Adult Summer Scratch Ticket Challenge

Begins July 03 and runs through August 18.

How does it work?

It’s simple: check out any title from a Brookline library and receive an instant-win scratch ticket. There is no need to sign up: if you win a prize, you win instantly! If you don’t win a prize, fill out your information on the back of the ticket and you will be automatically entered into our grand prize drawing.

Who can participate?

Any patron over the age of 18 is eligible.

Where do I get a ticket?

Tickets will be available at the front Circulation Desk at all branches. If you are using a self-checkout, be sure to print your receipt and show it to a circulation staff member to claim your ticket.

What can I win?

The small prize is a little sweet treat. The larger prizes are $30 Amazon gift cards. And the grand prize is a $100 gift card to OpenTable.

Are there any limits to the challenge?

In order to give everyone a fair chance, the following rules apply:

  • You must be 18 or up to play. If you are still in school, check out our Teen or Children’s Summer Reading Challenges available!
  • You must check out an item to get a ticket, so be sure to keep your receipt or check out with one of the Circulation staff members to get a ticket.
  • You can only get one scratch ticket per day. If you want more chances, visit the library as often as you can!
  • Any item counts towards a ticket (books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, etc.)
  • If you win one of the Amazon gift cards, you will not be eligible to win a second one. You will however be eligible for our grand prize raffle
  • Turn in your losing scratch ticket to be entered in our grand prize raffle – one chance per ticket. Anyone who has won a small or medium prize will also get one chance per ticket in the grand raffle.
  • All locations will participate but any gift card winner must pick up their prize at the Main library branch in Brookline Village.


13 Reasons Why Discussion Forum

Monday, June 5th, at 7pm in the Teen Room, join Brookline Public School counselors, Brookline High School Peer Leaders, and our Teen Librarian for a discussion and Q&A session for teens, parents, educators, and community members.

We’ll talk about:

  • The book
  • The TV series
  • Double standards for guys and girls
  • Bullying
  • Assault
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Read and Watch-alike Titles

Drag Makeup Workshop

Sunday June 4, 2:30pm in the Teen Room, join us as Sham Payne, local drag queen, teaches us about the art of drag makeup. One lucky volunteer will have their makeup applied!

Come ready to learn tips and techniques and to ask questions about the drag community and culture.

Limited to teens in 7th-12th grades.

Teen Summer Scratch Ticket Challenge

You could win a giant gummy bear just for checking titles out of the library! Make the most out of summer reading by participating in our teen Summer Reading Scratch Ticket Challenge.

Starts June 26 and runs through August 25th.

How does it work?

If you’re in 7th to 12th grade, every day when you check out any title from a Brookline library, you’ll get an instant-win scratch ticket.  There is no need to sign up: if you win a prize, you win instantly!  If you don’t win, fill out your information on the back of the ticket and you will be automatically entered in our grand prize drawing.

What kinds of prizes can I win?

You may win small prizes such as candy and J.P. Licks coupons, or larger prizes including $25 gift cards to Amazon, GameStop, or X-Box Live.  If you win a gift card, you’ll be able to choose which kind of card you want.  Our grand prize for our raffle will be a $50 gift card.

The prize board will be updated as items are won — check back to see what is won over the summer, and what you still may have a chance to win!

Check out the prizes below you might win just for checking out different items from our collection!

Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick

Star Wars

J. P. Licks Gift Certificates

Desk Lamp

Gift Cards Your choice!




Where do I get a ticket?

You can pick up a ticket from the Teen Room desk at the Main Library or from the Children’s Room Circulation Desk.

What if I’m away this summer?

You can still get tickets and just might win!  To get a scratch ticket even if you’re out of town, please visit this form and submit a short review for a title you’ve read, watched, or played this summer.  Must be at least fifty words to qualify for a ticket.  Once we’ve received your review, we’ll pull the next scratch ticket from the pile and let you know if you’re a winner.  We’ll keep any prizes won safe until each winner can come in and pick them up from your designated home library.

