Wednesday, September 30, 2020

RefUSA is now Reference Solutions

RefUSA is a familiar name to many small business owners and entrepreneurs who have utilized its rich content and powerful data gathering resources to either start or grow a business. Now rebranded as Reference Solutions, the new name conveys the multifaceted uses of this database that can be helpful for the everyday information seeking needs of library users.

Have you ever wanted to find a new dentist or been in search of a plumber for home repairs but weren’t certain of results you found Googling? That’s where Reference Solutions comes in handy. There is an easily searchable U.S Healthcare database to locate medical professionals in your area or even if you need to help your parents who live in another state find the right doctor for their medical needs. The U.S. Businesses database is the ideal source to find a carpenter, electrician, or even a conveniently located dry cleaner or shoe repair shop in your neighborhood.

Reference Solutions also includes both U.S. and Canadian White Pages. Need a new job? Reference Solutions includes a U.S Jobs & Internships platform as well.

If you are a business owner and are looking to identify potential customers to market and sell to, stay tuned for a new virtual program the library will be offering as part of our winter programming in the coming months titled “Generating Sales Lists using Reference Solutions”.

To access Reference Solutions go to the library’s website at, click on the Resources tab and then select Online Databases. You will need your library card number and PIN to login.

Here's a short tutorial from librarian Alex, on how to use Reference Soultions from our website!

Featured October Releases

Did one of the book covers on our homepage catch your eye? They are all new titles being released in October 2020, and all are well-reviewed and anticipated. Read below for a description of each, and click the linked title if you'd like to request a copy or get your name on the wait list. And don't forget to watch for more featured releases next month!

Featured Fiction Titles for October:

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy
Newlyweds Sam and Annie are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to NYC and start a life together in Sam's hometown. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while her therapist husband works in his office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele. Little does Sam know that through a vent in his ceiling, every word of his sessions can be heard from the room upstairs. The pharmacist's wife, contemplating a divorce. The painter whose boyfriend doesn’t satisfy her in bed. Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the mini Cooper shows up, and Sam decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie's happily ever after. 

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
From this New York Times bestselling author comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of prophecies, intrigue, and magic. When the earth and sky converge under the black sun in the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, an event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters as easily as it can warp a man's mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain. 

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

It's 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered. And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel. With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger. 

Featured Nonfiction Titles for October: 

The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne

Payne, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm’s life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century’s most politically relevant figures.

Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck by William Souder

This first full-length biography of the Nobel Laureate to appear in a quarter century explores Steinbeck's apprenticeship as a writer struggling through the Great Depression, and his rise to greatness with masterpieces such as The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath. His most poignant and evocative writing emerged in his sympathy for the Okies fleeing the dust storms of the Midwest, the migrant workers toiling in California's fields, and the laborers on Cannery Row. A man by turns quick-tempered, contrary, compassionate, and brilliant, Steinbeck took aim at the corrosiveness of power, the perils of income inequality, and the growing urgency of ecological collapse.  

Humans by Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton created Humans of New York in 2010. What began as a photographic census of life in New York City, soon evolved into a storytelling phenomenon. A global audience of millions began following HONY daily. Over the next several years, Stanton broadened his lens to include people from across the world. Traveling to more than forty countries, he conducted interviews across continents, borders, and language barriers. Told with candor and intimacy, Humans will resonate with readers across the globe―providing a portrait of our shared experience.

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


Hello WooReaders! We're kicking off October with adult patron book reviews about horror. Besides logging your books and reviews for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page, you can also log the events you've attended. After logging into Beanstack, click the "log reading & activities" button. If you log three activities, you'll be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Paperwhite! There are many programs to choose from, including writing workshops, book clubs, and a horror film & book discussion. Click here to view our fall programming. 

The Deep by Nick Cutter 

Oh boy! Do not read if you are going deep sea diving anytime soon or if you have the heebie jeebies about ghosts! So fun to be scared though! ~ Cara Y.

