Friday, February 17, 2023

New Releases: March Edition

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


Evil Eye by Eta Rum

After Yara is placed on probation at work for fighting with a racist coworker, her Palestinian mother claims the provocation and all that’s come after were the result of a family curse. While Yara doesn’t believe in old superstitions, she finds herself unpacking her strict, often volatile childhood growing up in Brooklyn, looking for clues as to why she feels so unfulfilled in a life her mother could only dream of.

Biography of X by Catherine Lacey 

Pulsing with suspense and intellect while blending nonfiction and fiction, Biography of X is a roaring epic that plumbs the depths of grief, art, and love. In her most ambitious novel yet, Catherine Lacey, one of our most acclaimed literary innovators, pushes her craft to its highest level, introducing us to an unforgettable character who, in her tantalizing mystery, shows us the fallibility of the stories we craft for ourselves.

The Ramirez women of Staten Island orbit around absence. When thirteen‑year‑old middle child Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, it left the family scarred and scrambling. One night, twelve years later, oldest sister Jessica spots a woman on her TV screen in Catfight, a raunchy reality show. She rushes to tell her younger sister, Nina: This woman's hair is dyed red, and she calls herself Ruby, but the beauty mark under her left eye is instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy, after all this time?


After a car crash of two white mothers and their six adopted black children was deemed a murder suicide, we follow Asgarian as she tries to uncover more about the children and their birth families. Her reporting uncovers racial biases and corruption as children of color are separated from birth parents without proper cause. The result is a riveting narrative and an indictment of a system that continues to fail America’s most vulnerable children while upending the lives of their families.

Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence by Paco Calvo

A leading figure in the philosophy of plant signaling and behavior, Paco Calvo offers an entirely new perspective on plant biology. In Planta Sapiens, he shows for the first time how we can use tools developed in animal cognition studies in a quest to deeply understand plant intelligence.Most importantly, he demonstrates that plants are neither objects nor resources; they are agents in themselves, and for themselves.

Clint Smith’s vibrant and compelling new collection traverses the vast emotional terrain of fatherhood, and explores how becoming a parent has recalibrated his sense of the world. Above Ground wrestles with how we hold wonder and despair in the same hands, how we carry intimate moments of joy and a collective sense of mourning in the same body. 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Reference Shelf: Government Documents

As a reference librarian here at the Worcester Public Library, I often see patrons searching for reliable and trustworthy information on a wide range of topics. From environmental research to health resources, government documents are a valuable resource for library patrons. In this blog post, I’d like to explore what government documents are and what you’ll find here at WPL.

U.S. constitution
Government documents are publications produced by the federal government. They provide all different types of information on a wide range of topics, including technical scientific data, general overviews of a currently political topics, weather, and health.  U.S. laws, regulations, and even the constitution, are also all government documents.

There are good reasons to keep government documents in mind when doing research.  Lots of time, effort, and expertise are used to make sure the government has the best information possible to provide to the public and make decisions, making these documents quite authoritative.  In some cases, like the census, the government has the only real comprehensive data set.  Government documents are also generally free of copyright, meaning they can be reused.   

The Worcester Public Library has been a depository library since 1859, which means we have been receiving and housing government documents for more than 150 years!  Because of this long tenure, WPL has a large collection of government documents, with some dating back more than a hundred years.

Most government documents are held in WPL’s basement, so if you are searching our catalog and see an item with an unusual call number, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian to help you find it.  Chances are you have stumbled upon a government document and it will need to be retrieved for you.  Newer documents can be found displayed on the second floor alongside a display of recently returned or used government documents.

In keeping with the Government Publishing Office’s mission of “keeping America informed,” most government documents are now available online.  The information is not all in one place however, and you will generally need to go to the website of the agency which published the information to find what you need.  Fortunately, documents from a number of different government agencies can be searched and found through our catalog.   If you need to view one of these documents, just look for the link under the ‘Electronic resources’ heading in the record.  This link will take you directly to the document.

There is certainly more that can be said about government documents, so if you have more questions, don't hesitate to reach out.  We are here to help you find the answers to all your burning questions.