Wednesday, November 27, 2013

December in the Teen Room

Come check out the Teen Room and all that it has to offer this winter! We have lots of new books, magazines, movies and video games to check out and enjoy during school vacation week, as well as some great programs to keep you entertained!

December 6th at 3pm will be the last Learn to Draw Manga class for the fall session. All teens can come to this free drawing class taught by WAM artists Andy Fish and Jamie Buckmaster. The spring session will begin on January 31st, so stay tuned!

Teens are also encouraged to come to the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) meeting on December 10th at 4pm. The TAG talks about ways to make improvements in the Teen Room, expand upon the resources available to teens, create better programs for teens, and ensure that the library is welcoming place for all Worcester teenagers - and of course eats pizza and snacks!

To celebrate the winter holidays we will be making gingerbread houses at the monthly Crafternoon on Friday December 13th at 4pm. All teens are welcome to come to this free program - all materials are provided!

We hope to see you in the Teen Room this holiday season!

December in the Children's Room

We are so pleased to announce the winners of this year’s tabletop scarecrow contest! Star Witch by Ariana made a full sweep, winning favorite, scariest, and most creative, as well as most original, most frightful, and best details. Others made great showings in the polls, particularly Zobiella/Angel by Allison and Pam Pumpkin by Jade. Please come by the children’s room to pick up your scarecrows and prizes! Every participant gets something!

With holidays and vacations aplenty in December, we have many other reasons to stop in. Thanks to the Friends of WPL, we have the ever-popular Tanglewood Marionettes returning on December 30th with their production of Sleeping Beauty. Be sure to pick up your tickets for either the 1 pm or 3 pm show; they will be available starting on December 16.

What else is going on? Glad you asked! Our final manga workshop of the year will be on December 6. Come hone your drawing skills with comic artist Jamie Buckmaster. We’re reading Carl Hiaasen’s hilarious book Chomp for the M.C.B.A. book club, which will meet on December 11. Due to popular demand, Tuesday Baby Times will continue into December. For older kids (ages 3-5) we have PJ storytime on December 17, and for even older kids we are so pleased that professional storyteller Laura Partridge will lead children ages 5-9 in African Story-Acting on December 7. We also have our annual gingerbread workshop, a royal tea party for princess (and prince!) fans, baby massage and yoga, icky sticky, movies, legos, videogames, and more. Keep an eye on the calendar and on Facebook for more information about upcoming events, or call the children’s room at 508-799-1671.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thinking of knittin’ some mittens? Cast on with WPL’s Knitting Circle!

Do you love knitting or want to learn? Worcester Public Library now offers knitting programs!
Knitters of all skill levels and other needlecraft enthusiasts are welcome to join us.  All participants must bring their own supplies. If you would like to learn how to knit please bring size 7 or 8 knitting needles and a skein of worsted weight yarn. Our next program will be held on Thursdays, from 12-1:30 pm in the 3rd floor Ellipse, starting December 5 (but not December 26). In addition, we will also offer knitting programs from 3-4 pm on January 2, 2014 and February 6, 2014 in the Banx Room.

If you cannot wait until our next program, there are many resources that may be of use to a knitter. 

To start you off, here’s the link to books about knitting in our library catalog. They most likely will be found on the 3rd floor, especially in the 746.432 section. A selection of potentially helpful titles may be found below.

Don’t let the title dissuade you- it’s a very handy reference. In fact, this is the first book I purchased for my own personal knitting collection.
200 Knitting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets by Betty Barnden
Full of useful tips and photographs
When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters by Marion Edmonds and Ahza Moore 
How to fix knitting errors such as dropping stitches
 Mason Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
Folksy but fun and useful
The New Encyclopedia of Knitting Techniques: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques by Lesley Stanfield and Melody Griffiths 
Glossy photographs of every stitch pattern you can imagine

We also have knitting themed magazines on the 3rd floor in the periodicals department that you are allowed to borrow.

Knit Simple
Interweave Knits
Vogue Knitting

There are many online resources for patterns and other communicating with fellow knitters
Knitty – online magazine featuring free patterns
Ravelry- free community site and pattern database but registration is required
Knitting Pattern Central – directory with links to patterns of all kinds

Free patterns from yarn companies
Note: these links do not serve as an endorsement for the yarn companies
Lion Brand

Enjoy your knitting project and I hope to see you at our programs!

