Monday, July 2, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Library Closing July 4th & Summer Hours Take Effect Next Week

In observance of Independence Day, the Pollard Library will be CLOSED Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Also, please note that next week the library will be open for Summer Hours. Which means this Saturday, June 30th is the last Saturday the library will be open until after Labor Day.

Pollard Library Summer Hours:
Monday 9am-9pm
Tuesday 9am-9pm
Wednesday 9am-9pm
Thursday 9am-9pm
Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Get Ready Lowell - Your Library's Website is Changing

Same address——fresh new look and user-friendly interface. The fruits of a long redesign and redevelopment process with the fabulous local web team at Pixellente! are about to be unveiled. We're set to switch over within the next week or so....




get ready.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lowell seeking Applicants for Library Trustee

Our thanks to longtime library supporter Marie Sweeney over at Richard Howe, Jr's blog for recently writing a great little article on ways in which you can support the Pollard Library. In addition to listing a bunch of ways you can help us be the best library we can be, Marie mentions the fact that the library is seeking qualified applicants to fill a vacant position on the Board of Trustees. And quotes from a FB post by Marianne Gries, a current trustee about her experience:

I am thrilled to be on the Library’s Board of Trustees – it’s a great group of people and I am hugely passionate about the important role public libraries play in the community. The freedom to read and to have unfettered access to information are cornerstones of democracy and libraries are at the forefront of that.
The library is also a treasure trove of awesome free programming; free books, e-books, magazines, movies, and music; free film screenings and author readings; free museum passes; free computer access and classes; and it has an amazing art collection.

The Library Board of Trustees provides policy direction in matters and concerns related to the Lowell Public Library.  The Board of Trustees meets the first  Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. Applicants should send a letter of interest and a resume by 5:00pm Monday, July 9th to the Office of the City Manager, City Hall, 375 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01852. Application materials may also be sent via email to Donna McIntosh, Executive Assistant to the City Manager at  For more information call the City Manager’s Office at 978-970-4000 or visit the City of Lowell website.

Lowell Reads First Film Night Thursday, June 28th @ 6:30pm

Lowell Readers! To help contextualize Great Expecations, we're going to be giving you an opportunity to take in some biographical information about Charles Dickens in film form this Thursday, June 28th @ 6:30pm. First up is an hour long documentary called Charles Dickens: A Tale of Ambition and Genius, which paints an informative and insightful overview of Mr. Dickens' life.

 Then we'll be showing two thirty minute episodes of BBC's Dickens in America featuring Miriam Margolyes. This show followed Margolyes as she retraced Dickens' 1842 trip to America—we'll be watching her as she prepares to leave England, and as she visits Lowell and other New England stops along Dickens' trail.

This film night, along with all the other Lowell Reads Great Expectations programming is free and open to the public. If you have any questions please contact me, Sean Thibodeau, Community Planning Librarian at 978-674-1542 or See you Thursday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting, Tuesday, June 19th - 6-7:30pm

Join the Friends of the Pollard Library at their annual meeting Tuesday, June 19th from 6-7:30pm. It's a chance to review the past year of supporting our library and look to what the future might hold. Bring a friend, meet some friends. For more information about the Friends of the Pollard Library and the agenda for the annual meeting please visit their webpage.

AND...if you can't make the meeting you can catch the Friends this summer over in the Highlands selling some gently used books at unbeatable prices at the Friends of Tyler Park's 14th Annual Summer Sunset Music Series. Festivities start by 6pm and include face painting, balloons, hot dogs, popcorn, raffles, etc. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
Full line up: 
Thursday, June 21 - Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion - 6:30-8:00pm
Thursday, July 19 - Take Two - 6:30-8:00pm
Thursday, August 16 - Gumbo Diablo - 6:30-7:30pm

Monday, June 11, 2012

Nonfiction Book Club to discuss: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson - Thursday, July 5, 2012 @ 6:30 PM

It's time to set our sights on another nonfiction gem. It seems very appropriate to have a uniquely American story be the subject of the book picked for discussion the Thursday after Independence Day. So read up, and join the discussion of Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns on July 5th @ 6:30pm.

Description from the book jacket:

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

About the Author:

Isabel Wilkerson wont the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times. The first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and the first African American to win for individual reporting. She is currently Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., where she was born and reared. This is her first book.

While we do ask you to obtain the book yourself (and there are plenty of copies in the MVLC library system) this book club is free and open to the public. If you have any questions please email me at Happy reading!  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Natasha Trethewey named Poet Laureate

According to the New York Times, the Library of Congress announced that Natasha Trethewey will succeed Philip Levine as our nation's Poet Laureate. She is a Mississipi native and received an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She will be the first southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren and the first African-American woman since Rita Dove. Her post officially begins this September. Our consortium has a few of her books and many of her poems in various anthologies, you might want to check her out.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book launch party for local anthology: "River Muse: Tales of Lowell and the Merrimack Valley" Friday 7pm @ UML Inn & Conference Center!!!

