Saturday, December 20, 2008

Library Friends Holiday Party - One to Remember!

On Thursday afternoon a large crowd attended the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs annual holiday party at the library. Many people heard about the party on the radio, as Library Friends Member, Marilyn Miller, was interviewed on the MVY Person of the Week broadcast.

There was a tremendous selection of baked goodies to eat, many of the recipes came from the Friends new cookbook that can still be purchased at the library as a last minute Christmas gift! There were also gingerbread people for the kids to decorate, gift grab bags, and a crowd-pleasing visit from Santa Claus!

You can see more pictures of the party by visiting the library's flickr account!
Thank you to all of the Library Friends Members who put so much hard work into organizing, baking, setting-up & cleaning-up for the party, and for your ongoing support of the library's programs and services. The library staff greatly appreciates your efforts!

Friday, December 05, 2008

December Book Discussion Group: The Book of Salt

The Book of Salt was author Monique Truong's first novel. As a Vietnamese-American who came to America as a six-year old refugee with her mother in 1975, Ms. Truong set her first novel in Paris and Saigon of the early 1930's. The narrator of the story is a young Vietnamese cook who has been employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas (the Mesdames) for five years.

We had a lively discussion about several of the book's themes, such as: the relation of food and seduction, the meaning of salt, and French colonialism in Vietnam. It was fascinating to read about the Paris of this age and come to appreciate some of the unknown details of the Mesdames' lives. We found it amusing that both Ms. Toklas and Ms. Stein were totally enthralled and in love with Gertrude Stein!

We also enjoyed looking at some pictures of the Mesdames and their favorite dog, Basket, out for a stroll in Paris and "at home" in their studio.

The January book discussion meeting will be on Wednesday, January 28th at 10:30 am. We will choose a book soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Downloadable MP3 Audiobooks Have Arrived!

Do you have a Mac and/or iPod that you want to use to listen to audiobooks? The library now provides this service through our CLAMS Digital Downloads website!

The OverDrive Media Console for Mac is now available to download from the site. With OverDrive Media Console for Mac, OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks can now be downloaded and enjoyed on Macs. The built-in Burn Wizard can be used to burn MP3 Audiobooks to CD, and the Transfer Wizard allows quick and easy transfer to Apple® devices.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oprah loves her new Kindle!

Here is a story from the Oprah Winfrey Show in which Oprah is "talking-up" her new Amazon Kindle. The Kindle is a portable electronic reading device that allows users to download the latest books, magazines, & newspapers from the Amazon Website. The Kindle has lots of other interested features as well, learn more about it by reading the story that we linked to above!

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Vineyard Supernatural" - Holly Nadler's Book Talk

A crowd of 30 people came to the library to listen to Holly Nadler discuss her latest book, "Vineyard Supernatural: True Ghost Stories from America's most Haunted Island".

The lights were dimmed as Holly read from several chapters of her book and discussed the walking ghost tours that she leads. She recounted spine tingling paranormal events taking place in notorious Island locations such as The Ritz Cafe and The Newes Pub.

The library has copies of all of Holly's books relating to the supernatural, check one out today:

Ghosts of Boston Town

Haunted Island

Vineyard Confidential

Vineyard Supernatural

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sustainable Book Club - "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan

On Thursday evening, the library hosted the Island-Wide Sustainable Book Club Discussion. 15 people gathered to discuss Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma".

You can find a review of the book by visiting the library's catalog, and the Sierra Club produced a useful discussion guide including links to other related resources (an interview with the author, articles, etc...) that you may find interesting.

As the meeting wrapped-up, a few stragglers continued to talk about television commercials and how they affected their parent's choices of food and consumer products. Below are some commercials from the 50's and 60's that you can watch, courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Is Pakistan Imploding?" - A Lecture by Dr. James Norton

A group of 13 people gathered at the library to listen to Dr. James Norton lecture on a very important current events topic, "Is Pakistan Imploding?".

In this picture Dr. Norton is concluding his lecture by reading some recommendations for improving the situation in Pakistan that he had made in 2001.

Many thoughtful comments and questions were posed by the audience, some of which led to a discussion of Greg Mortenson's popular book, "Three Cups of Tea".

Please see our events calendar to learn about future lectures and events happening at the library!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

September Book Group - "A Yellow Raft in Blue Water"

This important book by Michael Dorris tells the story of three generations of Native American women who are beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets and yet inextricably joined by bonds of kinship. We had an interesting discussion about the book's main theme of individualism: what it means and how it was addressed through the three lives of the central characters. We also came to realize, through our comments, how privileged we are to live in such comfort while there are still people who don't even have indoor plumbing. We agreed that we liked the book, although the story it told was not happy, by any means.