Black Fire by Hernan Rodriguez 

Part survival story and part Slovakian folklore, the story revolves around a group of survivors that find themselves in a church in the middle of nowhere. There’s an ancient evil that's been awoken from the depths of the abyss and is coming for their souls. The art of the story is beautifully drawn, and the horror is ever-present in each panel. ~ Maximino M.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

A spooky short story that is perfect for October. The audiobook is only an hour long, and brings to life the hamlet of Sleepy Hollow and the superstitions that governed it.
~ Tara J.

The Revelation by Bentley Little 

Old book. Very good and scary! ~ Miriam V.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Banned Books Week 2020: September 27- October 3


Celebrate your right to read during Banned Books Week. Since 1982, Banned Books Week has worked to bring people together through reading. It serves as a reminder that censorship only limits our intellectual freedom and serves to drive us apart. Books have the ability to educate, inspire, and provide comfort, especially during times of unrest. Exercise your freedom to read with these banned books.

To learn more, visit 

To participate in Banned Books Week, try the Virtual Read-Out Video challenge. Post a video of yourself reading a banned book or talking about censorship. Your video may be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Weekly Reads Episode Twenty-Five

Join Librarians Devon and Joy for another episode of Weekly Reads. This week's suggestions include a science-fiction set in the not-so-distant future, a true crime novel, a nightmarish tale about a monster and its master, the story of three sisters from China, and of course a coming soon title! Tune in next week for another round of Weekly Reads.

Featured Titles for Episode Twenty-Five:
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister:Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung Chang
The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls by Jax Miller
A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


School is back in session, so now is a great time to learn something new. This week's adult patron book reviews are nonfiction titles that focus on history, gender, and the workplace. Log any books you read for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page. Help us reach our community goal of 3,000 books read by May 31, 2021. If you need suggestions on what to read next, let our librarians pick titles for you through our new Book Bundles service

In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD

An eye opening view into a kingdom that places little value on women. ~ Janet B.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

A must-read for any manager! ~ Pingsheng C.

Deadliest Enemy: Our war against killer germs by Michael T. Osterholm & Mark Olshaker

He lays it all out there. This situation was inevitable, and the world isn't prepared for it. Give it a read. Perhaps it will give some insight into what is happening, and what is likely to occur. ~ Mary T.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong by James W. Loewen

This book is a great way to learn the truth about history. ~ Virginia B.

Join us for a discussion about Lies My Teacher Told Me on Saturday, September 26 @ 11 am via Zoom. Register here.

To learn more about this event and view additional resources, click here.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Weekly Reads Episode Twenty-Four

Join Librarians Devon and Joy for another episode of Weekly Reads. This week's suggestions include a science-fiction novel, an essential history book, a romance with a protagonist who believes in logic more than love, a study on dinosaurs, and of course a coming soon title! Tune in next week for another round of Weekly Reads.

Featured Titles for Episode Twenty-Four:
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Three-Body Problem: Remembrance of Earth's Past, Book One by Cixin Liu
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen

Thursday, September 17, 2020

WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page


We're back WooReaders! Join us for the WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page. Help us reach our community goal of 3,000 books read by May 31, 2021. Readers who log 20 books or attend 3 author or book events will be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Paperwhite. If you're looking for your next read, check out these booklists created by WPL staff. Don't forget to share your reviews with us! We look for reviews for our blog each week and we might choose one of yours. This week features reviews from all genres that our readers highly recommend. 

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinkser

"A Song for a New Day" was the best book I've read this year. Keeping in mind that this story was published in 2019, pre-covid, it is remarkably prescient about what American society would be like post-pandemic. But SF should not be expected to be all about predicting the future. A good book of any genre is about humans, and the two human protagonists in this story are fully-realized. They grapple with deep emotions and anxieties, hopes, despair, family relations, alienation, and music... the pervasive thread for the leading characters is how music touches their souls and connects them to community. ~ Melody F.
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole 

This was a cute read that I had loaded onto my Kindle through the Harper Collins daily Bookperks. I'm a sucker for the Hallmark Movies about royals, especially those whose true identity is a secret at first. This book reminded me of a Hallmark royals movie meets Coming to America set partially in the fictional Thesolo, which is extremely high-tech and on its way to becoming a modern-day Wakanda. All in all, this was a fun read with a strong and smart female lead, a scientist whose interest is in infectious disease, which is rather apropos at this time. ~ Colleen J.

