Friday, August 7, 2020

Children's Library at 18 Jacobs Road

The Children's Library at 18 Jacobs Road will be open for Takeout Window book check-outs on two Saturday mornings: August 8 and August 15, from 10:00 AM to noon.

Please wear a mask and have one adult come to the Library window. There will be signs to direct you. Lyra will be happy to help find books you are looking for to check out.

In the event of rain we will use the window in the former Principal's office (under the main entryway roof) to greet you and pass out the books.

Any books you check out from the Children's Library may be returned to the outside Returns box at Sawyer Hall in Heath Center.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program flyer. Click on the image to view larger.



Join us virtually via Zoom on:
  • Friday, July 10 at 10:30: Fairy Tale Story Hour with Lyra (Geared toward the younger crowd) 
  • Monday, July 13 at 10:00: Q&A with Rachel Purington (learn about her interesting jobs as a service dog trainer & veterinary assistant) & reading of Jessica & Rescue. (For all ages - teens included!)
  • Friday, July 24 at 10:30: Harry Potter Fun with Vega & Jupiter (For all ages!) 
  • Friday, July 31 at 10:30: Writing Workshop and Magical Woodland Story with Kerrie McNay (Geared toward elementary school ages) 
 Free! All welcome to sign up. Please provide your email address so that we can send you Zoom invitations for each program.

The accompanying crafts for the July 10th & 24th programs can be either picked up at the library window or dropped off to you ahead.


Bookmark

Our Summer Reading Program is sponsored by The Friends of the Heath Library, The Heath Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Massachusetts Library System, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Boston Bruins.


READING LOGS For Ages 12 & under: Pick one up at the Library window to keep track of the books you read this summer. Return the log to receive a gift certificate to a bookstore and to enter in our raffle.
Summer Reading Log

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reminder: Closed on July 4th

The library takeout window will be closed on Saturday July 4th in observance of the Federal holiday.
Garlic scapes curl in a late-June garden.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Library Takeout Window

Books, DVDs, Audio Books, and Magazines are available again at the Library! We will check out the items and pass them through the front window of the library.

[UPDATE 6/18/2020] Window hours beginning June 18: 
Monday 2-7 pm 
Wednesday 2-5 pm 
Thursday 2-6 pm 
Saturday 2-5 pm
Library Takeout Window -
Don't forget to wear your mask!

Please call or email us with your requests. or for help picking something. See our online catalog at  https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/home?loc=219 to search for available items. The Inter-Library-Loan program has not returned to service yet so all items borrowed will come from our collection.

Library Takeout Window and Book Return
Please bring all returns (books, DVDs, audio books, magazines, museum passes) to the outdoor Book Return located near the front of Sawyer Hall at the corner of the access ramp. We will box the returned items and quarantine them for 7 days to be sure any possible contamination from the coronavirus has had adequate time to be deactivated. Then they will be checked in and be available for the next person to enjoy.

Some procedure notes to keep us all safe:
Please knock gently on the window when you arrive.
Only one person at a time at the window. Please no children at the window.
Please maintain the required 6' social distancing at all times.
Masks are required to be worn at the window.
Window hours for first two weeks, June 4-17: 
Monday 4-7 pm 
Tuesday 2-5 pm 
Wednesday 2-5 pm 
Thursday 2-5 pm 
Friday 2-5 pm 
Saturday 2-5 pm

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Western Massachusetts Newspapers

Your library card allows you to read many of the articles published in the Greenfield Recorder, Hampshire Gazette, Springfield Republican, and seven other newspapers. Here's how to do it.

Go to the library website, heathlibrary.org, and click on the Online Resources tab at the top of the page.

Scroll down the Online Resources page and click on the Newsbank link





Type your 16 digit library card number into the box and click the Log In button.
Click on the USA - Massachusetts link to go to the list of available newspapers.

Click on one of the newspaper titles, then choose a date on the next page to see a list of available articles.

If you need your library card number (or you don't have a card and need to get one) please call the library at 337-4934 extension 7 and leave a message or send an email to heath.library@gmail.com. We will get back to you soon and help you access the newspapers!


Friday, March 20, 2020

Spotted Salamanders: Big Night tips

Adult Yellow Spotted Salamander
Despite the fact that our Ted (Watt) Talk on spotted salamanders was cancelled does not mean that the spotted salamanders have cancelled their yearly migration to the vernal pools and ponds of Heath.

The yellow spotted salamander is one of the more elusive inhabitants of Heath. For most of the year it lives underground and only emerges in the spring time to breed and lay eggs in wetlands and vernal pools. When on the move the breeding is most successful in vernal pools because these are areas that dry up in the summer time and that means their predators, fish and newts don’t live there.

When the conditions are just right, most of the salamanders will head for the pools on one night. In Amherst, they call it Big Night and it is very exciting to see. Folks come out to watch but to also keep the critters safe from cars since salamanders don’t know about roads. We encourage you to do this in Heath as well. And please keep track of what you see. Print and use this form (Google Drive PDF.) Take a photo of your completed form and email it to us (heath.library@gmail.com) at the library. We will post the results on the library website.

