Author Archives: Billy Cryer

Summertime in New England

Summer is a beautiful season in the northeast, and the library staff loves to make the most of the sunny weather and the annual events unique to our region.

Explore the great outdoors:

Matt Sylvain, systems and digital services librarian, is a fan of kayaking the Slocum River or hiking in the White Mountains (such as in the Pemigewasset Wilderness). Kari Mofford, undergraduate & user services librarian, likes to walk or read at Duxbury Beach, and Olivia Piepmeier, arts & humanities librarian, recommends nearby Horseneck Beach. Lorraine Heffernan, business & economics librarian, suggests enjoying time out on the ocean on a whale-watching tour.

Experience local festivals:

Special events abound in the summer. Judy Farrar, archives & special collections librarian, notes that the Barnstable County Fair (July 22-28 in Falmouth) offers a fun Demolition Derby. She, Natalie Ferreira, learning commons, and Karen Tavares, library administration, all suggest the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford (August 1-4). Both Maureen McDevitt, access services, and Joanne Garfield, acquisitions, recommend the inexpensive and hugely popular New Bedford Folk Festival (July 6-7).

Take in some culture:

Waterfire in Providence, RI

Lorraine is a veritable font of information about the local cultural scene. She suggests enjoying some Gilbert & Sullivan at the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth and picnicking at Westport Winery’s Friday night Sunset Music Series. Prefer a movie? Smithfield, Rhode Island, still has a drive-in theater, the Rustic Tri View Drive In, where Hilary Kraus, nursing & health librarian, enjoys the occasional current double-feature (her favorites are retro weekends, like the time they showed Jaws & Jurassic Park). She also recommends you catch a full lighting of Waterfire in downtown Providence.

Don’t forget to eat!

Olivia is a big fan of consuming oysters al fresco, and Lorraine notes that if you want to spend lavishly, you can reserve a table on weekend evenings at Just Right Farm for a local farm-to-table experience. Spending time in nearby Rhode Island? Hilary loves getting a huge scoop of ice cream at Sunshine Creamery in Rumford.

Travel farther afield:

Massachusetts is marvelous in summer, but don’t forget other nearby destinations. Olivia enjoys long weekends in Vermont. Need something to read on your trip? Check out the Book Barn in Connecticut; Hilary goes at least twice a year. Susan Raidy-Klein, collection development & acquisitions librarian, suggests the Lenox, in the Berkshires, where you can spread a blanket on the lawn at Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony, or enjoy a theater performance at Shakespeare & Company.

SciFi Book Club to discuss Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

Woman World, by Aminder Dhaliwal

The Science Fiction Book Club’s second comic of the summer is Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal. Woman World provides a look at the lives of a community of women after men have become extinct. The art and use of the comic medium are relatively simple, which provides room for strong comedic timing and reflection on what it might be like to exist in this world.

While many “graphic novels” get their start as stereotypical, weekly or monthly floppy comic books, some begin on the internet in a format known as “webcomics.” While Woman World did get its start on the internet, its start is unusual as it didn’t begin on a website as much as it did on an app: Instagram. Dhaliwal, an animator by trade, started this daily comic after a show she spent three years developing for Nickelodeon didn’t make it past the pilot. Friends suggested she start a project just for herself and she was inspired by humorous signs at the Women’s March and the nonfiction book, Adam’s Curse: A Future Without Men. She posted panels daily on Instagram and it became a hit. She soon signed a deal for a print book. You can read more about the creation in this interview or listen to this interview.

Published in September 2018, the book garnered much attention in a short amount of time. It was nominated for an Ignatz, (a well-known small press comic award) and an Eisner (the Oscars of comics) for Best Humor Publication in 2019. It also received a starred Library Journal review. Dhaliwal’s work is even in talks to become an animated series.

You can find Woman World here at the Claire T. Carney Library, at your local public library, or through interlibrary loan.

We look forward to chatting with you about Woman World on Tuesday, July 16th at 12pm in Library 314.

SciFi Book Club to discuss Here by Richard McGuire

Here, by Richard McGuire

The Science Fiction Book Club is preparing for a comic-filled summer! First on our list is Here by Richard McGuire. Have you ever heard the phrase “if these walls could talk”? The concept of Here is just that, but a little less anthropomorphic. Here places you, the reader, in one spot throughout time to witness the myriad of things that occurred (and will occur) there. Each set of pages may take you to one time or many with McGuire’s unique approach to the basic mechanics of what makes a comic. Don’t let this scare you away if you’re not a “comics person!” There’s not one way to read this book, as suggested by this Wired article (maybe avoid reading it if you really want to jump into the book with no expectations).

