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

Friday, April 25, 2008

Finding Inexpensive and Fun Activities in Worcester

Spring is in the air and with the trees blooming and the weather growing warmer, more and more patrons are coming in to ask about our museum pass availability. This is great! Our community is taking advantage of this wonderful service. But what happens when you find that all the passes are booked for the date the patron wants to go? You give them lots of suggestions for inexpensive and fun activities to do in Worcester and beyond. For example, if a patron would like to spend the day outside taking a walk, a hike, a bike ride, etc…you can direct them to the National Parks of Massachusetts homepage: This site gives information on location, price, directions and more. Many of these parks are free!

Looking for some indoor activity on a rainy day? On Saturdays from 10am to noon admission is free for everybody at the Worcester Art Museum. Check out their website and learn about their collection at

There’s something for everyone at the website Worcester-Right Place. Right Time: Here a patron can get information on music, theatre & dance, literature & poetry, history & heritage, art service organizations and much more, all right here in wonderful Worcester!

Massachusetts Bar Directory

For years and years the Worcester Public Library received, as a gift, a used set of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. When this stopped we found ourselves in a bind because the volume containing Massachusetts law firms and lawyers was heavily used.

After looking around for a substitute that would fit into our budget I found, for less than $70, the Massachusetts Lawyers Diary and Manual; a bar directory of Massachusetts. The only aspect of the directory that I took note of after it arrived was the arrangement of the lawyers and firms. The directory then sat on our reference shelf for months without much consideration from me until I began to get ready for a workshop on reference books.

What I have since discovered is that this item is truly a gem! If we were only looking for a bar directory it does this beautifully. The text contains an alphabetical arrangement of lawyers with contact information, date of admission to the Massachusetts Bar, and the name of the law firm and their affiliation. A second directory is arranged by city and then alphabetically by name of the lawyer. A third directory lists attorneys grouped by areas of practice.

The following is a list of some, but not all of what this directory has to offer

  • A comprehensive directory by county of all federal and state courts, court personnel, sheriffs offices, district attorney offices, correctional facilities, probation offices, law libraries, registry offices, deeds and probate offices, and more.

  • A municipal directory with the name, address, and telephone numbers of all town officials and departments.

  • Area code and zip code directory for all cities and towns in Massachusetts.

  • A court reporters directory.

  • The exact cost for all filing fees and transaction fees in the state and federal courts, the registry of deeds, plus the fees of sheriffs and constables, and more.

  • Digest of federal and state civil procedure.

  • The ABC's of Massachusetts estate tax, divorce procedure, marriage, and motor vehicle law.

  • Comprehensive directory of all state departments and agencies, key personnel and contact information.

  • A listing of all Massachusetts correctional institutions.

  • A directory of all federal departments and agencies, descriptive summary, key personnel, and contact information.

  • National directory that includes, for each state, key departments, boards, and administrative and municipal offices.

  • A directory of affidavit of non-military service record sources.

  • Where to write for overseas birth and death records.

  • A list of Massachusetts hospitals, health centers and rehabs arranged by city.

  • A directory of Massachusetts insurance companies.

  • A list of Massachusetts law schools and key departments.

  • Federal and state holidays for each state.

  • A directory of all federal, state, and county judges alphabetically arranged.

  • A directory of Bar Associations.

  • All legal aid and referral services arranged by county.

The Manual is published annually out of Newark New Jersey. You can go to their website at or you can call them at (800) 444-4041.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Downloadable Pimsleur Language Series Available at WPL

Worcester Public Library is excited to offer Netlibrary downloadable eAudiobooks to our patrons.

Netlibrary eAudiobooks include:
-Pimsleur Language Series Collection: (39 languages) Easy-to-understand lessons for beginners, intermediate level language learners including ESL students.
-eAudiobooks Core Collection: the latest audio best-sellers, book club favorites, award-winning authors, timeless classic and more.
- eAudiobooks Essentials Collection: Classic fiction with titles from Dickens, Joyce, Melville, Dostoyevsky and many more.
- Holy Bible Collection in 30 parts

The eAudiobooks can be played on a wide range of desktop, laptop and portable devices. The collection is available to anyone with a Worcester Public Library card.

For more information, go to

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Google vs.

Looking at the Google homepage you encounter a clean, crisp screen. Viewing Ref, it is anything but. Could they possibly fit any more information on the scroll-down webpage? We all love Google-admit it. It even spells for you. But refdesk? Is it too much of a good thing in one place? I would like to hear some opinions about this site. Read the mission statement. Take a look at how it is set up, what is included. I can't think of anything that was overlooked. I do know one thing. One can get lost in that site for days way, way, out in cyberspace, taking me to places I never intended to visit.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Read On...Read On...Read On and On

There are four imaginative guides in the readers' advisory tradition, copyrighted between 2006 and 2008, published by Libraries Unlimited in their "Read On" series.

"Read On--Crime Ficiton"
"Read On--Horror Fiction"
"Read On--Historical Fiction"
"Read On--Fantasy Fiction"

The four volumes are available in attractive paperbacks priced at $30.00 each. Titles are recommended under categories such as mood, atmosphere, setting, character, language, and story line. The subheadings in these categories are catchy and amusing, such as "Machiavellian Men and Women," "Rebels with a Cause," "I'm Too Sexy for My Fangs: Erotic Horror," and "With Humans Like These, Who Needs the Supernatural? Maniacs and Sociopaths." The list goes on, so you get the idea. The books recommended are up-to-date. The series should be a good addition to any library's collection of aids on making topical selections for reading in the various genres to patrons.

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