Saturday, December 1, 2012

About this blog

The WPL Reference Blog will keep you up-to-date on resources, services, collections, archives, public programs, classes, and exhibitions of the Worcester Public Library. All blog entries are written by the WPL own experienced and knowledgeable reference librarians.  Email Pingsheng Chen if you have any questions.

Friends Film Series, Winter 2012

— Skating on Film —
In honor of the city ice rink opening!
Dec. 1: Ice Castles
The beloved tearjerker starring 1970s teen heartthrob Robby Benson in a classic story of love triumphing over tragedy, 1978. (PG)
Dec. 8: Thin Ice
Delightful film features the Olympic- gold skating talents of Sonja Henie and her prince, Tyrone Power, 1937.
Dec. 15: Cutting Edge
Romantic movie showcases charming performances by D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly who portray a fading hockey player and a prima-donna skater, 1992. (PG)
Dec. 22: Breakaway
An ethnic Canadian hockey player struggles against traditional family values
and discrimination from his mainstream hockey buddies, 2011. (PG)

Dec. 29: Ice Princess
With the help of her coach, par- ents, and the boy who drives the Zamboni, nothing can stop Casey from pursuing her dream to be a champion skater, 2005. (G)

— Social Justice —
Jan. 5: The Interrupters
An intimate, inspiring journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities, 2011.
Jan. 12: Freedom Writers
A teacher (Hilary Swank) inspires her class of at-risk students to learn toler- ance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school, 2007. (PG-13)
Jan. 19: Inside Job
Oscar-winning documentary (stars Matt Damon) takes a closer look at what caused the financial meltdown, 2010. (PG-13) The film is followed by a moderated discussion on the impact of the foreclosure crisis on Worcester residents.
Jan. 26: The Constant Gardener A widower (Ralph Fiennes) is deter- mined to uncover the secret circumstances surrounding his wife’s murder, 2005. (R)

— Loving Basketball —
Feb. 2: Coach Carter
Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire
team for breaking
their academic con-
tract with him,
2007. (PG-13)
Feb. 9: Hoop Dreams Absorbing film follows two
African-American boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the
road to going profes- sional, 1994. (PG-13)
Feb. 16: Love and Basketball
A romantic tale of two Los Angeles neighbors who grew up loving basket- ball and, eventually, each other, 2000. (PG-13) Location to be announced.
Feb. 23: He Got Game
A basketball player’s father (Denzel Washington) must convince his son to
attend a college so Dad can get a shorter prison sentence, 1998. (R)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Ideas: Best Products of the Year (Consumer Reports)

Don't know what to buy,  check out "Best products of the year: 475+ top picks and great buys" Consumer Reports magazine: November 2012

 This ultimate buyer's guide includes the best electronics, appliances, and other products among the thousands our secret shoppers bought throughout the year and that our testers rigorously tested.

All of the products listed are recommended, which means that they performed well in Consumer Reports' labs, and where they’re able to assess a brand’s reliability, they believe the brand to be reliable. Many choices are included in each category, so you’re bound to find at least a few that meet your needs.

In the middle part of each page in the PDF, they highlight CR Best Buys across a range of prices. CR Best Buys perform well in our tests and are of exceptional value.

Email if you have any questions.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Culinary Arts Collection: Best Holiday Recipes!

Do you know you can find recipes and other culinary information from Culinary Arts Collection? The database is provided by Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and Mass Library System. A valid WPL library card is required to access the database.

 This database is comprised of more than 300 major cooking and nutrition magazines as well as almost 20 reference titles from Delmar, including
 ✔ Art Culinaire
 ✔ Better Nutrition
 ✔ Confectioner
 ✔ Delicious Living
✔ Environmental Nutrition
✔ Farmers Guardian
 ✔ Food and Drink
✔ Food Magazine
✔ Food, Culture & Society
✔ Prevention
✔ Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
✔ Vegetarian Times
✔ Wine Handbook
✔ And many more

The collection provides access to not only recipes, but also restaurant reviews, industry information and practical instruction, such as
✔ Creating baked goods
 ✔ Preparing popular recipes
✔ Managing your weight
✔ Choosing the right wine
✔ Gaining catering experience
✔ Preparing fast meals
✔ Practical advice on opening a restaurant
✔ Developing healthy eating habits
✔ Calculating recipes
✔ Becoming a wine connoisseur
✔ And much more

