Engaging Methuen Readers

Leave a comment

Calling All Local Teens!

No photo description available.Calling All Local Teens!

Have you seen the Nevins Library Young Adult Facebook page recently?

Even when our building is closed, our Teen Services Librarian, Alison, has been working hard to provide you with many online programs, activities, and fun reading suggestions this summer.

Don’t be left out, follow the NL Young Adult  Facebook page to keep informed about upcoming programs, news from the library, new materials to check out, and fun stuff related to YA literature and pop culture.

Recent events have included Netflix watch parties (links provided), a poetry contest, ongoing writing workshops, trivia, and sign-ups for the Summer Reading Challenge.

For any questions on, or suggestions for, teen services, contact Alison at

Leave a comment

Free Online Concert Series: America’s “Great Organ” Perseveres

Pandemic or no, the Methuen Memorial Music Hall continues to have it’s annual Wednesday evening concert series featuring its Great Organ.  This year, due to the novel coronavirus, the series will be streaming from the MMMH’s YouTube channel.

When the Great Organ, shipped from Germany at great peril during the Civil War, had its inauguration concert in the Boston Music Hall in 1863, it was considered a celebrated musical event throughout the country.  This beautiful, gleaming organ was indeed great; having some 6,000 pipes, it was then the largest concert organ in America.  The variables of changing times and maintenance issues led to a decline in the organ’s fortunes.  In 1897, Edward Frances Searles, a railroad magnate from Methuen, MA, bought the neglected organ ‘for a song’ and moved it to Methuen where he had a remarkable barrel-vaulted concert hall built for the purpose of preserving the sounds of this great American treasure.

Since 1947, the Trustees of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall have shared this sonorous object of pride with the community through tours and their annual Organ Recital Series.  This year’s series, running through August 26th,  will be streamed live through YouTube.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear the majestic sounds of the Great Organ and to learn about its curious history!  The music must go on!

For more information on the concert series, the remarkable history of the Organ and the Building, or to donate to this organization, see the MMMH website.

If you are a Massachusetts library patron, you may have free access to The Boston Globe and their recent (6/14/20) article on Methuen’s Great Organ, “Now Streaming From Methuen:  a treasured organ with nine lives” (Jeremy Eichler), through our online database.


Leave a comment

NL Staff: What We’re Listening To

One of my favorite designations for the month of June is National Audiobook Month.  Audiobooks, you kept me from helpless rage when I was stuck in traffic commuting to work, kept my mind engaged when out for a walk.  Thank you for the bibliotherapy when I needed it and for a way to “read” even more books. –Your Editor

Now, let’s hear from the staff of the Nevins Library and see what they have been listening to:

Cover image for Children of virtue and vengeanceAlison, our new Young Adult Librarian, is currently listening to Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Toni Adeyemi and narrated by Bahni Turpin. It’s the sequel to Children of Blood and Bone.  “I like to listen to audiobooks on long drives or when I’m doing chores around the apartment. I get to learn how names and foreign or made up words are pronounced when listening to them.”

Kathleen, Literacy Coordinator and Reference Librarian, latest audiobook was You by Caroline Kepnes, the basis for the Netflix series. The darkly funny inner monologue of villain/protagonist Joe make for a very addictive and compelling listen! 

Cover image for The book of lost friends :Great minds must listen alike, as both Sue and Kirsten from the Reference Department recently enjoyed The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate, as well as her previous novel, Before We Were Yours.  Sue: “They are both historical fiction which is my favorite.  Both books follow dual time periods which making listening to the books interesting since there is a narrator for each time period.  I enjoy the way her writing intersects the storylines and connects the characters.  I also enjoy hearing about the true historical inspiration for the story as well.  Did I also mention that in both books, all four main characters are strong women?”

Kirsten’s previous audiobook was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, which was “very good and out of character for me since I’m usually drawn to Historical Fiction.  Was a real psychological thriller.  Thank goodness for audiobooks, I’ve listened to them on the way to work and now will listen on my walks in the neighborhood.  Better way to get me out and walking, give me a good book for the trip!!”

