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Artists and Exhibits April 2015

BoBo the Cat and Maine Coast by Merrilee Torres

BoBo the Cat and Maine Coast by Merrilee Torres

Merrilee Torres: Acrylics

Left Gallery, first floor

Natick resident, Merrilee Torres, has studied regularly at the Danforth Museum School of Art since her retirement.  Her favorite medium is acrylics and her favorite subjects are animals, but she also paints flowers, seascapes, landscapes, in impressionist or occasionally abstract styles. She also makes jewelry.

The Unorthodox Mind of a Cat and Angst by Derrick Sanderson

The Unorthodox Mind of a Cat and Angst by Derrick Sanderson

Derrick Sanderson: Acrylics

Right Gallery, first floor

Sanderson is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, residing now in Natick. Always creative and intrigued by the arts, he attended the Art Advertising Academy of Cincinnati.  His painting incorporates his love of detail and fascination with abstracts. The vivid color and shapes he utilizes “speak to the inner, child-like soul in us all.”

Jay Ball: Photography

Virtual Gallery, first floor

Vines by the Sound & Spirit Choir. Now on display at the Morse Institute Library

“Vines” by the Sound & Spirit Choir

Vines by The Sound & Spirit Choir: Upcycled materials

first floor

In 2014 the Sound & Spirit Choir presented “Songs for the Earth,” a spring concert inspired by their mission to bring greater awareness to preserving our planet for future generations. Their “Vines” installation grew from this was created by many hands using upcycled materials to represent our collective inter-generational commitment to preserving our beautiful planet.

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate all month long with the Morse Institute LibraryApril is National Poetry Month and we’re looking forward to celebrating a month of verse at the Morse Institute Library!

All month long we’ll be hosting a virtual poetry reading on our YouTube Channel featuring library staff members sharing some of their favorite poems, and local poets reading their own original works, including Andrew Green, Raffael de Gruttola, Dianne Silvestri, Carla Schwartz and more!

Check it out on our YouTube Channel!

The library will also be hosting a variety of poetry events in April for all ages. There are opportunities to attend poetry performances and for families to craft the art of the poet. You could even write and perform your own works on the stage at TCAN! For more info about any of these programs please call us at 508-647-6520.

Poetry Slam 2015 Thursday, April 30 at 7:00 pm
Poetry Slam 2015 at The Center for Arts Natick (TCAN) April 30 at 7pm

Join us for Poetry Slam 2015 with Slam Master Geof Hewitt. A poetry slam is a competitive event where local poets perform their own work and are judged by the audience. The event will be held at The Center for Arts in Natick, located at 14 Summer Street, Natick, MA [map] and admission is free!

Who can slam?

If you’re ready to stand in front of an audience and read your original work, you can slam.

The rules!

  • Poets should arrive at 6:45 pm to register.
  • Poets should bring two original poems that can be performed in 3 minutes or less.
  • This program is for all ages with two age levels of competition:
    • Dr. Seuss, age 14 and under
    • The Dickenson, ages 15 and older
  • Poems must be appropriate for all ages.
  • No registration required for audience participation.

Tax Forms at the Library


Everybody’s doing it, Doing what? Paying taxes, of course! – photo ca. 1920 by Underwood & Underwood (Library of Congress)

Benjamin Franklin famously said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Unfortunately this certainty doesn’t extend to the availability of tax forms at the library. While many of you have been coming to the library to get copies of federal and state tax forms, there have been recent changes to the supply of forms that we will get this tax season.

Federal Tax Forms

UPDATE 2/26/15: We have received the Federal 1040 and 1040A forms. These are available at our Reference Desk on the second floor. We expect to get a shipment of the 1040EZ forms soon.

Unfortunately we will not be receiving any additional schedules or the instruction booklets. This is because the “IRS appropriations were significantly cut in the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill recently passed by Congress.” (IRS TFOP Alert Message 6, 1/9/2015).

You can request to have tax forms mailed to you by visiting or by calling 1-800-829-3676. You can also download and print forms from the IRS website by visiting Forms can be printed at the library for $0.15 per page.

State Tax Forms

You can pick up your copy of the Massachusetts state income tax form (resident or non-resident) at our Reference Desk on the second floor. You can also request to have state tax forms mailed to you by calling 1-800-392-6089, or download and print forms from the Department of Revenue website by visiting Forms can be printed at the library for $0.15 per page.

Need additional help?

Tax preparation assistance will be available at the  Natick Community-Senior Center. Call them at 508-647-6540 to schedule an appointment with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. This program offers free, individualized tax preparation for low-to moderate-income taxpayers – especially those 60 and older.

If there is anything we can do to help please let us know! Stop by the Reference Desk on the second floor, call us at 508-647-6521, or email . Thanks so much for your understanding as we cope with these changes.

