July 16, 2019

You know where it's not hot and humid?

The Woodbury Room at the Jones Library. 

And outerspace. But one is easier to get to.

Go enjoy a free movie in the cool library.

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July 2, 2019

The LA Review of Books recommends...

Pride month just ended but reading lists last forever. 
Check out the LA Review of Books' Reading the Rainbow: A Pride List.


July 1, 2019

June 27, 2019

Beowulf in the bath??

This NPR article tells you just WHY you should read Beowulf to your kids. 

Noli timere, Friends.


June 25, 2019

A literary tube map of London

This tube map replaces stations with famous novels based on the area they were set in London. How many have you read?


June 18, 2019

My Father's Stack of Books

Perhaps you can relate to Kathryn Schulz's dad in 

"When he was a child, books were gifts. 
For his daughters, he made sure they were a given."

Make a space helmet!

If you've ever read Officer Buckle and Gloria or Wonder, you'll know the value in a good helmet. Come make one for yourself at the Jones.

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June 14, 2019

Yoga for littles!

See a real child doing a real child's pose!

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June 13, 2019

11 Travel Destinations Bookworms Need to Go to Before They Die

"The road of the traveling book lover is fraught with hardship: while the carefree traveler traipses from one destination to the next with a light carry-on and a spring in their step, the travels of the fretful book connoisseur are typically weighed down by questions such as “How many books can I fit into my carry on?” and “Should I pack more underwear, or more books?”

While we can’t offer answers to these real-life dilemmas, we can share with you eleven destinations where you certainly won’t be judged for having packed more books than clothes in your suitcase."

June 11, 2019


A Book&Bed hotel, where you can  


No, Friends, no you're not dreaming.

Those plucky Kiwis

In case you haven't see it, Air New Zealand has offered to host Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin on a vacation to help him finish his latest GOT book in peace. If you've got a couple minutes, watch their funny video.


If you've got a couple of months, read the books.

June 7, 2019

A History of the American Public Library

CityLab’s visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger shares the story of how America’s public libraries came to be, and their uneven history of serving all who need them.


June 3, 2019

June 2, 2019

Only two weeks til Father's Day!

Here's an idea for what to get the dad in your life: Hearth and Soul: A History of the Jones at One Hundred. Pick up a copy at the Jones for $14 when you're next visiting.

A book and breakfast in bed will win you Favorite Child status for quite some time, Friends.

May 30, 2019

Your local comedy club at Amherst College

**Seriously.** Tonight, after dinner, go get a glass of wine, put your screen on your lap and your feet on the coffee table, and spend an hour watching this. We guarantee you'll laugh out loud.

Or at least sit there, smiling ridiculously at your screen the whole time.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present the 2019 Jones Library Sammys Award Ceremony. Complete with Tony M DiTerlizzi, Richard Michelson, Bruce Watson, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Cammie McGovern, Leverett author and screenwriter Steve Adams, and Barry Moser.

You'll enjoy your evening spent with them. We promise.

May 29, 2019

No real books were harmed in the making of this movie

Have you seen John Wick 3: Parabellum, Keanu Reeves' most recent thriller, yet? Perhaps you were particularly taken with a certain library scene? If so, read on! The LA Times has a particularly elucidating article on how that scene was created.

May 24, 2019

We've got a solution for loneliness!

"Loneliness is rampant, and it's killing us -- literally. Anywhere from 1/4-1/2 of Americans feel lonely a lot of the time, which puts at risk for developing a range of physical and mental illnesses...This is a public health problem that needs to be addressed on a wide scale." Does that resonate? Read this article to learn what you can do to combat loneliness.


And then? Then come see us, Friends.

May 15, 2019

Dear Friend...

The following letter is from Cammie McGovern, children's book author, Sammy's award winner, co-founder of Whole Children, and Amherst resident. She addresses all of us who appreciate the Jones Library.
Dear Friend,
First, a confession. I love libraries to a degree that makes me sentimental at times. I'll wander the basement stacks of the Jones, looking for a spot to settle with my greedy pile of reading, and come upon an ESL tutor pair, heads bent together, voices low, and tears will prick my eyes. I'll reel away, weeping for reasons I don't entirely understand. That a hopeful immigrant is learning English in hushed whispers, that the tutor is an esteemed professor who once lectured to halls of 300 students. Perhaps the sight reminds me (a bit too much) of my own unmoorings, when strangers and books and, most of all, libraries have helped me adjust to a new setting and a lonely time.
Here's the confession though: I can (and often do) speak with wild reverence about my love for libraries in general and the Jones in particular, and I have never, outside of buying a handful of Sammy's tickets over the years, been a donor. Even worse: It's never occurred to me to give! In my mind, I've placed it in roughly the same category as public schools. Don't the State and the Town take care of both? Plus, don't they have some big endowment?
As it turns out, the answer to both these questions is a surprising and resounding No! State and town financial support only cover about 75% of the budget. Income from the endowment is far less than I would have thought (enough to cover a few librarians' salaries.)
Here's the truth that makes me blush with shame—the remaining (approximately) 25% of the budget -- funding for virtually all the programs we know and love so much at the Jones, has always come from private donations from local residents and library lovers. I am both, and have never given! In my embarrassment, I have to wonder how many more are out there like me? People who see the essential role the Jones plays in strengthening our community? Parents who remember staggering into the Woodbury Room, weepy from the isolation of unscheduled days with an infant for an hour's reprieve with Happy Dan? Patrons who recognize the countless other marginalized groups-just as isolated, possibly more desperate—coming through the doors looking for the same?
The programs that accommodate them and enrich all our lives, are the most vulnerable to budget cuts and will be the first to go if private fundraising goes down. We will still have the books, but we won't have the countless connections we make around them; the book clubs, the Story Hours, the Community Read, the teen groups, the poetry celebrations.
It is up to all of us who remember how the Saturday February music series got us through winter, and how the summer reading programs carried us through that season as well, to ensure that these programs are sustained for future generations. 
As Ann Patchett wrote in her homage to public libraries: “Know this—if you love your library, use your library. Support libraries in your words and deeds...(D)on't forget about the members of your community who are like you but perhaps lack your resources... Make sure that in your good fortune you remember to support their quest for a better life... That's what libraries have delivered."
I offer a profound, and much belated, thanks to the donors who funded the programs that meant so much to me and my family when we were all younger (and less aware of how the funding for these things worked) and I will now vow to do my part in ensuring they're still around for the next generation. I hope you will, as well
Cammie McGovern