 To access: 
Go to
Click Online Databases in the left column of the page
Choose Auto Repair, Culinary Arts, Consumer under By Subject
Select Culinary Arts Collection

Search Tips
• Choose from Basic, Subject Guide, Publication or Advanced Search
• Limit search to Full Text documents 
• Limit search results to Document Types,  such as recipes only
• Support a multilingual community by translating documents on-demand
• Manage documents in the collection by e-mailing, bookmarking or printing them

Sample Search: Holiday Recipes
  • Type in holiday recipes in keyword search
  • Check Only Full Text  in the left column
  • Now you will be able to browse through over 84 holiday recipes at
Sample Search: Thanksgiving recipes
  • Type in thanksgiving in keyword search
  • Check Only Full Text  in the left column
  • Click Recipes under Document Types in the left column
  • Now you will be able to browse through over 140 Thanksgiving recipes 
Enjoy the following two delicious recipes:

  • Sears, Kate. "Our Thanksgiving cookbook." Good Housekeeping Nov. 2010: 156+. Culinary Arts Collection. Web. 17 Nov. 2012.

  • And the winner is: the best thanksgiving recipes from our reader contest." Vegetarian Times Nov. 2001: 64+. Culinary Arts Collection. Web. 17 Nov. 2012.
If you have any trouble accessing the database, please email Ping, the eResources Librarian at

Sunday, November 11, 2012

WPL Main Library Computer Classes!

  ———————— Level 1 ——————————

Computer Basics (4 Sessions)
Fridays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Third Floor, Computer Lab
Audience: For anyone who has no computer skills. Familiarize yourself with the computer. Gain mouse and keyboarding skills. Learn how to use the Internet. Sign up at the 2nd Floor Desk


eMail for Beginners
Drop-in Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Third Floor, Computer Lab
Audience: People who have taken the Computer Basics class or have basic computer skills. Will create a Gmail account for every student, teach how to send, and reply to a message, and attach a document. No registration required.

          ————————–——–———— Level 2 ——————————–—————

New!  Smart Searching Series (4 Sessions)
Drop-in Fridays, 10:30-11:30 a.m. 3rd Floor, Computer Lab
Audience: For people who have taken the Computer Basics class or have basic computer skills. Instruction on how to surf the Internet effectively, use Google, and access your library account online. Also, view recommended websites, learn to navigate online databases, and retrieve full-text documents. No registration required.


New! Introduction to Microsoft Word (4 Sessions)
Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Third Floor, Computer Lab
Audience: Students, Adult Learners Learn how to create and edit documents, format text, proofread, upload documents to email, and add tables and graphics. Pre-requisite: You must have an established email account prior to attending classes. Register on the Events Calendar on the library's website at

          ———————–——–————–— Level 3 ——————————–—————

eBooks and eReaders
Drop in Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Third Floor, Computer Lab
Audience: Everyone who is interested Will demonstrate major features of different e-readers, and help students download library eBooks, audiobooks or music to his or her device. Please bring your device to the workshop if you have one.
College Admission Essays, Resume, Job Applications, Research Help
Wednesday evenings 5:30-8:30 p.m. Second Floor Reference Desk
Audience: Students, Job Seekers, Adult Learners
Assistance with finding information on a topic, editing, content organization and citations. Register one hour session on the Events Calendar on the library’s website at

For more information, call 508-799-1655 x3 or email Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq. Worcester MA 01608, revised on 1/20/13

Free JAWS Workshops

The Worcester Talking Book Library is planning a series of free JAWS workshops beginning this fall and continuing into the spring of next year. The workshops are open to all interested parties and not limited to Talking Book Library patrons. If you know someone who may be interested in the workshops, please let them know by sharing this announcement. Thank you.

The first two workshops, scheduled for November 10 and November 17, will offer an introduction to JAWS version 13, which will include important JAWS commands and keystrokes for editing and reading text; navigation; the computer desktop and start menu environments; and basic file management. Possible topics for future JAWS workshops may include using JAWS with NLS BARD downloads, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook and Windows Media Player as determined by participants’ preferences.

