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Staff Development Day 2017

The library is closed Friday, October 27 for Staff Development DayThe Morse Institute Library will be closed for a staff development day on Friday, October 27. We will be discussing our core values and participating in activities to help bring these values to our work for the community!

The library will reopen on Saturday, October 28 at 10:00am. Thank you for your patience as we strive to serve Natick better!

Finding Stories at the Library

Historical research at the Morse InstituteRecently we welcomed budding historians Brooke, 5, and Ella, 8, to the Morse Institute with their mother, Hillary, in pursuit of information about the history of their 100-year-old Natick home. The pair became curious about their house and the people who lived there in the past after visiting an old schoolhouse with their grandfather. “We saw old toys and saw pictures of what they wore a really long time ago. I wanted to learn more about the kids who used to live in my house, especially the first people,” said Ella. With help from the reference librarians, they were able to search through water records, resident lists, census records, and a very helpful map from 1908. They also utilized the Libraries subscription to to look through digitized Natick records and put names, ages, even occupations to the people who once lived on their street. Ella’s advice to other kids who are interested in starting a project like this one is “go to the library”. Of course, we love to see our collection help piece together the history of a place and to fuel the appetites of even our youngest researchers.

We Want to Hear From You!

Parent and child with ipad

Have something that you want to tell us? A compliment, complaint, or question? Our comment box at the library’s entrance is a great place to tell us what’s on your mind. Recently, we heard: “I’m interested in programming for parents on exploring the internet with children and advice for safety and age-appropriate content. Thanks!”

Libraries staff are real information-experts, and we certainly have a role in helping parents navigate the complicated world of technology for children. The library recently purchased over 20 Launchpads – themed tablets preloaded with age-appropriate apps on a variety of subjects. Look for additional technology help for parents, caregivers and kids in the upcoming academic year!

Food For Fines

Vi Tutuny Food Pantry

Our Food for Fines program is back! Every August, the Morse Institute Library supports the Vi Tutuny Food Pantry at the Natick Service Council by accepting non-perishable food items in lieu of payment for overdue fines. The summer months can be tough for those facing food insecurity. With schools out, kids who rely on subsidized meals at school often go without, and donations to food pantries typically go down in the summer months as well. Our long-term partnership with the Natick Service Council has created an easy way for us to help build a better Natick by providing healthy food to those in need in our community! Food for Fines will run from August 1-August 31, and restrictions do apply.

Artists & Exhibits: August 2017

Watercolor ConnectionsWatercolor Connections

Lebowitz Meeting Hall, lower level

The artists of Watercolor Connections present a wide variety of styles and approaches to their painting. Firmly bonded by friendship, mutual respect, and a sincere desire to encourage and support each other, the group is becoming an artistic force in the Metrowest area.

Marianne Orlando on display at the Morse InstituteMarianne Orlando

Right Gallery, first floor

Sarcasm, Satire & Sentiment: Quotes and Drawings of Famous People. Drawings from contemporary culture with inspirational quotes ranging from W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan to Babe Ruth.

Duck taking flight photo by Bruce HauckBruce Hauck: Photography

Left Gallery, first floor

Specializing in nature, Bruce photographs birds from his home in Natick, across New England, on vacation, and on safari in Africa.

Nicci Meadow

Virtual Gallery, first floor

Nature and summer life.

Vines by the Sound & Spirit Choir. Now on display at the Morse Institute LibrarySound & Spirit Choir: Vines, Upcycled Materials

Atrium Stairwell

The Sound & Spirit Choir of Natick created the installation “Vines” using upcycled materials to represent their collective inter-generational commitment to preserving our beautiful planet.

The Baldwin Photos and 1930s NatickGood Times and Bad: The Baldwin Photos & 1930s Natick

Historical Exhibit Case, first floor

An exhibit by the Natick Historical Society.

Extended Library Hours!

