August 17th – 23rd

Make a plan to vote! You can request a ballot and register easily in MA. Everyone in MA can get a mail-in/absentee/whatever you want to call it ballot AND if you’re nervous about how the USPS is getting fucked around with, you can drop it off early! You can find more information here:!

Your application for a vote-by-mail ballot for the state primary must be received by 5 p.m. on Aug. 26. Your application for a vote-by-mail ballot for the November general election must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 28.

These are both “received by” deadlines and not “postmarked by” deadlines.

Make a plan, vote early.

Protests are still ongoing! It’s important to keep supporting folks, not just so that we see actual lasting change but also so that we keep protesters safe from retaliation.

Support protesters by donating to:

Do whatever you can. Find a protest (wear a mask, stay distant, stay safe), donate what you can, call your local government officials and ask why they’re spending more on police than they are on providing for people, go to virtual council meetings, write letters because some people still think letters mean more than emails, support your community any way you can.

The biggest thing this week is that Friday from 10AM – 5PM teens can hang out at ACTIVATE! A virtual comic-con for teens with an activist twist. It’s being put on by Holyoke Library, and it seems very neat!

Take your fandom to the next level at ACTIVATE, a brand new, fully virtual fan convention, completely free for Massachusetts teens between the ages of 12-20. Celebrate what you love while also interacting with a diverse group of artists, writers, voice actors, and other industry professionals. Learn how you can use your passions for anime, comics, writing, gaming and more to boost social justice. Learn more and register at

It all started with a summer of quarantine.

Young Adult Librarian and self-described comic nerd, Melissa Bennett, missed the teens who hung out at Randolph’s Turner Free Library every day.

Then ZAP! POW! BAM! She had an idea. An end-of-summer, all virtual Comic Convention that would give Randolph teens—and teens in other Massachusetts communities—a chance to celebrate their fandom while social distancing from couches, bedrooms, and kitchen tables. Even better than an in-person Convention, which is pricey to attend, this one would be completely free and open to teens of all backgrounds.

With support from LITT, The Library Initiative for Teens and Tweens, and an ace team—Alex Remy from Springfield, and Young Adult Librarians from Brockton, Holyoke, Lawrence, Marshfield, Peabody, Waltham, and Worcester—ACTIVATE was born.

The YA librarians gathered presenters for their first-ever virtual Comic Convention who reflected the racial and ethnic diversity of their towns. And in a summer when Black Lives Matter protests were bursting onto the streets, they hoped ACTIVATE would inspire teens to turn their fandom into activism.

ACTIVATE has something for everyone. It’s a mix of fun, hands-on workshops, like anime and comic book drawing, podcasting with voice actors, world building, gaming, and cosplay – and awesome panels, featuring a diverse group of talented comic creators.

There are a ton of great-looking panels and presentations, we can’t recommend this highly enough!

On Monday from 8PM – 9PM you can attend Far Out Film Discussion virtually!

Far Out Film Discussion will have a zoom meeting to talk about Born in Flames, the 1983 documentary-style feminist cult film written and directed by Lizzie Borden. The trailer can be seen here: The film can be found online at kanopy:

To virtually attend this discussion, click the link :

On Tuesday from 7PM – 8:30PM you can see James Lowenthal, a Smith College astronomy professor and member of the International Dark Sky Association which sounds awesome but is slightly more friendly and practical than it seems on the tin. James will be talking about how light pollution affects the life cycles of insects and how it can disturb pollination! Gosh it seems like just about every aspect of modern life destroys something precious and fragile. But hey, we can and should work to make sure that people aren’t allowed to light-pollute willy-nilly. Plus we’d get nicer stargazing! Check out the Zoom link here:!

Also Tuesday from 3PM – 4PM there’s a virtual meeting of the Holyoke Library Teen Anime and Manga Club! Just head to their discord at to register! They’ll be streaming anime, hanging out in voice chat, and learning about Japanese culture! Oooh we just finished watching the second season of Love is War and dang if that’s not the cutest and funniest show we’ve seen in a bit. Adorable start to finish.

Wednesday there will be a virtual Kids’ Book Club from 3:30PM – 4:15PM!

We’re holding our monthly book club on Zoom! Please email to register and receive the meeting link and password. For ages 8-12. EBook copies of Where the Watermelons Grow are available through Hoopla with a Boston Public Library eCard, which is available to all Massachusetts residents.

Teens can chat at the Teen Book Chat on Wednesday from 3PM – 4PM, just head to the link here:!

And as always Start Playing Online will be having a great time this Wednesday from 7PM – 11:30PM! You can join the discord here:!

Thursday afternoon from 3PM – 3:30PM you can have tea and conversation with the curators at the Smith College Museum of Art! Register here to hear the discussion about the sense of touch!

Thursday, there’s going to be a virtual presentation from 7PM – 8:30PM featuring local historian Lu Stone celebrating the release of her new book “North to Market: Two Streets, Two Centuries”.

Lu will be reading from her tremendous new work about the history of the North and Market Street neighborhood in Northampton and talking about some of the lives and times of the people – farmers, preachers, merchants, schoolteachers, mill workers, trainmen, immigrants, among them – who called this neighborhood home from the early 1700s to the turn of the 20th century. To purchase copies of North to Market, visit or ask your local bookseller. Follow the Zoom link

Also Thursday from 7PM – 8PM you can check out a chat about the Renaissance of Public Libraries thanks to a new construction grant program. Join the discussion here: Join via Zoom!

Also Thursday night from 7PM – 8PM check out the DIRECTOR TALK | “Deli Man, with Erik Anjou put on by the Yiddish Book Center. Register here:!

Filmmaker Erik Anjou’s documentary, “Deli Man,” tells the story of deli owner Ziggy Gruber. In Houston, Texas, third-generation ‘deli man’ Ziggy Gruber has built arguably the finest delicatessen restaurant in the US. His story—augmented by the stories of iconic delis such as Katz’s, 2nd Avenue Deli, Nate ‘n Al, Carnegie, and the Stage—embodies a tradition indelibly linked to its savory, nostalgic foods. Join us for an engaging conversation with Erik Anjou, who will share the story he sought to tell in “Deli Man.”

You can screen the film in advance of the conversation; “Deli Man” is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix.

As always there’s a virtual book chat with folks hosted by Forbes this Friday from 1PM – 2PM! Join the meeting here:!

Paper Mario: Origami King was great and we can’t recommend it enough. We laughed, we cried, we appreciated the sheer number of paper-related jokes.

We also just played through a real solid little adventure game, The Last Door. Very old-school almost Atari-esque artwork, but a danged fine horror story.

AND we just finished a game we got like 6 years ago, NaissanceE. It’s very neat! Just running around gigantic weird Escher structures. It gets a bit silly at the end with instant-death popping you back to the start of a level in a way that is just not at all interesting. Really that’s the big issue with the game, too many ways to fail via dying, which is a lot less interesting than wandering into a cool dead-end.

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