The workshops will be held in the computer lab at the Worcester Public Library on Saturday mornings from 10 AM – 12 noon. Participants are encouraged to bring a recording device or small tape recorder, as well as a set of earbuds or headphones to the workshop. Earbuds can be purchased at the Worcester Public Library for $2.00 for anyone who may need a set.

Workstation seating space is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 18 people who register. Seating for an additional six observers will be available at the back of the computer lab.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Preparedness Tips

assachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Hurricane Sandy Situational Awareness Statement (SAS) #9

Date:  October 28, 2012
Time:  1:30 PM

Hurricane Sandy is currently off the coast of North Carolina and is expected to move north-northwest tonight and tomorrow, making landfall along the New Jersey coast sometime Monday night into Tuesday.

Given the large geographic size and duration of Sandy, Massachusetts will experience moderate to major impacts, including damaging winds for a period of 12 – 18 hours, associated widespread power outages, and heavy rains. In addition, both south- and east-facing coastlines will experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Potential impacts of Sandy include:

High Seas: Sandy is predicted to cause unusually high seas (30 feet or greater) off the coast of New England with seas building Sunday evening and peaking Monday and Tuesday. Strong gale and storm force winds are expected with hurricane force gusts possible.  Seas will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, even for large vessels. National Weather Service (NWS) advises all vessels be in port by Sunday morning.

Winds: Damaging winds and associated widespread power outages are likely. Wind damage may be exacerbated in southern New England as most trees still have foliage at this time of year. Inland Massachusetts could experience sustained 30-40 mph winds with gusts of 50-60 mph. beginning Monday morning. The Massachusetts coastline will see winds of 40-50 mph with gusts 60-80 mph beginning in late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Coastal Flooding: Both east- and south-facing coasts in Massachusetts may experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion during the Monday and Tuesday high tide cycles. For south-facing coasts, the Monday evening high tide is of most concern and may experience major coastal flooding. Surge is expected to reach 3-5 feet, with high energy waves of up to 30 feet approaching the coastline. There is the possibility that areas within Buzzards Bay, especially the south coast, may to see up to 6-10 feet of surge as the winds push water up into the bay, resulting in destructive coastal flooding. For east-facing coasts, minor to moderate coastal flooding may occur, with the Monday midday and midnight high tide cycles of most concern. East-facing coasts may see 2-4 feet of surge during high tide, with 3-5 feet possible during low tide cycle.

Rainfall:  Massachusetts can expect 1 -3 inches of rainfall Sunday night through Wednesday with locally higher amounts of 3-5 inches possible, especially in the Berkshires and Worcester Hills. Rain is expected to begin Sunday night and potentially last through mid-week.

The latest 5-day forecast map from the National Hurricane Center is included below.

The State Emergency Operations Center has activated to Level 2 (Full)as of 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, and will expand activation to a Level 1 (Highest) on Sunday night.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for the General Public:

·        Finish your preparedness activities today:

·        Be sure to have a well-stocked Family Disaster Kit in the event you lose power or are isolated for a number of days.

·        Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.

·        Secure outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, decorations, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and potentially become a projectile.

·        Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding.

·        Keep your vehicles fully fuelled.

·        Have a certain amount of cash available.  If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.

·        Stay informed by monitoring the storm via the media.

·        Plan to stay safely indoors throughout the course of the storm, beginning Sunday night and through Tuesday morning. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are operable.

·        If you use a generator, be sure to operate it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.  Be sure to shut off your main power supply to your home when running your generator.

·        Do not use gas stoves or candles as heat or light sources.

·        Heed guidance and directives from your local officials.

MEMA encourages smartphone users to download the free ping4alerts! app. This app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones and receives severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA based on the user's location.  Learn more at

Online Resources:
For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at (Hurricane preparedness tips and other preparedness information are available through the “Hurricane” link on MEMA’s homepage).
MEMA's Facebook page:
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at
National Hurricane Center website at
National Weather Service/Taunton at
National Weather Service/Albany, NY at
Mass211 at

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Q&A: library cards and borrowing policies

Q: How do I get a WPL library card?
A: You may apply for a WPL library card in person at any one of our locations, mobile library or online through our website. You must present proof of current address.

