Thursday, September 21, 2023

Learning Express Library

Learning Express Library is a popular go to resource for students, adults and professionals who seek to achieve their educational and occupational goals. The database comes equipped with a wide variety of practice tests, skill builders, tutorials and ebooks. Organized into targeted learning centers, it offers a complete selection of interactive tutorials, practice tests and ebooks essential to improve academic skills, earn a high school equivalency, prepare for college, join the military, obtain professional certification, find a job, change careers, become a U.S. citizen and much more.

The eight learning centers are:

Career Preparation: Prepare for military, real estate, nursing, law enforcement, civil service, teaching, commercial driver’s license and trade exams

High School Equivalency Center: Prepare for the GED in English and Spanish, HiSET etc.

College Admissions Test Preparations: ACT, SAT, AP, PSAT, TOEFL

Grades 4-8 Educator Resources: Skill building lessons and practice for guiding elementary and middle school learners

High School Students: Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Technology, logic and reasoning skills improvement for classroom and homework improvement

College Students: CLEP, college placement and graduate school admissions exams; math, science, grammar and reading skills review

Adult Core Skills: Citizenship exam resources; build on your math, reading, grammar and speaking skills

Recursos Para Hispanohablantes: Learning, career and citizenship tools in Spanish

Watch this tutorial for a quick overview:

All you need is a valid Worcester Public Library card to access the resource from our website. Click here, select Learning Express Library from the alphabetical list, and create your own account. Registration requires a valid email address and a password. This will guarantee your work in progress and score reports can be saved. You will also be able to revisit any practice tests, so you can refer back to them later.

Friday, September 8, 2023

New Releases: September 2023 Edition

Check out these highly anticipated September releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month!  


Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll - Pamela was never the same after she witnessed the murder of two of her sorority sisters and the wounding of two others at her University of Florida sorority house in 1978. When she meets another young woman convinced that the same perpetrator killed one of her friends two years previously, the two join forces to bring him to justice. If these few details bring to mind the crimes of serial killer Ted Bundy, the resemblance is intentional. Knoll, however, quietly subverts the myth of the charismatic killer by focusing her narrative on his victims and their survivors in this suspenseful, thought-provoking thriller. 

The Long Game: a Novel by Elena Armas - An unlikely duo find love while coaching a team of unruly nine-year-olds on the soccer field in this steamy, sporty rom-com set in small-town North Carolina. When disgraced soccer exec Adalyn Reyes, who has been exiled from her home in Miami and tasked with helping the hapless Green Turtles turn their fortunes around, meets retired hotshot goalie Cam Caldani, she can’t help but think he might be the perfect companion on her road to redemption. But, no, due to a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, Cam can’t stand her. Adalyn, however, is not one to take no for an answer. Eventually, the Green Turtles triumph and, perhaps not surprisingly, enmity gives way to romance.  

The North Woods by Daniel MasonWhen a pair of young lovers abscond from a repressive Puritan colony to the north woods, little do they know that over centuries and through generations, the humble cabin in which they take refuge will host a multitude of characters human and non-human alike: a lovelorn painter, a stalking panther, an anguished ghost, a sinister con-man, and an amorous beetle among them. This panoramic novel teems with inter-connected stories that explore love, and madness, greed and generosity, hope and humor, the natural world and the occult, all against the backdrop of the dark and wondrous north woods.


Failures of Forgiveness: What We Get Wrong and How to Do Better by Myisha CherryForgiveness is essential to the healing of both the individual psyche and the world. Spiritual leaders, philosophers, and pop culture icons agree. However, scholar Myisha Cherry asks what does it really mean to forgive? Are there circumstances in which forgiveness is not the appropriate response to injustice? Cherry contrasts “superficial repair” of broken relationships be they personal or political, with the “radical repair” predicated on addressing the situation that gave rise to the need to forgive in the first place. In addition, she says, “We can only learn to do forgiveness better, not perfectly.”


