September 9, 2020

Talking with Kids about Voting


At a charged time in politics, talking with young people about voting and our democracy in a non-partisan fashion is important. To that end, the Brookline League of Women Voters prepared, with support from the Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education Grant program of the LWVMA, a resource that might be helpful to educators and families. Three groups of books for young people ages 5-10 — on voting, voting rights in history, and government — provide information and inspiration for discussing fundamental elements of democracy, a great way to nurture future voters!




August 7, 2020

Restless Reads book discussion

Did you know that Chekhov was an etymologist,
accomplished master of espionage, and expert belly dancer?

Okay, not really. But he WAS a pretty good author.
Learn more about him and his short stories on Thursday.

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August 4, 2020

Library Chat - Accessibility Study - This Thursday, August 6

From 7:00-8:00 pm

Join us as Library Trustees talk with special guest Aelan Tierney of Kuhn Riddle Architects about their Jones Library Accessibility Study

You will be able to utilize the ‘Q&A’ or 'raise hand' buttons built into Zoom to ask your questions or give your comments and concerns.  We will try to address all questions and acknowledge all raised hands as time allows.  You will also be able to phone in to hear the session. 

More info here:

August 3, 2020

Animal Farm turns 75!

And its story is as relevant as ever. Here are 10 interesting facts about it that you might not have known.

If you want to revisit the classic, the Jones has it for you. If you want to learn more about the evolution of its dust jacket, click here.

August 2, 2020

Four-year-old lands book deal for his 'astonishing' poetry

"Coming Home"
Take our gloves off
Take our shoes off
Put them where they’re supposed to go.
You take off your brave feeling
Because there’s nothing
to be scared of in the house.

July 28, 2020

Surprise! Ukes are on MONDAY!

Maybe you'll play "Just Another Manic Monday" by The Bangles or "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats or "Monday Monday" by The Mammas and the Pappas!

July 21, 2020

Leaving the Big Apple?

Electric Lit has an article about how to write your "Leaving New York" essay with their handy chart.

You know where they're all coming?

July 20, 2020

Is 'Irregardless' a Real Word?

The Friends are big fans of the folks over at Merriam-Webster. 
Go read this article and you'll become a fan, too.

July 9, 2020

The Summer Reading Program is BACK!

Now that we can borrow books again from the library, we can read NEW books! 
And? We can get credit for them! 
 #SummerReadingProgram FTW

June 30, 2020

The Souls of Black Folks

Mark your calendars: July 16th.

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June 26, 2020

June 25, 2020

Don't feel bad

Even Real Live Librarians don't always read the books they're "supposed" to have read. The NY Public Library 'fessed up.

June 22, 2020

Research Shows Virus Undetectable on Five Highly Circulated Library Materials After Three Days

Hey Friends, as the town libraries slowly begin opening back up (the Jones is accepting returns right now!), this might allay some fears.

Little Free Library stewards for their dedication to the mission

In case you need some happy news, check out the 2nd annual Todd H. Bol winners for Outstanding Achievement. Todd Bol was the inventor of the Little Free Library movement and these are examples of people continuing his amazing work.

June 20, 2020

Books! Food!

The only thing better than books and food is books about food. Maybe your cookbook shelves, like some of ours, need a little diversifying? If so, here are a few suggestions to check out:

And hey, if you make any particularly tasty dishes, let us know!

June 19, 2020

Juneteenth Celebration 2020:

** African American History in Amherst **

A slide show of materials relating to the African American community in Amherst from the Jones Library Special Collections. 

Here's what the entire town of Amherst is doing to commemorate the day.

June 18, 2020

8 of the most beautiful Russian libraries

"As is well known, Russians are the most well-read of nations. And it goes without saying that throughout its vast territory Russia has lots of libraries, both old ones and trendy modern city spaces."
Plus? Their books are so LONG they need big libraries to house them all.

Looking at you, Tolstoy.

June 17, 2020

The Utilitarian Pleasures of Playing Board Games By Yourself

With people quarantining worldwide, having a reliable indoor hobby that doesn’t require others is more valuable than ever. Read more about playing yourself at a table for one.

June 16, 2020

Happy Bloomsday everyone!

Affectionately called Bloomsday, today we commemorate June 16, 1904, when readers followed Leopold Bloom all throughout the streets of Dublin in James Joyce's "Ulysses." Join a virtual Bloomsday Festival all day today (well, 11:00-8:00) here.

