Belated CWW: Library Book Sales in Worcester and Princeton

Friends of Worcester Public Library Book Sale – this Friday & Saturday from 10am-4pm, 50 cents a book (3/$1)

Princeton Public Library sales:

Adult & Young Adult Book Sale
Mechanics Hall – 104 Main St., E. Princeton
May 31, Friday (10-12 & 3-7)
June 1, Saturday (9-3)
June 2, Sunday (12-3)

Children’s Book Sale – Princeton Town Hall Annex
June 8, Saturday (10-3)
June 9, Sunday (12-3)

Belated CWW: Worcester Earn-A-Bike Kids Bike Sale on Saturday

Worcester Earn-A-Bike will be holding a kids bike sale Saturday, June 1, from 12-4pm.

All kid-size bikes $5–ready to ride!

They’re at 34 Cambridge St. in the rear.  (Directions: turn right one block before Price Chopper if you are coming from Main St./Webster Sq.)

(Image: Kids Bikes, a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs Generic 2.0 licensed image from Mark Faviell’s photostream.)

CWW: Free Audiobook Downloads

If there’s a teenager in your life (or if you or anyone you know enjoy audiobooks), Sync is once again offering two free audiobook downloads every week this summer — beginning tomorrow!

This begins tomorrow, and each selection is only available for a week, so if you see audiobooks you’d like, make a note on your calendar!

The schedule is as follows; they usually pair a contemporary book with a classc one:

May 30 – June 5, 2013
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, read by Rebecca Gibel (AudioGO)
The Tempest by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

June 6 – June 12, 2013
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren (HarperAudio)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Audio)

June 13 – June 19, 2013
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Will Patton (Scholastic Audiobooks)
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, read by Robert Ramirez (Recorded Books)

June 20 – June 26, 2013
Once by Morris Gleitzman, read by Morris Gleitzman (Bolinda Audio)
Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr., read by Dion Graham (christianaudio)

June 27 – July 3, 2013
Rotters by Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne (Listening Library)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Jim Weiss (Listening Library)

July 4 – July 10, 2013
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 11 – July 17, 2013
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, read by Peter Altschuler (HarperAudio)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Simon Vance (Tantor Audio)

July 18 – July 24, 2013
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

July 25 – July 31, 2013
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, read by Charlie McWade (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, read by Steve West (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2013
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane, read by Dan Weyman (Macmillan Audio)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio)

Aug 8 – Aug 14, 2013
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, read by Katherine Kellgren (Brilliance Audio)
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, read by Miriam Margolyes (Bolinda Audio)

Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2013
Sold by Patricia McCormick, read by Justine Eyre (Tantor Audio)
Let Me Stand Alone by Rachel Corrie, read by Tavia Gilbert (Blackstone Audio)

You can find free downloads of other kids’ books here, and plenty of books to read and listen to are available from the Worcester Public Library.

Memorial Day Activities

From the city website:

The Worcester Veterans’ Council, the City of Worcester Office of the City Manager and the Veterans’ Services Division cordially invite you to attend the following Memorial Day Activities:

Water Ceremony – Sunday, May 26, 2013, 2:00 PM at Elm Park. Registration is at 1:15 PM at the corner of Russell and Highland Streets (please note the change). A Water Ceremony honors Veterans who died at sea and/or have no traditional grave.

126th Memorial Day Observance Remembrance Ceremony – Monday, May 27, 2013, 9:00 AM at Hope Cemetery. Participants will meet at 8:45 AM inside the Main Gate for a short procession to the G.A.R. Veterans’ section (#45). Event will also include a speaking agenda and military tribute. This ceremony is an opportunity for the citizens of Worcester to honor its military heritage, its Veterans and those who are still serving our Country.

Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial at Green Hill Park Wreath Laying Ceremony – Monday, May 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM. Sponsored by the Perpetual Care Committee.

CWW: Memorial Day book sale

The First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Northborough will once again have their Memorial Day Fair, a great book (and plant) sale, from 10am-3pm.  Great prices and selection.  And the strawberry shortcake can’t be beat!

This year, the Boylston Public Library will not be holding a book sale due to renovations.  This is usually one of my favorite sales of the year, so I’ll look forward to going again next year!

