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.";qtype=keyword;locg=1;detail_record_view=0;sort=poprel;badges=1%2C2%2C1%2C2%2C1%2C2

"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!

March 27, 2019

Jakarta libraries with book nooks on tuk-tuks

"Kinong is one of thousands of Indonesians who have opened their own library in their own communities. Estimates suggest there are thousands of such libraries in Indonesia, started by ordinary people with great initiative to address the lack of books in their area and funded by occasional donations." Read more in this Guardian article.

March 26, 2019

Reading in pubs is good for you

We've got proof for you right here. Now go to the library, grab a book, and head to Amherst Coffee, The Pub, Share, High Horse, Amherst Brewing Company...

You've got choices, Friends.

March 24, 2019

You're just my type

What happened when a national park ranger put a typewriter at the Grand Canyon for hikers to use? The great American novel? Haiku? Find out here.

And while you're reading the above NPR article, feel free to listen to this soundtrack.

March 23, 2019

British slang terms you'll enjoy

If you're skint, you sure could use a fiver or a tenner. But don't ask for a twentier because then you'd really be a tosser. (Also, nobody says that, you pillock.)

Here's a fun list of 28 British slang terms you should know before you pick up your next Nick Hornby or Neil Gaiman or JK Rowling or John Cleese. But not Mary Berry. She wouldn't use those terms. Except maybe cob, bap, or barm.

March 22, 2019

If someone calls you a Jobbernowl?

It's not a compliment.

And you should return the favor using one of these seven old-fashioned ways to call someone a nincompoop.

March 21, 2019

Free graphic novel book club for kids!

Well THIS looks super cool:

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Libraries under staircases

Want some inspiration? 
Check out these photos of 15 under-the-stairs libraries. 

Much better than under-the-stairs cupboards for small wizards.

March 20, 2019

Famous people reading letters

Letters Live, a celebration of literary correspondence, gives people the opportunity to spend a night out, having letters read to them by a bunch of actors and musicians.

"You can't help be drawn in, even when the letter is never written for you...Every human experience can be found in letters. They can make you feel something you can't feel yourself, experiences you will never live. Some of us will never lose a child. Some of us will never kill someone. You could sit at home to read them, but, through the alchemy of performance, everyone in that audience becomes the recipient."

Read more about it in this Guardian article. Then, go grab a pen and a piece of paper and dash off a little something to a friend.

March 19, 2019

Three Minute Thesis Competition

This Saturday come to the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library to hear graduate students pitch their brilliant ideas in 3 minutes or less. You'll be amazed. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll walk out of there feeling like a rocket scientist yourself.

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March 18, 2019

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Ellis

talks about American Dialogue, his most recent book, 
at the Jones Library on Tuesday, March 26, at 7:00. 

Read the NY Times review and then come hear the author himself!

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Book signing to follow event.

March 13, 2019

Uke jam this Sunday

"Danny Boy?" "Kiss Me I'm Irish?" "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling?" "The Fields of Athenry?" Who KNOWS what you'll strum this St. Patrick's Day? Maybe NOTHING Irish. You won't know if you don't go...

March 5, 2019

The Jones turns 100!

A year-long celebration of the Jones Library’s Centennial! 

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February 27, 2019

Hurry, hurry, HURRY!

State Senator Jo Comerford is RIGHT NOW holding office hours at the Jones Library 11am-2pm (Amherst Room, 2nd floor) today. Stop by and introduce yourself to her! Tell her some Friends sent you.

Miss Lynn's rainbow machine!

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February 25, 2019

February 20, 2019

Everyone's favorite a cappella group

Did you miss their concert at mini golf at the Jones last month? 
That's okay: the Zumbyes are back!

And? There may be a banana.

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February 18, 2019

Family Movie Matinee & Crafternoon

Come to the Woodbury Room in the Jones Library on Wednesday, February 20th, from 2:00-5:00 for a craft (2:00-3:00) and a movie. The craft is creating a paper collage feast. The rated G movie stars a rat who dreams of becoming a chef but we're not telling you anything more...

February 16, 2019

Exactly ONE WEEK from today!

The Nields! 
Live! In concert! Free! At the Jones! 
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February 15, 2019

Free Children's Music Series

Looking for something to do on cold, snowy Saturdays? 
Come to the Jones!

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