Sons of Liberty Publishing is having a gala release of the anthology: River Muse: Tales of Lowell & The Merrimack Valley, featuring previously unpublished works from our own Jack Kerouac and thirty-five other local authors. Copies of the book may be purchased at the event ($20) and many of the authors will be there to sign them. All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to veterans' charities. This event is free and open to the public—Friday, June 8th from 7-10pm at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dennis Lehane calls libraries "an unequivocal good."

The Pollard Memorial Library Foundation Author Night with Dennis Lehane was an unmitigated success. A wise and warm speaker, Lehane charmed the audience with his real life stories and stayed until every last person had a chance to shake his hand or pose for a picture. Lehane, a trustee of the Boston Public Library, opened his remarks stating that he wouldn't have been there without libraries because growing up in a working class family the local library gave him access to books his parents couldn't afford.

He went on to say "Anytime you can support libraries, please do. You are supporting an unequivocal good, you are supporting a light against the darkness, a bulwark against the barbarians."

Here's a slideshow of some pictures from that night:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Victorian Era Insights

This is an exciting year for England. The Summer Olympics will be held in London and Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee--60 years on the throne. Only Queen Victoria reigned for such a long period. As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebration, the complete diaries of Queen Victoria are available online through the end of June. (In July, they will remain free online to people in the UK.) The website,, contains over 43,000 pages in 141 volumes spanning from 1832-1901. They were released by the Royal Archives and produced in collaboration with Bodelian Libraries at Oxford and Proquest. You can see digital images of Queen Victoria's original journals through 1937. Later journals were redacted and transcribed by the Queen's daughter, Princess Beatrice, per Victoria's request.

Although the diaries are available to us only briefly, the timing could not be better. As you may know, Lowell is currently celebrating Charles Dickens, and the Pollard Memorial Library just kicked off Lowell Reads Great Expectations. Dickens, who was born 200 years ago and visited the city in 1842, wrote during the Victorian Era. Perusing Queen Victoria's journals will provide insight into this time period and to the woman who reigned when Dickens was creating his most memorable works.

Queen Victoria's Journals. (accessed June 2, 2012).

Schuessler, Jennifer. "Queen Victoria's Complete Diaries Released Online." New York Times. May 24, 2012.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We've got Lowell Spinners Library Passes!

The boys of summer will be playing soon over at good ole LeLacheur Park and this year thanks to the Friends of the Pollard Library, we have Spinners Library passes to lend. While they are not admission tickets, the passes will give you the opportunity to purchase up to six reserve tickets for half price ($3 each) to home games (subject to availability). Limit one pass per person per season. Reserve your pass today through our online museum reservation system, or inquire at the first floor information desk (978) 674-4120.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't miss the Lowell Reads Great Expecations Kick Off Party this Saturday June 2nd, 11am-3pm

We're very excited for the kick off of Lowell Reads Great Expectations THIS SATURDAY June, 2nd from 11am-3pm.

  • 11am-12pm: Animal Mask Craft - The Lowell Humane Society will be on hand to lead an Animal Mask Craft for kids. All children and grownups are welcome, no registration necessary. 
  • 1pm-3pm: Special screening of an animated children's feature starring a troupe of lovable kittens based on Charles Dicken's "Oliver Twist."  
For those of you in book groups, this Saturday is also an excellent opportunity to get first dibs on the book club kits we've assembled for your reading pleasure. Free with your library card—inquire at the ciruclation desk. And don't forget to sign up for our discussion forum at, "join" the events on our facebook page or help spread the word on twitter #lowellreads12.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

UPDATE: Memorial Day Weekend Hours

We just received word that the library will be closing at 3pm on Friday in observance of Memorial Day Holiday.

So. Library Hours for this weekend are as follows:

Friday, May 25th - 9am-3pm
Saturday, May 26th - 9am-5pm
Sunday, May 27th - CLOSED
Monday, May 28th - CLOSED

Have a safe and happy holiday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In observance of Memorial Day the Library will be CLOSED Monday, May 28th

In observance of Memorial Day the Library will be CLOSED Monday, May 28, 2012. If you're still in town this weekend, come on by the Library this Saturday at 1PM for a special John Wayne / Memorial Day film matinee.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Foundation Author Night with Dennis Lehane is only two days away - Thursday, May 24th @ 6pm

Quick reminder that the Pollard Memorial Library Foundation's Annual Author Night featuring Dennis Lehane is only two days away—Thursday, May 24th @ 6pm in the 2nd Floor Reference Room of the Pollard (a.k.a. Memorial Hall). If you haven't gotten your ticket yet, don't fret. They will be available at the door for the suggested donation price of $45.

Friday, May 18, 2012

#Lowell Reads Great Expectations (June—August 2012) #lowellreads12

In concert with the citywide Dickens in Lowell Celebration, the Pollard is resurrecting the Lowell Reads program. The aim of this program is to promote literacy and to foster a better sense of community by creating an opportunity for Lowellians engage with their neighbors in a meaningful discussion over a treasured classic. Beginning June 2nd, the Pollard Library will have book club kits of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations available for patrons to borrow to host and facilitate  discussions. In addition we will have copies of the novel in many formats for individuals to borrow. Readers can also pose questions and share their thoughts on the online discussion forum at or join the conversation on Twitter @pollardml #lowellreads12. The library will be host a series of in person book discussions, films, and more.  For a full list of events you can visit our library calendar page, or our facebook events page, or stop by the library (or the Friends Book Sale this weekend) to pick up a brochure. 