And Savers will have a sale on Memorial Day from 9am-9pm on the usual: clothing, shoes, accessories, and bed & bath.

City Budget Hearings

Friendly reminder that the city budget hearings begin this afternoon.

Tracy posted a full schedule on her blog.

The FY14 annual budget has been posted to the city website.

I have not read the entire budget, but there are parts of the Worcester Public Library budget that are…puzzling:

The City Manager believes that the community can strengthen student outcomes with an unprecedented partnership and collaboration between the Library and the Schools. How can Worcester leverage public & private resources to achieve equitable access to literature, information, and technology for students, teachers, families, and neighbors? The solution is to have a Worcester Public Library Children’s Branch Library in every Worcester elementary public school.

Four pilot sites will be identified, which will bring the partnership between public library and public schools to the next level. Both Schools and Public Library are partners for success. When school principals/teachers and public librarians join forces, kids win and communities thrive!
[from budget pp. 37-38, pdf pp. 84-85]

A new One Library branch was added to the organization chart adding 8 new positions with salaries totaling $292,260 to provide services to the Worcester Public Schools.

Pilot funding has been increased to fully support the One Library staff positions for services to
the Worcester Public Schools.
[from budget p. 39, pdf p. 86]

While I’m grateful that the City Manager is so fond of library services that he wants to share them with schools, why can’t we just fund school libraries appropriately?

This will be discussed at the budget hearing on June 4.  I’m going to compile some questions, and I hope you share yours.  Because even the last head librarian’s report didn’t mention this.

Some of my questions:

1) Which schools are part of the pilot program?  Do they have space to accommodate this?

2) Who will pay for the non-staff costs (lighting, heat, books and other materials, shelving, cataloging, etc.) associated with the “children’s branch library” at the schools?

3) Can we ever get an accurate, transparent accounting of PILOT funding?  That is, who is paying it, and where is it being spent?

4) Will this money be counted as WPL funding in our reporting to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners?  If we are not funding a public library, it should not.

5) Have the schools been informed that there will be non-WPS employees working in the schools?  What are the implications of that?

There is also mention in the budget about moving the library facilities staff under the city.  (“The Library facilities management is being transferred to the new Division of Energy and Asset Management”, p. 85/38 of the budget)

I have not been able to attend as many library board meetings as I would like because of my obligations on the cemetery commission.  I don’t know when the One City, One Library was discussed in detail, but I know it was not discussed at any school committee meetings.

I’ll post more as I hear it, but I welcome readers’ thoughts on this.

Cemetery Barn – May Update

At the last meeting of the Hope Cemetery Commission, we walked through the barn with the Friends of Hope to review the condition.

As I said a couple of weeks ago, I thought we would receive an engineering report and some options and associated costs.  We still have not received a report in writing.

I’d also mentioned that the Friends had commissioned an extensive study in 2007.  I’ve posted it to Google Docs, and though I have not read it all, I will before the next meeting.  The report in six years old, but it is a good look at the issues and conditions of all aspects of the barn.

The next meeting of the Hope Cemetery Commission is June 25th at 4:00pm.  We are expecting to see a full report as well as some options and prices for what needs to happen with the barn.  If this is something you care about, please attend or let me know your concerns.

A few other items of general interest:

The BBC’ World Service’s late, great One Planet program had had an excellent episode discussing green burial.

I am a big fan of BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed, which discusses sociological research.   (I often listen to it while getting ready in the morning, and can frequently be heard shouting “Give ’em hell, Laurie!” from the shower.)  They have an archive of programs about sex and death.  Enjoy!

Because the city doesn’t read this blog

About two years ago I reported that there were some signs on Rte. 12 that were obscured by Norway Maple saplings.  Here’s the photo I posted at the time:

Here’s what the same spot looks like today:


The “Do Not Pass” sign is even more obscured by trees, and is no longer accompanied by a Rte. 12 sign.  I decided to do some investigation, and found the missing sign on the ground next to a nearby driveway:


Was it knocked down by a car?  No, there’s no damage to the nearby Norway Maples.  A closer look provides an answer:


The maples have grown too close, and are trapping moisture against the steel posts, causing them to rust.  One has rusted through & broken, the other is close behind.

I’ll check back there in a couple of years and post some updated photos of the neglected signage.