Michael Dorris wrote several other books before his death in 1997. He was divorced from the writer Louise Erditch, who writes almost exclusively about Native Americans and their culture.

If you enjoyed "A Yellow Raft in Blue Water," you might be interested in reading the following works by Michael Dorris:

The Crown of Columbus (with Louise Erdrich, 1991)

Route Two and Back (with Louise Erdrich, 1991)

Morning Girl (1992)

Working Men (1993)

Rooms in the House of Stone (1993)

Paper Trail (essays, 1994)

Guests (1995)

Sees Behind Trees (1996)

Cloud Chamber (1997)

The Window (1997)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Skunk Lecture - Luanne Johnson

Luanne Johnson, Doctoral Candidate in the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England, educated a crowd of 10-15 people on the topic of coastal skunks.

Many interesting questions were posed by the audience, and a lively discussion resulted.

Luanne also presented her fascinating research which you can read more about by visiting her web page.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Katie Couric of CBSNews Discusses Banned Books Week

September 27 - October 4, 2008 is Banned Books Week

Learn more about Banned Books Week by reading this short article on the American Library Association's website.

Watch this video of Katie Couric discussing "Banned Books Week" and its significance for libraries and literary freedom.

You can see a list of some of the frequently challenged books by visiting our GoodReads account, and viewing the Frequently Challenged Books (BBW2008) shelf.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Question 1 on the November 2008 ballot will have an effect on library services state-wide!

Please read the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Press Release regarding Question 1.

The outcome of this vote will have an effect on library services state-wide!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why do people come to the Vineyard?

Elaine Pace asked this question to a group of 15 people, who had gathered at the Oak Bluffs Public Library to hear her discuss her latest book, "Island Home: Why People Come To Martha's Vineyard And Why They Stay


The interactive book talk was an opportunity for people to connect with others and to reflect on the topic of "Wash-Ashores".

Pace, a retired School Principal from West Tisbury, discussed her own experiences and those of the people highlighted in her new book. Her thoughtful and entertaining anecdotes made for an enjoyable evening for all those in attendance!

Thank you Elaine!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August Book Discussion Club - "Snow in August"

A group of 11 people met on Wednesday for a lively discussion of the book, "Snow in August" by Pete Hamill.

Topics that were discussed included: the book's exploration of the Jewish and Catholic Religions, the Yiddish language, the setting (Brooklyn at the time when Jackie Robinson played his first games as a Dodger), and the tantalizing ending of the novel.

To see some of the discussion questions ask a library staff member to help you find the book discussion guide using NoveList (a subscription website that Oak Bluffs Library Card holders can access through the library's website).

Next month's discussion will be about the critically acclaimed novel, "A Yellow Raft In Blue Water" by Michael Dorris. Please join us on Wednesday, September 24 at 10:30am for another thought provoking book discussion group meeting. New attendees are always welcome!

If you liked "Snow in August" by Pete Hamill, you may also like to read:

Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970)

Myla Goldberg, Bee Season (2000)

Elinor Lipman, The Inn at Lake Devine (1998)

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)

Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life (His Autobiography)

Leo Calvin Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish (a great source for learning more about Yiddish)

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Excerpt from the American Libraries Association Website:

"September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

The observance was launched in 1987 to meet the challenge of then Secretary of Education William J. Bennett who said: "Let's have a national campaign...every child should obtain a library card - and use it." Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that.

Library cards are generally free to those living in the library's service area. In most cases, borrowing privileges are granted on the spot. Some libraries may require some form of identification, proof of residency or the signature of a guardian.

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Bibliophiles, Inc. - Celebrate at the OBPL!

A lively and thoughtful 20th anniversary celebration of The Bibliophiles, Inc., the nation’s longest standing, continuously operating African American reading group, took place at the Library on Thursday afternoon.

A crowd of approximately 60 people filled the Library's Meeting room to honor several of the group's "Living Legends": Ezola Adams, Cynthia Lemon, Frances May, and LuElla Peniston. Many of whom frequent the Oak Bluffs Public Library!

Many entertaining anecdotes were shared by the groups members, exemplifying the appreciation and joy that this group possesses for literature and learning.

The Bibliophiles, Inc. made a generous donation to the library as part of their celebration, and the library staff would like to thank all of the members of the reading group for the donation and for including the library in their festivities.

