.  He examines our varied modes of execution:  hanging, firing squad, electrocution, lethal injection—each touted at the time as an effective, humane advance.  Yet all of them, he shows, on occasion fail to meet the Supreme Court’s standard of executions limited to “the mere extinguishment of life,” without inflicting cruel and unusual punishment.   Every method is, Sarat shows, vulnerable to being terribly botched, resulting in “gruesome spectacles.”  Should we tinker with modes of execution, perhaps bring on the guillotine to lop off heads?   Is it time to call a halt to the death penalty?  Better read Sarat’s excellent book before deciding.

-- Lewis, member, Friends of the Jones Library System