Thursday, July 27, 2017

Build a Better World: Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover! Patron Book Reviews Continued...

There is still time to sign up for our Adult Summer Reading Program and share your book reviews on our Summer Reading site ! Submit 3 book reviews and be entered into a random drawing to win a fun prize! We might even post your book reviews here!

See what your fellow patrons are saying about their summer reads below!

The Lonely Hearts Hotel 
by Heather O'Neill

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill 2/5 stars. If only this book were as lovely as the cover. Overall I found this book crass and a too all over the place more my liking. The occasional quote that would seem perfectly lovely totally out of the context of the book bumped it up just over 1 star. I also was able to read through it in a little over a day - if it had taken any longer, I don't think the occasional lovely prose would have redeemed it enough to justify that extra star. 

True story I only picked this book up at the library (side note - read more library books) because the spine caught my eye and I thought the cover art was lovely and sweet. That'll show me to read books solely based on the cover.

~ Tracy M.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
by Natasha Solomons

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English is a charming debut novel. I fell in love with the protagonist as soon as I started reading it. At times, the story is funny, at times it is sad. Natasha Solomons tenderly explores the experiences of finding home in a new place and what it means to have a sense of belonging.

~ Yash P.

Fahrenheit 451

60th Anniversary Edition
by Ray Bradbury

forward by Neil Gaiman

“It was a pleasure to burn.” This opening line is one of my favorites of all time. So powerful and captivating. This book review is about the 60th Anniversary Edition of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, one of my all-time favorite books. The 60th Anniversary Edition begins with an introduction by Neil Gaiman, author of “American Gods” and ends with two supplementary material sections. Part One is “The Story of Fahrenheit 451” which explains Ray Bradbury’s process and the second part is called “Other Voices” where we hear from book critics describing their take on F451. 

This classic is about a superficial society where books and reading are illegal. The main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman but not the kind of fireman we know of today. Instead of rescuing people and homes from fires, these firemen create fires to destroy books and even kill people who read them. It wasn’t the government that started censoring books; it was the people themselves! I highly recommend that you read this novel to find out what happens to Montag and to remember Ray Bradbury's cautionary tale!

~ Lex P.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Build a Better World: Patron Book Reviews Abound!

Loved it? Hated it? Write a review and let us know! 

Sign up for our Adult Summer Reading Program and share your book reviews on our Summer Reading site! Submit 3 book reviews and be entered into a random drawing to win a fun prize! 

A Life in Parts 

by Bryan Cranston

As someone who didn't know Cranston was the lead on Breaking Bad, I enjoyed gaining insight into his life (like going with the flow with marrying a couple because a reverend had booked two weddings on the same day) and how he delved into and created his character as an actor. It's a popular audiobook for a reason. Cranston has lived his life with much gusto, committed to both his family and his career. Poignant, funny, and inspiring, this book is still a 4.5 out of 5 stars 

~ Anita Y.

Stillhouse Lake 

by Rachel Caine

I needed a break from some deep non-fiction reading I've been doing, so turned to a thriller I had stored on my Kindle that was probably an Amazon deal of the day or something -one of those things that by the time I read it, I've forgotten how it made it on the list in the first place. The problem with most books along these lines (Woman In Trouble Surrounded By Men Where At Least One Is EVIL) is that the author often goes too far in the other direction to make the big bad wolf seem like a fluffy puppy. Caine did an excellent job of making each of the cast of characters switch realistically between menacing and helpful, suspicious on one page and then a Boy Scout the next. 

It is rare where I read a book like this that I haven't predicted the "surprise" twist (is anything more overdone these days?) and guilty party by halfway through, and here, each time I was sure I had figured it out, I'd start to doubt it, much like Gwen herself. And I think that's what held this together so well - Gwen is such an interesting main character, as you see her grow from gullible victim to bad-ass self protector. 

I also have to give credit for managing to make clear the horrific nature of the serial killer's crimes while not veering anywhere near torture porn descriptions. There were times I wondered how realistic the level of continuing obsession of Gwen's internet stalkers was... given the 24-hour news cycle world we're in, wouldn't they have moved on to newer shinier targets? It was the only thing I had to conscientiously suspend disbelief over, and I was more than willing to do so.

