Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two weekly Drop-In Services

Do you know about the Reference Department's free Computer Help service? How about our free weekly Job & Resume Help?


We offer Computer Help during the following times:

Monday:        12-2
Tuesday:       11-2
Wednesday:  11-2
Thursday:      11-2
Friday:           11-2

At computer help, you can get one-on-one assistance with the following issues:
  • Runs or starts too slow
  • Annoying popups and toolbars, or missing toolbar
  • What is this strange error message?
  • Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome?
  • How do you put icons on the desktop?
  • What's a good password?
  • How do you lock the screen quickly?
  • Why do I have so many updates?
  • What antivirus to use - can I get it for free?
  • How do I add a printer?
  • Can I get MS Office for free? Or cheap?
  • How do I run old games on a new PC?
  • ...and more!
Plus- No appointment needed, just drop-in anytime during the allotted hours.

Our drop-in Job and Resume Help Clinic is every Tuesday (except April 22) from 10:00am to 12:30pm. Meet one-on-one with expert Job-Search Coach Mary Wasmuth, who will help you with Resumes, Cover Letters, and Job-Search Strategies.

In the meantime, if you are in need of job assistance, have a look at our updated Job Hunt page (done by Mary.) Browse carefully selected websites and helpful books that cover topics such as job hunting, resumes, interviews, and social media. You'll find these books located in the job-hunting section of the Library's Job Resource Center.

Here's a list of local resources from our new page to get you started:

Local Resources
Employment and Training Resources 
Framingham: 1671 Worcester Road. 508-766-5700
Norwood: 275 Prospect Street. 781-769-4120
Individual career and job-hunting assistance. Training programs include resumes, cover letters, interviews, skills assessment, computer skills (Introduction to computers, Word, Excel, more).

Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development
Select the "For Workers and Unions" tab for job hunting and the "For Claimants" tab for unemployment information.

MetroWest Career Center
7 Bishop Street, 2d floor; Framingham MA 508-620-2677
Computer resource room; job listings; workshops on computer skills, resumes, interviewing, Internet job skills, and other subjects.

Operation A.B.L.E.
The job-search assistance, education, and training offered by this Boston-based organization are geared to individuals 45 and older, but most of their services are open to all.

Where do computer help and resume help meet? On the top floor of the library. Any more questions, please call Reference at 508-532-5570 x4361 or e-mail us at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This Month's Staff Recommends

We've just posted this month's Staff Recommends to the website! For more Staff recommendations, click here.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Mary Wasmuth, Job-Search Coach, Main Library

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. 213 pagesIf your group thrives on controversy, Junot Diaz is your man. And if you see in fiction a means to move past, as Diaz puts it “the checkpoints on your social borders,” you’ll do well to jump the fences of language and attitude and venture deep into the, as Publisher’s Weekly puts it, “precarious, unappreciated, precious lives in which intimacy is a lost art, masculinity a parody, and kindness, reason, and hope struggle to survive like seedlings in a war zone.”

Many of Diaz’s compelling, perfectly made, stories focus on a recurring character, Junior, as he moves from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey and later to Boston. With him, we watch his womanizing older brother flail against the cancer that will kill him. And we watch Junior fall in love, destroy love, and mourn its loss, over and over. This funny, aching, thought-provoking collection is guaranteed to get your book group talking.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich. 321 pages
Joe Coutts is thirteen years old when his mother is brutally raped. She’s further brutalized by a justice system skewed against native women. Joe’s attempt to achieve some resolution thrusts him into the complexities and traumas of adult life, and he learns he can no longer rely on the connections that had sustained him—his easy friendships, his open and loving parents, and the unquestioning acceptance of his extended family.

Over the years, Louise Erdrich has created a unique body of work, vividly populated and richly described; hilarious and heart-wrenching; many of them set in the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. Introduce your book group to this amazing writer, and they’ll be forever grateful. 

Someone by Alice McDermott. 232 pages
Someone opens with a crowded Brooklyn street viewed through the eyes of seven-year-old Marie, who, she says, is the “sole survivor, now, of that street scene.” We know from this that we’re reading about a community deeply connected in a way few today have experienced. We see that we’ll be moving back and forward through time with Marie, an extraordinarily perceptive guide. McDermott’s layered, moving novel is dense with reflection and feeling, a deceptively simple story about the life of an apparently ordinary woman. But we know better.

Unlike many titles recommended for groups, Someone doesn’t take on contemporary issues. Instead, it examines the meaning of family, love, loss, and community and shows us, subtly and beautifully, how a life accrues value and purpose. I’d call these topics worth discussing.

There But For The by Ali Smith. 236 pages
At a suburban-London dinner party, a guest locks himself in the bathroom and refuses to come out. Extending from days to weeks, Miles’s stay turns into a media circus, and an unlikely group of people assembles to support him. The book is narrated by four characters who know Miles slightly: Anna, a woman in her forties who encountered him on a high-school trip; Mark, a gay man in his sixties who met him at the theater; May, an elderly woman suffering from dementia; and "preternaturally articulate" ten-year-old Brooke. It may well take a book group to unravel the mysteries of this intricate, funny, literate, and affecting novel. Mine had a great time doing it. 

And a Few More
The long and the short:
The Orchardist
by Amanda Coplin, 426 pages
The Buddha in the Attic*
by Julie Otsuka, 129 pages
For controversy:
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud, 253 pages;
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, 273 pages

      *reviewed in 2013's Staff Recommends

Even More Ideas
Book Browse Book Club Resources
Great Group Reads (selected by the Women’s National Book Association)
Indiebound’s Indie Next Lists (focus on book groups several times a year)
Reading Group Choices

Reading Group Guides

Monday, March 24, 2014

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event for Framingham Residents


Have waste you need to dispose of this spring? Mark your calendars because next month the Town of Framingham Solid Waste Division is sponsoring a drop-off day.