This had me on the edge of my seat, yowser! It's a great one!
~ Daniel O.

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy by Ann Cleeves

A cleverly twisty British mystery novel by Ann Cleeves. Dorothea is not your typical vicar's wife. When she is found dead in the village park with a carnival nearby, there is an abundance of suspects. Interesting characters and atmosphere from the author of the Vera Stanhope and the Shetland Islands novels. I will look for more books in this series.
~ Mary R.

Monday, September 14, 2020

September Kanopy Picks

Learn something new each month with Kanopy, a streaming service available to WPL card holders. Each month you'll receive 3 play credits to use to watch films. To use a play credit, you must press play on a video and have the video play for at least 5 seconds. Once a play credit is logged, you will have a full 3 days (72 hours) to watch the video as many times as you would like without using another play credit, even if a new month starts and your credits reset. 

If you do not have a Kanopy account, you can create one. Click here for instructions.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, with a worldwide focus taking place on September 10. To learn more, visit

What Haunts Us

After the 7th suicide of a former classmate, one woman turns to the past to uncover the truth of a scandal that haunts Charleston, S.C. to this day.

Some Girls 

This documentary follows a group of troubled Latina teens from a Bronx-based suicide prevention program, who are transformed by an exploration of their roots via the use of ancestral DNA testing, followed by a trip to the Dominican Republic.
We Breathe Again 

In a landscape as dramatic as its stories, this documentary intimately explores the lives of four Alaska Native people, each confronting the impacts of inter-generational trauma and suicide.

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th - October 15th) recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. 

To learn more, visit

Gabo & Cinema

A documentary about Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his contributions to cinema. 

The life of Chicano activist Oscar Zeta Acosta.

The Immigration Paradox 

A documentary that exposes the missing information on the immigration issue by interviewing an array of people from various backgrounds, which include economics, sociology, philosophy, history, policy, and activism.

Intro to Coding: Python for Beginners

So you are techy enough to use your smart phone, you often share memes on Facebook, and you post cute pics to Instagram…but have you ever wondered about the software that runs those platforms?

What is software anyway? How do all those cool apps work?

Coding – or programming – is the process of creating software. 

Did you know that the library offers a free class called Intro to Coding: Python for Beginners?  

Python is just one of scores of programming languages. What is a programming language? Like English or Mandarin or Spanish, it's a way of communicating with others. And just as English looks different from Swedish or Hindi, programming languages each have their own syntax and vocabulary.

But in this case, instead of communicating with other people, a programming language is used to create programs. And programs communicate the coder's instructions to the computer. 

Those instructions could be your instructions!

Intro to Coding: Python for Beginners is a 6-session class which meets on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Our next class begins on September 22. No prior coding experience is assumed.

Students will learn the basics of programming, including about variables, datatypes, loops, and logic. They will also learn the vocabulary of software development and best practices for writing code. 

And did I mention fun? Yup – this class is fun, and might even help you get a job or be promoted at your current employer.

Interested? Maybe?  You will also get a 90-page manual!

No grades, but if you attend all 6 sessions and do the homework, the library will give you a personalized Certificate of Completion.

(Yes, there's homework, but you do need to practice what you've learned, right?  😉  You'll get lots of feedback for your efforts!)

This class is offered once per season and we have a few spots left in our Fall class. Due to COVID, the class now meets online. You will need to be able to download software to your computer. 

You can register here - make sure you use an email address you will check at least daily:

Zoom registration link

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Weekly Reads Episode Twenty-Three

Join Librarians Devon and Joy for another episode of Weekly Reads. This week's suggestions include a tale of love and loss, a memoir of music and addiction, a romance with attitude, an oral history of 9/11, and of course a coming soon title! Tune in next week for another round of Weekly Reads.

Featured Titles for Episode Twenty-Three:
A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals, Book One by Alyssa Cole
The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff
Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollet
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Peterson's Career Prep

As the name suggests, Peterson’s Career Prep is a career tool that helps you prepare for your career by discovering vocational paths and craft professional looking resumes and cover letters.