How old do I have to be?

To participate in our teen challenge, you must be entering 7th through 12th grades.

Are there any limits to the challenge?

In order to give everyone a fair chance, the following rules apply:

  • You must check items out to get a ticket, so be sure to keep your receipt or check out in the Children’s Room to pick up your chance to win.
  • You can only get one scratch ticket per day.  If you want more chances, visit the library as often as you can!
  • Any item counts toward a ticket.
  • Turn in your losing scratch ticket to be entered in our grand prize raffle – one chance per ticket.  Anyone who has won a small prize (candy or J. P. Licks) will also get one chance per ticket in the grand prize raffle. If you win a medium prize, we will not use that specific ticket in the drawing for the grand prize, but you can come back the next day for another chance.
  • If you win one of our medium prizes (gift cards, etc.), you will not be eligible to win a second prize at the same level to maximize everyone’s chances.  You will be eligible for our grand prize raffle.
  • You must live or go to school in Brookline and be going in to 7th through 12th grade to participate in our Teen Summer Reading Scratch Ticket Challenge.

Feeling Animated

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t think I ever really “grew out” of my love of animation. I grew up with the Disney classics like Robin Hood and The Fox and the Hound, and I spent many Saturday mornings with a bowl of cereal and a marathon of Scooby Doo and Bugs Bunny cartoons, and that might have ended my interest in animation if it hadn’t been for a trip to visit family in southern Georgia in the summer of 1989. Summers in Georgia are always very hot and humid, especially for a kid used to the far milder Michigan weather. To keep myself entertained, I read a lot and watched a lot of movies. It wouldn’t be hard to trace many of my current tastes to my time spent in Georgia; much of what I enjoy in entertainment was greatly influenced by what was available to me that summer. By chance, my uncle had recently purchased a copy of Akira on VHS, and one afternoon he put it on and we watched it together. It’s no overstatement to say that I was blown away. I had never seen anything like it before. Not only was the animation beautiful, but the story was far more involved and intense than the usual Saturday morning fare.

Continue reading “Feeling Animated”

A Celebration of Poetry

Today’s Post comes to us from Reference Librarian, Gina Wise.

(note: Whenever possible, poem titles link to online copies of the poem; author names link to the catalog to see other works)

When I studied poetry in high school, I was alarmed at the amount of meaning that could be inferred from a short line, stanza, or entire poem. At that point in my life, analyzing poetry was a mostly unpleasant task, whether it was T.S. Eliot’s lengthy, complicated “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock,” or William Carlos Williams’ short, deceptively simple “The Red Wheelbarrow.” It was satisfying to understand the point (once spelled out by the exasperated teacher), but the effort toward understanding was unnatural and daunting.

Classroom discussions fraught with poetry analysis followed me as I began undergraduate studies at Rutgers University. However, during my freshman year something unexpected happened—I began to enjoy reading poetry. I largely thank Professor Robert Kusch, as it was his class that introduced me to Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool.” We discussed the amazing amount of poetic devices packed into this sparse poem, including rhyme, rhythm, repetition, alliteration, assonance, word placement, line length, and breaks. The result is a simple but significant message. I immediately recognized a change as the white space on my 8.5 x 11 photocopy of this short poem filled with notes written all the way to the edge— I was interested. After our class discussion, I understood “We Real Cool” more thoroughly than I thought possible. As amazing as this was, I also loved the poem for its sound. Even today, I can’t read it less than three times in a row. Like a favorite song, I have to press the repeat button. I found that this is another reason to love poetry. It’s not necessary to pick a poem apart to uncover a deeper meaning— instead, you can simply enjoy the way it sounds.

During April, which is National Poetry Month, you’ll notice books of poetry on display in our libraries. We hope that passers-by will be encouraged to flip through these books and discover a poet of interest. Our libraries also house an extensive collection of poetry in the 820s. It’s an easy section to browse, but if you’re unsure where to start, I’ve gathered staff recommendations at the bottom of this post.

