All posts by Danny Lykansion

Environment & Climate Change

Research shows that sea levels have been climbing at an increased rate (3cm per decade since 1990) due to human caused climate change. This does and will continue to pose serious challenges to coastal regions, increase the likelihood of devastating storms and endanger marine wildlife. By October 6, 2020, 25 named storms had formed since January—more than double the yearly average of 12. Additionally, over 44,000 wildfires have burned nearly 7.7 million acres in 2020. With human ingenuity and the technological advances available to us, action is possible to mitigate the effects of climate change, and to keep our planet strong for future generations.

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Environment & Climate Change Nonfiction

Environment & Climate Change Books For Young Children

Learn More Online

  • Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network: A high-quality and rigorously reviewed collection of climate and energy educational resources.
  • Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
  • edX Online Courses: Free online climate change related classes.
  • NASA Climate Change: Dig into the science of climate change, including facts, articles, and discussion of the scientific consensus.
  • NOAA Climate: NOAA Climate.gov is a source of timely and authoritative scientific data and information about climate.
  • Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: Energy and the Environment. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
  • Podcasts:
  • US Global Change Research Program: A federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society.

Get Involved

Join or support local chapters and organizations:
  • Chelmsford Climate Action Team: A local group dedicated to advocacy and education in the Chelmsford community.
  • Chelmsford Local: Support the Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust or volunteer with the Chelmsford Open Space Stewards.
  • Citizens’ Climate Lobby: A national organization with a Local Chapter in Lowell, MA.
  • Climate Conversations: Tune into this Chelmsford Library program series that takes place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 p.m.
  • Elder Climate Action (MA Chapter): The local chapter of an organization of seniors with a focus on taking actions to positively affect climate change.
  • Social Justice Book Group: This book group is an informal group that meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. In addition to book discussions on a variety of social justice related topics, the group hosts speaker programs and presentations themed around the selected book titles.
Join or support national or international organizations:
  • 350.org: An international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.
  • Environmental Defense Fund: Environmental Defense Fund’s mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. Guided by science and economics, they find practical and lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems.
  • Green America: Green America harnesses economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
  • The Nature Conservancy: The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. With more than a million members and 400 scientists, they impact conservation in 72 countries and territories.
  • Sierra Club: Bringing people together to speak up for environmental protections.
  • World Wildlife Fund: WWF is an independent conservation organization active in nearly 100 countries. They are working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife.
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Immigration & Citizenship

Immigration to this country began with the Spanish in the 16th century and the English in 1607, crowding out American Indigenous peoples. Later immigrants faced resistance from the descendants of earlier colonizers as they began to have a profound impact on the identity and growth of the country. America’s promise of a new life in a free country still draws hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year. However, American immigration tradition and policy continue to be hotly debated and are often the target of harmful ideologies and policy changes.

Learn More

See entire list…

Learn More Online

  • American Psychological Association: Resource guides and information about the mental health needs of immigrants, working with immigrant origin clients, and the effects of some policies on immigrant mental health.
  • Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
  • Immigration Research Library: A free collection of contemporary U.S. immigration reports, briefs, fact sheets, infographics, news and events. The Library hosts (with links to original sources) more than 1,500 U.S. immigration research reports with simple, straightforward abstracts drawn from respected universities and research institutes from across the country.
  • Need English Language Help? Take a look at our ESL/ESOL Resource List.
  • MA State Unemployment Benefits for Non-US Citizens
  • National Archives: The national archives include many historical immigrant records from the 1700’s through the early 2000’s.
  • Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: Citizenship, Immigration, Migration, and Unauthorized Immigration. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
  • Podcasts:
  • Student Aid: Federal student aid guidelines for non-citizens.
  • United States Citizenship & Immigration Services: If you need an immigration or citizenship form printed, the library will print your first copy of the form for free. (We offer the same service for tax forms as well!). Learn more about how USCIS defines refugee and asylum status and work authorization.