The Burning of the World: The Great Chicago Fire and the War for a City’s Soul by Scott W. Berg The late summer of 1871 had been uncommonly hot and dry and the booming metropolis of Chicago was a tinderbox. Contrary to legend, a cow was not the culprit, but when fire did strike on the evening of October 8th, it swept through the city’s neighborhoods, destroyed the central business district, killed hundreds, and left an estimated 100,000 homeless. No sooner had the firefight ended than a new battle erupted between private interests representing native born, Protestant elites, and the city’s burgeoning immigrant population, determined not to be left behind. Regardless of circumstances, however, the city’s rapid transformation from a pile of ashes on the shore to cultural and industrial powerhouse was, indeed miraculous.

Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City by Elyssa Maxx Goodman  This expansive, celebratory survey of the richness, diversity and resilience of drag in the Big Apple, takes us from Jazz Age masquerade balls to RuPaul’s Drag Race and features a cast of characters who can only be described as marvelous. Although consistently lively and entertaining, the ongoing social and political issues faced by participants in drag life then and now, are addressed in depth in this heavily researched, seminal history. 


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

SAMS Photofact Repair Manual Online

 Are you looking to fix that old radio or VCR but don’t really know how to go about it? Try SAMS Photofacts to find the wiring diagram, schematics or service manual for the model you own. Regardless of whether you are a professional repairman, electronics enthusiast, or a do-it-yourselfer, you will find this resource useful as this is the standard resource technicians go to for electronics repair.

SAMS Photofacts contains sets of schematics for consumer electronics such as TV, VCR, DVD player and Radio. You can search by model number and download the PDF. If the model you need is not available for immediate download, you can fill out a request form for the PDF and SAMS will upload the file within a few days.

To access this manual online, go to WPL’s databases page and click on Photofacts Online (SAMS). A Worcester Public Library card is required for remote access. In addition, the library also maintains a hugh collection of photofacts in print format on the 2nd floor. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

New Releases: August 2023 Edition

New Releases: August 2023 Edition

Check out these highly anticipated August releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month!  


Las Madres by Esmeralda Santiago - In her first novel since the widely acclaimed When I Was Puerto Rican, author Santiago tells the story of a close-knit group of Puerto Rican women bound by ties of family and friendship. It all begins in 1975 when aspiring ballerina Luz, is gravely injured in an automobile accident that takes the lives of both of her parents. Many years later, Luz, now living in the Bronx, returns to the island, accompanied by her daughter and the friends who helped raise her, to revisit the past and uncover the truth about the accident that inalterably changed the course of her life. When Hurricane Maria strikes and long-buried secrets come to light, they all get more than they bargained for.

Fever House
by Keith Rosson - When leg-breaking debt collectors Hutch and Tim attempt to strong arm a drug addict named Wesley, who owes their boss $12,000, they find a severed hand hidden in a Wonder Bread bag and decide to take it home. Bad idea. Madness ensues. Full-throated splatter punk, gritty noir, rock and roll, break- neck pacing and, surprisingly well-realized characters. What’s not to love?

Mobility by Lydia Kiesling - The personal meets the political head on, in the story of Bunny a self-described “foreign service brat" who, after a privileged childhood in various exotic postings, moves on to an equally privileged adulthood as an oil company executive in Texas. But can she reconcile her comfortable life with her role in shaping the dire future she sees looming on the horizon?


The Underworld:Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey - For centuries, mariners have spun tales of a sinister undersea world of deadly peril and marvelous creatures. Now cutting-edge technologies have allowed scientists to dive miles beneath the ocean’s surface, and they have discovered both marvelous creatures and deadly peril. Soaring mountains, smoldering volcanoes, valleys 7,000 times as deep as Everest is high, shimmering creatures one hundred feet long, sharks that live half a millennium and an estimated three million shipwrecks littering the ocean floor, to name a few. In her new work, oceanographic enthusiast Casey chronicles her own literal and figurative deep dive into the past, present and precarious future of the watery world that lies beneath.  