To access this resource, go to our online databases page, and scroll down to Peterson’s Career Prep. You can use this resources to :

  • Create individualized resume and cover letter using the provided templates. Edit your resume as needed, store your work on this platform and access it anytime or download it as a PDF. 
  • Discover which career suits you best by taking the personalized career assessments focused on your interests, personality and work preferences. 
  • Research open jobs in your field of interest via based on your assessment results. 
  • Explore best practices and get career advice for interviewing, salary negotiations and networking. Includes articles and worksheets.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Weekly Reads Episode Twenty-Two

Join Librarians Devon and Joy for another episode of Weekly Reads. This week's suggestions include the story of a stranger found asleep on a pew, a classic on simple living, an LGBTQ romantic comedy, the story of Louisa May Alcott and her mother, and of course a coming soon title! Tune in next week for another round of Weekly Reads.

Featured Titles for Episode Twenty-Two:
Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar 
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall (also available on Hoopla)
Pew by Catherine Lacey
Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante
Walden, or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau (also available on Hoopla)

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Community Book Discussion with Stephanie Williams: "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" by James W. Loewen

Upcoming Community Book Discussion: 

Join us on Saturday, September 26 from 11 am -12 pm for a community book discussion moderated by Stephanie Williams, Cultural Humility Practitioner, on James W. Loewen's book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. Selling nearly two million copies, the book won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship. Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country.

Ms. Stephanie Williams is a native of Worcester, MA. She previously served as Director of Multicultural Affairs at Anna Maria College and Multicultural Affairs Liaison at Becker College developing new approaches to education and engagement around diversity and inclusion, multiculturalism, and social justice. She currently works in state government utilizing her MBA, working with marginalized populations in areas such as financial stability, economic self-sufficiency and personal growth.


About the Book:

What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls “an extremely convincing plea for truth in education.” In Lies My Teacher Told Me, Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.

Browse these discussion questions on Lies My Teacher Told Me from New Press Reading Group Guide.


Participate in Our Adult Reading Challenge:

Join WooReads Adult Challenge: Turn a New Page! starting on September 12th to log your books, share reviews with your community, and grow as a reader by taking advantage of the many programs and resources Worcester Public Library has to offer, such as this Community Book Discussion.

Additional Resources: 

Reading List

Staff Picks: What to Read After Lies My Teacher Told Me

Documentaries (available on Kanopy with your Worcester Public Library card)

The Talk: Race in America

Freedom: A History of Us

We Shall Remain

Slavery and the Making of America

I Am Not Your Negro

What is Democracy?


The Origins of Race in the USA

John McKnight: The Abundant Community 

There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions by Audre Lorde

TED Talk with Kimberlè Crenshaw: The Urgency of Intersectionality 

TED Talk with Jerry Jang: Immaculate Perception 

TED Talk with Verna Myers: How to Overcome our Biases? 



Revisionist History 



The Atlantic: “How History Class Helped Create a ‘Post-Truth’ America” 

NPR: Interview with James W. Loewen on NPR 

The Washington Post: “It’s Back in the Age of ‘Alternative Facts’: ‘Lies My Teacher Told Me’

Discussion Resources 

New Press Reading Group Guide

National Museum of African American History and Culture: Talking about Race Teaching Current Events 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Libraries Transform Book Pick


The Libraries Transform Book Pick returns this fall with Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma. From September 14-28, ebook copies of this title will be available for readers in the U.S. without waitlists or holds. By connecting readers across the country with simultaneous access to this book, Libraries Transform hopes to inspire meaningful conversations among communities. 

Book of the Little Axe is a historical saga about a Trinidadian woman and her journey to the American West. Illuminating systemic racism in America, as well as exploring the complexities of family relationships, Lauren Francis-Sharma takes readers on an incredible journey. 

To borrow this title, go to Under Resources, select eBooks and Digital Media. Click on OverDrive. Sign into your Overdrive account, then search for the title to download. 

To read it on a handheld device, download the Overdrive or Libby app. 

You can discuss Book of the Little Axe on social media by using the hashtag #LTBookPick.