The Here that we’re reading started in 1989 in the renowned comics magazine, RAW, edited by Maus author Art Spiegelman and his wife, New Yorker art editor, Françoise Mouly. In RAW, it was a 6 page comic strip that totally rocked the comics world and made an immediate impression on many like Chris Ware. Ten years later, McGuire signed a contract for an expanded version but struggled to figure out how to do it. Various other projects took his time and attention away, and another ten years later a fellowship at the New York Public Library gave him the chance to work on it. This Publishers Weekly interview will give you more information about the book’s history.

This expanded edition of Here was received with great success. It was one of the New York Times’ Notable Books of 2015 and made it on the 2014 Editors’ Choice: Adult Books list on Booklist. It also received starred reviews in Booklist, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

You can find Here at your local public library or through interlibrary loan. If you’re feeling daring, you can buy the e-book for a completely different experience (select the e-book option to see the various retailers).

We look forward to chatting with you about Here on Thursday, June 13th at 12pm in Library 314.

SciFi Book Club to discuss Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

The Science Fiction Book Club’s last voyage into alternate history this semester will be with Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. This time we’ll be reading about more familiar soil, as this book takes place in the aftermath of the Civil War…except this one involved zombies. In an interview with Bustle for the cover-release of the book, Ireland described it as being “about friendship, survival, racism, and zombies.”

Dread Nation is far from being Ireland’s first book, but it has garnered much attention since its release in April 2018. It made The New York Times bestseller list for Young Adult Hardcover books and received several starred reviews from publications such as Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review.

You can find Dread Nation at your local public library or through interlibrary loan.

We look forward to chatting with you about Dread Nation on Friday, April 19th at 12pm in Library 314.

Sci-Fi Book Club to discuss His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

The Science Fiction Book Club’s second jump into alternate history will be His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. In this version of the Napoleonic Wars, dragons are an integral part of warfare. That part is fantasy, but the book is still very much grounded in politics, history, and combat.

Novik is an award-winning author most recently known for Uprooted and Spinning Silver. His Majesty’s Dragon was her first published book. Two of the sequels, Throne of Jade and Black Powder War were released in the months following His Majesty’s Dragon. The three books together won Novik a Locus Award in 2007 for First Novel. His Majesty’s Dragon was also nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2007.  

You can find His Majesty’s Dragon at your local public library or through interlibrary loan.

We look forward to chatting with you about His Majesty’s Dragon on Thursday, March 21st at 2pm in Library 314.

Clean Out Your Bookcase Day

Clean Out Your Bookcase Day is today—February 20, 2019!

The Claire T. Carney Library would love to have your donations for our Read and Return Collection.   

We maintain a fun/non-required reading collection (fiction … beach reads … or interesting light non-fiction) in the Library Living Room and the 2nd floor lecture room hallway.  These books are donated to us for students — and the rest of the UMassD Community — to borrow on the honor system.  No formal checkouts needed … we just ask that you return a book when you finish it.  We need to replenish our selection and are seeking donations of gently used books fitting the description.  If you have some things you’d like to donate, please bring your books to the Library Circulation Desk. 

Questions?  Please contact Kari Mofford: or 508-999-8865.

What is your favorite literary romance?

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air! Do you have a favorite literary love story? Do you swoon over Pride and Prejudice, or do you prefer To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Is Carry On the book for you, or can you not live without The Princess Bride? Share the title that speaks to your heart on one of our paper hearts in the Library Living Room all this week!

Birdwatching in Winter

Cedar Waxwing

I have been birding — looking at, listening to, and identifying birds — since I was a kid. Though it once seemed like something I only shared with folks my parents’ age, I am seeing more and more kids and young adults outside, binoculars in hand. For a lot of us, birding is a way to interact with nature by watching these little winged creatures interact with it, too. It gets us outside and allows us to take a break from studying or working, or from just sitting on the couch mindlessly scrolling through our phones. For me, it’s a way to respectfully enjoy the outdoors. You have to stay quiet, keep a safe distance, and do your best not to disturb the birds or their habitat. It keeps me in constant awe of the world and the creatures with whom we share it.


Here on the UMassD campus, we are pretty lucky, habitat-wise. We have trees, brush, fields, and even a pond. This allows for all sorts of birds to stop by, nest, or winter over. Yes, winter! Though winter can easily get the best of our happiness with its short days, cold weather, and general lack of color, many birds still call New England home. Walking through campus, I hear black-capped chickadees, Northern cardinals, white-breasted nuthatches, dark-eyed juncos, and downy woodpeckers. Not to mention both American and fish crows, and those pesky Canada geese that block Ring Road whenever they feel like it (okay, I don’t love those guys). I have seen red-tailed hawks swoop by the library windows and turkey vultures soaring high over the campus center while herring gulls warm themselves on the roof. One of my favorite year-round birds, cedar waxwings, congregate in large groups on winter berry trees, the flashes of yellow on their tails brightening even the dullest of days. It’s a nice reminder that we are not alone in the cold, and that life can thrive, even when the temperature dips below 30.