Anansi’s Gold: TheMan Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington and Swindled the World by Yepoka Yeebo. Some consider him the most successful con man in history. Beginning in 1957 after Ghana achieved independence from Britain, John Ackah Blay-Miezah perpetrated a series of audacious frauds, raking in millions, living large on several continents, and luring in many notable figures including, Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell and child star and one-time US ambassador to Ghana, Shirley Temple Black. In Anansi’s Gold, Ghanaian journalist Yeebo tells the story of this charismatic man who hoodwinked just about everybody he met and proved maddeningly adept at escaping justice all along the way.

Althea by Sally Jacobs - Before Venus and Serena Williams, there was Althea Gibson. Three years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball, Althea Gibson entered the rarefied, largely upper-crust world of professional tennis. Many were skeptical. After all, apart from the color of her skin, her impoverished background, short hair and tattered jeans fit nobody’s image of how a tennis player looks. Never mind, Gibson’s ability to play soon silenced all critics. Now, author Jacobs chronicles the life and career of this woman who defied multiple obstacles to win Wimbledon, hobnob with dignitaries and become a personal hero to women and people of color who aspired to secure a place on the court.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

New Releases: July 2023 Edition

Check out these highly anticipated July releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month!  


Carnivale of Curiosities by Aimee Gibbs In Victorian London tickets to a traveling sideshow, the Carnivale of Curiosities, are a hot commodity. Throngs gather nightly to gaze in wonder at an astounding assemblage of marvels. For those few in the know, however, the real magic happens behind the curtain, where for the right price, the show’s proprietor, Aurelius Ashe, can make any wish come true. This unique and dazzling gothic tale is set in a spectacular circus where star-crossed lovers’ destinies are forged at an unexpected price. Intrigued? Author Colson Whitehead calls Carnivale of Curiosities, “wonderfully imagined” and “fiendishly clever.”


Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson This classic coming of age tale set in the West African neighborhoods of South London, tells the story of aspiring trumpet player, Stephen, whose overriding passion for music and dance puts him at odds with his father an ambitious Ghanaian immigrant, who harbors more conventional dreams for his offspring. Nelson’s lovely prose and quietly meditative tone perfectly capture the heat of a city summer, the pulsing beat of a smoky dance club, the intensity of youth, the intimacy of family life, the trauma of intergenerational conflict, and the yearning for freedom from the expectations of others. 


The Librarianist by Patrick DeWitt Bob Comet is a retired librarian living a contented life surrounded by books and small comforts, when an unexpected encounter in a grocery store motivates him to volunteer at the local senior center where he is soon surrounded by a host of quirky characters. Gradually the complexities of Comet’s inner life and past adventures are revealed. This poignant and often very funny book celebrates the extraordinary depths hidden in even the most ordinary of lives.



The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight by Andrew Leland Diagnosed with a condition called retinitis pigmentosa as a child, Andrew Leland has long known that he will eventually become totally blind. Leland has used his considerable emotional and intellectual resources to explore the social, cultural, political and, most importantly personal aspects of what it means to become a citizen of “the country of the blind.” He shares his story with abundant wit, warmth and no sentimentality, determined to gain whatever insight he can, into what he maintains is one of the generative experiences of his life. 


Bogie and Bacall: The Surprising True Story of Hollywood’s Greatest Love Affair by William J. Mann Actor Humphrey Bogart was forty-five years old, an established star and unhappily married when he met 19-year-old Lauren Bacall on the set of the film To Have or Have Not. Romance ensued; scandal followed and Hollywood pundits predicted that, of course, the couple would not last. They were wrong. Following his divorce, Bogie and Bacall married and they remained together-by all accounts happily-until his death in 1957. In this book, author William Mann offers a comprehensive look at this remarkable love story, capturing all of its complications, contradictions and challenges with sympathy and in great depth.

Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces that Sway Doctors Impact Patients, and Shape our Health by Dr Anupam P. Jena and Dr Christopher Worsham Why are children more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD at certain times of year than others? Why were Republicans far more likely to die of COVID than Democrats? Are marathons bad for your health even if you do not run?  Is it better to choose an experienced physician or a rookie? These are just a few of the questions addressed by authors Jena and Worsham as they delve into the social, political, economic and cultural factors that help define the landscape of  American healthcare. This is an entertaining and thought-provoking exploration of one of the most critical issues of our time.