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Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime….

Greetings from your Dracut Public Library! The summer heat and thunderstorms are upon us… now is the time to get involved in all that the library has to offer this season.

For kiddos aged 2 years through Grade 5, Miss Penny has a knockout summer reading program lined up; “Fizz, Boom, Read!”. This is a great way for all the young ones to get out of the house and get reading. Signups are on-going in the Children’s Room, with many PRIZES to be won! Get your log and start reading to collect prizes. Mark your log each day that you read or listen to stories for at least 15 minutes…after 5 days, you earn a prize! You can earn up to 10 prizes during the summer.
And please, don’t forget about all the fantastic PROGRAMS you can come and take part in here at the library. Miss Penny has an incredible summer planned, with craft projects, performers, animal adventurers, & more!          


For teens Grades 6-12, the Young Adult reading program is “Spark A Reaction”; what books, audiobooks, manga, or anime will spark a reaction in you this summer? Every time you read a book, enter a form to win a prize. Two winners will be chosen weekly, with a GRAND PRIZE winner chosen from all entries all summer. As they say: “You can’t win if you don’t play! (or read!)”

Programming for teens is sizzling hot as well, with Henna Tattoo artists, Beat-The-Heat Movies, a night with YA author ADI RULE, and many other fun things to do. Don’t wander… point your feet to the library and really enjoy your summer!


There’s a summer reading program for adults as well! “Literary Elements” is your way in to receive great gift certificates and prizes, just for enjoying your own summer reads! Each book is an entry into drawings for prizes. Don’t let the kids have all the fun, sign up for “Literary Elements” in the library or on our website, and read your way to some fun summer prizes.literaryelements_160

There is so much to see, do, and read here at the Dracut Public Library.  Come in, enjoy some A/C, and take advantage of programs and prizes galore!

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Ms. Snickers returns!

Ms. Snickers has returned!! Yes, it’s true! Ms. Snickers having recently returned from a much-needed vacation, and then retuning to her home library of Boxford, has decided that Dracut is the place she wants to be! She has graciously allowed us to take a few minutes from her busy schedule in order to interview her.  She is a celebrated blogger on Dracut Library’s WordPress page, but this was a great opportunity to speak with her one-on-one. Ms. Snickers, thank you.

Snickers: It’s great to be here.

Interviewer: Please tell us, how was your vacation?

Snickers: Fantastic! I really enjoyed getting some sun.  The winters here in New England are beautiful but brutal, and this seems to be the worst in a long time. I took a lovely cruise.  The nightlife was incredible; what singing and dancing! And the pools and beaches during the day were just what I needed.  I simply fell into my shavings every night from such great fun-filled days!

Interviewer: That’s wonderful, Ms. Snickers. Now, part of the reason we are here today is we’ve heard you’re making a big announcement.  Is that true?

Snickers: Well, yes.  After much soul-searching, I decided that Dracut is just the right environment in which I would like to continue to work.  I have officially given my resignation at Boxford, and am now the Full-Time Children’s Hamster Librarian in Dracut.  It’s very exciting.  I’m really looking forward to having a great impact on the Children’s Room and the wonderful children and families who come in.  There is so much good reading and programming to take in, and I am grateful for the chance to do this on a full-time basis in Dracut. And on top of that, I will get an opportunity to work with our new part time children and young adult librarians. This is exciting times in Dracut!

Interviewer: What great news! And we are grateful for your decision to share it with us in this exclusive interview.

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Resolutions in Practice

Well my Dracut Library friends it is I, Ms. Snickers, back on the blog to talk to you about New Year’s Resolutions.  I know many of you have probably made them, and some may have already “fallen off the wagon”, but fear not!  There are so many ways in which the library can help you stay on track (or get back on track).

I have decided this year that I have gotten a little too “plump”.  Oh I know, I know, people often say to me “But your body is in perfect proportion to your face!” or “I thought hamsters were supposed to carry a little extra weight!”, but when Ms. Diane tried to put me in my running ball the other day I ALMOST DIDN’T FIT.  It was embarrassing! I’ve decided I need some more exercise to go with my newly-all-organic diet.  I had some staff help me work at a new regimen, and I agreed to a few photos as encouragement to everyone.  You can see them at the end of my post.  A little photographic exposure is good for my motivation!