Knitting Community with the MIL Stitchers

The MIL Stitchers, our service oriented knitting and crocheting group, has been hard at work in January! The new year of giving has begun with newborn and preemie hats for babies at the Newton Wellesley Hospital. So far the MIL Stitchers have made 47 hats for donation – and they’re still going!

The group will also be delivering 51 scarves to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center to be given to survivors.  The BARRC offers free, confidential services to survivors, their friends and families, and professionals ages 12 and older.  For more information go to

At the most recent group meeting, the MIL Stitchers learned the Magic Loop knitting technique. Magic Loop is a great alternative to using double pointed needles for doing small diameter circular knitting. It’s ideal for knitting socks. Want to learn more? You’re welcome to come to our next meeting on Saturday, March 7 at 11am in the Morse Room, on the first floor of the library! Join our great group of civic-minded stitchers as we make our community a better place one knit and purl at a time.


Thanks for making #timetoread with us!

The Morse Institute Library held our very first reading party on January 24 to celebrate National Readathon Day! From 12-4pm we invited readers out to the Morse Room to spend time reading with us, share a slice of cake, and enter for a chance to win a 2014 National Book Award winning book. We had a great time, and caught a lot of people spending time reading with us that afternoon!

Check out the gallery of pictures from the event:

Thanks so much to all those that braved the snow to make #timetoread with us. We’re looking forward to the second annual National Readathon Day!

Calling all Bakers!

Help the Friends by baking for our upcoming book and bake sale!Enjoy baking? The Friends book and music sale needs you! Consider making some goodies for the bake sale and be part of our mission to support the Morse Institute Library.

What do you want to make? We need cookies, muffins, cakes, brownies, pies, breads, jams, and jellies – just bring your items to Study Room 1A at the Morse Institute Library on Friday, January 23 between 10 am – 5 pm.

There are plenty of other ways to help out too! Here are some other ways to join in:

  • Contribute muscle power on Thursday, Jan. 22, from 3 – 7 p.m. to help move boxes into the sale room and set up the sale.
  • Sign on as a helper during the sale itself: sign up for however long you can help on Saturday, Jan. 24, 9:30 am – 4 pm, or Sunday, Jan. 25 noon – 3 pm
  •  Help us pack up the sale on Sunday, Jan. 25, from 3 – 5 pm.

Please join us! For more info or to sign up, just email Maria at and thank you!

Farewell to the Autism Alliance of Metrowest

IMG_7418Today Autism Alliance of MetroWest said goodbye and thank you to the Morse Institute Library for providing office space for the past 16 years. The Alliance’s new address will be 1881 Worcester Road [map].

Founded in 1993 and moving into the library in 1998, the Autism Alliance endeavors to provide families in the MetroWest area with information, education and support. They plan and implement programs and events that will aid these families while increasing public awareness regarding autism.


We wish the Alliance best of luck in their new location!

Make #TimeToRead with the Morse Institute!

make time to read national readathon day jan 24 12-4pIntroducing National Readathon Day! This nationwide reading party will take place Saturday, January 24 from 12-4pm. We invite you to join the reading party at the Morse Institute Library by making #timetoread with us that afternoon. We’ll have cake, prizes, and books galore!

Read with us and win!

Join the party online—just take a picture of you or someone else reading between 12-4pm on Saturday, January 24 and post it to with the hashtag #timetoread. You’ll be entered to win one of nine copies of the 2014 National Book Award winning books!

Don’t want to post a pic? No problem – just send an email with your name and phone number to Dave Bartos at to enter the drawing.

Need a book to read?

You don’t have to read a particular book to take part in the Readathon, but if you’re looking for suggestions we’ll be glad to help out! Former National Book Award titles will be on display, and we’ve got lots of great lists to help you find your next favorite book. The Friends of the Library book sale will also be taking place on the lower level, so take some time to discover a new addition to your home bookshelf!

Help others make #timetoread!

Donate to the National Book Foundation and help their mission to support literacy in America. Check out their donation page at


Artists and Exhibits January-February 2015

Whale Tail by Buz Bragdon

Gateway Camera Club: Photography

Lebowitz Meeting Hall, lower level

The Gateway Camera Club is a local, friendly club that strives to share ideas, knowledge, and insight; to help improve the skills and abilities of its members; and to have some fun while enjoying photography. With about 25 members’ work on display, a wide range of subjects, styles and interpretations are offered. Learn more about the Club at

Atso Tohkomi Blackfoot: Blood

John Kirk Smith: Pastels

Right Gallery, first floor

John Kirk Smith is a local, self-taught artist who works in pastels from photographic material. Nearly all of his subjects are selected from the portfolios of Edward Sherrif Curtis, Frank Rinehart, and Gertrude Kasebier.