ABOUT THE BOOK: Widely considered the best of Dickens’ novels, Great Expectations, tells the story of a young man named Pip and his education and ascension through the classes in Victorian England. Originally released in weekly installments between 1860-1861 the novel is full of intrigue, mystery and suspense. It unfolds in a masterful plotted scheme as engaging to modern readers as it was to those subscribers who originally read it in weekly serial format. The richly drawn characters speak highly of Dickens’ keen awareness of the universal foibles of human nature. So whether you’re reading this masterwork for the first time, or you’re reacquainting yourself with the likes of Estella, Miss Havisham, Joe Gargery and Pip join in on the conversation this summer as Lowell Reads Great Expectations.

LOWELL READS GREAT EXPECTATIONS is part of the citywide DICKENS IN LOWELL CELEBRATION happening throughout 2012. For more information please visit Dickens in Lowell is sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, in partnership with the Lowell National Historical Park, the Tsongas Industrial History Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Charles Dickens Museum London, and with generous support from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation and the University of Massachusetts President’s Office. In addition, Lowell Reads Great Expectations, is made possible  by The Pollard Memorial Library Foundation and the Friends of the Pollard Memorial Library.

If you have any questions, or want more info please call or email Sean Thibodeau, Community Planning Librarian, 978-674-1542 or Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This weekend Lowell throws her Doors Open wide

This weekend is shaping up quite nicely. The weather will be beautiful for a stroll and all around Lowell, doors will be thrown open! That's right, it's Doors Open Lowell weekend—and even though the doors are always open during business hours at the Pollard, we'll be participating in this unique event. -- so after you've bought your books at The Friends of the Library annual book sale (Saturday 9am-2pm @ Lowell Senior Center) head on over to the Pollard for a meet and greet from 2pm-5pm with Library Director, Victoria Woodley. She'll be happy to answer any questions about the library, past, present, and future. We will also have a program for you to take to give yourself a self-guided tour of our treasures. For the full listing of Doors Open Lowell events please visit their website.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Friends Book sale THIS WEEKEND ONLY!!!

Just a quick reminder that the Friends of the Pollard Library's book sale is coming up this weekend over at the Lowell Senior Center, 276 Broadway St. (at the corner of Broadway and Fletcher - next to the Rite Aid, across from the Market Basket). Here are the details:
  • Friday, May 18th - 4pm-7pmSpecial Members Only Preview Night. With refreshments. A special bonus for members to take first crack at the book sale offerings. If you're not a member yet, you can fill out a membership form and come on down and join up at this event.
  • Saturday, May 19th - 9am-3pm - Main Book Sale Event!! This is it folks, what you and your bibliophile brethren have been looking forward to all year. Come early, come often. Bring a friend, meet some friends. 
  • Sunday, May 20th - 9am-2pm - Second Chance Sale. Deep Discounts - if you're a risk taker, you can let your choices slide until Sunday in the hopes of getting them for less than the already ridiculously low prices of the main sale. It would be in your best interest to come back anyway, to gobble up huge savings. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Independent Film Night - Thursday, June 14th @ 6:30 - King of Devil's Island

You won't want to miss next month's Independent Film Night at the Pollard (2nd Thursday of every month). On Thursday, June 14th @ 6;30PM we'll be showing King of Devil's Island a film by Marius Holst. Stellan Skarsgard stars in this stirring Norwegian film. (A perfect sentence for a pirate to arrr-ti-culate) The film is based on a true story of Norway's infamous Bastøy Boys Home correctional facility. The story begins with the arrival of a new inmate who immediately clashes with the administration and governor (Skarsgard) by refusing to accept their culture of constant abuse and torment. Ultimately, he leads the other boys to stand up for themselves on an ill-fated mission to reclaim their humanity from the corruption of unchecked power.

King of Devil's Island is in Norwegian with English Subtitles. Run time 116 minutes. Please note: These Independent films are not rated by the MPAA and should be considered for mature audiences. The Pollard Library Independent Film night occurs on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The events are free and open to the public. Made possible by the Friends of the Library.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Up Next for Nonfiction Book Club: Common As Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership by Lewis Hyde - Thursday, June 7th @ 6:30pm

Read up and join the PML Nonfiction Book Club at our next discussion of Lewis Hyde's Common As Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership, Thursday, June 7th at 6:30pm. As a librarian and writer, I am especially interested in Hyde's work and highly recommend his previous book: The Gift to anyone engaged in creating art in our highly commercial society.

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hyde during a speaking engagement and I'm excited for this opportunity to discuss some of the heady arguments in his most recent book. Common As Air investigates the relatively recent idea of creative works as "intellectual property." Especially with an eye toward how this gels with what the founders of our country thought the best usage of the collective store of human invention, intelligence, and art. As opposed to some of the historical adventure stories the nonfiction book club has been reading, this book is essentially a book length essay revealing the thoughts of a wide ranging mind (Hyde's) as they relate to the the idea of a cultural commons and how to best preserve protect and engage with it. So, the long and short of it is you may want to allow yourself some time for your mind to digest Hyde's incisive and wide ranging arguments.