We have a really neat set-up here at the library, where our staff put together some great displays on different topics.  We have one now called “Ring in the New”. I saw it and said “Perfect!  Ideas for getting fit!”  Some of the helpful books and DVDs include “Pilates Workout for Dummies”, “New American Diet”, “Primal Body, Primal Mind”, and “Complete Book of Running”. Want to be more tech-savvy? I found “Twitter for Dummies”. Want to turn that hobby into money? Try “Start Your Own Business”. Can’t ever seem to find things in your house? How about “One Year to an Organized Life”

The new year is a great time to put your mind to a task and get it going. I hope you’ll let all these wonderful librarians help you out.  There is so much they can find for you.  So steer your running ball (or car) to Arlington Street in Dracut and get started!

Here I am getting a workout: ImageImageImageImageImage


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My favorite TV show!

Good morning, my friends!  Ms. Snickers (your favorite hamster librarian) here.  It’s a brisk morning, with the temperature outside at only 10 degrees.  Brrr!  I am nice and warm here at the library, and I can barely contain my excitement… my very favorite television series begins a new season Sunday night.  That’s right, “Downton Abbey” will return to the US airwaves this weekend!

“Downton Abbey” is a show created and written by Julian Fellowes. What a talent!  He is also known for films such as “The Tourist” and “Gosford Park”, and his novels “Snobs” and “Past Imperfect”. If you click on those lovely hotlinks, they will take you right to the library’s listing for them.  But in my honest opinion, “Downton Abbey” is his best work yet! The characters are just sublime, the costumes and locations are quite a sight to behold, and the writing is as witty as you’ll find on television today. My favorite character is Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (played by Maggie Smith); her one-liners just cannot be beat! I laugh heartily at her all season, especially when she and Isobel Crawley get going.  What fun!

As the new season is fast-approaching, I wanted to be sure that our library is fully stocked with all things “Downton Abbey”, and boy, Dracut seems to have it all. You can find the DVDs of all the past seasons, as well as other books pertaining to the series.

One of the things I love best about the series is its historical accuracy; the dynamic between life “upstairs” and “downstairs” is so very fascinating. The incredible librarians here have made sure that everyone’s curiosity is sated on that front.  If you go to their pinterest site, you can find all kinds of series, books, films, and other media relating to the time period. You can find the pinterest page here. Some of my favorites are “The Forsyte Saga”, and E.M. Forster’s novels “Howard’s End” and “Room With a View”.  Then, of course, there’s always the television series “Upstairs, Downstairs”.  You can find them all here at your local library!

I hope everyone stays warm and comfy during this latest cold snap.  On Sunday, I’ll be boiling the kettle, putting my favorite tea biscuits on a plate, and curling up under my cage shavings to see what’s next for the Crawley family and friends.  Jolly good, mates!


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The Bronte Sisters

Following-the-Bronte-Sist-007Passion…ruthless betrayal… hope in the face of tragedy… anguish… and adventure. They are all waiting for you here at the library!

In a parson’s cottage outside the tiny hamlet of Haworth, England, there lived three sisters.  They shared a home with their curate father, and a brother who loved to paint.  Their names were Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte. As adults, they wrote some of the most loved and powerful novels in the English language.

After failed attempts at careers as governesses, the sisters wrote a novel each, submitting them to different publishers in England.  Charlotte asked advice of a popular publisher and was told that women should never attempt to write. Defiantly sure of their talent, they published under pen names until their work was accepted, and took the literary world by storm.

Many of the Bronte sisters’ works can be found here.  Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre” is possibly her most famous novel, but only one of four she published in her life. The others were “The Professor”, “Shirley” and “Villette”.  Don’t have time to read? No excuse! Movie adaptations of “Jane Eyre” are also available in many DVD versions.

Emily was primarily a writer of poetry, but her “Wuthering Heights” is a novel almost every high school student knows well.  Her love story of the wild Catherine and Heathcliff is passionate, tragic, and hopeful.

Anne Bronte published two novels in her lifetime; they are “Tenant of Wildfell Hall” and “Agnes Grey”. Both are the stories of independent women trying to live a Victorian life.  The “Tenant of Wildfell Hall” has been called “the novel that rocked England”, as it portrayed a woman who is abused and wronged by her husband, and so she leaves him, taking her young child with her.  These themes were virtually unheard of in “polite society”, and scandalous for a woman to write about, even in a novel!

Branwell, an alcoholic and addict, died at the age of 31 in 1848. Emily died 3 months after Branwell, at the age of 30, from tuberculosis. In May of 1849, only 6 months after Emily’s death, Anne also succumbed to illness, and died at the age of 29. Charlotte reeled from the death of her siblings in such close succession. There was momentary happiness in her marriage to her father’s associate in 1854. Sadly, she died in the early days of her first pregnancy.

Though the Brontes ultimately died very young, their brilliant stories endure. Why not delve into this rich family legacy and pick up a novel or movie today?

