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Engaging Methuen Readers


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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.


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Scholarship 2020: Walter “Red” Winn Memorial

Walter “Red” Winn Memorial Scholarship

Given by the Trustees of the Nevins Memorial Library

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Think beyond the COVID-19 virus and apply for this scholarship, if appropriate.

Please submit applications to the Library by April 24, 2020

In 2008, the Trustees of the Nevins Library established a scholarship in Walter Winn’s memory to help a Methuen student continue his or her education in a two- or four-year college, or a trade or professional school. The student who best exemplifies the qualities embodied by Walter “Red” Winn will be chosen by a committee made up of family, Library staff, and Trustees. Special consideration may be given to individuals who have volunteered or worked at the Nevins Library.

Walter “Red” Winn was a lifelong resident of the Merrimack Valley who gave many years of service to the City of Methuen through his work, volunteer activities, and selfless devotion to the people of the community. His work at the Nevins Library, the Tenney Gatehouse, the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Cedars Home, and Phillips Academy brought him into contact with hundreds of people each year, all of whom remember him with great respect and love. He gave many hours of volunteer service to the Methuen Historical Society, the Festival of Trees, the Methuen Historic District Commission, youth sports, and other groups and activities in the community too numerous to list. Red was devoted to family and friends, and exemplified the qualities of integrity, honesty, hard work, loyalty, and kindness. Red passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on March 9, 2008.

Scholarship Criteria:

  • Methuen resident graduating from high school
  • Interest in local history and/or demonstrated community service
  • High School Senior planning to attend a two- or four-year accredited institution for further study within one year of graduation
  • Completed application (below), including completion of a 200-word statement on the importance of community and service
  • Submit one copy of high school transcript

The award minimum is $250.00. Applications are generally available March-April and the award is announced in the month of June. This website will be updated accordingly and applications will be available here on the Nevins website or at the local high school.

Click Here for the Red Winn Memorial Scholarship application.

Please submit applications to the Library by April 24, 2020


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Walter “Red” Winn Memorial Scholarship 2019

Walter “Red” Winn Memorial Scholarship

Given by the Trustees of the Nevins Memorial Library

https://nevinsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/walterwinnscholarship402x-637x265-2.jpg

Please submit applications to the Library by April 26, 2019

In 2008, the Trustees of the Nevins Library established a scholarship in Walter Winn’s memory to help a Methuen student continue his or her education in a two- or four-year college, or a trade or professional school. The student who best exemplifies the qualities embodied by Walter “Red” Winn will be chosen by a committee made up of family, Library staff, and Trustees. Special consideration may be given to individuals who have volunteered or worked at the Nevins Library.

Walter “Red” Winn was a lifelong resident of the Merrimack Valley who gave many years of service to the City of Methuen through his work, volunteer activities, and selfless devotion to the people of the community. His work at the Nevins Library, the Tenney Gatehouse, the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Cedars Home, and Phillips Academy brought him into contact with hundreds of people each year, all of whom remember him with great respect and love. He gave many hours of volunteer service to the Methuen Historical Society, the Festival of Trees, the Methuen Historic District Commission, youth sports, and other groups and activities in the community too numerous to list. Red was devoted to family and friends, and exemplified the qualities of integrity, honesty, hard work, loyalty, and kindness. Red passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on March 9, 2008.

Scholarship Criteria:

  • Methuen resident graduating from high school
  • Interest in local history and/or demonstrated community service
  • High School Senior planning to attend a two- or four-year accredited institution for further study within one year of graduation
  • Completed application (below), including completion of a 200-word statement on the importance of community and service
  • Submit one copy of high school transcript

The award minimum is $250.00. Applications are generally available March-April and the award is announced in the month of June. This website will be updated accordingly and applications will be available here on the Nevins website or at the local high school.

Click Here for the Red Winn Memorial Scholarship application.

Please submit applications to the Library by April 26, 2019


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Poppy Project Unveiling and Art Installation

Poppy Project Unveiling

November 11th, 2018

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

This Veterans Day, Sunday November 11, marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I.  To honor those Veterans, and all of our country’s Veterans, members of our Methuen Community (and beyond!) have volunteered their time and creativity in making this display of poppies.  Please join us as we officially open the Poppy Project Art Installation at the Nevins Library to the public for viewing.

Over 2, 000 (!) knitted, crocheted, and felt poppies will adorn the WWI Memorial Tree in Methuen, the eagle sculpture in front of the Library, and the library interior.

We would like to thank the many, many people and organizations who helped support this project in different ways, including the VFW Post 8349 Auxiliary, the Lawrence Ladies Lodge of the Sons of Italy, the Essex Art Center, and the Methuen Senior Activity Center.

Refreshments will be available.  The Art Installation will be available for viewing until Thanksgiving.