Bring your hazardous waste items to McCarthy Elementary (8 Flagg Drive) on Saturday, April 12, between the hours of 9am-1pm.

This event is at no cost, but you must be a Framingham resident (you will need to show your license.) Be sure to double check the flyer above to see what kind of items are acceptable.

If you have any questions, contact the Solid Waste Division by phone at 508-532-6001 or by e-mail at

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Do genealogy research using Heritage Quest Online

Curious about your roots?

Did you know we offer an e-Resource dedicated to genealogy? Get started today with our database: Heritage Quest Online.

All patrons are welcome to use the site on any of the library computers; additionally, Framingham card-holders can access the database from home.

What can you do on Heritage Quest?
  • Search the Census:
    • Complete set of U.S. Federal Census records from 1790-1940. (Many of the years are indexed and searchable, but otherwise you can browse the full set of census images by year, state, and county/town, and scroll until you find what you are looking for. For instructions on how to best search the database, click on "Help" in the upper right-hand corner.)
    • Click here to access the Census "Getting Started" guide
  • Search Books:
    • People, Places, or Publications in over 28,000 histories
  • Search the PERSI™ Archive:
    • Subject index covering 6,600 genealogy and local history periodicals in English and French, between 1800-2009
    • Over 2.3 million article citations
  • Search Revolutionary War:
    • Selected records of an estimated 80,000 pension and bounty-land-warrant application files, mainly between the years 1800-1900
    • Files belong to the Records of the Veteran Administration
  • Search Freedman's Bank:
    • Records from the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company (banking institution established in 1965 for freed slaves)
    • Includes names of depositors, dates of entries, places of birth, residencies, ages, names of employers, wives & husbands, family members, etc., between the years 1865-1974
  • Search U.S. Serial Set:
    • House and Senate documents and reports from 1789-1969
    • Includes Private Relief Actions, Memorials, and Petitions of the U.S. Congress
If you need any help, stop by the Reference Desk and we can show you how to log-on. You can also e-mail us at or call us at 508-532-5570 x4361.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Free Tax Help

Are you looking for some help with your taxes, but don't want to pay a fee? Here are some local options for getting free tax help:
SMOC (South Middlesex Opportunity Council), Framingham

Located at 300 Howard St. in Framingham, the Opportunity Center offers free tax help, by appointment only. Call 508-620-2300 for information.

Callahan Senior Center
AARP Tax Counselors will be at Callahan Center (535 Union Ave., Framingham) to assist seniors with filing their taxes. They are available on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from mid-February through mid-April. This program is designed for people who meet the following guidelines: single with annual income of $40,000 or under, OR  married joint filing with annual income of up to $60,000. No complex tax returns can be completed by AARP Tax Counselors. Appointments are required; call the Callahan Center at 508-532-5980 to schedule a time. There is no charge for this service, however donations to the Friends of Callahan are welcomed. The center is open Tue 1:00PM-4:00PM, Thu 2:00PM-4:00PM, and Fri 1:00PM-4:00PM. 

Natick Community-Senior Center
Help is offered for people of all ages, not just seniors. IRS trained and certified tax volunteers are available by appointment only help with federal and state income tax forms, through April 15th. While there is no charge for this service, donations to the "Natick Council On Aging" are always appreciated. For more information call the Natick Human Service & Council On Aging at (508) 647-6540.

Want help but have no time for appointments?
TurboTax ( allows you to file Federal returns for free online and includes access to tax professionals for questions by phone. State returns can be done for an additional cost. And H&R Block ( allows free online filing of Federal returns and includes live chat with tax professionals.

In addition, you may be able to file your taxes electronically for free using the IRS website for federal taxes, and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website for state taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has free online filing and fillable forms (depending on income) for federal returns ( State returns can be filed online at You must meet certain criteria to be able to file electronically.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Literary Criticism

In search of literary criticism to complete assignments for your English class? The library offers a number of databases you can search, accessible from home with your library card number, or at the library on one of our computers.

Looking for writings on a contemporary author? Try Contemporary Literary Criticism Select.

Search by author and read full-text essays on your computer.

Besides criticism, entries also include biographical backgrounds, listings of main works by the author, and sources for further information.

Essays also include MLA citations attached at the bottom of each record, which can easily be copied and pasted into your Works Cited page.

Other databases we offer include:
  • Literature Resource Center- "Find up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods and from around the world. The optional MLA International Bibliography module adds citations for hundreds of thousands of books, articles and dissertations from 1926 to the present, linked to full text where available."
  • Novels for Students- "Provides critical overviews of novels from various cultures and time periods. Includes discussions of plot, characters, themes and structure as well as the work's cultural and historical significance."
  • Poetry for Students- "Features discussion and analysis of poems of all time periods, nations, and cultures. Provides an overview of the poem and discussion of its principal themes, images, form and construction."

If you need any help accessing the databases, e-mail us at, call us at 508-532-5570 x4361, or stop by in person on the second floor.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tax Forms Update

Federal and state tax forms are now here at the library. However, the instruction books for the 1040, 1040-A and 1040-EZ forms will not arrive before mid-February, according to the IRS.

All federal forms and instructions are available to you at the IRS website, Printing at the library is 20 cents per page.

Feel free call us before you visit, to be sure that we have the forms that you would like.