Cover image for The Black DahliaSarah, Head of Readers’ Services, has been getting an earful:  “I’m currently listening to The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy and read by Stephen Hoye.  Even though I own a copy in paperback, I don’t think I could read this at home at night…  and am glad to listen while driving or painting or whatever!  Also, listening to a story from a police officer’s perspective with all the racist and stereotype-filled slang of the period is eye-opening right now.  Previously I listened to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman read by Cathleen McCarron and that was an absolutely wonderful book!   That narrator was perfect – accents and emotional intonations were spot on.”

Our Business Manager, Brenna, has been listening to Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race written and narrated by Debby Irving (local, from Winchester, MA) “I am on Chapter 10 so far and it is enlightening, details and history I was unaware of.”Cover image for Waking Up White

Tatjana, Reference Librarian, has been enjoying Heartland : a memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh, read by the author.  “Quite an informative memoir and social commentary on the working poor of the MidWest!  Eye-opening.”

Remember, you can always access audiobooks in several different formats, including cd, e-audio, and PlayAway, through our catalog.  Happy Listening!

Leave a comment

Juneteenth in the Valley

Juneteenth (combining the date, “June” and “nineteenth”) is the oldest,  most celebrated annual holiday of the emancipation from slavery in the United States.  The Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices and allies will be hosting a Juneteenth celebration at Doherty Field in Andover, MA on Friday June 19th, 6-7:30pm. The commemoration will include historical presentations, spoken word, community conversations, open mic, and remembrances of Black lives lost due to racial and systemic injustice.  The MVBBV encourages you to bring your families, friends, blankets, and masks for this special evening. Bottled water and light packaged snacks will be available. Parking is available.

Leave a comment

Virtual Author Program: Nancy Thayer

The Nevins Library welcomes back Nancy Thayer!

We love Nancy and are so glad to spend some time with her online!

Nancy will be joining us via Zoom to discuss her latest novel, GIRLS OF SUMMER (available for purchase 5/26) on

Wednesday July 8, 2020 06:30 PM  Eastern Time (US and Canada)


One life-changing summer on Nantucket brings about exhilarating revelations for a single mother and her two grown children in this sensational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly–and very handsome–local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior. Lisa’s children worry about the potential for their mother to suffer another broken heart, all while finding complicated potential romances of their own. As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

To join us in this special Zoom event, you must click here to register.  You will then receive your invitation link to the event.  For questions or further information, contact Sarah Sullivan at 978-686-4080 x16 or

Leave a comment

Summer Reading Kickoff with Wildlife Encounters

Believe it or not, the Summer Reading season is almost here, and the Children’s Department will kick it off with a live Zoom broadcast from Wildlife Encounters – which means everyone gets a front-row seat to see the animals!

Children will learn about seven species, including a Fennec Fox – you’ll love its huge ears – and an alligator, and they’ll be able to ask questions at the end of the program.

To join us at this special Zoom event, on June 23, 2020 6:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada), you must click here to register.  You will then receive your invitation link to the event.

If your plans change after you register and you won’t be able to join the program, please call us at 978-686-4080 x26 to cancel your registration so that children on the waiting list can take your place.



Leave a comment

Have time? Try writing!

Do you have an idea for a book and want to write and publish it? Here are a few tips from our resident Library writer, Loreen Augeri:

Writing Writer Notes - Free photo on Pixabay1. Learn about the craft of writing. Read books concerning the subject, register for online courses, and join writing groups.

2. Find a block of time to write, even if it is a few minutes. They add up. Writing one page a day for a year produces a 365 page novel. The first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

3. Edit, edit, edit. Read through the novel a number of times until it is the best it can be. Have someone else read it. As the author, you know how the sentence is supposed to read, so your eyes may miss typos and grammar mistakes.

4. Search for agents and publishers (large, small, and online) that deal with your genre. They usually state to send a cover letter, synopsis, and the first few pages of the novel. Self-publishing is also available.