Eagles, Connecticut River

Richard Philben: Photography

Virtual Gallery, first floor

Rich Philben is showing images of his favorite animals, including a Colorado coyote, Florida tortise, Plymouth seals, and a Canadian moose.

from Echoes in Sand by Croteau and de Gruttola

Raffael de Gruttola: Haiga or Haiku Painting

Left Gallery, first floor

Internationally recognized haiku poet Raffael de Gruttola displas haiga, an art form combining haiku with a visual image. Two sets of de Gruttola’s haiga are on display: The Rattle of Windchimes with Peggy McClure, local artist, and Shokan Tadshi Kondo, Japanese calligrapher, and Echoes in Sand with N.H. born artist Wilfred Croteau.

2014 Favorite Reads from Library Staff

take-532097_640Here is a list of just a few of the favorite books our staff has read this year. As you can imagine, working at our Library is a feast of temptation with the many good reads we have! What was your favorite read this year?

Dave Bartos, Reference Department
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth; odds of impact… 100%. Humanity has 6 months until the end of life as we know it, and Detective Henry Palace of the Concord Police Department only wants one more thing out of life: to solve a murder investigation. An excellent murder mystery that also questions the real reasons for why we do what we do.

Dawn Schontag, Reference Department
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Sûreté lands a strange murder case with no obvious motive. A real balance of good versus evil.

Janet Richards, Materials Management & Circulation Departments
Travels With Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life by Daniel Klein. A delightful and uplifting read. Klein uncovers the simple pleasures that are available late in life, as well as the refined pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate.

Karen Perkins, Circulation Department
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Phillipe-Sendker is a unique love story set in Burma during the 1950’s and the present, the first of the trilogy. The Honey Thief by Elizabeth Graver “is a simple story of an 11 year old girl who lost her father when she was 6, becomes a kleptomaniac living in NYC until she moves with her mother to up state NY where beehives give meaning to her life. Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh is another favorite. Hesketh presents with prose, the intricate structure of the beehive along side the life of two octogenarians.

Karol Bartlett, Reference Department
A Piece of My Heart: the Stories of Twenty-Six American Women Who Served in Vietnam as told to Keith Walker, with a Forward by Martha Raye. These stories profile women who experienced the Vietnam war as nurses, volunteers, Red Cross volunteers, and USO workers. Each woman talks about why she went to Vietnam, what her work was and how the war around her work impacted her. Each woman also talks about coming how and learning to live with the psychic wounds that many returned with.

Linda Stetson, Library Director
Woodsburner: A Novel by John Pipkin. Woodsburner springs from a little-known event in the life of one of America’s most iconic figures, Henry David Thoreau. On April 30, 1844, a year before he built his cabin on Walden Pond, Thoreau accidentally started a forest fire that destroyed three hundred acres of the Concord woods—an event that altered the landscape of American thought in a single day.

Kristen Arnold, Children’s Library
The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar is a deeply moving and compassionate and one I enjoyed for its complexity of characters. Big Lies by Liane Moriarty writes a great story which makes you question, “is it a murder, a tragic accident, or just parents behaving badly?

Carolyn Hottle, Circulation Department
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The writing is beautiful and there are two parallel stories that come together in way I couldn’t have imagined.

Robin Fosdick, Teen Librarian and Reference Department
Here are two teen reads I just finished and really enjoyed, both written by Justina Ireland: Vengeance Bound is the story of a teen girl cursed by the Furies to help them deliver justice and murder the guilty; and Promise of Shadows is the story of Zephyr, a half-Harpy sentenced to Tartarus for killing a god with forbidden power. I also read an adult science fiction novels that I really enjoyed, VN: The First Machine Dynasty by Madeline Ashby.

Dell Redington, Circulation Department
The Invention of Wings by Sue Kidd Monk. A very wonderful story about 2 extremely progressive sisters growing up with slaves in the South in the early 1800’s. They were really the first women to speak out and write about equality for women, before, way before Seneca Falls.

Demetri Kyriakis, Reference Department
The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway. This is a fascinating read of early U.S. military history, at a time when the U.S. military was still in it’s infancy and was not well funded.  I find it interesting that this military disaster led the President and Congress at the time, to go from under funding the military to making sure it was well funded. Within three years of this battle, the United States military went back and took this area and decisively won in the next go-round.

Linda Champion, Children’s Library
My pick for the list is a non-fiction title that I learned about from reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark. The book is Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling through the Dark by Barbara Hurd. Caving becomes a vehicle for personal growth and discovery, in addition to a sometimes physically challenging adventure! I could almost feel the author’s panic when she entered an extremely tight passage for the first time.