While we do ask you to obtain the book yourself (and there are plenty of copies in the MVLC library system) this book club is free and open to the public. If you have any questions please email me at Happy reading! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Friends Call for Book Sale Volunteers

Dear Friends of the Pollard Library,
A message from the Vice President of the Friends, Kerry Craven regarding the upcoming book sale (May 18th—20th) at the Lowell Senior Center:
The booksale is fast approaching and there are still lots of books to sort before the first day, so I am hoping to plan a couple of times to tackle it and get a jump on the project.  The Senior Center is only open during the day, so I would be planning to spend a few hours anytime from early morning through 3:30, with a specific date to be determined based on when people are willing and able to help out. So - if you are willing and able, please shoot me an email at and I will schedule accordingly. Many thanks.
Kerry also wanted me to mention that in addition to help sorting books, the Friends are also looking for volunteers to help with last minute preparations (signage, etc.), and to staff the book tables at the book sale itself (neaten tables, welcome new friends, etc). If you are interested in helping out with any or all of the above please contact Kerry at

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lowell Give Back Day - Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just in time for Mother's Day, it's Lowell Give Back Day—Saturday, May 12, 2012. For full details and information how you can help please visit their website or contact Kimberly Jackson at or 479-713-0798.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pollard Memorial Library Foundation Author Night: Dennis Lehane - May 24th @ 6pm

Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 24th @ 6pm when Pollard's Memorial Hall will be graced with the incomparable Dennis Lehane. He's practically a household name round these parts—a prolific writer hard-nosed mystery/suspense novels. Many of which are set in Boston-a few of which have been made into movies Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River and Shutter Island. He also wrote for HBO's popular show The Wire. He has a book coming out in October entitled Live By Night. This book is the second part of a planned trilogy with The Given Day of historical suspense novels set during the turn of the 20th century.

This event is a fundraiser for the Pollard Memorial Library Foundation and the suggested donation is $45. The PML Foundation annual authors night is a very special occasion where we transform our gorgeous 2nd floor reference room back into a function hall. There will be ample opportunity for book signing and conversation with the author. H'oeur derves and refreshments will be served.  For more information about the foundation please visit their webpage:

Mill City Skill Share - Sunday, May 6th 10am-6pm - Various Downtown Locations

The buzz for this Mill City Skill Share event is making its way all around Lowell's cyber world. Sounds like a great way to meet your neighbors and add some interesting items to your skill set. Visit their website for full details.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Donations Drop off at the Lowell Senior Center this Saturday, May 5th, 9am-12pm.

The Friends of the Pollard Library's annual book sale is fast approaching (May 18th—20th). To that end, the Friends will gratefully accept book donations this Saturday, May 5th from 9am-12pm over at the Lowell Senior Center, 276 Fletcher St.

So if you, or someone you know, have books to spare please consider donating them. For more information or to learn how you can help please email Kerry at  Thank you for your consideration.

Delayed Opening this Thursday, May 3rd (Library Hours 11am-9pm)

It's that time again. The library will have a delayed opening this Thursday, May 3rd to accommodate a staff training. Library Hours will be 11am-9pm. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NPS Lowell Folklife & LFC present Monsoon Wedding with tasty delights Friday May 5th

You'll want to head over to the National Park Visitor Center at 246 Market St. next Friday, May 5th at 7pm to check out Sweet Happiness: Wedding Foods in India, the latest in the NPS Lowell Folklife series. The night will feature a talk by artist and educator Krina Patel on the delicious foods central to Hindu weddings (complete with samples!). They're going to show clips of famous Bollywood wedding scenes plus a special screening of Monsoon Wedding sponsored by the Lowell Film Collaborative. Ah, Lowell. You'd be hard pressed to find such luxurious educational entertainment anywhere else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

1st Annual PML Anime Convention THIS Saturday, April 28th 10am-4pm

Join us this Saturday for the 1st Annual PML Anime Convention. Registration begins at 10 AM. Open to young people grade 6 and up. We will be playing Anime games such as "America's Next Top Cosplay Designer" Cosplay Contest and Make Your Own Convention T-shirt. In addition, we'll be watching a favorite Hayao Miyazaki movie. You won't want to miss our main event: A Manga Drawing Workshop led by professional artist Jamie Buckmaster from 2-3pm.  Snacks and refreshments provided. For more information please contact Youth Services 978-674-1529.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thank you to Our Dedicated Volunteers!!

Library Director Victoria Woodley (left) presented Karen McLean, one of our longtime volunteers with a thank you gift in honor of National Volunteer Week. The tote bag states "Volunteers—Our Greatest Natural Resource"

Library Director Victoria Woodley (left) also presented Maria Kelly, another longtime volunteer with the same thank you gift.
This week is National Volunteer Week, and before it expires we'd like to say thank you to all of our generous and dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers faithfully put in hundreds of hours every year keeping our audio, video, magazine and newspaper collections in order and ready for patrons to browse. We would be lost without their help and heartily thank them for all they do. In addition to Karen McLean and Maria Kelly—the two volunteers who posed for the pictures above—we would like to thank Sandra Ferreira, Chanmi Park and Nicole Le for their selfless dedication.

