#LowellVotes – A Grassroots Organization To Improve Voter Turnout Will Have First Meeting at Lowell Library – April 1 at 6:30PM

voting sign

“Did you know there are 54,000 registered voters in Lowell?  In the 2012 presidential election, 34,000 of them voted.  In the past two city elections, far fewer participated – 11,500 in 2013 and just 10,000 in 2011.

We believe that if more people were to vote in local elections, the city of Lowell and all here would benefit.  To help make that happen, some  Lowell residents have organized a nonpartisan, grass roots effort to increase participation in the next city election, especially in neighborhoods with historically low turnout and among groups that have faced barriers to voting.

Initially called Lowell Votes, the first organizational meeting of this group will be held on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 fro 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Pollard Memorial Library’s ground floor community room.  This meeting is open to everyone.  We urge you to attend and to invite others.

Also there is a newly created Facebook page for “Lowell Votes” – please visit it, like it, post on it, and share it.

If you are interested in becoming part of this effort  or sign up for future communications here –




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The (Urban) Legend of Ernest Hemingway’s Six-Word Story: “For sale, Baby shoes, Never used.” #lowell #library


“A piercingly dark piece of writing, taking the heart of a Dickens or Dostoevsky novel and carving away all the rest, Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story—fabled forerunner of flash- and twitter-fiction—is shorter than many a story’s title:

For sale, Baby shoes, Never used.

The extreme terseness in this elliptical tragedy has made it a favorite example of writing teachers over the past several decades, a display of the power of literary compression in which, writes a querent to the site Quote Investigator, “the reader must cooperate in the construction of the larger narrative that is obliquely limned by these words.” Supposedly composed sometime in the ’20s at The Algonquin (or perhaps Luchow’s, depending on whom you ask), the six-word story, it’s said, came from a ten-dollar bet Hemingway made at a lunch with some other writers that he could write a novel in six words. After penning the famous line on a napkin, he passed it around the table, and collected his winnings. That’s the popular lore, anyway. But the truth is much less picaresque.”

Click here for more.

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Goosebumps: Round 2 Voting: Horrors Division #lowell #library

goosebumps cover

Vote for your favorite Goosebumps! click here.

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The Town is Galloway….On This Day, 1948 Kerouac Writes 2500 Words of His First Novel “The Town and The City”


Mass Moments has posted and longtime Pollard Library superuser Marie over at has shared, the fact that on this day in 1948 Jack Kerouac noted in his diary that he had written 2500 in what was to be his first published novel The Town and The City. The semi-autobiographical novel tells a grand sweeping tale of the Martin family of Galloway from the turn of the 20th century to post WWII America. “The town” is a fictional version of Lowell, MA called Galloway and “the city” is NYC—how could it not for a novel about 20th century America? The novel is very different in style and tone than later works by Kerouac. It was inspired by Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe and was published in 1950. Kerouac’s second and more famous novel, On the Road wasn’t published or another seven years. Here is opening paragraph of The Town and the City:

“The town in Galloway. The Merrimac River, broad and placid, flows down to it from the New Hampshire hills, broken at the falls to make frothy havoc on the rocks, foaming on over ancient stone towards a place where the river suddenly swings about in a wide and peaceful basin, moving on now around the flank of the town, on to places known as Lawrence and Haverhill, through a wooded valley, and on to the sea at Plum Island, where the river enters an infinity of waters and is gone. Somewhere far north of Galloway, in headwaters close to Canada, the river is continually fed and made to brim out of endless sources and unfathomable springs.”

Our library dedicated a corner on our first floor to Kerouac earlier this month. Dick Howe, Jr. wrote a nice piece about the corner and the ceremony in his weekly roundup. Photos of the dedication ceremony are available in an earlier blog post and on our flickr page.

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Family Fun Matinee – Shamrocks and Sean Connery Sat March 28 at 1 PM at the Lowell Library


Sean Connery flashes his winning smile as Michael MacBride.

A wily old codger matches wits with the king of the leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter and the strapping lad (Sean Connery) who has replaced him as caretaker.

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