Library open until 6pm on Friday afternoons this summer!We’ve been noticing that the library is always busy while we’re closing down at 5:00, so starting June 2nd the library will be open until 6:00pm on Friday afternoons. We hope that the additional hour will give you a chance to stock up on books and movies, pick up a museum pass, or get last minute work done at the library! We’re excited to expand our service hours to better meet the needs of our community!

Help Us Build Programs for the Library!

Morse Institute Library

We love nothing more than seeing a roomful of people come together around book discussions, concerts, and all of the many programs we offer here at the Morse Institute Library. We’re looking to expand our programming and offer more topical discussion, maker space ideas, and other events specifically for adults here in the library. What free programs would you like to see here in the library?

Let us know what kind of programs would you like to see. What’s the best time for offering programs? What topics do you want to see addressed? We’re excited to hear your responses as we begin to build more programs into our schedule. Contact Anna Litten at . Thanks!

Fake News, Internet Rumor, and The Onion

Fake News info you can useWe’ve all been hearing a lot about “fake news” these days, but misinformation on the Internet is nothing new. Back in the early 2000s we worried about bogus email chains and Internet urban rumors. These days, we have new names for untrue content. No matter what you call it, all content deserves a critical eye. Before you start believing The Onion, take a minute to look at source with a few easy steps:

Read it: Recent studies by computer scientists at Columbia University and the French National Institute found that 60% of the time readers comment or share Facebook stories without opening the link to the full story. The best way to combat fake news? Read the story itself! Find out if something in the story doesn’t quite make sense. Satire and jokes come across our feeds as often as misinformation. A great example: you know that hilarious text chain between Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman that your friend shared with you? Try to find out where it came from.

Verify it: Spend some time looking to verify any numbers, quotes, or stated facts in stories. So much of our Internet rumors don’t give the full story. Verifying information sources ends up being a great way to learn more about the world. Sources like are great for finding updates on the rapid world of Internet myths.

Date it: Just because something was true in 2013 doesn’t mean it’s true now. We’re used to our social media posts being up-to-the-minute, and we don’t train our eyes to look for date stamps on posts. You’ll rarely find false info with a date, but even training yourself to look more carefully for a date will help you be a more critical consumer of information.

What’s New in Teen MakerLAB

Teen MakerLAB

Teen MakerLAB is a fun group that allows teens to explore technology under the guidance of tech mentors. MakerLAB started at the Morse Institute Library as a pop-up technology petting zoo, giving teens the chance to learn and play with technology tools like Arduino, Little Bits, and Makey Makey. Since the program began in 2015 teen participants have gained significant tech skills and have taken on larger scale projects including a group build of a pinball machine (using Arduino to add sound effects) and a Sweet Potato Derby that challenged teens to use their engineering, physics, and building skills.

New this year in the MakerLAB will be Cubelets, robot blocks that connect to create new robotic devices and can be coded. We have been so lucky to partner with MathWorks in bringing MakerLAB programs to Natick teens. Two generous grants from MathWorks have allowed us to purchase great tech tools and toys, and MathWorks volunteers have been serving as tech mentors.

Want to join the fun? Teen MakerLAB meets Tuesday nights from 7:00-8:00 in the Innovation Studio. The MakerLAB is open to teens ages 11-18 and registration is required. Call or email Teen Librarian Robin at 508-647-6400 x1546 or .

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Blind Date with a Book

Blind Date with a Book 2017Find love in unexpected pages by going on a blind date…with a book! During the month of February, choose your “date” from the display of specially wrapped books, and check it out at the circulation desk. Hopefully it’s love at first sight! If not, simply return it, we promise the book’s feeling won’t be hurt.

Inside each book is a “Rate Your Date” card. Let us know if you enjoyed your date, or if it was not the right literary match for you. Each card you turn in will earn you a treat from your blind date, with a chance to win a grand prize at the end of the month!

For this and more stories from the library delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly email newsletter! We’ll be sharing news from the library, help you plan out your weekly schedule with our calendar of great events for the whole family, and give you plenty of reading suggestions! Enter your email below and start enjoying Morse Messages – thanks!