Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Pale King approaches

Exciting and, of course, somewhat sad news that David Foster Wallace's highly anticipated, aptly titled, unfinished manuscript The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel is soon to be published by Little, Brown and Company (it's request-able from the library now). The print version is going to be available on Tax Day but you ebook enthusiasts can purchase a digital version now from your preferred e-bookstore. The New York Times published a review of the book today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Man Booker International Prize announces finalists for 2011

Three Americans are in the mix for the U.K. based Man Booker International Prize this year: Anne Tyler, Philip Roth and Marilynne Robinson. Like the Nobel Prize in Literature, this Booker International Prize is given out for an author's body of work not for any one novel. A complete list of finalists is available on the official website.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April Nears...

April is the cruelest month, breeding  - T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

We know you're excited! April begins on Friday, and apart from the usual April foolery type shenanigans, April 1st means National Poetry Month has begun. It's time to celebrate and the Pollard is here to help. You can find some great resources and ways to celebrate at the Academy of American Poet's webpage including text and audio recordings of some of the best American poets ever to grace the page. And information about their fun programs such as Poem In Your Pocket Day - April 14, 2011.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell has an impressive line up of poets reading in the Month of April. Including former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, Tom Sexton, Marilyn Chin, Michael Casey, and Nicholas Samaras. Full calendar available on page seven of this attractive brochure.

On Thursday April 21st at 7PM the Pollard will be hosting a Common Threads poetry discussion group sponsored by the Massachusetts Poetry Festival May 13-14th in Salem. To sign up or get more information about this discussion you can contact Sean Thibodeau, Community Planning Librarian 978-970-4118 or And don't forget our area is rich in poetic resources. Support your local purveyors of things poetic including Bootstrap ProductionsLoom Press, and the historic Grolier Poetry Bookshop. Read your local poets

April is also Autism Awareness Month and more can be info can be obtained at our The Pollard Library's Autism Guide and at the Autism Society website.

Also, in the month of April, the Pollard Memorial Foundation is bringing to our reference area (aka Memorial Hall) the great writer and captain Linda Greenlaw for their Annual Meet the Author Night, Thursday April 28th @ 6PM ($40 Donation to benefit the Foundation). We're also showing the movie that made Ms. Greenlaw a household name, The Perfect Storm on Saturday, April 23rd @ 1PM.

April will also bring the 4th Annual Lowell Film Festival! April 28-30th to be exact. The Pollard is proud to be hosting two movies on Saturday April 29th (John Brown's Holy War at 11AM, and World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements at 2PM). The festival's theme this year is "Lowell on the Churn: Civil War - Present" which ties in with this April being the 150th Anniversary of the commencement of the Civil War (or as the Memorial Hall commemorative plaque in the Pollard Library states, "The War of the Rebellion"). There will be tours of the Pollard and other downtown Civil War sites lead by Richard Howe, Jr. Full schedule available here.

And as if that weren't enough, The City of Lowell is kicking off celebrations for Lowell's 175th Anniversary with an event on Monday April 11th from 4:30-6:30 at City Hall.

Of course, all of this is not to mention the Friend's of the Library's Monthly book donation drop off at the Lowell Senior Center this Saturday April 2nd from 9am-12pm (all books to be sold at their Annual Booksale on May 21st at the Senior Center), or our monthly Non-Fiction Book club meeting next Thursday, April 7th @ 6:30 where we'll be discussing River of Doubt by Candice Millard, or our monthly Independent Film Night where on Thursday April 14th we'll be showing Bad Day to Go Fishing, or our great April School Vacation events, details of which can be found at our Children's Department Blog.