Q: I lost my library card. What do I do now?
A: You can get a replacement card at the library card desk. The cost is $1.00 for adults and $0.50 for children, teens and seniors.

Q: How many items can I borrow on my card?
A. You may borrow a total of 50 items on your card.

Q: Do I have to return the materials to the same location I borrowed it from?
A: No. Items may be returned to any library in central or western Massachusetts that belongs to the C/W MARS network.

Q: Is there a charge to borrow materials from the library?
A: No. All borrowable materials are loaned for free. You will only accrue a fine if materials are returned late. Please refer to our fines policy for more information on specific fines.

Q: My book is due tomorrow and I am not done with it yet! What do I do?
A: Most items owned by Worcester Public Library can be renewed if no one else is waiting in line for that item. Please refer to the renewal policy for details.

Please feel free to email Priya, if you have further questions regarding library cards and how to borrow materials from the Worcester Public Library.

Monday, October 1, 2012

E-Content of the Month, October 2012

Whatever your goal, LearningExpress Library's resources will help you succeed.

 The Learning Express Library is an online collection of practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, and ebook.

Just some of the many practice tests available include:
ACT, AP, ASVAB, CDL, Civil Service Cosmetology, EMS Firefighter,  GED, GMAT,  GRE,  Law Enforcement, LSAT, MTEL, Nursing and Allied Health,  Praxis/PPST,  Real Estate,  SAT,  TOEIC,  TOEFL,  U.S. Citizenship.

The Learning Express Library also includes basic reading, writing, and math skills improvement for school children and adults. A "skills improvement" section is also included with Spanish language instruction.

To access Learning Express Library: (A valid Worcester Public Library card is required.)
1. Go to the library's homepage
2. Click on Online Databases in the left column
3. Choose Test Preparation and Online Tutorials under By Subject

All users must create an account to use the Learning Express Library.

If you are already a registered user, you do not need to register again. Click here to login.

If you are using this resource for the first time, please click "New User." Create a username and a password of your choice. Both your username and password must be a minimum of six characters and should not include spaces. Enter your email so Learning Express Library can send you a new password if you forget yours.

If you need help with your account, call Learning Express Library at 1-800-295-9556, ext. 2; or e-mail them at

If you have questions regarding using Learning Express Library, ask a librarian at 508-799-1655 x3 or email Ping at

Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read September 30th - October 6th
Frequently Challenged Books

Election Information - Thursday, November, 2012 (Polls open 7 am - 8 pm)
Click here to find Where do I vote? 7 Websites for Science Questions & Answers - job and resume search and posting
Indeed allows job seekers to apply directly to jobs on the site and offers resume posting and storage

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Main Library to be open Sundays and Mondays!

Main Library to be open Sundays!
Beginning October 19, the main library is open:
Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30 pm  (October 21, 2012 - April 26, 2013)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Q&A: using the new online catalog

Librarians answer your questions about Evergreen, the library new system

Q: What is my password to login my library account or the library's computer?
A: Your default password should be your last name in all caps. If your password does not work, ask a librarian to reset for you if you are in the library.  Or you can request a password to be sent to your email by clicking on Forget your password? link below your password box. See

Q: I know my password but I still cannot log into my library account. What should I do?
A: If your library card number starts with "D", make sure to type uppercase "D" instead of lowercase "d".

Q: I used to be able to search the library catalog at home. Now when I click on the catalog link, it gives me an error message. Is there something wrong with my computer?
A. No. On the contrary, your computer is so smart that it remembers the old link and tries to access that link.  Try one of the following.
1. If you see the "... cannot display the page" error message, click Back arrow of your Internet browser.

2. Go to . Click C/WMARS Online One Catalog. Then go to the library website and click on the catalog.

Q: In the old system, everytime you checked out a book, it was added automatically to a "book history" in my account.  Does "book history" function exist in the new system?
A: Yes. "Book History" in the new system is called "Checked out items/holds history", which you have to set up in your account under Search Preferences. Log into your library account at Under Account Preferences, click on Search Preferences. Choose "Keep history of Checked out items" and/or "Keep history of holds". As soon as you set it up, everything you check out/request will show up under the "Check out history" section of "Items Checked Out" or the "Holds History" section of "Holds". The staff at the library does NOT have access to your check out history or holds history.

