Tag Archives: NOBLE

The Lynn Public Library’s Best of 2017!

We are enormously lucky to be part of NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange).  As many of you know, the NOBLE network allows you, our beloved patrons, to borrow books from the other libraries around us–including academic libraries at North Shore Community College and Salem State University–and utilize the programs and resources at our fellow NOBLE libraries.  It’s a fantastic system that we all value enormously.

The Lynn Public Library

So this year, we thought it might be fun to invite the other NOBLE libraries and staff members to join us in our end-of-the-year celebrations! This week, we bring you the Lynn Public Library’s Favorite Books of 2017!

Although Library services were available in Lynn as early as 1815, it wasn’t until a bequest was made to the city in 1896 that plans for a permanent Library were developed.  After some debate about the style, size, and scale of the building, construction began in 1898, with local architect George A. Moore overseeing the project.  The Library opened in 1900; that same year, the trustees commissioned a mural by Francis Luis Mora, a prominent Uruguayan-born American  painter, who was most likely the first Hispanic artist elected to the National Academy of Design (his self-portrait appears on the left).  This would be Mora’s first public mural, and, as a result, he received a commission for the Missouri State Building at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (also known as the St. Louis World’s Fair)in 1904, as well as for the Governor’s Mansion of New Jersey, in the Sears family’s country home (of Sears & Roebuck fame)  in Brookline, Massachusetts, and painted the portrait of Warren Harding that is still on display in the White House.  He would later go on to teach at what would become Parsons The New School for Design, with Georgia O’Keeffe as one of his students…see what great things can come from Libraries?!

Today, the staff of the Lynn Public Library is dedicated to serving the needs of a diverse population whose interests range from scholarly research to cultural pursuits to entertainment.  Their collection numbers almost 125,000 volumes, with over 30,000 in the Children’s Department alone. The large Reference collection is known for its emphasis on Lynn history, genealogy, and the Civil War, and offers a wealth of services and information for patrons.  Their Calendar of Events is packed with events for teens, adults, and kids, from book clubs to crafting events, so feel free to check them out!

And, without further ado, is just a small sampling from the  Lynn Public Library’s staff’s favorite reads from 2017!

Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Anderson

Warcross by Marie Lu

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

The Store by James Patterson

Hard Core Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich

Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Murder Games by James Patterson

Black Book by James Patteson

Chew Approved by The Chew

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives by Ree Drummond

The Lucius Beebe Library’s Best of 2017

We are enormously lucky to be part of NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange).  As many of you know, the NOBLE network allows you, our beloved patrons, to borrow books from the other libraries around us–including academic libraries at North Shore Community College and Salem State University–and utilize the programs and resources at our fellow NOBLE libraries.  It’s a fantastic system that we all value enormously.

So this year, we thought it might be fun to invite the other NOBLE libraries and staff members to join us in our end-of-the-year celebrations! This week, we bring you the Lucius Beebe Library of Wakefield’s list of the Best Books of 2017!

vIA http://www.wakefieldlibrary.org/about/about-the-library/#Building-Photos

The town of Wakefield was known as South Reading until 1868. During the early part of the 19th century, there was a library in South Reading known as the Social Library.  That Library was a subscription library (meaning that people had to pay to take out materials), and held mostly divinity books.  It turns out that, even in the 19th century, divinity books were not the most scintillating of reads, and the Social Library closed due to lack of support.   However, you can’t keep a good library down, and the town’s first public library was established in 1856, with a $300 budget to buy books.  Within three years, that initial $300 investment had grown into a library with some 1,678 volumes.  Lucius Beebe was the first chairman of the Board of Library Trustees.

In 1868, when Wakefield became…well, Wakefield, the Library  Cyrus Wakefield, after whom the town was named, donated a house to be used by the city, with one half dedicated as the new library space.  Lucius Beebe (pictured below, left, via the Beebe Library website) donated $500 to the purchase of new books and, as a result, the town renamed the library as the “Beebe Public Library.”