Get Involved

Join or support local chapters and organizations:
  • Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights: Provides holistic health care coordinated with social services and legal aid for asylum seekers, refugees, survivors of torture, and their families.
  • Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston: Offering resettlement, interpreter, and legal services to refugees. Also offers ESOL classes.
  • Dignity In Asylum: Located in Concord, MA, DIAS was founded to offer free housing and community support to people seeking asylum. Apart from a room for each supported asylum seeker, they also provide daily meals, transportation to lawyers’ and doctors’ appointments, and English classes.
  • Found In Translation: Providing opportunities for low-income bilingual women to gain financial stability using their language skills. Also offering interpreter services, especially in healthcare.
  • The Immigrant Learning Center: A non-profit in Malden, MA that focuses on English language learning and immigrant advocacy efforts.
  • International Institute of New England: Supports refugees and immigrants through advocacy, resettlement, education, career advancement, and pathways to citizenship.
  • Jewish Vocational Services: Offers ESOL and employment services for refugees and immigrants.
  • Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
  • Mass Legal Help: Content for Mass Legal Help is written by people in the legal services community. They have resource guides for housing eligibility, the rights of immigrant youths, and lists of legal immigration specialists.
  • Office for Refugees and Immigrants: MA State’s official office, offering citizenship services and resources for refugee and immigrant populations.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center Boston: Provides comprehensive services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants as well as the larger community. These services include refugee resettlement, asylee case management, counseling, outreach, education, and other social services.
  • Refugee Immigration Ministry: An interfaith community-based organization that serves asylum seekers in MA.
  • Refugees Welcome Home: A nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing together refugee service providers in the greater Boston area and beyond.
  • Social Justice Book Group: This book group is an informal group that meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. In addition to book discussions on a variety of social justice related topics, the group hosts speaker programs and presentations themed around the selected book titles.
  • Unafraid Educators: An organizing committee of the Boston Teachers Union working to support undocumented and immigrant students and families. They organize political action campaigns, facilitate professional learning for educators, and administer the Unafraid Scholarship for Boston students.
Join or support national or international organizations:
  • Dream.us: Support services and scholarships for dreamers seeking a college education.
  • Office of Refugee Resettlement: National office for resettlement services. An office of the Administration for Children & Families. Access government resettlement programs and resources online.
  • United We Dream: A youth led, national organization fighting for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people.
  • USA Hello: USA Hello is a free online center for information and education for refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and welcoming communities.
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LGBTQ+Equality

The last few decades have seen major strides in civil rights for Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

However, some conservatives have pushed for exemptions from civil rights laws for individuals or companies refusing, on religious or moral grounds, to provide services and even healthcare for LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, sexual orientation and gender identity are the motivation for many hate crimes in the US, and bullying among teens and children is a major contributing cause of increased rates of suicide, self-harm, and homelessness.

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LGBTQ+ Equality Nonfiction

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Learn More Online

  • American Psychological Association: APA’s Office on Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity provides support and guidance to those seeking psychological resources to promote beneficial change in society for LGBTQ+ people.
  • Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
  • Hate Crime Statistics: Compiled by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
  • PBS Timeline: This timeline includes major milestones in the history of the Gay Rights Movement in the USA.
  • Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: Gay Marriage & Homosexuality, and Gender. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
  • Podcasts:

Get Involved

Join or support local chapters and organizations:
  • American Civil Liberties Union: The Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU.
  • BAGLEY – The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization advocating for programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ youth community.
  • Boston Pride Parade
  • Commonwealth’s LGBTQ+ Resource Map
  • Fenway Health: Their mission is to enhance the well being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (and all people) through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy.
  • GLSEN Boston: Support an LGBTQ+ teen and/or teacher.
  • Greater Boston PFLAG: Programs and services for LGBTQ+, including support groups and a helpline.
  • Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC): Volunteers welcome!
  • Social Justice Book Group: This book group is an informal group that meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. In addition to book discussions on a variety of social justice related topics, the group hosts speaker programs and presentations themed around the selected book titles.
  • UMass Lowell: Annual LGBTQ+ Programs from UMass Lowell.
  • Waltham House: The first residential group home designed specifically for LGBTQ youth in New England, and one of only three of its kind in the nation.
Join or support national or international organizations:
  • Amnesty International: This link takes you directly to the landing page for the topic of Gender, Sexuality, and Identity at Amnesty USA’s website.
  • Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation: GLAAD works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance.
  • The National LGBTQ Task Force: Advancing full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people and building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives.
  • The National Center for Transgender Equality: Advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people.
  • The Trevor Project – Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award® winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
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Poverty & Food Insecurity

As of September 2020, the Census Bureau reported that 34 million people lived in poverty in America, and in 2019 The National Alliance to End Homelessness reported that 567,715 people were experiencing homelessness in America. More than 30 million people in America need the government’s help to keep from going hungry, including 5.3 million elderly individuals as of 2018. Many families struggle to receive adequate nutrition. For many children, school breakfast or lunch may be the only real meal they receive per day, though the quality of these meals varies.

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Poverty & Food Insecurity Nonfiction

See entire list…

Learn More Online

  • Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
  • Institute for Research on Poverty: The IRP receives federal funding and is based out of the University of Wisconsin. Also maintaining a collaborative network of university based poverty centers.
  • Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: Income Inequality, Poverty, and Work & Employment. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
  • Podcasts:
  • US Census Bureau: This topic page provides poverty thresholds, reports, and articles.
  • US Department of Health & Human Services: View poverty guidelines and other resources compiled by the HHS.