Phyllis Meras & Betsy Corsiglia - Book Talk & Signing!

Phyllis Meras and Betsy Corsiglia recently visited the Library for a book talk & signing of their collaborative effort, "Martha's Vineyard: Quiet Pleasures".

The book consists of a selection of Phyllis Meras' best nature essays, accompanied by the beautiful photographic work of Betsy Corsiglia. It vividly portrays the natural beauty of Martha's Vineyard as well as the unique culture of those that visit and live on the Island. Here is a link to the book on Martha's Vineyard: Quiet Pleasures

Phyllis and Betsy entertained the crowd with anecdotes regarding the creation of the book, and their previous experiences in their respective professions. It was another wonderful author/photographer event at the Oak Bluffs Public Library! Thank you Betsy and Phyllis!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

July Book Discussion Group - "Blackbird House"

We all enjoyed this book by prolific novelist Alice Hoffman which offers twelve beautifully written, interconnected stories, all taking place in the same Cape Cod farmhouse over the course of generations. Many interesting characters peopled the stories and provided us with a wealth of subjects for discussion.

For many, this was the first work by Alice Hoffman they had read. Needless to say, it won't be the last. Suggestions for other Alice Hoffman books are: Practical Magic, At Risk and Angel Landing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Artists' Reception - Photography Exhibit attracts a crowd!

On Saturday, July 26 a capacity crowd visited the library to attend an Artists' Reception and Photography Exhibit in honor of Della Hardman Day.

The annual DELLA HARDMAN DAY, a celebration of the arts established by the Town of Oak Bluffs in 2005, was inspired by the life of Della B. Hardman, PhD (1922 -2005), Vineyard artist, civic activist & writer who chronicled cultural and social events in Oak Bluffs for the Vineyard Gazette for nearly a decade.

The Oak Bluffs Public Library, in conjunction with the fourth annual celebration on July 26, 2008, sponsored a contest to select images featuring photographs that will be on display at the library from July 25 to August 16. A calendar was also made from the winning entries and will be available for purchase at the library. Proceeds from the calendar will be used to support library programs.

Library Director, Danguole Budris; Library Trustee - Photography Judge, Harvey Beth; Della Hardman's Daughter, Andrea Taylor; and special guest Haki R. Madhubuti were on hand to celebrate the occasion. Madhubuti, an accomplished author and poet, as well as the founder, publisher, & editor of Third World Press, provided an insightful lecture regarding his life and the powerful roll of the arts in improving the human condition. The audience and honored artists were deeply moved by his words and the readings from several of his books:

Run Toward Fear: New Poems and a Poet's Handbook

YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet's Life

Thomas Dresser - Author's Visit & Book Signing

Thomas Dresser, author of "Mystery on the Vineyard: politics, passion, & scandal on East Chop", spoke to a rapt audience at the library on Thursday, July 24. Many people in the crowd were familiar with the murder that was the topic of his latest literary endeavor, making for an interesting discussion session following his talk.

Dresser shared excerpts from his book and discussed the research techniques that he utilized; which culminated in a trip to Alabama while tracking down the history of one of the murder suspects.

If you haven't read about this historic local event, check out a copy from the library today:

"Mystery on the Vineyard: politics, passion, & scandal on East Chop"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Victoria Rowell - Author's Visit & Book Signing

A crowd of 60+ came to see Victoria Rowell deliver an inspirational talk about her personal memoirs, "The Women Who Raised Me: A Memoir", a New York Times Bestseller!

Natalie Dickerson of the Martha's Vineyard NAACP provided a warm introduction of Rowell, and at the completion of the event attendees enjoyed refreshments and an opportunity to meet the speaker.

We would like to offer a special thank you to our co-sponsors of the event: Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and the Martha's Vineyard NAACP.

Click here to see more pictures from the event!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 18-20 Book Sale - Library Friends of Oak Bluffs

The Library Friends are at it again! The Friends organized and operated a book sale booth during the recent Harbor Festival in Oak Bluffs (see pictures below).

Now they have organized a huge book sale for the weekend of July 18-20, at the Parish House in the Campground.
For full details visit our Events Calendar.

The Library Staff would like to thank all of the members of the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs for their hard work and dedication. Their support and contributions are vital to the library's services!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Current Events Lecture - Brigitte Lent

On June 17, Brigitte Lent, a former Language Specialist at the U.S. State Department, lectured on the timely topic of:

"World Population, Food Supplies, and Climate Change as a Security Matter".