May 14, 2019

The Mill River

You love it for its playground, its pool, its trail walks. 
Now come learn about why it matters.
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May 1, 2019

When you really need to own that book.

Sure, the Friends love libraries best of all. But? We also love our independent bookstores.

This Wall Street Journal article, How One Independent Bookstore Succeeds in the Amazon Age, points out happily that "Independent stores are making a strong comeback, with the number of locations rising to 2,470 currently from 1,651 in 2009." Lookin' at you, Amherst Books and Odyssey Bookshop.


Don't have a WSJ subscription? That's okay! The Jones Library does for you. Swing by a check out the Monday WSJ.

April 30, 2019

For Refugee Children, Reading Helps Heal Trauma

For SO many reasons, reading out loud to children is a wonderful thing. 
Check out this NYT op ed and then go visit We Love Reading
It'll make you both happy and sad.

April 26, 2019

10 Surprising Former Librarians

Here's a list of ten folks who were librarians before they became famous for other activities. 


It'll come as no surprise to anyone that one of them was "The World's Greatest Lover."

April 24, 2019

The Libro de los Epítomes

Did you know that the illegitimate son of Christopher Columbus made it his life's work to create the biggest library the world had ever known in the early part of the 16th century?


Yeah, us neither. But check it out here.

April 17, 2019

Beer in Literature: A Guide

Beer is good. Books are good. Books about beer are good. Beer while reading books is good. And here's a recommendation of which beer pairs well with what books. Although frankly, Friends, there aren't many beers we'd turn down. Books, on the other hand, we're pickier about.


Sláinte, Friends!

April 16, 2019

The Sammys are NEXT week!

The annual Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement (aka: the Sammys) are on Thursday, April 25th. Haven't gotten your ticket yet? It's okay! The Friends have your back. Click here.

See you there!

April 15, 2019

Greenfield Savings Bank $1,000 Challenge Grant!

Double your giving! Greenfield Savings Bank has generously agreed to match up to $1000 in donations to the Jones Library received here.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today!

April 14, 2019

Share your story

Like StoryCorps but about the Jones Library!

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April 12, 2019

Mark your calendars!

The Jones Library building will be CLOSED to the public on Tuesday, April 16. The library's getting a new handicapped-accessible door installed! It's going to be pretty cool, Friends.

Desperately need a book or a movie or a CD that day? No worries! The North Amherst and Munson Memorial Libraries will be open during their normal hours on the 16th.

Please plan on visiting the Jones multiple times the following day so that you can go in and out the new door. Channel your inner cat.

April 9, 2019

"The internal voice of unhelpful judgment"

Hey, you got one of those? Yeah, so do we. 
Come learn how to shut that guy up.

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April 8, 2019

Clint Eastwood's at the Jones! (sorta)

Come see, for free, what Clint Eastwood has called his last acting role.

"Retired auto worker and Korean War vet Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) fills emptiness in his life with beer and home repair, despising the many Asian, Latino and black families in his neighborhood. Walt becomes a reluctant hero when he stands up to the gangbangers who tried to force an Asian teen to steal Walt's treasured car. An unlikely friendship develops between Walt and the teen, as he learns he has more in common with his neighbors than he thought."

Please stay for a brief community discussion afterward, brought to you by the Jones Library and Coming Together. All are welcome.

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April 4, 2019

jubilat/Jones poetry series this Sunday

The flowers are blooming,
The sky is blue,
We like free poetry at the library,
How about you?

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April 3, 2019

The Argus Quartet

Before they play at Amherst College Saturday night, The Argus Quartet will have a FREE library concert for everyone Saturday morning! 
Come and enjoy music at the library.

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April 2, 2019

Managing your money

doesn't have to be hard. 
Come meet a financial educator and learn some tips and tricks. 
This Thursday. And? It's free.

April 1, 2019

Did you love mini golf at the Jones this winter?

Looking for more putting through the stacks? Head on down to Holyoke! Bring the kids during the day or enjoy some adult time in the evening. Either way, we're sure you'll have a blast.

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Palaces for the People

Looking for an inspiring podcast to fill some time? Check out this 45-minute talk by author Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People. It discusses American social infrastructures and how when we invest in libraries, parks, and schools, we reap all kinds of benefits. "We become more likely to interact with people around us, and connected to the broader public. If we neglect social infrastructure, we tend to grow more isolate, which can have serious consequences."


"Klinenberg wants to see the philanthropists of our time spend more money on things like libraries, but he also knows that philanthropic dollars are ultimately inadequate and randomly distributed to the places where the philanthropists spend their own time. If we're ever really going to make this work, it's going to have to be through a public commitment such as a major public works program."

Learn how to invest with confidence from a certified financial planner

for FREE! 
Tomorrow night at the Jones Library!