September 2021 Library News and Events

September 1, 2021

September 2021 Library News & Events

All programs are free of charge unless noted otherwise.  Learn more at

BPL Library Reopening!
All branch libraries not currently under reconstruction are now open for in-person services. All reopening plans follow the latest city and state public health guidance. While there will be no capacity limits or social distancing required, patrons using the library buildings will still need to wear masks since the library serves vulnerable populations and children who cannot yet be vaccinated. For more information, see

BPL COVID-19 Resources
Looking for reliable information about COVID vaccines? The BPL has put together a resource guide to help answer your questions.

Free Ice Cream!
The Boston Public Library will host free ice cream trucks outside its branch locations in early September as part of Mayor Janey’s Joy Agenda, an initiative to spread joy throughout the City of Boston. Two vendors, Super Star Ice Cream and Frosty Ice Cream will go on a “BPL Joy Ride” to all currently open BPL locations Monday through Friday, August 30 – September 3 to help patrons and community members keep cool and enjoy a free treat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 – Frosty Ice Cream 

  • 1:00–2:00 pm: Hyde Park Branch
  • 2:30–3:30 pm: Mattapan Branch

Thursday, September 2, 2021 – Frosty Ice Cream 

  • 1:00–2:00 pm: Honan-Allston Branch
  • 2:30–3:30 pm: Brighton Branch
  • 4:00–5:00 pm: West Roxbury Branch

Friday, September 3, 2021 – Frosty Ice Cream 

  • 1:00–3:00 pm: Central Library in Copley Square

Welcome Our New Roslindale Branch Head Librarian Jennifer Hawes!
A 1993 Massachusetts College of Art graduate, Jennifer began her library career the following year in the BPL's fine arts department. She earned her master's degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons University in 2003 with a concentration in children’s library services. Jennifer served as children's librarian at BPL's Lower Mills Branch in Dorchester for two years before moving to the North End Branch where she was Children's Librarian for 10 years. Jennifer has proudly served in her role as North End Branch Librarian since 2017. She is delighted to return to Roslindale, where she resided from 2001-2006.  Jennifer currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband, their 10-year-old son, and four cats. Her eldest stepson, aged 32, lives in New Jersey, while the younger, aged 22, graduates from college in the spring. In addition to her love of assisting library patrons, Jennifer enjoys drawing with her 10-year-old son, knitting mittens, reading everything, and eating sweet potato pie.

Welcome Our New Roslindale Branch Library Assistant Timythia Slater
Timythia wanted to introduce herself to the Roslindale branch community. "I love to read. That love led to working at the library immediately after graduating high school and staying with the library for over ten years. I started out at the Copley library, then moved over to the Dudley branch (now Roxbury branch), spent a couple of years at Hyde Park, and am currently back at Roxbury. I have always lived in Hyde Park, but recently moved to Roslindale, so I am excited to work more with the Roslindale community.  Along with reading, I am a bit of a crafter (sewing, journaling, and painting) though I would definitely not call myself an expert at any of it. Other interests include Marvel movies and Anime. I am currently reading The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz and currently watching Voltron: Legendary Defenders. I highly recommend both."

Buy Bulbs, Support The Friends
We are fundraising again with Dutch Mill Bulbs to earn money for our future renovated branch. All items are guaranteed to grow and bloom, and our group earns 50 percent of the profit on every sale.  It’s easy!  Make your selections, provide billing and shipping information, and enter the Friends in the group name.  Please go to our fundraising page to make purchases. The items you select will be sent directly to the shipping address you provide, and shipping fees will be added to each order.  You can even order and send them as gifts to other addresses.  Orders will begin shipping on September 15.

Roslindale Library Program Survey
The Roslindale Branch is scheduled to reopen in the fall with a new head librarian. The Friends plan on collaborating with staff to bring a robust series of programs to the new space, and we are looking for community input about what types of programs would interest you. Please check any topic that would be of interest, indicate whether your interest is for adults or youth, and feel free to provide more details or other suggestions here.