If you missed this evening of thought provoking discussion, you can read a copy of Lent's lecture online now!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fictions of Race in 20th Century America - Phil Weinstein

On Thursday evening the library hosted a well attended book discussion on "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones.

The Oak Bluffs Public Library was pleased to take part in the Fictions of Race in 20th Century America Book Discussion Club, for which the topic was race in America in the 20th century, as probed in fiction by four of the century's most prominent novelists.

Thank you to Phil Weinstein of Aquinnah, Professor of English at Swarthmore College, who led an informative and insightful discussion. The library would also like to thank Jennifer Christy, Library Director of the Aquinnah Library, for organizing the book group.

Here is a complete list of the novels that were discussed by the book group:

Go Down Moses, by William Faulkner
Native Son, by Richard Wright
The Confessions of Nat Turner, by William Styron
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
The Known World, by Edward P. Jones

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Barrier Reef Revealed - Michael Wooley

Michael Wooley, Local Artist & Swim Instructor, "wowed" an audience of 60 people with his breathtaking images and videos of a barrier reef off the coast of Belize. Brain Corals, Nurse Sharks, Sponges, Barracudas & an assortment of other undersea creatures were on display.

Michael provided a fun and educational narrative throughout the presentation.

At the end of the slide show the audience peppered Michael with interesting questions, and showed off some of their own knowledge of the sea!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Graphic Novel Slideshow & Talk

The library would like to thank Don Hinkle for his interesting slideshow & talk regarding Graphic Novels. This popular and expanding genre of reading material is a fun and fascinating subject!

Here are a few recent additions to the library's graphic novel collection:
Graphic classics v. 7: Bram Stoker


Satchel Paige : striking out Jim Crow


Search for more Graphic Novels Now!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

May Book Discussion Group - "The God of Small Things"

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a story about how the loss of childhood innocence of the book's central characters mirrors the growing pains of modern India. Many important Indian issues are at the heart of the book. Prominent among them are the caste system, communism, religion, and India's history.

The discussion group had a lively conversation about modern-day India, as two of our members had traveled there recently and shared their discoveries and reactions to the country that is home to so many of the earth's people.

Next month we are combining our book group with an Island-wide book group that is exploring "Fictions of Race in 20th Century America." English Professor Phil Weinstein will lead the discussion about The Known World by Edward P. Jones. The meeting will be held at the library on Thursday, June 26th at 5:30 pm. Copies of the book are available at the downstairs circulation desk.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Della Hardman Day - Photography Contest!

The Oak Bluffs Public Library, in conjunction with the annual celebration of Della Hardman Day on Saturday, July 26th, is sponsoring a photography contest to select 14 images featuring Martha’s Vineyard that reflect Della Hardman’s legacy theme:

savor the moment.”

The winning entries will be published in the Oak Bluffs Public Library Calendar for 2009.

The entry deadline is June 14, print out an entry form (including the contest rules) today!

Please contact the library by phone 508-693-9433 for more information.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Book Discussion Group - "Mountains Beyond Mountains"

The book discussion group met on April 23 to discuss the book "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder. This non-fiction effort by Kidder focuses on the life and work of Dr. Paul Farmer and the Partners In Health Organization.

Much of the book takes place in the country of Haiti where Farmer works diligently to improve health care services to its impoverished citizens.

Farmer specifically focuses on the treatment of Tuberculosis and Aids and in conjunction with Partners In Health he brings his new and unique techniques to other countries around the world (Peru, Russia, etc...).

One group member mentioned that they really enjoyed Kidder's other books as well. You can find more of Kidder's books in the CLAMS Catalog:
  1. House
  2. Home Town
  3. Among Schoolchildren
  4. Old Friends
  5. My Detachment: A Memoir
  6. The Soul of a New Machine
The book that the discussion group will read for the May meeting is "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy. Please pick up the book at the downstairs checkout desk and join us for our next stimulating book group discussion!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

National Library Week - Letter to the Editor

Many patrons saw the library's letter to the editor published in the recent issues of the Martha's Vineyard Times and Martha's Vineyard Gazette newspapers. In case you missed it, here is the letter that we sent in celebration of National Library Week 2008:

National Library Week 2008

To the Editor:

April 13-19 is National Library Week, a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries, librarians and library workers in schools, campuses and communities nationwide - and the perfect time to discover how you can join the circle of knowledge @ your library.

