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)

On Display: New & Notable Nonfiction

Need an idea for a research paper? Just want the latest on a topic? Here is the display for you.

These books were chosen by our reference librarians to showcase titles that may have escaped your notice when they were originally added to the shelves. You will recognize some of these titles and authors from the bestseller lists, while others were chosen based on recommendations from professional and scholarly review sources or are on topics currently in the news.

Stop by the lobby at any point between August 5th to September 22nd and browse the display, or view the list online here. We will continue to add new books that catch our eye as they arrive, so check back often!

On Display: Live Your Best Life - Be the Best YOU Can Be!

Live your best life.  Sounds easy. Sounds complicated. It seems trendy at the moment to “live in the moment”, to live with authenticity, or to be present in our day-to-day lives. But why? Shouldn’t we always live like that? If we are always living for the next big thing; the promotion, the vacation, the relationship – we never truly enjoy the everyday small occurrences that can just as easily put a smile on our face or the faces of those we love.

This month’s display is called Live Your Best Life and we have curated a collection of books covering topics to reset your thinking in a positive way. Taking the time to develop new habits and routines, such as daily mediation, yoga, and gratitude can vastly improve our mindset over time. These habits, as well as decluttering items you no longer use or need, have been proven to relieve stress, reframe your thinking and can lead to a more positive outlook on life.

While many of these titles will be available on display in the library lobby, there are additional titles available on Overdrive in both audiobook and eBook format. There are also titles like Simplicity: An Uncomplicated Guide to Being Successful and Achieving Your Full Potential by Richard Gerver available through Books 24×7.

The most important thing to remember is don’t let others determine what your best life is. Find what habits work for you and what routines fit into your lifestyle. What works for one person might not work for someone else. So take some time to focus on Living Your Best Life this month; and start creating healthier habits for the days, months and years ahead.  

On Display: #FindYourPark: National Parks & America's Public Land

“We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.” 
― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

The Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA.

The National Parks have been called “America’s Greatest Idea” and it is easy to see why. In 1916, President Wilson signed The Organic Act creating The National Parks Services whose “purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Today the National Park System covers more than 84 million acres including parks, shorelines, monuments, and historic sites.

This collection of books includes histories of the parks and the people who championed them, memoirs of time spent living in and walking among nature, depictions of conservationists efforts to protect these resources, and awe inspiring photography that captures just a fraction of what makes these landscapes so breathtaking. Check out one of our guide books covering everything from the major parks in the west or even just the rail trails of New England or read a history of the Boston Harbor Islands as you prepare for a local day trip. Whether you are heading to the Cape Cod National Seashore or the Great Smoky Mountains, or you’d rather be thrilled by the amazing feats of the rock climbers of the Yosemite Valley, as summer rolls in be inspired to get outside and explore.

Stop by the library lobby to browse or borrow May 13th – June 23rd.

Audie Award Winners and Finalists Available!

The Audies – the Oscars of the audiobook industry – are awarded annually by the Audio Publishers Association. Many of the 2019 award-winners and finalists are available at the library and the library staff have conveniently pulled together this content for you to checkout and enjoy over Spring Break and beyond.

On the display table in the library lobby, there is a collection of 2019 award-winners and finalists available on compact discs. The CD offerings will be highlighted until Thursday, March 7th, when they will be reintegrated with the Popular Audiobook collection on the main floor.

We’ve also created an online Audie Awards Display of OverDrive downloadable titles for you. As you pack up to go home for the break, remember the OverDrive collection is available for you to enjoy, anywhere, 24×7 on any device. Not familiar with OverDrive? Take a look our OverDrive page.

To view the complete list of the Audie Award winners and finalists, visit the Audio Publishers Association. Comment on this post to share your own recommendations.


Are we missing a title you think we should have in the collection? If so, just fill out the Suggest a Purchase form.