Celebrating Black History Month

Bentley Library is proud to celebrate Black History Month!  This month, we are highlighting books, audiobooks, and films that honor Black Voices and Black Stories. Whether ebooks or print books, streaming films or DVDs, or digital audiobooks or CDs we have the resources to help inspire and educate you.

Visit our online Black History Month book and film display to browse, borrow, or place a hold on items. Simply click on a cover and you will be brought right to the material. Place a hold on physical items for pick up in the library or enjoy our digital content from the comfort of your home!

Online Display: Best Books of 2020

We’re celebrating the best of 2020 – best books, that is! This year’s display features more than 190 titles that appeared on 17 year-end best books lists.* Visit the Best Books of 2020 display website to browse by category (fiction or nonfiction) and format (print or electronic). From the display website you can view a book’s current availability and/or place holds.

Curious to know about the “best of the best”? There were 20 books that appeared on five or more lists:

  1. A Burning by Megha Majumdar
  2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  3. City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
  4. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  5. Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X  by Les Payne & Tamara Payne
  6. Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by Barbara Demick
  7. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
  8. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
  9. Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
  10. Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab
  11. Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
  12. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  13. Memorial Drive by Natasha D. Trethewey
  14. Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  15. Missionaries by Phil Klay
  16. Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  17. The Searcher by Tana French
  18. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
  19. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  20. Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Borrowing Books & Audiobooks from the Library

Those of you on-campus and enrolled in the University’s COVID screening program are welcome to visit the library to borrow books from the print book and CD audiobook lists. Either stop by to browse, or place a hold request in the catalog and we’ll notify you when the items are ready to be picked up. For a contactless experience you can retrieve your items from the “open holds cart” in the lobby and check them out to yourself using the self-check.

Accessing E-Books & Digital Audiobooks Online

Everyone in the Bentley community is able to access the titles on the e-book and digital audiobook lists from anywhere in the world with a current Bentley email address and password.

We hope you find something good to read from 2020 while we all await brighter days in 2021! Please contact us if you have any questions or need help using the e-book and digital audiobook collections.

*sources consulted: AudioFile, Bloomberg, Booklist, The Christian Science Monitor (fiction, nonfiction), The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Publishers Weekly, strategy+business, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Frighteningly Good Reads

The Bentley Library staff created an online display that is full of chills and thrills. Including both downloadable audiobooks & ebooks, this selection helps you celebrate all things spooky.

In addition to the above collection, plenty of spooky content is available through our streaming film collections, Kanopy and Swank.  If you are interested in learning about horror as a medium, why not start with the master and stream a Talk from Hitchcock himself available through Films on Demand.

Other horror tales and ghost stories are available on our shelves, including the classics, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula and newer authors, Stephen King, Octavia Butler, or Joe Hill. Don’t have time to commit to a whole novel? Why not check out a collection of short stories such as American Fantastic Tales or Flight or Fright!

Do you have a favorite pick you would like to recommend to fellow Bentley Horror Fans? Just drop us a line through Instagram or Twitter.

Happy Haunting.

Familiar Tales

June is Audiobook Month. It is a time to celebrate the spoken tale. Give your weary screen focused eyes a break and sit back and relax while someone reads to you for a change.

We have put together a collection of familiar and/or classic stories for you to enjoy. Included is some “comfort food” such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Plus some with a new twist on an old classic. For example, And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness evokes the images of Moby Dick but from the whales’ point of view. In addition, Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld and Longbourn by Jo Baker told from the staffs’ perspective, both extend enjoyment of the original tale. 

Need more selections? Check out the 2020 Audie Award Winners available in the collection. The Audies – the Oscars of the audiobook industry – are awarded annually by the Audio Publishers Association.

So much content so little time. In addition to listening in the car, here are some suggested activities that pair nicely with an audiobook.

  • Take a walk (Watching out for traffic of course!)
  • Sitting in the sun (Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen, safety first!)
  • Folding laundry or other important household tasks.
  • Gardening (Not recommended when using power tools!)
  • Tuning out other members of the household and finding a happy place. (Oh, did I think that aloud?)

Where do you enjoy the audio versions? Is there a particular author, narrator, title that you really enjoy? Please share by posting a comment below or shooting us a message through social media. We love to hear from you.

New to OverDrive? Check out our Getting Started page or contact a librarian for help.

Happy Listening.

On Display: Democracy 101: American Elections and How They Work

Welcome to primary season!  