In addition to checking out a book, there are several other ways to explore poetry during National Poetry Month.

Did you know that the Town of Brookline has a Poet Laureate program? The program was established by the Brookline Selectmen in 2012. Past Poet Laureates Judith Steinbergh and Jan Schreiber have each held 2-year terms, and their books are in our library collection. Applications for the 2017-19 Brookline Poet Laureate are currently in review. Look to the Brookline Commission for the Arts website for the committee’s next selection, information about the program, and past Poet Laureates. 

The Public Library of Brookline offers the Taste of Poetry program, a monthly poetry discussion established by librarian Rosalie Bookston. I now lead this well-attended group the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Brookline Village Conference Room. We read aloud and discuss a packet of about six poems by a published poet—no preparation required. Taste of Poetry members appreciate the deeper understanding gained from group discussion. We also look forward to the company of fun, spirited poetry enthusiasts.

In addition to this discussion group, the Public Library of Brookline provides Hunneman Hall as the monthly meeting space for the Brookline Poetry Series on the third Sunday of each month. At these events, one or two established poets read, followed by an open mic. The Brookline Poetry Series was founded by poet Dianne Collins Ouellette, whose mission was to create a quality venue for local poets, both published and yet-to-be published; to create a place for a multiplicity of poetic voices; and to create a series particularly dedicated to featuring the work of Brookline poets. The schedule and more details are on our library website.

Finally,,,, and are all excellent resources. I hope this post has inspired you to explore poetry a bit further during April, and perhaps beyond.

Poetry Suggestions from our Staff:

Isaac Ball, Library Page, Brookline Village

Ovid, Metamorphoses—particularly the story of “Philemon and Baucis,” wherein an elderly couple is host to the disguised gods Jupiter and Mercury. In return for their hospitality, they were spared from the next natural disaster and were turned into intertwining trees upon their deaths. In the original Latin the work is full of puns and vivid imagery. 

Krista Barresi, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

One of my favorite poems is “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver.

Julie Barrett, Library Monitor, Coolidge Corner

My favorite poet is Mary Oliver; her poetry about nature always moves me.

Callan Bignoli, Assistant Library Director for Technology, Public Libraries of Brookline

My favorite poem is “Romance Sonambulo” by Federico García Lorca, a surreal ode to things we want and cannot have. Read in the original Spanish, it’s rhythmic and flowing in its sound and form; the English version is sharper and less poetic. There’s something fitting about that as the poem describes a beautiful pain.

Batia Bloomenthal, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

Pavel Friedmann, “The Butterfly. Friedman was born in Prague in 1921 and was first deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and then to Auschwitz where he later perished in 1942. The poem itself was found on a piece of paper after the camp was liberated. I admire the strength the young poet must have had to be able to create art in a place such as that.  

Robin Brenner, Teen Librarian, Brookline Village

Crush, Richard Siken. I adore his imagery, rhythm, use of repetition, and his sense of feelings roiling under the surface of everyday activities and encounters. Here is “You Are Jeff” from this collection.

Dirge Without Music,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. I have always loved the defiance of this poem, and I think of it often when I need a reminder to continue to be strong in the face of hardships.

Dulce et Decorum Est,” Wilfred Owen. I have always appreciated the World War I poets for managing to put into words the horrors and effect of that war on its soldiers.  Wilfren Owen I find particularly powerful, and this is his most famous poem.

Let America Be America Again,” Langston Hughes

Still I Rise, Maya Angelou— which I almost always want to hear HER read because her voice is amazing.

Nunc est Bibendum,” Horace. I have a strong memory of translating this poem in my Latin class in college and really enjoying it — as a poem that starts out as a celebration of the death of Cleopatra, but then twists to remark on what a remarkable and powerful foe she really was.