For more information, contact Sarah Sullivan at 978-686-4080 x20 or ssullivan@nevinslibrary.org


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World War I Project with Marc LePlante

World War I Project w/ Marc LePlante

Tuesday October 30th, 2018 at 7:00 PM

All summer we’ve asked you to help us with the community Poppy Project to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First Armistice Day in November, and to remember those lost in World War I.

Now we welcome Lawrence City Councilor Marc LaPlante as he talks about some of those veterans from Methuen and the Merrimack Valley who fought in World War I.

For more information and to see some of the Tribute Video segments go to the Project’s Facebook Page HERE.  To register for this program, CLICK HERE.  For questions, contact Danielle at 978-686-4080×12 or dkimerer@nevinslibrary.org


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Ve a Leer!

It’s that time of year again: birds are singing, grass is growing, and Cinco de Mayo has arrived to commemorate the unlikely Mexican victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla! And how better to celebrate this victory than to celebrate Mexico in literature? Try these titles for a taste of Mexican culture, setting, and heritage.

 

51Ni1xAdyGLMexico by James Michener

The King of Epics turns his pen to Mexico, covering 1,500 years of history. As a journalist delves into the story of two rival matadors, he discovers the deep dichotomies in Mexican life. From Spanish and Indian descendants to prehistoric and modern religious edifices and even the strain between Mexico and the U.S., this book celebrates the complexities of Mexican society and culture.

 

1182863The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Full of political commentary, this popular book by a bestselling author follows Harrison William Shepard, who moves between the U.S. and Mexico in his support for communism. With cameos by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera!

 

943862The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

Teresita, sixteen and already gifted in the medicinal arts, rises from the dead with the supernatural power to heal. Declared the “Saint of Cabora” despite the Catholic Church declaring her a heretic, she quickly becomes caught up in the Mexican Civil War. Can her powers heal a nation from the wounds of war, genocide, and prejudice?

 

1573983The House of Wolfe by James Carlos Blake

When a wedding party is kidnapped in Mexico City, El Galâan, the perpetrator, demands a ransom of $5 million U.S. dollars, to be paid within 24 hours. But whether or not the gangster gets his cash, the wealthy family knows that the hostages will probably not survive. Enter Rudy and Frank: fixers with experience in crime on the U.S./Mexico border. This author’s work has been called “border noir!”

 


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Bowie in Books

Today, we mourn the passage of the great David Bowie. The best commentators in the world have already weighed in on the impact of this incredible musician and performer, but we at Nevins Library would like to take a minute and recognize him as a literature hound. An avid reader, Bowie was a fan of William Burroughs, George Orwell, and Heinrich Harrer, and much of his work bore a debt to Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Niezsche. What we’re saying is that David Bowie was smart and he liked books. Without any more ado, here are just a few of the songs that reflect the legendary artist’s literary tastes.

1984

They’ll split your pretty cranium and fill it full of air/And tell that you’re eighty, but brother, you won’t care/Beware the savage jaw of 1984.

Did you know that Bowie intended to write a musical based on George Orwell’s classic 1984? He never managed to pull it off (Orwell’s widow objected) but if you listen to his 1974 album “Diamond Dogs,” you’ll catch references to Orwell’s most famous dystopian work in the songs Big Brother, 1984, and We Are the Dead.

Oh! You Pretty Things

Look out my window and what do I see/A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me/All the nightmares came today/And it looks as though they’re here to stay.

One prevailing rumor suggests that this song was inspired by Ayn Rand’s classic Anthem. Since David is “thinking about a world to come/Where the books were found by the golden ones,” this seems possible. However, it seems at least as likely – or more so – that the lyrics reference the works of Aleister Crowley, a British occultist; and Friedrich Nietzsche, an influential philosopher.

Silly Boy Blue

Mountains of Lhasa are feeling the rain/People are walking the Botella lanes/Preacher takes the school/One boy breaks a rule/Silly Boy Blue, silly Boy Blue.

When David Bowie was 19, he was inspired by the works of Jack Kerouac to become a Buddhist. But it was Heinrich Harrer’s book, Seven Years in Tibet, that inspired this song, which was one of the pop artist’s firsts.

The Man Who Sold the World


Though many people think of this as a Nirvana song, it’s actually a cover of Bowie. Here is the first verse:

We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and when/Although I wasn’t there, he said I was his friend/Which came as some surprise I spoke into his eyes/I thought you died alone, a long long time ago.

And here is the first stanza of Hughes Mearns’ 1899 poem “Antigonish:”

Yesterday, upon the stair,/I met a man who wasn’t there./He wasn’t there again today,/I wish, I wish he’d go away…

If you notice a few parallels, that’s because Mearns inspired Bowie to write this song!

If this list has you wishing that you could listen to some David Bowie right now, be sure to check out his discography. Many of his albums are available through Nevins or the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium:

Ever the showman, David Bowie also appeared in a number of films. Check these out for a sample of his ouvre:

 


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Authors We Will Miss

With the closing of this year, we said goodbye to many wonderful authors.  Fortunately, their works will stay with us for years to come.