Hispanic Heritage Month starts September 15
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the latest offering on our virtual bookshelf at Rozzie Bound features books by Latinx authors or have Latinx characters for adults, teens, and children.  The Friends will receive 50 percent of sale proceeds.  Buy some books here:

BIPOC Author Preorders
As part of the ongoing conversation about improving equity in the publishing industry, we have worked with Rozzie Bound to create a virtual shelf featuring upcoming books by authors of color that you can preorder now.  By preordering, you help drive up sales and possible placement on bestseller lists and help make publishers pay attention to and better support and uplift authors of color and their readership.  The shelf currently lists a number of books from different genres coming out this summer and fall and will be updated regularly.  Some notable upcoming books include Helen Hoang's The Heart Principle (Aug 31), Colson Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle (Sep 14), Angela Davis's reissued Autobiography (Oct 19), and Nikole Hannah-Jones's The 1619 Project (Nov 16).  Preorder these and other books here.  You can also suggest the BPL purchase these books.  Learn more about library purchasing here.

Online Presentation by Cyclist Alan Wright
Monday, September 20, 7 PM
Roslindale resident Alan Wright just completed his lifelong dream of cycling cross-country.  He started his solo trip on May 22 in Boston and completed the journey on August 5 in Seaside, Oregon.  He used his trip to bring awareness to climate change and raise funds for Bikes Not Bombs.  Alan rode more than 4,200 miles over 73 days. That was only half the trip. After riding across the country, Alan saw America from another cool vantage point: he rode Amtrak from Oregon home to Boston. Alan will give a presentation about his fantastic trip!  Watch this Channel 25 interview he did about his trip last week, and you can see photos and video from the trip on his Twitter account.  To sign up for this Zoom event, click here.

Preschool Storytime Reads the Alphabet
Tuesdays, 4:30 PM

Join Children’s Librarian Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri on zoom for Preschool Story Time for ages 3-5. Each week we will read 2-3 stories and do songs and fingerplays to build early literacy skills.  Please go to to register. Registering once will sign you up for the whole series so you do not need to register every week. Preschool Storytime and Bouncing Babies are both parts of the BPL’s Future Readers Club program.

Bouncing Babies in Adams Park
Tuesdays, 10 AM

Join Children’s Librarian Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri at Adams Park for Bouncing Babies storytime for ages birth to two. Miss Celeste will share stories, rhymes, and fingerplays designed to help build early literacy skills. Bring a mat or blanket to sit on. Miss Celeste will also have some yoga mats for seating, but as the program is popular she often runs out. In the event of rain, the program will be canceled. Follow the Roslindale Library on Facebook for up-to-date information about whether or not storytime is canceled.

BPL at the Roslindale Farmers Market
Saturday, September 11, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Storytelling at 11:00

Children’s Librarian Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri and the Friends of the Roslindale Library will be tabling at the Roslindale Farmer’s Market on September 11. Miss Celeste will have free books to give away to kids along with flyers and information about library programs. She will also be signing people up for library cards. Eric Rosenbaum will be joining us to do a demonstration of Makey-Makey, and at 11:00 Miss Celeste will do a storytelling program in the children’s entertainment area.

Online Race and Inclusion Book Discussion:
How The Word Is Passed
Saturdays, September 11, 25, and October 2
9:15 - 11 AM (Morning) or 2 - 3:45 PM (Afternoon)

We will discuss Clint Smith's new book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery in America. A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, the book illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade-in enslaved men, women, and children have been deeply imprinted.

The discussion will happen on Zoom and will be led by local educator Josh Frank.  You can get the book from or an online bookstore like Rozzie Bound, which has the book listed on the Friends "Black Histories and Futures" adult virtual bookshelf.  The Friends will receive 50% of proceeds from each book sold.  You can find the virtual shelf here:

Because this is a very popular book, we will have two sessions with 20 participants each on the three dates.  Times: Morning session at 9:15 - 11 AM and an afternoon session at 2 - 3:45 PM.