There is no doubt April is going to be a fun action packed month here at the Pollard and around the city. Don't miss it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't Miss The Perfect Storm - Saturday, April 23rd 1PM - FREE

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Linda Greenlaw in The Perfect Storm
On Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 1PM, to gear up for the Pollard Memorial Foundation’s Author Night with Linda Greenlaw (Thursday, April 28th at 6PM - $40 Donation per person) we’re showing a free screening the movie that first brought Ms. Greenlaw to the public’s attention. Set in 1991, The Perfect Storm, starring George Clooney, local favorite Mark Wahlberg, and of course Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Linda Greenlawdepicts the plight of one sword-fishing ship, the ill-fated Andrea Gail, and her crew during the greatest storm in modern history. While friends and family on shore could only worry and hope to rescue them, a brave crew, fight nature and struggled for survival against hurricane force winds and hundred foot waves. The film is Rated PG-13 with a 130 minute run time. This screening is made possible by The Friends of the Pollard Library.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friends Meeting Tomorrow, March 24th @ 6PM

Don't forget there's a meeting for the Friends of the Pollard Library tomorrow night. They'll be coordinating their efforts for the 2011 Annual Booksale. They can always use, and most definitely appreciate helping hands. So, come on by and bring a friend to meet some friends. If you can't come to the meeting tomorrow night and still want to help you can email

Monday, March 21, 2011

Independent Film Night - Thursday, April 14th @ 6:30: "Bad Day To Go Fishing" a film by Álvaro Brechner

Join us for our ongoing Independent Film Series in partnership with Film Movement. Up next is  Bad Day to go Fishing a film by Álvaro Brechner. Thursday, April 14th @ 6:30PM. Jacob van Oppen – formerly the “strongest man on earth,” now a washed up alcoholic—and his crafty manager, Orsini, make good money staging bogus wrestling matches in small South American towns. When this oddball duo arrives in the unassuming village of Santa Maria, crafty, Orsini, is sure he can find the right opponent to throw the fight, but fishing in Santa Maria yields a bigger catch than he’d hoped for. Jordan Mintzer in Variety said “Álvaro Brechner’s ambitious debut is something like a retro ‘The Wrestler’ by way of the Cohen Brothers.” The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Brought to you by the Friends of the Library.

The Pollard Library Independent Film series occurs the 2nd Thursday of every month! Please note: These Independent films are not rated by the MPAA and should be considered for mature audiences.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pollard is going Green (Evergreen, That Is)

Since its St. Patrick's Day and we're all enjoying the color green we thought we might ask if you've heard the news that the Pollard Library, along with the other members of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC) will soon move its library catalog and circulation system to Evergreen, an open-source integrated library system used by hundreds of libraries nationwide and in Canada.

This move is designed to improve services for you, our patrons. Some new features with the Evergreen system include a version of the catalog for use on mobile devices, more flexibility for you in creating user names and passwords to access and use the online catalog, and the ability for you to update your account information as well as to pay fines online. You will also have more flexibility and control over your catalog searches with Evergreen, including setting account preferences to automatically search the Pollard Library only or MVLC as a whole.

You may be familiar with Open Office which is another open source software system currently in use at the Pollard. Evergreen is a library-specific open-source software program originally developed by the Georgia Public Library. In case you're wondering what the big deal is about "open source" software, you should know that calling something open-source means that it is software that is mostly developed in a public, collaborative manner. This collaboration allows users to study, change, and improve the software as it is being used.

MVLC will be the first large library system in Massachusetts to move to Evergreen. The anticipated date for the changeover is May 2011. Stay tuned here at the PML Blog for updates and to learn about the new features Evergeen will bring. Go Green!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Pollard Memorial Foundation Presents - Linda Greenlaw - Thursday April 28, 2011, 6:00PM

Linda Greenlaw, renowned author and fisherman and America's only female swordfishing captain, is author of three New York Times bestselling books about life as a commercial fisherman: The Hungry Ocean (1999), The Lobster Chronicles (2002), and All Fishermen Are Liars (2004). Linda is featured in the hit Discovery Channel series Swords: Life on the Line. Greenlaw's latest book Seaworthy: A Swordfish Boat Captain Returns to the Sea is a chronicle of her return to swordfishing after ten years as a lobsterman and marks her return to non-fiction and high-seas adventure. Greenlaw first came to the public's attention in Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm, where Junger called her "one of the best captains on the entire east coast." She’s been featured on Good Morning America, Today, CBS Sunday Morning, The Martha Stewart Show and National Public Radio. She lives on Isle au Haut, Maine. Donations for this event are $40 per person. Proceeds from the event will support library programs.