Bill Davidson, Library Assistant, Coolidge Corner

I am fond of Marianne Moore.  I was introduced to her poetry in high school.  I love her choice of words and how she arranges them on the page. Her list of suggested car names for the Ford Motor Company, for the infamous automobile later named the Edsel, is quite a hoot. Incidentally, the Boston rock band Bullet LaVolta took their name from Marianne Moore’s list.

Catherine Dooley, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

I enjoy T.S. Eliot and Adrienne Rich, particularly her book The Dream of a Common Language. I also like Nikki Giovanni, Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings, W.S. Merwin,

Maya Angelou, Rumi, Sharon Olds and Rabindranath Tagore.

Araceli Hintermeister, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

My favorite poet is Billy Collins. I don’t frequent poetry a lot, but I encountered Billy Collins through some stop motion animation and really fell in love with his narration. Here is an example- “Forgetfulness.”

Sam Hunter, Library Page, Brookline Village

My favorite poet is Richard Siken, particularly the poem “Wishbone,” which can be found in Crush, his first, and so far only, book of poetry. Siken utilizes unusual line breaks and metaphors to challenge the reader’s interpretation of the book’s content.

Jim Kass, Library Page, Brookline Village

I am a fan of Mary Oliver.

Bryan Kreusch, Technical Services Library Assistant, Brookline Village

Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself. This poem moves like a river from one image to the next, into and out of lives and bodies and places. “What I shall assume, you shall assume…” He invites the audience to become a part of his experience, sharing in his unique view of the world.

Bruce Macbain, Circulation Library Assistant, Brookline Village

William Blake, “Jerusalem.”  Coleridge, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

Roy MacKenzie, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

I really like T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” Percy Shelley‘s “Ozymandias” and “Haiku by a Robot” by Nathan Beifuss.

Andy Moore, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

George Bilgere has published six books of poetry and lives and teaches in Ohio.

Judy Nudelman, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

Adrienne Rich, “Cartographies of Silence.”

Kerry O’Donnell, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

Walt Whitman’s book Leaves of Grass. The way he paints pictures with his words is mesmerizing, and often rhythmic in spite of his use of free verse. Favorites include: “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “O Captain! My Captain!” and “I Hear America Singing.”


Caroline Richardson, Children’s Librarian, Brookline Village

Gate A-4” by Naomi Shihab Nye is speaking to me right now. I’m also a fan of “Litany” by Billy Collins. 

Damian Ruff, Business Manager, Public Libraries of Brookline

Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.

Paula Sharaga, Children’s Librarian, Coolidge Corner

Mary Oliver, “The Wild Geese.” Her poems link nature with the heart of being human.  Many were written when she lived in Provincetown, a landscape I know well and love.

Sara Slymon, Library Director, Public Libraries of Brookline


Abbey Stephens, Children’s Library Assistant, Brookline Village

I love Rupi Kaur‘s new(ish) book of poems, Milk and Honey.

Maureen Sullivan, Reference Librarian, Brookline Village

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

Danielle Szende, Children’s Library Assistant, Brookline Village

The Drunken Boat” by Arthur Rimbaud and “The Bronze Horseman” by Alexander Pushkin.

Stephen Toropov, Library Assistant, Putterham

Tracy K. Smith, who won a Pulitzer for her book of sci-fi poems titled Life on Mars. Her mixture of pop culture and personal reflection is fascinating, and she does a lot to blur the lines between “high” and “low” art.

Khara Whitney-Marsh, Library Assistant, Putterham

Here are some of my favorite poets that never fail to uplift and delight, heal and restore me. David Whyte, “Everything Is Waiting For You and “The House of Belonging.Denise Levertov, “The Breathing.Antonio Machado, “Last Night As I Was Sleeping. Mary Oliver, “The Swan.” Mary Oliver’s poetry is particularly dear to me. Even if I’m indoors, when I sit down with one of her collections, I call it worshiping in the Church of Mary Oliver. Because I can see and feel and smell and love whatever part of Nature she is celebrating with her magic words.   