With such phenomenal support, the Beebe Library soon needed to expand, and in 1916, the townspeople purchased a lot at the corner of Main and Avon Streets for $16,000.  Junius Beebe, son of Lucius Beebe, donated $60,000 toward the construction of a new library building, to be built in memory of his parents, Lucius and Sylenda (to put that into perspective, the annual yearly income in the area at this time was right around $800).  The US entrance into the First World War delayed the construction of the building, but in 1922, the cornerstone for the new library was laid, and the building was dedicated on April 15, 1923.  The architect for the 1922 building was Ralph Adams Cram, who also designed Princeton University.  The Beebe library has continued to grow, and was expanded most recently in 1995.

The Circulation Desk, via http://www.wakefieldlibrary.org/about/about-the-library/#Building-Photos

Today, the Library is a vital part of the Wakefield community, with a number of programs and reading groups–including a reading group that will be meeting at local restaurants!  It was also was the first library in Massachusetts to sponsor a townwide reading program, “Wakefield Reads”.   Check out the Lucius Beebe Library’s website to see all the phenomenal resources they offer, from job hunting to homebound delivery to college resources.  They are also a wonderfully welcoming, friendly Library community.  I can tell you from experience, as a reader who has lingered for way longer than anticipated in the chairs in their beautiful New Fiction section!   So feel free to stop by, enjoy their beautiful space, and check out all this sensational library has to offer!

We are also pleased to highlight the Lucius Beebe Library Staff’s Favorites of 2017!   Don’t forget to check out the super page on their website for the full list!

Madame Zero: The Guardian dubbed Sarah Hall as  “one of the most significant and exciting of Britain’s young novelists”, and this collection of nine works of short fiction will help you see why.  Each of these stunning, insightful tales plumbs the truth of what it means to be female in this world, as well as what it means to be human.  A husband’s wife transforms into a vulpine in “Mrs. Fox”…A new mother runs into an old lover in “Luxury Hour.” In “Case Study 2,” a social worker struggles with a foster child raised in a commune.  In beautiful, rich prose, full of observations and striking clarity, Hall has composed nine wholly original pieces—works of fiction that will resonate long after the final page is turned.

Ill Will: This tale about intertwined crimes–one in the past and one in the present–mades Dan Chaon’s novel one of the most acclaimed psychological thrillers of the year, as well as being a selection at the Beebe Library.  A psychologist in suburban Cleveland, Dustin is drifting through his forties when he hears that his adopted brother, Rusty, is being released from prison. Thirty years ago, Rusty received a life sentence for the massacre of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle. Despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury believed the outlandish accusations Dustin and his cousin made against Rusty. Now, after DNA analysis has overturned the conviction, Dustin braces for a reckoning. Meanwhile, one of Dustin’s patients has been plying him with stories of the drowning deaths of a string of drunk college boys. At first Dustin dismisses his patient’s suggestions that a serial killer is at work as paranoid thinking, but as the two embark on an amateur investigation, Dustin starts to believe that there’s more to the deaths than coincidence–and paranoid enough to put everything he values at risk.

Her Body and Other Parties: Carmen Maria Machado’s debut book of short stories took the literary world by storm this year, and is a celebrated part of the Beebe Library’s staff picks for the year.  A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella “Especially Heinous,” Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.  Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

Get Out: One of the most important, talked-about, and thought-provoking move of the year, Jordan Peele’s debut horror film is also among the Beebe Library staff’s favorites of the year.  When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American man, visits his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family estate, he becomes ensnared in the more sinister, real reason for the invitation. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.  This is a movie with a social message that is genuinely entertaining, a horror movie that operates on so many more levels than the visceral, and a moving take on the State of Things that you won’t soon forget.

Be sure to check out the rest of the list over at the Lucius Beebe Library website!

The Beverly Library’s Best Books of 2017!