South Common Haiku Book Project - Sunday April 22nd 2-4pm

Head over to the South Common this Sunday April 22nd from 2-4:30pm for a the South Common Haiku Book Project in celebration of Earth Day and National Poetry Month. Artist and calligrapher Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord, writer Paul Marion, musician Joseph Darensbourg, historian Dick Howe Jr, will be gathering revel in the wonder that is Lowell's South Common Park (past, present, and future). There will be a  tour of the park departing from the front door of the Rogers School at 2pm. Inside the Rogers school from 2-4:30pm Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord will lead a bookmaking workshop where you'll be able to create a limited-edition book of haiku to take home with you. This event is free and open to the public.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Though, even rain provide inspiration for poetry, as the imitable Bashō shows us:

Spring rain
conveyed under the trees
in drops

In this warm spring rain
tiny leaves are sprouting
from eggplant seeds.

Plant your metaphorical seeds on the South Common, people. See what sprouts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adult Literacy ESOL Tutor Training begins Monday, April 23rd

Literacy Volunteers of the Pollard Memorial Library have scheduled a training for ESOL (English for  Speakers of Other Languages) Tutors.  This 18 hour training is free for anyone who is interested in  volunteering to work with non-native English speakers seeking to improve their English.  Our program offers free, confidential, flexibly-scheduled tutoring on a one-to-one or small group basis to adults in the Greater Lowell area.  You do not need any prior teaching experience or knowledge of another language to become a tutor.  All you need is an open mind, the desire to help an adult who needs you, and the ability to meet with your student for eight hours each month. We provide an initial program orientation and tutor training in order to prepare you to work with your student. Please note: attendance at the orientation and ALL training sessions is mandatory if you wish to become a tutor.

New Tutor Orientation
Monday, April 23, 2012 from 7 PM to 9 PM

This orientation provides an overview of the Literacy Volunteers of the Pollard Memorial Library program and the expectations we have for our tutors and students.  Please register by calling Julie Iatron, Program Director, at 978-674-1541.

ESOL Tutor Training Sessions
Monday, May 7, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM
Monday, May 14, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM
Monday, June 4, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM
Monday, June 11, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM
Monday, June 18, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM
Monday, June 25, 2012 from 6 to 9 PM

This training will take place from 6 PM to 9 PM six Monday nights: two in May and four in June.  All sessions must be attended in order to receive certification.  Registration is required for the ESOL Tutor Training.  If you would like more information about Literacy Volunteers of the Pollard Memorial Library or the upcoming program orientation or ESOL tutor training or if you are interested in registering for the orientation and tutor training, please contact Julie Iatron, Program Director, at 978-674-1541.

Congratulations Kate Hanson Foster - "Mid Drift" selected one of the best Massachusetts books in 2011

A quick, if belated, congratulations to local poet Kate Hanson Foster for her book of poems Mid Drift being selected as a 2011 Massachusetts Book Award "Must Read" by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. The Pollard was fortunate enough to have her read from her collection last September. And we're looking forward to hanging the full color poster of all the winners when the Mass Center for the Book sends it out. You can get your copy of Mid Drift at Loom Press.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Sunday - Lowell Remembers: The Civil War 1862-1865

AND...speaking of Sunday morning, made me think I should mention Sunday Afternoon. In particular, this Sunday afternoon April 15th from 2-4pm, when the photographic talents of our own reference librarian Tony Sampas will be on full display at the opening reception of the exhibit: Lowell Remembers: The Civil War 1862-1865 (curated by Martha Mayo) over at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center 40 French Street.

The reception will also feature a lecture from Richard P. Howe Jr. entitled Making Sense of the Civil War. If you are at all interested in the history of Lowell's and/or its place in the Civil War you won't want to miss this exciting event. If you have any questions contact: 978-934-499

Non-Fiction Book Club - Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen, Thursday, May 3, 2012 @ 6:30PM

First off, I would like to thank the folks who contributed to last weeks engaged and insightful discussion of Cleopatra: A Life. The intelligence and openness of this group really make my job as moderator easy like Sunday morning.

Speaking of Sunday morning, if you have the benefit of a long weekend it might be a good time to join Non-Fiction book lovers across Lowell as we begin the journey through another truth seeking monograph. This one chronicles Magellan's bold adventure around the globe in search of a better route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. If he only knew, specifically, how big the pacific was he might never have left Europe. I'll leave it to the book jacket to give you a better overall feel for the book:

Ferdinand Magellan's daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen, interweaving a variety of candid, first-person accounts, some previously unavailable in English, brings to life this groundbreaking and majestic tale of discovery that changed many long-held views about the world and the way explorers would henceforth navigate its oceans.
While we do ask you to obtain the book yourself (and there are plenty of copies in the MVLC library system) this book club is free and open to the public. If you have any questions please email me at Happy reading!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Snapshot Day - Preliminary Results

Here's a sampling of some of the candid snapshots we've taken during today's Snapshot Day festivities. You can also check out shots taken at libraries across the Commonwealth at the Massachusetts Snapshot Day Group Flickr Page. A big thank you to everyone who has filled out a survey and posed for a picture here at the Pollard. We wouldn't be the special place we are without your patronage. We're open til 9pm tonight (and showing a special Independent Film from Israel called Vasermil at 6:30pm) so it's not too late to come down and get involved.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy National Library Week (April 8th-14th)

This week is National Library Week and there are so many ways to celebrate!
You can do what you always do and continue to enjoy the daily services, materials and programs we and other libraries offer.