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 2013 Book Recommendations by Staff

November 25, 2013
Masterpieces of American Modernism: from the Vilcek Collection
By William C. Agee and Lewis Kachur, with contributions from Rick Kinsel and Emily Schuchardt Navratil

Masterpieces of American Modernism: from the Vilcek Collection is an important introduction to the stunning personal collection of Jan and Marica Vilcek, Czechoslovakian immigrants, and to the chronology of Modernism as a movement in American art history. Rick Kinsel, Executive Director of the Vilcek Foundation, provides an important introduction to the Vilceks, their immigration experience, and a history of how they started collecting works of American art. William Agee’s written contribution is an intellectually interesting analysis of the many paintings, painters, and the Modernist movement itself which he hopes will “…defuse the ‘Big Bang’ theory of American art: that it was born only after 1945, with no earlier history.”

Major artists are well represented in this book – Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Arthur Dove. The book contains an informative multi-page print and photographic timeline, which greatly helps put in perspective the context of the movement, as well as a complete section of artist biographies and photographs by Emily Schuchardt Navratil. The book is also well indexed. Many other artists important to the Modernist movement are included in the book, which contains beautiful color reproductions of the artworks and is very sturdily bound. This book is essential to understanding the holistic aspects of the Modernist movement in this country. The written contributions are educational and challenging and the book itself provides a key connection between the history of American art and the Modernist movement in American art.

One of the nicest things about this book is setting aside time to browse through all the fantastic art and, at your own pace, absorbing all the wonders it has to offer.


November 18, 2013

Blackhorse Riders: A Desperate Last Stand, an Extraordinary Rescue Mission, and the Vietnam Battle America Forgot
By Phil Keith

Phil Keith's Blackhorse Riders is a powerful account of bravery and courage in one of the most controversial years of the Vietnam War. It is an account of soldiers from the Blackhorse Regiment rescuing an entrapped infantry unit in a harrowing fight centered around March 26, 1970. The story of this "rescue" is the story of very ordinary Americans rising to levels of extraordinary heroism, bravery, and self sacrifice.

As a Vietnam combat veteran, I can attest to the detailed level of Keith's writing. The descriptions of the jungle, fighting, night marching, exhaustion, fear, anger, physical pain, and hope are all very real. It is a story that is truly worth telling to the point that Captain John Poindexter, the leader of the rescue and Alpha Troop, spent decades fighting for recognition of his men. On October 30, 2009, President Obama awarded Alpha Troop with a Presidential Unit Citation, the highest combat award that can be bestowed on a military unit.

A strong point to Mr. Keith’s narrative is the attention given to this ceremony and to the details given about the participating soldiers lives since the battle. These individual stories complete a cycle begun in 1970 and add a rich human dimension to the story. Additionally, the book contains an eloquent forward by General George Casey Jr., an epilogue, acknowledgments, appendices, a glossary, and a detailed index. Mr. Keith, himself a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, has provided a gripping account of his fellow brothers-in-arms bravery, heroism, and dedication in a very tough situation in an unpopular war.

For those who fought there the story resonates with validity; for those who did not the story will bring you there.


November 12, 2013

Kvothe: Arcanist, hero, murderer, villain. The rumors about him are many and varied. In The Name of the Wind, the man himself puts the story straight.

The Name of the Wind
By Patrick Rothfuss

Having recently staggered away from George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series and feeling lost with the next book’s publication date only a hazy shape on the horizon, I found myself yearning for more epic fantasy. Being the savvy information professional that I am, I quickly took to Google with the sophisticated search string “what to read after Dance with Dragons.” It wasn’t luck that brought me to Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles; it was pure skill. A helpful IO9 article featuring a list of read-alikes for Martin’s series is where I first heard about The Name of the Wind and Kvothe (pronounced like “quothe”).

Rothfuss’s novel is about power. Kvothe spends much of the early chapters in poverty, barely surviving on the streets of a strange city. He harbors within him a flame of rage and a desire for revenge against those who destroyed his community. Kvothe uses whatever means necessary to escape destitution and enter the University, a center of learning where men and women acquire arcane knowledge including sympathy, a form of magic. One of the youngest students ever admitted, Kvothe quickly rises through the ranks, making enemies on his way.