We are enormously lucky to be part of NOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange).  As many of you know, the NOBLE network allows you, our beloved patrons, to borrow books from the other libraries around us–including academic libraries at North Shore Community College and Salem State University–and utilize the programs and resources at our fellow NOBLE libraries.  It’s a fantastic system that we all value enormously.

So this year, we thought it might be fun to invite the other NOBLE libraries and staff members to join us in our end-of-the-year celebrations!  This week, we bring you Beverly Library’s list of the Best Books of 2017.

The Beverly Library, via noblenet.org

The Beverly Library (located at 32 Essex Street in Beverly) was established in 1855, three years after the Massachusetts Legislature became the first in the nation to authorize cities and towns to expend tax funds to support free public libraries.  The institution was originally known as the Social Library, a private subscription library which traced its founding to a collection of books seized by Beverly privateers from a British merchantman during the Revolutionary War (I think that might be one of the coolest starts a library has ever had).  Elizabeth P. Sohier, a trustee of the Beverly Public Library, led the fight to establish the first state library agency in the country, and served as the State Library Commission’s first secretary.  The Essex Street site was opened in 1913, and was  designed by architect Cass Gilbert, who was also the architect of the Minnesota State Capitol, the Woolworth Building in New York City and the United States Supreme Court.  The building was subsequently enlarged in 1993.

In addition to its stunning Essex Street location, the Beverly Library also has a branch in Beverly Farms (located at 24 Vine Street, Beverly) and a Bookmobile!  On average, the Beverly Library loans over 280,000 items annually to almost 27,000 regular borrowers. The Main Library collection consists of over 125,000 books and the Beverly Farms Branch of 22,000 books.  They also have regular programs, displays, and book clubs–you can learn more about them by checking out their Events Calendar.

And, just as we in Peabody have Breaking Grounds, the Beverly Library is right near the Atomic Cafe, as well as number of small restaurants, cafes, and shops–so why not pay them a call and tell them we say Hello?  You can also check out their selections for the best books of 2017.  The full list can be found on their website here, and a few selections can be found below!

Beverly Library’s Best Books of 2017:

Startup : a novel: Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech and he’s about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running.   Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.  Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband–who also happens to be Katya’s boss–as she rejoins a work force that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she’s been away.   Before the ink on Mack’s latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. When Mack’s bad behavior collides with Katya’s search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons. As the fallout from Mack’s scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it’s up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.  Doree Shafrir’s debut has been hailed as one of the most anticipated books of the year, and which Wired.com called “a dramedy-of-errors, a Shakespearean yarn of secrets, sex, miscommunication, misogyny, and money…Crack this one open on the beach and you just might find yourself a little more enlightened when you return to the workplace.”

Boundless This is one of those books that proves just how far comics have come, and the real power that they have to convey stories, and move readers with images as well as text.  This collection of short stories from Jillian Tamaki features stories about the virtual realities and real-world stories of a number of ‘normal’, and beautifully unique women: Jenny becomes obsessed with a strange “mirror Facebook,” which presents an alternate, possibly better, version of herself. Helen finds her clothes growing baggy, her shoes looser, and as she shrinks away to nothingness, the world around her recedes as well. The animals of the city briefly open their minds to us, and we see the world as they do. A mysterious music file surfaces on the internet and forms the basis of a utopian society–or is it a cult? In addition to earning top praise from the staff at the Beverly Library, Boundless also earned a starred review from Booklist, who called it “A profoundly honest, bittersweet picture of human nature, made all the more haunting by her enchanting artwork.”

Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World: Historians are some of the best people to help us avoid the mistakes in our past, and in this fascinating work, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman addresses how we can avoid the endless rounds of depressing jobs and needless purchasing in order to live a better life.  Bregman offered two TED talks in the past three years on the concept of universal basic income, an idea which seemed utterly far-fetched originally, but is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over.  Using this idea, and building on some engrossing and enlightening global examples, Bregman argues that every progressive milestone of civilization–from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy–was once considered a utopian fantasy.  Bregman’s book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.  This is a challenging, thought-provoking work that won praise from economists, academics, and reviewers alike (no mean feat, that!), with The Guardian noting that Bregman’s book “is not a dry, statistical analysis-although he doesn’t shy from solid data-but a book written with verve, wit, and imagination. The effect is charmingly persuasive, even when you can’t quite believe what you’re reading . . . Listen out for Rutger Bregman. He has a big future shaping the future.”


