Nevinsbuzz

Engaging Methuen Readers


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It’s Almost Oscars Time!

Mark your calendars! Starting tonight, the Nevins Library will continue its tradition of showing Oscars movies for free!

And it won’t just be a movie, there’ll be refreshments (popcorn & water) too!!

As always, please make sure that you check the dates and times before you sign up!

To sign up for each movie click on their Date/Title of each screening (or give us a call). Please also note that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Ford v Ferrari have slightly earlier start times.

Thursday, Jan. 16th at 6:30 PM – Judy

Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts. (Rated PG-13)

Tuesday, Jan. 21st at 6:30 PM – Joker

In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.
(Rated R)

Friday, Jan. 24th at 1:00 PM – Casablanca

Has it been awhile since you’ve watched this classic Oscar winner? Or is this a film you’ve always meant to watch, but never quite got around to it? Join us as we get swept away in this iconic romantic drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman which is always named among the greatest films in history. (Rated PG)

Monday, Jan. 27th at 6:15 PM – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. Please note that this movie starts a bit earlier than previous. (Rated R)

Wednesday, Feb. 5th at 6:30 PM – Harriet

The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
(Rated PG-13)

Tuesday, Feb. 11th at 6:15 PM – Ford v Ferrari

American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. (Rated PG-13)


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Novel November Displays @ Nevins Library

November offered a cornucopia of displays at the Nevins Library as we honored and celebrated Veteran’s Day, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), graphic novel memoirs, Thanksgiving, up-cycled crochet projects, and a raven in the stacks!


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Love Letters for the Library

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This February we’re participating in the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners) Love
Letters for Libraries campaign.

At the Reference and Main Desk we have a bunch of different Valentines like this one:

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that you can fill out with what you love about the library. What program have you liked recently? Or do we have a certain Book that you or your kids just can’t get enough of? Tell us.

Or if you want, tell us why you love libraries and then tag/mention us on Facebook or Twitter (@NevinsLibrary1).

There will be a box at the Main Desk where you can drop off your Valentines all the way through Valentine’s Day.

We’ll be collecting all (both offline and online) the responses and not only will they be happily read by us here at Nevins, they’ll be shared with our state officials too. Hopefully helping those on Beacon Hill understand just how much people in Massachusetts love our libraries.


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Database Spotlight Special: Science Online

Who doesn’t want to know more about the world around us? I know I do, and if you’re like me, you like to learn about that world in infographics. That’s why we at the Nevins Library are proud to present Science Online, a new-to-us database whose mission is to teach you about the natural world.

While there are designated student resources here, they tend to focus on how not to cheat or choose insane research project topics like “Is Area 51 Hiding Aliens?” (Yes, I actually did see that at a science fair once. Clearly, the poor child was Science Online-deprived.) Students may find citeable material here, but for the most part, it is authorless and more like a detailed encyclopedia than not. For preliminary research into a topic, however, Science Online can’t be beat. The E-Learning modules focus on general topics and narrow to cover specifics. For example, the E-Learning module covering Global Warming encompasses climate systems, cycles, and trends, each of those containing several of their own subtopics. A navigation menu on the right allows users to skip to the subtopics they need.

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For teachers, the designated curriculum tools have relatively little of use. Helpfully, they will expound upon the importance of STEM education, but one suspects that professional teachers are already aware. The rest of the site is such a gold mine of infographics, experiments and videos that it’s well worth an educator’s time, however. If you go back to the Home page by clicking on its tab, you’ll see that you have the option of opening diagrams through the menu on the right-hand side of the screen, under “Browse Resources.”. Alternatively, you can scroll down until you see a section devoted to diagrams.

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These diagrams, incidentally, are organized in direct alphabetical order. No subheadings here.

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Perchance you may have noticed the issue with this choice of database structure. Instead of scrolling through the two thousand plus diagrams, try using the handy one-line search interface above.

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From anywhere on the site, a search will turn up a page that looks like this one. That means that if you start searching from the Diagrams page, you’re still going to get article, image, and news results. Click on “Experiments & Diagrams” to see the glory that is the amoeba diagram.

