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.