April is the Crulest Month - but not for Film Fans!

First off, Wednesday the 11th @ 7pm the Lowell Film Collaborative and the Lowell National Historical Park are showing James Rutenbeck's documentary Scenes From a Parish. Filmed downriver in Lawrence, the film captures the ethnic tensions of a working-class Catholic parish. This free screening is happening over at the National Park Visitor's Center, 246 Market St.

Then on Thursday, April 12th @ 6:30pm, our Independent Film night continues with the 2007 film Vasermil. This is another film about immigration and assimilation, but set in Israel. Vasermil tells the story of three teenage boys, from separate marginalized communities, who are pinning their hopes on soccer as a way out of their misfortune. Each will have to overcome their differences to play as a team in order to win. But don't expect a Hollywood ending.

Please note: These Independent films are not rated by the MPAA and should be considered for mature audiences. The Pollard Library Independent Film night occurs on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The events are free and open to the public.Made possible by the Friends of the Library

And, finally, in celebration of April being National Poetry Month, on Thursday, April 19th @ 6:30pm, we'll be screening the 2003 poetic biopic of Sylvia Plath and Ted Huges's tumultuous relationship. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Plath and Daniel Craig as Hughes, the movie is full of raw emotion and poetical insights. This screening is made possible by the Friends of the Pollard Library. PLEASE NOTE: this film has been rated R by the MPAA and should be considered for mature audiences.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vote for Lowell in Google's 3D Sketch "Model Your Hometown Contest"

We hope you already know about this contest (and have cast a vote for Lowell) but we wanted to share this video of 3D designer Beryl Reid's, entry into Google's 2012 Model Your Town Contest. Ms. Reid has been selected as a finalist in the worldwide competition (one of only two US towns so considered). For more info please read Howl in Lowell's excellent write up. And visit Google's Contest Page to cast your vote!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Next Thursday is Library Snapshot Day! #snapmass12

Thursday, April 12th, the Pollard Library is joining libraries across the Commonwealth and the nation to try and answer the question, what happens in a single day in a library? We'll be taking photos and asking patrons to fill out a short survey that asks them how they are using the library. We're trying here to raise public awareness about the fact that libraries are busier and more integral to their community than ever. If you want to know more about Massachusetts Snapshot Day you can visit their website. They've also posted a list of participating libraries. Here it is again in map form. Here's a slideshow of photos from our 2011 Snapshot Day.

As a special bonus this year our Children's Department will be hosting a free drop-in craft from 10am-12pm and from 2pm-4pm. Stop on by the Children's Desk on the ground floor to decorate picture frames—while supplies last. The library will also be having a Moving & Grooving play group in the afternoon and our Independent Film Night features the Israeli film Vasermil at 6:30pm. But you needn't be using the library for anything you wouldn't already to fill out a survey or pose for a picture—so, come on down Thursday, April 12th and be counted. We want to hear from you and count you in!

Poem from Uncle Walt

Dedicated to those seeking to connect in the the measureless oceans of space that is the modern internet, media, social networking spheres. May your ductile anchor hold!

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who's Art is it Anyway? Art & Commerce Panel Discussion - Thursday, April 5th, 7pm UMass O'Leary Library Auditorium

Even though it conflicts with our Non-Ficiton Book Club meeting this Thursday (I figure if you've invested the time to read Cleopatra: A Life you're already coming to the meeting, and if not, it's probably too late to start—I wouldn't say the book is uninteresting but it is formidable) I want to give a quick plug to what looks like a fascinating event happening this Thursday, April 5th at 7pm. That would be the Dickens in Lowell / Parker Lecture Series Performance and Panel discussion on Who's Art is it Anyway? this Thursday April 5th at 7pm at the O'Leary Library Auditorium, Room 222, 61 Wilder St, UMass Lowell South Campus.

A trio of UML professors (writer Andre Dubus III, photographer Arno Minkkinen, and musician Alan Williams) each will be sharing some of their work and then engaging in a panel discussion on some of the gnarly ethical dilemmas they face as producers of creative material—including what they think as creative producers about copyright, artistic influence and artistic property.

Reminds me of Lewis Hyde's book Common As Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership which I'll be advocating for at the Non-Fiction Book Group this Thursday—it all comes full circle.

Friends Book Donation Drop Off 9am-12noon This Saturday at the Senior Center

It's time once again to unburden yourself of your bestsellers. To unload libros, to push off printed works. The Friends of the Library will be accepting book donation drop offs over at the Lowell Senior Center this Saturday, April 7th. All donations will go towards the Friends annual book sale at the Senior Center the weekend of May 18-20th—proceeds of which will in turn go to great library programs and museum passes. Full details of the drop offs and book sale are available on the Friends page. If you'd like to learn how you can help please email Kerry at

Monday, April 2, 2012

April is National Poetry Month - And we're still trying to Make Sense of the Civil War...