Q: What is "My Lists"?
A: "My Lists" enables you to create temporary and permanent book lists, create and edit notes for items in lists, place holds on items in lists, and share lists via email or RSS feeds.
To create a list:
Log into your account under My Lists, name your first list, click Submit. Then search for titles and choose a title to add to your list by clicking Add to My List. Click View My List on top of the Search Results. Select those titles and then Click Actions for These Items. Move selected titles into an existing list.

Have more questions or want to share your tips? Email Ping at
If you have a question and need an answer soon? You may Ask a Librarian via phone, email,  text, Facebook, Twitter and G+.

E-Content of the Month, September 2012

Want to improve your grades, skills, find a job or start a business?

Credo Reference - Research starts here
Have to write a research paper and need to find resources of all types, such as reference works, books, journal articles, and images? Or can't find any relevant materials on the topic you are working on anywhere? Credo Reference is a great reference database to get you started. A valid WPL library card is required to use the database.   

Khan Academy - Free video courses for any subjects
Provides over 3,000 free videos for students and the general public to learn K-12 math, science, economics, computer science, history and various other subjects. Students can learn at their own pace by watching the short videos on their own computer. 

Crowdfunding - Raise money for startups
This WSJ article includes some popular Crowdfunding websites that will help you raise cash.

JobQuest Resources  - Local Job Postings and Help
The JobQuest Guide explains how to use the resources available through JobQuest, the Massachusetts Division of Career Services One-Stop Career Center site listing a wide range of job opportunities available statewide.
JobQuest connects job seekers to all the employment opportunities listed with more than 30 Massachusetts One-Stop Career Centers statewide.

Local Job Listings provides a more local resource, connecting only to those JobQuest employment opportunities located in the Central Massachusetts area, including Worcester, Milford, Southbridge and the 35 surrounding towns.

Job Training Programs provides information on training programs available through JobQuest, including Individual Training Account (ITA), Training Opportunities Program (Section 30) and Trade.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Credo Reference - Research Starts Here

Have to write a research paper and need to find resources of all types, such as reference works, books, journal articles, and images? Or can't find any relevant materials on the topic you are working on anywhere? Credo Reference is a great reference database to get you started. A valid WPL library card is required to use the database.

Credo Reference provides full-text online versions of nearly 1200 published reference works from more than 70 publishers in every major subject,  including general and subject dictionaries and encyclopedias.

To access Credo Reference:
Go to
Click Online Databases in the left column
Choose Credo Reference

Please email Ping at with any questions.

Celebrating Exceptional Authors

The Worcester Public Library Foundation’s Seventh Annual A Celebration of Authors Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Main Library 

Three authors appearing this year include Chris Bohjalian, author of fifteen books, including his critically acclaimed and newly published The Sandcastle Girls, a mesmerizing historical love story steeped in his Armenian heritage. Joining him is Leah Hager Cohen, a prolific fiction and nonfiction writer, whose most recent novel, The Grief of Others, is a perceptive, absorbing drama about the complex bonds of the modern American family. The delightful “diva of dialogue,” Elinor Lipman, rounds out the trio of acclaimed authors. Her latest humor-laden book, Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus, chronicles the 2012 election season with a poem a day—all 140 characters or less.

The evening’s program begins at 7 p.m. and includes a dessert reception and book-signing by the authors. Tickets: $35, $30/Friends of Worcester Public Library, and $100/sponsors. Sponsors may join the authors for a pre-program reception at 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the library’s Foundation and its ongoing efforts to enhance library services. For tickets and more information, please call 508-799-1656.