Big Night occurs each spring when spotted salamanders and wood frogs migrate from their winter woodland habitats to nearby wetlands to breed. During the first warm spring rains, usually in April, after dark and with a stable temperature of 40 degrees or above amphibians are likely to be moving. The ice has to be melted off the water as well. We recommend that you find a road that is less traveled by and look for the salamanders there. If you go into the woods when they are migrating you may hurt or kill them by accidentally stepping on them. In the past they have been sighted on Swamp road, down Hosmer Rd on the Fairground end, Long Hill Rd. and Stone Hill Rd.

Below are the guidelines that the Hitchcock Center in Amherst suggests.
  • If you have reflective clothing, please wear it for safety.
  • Please do not touch the animals unless they are in danger while on the road. If you do have to help one, please do not carry them in your hands, use a wet leaf. The very best thing to do is find the volunteers whose job will be to have buckets ready for collecting critters on the road.
  • Please make sure your flashlights are covered in red cellophane because regular light can impact the migrating creatures.
  • Be very careful if you have to cross the road as the vehicles can have difficulty seeing you. DO NOT TAKE ANY CHANCES, CARS WILL NOT BE ASKED TO SLOW DOWN.
  • Please be aware of where your children are at all times and make sure they and you know the rules to correctly enjoy the salamander and frog migration. For young children, please accompany them at all times for everyone's safety.

More information can be found in this Highlights Magazine article or google animalfactsguide.com and wildlifelandtrust.org .

If you miss the Big Night, don’t forget that the ponds and vernal pools in the spring are teaming with new life. They are a great place to study life cycles and critters. Even when you are social distancing you can enjoy the company of our natural world.

Two more good sources of information on the spotted salamanders suggested by our good friend Ted Watt:

https://www.gazettenet.com/Earth-Matters-24295214 An article Ted wrote for the Gazette about the Henry Street tunnels. But has some good natural history, too.

https://harriscenter.org/programs-and-education/citizen-science/salamander-crossing-brigades/faq#what-is-big-night The Harris center in southern New Hampshire is another of the regional leaders in salamander natural history and monitoring. Their site has everything anyone could want to know.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Library Closed Until Further Notice

Early spring crocuses lean into the light.
Effective Saturday, March 14, physical access to the Library is closed to the public until further notice. Please check out our website - use the Online Resources tab at the top of this page - for electronic access to ebooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, newspapers, music, and databases!

If you have materials out, you may keep them until we reopen, or return them to our outside book drop. The items may not be checked in and removed from your account for several days, but do not worry about late fines as we don't charge them and we will remove fines if the item was loaned by a library that does.

If you find you cannot access Online Resources because of fines on your account, call or email  the Library. We'll get you access.

If you need help using any of the Online Resources, call or email the Library and we'll help you figure it out and get you access.

If you don't know your library card number or password, call or email the Library. We'll get you access.

If you do not have a library card, call or email us and we will set up an account for you if we can verify you are a Heath resident. We'll get you access.

 If you need Internet access, our WiFi extends into the parking lot around Sawyer Hall. You can park and hop on - just stay in your car. The WiFi network is called HeathFreePublicLibrary. There is no password required.

We will be  regularly checking phone messages and email throughout the week, so please reach out to us if you have questions or concerns. I apologize for the inconvenience, but rest assured that this is not an overreaction. Safety of our patrons and staff is our first priority.  Many of you already use the Library electronically, and we are here to help those who are just beginning.

Thank you for your patience as we all strive to make our way safely through these trying times.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Information

Reliable online resources for information on the Coronavirus:


Town of Heath Board of Health https://townofheath.org/?p=n.0&cid=8


Massachusetts Department of Health https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Telephone Numbers:
COVID-19 Information Line

508-799-1019

Massachusetts 2-1-1
Informational and referral hotline 211. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Disaster Distress Helpline "Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories."

Healthcare:

Massachusetts Health Connector- "Extended enrollment period through April 25.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, an extended enrollment period is available through April 25, 2020 for qualified Massachusetts residents who are uninsured." https://www.mahealthconnector.org/

Online Resources

Please explore these online resources while our library is closed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Digital Catalog

Digital Catalog (downloadable eBooks, Audiobooks, Videos, Magazines, as well as sections with things of interest for kids and teens.


Statewide Reference Databases

http://galesites.com/menu/mlin_w_heathfpl

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners licenses many electronic resources for use by all Massachusetts residents from their homes, local libraries, and schools.

Newspapers

http://infoweb.newsbank.com/signin/HeathFreePublicLibrary
Advocate, The (North Adams, MA) 2010 - 2014
Amherst Bulletin (MA) 1994 - Current
Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA) 2003 - Current
Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA) 1994 - Current
North Adams Transcript (MA) 2003 - 2014
Recorder, The (Greenfield, MA) 1997 - Current
Republican, The (Springfield, MA) 1988 - Current
Springfield Advocate (MA) 1996 - 1998
Springfield Examiner (MA) 2011 - 2016
English Valley Advocate (Easthampton, MA) 1996 - Current

For in-library access on the Heath Library desktop computers, clicking on this address should automatically get you in, and then click on the link for “Massachusetts.”  This same address can be used by patrons remotely or using the Heath Library laptops.  You will be prompted to enter your library card number.