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Mystery Science Theater 3000


Everyone can remember watching a truly awful movie. Many may even remember that movie being so terrible, they started to talk out loud, making fun of the dialogue, shoddy costumes, and overacting.  Have you ever wanted to hear what a group of brilliant comedians have to say about these travesties of the silver screen?  Look no further than “Mystery Science Theater 3000”!

The premise: a man on a space ship is forced to watch the most horrible movies ever, in order for evil scientists on Earth to study him.  The show’s theme song tells us that in an act of desperation, he uses parts on the ship to create robot friends who watch the movies along with him.  They continually yell out hilarious comments at the screen to keep their sanity. The result is some of the best “riffing” comedy to date (in this humble girl’s opinion).

This show started small, but was quickly picked up by Comedy Central where it ran for many years, and switched over to SciFi for another few seasons. In all, nearly 200 episodes of MST3K (its name for those very devoted fans) aired over more than 10 years.  A feature film was also released in 1996. You can find it here.

You can find many fantastic episodes here at the library. Why not take a gander at The Amazing Colossal Man…. It’s horrifying, hideous, it’s “The Amazing Colossal Man”, a Z-grade monstrosity unlike anything the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew has ever seen. Or how about Skydivers, in which our crew must first watch the 1950s educational short film “Why Study the Industrial Arts”. It’s improvised hilarity at its finest!

Join Joel, Mike, Gypsy, Tom Servo, Crooooow, and the evil scientists on Earth for laugh-out-loud quips and sketches.  This is a “night in at the movies” you don’t want to miss!

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A Night at the Spinners!


The 2013 Lowell Spinners baseball season has begun!  

The Friends of the Library are joining in on the action, with a fundraiser of discounted game tickets. 100 tickets are now available for the August 4, 2013 game at 5:05pm. Tickets are only $5.00, with $1.00 of every ticket going to the Friends.

But wait, that’s not all! Each ticket you purchase will earn you one entry into a raffle for 2 free passes to a Gator Pit pre-game meal, as well as a chance to win a trip to Spring Training at Steele Hill Resorts!

Can’t make the August 4th game? It’s all good; you can still help the Friends with a Lowell Spinners ticket purchase.  Go to, choose tickets for any game in the season, and enter mgparker as a Special Offer Code when you checkout. Every ticket purchased will earn a donation to the Friends.

Tickets for the August 4th game are available now at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of the library.  Pick yours up today!

Let’s go, Spinners……. and PLAYYYY BALLLLL!!!!!!!    


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Shopping Reviews for eReaders

Our Reference staff would like to share some eBook reader reviews for those who may be planning on buying an eReader this holiday season.  Check out the following links: eReader Comparison or eBook Reader 2012 for on line reviews. Or come in and check out the December 2011 issue of Consumer Reports (the Reference Desk has an issue you can view if the others are already checked out) or the January 2011 issue of PC World which feature reviews and articles on eReaders. Looking for information on how to download free books from Overdrive? Check out our December 8, 2012 blog post here.

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Letters from Santa!

The Friends of Dracut Library are offering a special gift for your child at this holiday season: a personalized letter from Santa Claus to your child! It’s very simple: Fill out the form neatly (links to the form are below) and drop it off at the Circulation Desk or in the Children’s Room along with a donation of $3.00 per letter. Checks can be written to the “Friends of the Dracut Library.” Forms need to be received by December 10, 2010. Don’t wait late requests will only be processed based on time and availability.

Children 0-5 years old

Children 6 years and older

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National Read a Book Day

Today is National Read a Book Day!  I know that librarians can sound like nagging mothers when it comes to encouraging people to read, but we have medical science to back us up! Yes, some TV time can be a good thing but consider the follow (from :

    Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight

    Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior but also fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.

    TV characters often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.


    People learn to read by reading. Skill building is important, but without practice putting all the skills together, learning is slowed down. Quantity and intensity matter.

    Frequent practice reading for longer periods of time pays off in fluency and ability to use skills automatically.

    Increasing competence is motivating and increased motivation leads to more reading. When students can see their own progress, they want to read more.

    Pleasure reading has cognitive benefits. It improves skill and strategy use, builds fluency, enlarges vocabulary, and builds a student’s knowledge of the world.

    Children learn by example. Set aside 5 minutes of time where both you and your child read. Make it an important aspect of your day. As your child gets older, just doing the same activity can be a bonding experience – reinforcing the value of education. Whether it’s a magazine, newspaper, eReader or iPad, the important thing is Just do It!

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