Friends Film Series

Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saxe Room
— On Film, On Campus
Sept. 1: Labor Day weekend, no film
Sept. 8: The Paper Chase  
A Harvard law student struggles with balancing his coursework and his relationship with the daughter
(Lindsay Wagner) of a stern professor, 1973. (PG)
Sept. 15: Good News
An enthusiastic, good-hearted romp through 1920s college life. Stars Peter Lawford and June Allyson, 1947.
Sept. 22: The Sure Thing
Two mismatched college students (John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga) find themselves trapped together during a cross-country road trip to get home for the holidays, 1985. (PG-13) 

— Mrs. Month —
Oct. 6: Mrs. Miniver
Greer Garson commands this film in the title role as a middle-class British housewife whose strength holds her family together when World War II literally hits their home, 1942.
Oct. 13: Mrs. Brown
Charming film about Queen Victoria (Dame Judi Dench) and commoner John Brown who becomes her closest friend and confidant, 1997. (PG)
Oct. 20: Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
All but abandoned by her family in a London retirement hotel, an elderly woman strikes up a curious friendship with a young writer, 2005.
Oct. 27: Mrs. Dalloway
Vanessa Redgrave shines as the heroine of this superb adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, 1998. (PG-13) 

— A Month in the Trenches (Trench coats!) —
Nov. 3: Laura
This silky smooth film noir
features a gruff police detec- tive (Dana Andrews)
investigating the murder of a beautiful advertising executive
(Gene Tierney), 1944. 

Nov. 10: The Pink Panther
A bumbling French police inspector (Peter Sellers) tries to catch a daring jewel thief whose identity and features are unknown in this comedy, 1963.
Nov. 17: Columbo
Peter Falk stars as Columbo, the clas- sic cigar-chomping, rumpled trench coat-wearing police lieutenant, 1971.
Nov. 24: Casablanca
Set in Africa during World War II, an American expatriate (Humphrey Bogart) meets a former lover (Ingrid Bergman), with unforeseen complications, 1942.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sign up for OneClickdigital audiobook webinar

Recorded Books will be hosting training webinars for library patrons to review the features of your OneClickdigital downloadable audiobook service. Topics covered in this 45 minute program will include:

- A complete demo tour of the service
-  How to create an account
- How to install the OneClickdigital Media Manager on your computer
- Easy ways to search for content
- How to download and transfer audiobooks to your device
- Managing your downloadable audiobook checkouts

This webinar is open to all patrons at your library. Click on the link  to register for this upcoming webinar.

We’ll continue to provide training webinars throughout the year. As new webinars are scheduled, the dates and times will be available at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival at the library

Save the Date: The Chinese Moon Festival Celebration

Featuring the Mulan Performing Arts Association
Saturday, September 29th,  2:00 p.m-4:00pm.

The Moon Festival, the second largest holiday in Asia after the lunar new year, will be celebrated at the Worcester Public Library! Also called the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is an annual Chinese celebration of the moon, based on the story of the Moon Lady, a popular Chinese folk tale. 

Enjoy an afternoon family program of culture and fun with the Mulan Performing Group's dance and music, and taste delicious moon cakes!
Free and open to the public, all ages welcome.

Saxe Room Main Library, 3 Salem Square, Worcester MA 01608

 What is the Chinese Moon Festival?

The Chinese Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn or Moon cake Festival, is the second biggest holiday for Chinese after the Chinese New Year, similar to Thanksgiving in the West.
It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon in the Chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year.  The festival is a day celebrated throughout the Far East and all Chinese communities in the world. In 2012, it is on September 30th

The Moon Festival is full of legendary stories. Children are told the story of the moon lady living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface.
The legend surrounding the moon lady dates back to ancient times, to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer, Yi,  to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal. However, his wife, Chang Er found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon festival.

 How to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival

Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival eat moon cakes, drink jasmine tea and watch a program of Chinese dances and music.
There are varieties of moon cakes, which in their roundness are symbolic of family unity. Some are made of lotus seed paste, some of red bean paste, some with mixed nuts, and many have a salty duck egg yolk (representing the full moon) in the center. In some regions, the moon cakes are crusty, while in others they are flaky.

Free Access Consumer Reports Online through the library

Did you know you can access  Consumer Reports online for free through the library's website with your Worcester Public Library card?

To access:
Go to the library's website at
Click on "Online Databases" on the left column
Select "Consumer" under "By Subjects"
Click on the little house icon to access if you are home or in your office
(Worcester Public Library card is required for access.)

Now you can research your next purchase or find information and advice on many topics from the comfort of your own home or office.  In August 2012 issue, you will find recommendations for e-readers, laptops, tablet and an article on Hospital Safety.