To register, please email JP Branch librarian Laura Pattison at  Please write "How the Word Is Passed Discussion" in the subject line when you RSVP.

  • You only need to register once for all three dates, even if you think you might miss a date.
  • Please choose the morning or afternoon time, and you will be registered for that same time for each date.
  • Laura will register the first 40 people, 20 each for the morning and afternoon groups.
  •  You will get an email if you are registered.  If you do not get an email from Laura, please assume that you are not registered.

This discussion is co-sponsored by the Friends of the JP Branch Library.

Online Rozzie Reads Poetry and Open Microphone
September 16, 7 pm

Featured readers: Susan Donnelly and James Whitley
To sign up: contact

Future Readers Club
The Future Readers Club is for children ages birth to kindergarten and their caregivers, a club to support reading aloud to the very youngest children with a goal of reading 1000 books together before the child begins kindergarten. The Club includes programming like Preschool Storytime and Bouncing babies as well as an app to track the books you are reading with your little one and opportunities to receive free books to keep. We want your help to make the Future Readers Club even better! Please respond to our survey as we plan FRC programming for the fall and beyond. More info:

Children’s Book Bundles
Roslindale Children’s Librarian Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri and Jamaica Plain Children’s Librarian Barbara Rhodes are working together to create custom book bundles for kids to pick up at the Jamaica Plain library. We know it is hard to know what books to choose for your kids without browsing the shelves. Since the library buildings will remain closed for the time being due to escalating COVID cases in the city, book bundles are the next best thing to browsing! Fill out one of our request forms, or email the information to, and we will prepare a stack of books just for your kid!

After-hours Book Drops Are Now Open
While the Roslindale Book drop is still unavailable due to the ongoing construction, the after-hours book drops at the other city branches are now open. You can return books at your convenience.

Attention Local Authors!
Do you have a book coming out in 2021 or 2022? Please keep us updated so that we can share the news with Rozzie residents in our newsletter and ask our partner at Rozzie Bound to link to the book online. Rozzie Bound generously shares a portion of sales with the Friends. Email us at the book title, author, format, ISBN, and a brief description.

Volunteer Restockers Needed
The Roslindale Community Library network needs some volunteers to keep some of our business and home-based little libraries stocked.  You can take responsibility for one or more.  It involves checking every few weeks and picking up and delivering books as needed.

Calling all newly installed little library owners!  
The Friends maintains a map of available little libraries in Roslindale and if you recently installed your own, you may not be on it.  If you would like to be listed, please email your address to

Little Library Program at the Food Pantry Seeks Volunteers
Since early January, the Friends have been setting up a Little Library at the Roslindale Food Pantry.  The Pantry runs out of the Congregational Church (25 Cummins Highway) from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every Saturday.  The Pantry serves between 75 - 90 individuals/families every week.  Before the Pantry opens, our volunteers set up a portable bookshelf and stock it with adult, young adult, early reader, and children’s books.  The volunteer is responsible for returning to the church at 4:00 p.m. (at the close of the Pantry) to break down the Little Library and store the shelf and books.   If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please e-mail Laura Sitterley at  You do not need to commit to a certain number of Saturdays a month.  Thank you!

Storytime at the Farmers Market!

Children's librarian Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri hosted a storytime at the Roslindale Village Farmer's Market in Adams Park on August 14.  The BPL and Friends had a table at the market where we were greeted by a lot of people enthusiastic about the Roslindale branch's reopening.

BPL Online Resource Highlight: Rolling Stone Archive

Browse the complete backfile of Rolling Stone magazine, from its launch in 1967 to 2018.

Enter the website here.