Wayne Dyer, dubbed “Father of Motivation” by his fans, was an inspirational speaker on self-development and spiritual growth.  21 of the 40 books he authored became New York Times Best Sellers and guidelines for millions around the world seeking personal growth.

Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatDr. Oliver Sacks, the renowned neurologist and author known for his beautifully Oliver Sacksrendered narrative tales of neurological issues and those suffering from them.  The popular 1997 movie Awakening, starring Robin Williams, was based on one of Sacks’ clinical cases.  Writing until the end, Sacks published a memoir, On the Move, and a collection of essays (including one about his own struggle with cancer) called Gratitude in 2015.

Best-selling author, Jackie Collins, whose stories brought the lives of sexy, glamorous Hollywood types into suburban homes across America.  Many of her books were made into movies, such as Hollywood Wives. Ms. Collins latest romp through passion and power is The Santangelos.

The Queen of  the True Crime genre, Ann Rule.  Rule’s breakout book, The Stranger Beside Me, was about her friendship with serial killer Ted Bundy, whom she met through a counseling hotline.   Ann Rule’s best-selling books have always been a “go to” for librarians when readers ask for thrilling true crime stories.

Image of itemThe beloved British fantasy author, Terry Pratchett, most known for his satirical Discworld series, 40+ books strong.  Pratchett’s devoted fans reveled in a well-crafted world filled with interesting characters and clever writing laced with humor and compassion.

Australian best-selling author, Colleen McCullough.  McCullough came to fame early when her second novel, The Thorn Birds, an Outback melodrama about a priest’s struggle between church and love, sold 30 million copies worldwide.  The TV mini-series based on the book starring Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward and Christopher Plummer won four Golden Globe awards.  McCullough’s last book, Bittersweet, was a return to the genre of sweeping romantic saga.

Image result for ruth rendellRuth Rendell (also known as “Barbara Vine”), the maven of contemporary British psychological suspense.  Rendell was most known for her Inspector Wexford police procedurals as well as her darker titles written under the name of Barbara Vine.  Elegant, complex prose characterized her novels.  The Girl Next Door, Rendell’s last novel, is a stand-alone mystery encompassing friendship, love and aging.

Henning Mankell’s popularity rose with the US invasion of Scandinavian mysteries in the last decade.  A reviewer for the Library Journal thought Mankell’s series lead, the troubled Swedish police detective Kurt Wallander, was reminiscent of Rendell’s Inspector Wexford in his “low-key, thoughtful performance.” Mankell’s well-crafted mysteries where modern Sweden and it’s social consciousness becomes a secondary character has opened borders for readers in the U.S.

E.L. Doctorow has been called one of America’s greatest writers.  His writing style has taken many different forms, but all his varied works are all intellectual, eloquent and richly detailed.  Doctorow is most known for his historical novels of the “American Experience” such as, The March, Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, all of which seamlessly depict real historical figures with fictional protagonists.

Image of itemBeloved children’s book author and illustrator, Marcia Brown.  Brown won 3 Caldecott Awards, the highest honor in children’s literature, during her long career.  Her beautiful renditions of notable tales, Cinderella, Stone Soup, and Once a Mouse, delighted many children over the years.

Ivan Doig, considered by many as one of the best storytellers of the West, is known for his thoughtful and deeply respectful books set in his native state of Montana.  Doig’s fiction is lyrical, family-focused, has a strong sense of place (Western Montana) and is a tribute to his forbears in the West.  The Whistling Season is one of his better known books.  Before he passed away, Doig left us with one last treasure,  Last Bus to Wisdom, a poignant coming-of-age novel.

And let us not forget the Pulitzer Prize-winning poets, C.K. Williams, Philip Levine and Franz Wright.  Williams, Levine and Wright brought imagery to life and helped us celebrate the power of the word through the unique voice of poetry.

 


You will be deeply missed by librarians and readers alike.


 

 

 

 

 


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Our Friend and Colleague Bill Lumb

The staff of Nevins Library mourns the passing of our friend and colleague Bill Lumb.

Bill worked as a custodian here at Nevins Library for over 20 years.  “Mr. Bill” was known best for his love of sports, his calm manner and his kindness.   We will especially miss his jokes.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lumb Family in this extremely difficult time.


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In Remembrance of Maureen Tulley, Readers’ Advisory Team Member

We are excited to debut our new readers’ advisory blog, but we are also saddened to have recently lost one of our valued team members, Maureen Tulley.  Maureen was a Reference Librarian as well as one of our founding members of the Nevins Memorial Library Readers’ Advisory Team.   She was a co-leader in two of the library’s book discussion groups, and an attentive listener with a vast knowledge of reading material.  Maureen’s sympathetic, thoughtful nature combined with the mind and perseverance of a dedicated researcher helped her to find just the right books for the readers in her care.  She will be sorely missed.