~ Roseann F. 

Born to Run 

by Bruce Springsteen

Loved Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run and totally recommend the audiobook version.  I tried to get this from Overdrive but it took too long and was able to borrow the Recorded Book CD Set.  It's an amazing tale and so well written. You learn everything you ever wanted to know about Bruce Springsteen and his great passion for music and his family.  

~ Roseann F.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On This Day in Government Documents: The Presidential Succession Act of 1947

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 signed by President Harry Truman. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution covers a variety of scenarios: what happens if there is a presidential vacancy? what happens if there is a vice presidential vacancy? what happens if the president becomes incapacitated? However, it does not answer the question of what happens if both the president and the vice president can no longer serve.
The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 fills in the gaps of the Twenty-fifth Amendment with regard to the line of succession. This act, and its predecessors, the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 and the Presidential Succession Act of 1886, have never been invoked. The Presidential Act of 1947 is codified in 3 U.S. Code § 19.


The 1792 Act called for the president pro tempore of the Senate to fill the position of the presidency if the president and vice president could no longer serve. If the president pro tempore was unable to serve the speaker of the House would fill the position.

The line of succession changed in 1886. Congressional officers were out and cabinet members were in. Proponents of the new act insisted the president pro tempore and speaker of the House would lack the experience needed to fill the position of the presidency. Instead, the line of succession would go to the president’s cabinet and be determined by the order in which the cabinet positions were created. This meant the secretary of state would be first in line to serve as president if the both the president and vice president could no longer serve. At the time of Presidential Succession Act of 1886, six cabinet positions were filled by former presidents and it was thought these men would better be able to act as president because of their prior experience.

The order of succession changed again in 1947. Today, if the president and vice president can no longer serve, the speaker of the House becomes president. If the speaker of the House cannot serve, the president pro tempore of the Senate fills the position. If both of these officials are unable to fill the  position the line of succession moves to the presidential cabinet members and follows the order in which the cabinet positions were created starting with the secretary of state.

While none of the acts have been invoked, many instances have occurred where either the president or vice president could no longer serve, but there are no situations where both were unable to serve. However, thanks to Aaron Sorkin we can catch a glimpse of how the Presidential Succession Act might play out if it were necessary.

In Twenty-Five, episode 23 of season 4 of The West Wing, President Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen) is unable to fulfill his presidential duties and temporarily steps down from office, invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment. The Twenty-fifth Amendment calls for the vice president to step in; however, Bartlet’s vice president recently resigned due to a scandal, leaving the office vacant as Bartlet had not yet nominated a new vice president. Next in line, according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, is the Speaker of the House, Glen Allen Walken (played by John Goodman). Walken’s political views are in direct conflict with those of the Bartlet administration. The tension is thick as Walken is sworn in as the acting president. As Bartlet makes an effort to ease the situation, Walken retorts, “You are relieved, Mr. President.”

Curious about the Presidential Succession Act? View our Presidential Succession Act reading list to learn more from WPL's government documents collection.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Build a Better World through Patron Evaluation

As we head into the third week of our Adult Summer Reading program we have received many positive comments with regard to our classes, conversations, and programs here at Worcester Main Library through our outcome-based surveys designed by Project Outcome through the Public Library Association.

When we asked our patrons what they liked most about our programs here is how they responded:

- "it's helpful for my job"
- "very engaging and insightful"
- "informative session"
- "presentation was excellent and informative and organized very well"
- "the instructor was very knowledgeable and informative"
- "lots of actual practice"
- "teacher is knowledgeable and easy to learn from"
- "interacting with others"
- "teachers ability to instruct all levels of fitness"
- "gaining more confidence"

Below is a word cloud visualizing what patrons liked most about our summer programs so far!

Our classes, conversations, and programs offer our patrons new opportunities to learn a new technology, develop a new job skill, discover how to keep your mind and body healthy, or to join a community conversation. Every survey our patrons fill out will help us to design Worcester Public Library's action plan for our 5 Year Strategic Plan and build better classes, services, and programs!

Have you attended a class, conversation, or program at Worcester Main Library? Make sure you fill out a survey to let us know how we are doing and don't forget to log the event you attended on our Summer Reading site!