Business Donations!
Thanks to recent donations from Google, John Hancock, and Bain Capital, we can continue online programming during the pandemic.  We welcome donations large and small to help defray costs to keep us going.  If you work with a company that offers donations and corporate matches to 501c3 nonprofits like the Friends, please consider contacting your human resources or external giving department and email us at

Amazon Shopping with the Friends!
If you are doing more Amazon shopping during the lockdown, please consider registering with our Friends' AmazonSmile account.  For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the Friends receive 0.5 percent of the purchase price year-round.  There is no additional cost to the Friends or AmazonSmile customers. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for donation” on their product detail pages. The shopping experience is identical to, with the added benefit that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate that percentage to the Friends!  The percentage might seem minuscule, but this adds up if you are a regular Amazon customer who makes purchases several times a week or month.  Of course, if you want to donate directly to the Friends, you can do so on our donation page or become a Friends member.  Every dollar and cent counts!

Online ESL Classes

The BPL offers various online courses for those learning English:

  • Beginner Class for Spanish Speakers, Fridays, 10:30-11:30 am
  • High Beginner/Elementary Class, Fridays, 11:30am-12:30pm
  • Intermediate Class, Wednesdays, 1-2:15 pm
  • Advanced Class, Tuesdays, 1-2:15 pm
  • Reading and Discussion Class, Thursdays, 11 am-12:30 pm
  • Conversation Classes, Mondays, 3-4:15pm, Tuesdays, 5:30-6:45pm, Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm, Fridays, 1-2:15pm

Students can register by emailing or calling 617-859-2446. They also have an online ESL Singing Class with the Back Bay Chorale, Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30 pm, students can register at  The BPL is partnering with St. Mark Community Education Program to offer online Citizenship classes. The classes have already started, but students can sign up for the waitlist at

BPL Reading Together
The Boston Public Library is launching Reading Together, a yearlong reading challenge for the year 2021. While many Bostonians remain isolated due to the global health emergency, Reading Together challenges BPL patrons to read a book each month that falls under a suggested theme. The themes were chosen to broaden perspectives and connect readers across the city throughout the year.  Readers of all ages and all language speakers are encouraged to participate in the yearlong challenge. Recommended booklists corresponding to the monthly themes are available for adults, teens, and children at Readers are also welcome to choose their own books each month and to share their recommendations with others participating in the challenge.

Museum Passes
The Boston Public Library also announced it is reinstating a version of the Museum Passes program, granting BPL patrons access to free and discounted passes to Massachusetts museums and cultural institutions. As museums continue to open in Phase Three of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, the library will add more institutions to the program. For more information on COVID-19 safety requirements when visiting these organizations, patrons can call or visit their websites directly.

Books of the Month

Each month we feature themed booklists grouped for adults, teenagers/young adults, and children, and can be borrowed as an ebook from!

Banned Books Week 2021
The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) promotes awareness of challenges to library materials and celebrates freedom of speech during Banned Books Week, which takes place this year September 26 - October 2.  Here are the top ten most challenged books as reported in the media and submitted to ALA by librarians and teachers across the country in 2020.

Books about Armchair Traveling
Still afraid to fly? Try any of these books and you won't have to leave the comforts of home!

Books about Black Lives Matter
Now and always, the Boston Public Library stands with the Black community. Check out one of these titles today to educate yourself about police brutality, anti-Black racism in the present day and throughout history, and the BLM movement.  None of these books have waitlists!

Words of Wisdom

"Think before you speak. Read before you think." - Fran Lebowitz

Sharing is Caring
The best way to know about upcoming offsite Roslindale library programs, special events, news, and renovation updates is to stay on this email list, like our Facebook page, and regularly visit and  If you know anyone who would like to join our email list, please tell them to sign up on our website's homepage at  We would also appreciate it if you forward our emails and share and like our Facebook posts with your networks to help get the word out.

Support the Friends!
We are a volunteer-run organization. All the work we do for library programming, publicity, and building improvements is done with support from the community. There are many ways to support the Friends, like donating, becoming a Friends member, and even shopping on Amazon!

Contact the Friends
For information about the Friends, contact us.  We also share information about upcoming events, photos from past events, and other library news on Facebook, and on our blog!

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