So, you may know April is National Poetry Month—not only that, but this month, Lowell continues its observance of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with an exciting photography exhibit "Lowell Remembers The Civil War 1861-1865" over at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center. You'll want to mark your calendars for the opening reception featuring a lecture by Richard P. Howe, Jr. "Making Sense of the Civil War" Sunday, April 15 from 2-4pm.

The exhibit features the photographic talents of our own reference librarian Tony Sampas. Tony has graciously let me post one of the featured pictures here. The photo depicts the Pollard's piece of the ironside Monitor—available for viewing on the 1st floor landing of the Grand Staircase—ironically enough, right next to our National Poetry Month display. I thought it might be nice to pair with Oliver Wendell Holmes' "Old Ironsides" poem and Tony agreed. So Enjoy! (exclamation point emphatically used on purpose! in the spirit of the poem!)

Old Ironsides

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;—
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

O better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every thread-bare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,—
The lightning and the gale!

—Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

Staff Meeting Thursday April 5th - Library will open at 11am

It seems like it's been a long time since we've had a delayed opening. A testament to the length of March—but here we are in April. Having survived April Fools, and it's time to once again alert you to the fact that we are going to be having a staff training this Thursday morning which will make for a delayed opening. Library Hours for Thursday, April 5th are 11am-9pm.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dickens Mania

Don't forget this weekend is the grand kick off to the Dickens in Lowell celebration. There's lots of fun stuff to do, including this evening's opening of the central exhibit at the Boot Gallery (behind Boardinghouse Park) . The opening runs from 5pm-7pm and will feature music food and speakers (or as Dickens might have put it—harmony, wittles, and orators).

Then come on by the Pollard tomorrow morning for Victorian Parlor games from 10am-11am. We'll be playing authentically Dickensian games such as Blindman's Bluff, Courtiers and Forefits as well as a take off of Pin the Tail on the Donkey called Pin the Raven on the Couch. Intrigued? We hope so.

Then tomorrow afternoon we'll be showing the film classic Oliver! at 1pm. So get ready to feel light again! Of course, there's lots more Dickens stuff going on all around the city full schedule here.

PLUS! Sunday evening, Masterpiece Theatre is serendipitously airing their latest and greatest production of "Great Expecations" featuring Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. It looks like this is going to be quite a production—and a great way to get into the story that's the subject of our Lowell Reads "Great Expectations" program coming this summer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Friends Meeting Thursday 6PM

The Friends will be holding a meeting to discuss the 2012 book sale this Thursday the 29th from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the Meeting Room of the Pollard Memorial Library. So come on by if you want more information or are willing to lend a hand. Bring a friend, meet some friends.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exciting News for Genealogists

(The following article was written by the newest member of our reference department, Alison Zaya. Alison is an experienced and knowledgeable reference librarian who worked for a number of years at the Nashua Public Library. We're very happy to welcome her to the PML team! If you have questions or comments on this article you can email her at

Did your grandparents move during the Great Depression? Was an aunt or uncle you’ve been trying to track down born in 1931? For 72 years, the individual records from the 1940 Census have been sealed. On Monday, April 2 at 9:00 a.m. the records will be available for your perusal.

In addition to questions regarding name, age, gender, race, education, and place of birth, census takers asked occupants if they owned or rented their home, its value, and whether the home was on a farm. They recorded respondents’ occupation and employment status for the week of March 24-30, 1940, as well as their income for the previous year. Citizenship for the foreign born was noted, as was the person’s residence on April 1, 1935. This information could be particularly insightful for a family that moved often. For each census form, two people provided supplementary information. Approximately 5% of census takers shared the place of birth of their parents, their native language, veteran status, and whether they had a social security number. Married women were asked if they had been married more than once, the age at their first marriage, and the number of children born. I find these last questions, as well as the instruction to enter “infant” if a child under one year had not been given a name, particularly interesting. The National Archives website has a list of the questions asked as well as a blank census form.

You may be tempted to log on to your favorite genealogy site at 9:00 on Monday. After all, it has been 10 years since the 1930 records were unveiled. Despite the availability of the records, finding what you want may be difficult for a while. The 1940 census records are not yet indexed; thus, name searching is not possible. Some genealogy sites, including, will be working to index the census once it is released. In the meantime, you can use enumeration districts (geographic areas assigned to census takers) to locate people, but it is a more complicated and time consuming process. More information about the enumeration districts is available on NARA's website.

If you want more information about the 1940 census, take a look at the following websites:

  1. The National Archives, which includes an FAQ about the census
  2., which is hosting the census website for the National Archives, and the blog
  3. The United States Census Bureau
  4. The US Census Community Project, which is working to index the 1940 Census
  5. Pollard Memorial Library’s Online Research Database page, which has a link to Ancestry Library (in library use only)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Artist Richard Marion @ Dracut Library, March 27th, 7PM

Local artist Richard Marion will be at the Parker Memorial Library in Dracut next Tuesday, March 27th at 7pm. Mr. Marion's work captures a unique vision of Lowell and its surroundings. He's been painting for more than thirty years and will be discussing his artwork and its muse, the city of Lowell. A full description of the event can be found on the Parker Memorial Library's website and his paintings have recently appeared on Richard Howe Jr's Blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dickens in Lowell Opening Weekend - Victorian Parlour Games and a screening of Oliver! the PML Saturday, March 31st

The Pollard is elbows deep in the grand celebration of Charles Dickens' 200th birthday sweeping across Lowell this year. Can you feel the Dickens in Lowell buzz? Opening weekend is nearly here.