C/W MARS Reference Databases

https://www.cwmars.org/search/databases

Enter your library card number and password to access these databases. Available databases are:
  • NoveList Plus  -  NoveList Plus is a comprehensive online readers’ advisory tool. Patrons can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction titles, and also retrieve author read-alikes, book lists, book discussion guides and more.
  • OverDrive  -  Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and streaming video on your phone, mobile device or computer. Read, listen or watch instantly or download for offline usage. Gale databases are funded and supported by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System

Boston Public Library Electronic Resources

Use of these resources may require a Boston Public Library eCard.

An eCard is a Boston Public Library card that you can sign up for online and which provides access to all online resources, including OverDrive and Hoopla.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Heath Free Public Library closed to the public until further notice

Effective at 9:30 AM on Saturday, March 14, 2020, physical access to the Heath Free Public Library and physical materials will be closed to the public until further notice. This decision is in accordance with the Heath Board of Health's directives to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep people safe. Check back here for updates about reopening.

Please explore our Online Resources by clicking on the tab above.

We look forward to seeing you in person as soon as we are safely able to do so. In the meantime, if you have questions or just want to converse, call during our regular library hours or drop us an email. Our contact information and library hours are here: http://www.heathlibrary.org/p/about.html

Don and Lyra

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Spotted Salamanders Program

Learn About Spotted Salamanders with Ted Watt- CANCELLED

Friday, March 27, 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm
18 Jacobs Rd at the former Heath Elementary School building
Adult Spotted Salamander

Update 3/17/2020
Interested in watching the spring salamander migration? There are many vernal pools in Heath that are destinations for the migrating salamanders. We hope to make some suggested locations available soon.
Here are some tips from the Hitchcock Center that they observe each spring for their Big Night.
Big Night occurs each spring when spotted salamanders and wood frogs migrate from their winter woodland habitats to nearby vernal wetlands to breed. During the first warm spring rains, in March or sometimes April, after dark and with a stable temperature of 40 degrees or above amphibians are likely to be moving.
• If you have reflective clothing, please wear it for safety.
• Please do not touch the animals unless they are in danger while on the road. If you do have to help one, please do not carry them in your hands, use a wet leaf. The very best thing to do is find the volunteers whose job will be to have buckets ready for collecting critters on the road.
• Please make sure your flashlights are covered in red cellophane because regular light can impact the migrating creatures. We do have a supply of cellophane so please ask for some.
• Be very careful if you have to cross the road as the vehicles can have difficulty seeing you. DO NOT TAKE ANY CHANCES, CARS WILL NOT BE ASKED TO SLOW DOWN.
• Please be aware of where your children are at all times and make sure they and you know the rules to correctly enjoy the salamander and frog migration. For young children, please accompany them at all times for everyone's safety.
More information can be found in this Highlights Magazine article.

Below is a page from the book A Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools, Lots of good information about the Spotted Salamander. Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading.
 = = = Original post below = = =

Come out on an early spring evening to learn more about these amazing amphibians, living in the forests all around us. Ted, a Naturalist with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, will show images and explain their habitats, life cycle, food, and predators. Come find out more about Salamander Big Night and how you can learn about them for yourselves. We will be presenting a community-wide citizen science project that all can be involved with.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

This indoor program will prepare you to head outside on a rainy evening in the early spring and look for migrating spotted salamanders.

Light desserts will be available.

 The program is sponsored by the Heath School Building Use Committee and the Heath Free Public Library.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Community Read: Braiding Sweetgrass


Twenty-four small town libraries in this area will be presenting book discussions, lectures, and demonstrations related to the book Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It is a book of essays about Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. We will have more details available soon in the library and on the library and town websites. Please see the event Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/librariesinthewoods/

We are hosting a book discussion group on Wednesday, March 25, from 6:00 - 7:00 pm in our library. CANCELLED. If we reschedule information will be posted on this website.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Closed for Washington's Birthday February 17

The library will be closed on Monday, February 17, 2020 in observance of  Washington's Birthday.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Climate Disruption Program

Please join us for a presentation and conversation about climate disruption led by Heath residents Janis Steele, Ph.D. and Brooks McCutchen, Ph.D.

Can vibrant indigenous and local leadership unite us across distance and distance to stem global biological and cultural collapse?

Friday, January 31, 2020, 7:00 pm
(snow date February 7)
Heath Community Hall
1 West Main Street
Heath Town Center

Free admission
All ages welcome
Hot and cold beverages and desserts provided

Question? Call 413-337-8301

This event is sponsored by the Heath Free Public Library and the Heath School Building Use Committee.