While Election Day isn’t until November 3rd, the election process starts much earlier. On February 3rd, the first of the party primary elections and caucuses kicked off in Iowa. Other states will be holding their party primaries throughout the spring. Massachusetts primary voters will be heading to the polls on Super Tuesday – March 3rd.  

But wait – what is a primary? What is a caucus? What is Super Tuesday? How does this whole thing work? 

Head to the Bentley Library to see our latest display: “Democracy 101: American Elections and How They Work”. This display pulls together materials that can help answer those questions and more with a focus on presidential elections. Topics covered in the book selections include primaries and caucuses, campaign finance, public opinion polling, voter behavior, political parties, historical election results, and everything else you might want to know about the American electoral process. You’ll also be able to find some feature films and documentaries about both real and fictional U.S. elections! 

Research. Register. Vote.

We know that for many of our Bentley students this may be your first time voting in a presidential election. Here are some tips: 

  • Research. Research the candidates and different positions to see which candidate you might want to vote for. And don’t forget, this election isn’t just about electing a president – there are elections for Congress, state elections, and your local elections. There may also be different ballot measures that you may be asked to vote on.  
  • Register. Each state has its own rules regarding registration deadlines and how you can register. You’ll want to make sure that you’re all set to vote prior to election day. Check your state’s Secretary of State website or Election Office website for information. The Office of the Registrar here at Bentley offers Voter Registration Information as well.  
  • Vote. Know before election day where your polling place is and when you can vote. Some states offer early voting. For those of you who may not be able to get to your polling place on Election Day, you may need to request an Absentee or Mail-In Ballot. Check your state’s voter information website to find out the process. 

Still want to know more? 

Check out our American Political Elections Research Guide with some Election 2020 specific resources that will get updated throughout the year as we get closer to Election Day. 

On Display: Best Books of 2019

If you’ve made a resolution to read more in 2020, our 11th annual Best Books display is a great place to start! We’ve consulted 19 book review sources* to create a display of the top books and audiobooks published last year. With more than 100 fiction and nonfiction titles to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy.

Visit the lobby to see the display or browse online via our catalog; simply click the “Request It” button to place an item on hold. Many of these books are also available to download from the library’s OverDrive digital ebook and audiobook collection.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and book-filled new year!

On display January 3 – February 16, 2020

*sources consulted: AudioFile, Bloomberg, Booklist, The Christian Science Monitor (fiction, nonfiction), CHOICE, The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, The Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, strategy+business, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

On Display - The Immigrant Experience: In Their Own Words

With roughly 200 countries across our globe, it’s no wonder that immigration plays a huge role in many people’s lives. Some choose to move to a different country for a change of pace or a new set of opportunities. For others, their moves are the result of global conflict, persecution, and other serious personal concerns. This display presents many different narratives around immigration that can help readers and viewers to see the various perspectives that encompass the “immigrant experience.” 

This display focuses primarily on writers and filmmakers who have immigrated to another country in their lifetime, or whose families include recent immigrants. As a result their narratives often address these personal experiences, whether in fictional or non-fictional form. Many countries and genres are represented, allowing patrons to choose their own areas of interest or explore something new. 

Titles will be available to browse in the library lobby from Monday, November 4th – Sunday, January 5th. You may also access the full list of titles in the library’s online catalog. Additional eBooks and audiobooks are available to browse and download via Overdrive

On Display: Climate Change - Issues and Solutions

“Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.” Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 ºC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2018)

Summer heatwaves and polar vortexes. Sea ice rapidly diminishing and/or melting completely. Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones becoming more powerful. Wildfires burning longer and hotter. “100-year floods” occurring within significantly smaller timeframes. All are issues of climate change exacerbated by a rapidly warming planet.

Companies developing climate action plans to manage research and development, innovation, supply chain practices, and more. Governments passing climate-friendly legislation. Individuals making lifestyle changes, raising public awareness, and voting for candidates who work toward changes. All are efforts toward finding solutions.

We’ve put together a group of books that discuss climate change and its impact on world issues such as migration, economies, public health, human rights, ecosystems, building design, and more. Some examine how corporate practices can contribute positively to managing emissions. Others examine how different sectors – nonprofits, businesses, private citizens – can work separately or together towards solutions.

This display is timely in more ways than one — its beginning runs concurrently with Climate Week, September 23-27, and a slate of activities sponsored by the Bentley Office of Sustainability. Though Climate Week ends this Friday, the book display will be available for perusal in the Library lobby until November 3. You may also browse a list of all books and DVDs on the physical display, and a list of electronic OverDrive titles.

Now we all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the future living conditions for humankind, or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.” (Greta Thunberg, World Economic Forum, 2019)