The Author Night with Linda Greenlaw will take place in our beautiful 2nd floor Reference area, also known as, Memorial Hall. 

In advance of the event we've made it easy for you to read your favorite Linda Greenlaw book—check out our display on the 1st floor of the library.

The Pollard Memorial Library Foundation was established in 1994 as an independent financial resource to support the programs, activities, collection, and services of Lowell’s public library. For more information about the Foundation please visit

So please, come down on April 28th at 6:00PM to support your library and meet, Linda Greenlaw. There will be a book signing, and wine and Hors d’oeuvres and most importantly an opportunity for you to catch an evening of great conversation!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Non-Fiction Book Club! River of Doubt by Candice Millard, Thursday, April 7, 2011 @ 6:30PM

A photo from Theodore Roosevelt's trip down The River of Doubt.

Non-Fiction Booklovers! Thank you all for last month's engaged and thoughtful discussion of Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Our talk worked well as a compliment to Lowell's Women's Week.

It's time to turn your attention to another non-fiction gem. River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard will be discussed on Thursday, April 7, 2011 @ 6:30PM in the Ground Floor Meeting Room. We will be voting for future titles at this meeting. Light refreshments will also be enjoyed. Please join us.

Of course, we understand if you can't make April's meeting. In preparation of that possibility or, if you want to read ahead, here is a list of future titles with corresponding dates:

May 5, 2011 @ 6:30PM - A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States by Jill Lepore.

June 2, 2011 @ 6:30PM - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

If you have any questions or suggestions for future titles please email them to Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

10,000 people will read 7 poems in April. Will you be one of them?

April is National Poetry Month and we at the Pollard are excited to take part in an ambitious project titled Common Threads: Seven Poets and a Wealth of Readers, sponsored by the third Massachusetts Poetry Festival. The idea is to have 10,000 Massachusetts citizens reading seven poems by seven poets who work currently or have worked in Massachusetts as a lead up to the festival in Salem on May 13th and 14th. So, we'll read the poems and discuss them at the Ground Floor Meeting Room on Thursday, April 21st @ 7PM. The poems to be discussed include: “In the Waiting Room” by Elizabeth Bishop, “The Lost Pilot” by James Tate, “Occupation” by Suji Kwock Kim, “Vita Nova” by Louise Glück, “New England Ode” by Kevin Young, “Samurai Song” by Robert Pinsky, and “Love Song: I and Thou” by Alan Dugan. Contact the Community Planning Department via phone (978-970-4118) or email if you have questions. Spread the word and check back here and on our facebook page for details.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Week At the Pollard - Two Films

In addition to some great and ongoing Children's events (full details available at the Children's Happenings Blog or our Library Calendar). We have two great films showing for free at the library this week:

Come Undone a film by  Silvio Soldini
Thursday, March 10th at 6:30PM
The latest installment of our Independent Film Night (2nd Thursday of Every Month). This film has not been rated by the MPAA and should be considered for a mature audience.

What Happened To Kerouac? by Richard Lerner & Lewis MacAdams
Saturday, March 12th @ 1PM
In celebration of Kerouac's Birthday we're showing this telling documentary about his life, celebrity, and tragic undoing. Don't miss the other Kerouac birthday celebrations going on in the city including the world premier of a film and an evening event featuring Pull My Daisy collaborator and style melding musical virtuoso David Amram. Details of all the festivities available at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac and Come To Lowell.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Donation Drop-off - Tomorrow - Saturday, March 5th from 9am-12noon @ The Senior Branch of the Pollard Library in the Lowell Senior Center

Don't forget the Friends of the Pollard are accepting donations of your gently used books and videos tomorrow from 9am-12noon at the Senior Branch of the Pollard Library located in the Lowell Senior Center - 276 Broadway St. Lowell. Their Annual Booksale is on May 21st from 9-3pm at the Senior Center and the Friends will be accepting donataions the first Saturday of every month until then. Please do not bring donations to the main branch of the library. For more information, check out the Friends' webpage or email