Downy Woodpecker

Though birds are feeding and flying throughout the day, they are most active in the early morning hours. So after your next all nighter, on your way home, take a deep breath and an extra few minutes to look for or listen to some brave little songbirds who are making the best of their winter habitat, just like you are. Then, by all means, go to bed!


If you are interested in learning more about birds and birding, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a fantastic website ( and a free app called Merlin Bird ID, which can help you identify birds based on your location and description of their appearance. The library also has some guides that birders, beginner to advanced, will find useful:

A Birder’s Guide to Eastern Massachusetts, Claire T. Carney Library 5th Floor – General Collection (QL684.M4 B54 1994)

The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. Eastern Region – Claire T. Carney Library 5th Floor – General Collection (QL681 .B77 1994)

Birds of North America – Claire T. Carney Library 5th Floor – General Collection (QL681 .K36 2000)


Written by Rachel Baum, Social Sciences & Data Services Librarian

SciFi Book Club to discuss Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

The Science Fiction Book Club is looking to alternative histories in Spring 2019! The first book of the semester will be Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. This story takes place in an alternative version of World War I where the Austro-Hungarians and Germans are known as “Clankers” (due to their use of steam-powered machines) and the British are “Darwinists” (they have genetically modified animals for ships and weapons). The story centers on the meeting of two unlikely friends from opposite sides and what they encounter on the great ship Leviathan as they both try to conceal their own secrets.

No matter what way you choose to read the book, we really think you’re in for a treat. Those that read it in print or digital will be able to enjoy fantastic illustrations by Keith Thompson. The audiobook is also highly recommended, as it’s read by actor Alan Cumming. Leviathan was included on the Young Adult Library Services Association “Best Books for Young Adults” list in 2010. If you love it, be prepared to devour the sequels: Behemoth and Goliath. You can find Leviathan at your local public library or through interlibrary loan.

We look forward to chatting with you about Leviathan on Wednesday, February 20th at 1pm in Library 314.

Welcome back from the Library!

Welcome back for the spring semester! And, if you are new to the UMassD community this semester, welcome!  We hope you enjoyed the break and are excited to be back on campus.

So, now that you’re here we thought we’d take a moment to send a few library reminders: 

The library is back to regular hours.  We are open from 7:30 am to 1 am Monday through Thursday, 7:30 am to 9 pm on Fridays, 9 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, and noon to 1 am on Sundays. You can find holiday hours and other exceptions on our online calendar. Remember to bring your UMass Pass when visiting the library after 10 pm as you must tap your card to enter the building.

We are here to support your learning and research. If you have research questions, we have subject librarians who are happy to talk with you and provide help! You can email, chat, text, call, or stop by in-person to connect with one of our librarians. Reference librarians staff one of the computers at the 1st floor Learning Commons Desk. They are here to help you, so please feel free to come talk to them! Our Learning Commons student assistants also provide basic technical support with things like COIN and printing at the same desk. Think of the Learning Commons Desk as a one-stop shop for both your technical and research questions.

There are many kinds of study spaces throughout the library for individual and group study. Do you do a lot of group work? If so, you can go online and reserve a group study room! You will also see “table tents” on the 3rd and 5th floors to help you share the group study tables and help us all make the best use of the library’s study spaces.  If you would like to notify a friend about where you’re going to be studying in the library, send them a link with a pointer on a library floor map of where you’ll be studying using the Find Me Here tool. And, near the Learning Commons Desk on the first floor, the South Reading Room provides a space for quiet study.

Do you need a laptop for your work in the library? Borrow one for the day at the first floor Circulation Desk.

If you’re back and already thinking about your senior project, your master’s thesis or the big paper you’ll have to write this semester, you might want to look up one of our expert subject librarians to help you with your research.

You may already know about the library’s collection of online journal databases and books, however, we just updated the Primo user interface for library collection searches, so please contact a librarian with any questions.

If you need an item that the library does not have in our collections (excluding textbooks), you can request it free of charge by using our interlibrary loan service.

As the semester progresses, watch for library programming and events, such as the Game Night we sponsor every Thursday night from 7-10PM in the Library Living Room, with a variety of board games on hand. The library also co-sponsors Stressless Days once a month in the Library Living Room that feature games, therapy dogs, and chair massage, as well as arts and crafts. Looking for a good book to read for fun? We have a Science Fiction Book Club that meets once a month, a collection of “Read and Return” books in the Library Living Room, and plenty of genre fiction or light non-fiction in the library stacks.

Other questions?  Ask us, we are here to help!