Library use is up nationwide among all types of library users, continuing a decade-long trend, and it’s easy to see why. Libraries are places where everyone can go to discover the world. With free resources like books, magazines, DVDs and computer and wifi access, libraries help people find new jobs, do better in school, tackle projects and learn new ways to improve their health.

Everyday, libraries in big cities and small towns, colleges and universities, in schools and in businesses help transform their communities. At our library, people of all backgrounds can come together for community meetings, lectures and programs, or to do research with the assistance of a trained professional.

What can you discover? National Library Week is the perfect time to find out. Join your family, friends and community. Join the circle of knowledge @ your library.


Danguole Budris
Library Director
Oak Bluffs Public Library

Friday, April 04, 2008

Overdrive -- Audio Books & Music Downloads

As of April 1st you will be able to browse, check out, and download digital media with your library card 24/7. The Oak Bluffs Library has subscribed to OverDrive which will enable library patrons to install free software, browse and check out titles, and download them to a desktop or laptop. Simply go to and learn about the system requirements and how to get set up for the downloads.

To access these digital materials you will need: A valid CLAMS library card issued by one of the libraries that participate in the CLAMS OverDrive service.

You can begin browsing titles to check out by clicking on the OverDrive picture or link on the Oak Bluffs Public Library's homepage. Start using this fast and convenient service today!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Patrick MacManaway - Living with the Spirit of Place

Over 45 people attended our recent library program "Living with the Spirit of Place" by Dr. Patrick MacManaway.

Dr. Patrick MacManaway, holistic therapist, author, and current President of the British Society of Dowsers, presented a slideshow and talk about how the places we live and work affect our level of energy, mood and attitude.

March Book Discussion Group - "Peace Like a River"

This debut novel by Leif Enger revolves around a family's search for the oldest son who has gotten into trouble with the law. Much of the action takes place in the Dakota Badlands, and one of the reading group members had actually lived in the Dakotas and experienced the fierce, freezing winters and gale-force winds. We had a lively discussion about the several "miracles" that took place and the dicey moral underpinnings of the family's journey to find the son. Additionally, we discussed the deep family love and trust that were a large part of the story.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

February Book Group - The Madonnas of Leningrad

For the most part, The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean takes place in Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg) during the first year of the 900-day German siege of the city, which began in 1941. During our meeting in February we saw photographs of the starving people and the horrific conditions during that time in Leningrad. We also viewed color plates of some of the artwork in the Hermitage Museum.

The events in the book are related by an elderly woman who was a docent at the Hermitage before and during the siege. Although she suffers from Alzheimer's and cannot remember anything in her present life, she remembers the artwork and furnishing of all the rooms in the museum in minute detail.

We had an exciting discussion about the book, which all us liked, in spite of the Alzheimer's aspect.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Goodreads - find a book to read today!

The fun new website Goodreads was recently mentioned in a Martha's Vineyard Times article by Susan Wilson. Goodreads is a place where people share their reading interests, and help each other find new reading material.

Visit the Oak Bluffs Public Library's Goodreads Account, and search our virtual bookshelves to find new reading material.

We have created shelves for the library's Book Discussion Group, the library staff's reads, Travel and Adventure and there will be more shelves to come!

Post a comment and let us know what library shelves and reading lists you would like to see us create!

Friday, February 15, 2008

New Art Display at the OBPL!

Amos Group Photography Exhibit at the Oak Bluffs Public Library

Samplings of photographs taken by four students who attend The Rebecca Amos Institute are on display at the Oak Bluffs Public Library during the month of February. Instructor Janice Baer brought her students, Tracy Devine, Vanessa Grant, Hayley Panek, and Amanda Tate to various spots around the Island to inspire their photographic efforts. Please come to the Library during its open hours and enjoy the creative works of these four talented artists!

Click here to see pictures of the exhibit

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Library Resource - Ancestry Library Edition!

Have you been interested in learning more about your family's genealogy?

Come to the Library and use Ancestry Library Edition, a popular tool for online genealogical research.

You can even make an appointment for a 30-minute consultation with a librarian in order to learn how to use this great new genealogical resource at your Library.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Holiday Party Pictures!

Check out the pictures taken at the Library Friend's Holiday Party that took place in December by clicking on the flickr badge on the right hand side of the screen.

There was gingerbread house making, a surprise visit by Santa, tasty food and drink, and plenty of good cheer!

Thank you once again to the Friends, Volunteers, and everyone who attended to help the library celebrate the holiday season!