Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Urban Fiction in Fall 2017

Have you seen our expanded Urban Fiction collection? We’ve been hard at work getting the latest titles with that steamy, gritty drama you love! We have books from your favorite authors, like the latest in The Cartel series by Ashley and Jaquavis, or Hoodlum 2 by K’wan, but also lots of up-and-coming authors like Tyrone Bentley, Aija Monique, and Amir Sanchez. Stop into our fiction section and browse our special urban fiction display, highlighting all the juicy reads that keep this genre so hot! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October is Health Literacy Month!

If you have ever left the doctor’s office confused or tried to research a health topic but did not quite understand the information, you are not alone.  

Medical information, prescription instructions, and the health system as a whole are complex notions for the layperson and especially for those with learning disabilities and English as a second language. A patient’s ability to process health information is affected by literacy skills, age, disability, cultural competency, and emotional responses.

Health Literacy Month highlights the need for plain language, easy-to-access, and reliable health information understood by all.    

At Worcester Public Library we strive to provide jargon-free health information for our patrons. In our Consumer Health Reference area, we offer health reference books that are easy to read and understand. We also provide pamphlets, brochures, and community information.

Health Reference Center
On our website, we have selected a list of health websites with reliable information. One website in particular,, specializes in plain language medical information. This site offers easy-to-read health information in both English and Spanish on topics ranging from health conditions and diseases to doctors visits to parenting., also in English and Spanish, is another reliable website to research health needs.

When researching health information on the internet:

  • be sure to verify the information is current; most health articles will have a “last updated” date somewhere on the page
  • if the website ends in .com, be wary; if it ends in .gov, .edu, or .org you can expect the information to be reliable
  • always ensure the information is accurate by checking other reliable websites and health books to verify the information
  • websites full of advertisements may indicate the website is in the business of selling ads and not in the business of providing reliable health information

If English is your second language you have the right to language help at no cost to; talk with doctors, nurses, and other staff members; talk about bills and insurance; and to make appointments.

Misunderstanding medical information can have costly and unnecessary consequences. Ask questions to clarify, do your research using reliable health resources, and ask for an interpreter when needed, to make sure your health needs are met.  

Review our Health Literacy Reading List and visit the Health Literacy Display on the 2nd floor of the Main Library for more information today.
Health Literacy display; up for the month of October

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Booklists for the Fall

As the weather cools and swimsuit weather fades away, thoughts turn to coziness and comfort food.  Here's a list of foodie memoirs that will make you want to hit the kitchen and get cooking, like The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken, a recipe-laden account of the author's quest to retrieve her great-grandmother's elusive ravioli recipe, taking her throughout her home state of New Jersey and her family's homeland of Liguria into the circles of numerous relatives. Mangia!

And speaking of coziness, what's cozier and more romantic than New England in the fall?  For a list of romance novels set in nearby locales, click here. Books like Heroes Are My Weakness, which tells the tale of a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows who finds herself trapped on a remote island off the coast of Maine. Her only company is with a sexy novelist who knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands.  

Finally, in honor of our Worcester Arts Council's grant funded calligraphy workshop series, here's a list of titles recommended by Worcester artist CJ Kennedy on the art of calligraphy. For other books on this topic, visit the 745.6 collection on the 3rd floor of the Main Library or ask a librarian! 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Treasures from the Worcester Room: A Flyer from the Worcester Lyceum

One of the most striking things you notice when considering the library's Worcester Room Collection is not only how many impressive personages walked down the streets of Worcester during the city's long, proud history, but also how interconnected the histories of Worcester's various institutions are. We recently discovered an 1850 flyer from the Worcester Lyceum advertising an planned series of lectures from some speakers who are very well-known in history.  Founded in 1825, and eventually becoming Worcester's Ecotarium, the Lyceum was apparently able to book some notable people to speak,  Put it this way: of the ten speakers, eight of them are well-known enough to have fairly detailed Wikipedia pages.  This was an all-star cast of lecturers.

Horace Greeley was of course one of the most notable newspapermen of all time, and the founder of the New York Tribune.  He and his papers were considered national thought-leaders, and helped shape the opinions of the time, and define the role of the newspaper in American society.  He was also quite active in politics, serving as a senator and eventually running for president in 1872.

Wendell Phillips was one of the most famous abolitionists in American history, and a pioneer in advocacy for the rights of women and Native Americans.  Interestingly, eleven years before the start of the Civil War, several of the other speakers were known for their abolitionist views, notably Edward and Henry Beecher, the brothers of Harriet Beecher Stowe and well-known theologians in their own right.  It is important to remember that Worcester, and Massachusetts in general was a strong supporter of anti-slavery efforts.

Besides the speakers however, the entrance fees (almost $30 for men and $15 for women and children in today's money) included access to the Worcester Lyceum's expansive library.  Interestingly, the books in the Lyceum's library would eventually be donated by Dr. John Green to a new location: the Worcester Public Library.  The Lyceum's library collection is currently housed in our library's Green Collection.  This flyer and its links to the history of the city is just another example of the treasures that you can discover in the library's Worcester Room Collection.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Recommend an ebook title to purchase

Interested in making an ebook recommendation? There are two ways you can do that! Fill out the Suggest a Title form on our website. You can find it at under Explore —Suggest a Title. We can place a hold and notify you when the item becomes available.

Another way is to directly recommend a title to c/wmars while you are browsing the digital collection. Click on this link to learn more about it. Please note there is no guarantee your suggestions will be purchased. They will be considered if there is enough interest in the title and if it fits our selection criteria.