Andover Libraries’ Winter Newsletter

Book Club, walking, remote offerings, and more

By Lee Wells and Priscilla Poulin

Happy New Year! We wish everyone a healthy, happy, and successful 2022!

We have been working on compiling lists of the “Best Books of 2021.” Both libraries have compiled a list of the 10 most frequently checked out books from our libraries. 

What is especially fascinating about these lists is that there is no overlap between the two Andover libraries. At both libraries, the number two book is a kid’s book: At the Andover Library, the number two book is Christopher Columbus. At the Bachelder Library, it is Lego: Star Wars

We have also compiled lists of books that have made several high profile “Best Books of 2021” lists.  We looked at lists from newspapers, book stores, online booksellers, literary and library journals, etc, to compile the lists.  We will put the books that we own that made the various lists out on display.  

Stop by to see how many of the “Best of 2021 Books” you have read; perhaps there are a few you’d like to check out and read.  Spoiler alert: a good number of these books are, not too surprisingly, currently checked out, so you might need to wait before you can check them out.  Other books are part of a series, so you might be tempted to start at the beginning of the series.

We also wanted to pass on the news that Hoopla, our digital media supplier, has started a new program called BingePass. When you check out something that is part of Hoopla’s BingePass collection – for now, just magazines and the Great Courses collections – the library is charged for one “borrow,” but you have unlimited “borrows” from the magazine collection or Great Courses collection for one week. They will be expanding their BingePass collections so stay tuned. 

If you scroll down to the bottom of Hoopla’s homepage, you will see a link for BingePass. Check it out (or go directly to Please remember that the State Library also has a great collection of digital magazines on Libby.  If you haven’t signed up for Hoopla or Libby yet and need some help, please let us know.

The Book Club met on January 26 at the Bachelder Library to discuss the first half of former president Barack Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land. We’ll discuss the second half at our February Book Club meeting on Wednesday, February 23. 

A Promised Land was listed as one of the top 10 books of 2020. Good Reads describes it as “a riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making, from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy. This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

“Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations, to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism, to the watershed night of November 4, 2008 when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.”

Stop by either library to pick up a copy; the Andover Library has an audio copy as well.  If you’d like to attend the Book Club meeting via Zoom, please let us know.

Valentines! Do you have fond memories of a secret admirer or a blind date? Did you meet a special person that way? During the month of February, stop by either of the Andover Libraries to pick up a “mystery book.”  Both libraries will have books in paper bags with a minimal description of the book.  Take a chance and check out a book without judging it by its cover! Hot chocolate will be served all month at the Bachelder Library in East Andover. Go on a blind date with a book!

We are still WABL walking. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get more exercise, or if you would just like some company when you walk, please come join us.  Unless the weather is dreadful or the roads are way too icy and slippery, we leave from the Bachelder Library around 10:30 AM on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

If you are concerned about the contagiousness of the Omicron COVID variant and would rather not come inside the libraries but would like to check out some materials, just let us know and we can do curbside service for you.