Consumer Reports is just one of many online databases and resources made available though the library.  Contact us with any questions or comments.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Need Summer Reading Ideas? Download library ebooks

Follow instructions below to download an ebook to your Kindle, Nook or other ereaders.

For Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo or other e-reader users:

1. Go to the library's website at

2. Click Digital Downloads in the left column

3. Choose Overdrive

4. Sign in with your library's card number

5. Click Advanced Search

6. Under Format: choose Kindle if you have a Kindle, choose EPUB if you have Nook or other e-reader.

7. Check Only Show titles with copies available

8. Then click Search

9. After you choose a book, click Proceed to check out

10. After the item is checked out,
 For Kindle users: 
- you will be prompted to Get for Kindle button.
- Click the button, then you need to log in your Amazon account.
- Choose which device you want Amazon to deliver the library ebook to under Get Library book.
 - Your library book should show up on your Kindle. If not, press Menu button on your Kindle, then choose Sync.
For Nook, Sony, Kobo or other e-reader users:
-before you click on Download button, you need to following the link above Download button to download the needed software (adobe digital edition) to your computer.
- Follow the instructions on the page to activate your computer and your device.
- After that, click Download, your book will be downloaded into Adobe Digital Edition on your computer.
 - Then connect your Nook or other device to your computer. Your device will show in the left column of the digital edition panel.
- Then drag your book into the device. Unplug your device, sync your device, your ebook should appear on your device.

For Kindle Fire users:

Follow the instructions for Kindle above on your Fire. You don't need to use a computer to download a library ebook.

For iPad, iphone or any other tablet or smartphone users:
All you need to do is to download free Overdrive app on your device. Choose an ebook in EPUB format (see instructions above) and then download it through your device.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Need summer reading ideas? Check out Playaways!

What’s a Playaway?
Small - a matchbox-sized  audiobook player, preloaded  with titles for children, teens, and adults

Convenient - No computer, charger or Internet connection are needed. One pair of earbuds and one AAA battery are all you need. A universal headphone jack allows you to use any headphones, speakers or car adapters for listening.

Easy to use - You can navigate back and forth through chapters, bookmark where you stopped listening, and control the reader’s speed.

Portable - Go anywhere you go

How do I check them out?

Adult Playaway titles for are located in the DVD area on a red book truck. Playaways for teens or children are located in YA area or Children Room.  All Playaways can be checked out for three weeks with two renews.

How do I find a Playaway in the library's catalog?

Ask a librarian at 508-799-1655 x 3 if you have any questions 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WPL chosen to be a trial site for Playaway View's New Titles

Exciting news: the Worcester Public Library is chosen to be a trial site by Playaway as one of a small number of innovative and progressive libraries across the country. Playaway give us 30 units with movies preloaded for our patrons to try for 60 days. At the end of 60 days, the library can keep all the units if we wish . Patrons who check those out are encouraged to take a quick online survey at about the product and could win $100 Visa Gift Card!

What’s Playaway View
Simple - Just press play! Seven-button design is simple to use regardless of age or ability.
Portable - Goes wherever you do. Equipped with a built-in speaker, and an optional headphone jack, so you can watch anywhere.
Convenient - No DVDs, downloads, or additional players are needed. Pre-loaded content is ready to watch whenever you are.
Chargeable-Can be charged anywhere with the included standard AC Adaptor.

How to check them out
Playaway View titles are located in the DVD area on a red book truck.  If they are all checked out,  you may place a hold on any title of your interest through the library's catalog When you search, look for Digital View for call number. For example, here is Lucy Show record in the catalog.

What's on Playaway View

Classic Movies
A Farewell to Arms
Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes
Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much
John Wayne: Blue Steel
Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Baskervilles

Classic Television
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Lone Ranger
The Lucy Arnez Show

Simple Solutions: DIY Tips for Around the House
Simple Solutions: DIY Tips for Around the Yard
Simple Solutions: DIY Tips for Home Maintenance

American Masters: Ernest Hemingway
The End of the Road: The Final Tour '95 (Grateful Dead)
Greenpeace: The Story
The Louvre
Nelson Mandela: One Man

Financial Advice/Instructional
Suze Orman's Money Class

Professional Development
21st Century Leadership
Doubling Your Productivity
Essence of Success
Remarkable Communication Skills

Ernest Goes to Camp
Masterpiece Contemporary: Page Eight

Treks in a Wild World: Diving, Biking, Climbing, Canoeing and Hiking, the best of the West and East
Treks in a Wild World: Ice Climbing, Kayaking, and Hiking in the Pacific Northwest
Treks in a Wild World: Trekking Coastlines of the World

If you have any questions, please email us.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Can't You Find That e-book You Want from the Library?