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Click and you get a robust interface from which you can download, print, and share the diagram.

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Advanced search options are located in a rollover menu under the “Search Options” tab. (You can also view your search history from there.) Once you get to the advanced search page, prepare to learn about Boolean, because that’s what you’re going to be using.

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This may seem unfair to you, but as we all know, only things that involve great effort are worth doing.

When you navigate back to the home screen, you’ll see that you also have access to videos, virtual experiments, and biographies. (Biographies will be called “Featured People” and will be at the bottom of the page.)

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The reason I like the bios is that they’re organized in an incredibly useful way. At least, for a grade-school teacher who’s laying out a chronological curriculum.

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Yes, those birth and death dates ARE sortable!

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This function also lets you find bios of people who are still alive.

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Incidentally, you can also sort by description, though that’s nowhere near as useful because there’s no list of standard words by which these bios are categorized and, despite the usefulness of the sorting function, no way to filter by descriptive phrase. Ah well. If you think you know what you want in a bio, try Ctrl+F and search the page that way.

That brings us to the point that Science Online is basically a browsing database. It’s meant not as a hyper-focused research machine but as a general resource – small enough to flip through, lean enough that you won’t get bored with a bunch of useless content. A quick look at the Browse tab will verify that this resource is meant to be perused rather than extracted.

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That’s the rollover menu for the Browse tab. Look at all that stuff as compared to what’s available when you try to use the advanced search!

Most of the time, I advocate that the first thing a database user should do upon discovery of a new resource is to learn how to search it. In this case, I recommend the opposite. To get the most out of Science Online, prepare to spend a couple hours and have a vague idea of what you need. You’ll easily browse to the sections you want and quickly and efficiently gain the background you need to move forward.


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The Library, Comic Books, and Punk Rock

 

Punk. Comics. Punk and comics. Punk and comics and angsty teens who are now well-balanced adults who write comics about being angsty punk teens. It’s all kind of a perfect fit. What more needs to be said? Nothing. Go read.

Image of itemPunk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy

It’s a rocket-fueled ride, an allegory that seems entirely plausible in our hyped-up reality TV world. A huge media corporation clones Jesus from the Shroud of Turin and proceeds to run a live reality TV show around his life. As you might expect, teenaged J2 develops a little bit of an anger issue. Luckily, there are musical ways to take care of anger, and they have been known, on occasion, to change the world.

 

 

Punk Rock and Trailer Parks by Derf Backderf

From the auteur behind My Friend Dahmer comes a nostalgic look at growing up punk. Otto is a Loser. Not just a loser, but a capital-L Loser high school band dork who nobody wants to be around, despite his growth spurt. He lives in a trailer park and gets beaten up by bullies half his size. But that’s all about to change! When he’s exposed to Wendy O., Klaus Nomi, and the Ramones firsthand, Otto will transform from weird kid to punk adult living on the edge of the 1970s music scene.

 

Image of itemBumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez

Coming on the heels of Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, this book follows Bobby as he navigates through – or, rather, floats through – his teenage years. Friendships, relationships, musical styles, and life itself flows on with Bobby riding the current, never plotting his own course or noticing as opportunity passes him by.

 

 

Cut My Hair by Jamie S. Rich

If Catcher in the Rye took place in history, then Holden Caulfield would have been a punk. Mason is another blank slate, but unlike Beto Hernandez’s Bobby, Rich’s protagonist may have a chance to capture something more meaningful: a vision of who he really wants to be. That may involve a sepcial girl, a raucous band, and a punk rock coming of age story.

 

 

Image of itemHopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter

What happens when punks grow up? They move to the suburbs and have kids, of course! But they never, ever abandon their identity. The children of Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Strange grow up, and remain, resolutely punk. (Except Rat, who betrays his family by going corporate. Where did they go wrong?) As they navigate the globe, getting into trouble and living life to the hilt, you’ll know that punk isn’t dead: it’s just grown up!