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Engaging Methuen Readers


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Open for Curbside Delivery!

Although the Library building remains closed, as of Monday June 1st, we will have Curbside Services again.

Please note that during the pick-up portion of these services, per the state guidelines, all parties will need to wear masks and protective gear if they are not under 2 years of age and are physically able. And will be required to be as socially distant as is possible.

Here’s are the Services we’ll have:

Book Pick-up

Place Your Order

Request material via the catalog on our website (nevinslibrary.org), our app (download MVLC Mobile from your App Store), emailing us (contactcirc@nevinslibrary.org), or calling 978-686-4080 while we’re open for calls (10am-6pm Mon.-Thur., 10am-3pm Fri.)

Wait for notification that your hold is ready for pick up. This will be a phone call or an email.

We’re sorry, but, not all items will be available for pick-up (like the telescope, kits, and other specialty items). We will also be limited to lending only Nevins Library items for some time.

Ready For Pick-up?

Call us at 978-722-2666 to to reserve a pick-up time. Appointments are available Mon.-Thur. 11am-5:45pm, Fri. 11am-2:45pm.

Please understand that we have limited reservation slots, to keep social distancing protocols for everyone’s health and safety.

At Your Reserved Pick-Up Time

Plan to arrive at the library during your reservation time.

Pull through the parking lot, turn around in the upper lot, and park along the building near the ramp entrance. There will be signs to guide you.

Call 978-686-4080 and press 2 for Circulation when you arrive.

Staff will check out your items, bag them, and then bring them to the table located on the ramp. Please retrieve your bag once staff has stepped away.

Can’t leave your car? Let us know when you make your reservation or when you arrive, and we can accommodate you.

Return Your Borrowed Items in the Book Drop

The book drop is emptied daily – sometimes more than once!

Items coming back into the building will need to spend time waiting “in quarantine” before we can check them in.

Don’t worry – we’ll track when we brought them in the building, and we will check them in with that date!


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Books for the Green Energy Revolution

Maybe you’ve noticed and maybe you haven’t, but alternative energy is all the rage. Who wants to live on an overheated planet? Not this librarian! Green energy doesn’t have to be super expensive. In fact, the library has resources that can help you get it cheap and even build it yourself. Start with these excellent picks from the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium!

Cover image for Careers in green energyCareers in Green Energy by Laura Mars

Sure, solar panels can be expensive, but they also pay well! Whether or not you can personally use green energy on your home right now, you can still contribute to the revolution (and make a little green of your own on the way.)

Cover image for Do-it-yourself projects to get you off the grid :Do-It-Yourself Projects to Get You Off the Grid: Rain Barrels, Chicken Coops, Solar Panels, and More from Instructables.com; edited by Noah Weinstein

I told you there would be a book that showed you how to build a solar panel! If you’re not familiar with Instructables.com, then it’s worth your while to click over before you borrow this book. It’s a great resource for all things DIY, and it hosts a thriving community of DIY solar-panel makers.

Cover image for The energy wise home :The Energy Wise Home: Practical Ideas for Sustainable Living by Jeff Dondero

From insulation to efficient appliances to renewable energy for your home, this book covers it all from soup to nuts. If you want to start at the top and learn everything there is to know about making your home as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible, this is your book.

Cover image for The homeowner's energy handbook :The Homeowner’s Energy Handbook: Your Guide to Getting Off the Grid by Paul Scheckel

Getting “off the grid” may be the holy grail of the sustainability movement, but you’ll find that you can cherry-pick what works best for you from this useful and interesting book.

Cover image for Musings of an energy nerd :Musings of an Energy Nerd: Toward an Energy-Efficient Home by Martin Holladay

The Energy Nerd had a great blog where you can still read all about how to make your home more efficient. After all, reducing your use is a great first step to becoming more environmentally conscious!

 

Cover image for Real Goods solar living sourcebook :

Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook: Your Complete Guide to Living Beyond the Grid with Renewable Energy Technologies and Sustainable Living by John Schaeffer

With an introduction by 350.org’s Bill McKibben, this book is a standout for alternative energy aficionados. If you’ve read through the basic energy-saving books and want more, then this is where to turn.

Cover image for Renewable energy :Renewable Energy: a Primer for the Twenty-First Century by Bruce Usher

What’s all this renewable energy business about, anyway? If you want to have an intelligent conversation about sustainable power, then this is the book you need to read first. You’ll be glad you did when you can fluently explain the history of humanity’s energy use and how humanity can transition from burning things for fuel to a more advanced system.

Cover image for Self-sufficiency for the 21st centurySelf-Sufficiency for the 21st Century by Dick & James Strawbridge

Don’t be intimidated by the intense title: there is some great green energy advice in these pages! You might pick up some other lifestyle tips at the same time, but don’t let that stop you.


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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:

boundbyfate

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.