Although demand for eBooks is growing, the biggest book publishers are limiting library access to their eBooks.

Some publishers cite security concerns while others point out that eBooks, unlike print books, will never need replacing in a library's collection. They fear that library eBook lending cuts into income for both publishers and authors. As library users, it means limited access to some of the current, popular titles we want to read on our new e-readers.
Different publishers set limits in different ways.
  • MacMillan Publishing has never allowed e-books to be distributed to libraries via OverDrive.
  • Simon & Schuster has never allowed e-books to be distributed to libraries via OverDrive.
  • Hachette no longer offers e-book titles to libraries via OverDrive.
  • HaperCollins limits each eBook to 26 checkouts, then requires libraries to buy another copy.
  • Ramdom House recently raised its prices for libraries, as much as 300% more. For Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith the ebook price went from $40 to $120.  For Blessings by Anna Quindlen the ebook price went from $15 to $45 
  • Penguin Group no longer offers e-book titles to libraries via OverDrive. Previously purchased Penguin Kindle titles in our OverDrive catalog will no longer be delivered through a WiFi connection from Amazon. These titles will need to be downloaded to your computer first and then transferred using a USB cord
As we continue to expand our eBook collection, we hope you understand some of the limitations that are placed on us. The eBook industry continues to evolve and we're optimistic that a workable solution between publishers and libraries will come about.

Please email us with any suggestions and questions.

This article is adapted from and used courtesy of the Daniel Boone Regional Library serving Boone and Callaway Counties and Columbia, Missouri.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

What you need to know about the new catalog system?

On May 29th, the library new catalog, Evergreen system will replace the current catalog. Below are a few things you should be aware of:
  • You will have the option to create a username to sign into the catalog. The default login will be your LAST NAME in ALL UPPER CASE.
  • You will be required to create a new password when you login for the first time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The library Facebook has reached 1,000 Fans!

Thanks to all our library Facebook fans for clicking on 'Like' us. In the month of April 2012, the library Facebook page has reached a 1,000 fan milestone.  This number makes our Facebook page one of the most fan Facebook pages among Massachusetts public libraries and among the city departments.

If you love the library and enjoy what you read on the library Facebook page, please share this Facebook page with your friends and family members. Help us to reach more people in the community so they, too, can get to know about a wide range of library services and resources.

How do I get connected with Worcester Public Library on Facebook?

If you have already had your own Facebook account, after you log in, search for Worcester Public Library page. Then click on "Like" us.

If you don't have a Facebook account, go to and sign up one. Then search for Worcester Public Library Facebook page. Click on "Like" when you find us.

Here is the link for the library Facebook page Please forward it to your friends. 

Feel free to email us  for any suggestions and questions.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Freading: a new library ebook service

Freading, a new eBook library service is offered by Worcester Public Library. Over 20,000 titles are available from a variety of small and independent publishers. New books are added weekly.

Unlike OverDrive, Freading allows for unlimited number of simultaneous users. Each library user is allotted 4 tokens each week that can be used to download the books. Books range in token value from 4 to 1 token, with most newer titles being 4 tokens. All titles are compatible with most popular ereaders except regular Kindles. Ebooks can be checked out 14 days and be renewed once. To get started: - You will need a valid Worcester Public Library card. - Go to Digital Downloads webpage on the library's website at - Under eBooks, you will see Freading link. Please read through Freading FAQ before using it.

Email if you have any question.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Resources for Librarians and Teachers

LAD: Library Administrator's Digest, a publication reviewing current library news and innovations from newsletters and the press, focusing on public libraries, call 410-887-6196,
Library Hotline: braking news for library and information decision makers, published by the staff of Library Journal & School Library Journal