We'll be celebrating opening weekend in grand style with a morning of Victorian Parlour games of the ilk that Mr. Dickens played and wrote about in his novels. This event for children grades 1-4 and runs from 10am-11am Saturday, March 31st, in the Ground Floor Meeting Room. While your at the library, you'll want to be sure to visit the Dickens & Victorian Scrapbooks Exhibit created by the talented girls of Girls, Inc. You can catch their fun and informative display in the cases outside the meeting room.

What's that? You want more, you say? MORE? Well...

Come on back at 1pm, Saturday, March 31st for a special screening of the musical Oliver! This winner of six Academy Awards boasts a superb British cast including Ron Moody, Oliver Reed and Shani Wallis and an unforgettable musical score. Rated G; 148 minutes; 1968. This screening sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Free and open to the public.

About Dickens in Lowell:
To mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens's birth and to commemorate his historic trip to America in 1842*, UMass Lowell and its partners present "Dickens in Lowell," a seven-month slate of performances, speakers, family programs, and a landmark exhibition exploring Dickens's life, work, and travels in America! Full schedule of events is available at:

*He visited Lowell on this trip and dedicated an entire chapter to our fair city in the book he wrote chronicling his time in America. Mr. Dickens believed there was a lot to like about Lowell, even then!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mass Memories Road Show Hits the Boot Mills this Saturday 10am-3pm

If you work, live, or feel a connection to Lowell you have an incredible opportunity this weekend to participate in a sweeping state-wide history project. Here's the deal: you bring up to three photos that exemplify life in Lowell, to the Tsongas Industrial History Center on the 4th floor of the Boot Cotton Mills. You can bring historical photos or contemporary casual pictures of your neighborhood—as long as they show what it's like to live in Lowell they're fair game. The photos you bring will be scanned and the originals returned to you. You may also participate in an oral history video project where you would tell the story behind your photo. For more information about this event and the Mass Memories Project please visit their website, or contact Ellen Anstey via e-mail: or by phone: 978-978-5080

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Busy Week @ PML - Author Night, Library Club, Hunger Games Food Drive, etc, etc

There's lots of interesting reasons to come down to the library this week quite apart from the usual ones of checking out books, audiobooks, CD's, DVDs and museum passes.

Thursday night at 7pm, we have local author night featuring Nicholas DiGiovanni discussing his latest book "Rip"—a hillarously irreverent retelling of Washington Irving's classic Rip Van Winkle.

Friday features two fun youth oriented events. First there is the kick off of Library Club from 10-11am for kids aged 3 and older. A program to familiarize youth with all the benefits of a library! There will be fun library activities, and a special guest performer storyteller / puppeteer. Sign up by calling 978-970-4122.

And second there is the highly anticipated Hunger Games Teen Event & Food Drive from 3-4pm for teens grade 5 and up. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank for their chance to win movie passes. Teens will also have the opportunity to create buttons to support their favorite tributes and to participate in some friendly competition of our own. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Author Night: Nicholas DiGiovanni - "Rip" - Thursday, March 22 @ 7pm

Wake Up, Citizens of Greater Lowell...Wake Up and Come on down to the Pollard Library Thursday, March 22nd at 7pm to meet local author Nicholas DiGiovanni as he reads from and discusses his novel "Rip: A Modern Retelling of Washington Irving's Classic Tale."

DiGiovanni has ole Rip VW waking up in the 1960's imagine the culture shock! The book finds for our hero a job as a toll taker on New York's Tappan Zee Bridge and that is only the beginning of the awkward hilarity offered up in the culture skewing novel. "Rip" is also good enough to include a copy of the original Washington Irving tale so readers can compare and contrast and savor the two great stories at once.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Daylight Saving Time begins 2am this Sunday March 11th

So, even if you're not planning on staying up til 2am Sunday to change your clock one hour ahead, it'd be a good idea to do so before you turn in for the night on Saturday. That way, you won't be late for brunch or whatever else you have planned for Sunday (hopefully a UMass Lowell hockey game...fingers crossed).

Career Change Workshop - Thursday, March 15 @ 7pm

The Ides of March has been long recognized as a pivotal day for Julius Caesar—and if you come down to the Pollard next Thursday, it might also prove to be pivotal for your career. We're not suggesting your career will be ambushed or anything like that. On that contrary, it might be given a new life because on Thursday, March 15, at 7PM, the Pollard is pleased to welcome Fred Nothnagel, executive director of WIND job-networking organization. Mr. Nothnagel will be giving a free presentation and facilitated discussion designed to help individuals understand better their work situations, the current job market and the major factors to consider when deciding whether and in what direction to make a career move. The presentation is also for those in transition who wish to consider different industries or functions, for whatever reason. To register for the workshop or get more information, e-mail frednothnagel at