Check out this link for the rest of the Beverly Library’s picks for the Best Books of 2017–or pay them a visit today!

Saturdays @ the South: Change afoot…

The library as a concept is a living, breathing organism that changes all the time. We have to because the communities we serve are constantly changing. Needs change, tastes change and ideas change and it’s our job to try and keep up to make sure that our communities are able to use the library for exactly what they want and need, not what we tell them they want or need. Sometimes these changes come in the form of a new program or service, sometimes it’s a new policy designed to make sure that the patrons are treated fairly. Whatever it is, we always hope it’s for the best.


I’m sure many of you (perhaps all of you) use some form of inter-library loan (ILL). No matter how hard we try, any individual library (especially one as small as the South Branch) can’t have enough space or budget to purchase every single item that every patron would want (try though we may). That’s why being part of the NOBLE consortium is so beneficial to both North Shore library professionals and our patrons. Getting books from another library that your home library may not have is a huge boon for all of us, and this information is unlikely to surprise any regular library user.  You may not know, however, that libraries in the NOBLE system have a feature called “holds go home.” This means that Peabody patrons have preference for books circulating from the Peabody Libraries.


This week was the start of something new, not just for the Peabody Library, but for all the libraries in the NOBLE system. The due dates for books circulating through the ILL system have been standardized for when an item goes out from its home library. Peabody books picked up from a Peabody location will still have the same due date rules we always have: 2 weeks for a new book; 3 weeks for a book on the shelf more than 1 year, or audiobooks, or large print books; 1 week for DVDs and music CDs. However, if borrow an item from another NOBLE library and pick it up at a Peabody location, there will be a standard due date for any item from a library outside of Peabody: 2 weeks for any book, 1 week for a media item.


This is likely to cause a bit of confusion for a brief time because some libraries have wide due date discrepancies and post stickers on book spines such as “7 Day Loan” and some libraries will give as much as 4 weeks with a book or a DVD that’s a TV series. With the new system in place, regardless of what the item may tell you, if it came from a library outside of Peabody, you’ll have 2 weeks with a book and 1 week with a DVD. For most people, this won’t cause any issue, but for those of us who have extensive hold lists, we may have to adjust our strategies slightly. If you’re at all concerned as to whether you’ll be able to read/watch/listen to all of your items by the due date posted, might I suggest you take advantage of suspending some of your holds. I’ve talked about suspending holds previously here, with step-by-step instructions on how to do it. This will allow you to stagger when your holds come in and, if you’re in a long queue for an item you will not lose your place in line.


Because of the “holds go home” rule embedded in the system, if you have an item on hold and one of the Peabody Libraries has a copy, you are more likely to get the Peabody copy and possibly have a slightly longer due date. This standardization of due dates, however, will not affect our level of service and dedication to our patrons. The only thing that will possibly change is the due date on your receipt. (FYI- if you don’t have one already, feel free to ask about the magnetic receipt holders that have been generously provided by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries.) You also have the opportunity to take advantage of our digital services like Overdrive and the newly added Hoopla for downloading and streaming of ebooks, audiobooks, music and videos .

Standardizing can be a good thing in a lot of ways; it allows procedures to be less confusing overall in the long run and it helps us treat everyone equally and fairly, which is something a public library should always keep as a top priority. But when any change takes place, it takes a bit of getting used to. If you ever have questions about library policies or any changes that have taken place, never hesitate to ask your friendly Peabody Library employee! We’re here to help and serve. Till next week, dear readers, know that we’ll never stop working, and occasionally implementing changes, to make the Library serve you the best it possibly can!