Using a confessionary form, the plot is unraveled as the protagonist recounts his life story to a scribe. This creates an intimacy between the reader and Kvothe and also keeps us hungering for revelations. The reader knows from the beginning that Kvothe has become a legendary and feared figure. Some cataclysmic event has changed the world and cast Kvothe into a dark role. Unfortunately, the first book in the series does not tell the whole story. To find out how Kvothe fell from grace and eventually left the University we must continue on to the sequel.

Highly recommended for fantasy lovers.


November 4, 2013

Attention mystery readers: new noir fiction by Worcester native

No Regrets, Coyote
By John Dufresne

If you are a lover of detective fiction, give No Regrets, Coyote by Worcester native John Dufresne a try. It contains everything you could desire in a modern mystery novel: suspense, intrigue, gory details, cleverness, and humor. Or, mix the curiosity and intellect of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware, the wit and heart of Robert Parker’s Spenser, and Carl Hiassen’s South Florida setting, and then add Dufresne’s signature compassion and a bit of wordplay, and you’ve got a new book on your Must Read list.

The crime: an entire family is shot to death by the father, or so it would seem. Enter Wylie “Coyote” Melville, psychotherapist and forensic consultant to the local police, who isn’t buying the crime scene at face value. The reader also gets to meet Coyote’s family and friends, whose eccentricities could fill a chapter of the DSM-5. A fun read that will keep the pages turning effortlessly.

And if you've never read Dufresne's novels, check out Requiem, Mass. (Worcesterites will recognize the neighborhood) or Love Warps the Mind a Little. You won’t be disappointed!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Which E-Reader is Right for You?

The holiday season is upon us! Are you thinking of buying an e-reader / tablet for yourself or as a gift? There are so many to choose from, all with different sizes, features, and operating systems. To keep this straight, we've made a handy chart. We included which free digital downloads you can use with each. Comment or contact us with any questions!

Please click here to view chart. or copy this link into your browser:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Want to share your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

Do you have a favorite online recipe you would like to share with us this Thanksgiving? How about pinning it on the Worcester Public Library’s Pinterest board? Just in time for Thanksgiving menu planning! We will post your online recipes into our “Recipes: Thanksgivng” board so others may use your beloved recipe at their Thanksgiving table!

  • Go to the library’s Pinterest page at and follow the board called Recipes: Thanksgiving. Follow directions to log in to your own Pinterest account. Create an account at this point if you do not have one yet!
  • We will then send you an invite to join the board.
  • Click on “Accept” on the top right of your Pinterest page. This will allow you to pin images.
  •  Please fill in a 1-2 line description of the recipe in the “Description” box.
  • Click on “pin it”.
  • Click on the pencil icon on the top right of the image, and paste the hyperlink for the website under “Source” so others may find this recipe online.
  • Click on “save changes” to close.

    Your favorite recipe is now available for everyone to see! Check it out.... You might find a tasty recipe to try at your table this Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Children's Room at WPL

What does the children’s room have for you? Well, we try to have something for everyone ages 12 and under -- books, movies, music, and programs. This month, let’s put the spotlight on programs for older children. If you (or your child) is between the ages of 8 and 12, be sure to read on!

Learn to Draw Manga Workshops: Are you an artist? Would you like to be? Join instructor and artist Jamie Buckmaster for our series of workshops on comic art techniques. He teaches how to draw figures, develop characters, and create narratives. If you love the Japanese manga form, this class is perfect for you, but it’s also a great opportunity for anyone who wants to hone their drawing skills. Thanks to the Friends of WPL, this is FREE! Save hundreds of dollars and learn to draw! Next meetings: 11/15 and 12/6. Banx Room. 4pm-5pm.

M.C.B.A. Book Club: If you are in 4th, 5th, or 6th grade, you can help choose the winner of next year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. Based on nominations from around the state, a list of 25 books has been compiled by people at Salem State University. All have been published in the last five years and are now available in paperback. All you need to do is read five of them, and then you can vote in the library in March 2014. We also have a book club, and we’d love to have you join us! We meet the second Wednesday of every month from 6:30 – 7:30 in the Children’s Program Room. Register and pick up your books at the children’s room desk!

