Sharing new ideas, resources, knowledge and technology to keep abreast of new development in reference service field

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Workplace Trends

Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Law
Massachusetts Health Care Reform became law on April 12, 2006. The Health Care Reform Act, passed as a Session Law, has been and will continue to be incorporated into the General Laws of the Commonwealth. The entire Act can be read under Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006. If your library does not have a print subscription to the laws of Massachusetts the Health Care Reform Act can still be read in its entirety at

The goal of the Healthcare Act is universal health insurance for all Massachusetts residents. Under this Act all residents 18 and over were required to obtain health insurance by July 1st, 2007. There are three ways that individuals can obtain health insurance: private insurance, insurance coverage through an employer, or coverage through the newly established Commonwealth Choice Health Plan.

The Commonwealth Choice Health Plan is administered by the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector. The Connector, established by subsection (a) of section 2 of Chapter 176Q, assists individuals and families, employees, and employers to choose the right health plan. They also provide subsidies to assist eligible individuals in purchasing health insurance.

The folks at the Commonwealth Connector Authority can be reached by phone at 1-877-623-6765. However, the Connector website is the best place to start if you have internet access:

From this site small business employers can determine their obligations under the new law, find help in creating a health plan for their employees, and read the details of the Cafeteria Plan mandate. Individuals and families are assisted in selecting a health plan from among six insurance companies through a program called Commonwealth Choice. Alternatively, individuals and families can learn how to utilize the Commonwealth Care program. Commonwealth Care is an insurance program for uninsured individuuals with incomes that fall within certain guidelines and who meet other qualifications.

Invaluable Reference Resource

Worcester Public Library
Worcester Clipping File

The Pamphlet File is where we house the large newspaper clipping files on Worcester area subjects. Almost all the items are from the Worcester Telegram and Evening Gazette and cover the time period from about 1960 to the present. While there are clippings from before 1960, the coverage is somewhat sparse. All items should be dated and indicated which newspaper they were taken from.
The number of items in each folder varies widely. Some may have only one clipping while others may fill 2 or 3 folders. The only entry to the files is by subject. Where possible, the most direct heading is used, i.e., a company name, a college, an organization. Some subjects work better with indirect headings, such as, Congregational Churches--church name; Schools--Elementary--school name.
The collection contains materials that were judged to be of lasting interest but this is subjective and may not reflect what is needed in the future. It is a best guess for the period of the newspaper that is not indexed.
From 1989 to the present, the newspaper is available, fully indexed for locally produced stories, as part of the "Newsbank Collection". Coverage in the Pamphlet Files is consequently less complete from that date on.

Worcester Clipping File Subject Headings:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Worcester Area Writers Project

It has now been well over 20 years since Worcester author and activist Michael True, working under the auspices of Worcester Public Library, completed Worcester Area Writers 1680-1980 a compilation of biographical sketches of novelists, poets, essayists, and others who were born or lived in the Worcester area. Twenty of these individuals were the subjects of page-long treatments, among them Mary Rowlandson of Lancaster whose 17th century account of her captivity among local native Americans became a “best seller” in both England and America; historian George Bancroft, and chronicler of colonial life Alice Morse Earle, along with better-known central Massachusetts natives such as poet Stanley Kunitz and novelist Esther Forbes. Thumbnail sketches of over 100 other local writers are also included.

Now we are interested in producing a revised edition of Worcester Area Writers. Although this will no doubt entail expanding some of the existing entries, and adding pertinent detail to others, the primary focus of the work will be on providing information on local writers who have come to the fore since 1980. We would like to cast as wide a net as possible and the list we have begun to compile is long and growing. However, we want to make sure that we do not miss anyone and would like to enlist your help in identifying writers whom you feel should be included in the final product. The only criterion is that they have a strong connection to the Worcester area through either birth or (relatively) long term residence here.

We would also like to offer you the opportunity to become part of this work by serving with us on an ad hoc committee devoted to shaping this project and seeing it through to completion. Anyone with an interest in local history or literature is encouraged to provide input or to join us. Please contact Joy Hennig at or 508-799-1670.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


We - at Uxbridge High School - just finished a NEASC accreditation visit...the experience seemed fine although we still have serious building issues unchanged, for the most part, since ten years ago...if anyone has questions about the School Resources part of the report please feel free to post to here. Thanks!

Bill S.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Readers Advisory

My first experience with regional cooperation was back in 1967 when I was an ILL assistant at Holy Cross. Lists of desired books were checked in the card catalog, gathered up, and a phone call made to Alice Atanian to find out where the packages were to be mailed.
It must have been in the late nineties that Alice told me if I wanted to keep up with what librarians were doing to help readers I should consult FICTION-L. I discovered a source for the best in gay fiction, inspirational fiction, chicklit, urban novels, slipstream, OPRAH, non-fiction reader's advisory, even collection management and marketing the collection. The librarians on this listserve share even with lurkers like me the reality we are not alone.
I hope the Regional Reference Blog will do the same.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Give Me the Simple Life.......

Those weary of the hustle and bustle of modern consumer society should enjoy three new accounts by individuals who tried extremely different lifestyles for a year. "In Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping", a middle aged couple agree to avoid buying anything but absolute necessities . Generic groceries, internet time for their work from jobs, and insulin for their diabetic cat are three basics they agree on from the start. "See You In a Hundred Years: Four Seasons In Forgotten America" by Logan Ward is the story of a young couple who buy a farm in rural Virginia, remove the bathroom, have the electricity turned off, and try to live for a year as an average farm family would have in 1900. They find growing and preserving all their own food for a year and coping with contrary farm animals more of a challenge than they had anticipated; but one unexpected resource, the goodwill and helpful advice of their neighbors, helps them make it triumphantly through the year. "The Year Of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs is the story of a modern New Yorker who resolved to literally observe every single New and Old Testament injunction that he legally could. I'm probably cheating slightly including Jacobs book since it hasn't arrived at WPL yet; but all the reviews of it have been very positive. Does anyone have anyother new books on experimenting with alternative lifestyles to add to the list?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Food for Thought---Oktoberfest Websites

Oktoberfest Websites

Oktoberfest is originally a German celebration which was first celebrated on October 12, 1810 with a festival at the public celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Leopold I and Princess Maria Theresa of Bavaria on October 17, 1810 held in a large meadow in Munich. However, the celebration also featured a horse race, beer, food, music, and dancing, as well. Today, Oktoberfest is celebrated anywhere from September 11th through October 11th with special foods, beers, and activities appropriate to the season. Make your own Oktoberfest last longer and enjoy these websites!


CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608