June 12, 2020

Libraries Strive to Stay ‘Community Living Rooms’ as They Reopen

"Libraries around the country are tiptoeing toward reopening, but they’re not just trying to figure out how to safely lend out books. These are community hubs where parents bring their toddlers for story time, where people come to use the computer, where book groups meet. Now all of that has to be rethought." Read more in the New York Times here.

Virtual ukulele concert you can participate in!

For more info, click here.

June 3, 2020

Reading about race

Odyssey Bookshop continues to offer adult and children's book selections dealing with the issue of race. Here are some of their suggestions. Better yet, pop over to their website for more.

May 31, 2020

Matching children’s books with families receiving free farm produce

"At a time when many people are in need, two area booksellers have teamed up with other organizations to propose a unique idea: match families receiving free farm produce with children’s books." Read more here.

Want to support them? Click here.

May 21, 2020

How to Be a Person

Join The Odyssey Bookshop on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30pm on Zoom for a virtual event with Catherine Newman, author of How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, super-Important Skills to Learn Before You're Grown Up.

This virtual event is open to all ages! You can join the webinar on Zoom here.

Families are encouraged to tune in together, and to submit questions for Catherine ahead of the event. Submit your questions here!
*Questions about joining a Zoom event? Please email*

About the Book

For the kid who leaves a wet towel wadded up on the floor or forgets to put a new roll on the toilet-paper thingy, humorous writer and etiquette columnist Catherine Newman has created the ultimate guidebook to becoming a person whom everyone will like being around more. Jam-packed with tips, tricks, and skills — all illustrated in an irresistible graphic novel–style — this book shows kids just how easy it is to free themselves from parental nagging and become more dependable — and they’ll like themselves better, too! They’ll learn how to deal with dirty rooms, care for pets and cactuses, stick up for somebody, and fold a T-shirt. They’ll even get a crash course on using the kitchen (including how to turn a 33-cent package of ramen into dinner) and a boot camp for lending a hand outside the house (mowing, shoveling, and fixing something loose has never been easier). This handbook to becoming beyond helpful promises that every kid can be a valued and valuable member of the grown-up world.

About the Author

Catherine Newman is the author of Waiting for Birdy, Catastrophic Happiness, and One Mixed-Up Night, and the coauthor of Stitch Camp. She is the etiquette columnist for Real Simple magazine and the editor of the James Beard Award–winning kids’ cooking magazine ChopChop. Newman has contributed to publications including the New York TimesO the Oprah Magazine, and Parents. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family. Visit her at

Join the Event!

This event is free and open to the public! Please join us on Zoom here.
Please submit your questions for the author before the event here.

Get Your Copy

Until the library reopens and you can check out a copy, feel free to purchase one at The Odyssey Bookshop!

May 19, 2020

Got a kid who needs a little math help?

We know some folks who want to help...
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May 18, 2020

Amherst Life in 2020: Documenting Experiences

The Jones Library Special Collections department needs your help! Our mission is to record Amherst’s history and it’s essential that these unprecedented times are well documented. Please help us by going to our website to fill out a short form or to learn about other ways to share your experiences with us. 
Consider sharing this webpage with others in the community. The more varied the voices, the richer the representation. Amherst is a diverse community and we want this project to include as many viewpoints as possible.

May 15, 2020

May 14, 2020

Special ways to order books in lockdown from a bookstore

Maybe this is also how we'll be able to request books from the Jones Library when they reopen?
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May 13, 2020

Since it's Ramadan, why not explore Islamic art?

Over 500 beautiful manuscripts from the Islamic world are now digitized and free to download. Go wander through and enjoy.

May 12, 2020

National Limerick Day!

In honor of this illustrious day, the Friends challenge you to amaze and astound your friends and family with all the made-up (or not!) limericks you can. We'll get things started:

There once was a group of Friends,
Who, for the library, would go to all ends,
They tirelessly raised money
For programs serious and funny,
On your generosity they depends.

Happy National Limerick Day, Friends! Go forth and rhyme!

May 10, 2020

"Once upon a time in my future..."
UNESCO and the Idries Shah Foundation announce "World Tales," a short story competition for kids ages 12-18. Learn more here.

May 6, 2020

Guess the novels with only the protagonist's name!

We had a little trouble, Friends, we're not going to lie. 
Some of those guys? Shaking our heads...

May 4, 2020

Classics Book Group

Ilan Stavans has invited the library to co-sponsor and participate in an awesome virtual Classics Book Group, meeting on May 14 and 21 at 8 pm EDT. It's a 2-part discussion. May's virtual book group discussion will explore Passing by Nella Larsen.

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All the details are on the Jones Library calendar.