Level Up: Kids’ Videogaming: We’ve recently added videogames to our collection, but we hate to see them all leave the library! Join us every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 for an hour of games on the big screen. If you don’t have your own gaming system, this is a great chance to play. Even if you do, this is a great chance to meet up with friends. Parents, don’t worry – we stick to games rated E for everyone.

We also have other great programs, so keep an eye on our calendar ( and on Facebook ( We hope to see you soon!

The Teen Room at WPL

The Teen Room is a space at the library just for teenagers ages 13-18 that has lots of wonderful teen books, movies, video games, magazines and more, as well as a variety of programs geared towards teens of many different backgrounds and interests. All teens are encouraged to come check out the teen room and participate in one of our programs, all of which are free and open to all – no registration required. Some of our current programs are:

Spilled Ink: a Teen Readers and Writers Club that meets monthly and can help you to improve your skills as a writer.
Learn to Draw Manga Program, led by graphic artists Andy Fish and Jamie Buckmaster that will teach you how to draw in the comic form.
Crafternoons: a fun, teen led craft program that happens once per month.
Level Up: a video gaming club held every Wednesday from 4:30-6pm.
Teen Advisory Group, which meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month to help assist the Teen Librarian in improving teen services.

The Teen Librarian also works with a group of teenagers to produce a magazine: Turtle Soup. The magazine features stories, poems, art, photography, book reviews and more from Worcester teens, and gets published monthly – you can pick up a copy in the Teen Room today! Any creative, talented, or expressive teens who are interested in getting involved in the magazine can contact Samantha at or 508-799-1671.

WPL Roosevelt Branch Grand Opening One City, One Library Project

City and school officials, community leaders, library patrons, students, teachers, and parents gathered at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 30th to mark the opening of the Worcester Public Library - Roosevelt Branch. The new public branch library is the first of four to open as part of the One City, One Library pilot project. One City, One Library is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving literacy city-wide and expanding access to convenient, neighborhood-based library services.

Equipped with over 4,500 children's books, new computers, early literacy stations, iPads, e-readers, and other digital media, the Roosevelt Branch will provide students, teachers, parents and the community with access to the global inventory system of the Worcester Public Library, which includes more than one million items in all mediums and for all reading levels. The collections will be children-focused; however, patrons will be able to reserve materials for pick-up and return at the branch location. In addition to grade-level reading materials, the new library will house a parenting center and a health information center, and will offer a myriad of programming for adults and children.

The Worcester Public Library - Roosevelt Branch was made possible thanks to funding by the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the City of Worcester. Oversight and project management was provided pro bono by Cardinal Construction, Inc. Other organizations that provided in-kind support include: Coghlin Electrical Contractors, Inc., Knight Security, Inc., Nal's Paint Center, Fine Painting, Sunshine Signs, Rotmans, College of the Holy Cross, Hanover Insurance Group, and United Way. The Worcester Public Library Foundation led the construction and fund-raising effort with a goal of $2 million for the entire One City, One Library initiative, which also includes a mobile library dedicated to servicing the remaining elementary schools. To date, $1.2 million has been raised.
The Roosevelt Branch will be open Monday through Friday during school hours for students and teachers, and will be open to the public from 3:00 - 6:30 p.m. and on Saturdays 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. For more information, patrons can call 508-799-8327.

We look forward to opening our next branch at Tatnuck Magnet Elementary in Worcester on November 20. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

50th Anniversary of JFK's Assassination;page=0;locg=143;depth=0

November 22, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX. The events of that day resonated across the world, and many Americans remember it as a defining moment in our country. While it was highly visible, occurring during a public parade, there are many different opinions of what actually occurred. Hundreds of authors have published books on the subject over the years, especially this past year leading up to its 50th anniversary.

We have created a book list of recommended titles on JFK, including histories of the family, his politics, the assassination itself, and popular conspiracy theories. Most titles are suitable for beginners on the subject, and one, Kennedy Assassination by David Robson, is for young adults. The list is live in our catalog, which means you can see up-to-the-minute information about available copies. For help placing a hold, stop by the library or call us at 508-799-1655.

Click here to see the list, or copy and paste the following URL into your browser:;page=0;locg=143;depth=0

Did we miss your favorite book about JFK? Leave a comment!