Beauty and the Beast Tea Party

Last Saturday we had a fantastic event at the library: a Beauty and the Beast tea party!

Over 70 children showed up with their parents to dance, make their own magic roses, and enjoy delicious tea and snacks with Belle, Snow White, Anna, and Princess Jasmine.

Huge thanks to the Friends of the Brookline Library and Causeplay Boston for making this event such a success!


Beauty & the Beast by brkdesign

How a Children’s Book Sparked a New Generation of Punk Rock

Today’s blog post comes to us courtesy of Q. Morris Pearson, in the Reference Department.

It was a chilly Sunday evening in late December as I descended the narrow, creaking stairs  down to the Middle East Nightclub’s basement venue. When I arrived on the floor and peered into the dimly lit room, a mass of people had already gathered in anticipation of the headlining band. In one corner was a tiny merchandise table filled with shirts that said, “When in Doubt, Go to the Library,” and tote bags with “Azkabanned Books” scrawled across them. Band shirts, pins, and albums filled a second table and had a line of eager people waiting to make their purchases.

I was at a punk rock show, but the audience didn’t wear plaid pants or ripped mesh shirts. They weren’t sporting mohawks or spiked cuffs and collars. Instead, they were dressed in wizard robes and carried wands. Their shirts and vests bore the crests of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff.  

I was attending a wizard rock show. The headlining band was Harry and the Potters, and they were playing with Draco and the Malfoys, and the Whomping Willows.

What started as a last minute plan between two brothers exploded into popularity among Harry Potter fans across the country. When Paul and Joe DeGeorge scheduled  a lineup at a venue in 2002 (which was a back yard shed)  and every band failed to show, the brothers formed Harry and the Potters over the next hour to keep the audience entertained.  During that hour, seven songs that centered on the Harry Potter universe were written.  Over the next several years they produced a total of three albums and gave birth to a new genre. Wizard rock now includes numerous bands such as Tonks and the Aurors, the Hermione Crookshanks Experience, the Ministry of Magic, the Remus Lupins, and Band in a Horcrux.

As Harry and the Potters began setting up, I pushed my way through the capes, wigs, and school uniforms so that I could get a better view of the band. Soon afterwards, they kicked off with fan favorite songs like “I Am a Wizard,” “My Teacher is a Werewolf,” “Save Ginny Weasley,” and “These Days are Dark.”

It wasn’t until halfway through the set list that the band ignited the real magic of the night. As one Harry Potter gingerly strummed a few notes on his guitar, the other Harry Potter raised his wand in solidarity and spoke to the audience with a fervent passion that lit up the dim venue like a lumos spell. He delivered a speech about the injustice in the world, and the parallels that run between the Harry Potter universe and real life. Here is where the Daily Prophet and fake news are one and the same, and where Rita Skeeter writes all the clickbait articles she possibly can, regardless of how true the reports are. Here is where Death Eaters and Voldemort are not evil wizards with magical powers, but are the corruption that lurks within higher states of power. Dumbledore’s Army has taken to the streets with signs expressing their outrage and stating their rights.

This is where we find the beating heart of Punk Rock.

“When we see injustice in the world,” Harry and the Potters shouted, “we say—”

The audience responded with a “WANDS UP!”

“When we see sexism in the world, we say—”


“When we see racism in the world, we say—”


Together, the band and the audience were Dumbledore’s Army. We were there to seek justice and to return the balance that was lost to us. When the Ministry of Magic fails to acknowledge the crises that surround us from all sides, we will be there with our wands raised to point them to the truths they refuse to recognize. When the Death Eaters arrive and seek to strip people of their rights, we will be there with our wands raised to target their hateful words with a patronus of love and equality.  And when Fawkes sings a melody to mourn the passing of what once was or what could have been, we will be there with our wands raised in grief and remembrance.

So when you see something wrong in the world, you say—