5. Never give up and continue writing if you want to achieve your dreams.

Loreen is the author of three historical romance books.  When not writing, reading, or walking, you may find Loreen in our Children’s Department.

Leave a comment

On Walking…

It’s free, it’s fun, it’s still allowed… it’s walking! During our current circumstances I, like many people, have rediscovered the simple joys of taking a walk outdoors. Walking is good for our physical health (provided we practice our social distancing), and just as importantly, it helps us to clear our minds and focus on the here and now.  On my own recent walks, I have discovered many delights, from local architectural details to wildlife, that I would normally miss when driving. Speaking of which, even the drivers seem more polite these days, stopping for me at crosswalks in a most unhurried fashion!

Here are some books on the subject of walking — from the history of it, to personal narratives of “wild” walkers and a memorable fictional character who is on both a figurative and literal journey.

Cover image for Wanderlust :Wanderlust : a history of walking by Rebecca Solnit (2000)
A cultural history of walking explores the practice, from ancient Greece to the present, delving into Wordsworth, Gary Snyder, Rousseau, Jane Austen, and other cultural and literary icons to show how this basic activity has been imagined throughout history.



Cover image for On trailsOn Trails:  an exploration by Robert Moore (2016)
A groundbreaking exploration of the role of trails in shaping culture, order and history draws on the author’s international travels and findings in myriad disciplines while exploring examples ranging from tiny ant trails and continental hiking paths to interstate highways and the Internet.



Cover image for WalkingWalking by Henry David Thoreau (1862)
This essay, published posthumously, is considered by many to resemble a concise version of “Walden.” Thoreau considers walking to be an effective way to explore both his inner and outer worlds. As he rambles through the woods, his thoughts ramble far and wide until they encompass his hopeful vision for the entire American continent.

Also available as an ebook in Libby (Overdrive)

Using her wits and skills as a hunter to get by, a woman describes her solo 10,000-mile trek across the Gobi desert where she encountered mafiosos, drug dealers, thieves on horseback, temperature extremes, dehydration, ringworm and dengue fever.


Cover image for The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry :The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012)
Recently retired, Harold Fry lives in a small English village with a wife who seems irritated by everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next until a letter arrives in the mail from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy, in hospice, is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply, but a chance encounter at the corner mailbox convinces him that he must deliver it in person. So Harold sets off on a six-hundred mile journey because, he believes, as long as he walks, Queenie will live.


Leave a comment

Find the Library At Your Place!

Every year, in the third week of April, we in library land invite you to celebrate National Library Week with us.   The novel coronavirus has caused libraries to close their physical buildings on the recommendation of public health officials and the American Library Association (ALA), but we remain open for business online and continue to support our communities with resources, services and programs.

The Nevins Library has continued our services with an active social media feed (you can follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest); free online access to e-books, audio, and magazines through Libby (Overdrive) and free downloadable music from Freegal.   Some of the new databases we’ve added into our arsenal of resources you can access from home are:  Miss Humblebee’s Academy, an interactive kindergarten-readiness program; High School (Gale In Context)  to support student learning, papers, projects, and presentations; Ancestry From Home, perfect for anyone doing genealogy research; and now at-home access to The New York Times newspaper.

Don’t know what to read?  Try our “What Should I Read Next?” readers’ advisory service or check out our A Book A Day Tumblr for suggestions.  For browse-able collections, look through Libby (ebook and eaudio)NovelistPlus (fiction and nonfiction), the Audio Book Cloud (available through August 31, 2020), and the Romance Book Cloud for those addictive, steamy romances.

For the kiddos, our delightful children’s crew have put together some fun virtual storytimes.  So kids and parents, please continue to sing and read along with us!

If you don’t already have a library card and would like to access these resources, please contact Circulation Services and they will create a temporary card for you.

Thank you to all our library supporters!  We can’t wait to see you again and welcome you back to our physical building.  Until then, continue to use all of our virtual resources and stay in touch!