Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Virtual Library Backgrounds for Zoom and Desktop

Miss being in the library? Now you can be in the library virtually with our new Zoom background, and a photo to use on your desktop!

Picture yourself in the Blackstone Library while you are in a Zoom class, meeting, or online social gathering. Just download and save this virtual background showing our front desk to use when you are on Zoom. 

Click on the photo above or this link to get the Zoom background.

Or if your prefer to see us on your desktop, you may download and use this photo on your computer.

Click on the photo above or this link to get the desktop background.


A Very Sparkly Story with Miss Tressy

New Video Story Time! 

Miss Tressy, our Children's Librarian, adds some sparkle to the day by reading "A Unicorn Named Sparkle" by Amy Young. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Magical Mondays: Roll20

Welcome one and welcome all! It is Monday, and we are back with Magical Mondays.

If you’re just tuning in for the first time, this series will be posting every Monday on all things magical! This includes Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and anything else in the realm of magic.

This is post #4 so go ahead and look back through the blog to find the past posts. Along the way you might even see some other cool stuff the rest of the library staff are working on. Give it a go!

This week we’re continuing with the awesome topic of D&D. Unlike MTG, my knowledge is pretty sparse on D&D. I gave you some basic information in the last post, but it is definitely more involved than it seems. 

I’ve played a handful of times, but I have never been the DM, or Dungeon Master.

To prepare for this video, I realized how little I knew about the prep work that goes into making a campaign for D&D. However, the storytelling and artmaking that happens when you are the DM is super cool!

Now, if you’re a regular in the D&D world, you might have already heard of this program. If not, it is a really awesome way to get back into it with your usual playgroup while following social distancing guidelines.

If you’re not a regular, welcome to this crazy world of becoming characters! It’s fun, and the internet is here for you with the site called Roll20 (https://roll20.net/).

Some of the games that Roll20’s system supports.

Alright, onto Roll20. I will say, it isn’t the easiest interface to learn, but that’s why I’m here! 

I also want to let you know that even though this post is D&D themed, Roll20 is great for any kind of RPG, not just D&D. And though D&D is inherently fantasy driven, there are RPG games out there where you play as pirates or focus on war as human soldiers or really whatever story your DM makes.

So a lot of Roll20 is learning the menus and where stuff is. I go through a bunch of that with you, but that’s pretty boring, and I really don’t want my videos to be boring. However, this is a tutorial so it may be boring anyways. Roll20 also has their own tutorial, but I think my angelic voice is better than their non-speaking dialogue boxes.

However, my focus for showing you Roll20 is to keep it free and fun, even though they give you a bunch of options for buying campaigns.

You’ll see that I’ve added my own drawings (doesn’t it look like I’ve majored in art?) of characters and maps, and uploaded some character sheets I made on 

Have fun with the video! I hope you’re able to get going with some campaigns faster than I’ve been able to. Don’t be discouraged, it takes some messing around, but once you got it, you got it.
Good luck and see you next Monday for all things magical!


Email me with questions, suggestions, to talk about Magic, or just to say hello at alandry@cwmars.org.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Messages to our patrons...

In celebration of National Library Week, the Blackstone Library staff has a few kind words for their patrons. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Magical Mondays: D&D Edition

Monday is here, so guess what that means…it’s Magical Mondays time!

If you’re just tuning in for the first time, this series will be posting every Monday covering all things magical! This includes Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and anything else in the realm of magic.

The first two posts were about MTG, so go ahead and read them if that’s what you’re into. Don’t worry, I’m not done with MTG, either. There is tons to say, but I’m going to shake things up a bit this week.

Today’s blog is going to feature the first tabletop role-playing game (RPG). That’s right, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)!

D&D first started in 1974 after Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson transformed their local wargame clubs into written rules for D&D. Below you can find pictures of the first three booklets printed: Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, and Underworld & Wilderness Adventures.

Since then, the game has risen in popularity as people of all ages took to the game. Today, we are up to the 5th edition of rules, with various manuals, handbooks, and campaigns being released yearly. The best place to find any info is https://dnd.wizards.com/.

If you don’t know what an RPG is, I’m here to tell you.

Yes, sometimes it looks like this, though this is more commonly referred to as LARPing (Live Action Role Playing). But really, D&D looks like a bunch of different versions of this:

The game is all about storytelling, with each player acting as a different character in that story. One player is the Dungeon Master (DM). The DM is the one who does most of the storytelling and keeps the players on track to completing a campaign.

All other players have a character sheet that they fill out. This includes your race (what type of magical being you are), class (your calling or profession), abilities, weapons, stats, and character traits. Throughout the game, you will act as your character would and make decisions based on the traits your character has.

If you really want to get into learning how to play, I used this awesome YouTube channel called Don't Stop Thinking https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRwnhxFZrL2yY5I60d5Ae_Q/featured.

They have different series on how to play 5th edition, how to be a Dungeon Master, and some other fun D&D stuff. There are so many podcasts and YouTubers that focus on D&D that you won’t struggle with finding someone you like.

If you want to start, I’ll tell you another secret. There’s a program that is great for playing online!
It’s called Roll20 and it’s free and relatively easy to use. You will have to play around with the interface, but I’m going to do some of that work for you!

Next week, I’ll be posting a Roll20 tutorial!

Before I sign off, I have to say it again, if you’re a YA, always ask a parent before downloading anything onto your computer or using any of the pay to play features.
That’s it for this Monday, but I’ll see you next week, so stay tuned!
Email me with questions, suggestions, to talk about Magic, or just to say hello at alandry@cwmars.org.

Friday, April 17, 2020

"Spring Strings" Music Series - Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of our "Spring Strings" music series, now on YouTube!

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZRK6jtBHbk

The Blackstone Public Library would like to thank Kathryn Boisvert for providing the music used in this video.

Regarding her musical background Kathryn writes:

"Hello my name is Kathryn Boisvert. I am going on 30 years as a resident in Blackstone, MA. I have been married almost 37 years. I have two grown daughters, one son-in-law, and three granddaughters.

I am a musician, an avid 'book worm', a passionate cook, and I also enjoy crocheting in my free time. I sing and minister to the elderly in nursing homes, both at the bedside and in groups on the dementia units.

As a child, I grew up with three sisters and my mother - five of us in the family, all of whom were very musical. As an 8th grader, I took my guitar with me, accompanying my two sisters where we were a part of an Outreach program sponsored by the Berkshire Atheneum. We went into the nursing homes to sing for the elderly, which was very well received.

In more recent years, I became a caregiver for four years total to a wonderful elderly woman in her late 80s. I would entertain her in her home, singing and playing my guitar. Eventually, the family had to place her in a nursing home where I was asked if I wanted to be hired to sing for everyone there. My dear friend passed away several years ago and I have been singing in nursing homes ever since."

Poetry contest submissions due May 16

Only one month left to submit your poem!

Please email your submissions to Lisa by May 16, 2020.

You may submit one piece of original poetry per person. Include the title of your poem, your name, address, telephone number, and age category. Previously published works of poetry are not allowed.

Age categories are:

  • Grades K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12
  • Adult
We look forward to reading your work!