Get Involved

Join or support local chapters and organizations:
  • Chelmsford Community Garden: Plots are a sustainable way to encourage food sovereignty.
  • Chelmsford Food Pantry: Located behind Town Offices at 50 Billerica Road. food pick-up times are Wednesdays 5:00-8:00, Thursdays 2:00-4:00, and Fridays 6:00-8:00. If you can offer support, drop-off hours are Thursdays 10:30-1:00, and there is also a drop-box at the Chelmsford Library.
  • Greater Boston Food Bank: GBFB is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country.
  • HomeBASE: The Commonwealth’s re-housing benefit created to provide families who are in the emergency shelter assistance system an opportunity to overcome some of the financial barriers to ending their homelessness.
  • Housing Families: Provides safe, temporary shelter and quality affordable housing as well as individualized supportive services to help families maintain permanent housing.
  • Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless: Committed to making sure everyone has a place to call home, they work to maintain awareness of the accelerating challenges of poverty and homelessness. See their Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) homelessness prevention program.
  • Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance: MHSA is a nonprofit, public policy advocacy organization that has evolved to include nearly 100 community-based member agencies throughout Massachusetts.
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank: Volunteers welcome!
  • The Open Pantry of Greater Lowell: Located at 13 Hurd Street in Lowell and open weekdays 9am – noon and Wednesday evenings 5:30pm – 7:00pm. Check website for holiday hours and how to make donations
  • Project Bread’s Annual Walk for Hunger: Raise money for hunger defeating programs in your community!
  • Social Justice Book Group: This book group is an informal group that meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. In addition to book discussions on a variety of social justice related topics, the group hosts speaker programs and presentations themed around the selected book titles.
  • Table of Plenty in Chelmsford: A non-profit organization serving a free weekly meal to alleviate hunger and social isolation for individuals and families in a friendly and welcoming environment. ALL ARE WELCOME — no questions asked, ever.
Join or support national or international organizations:
  • CARE International: CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.
  • Feeding America: A network of 200 food banks across the country feeding 40 million people at risk of hunger, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
  • National Coalition for the Homeless: A national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others.
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Racial Justice

Since 1960, ethnic and racial statistics show a decrease in the number of caucasian people and an increase in those identifying as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian and multiracial. Projections expect that this trend will continue through 2060.

Chelmsford has also enjoyed an increase in diversity since 2010, and is working to better support this growth within the community. On Juneteenth, Friday, June 19, 2020, Chelmsford community members called for educational reform in Chelmsford Public Schools. They asked the district to advocate for and better support Black, Indigenous, & People of Color; to adjust its curriculum; and to open discussions about racism and anti-racism in the classroom.

A diverse community is something to be celebrated. However, in recent years animosity between people of different racial or ethnic identity has increased, and institutional racism should continue to be addressed by all those who share community.

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Racial Justice Nonfiction

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Learn More Online

  • Avvo Legal: Learn more about your right to assemble and get legal questions answered about protesting injustice.
  • Black Perspectives: The leading online platform for public scholarship on global Black thought, history, and culture. Daily content, from a roster of more than 50 regular contributors and guest authors, includes features such as scholarly reflections, book features, online roundtables and forums, book reviews, and author interviews.
  • Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
  • Hate Crime Statistics: Compiled by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
  • National Museum of African American History & Culture: The talking about race portal provides resources and support for learning about and having conversations about racial identity.
  • Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: African Americans, Discrimination & Prejudice, Race & Ethnicity, and Segregation. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
  • Podcasts
  • 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge: Every day for 21 days do one activity from the list of provided resources. Or use the resources as needed!
  • US Census Bureau: Browse the census bureau’s topic page on race, including data tables.

Get Involved

Join or support local chapters and organizations:
Join or support national or international organizations:
  • Black Lives Matter: Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
  • Life After Hate: A non-profit group committed to de-radicalization of ideological extremists and helping individuals exit hate groups.
  • Race Forward: Race Forward supports advocacy and action on complex racial justice issues by mobilization, skill-building, leadership development, organization- and alliance-building, issue-framing, messaging, and advancing solutions.
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Voter Engagement

As of the 2020 presidential election, the voting-eligible population in the U.S. was just over 239 million people. Nearly 160 million of those eligible voted in the election marking a 66.7% voter turnout. This was a record high but still signifies that about ⅓ of eligible voters didn’t make it to the polls. Meanwhile, 76% of all registered voters in the state of Massachusetts cast their ballots in the 2020 election, surpassing the record from the 2016 election by nearly 300,000 votes. These voter increases are of great importance and require continued community support.

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Voter Engagement Nonfiction

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Learn More Online

  • Ballotpedia: Ballotpedia is a nonpartisan information source that allows voters to see what will be on their ballots.
  • Don’t Be Fooled!: Learn more about misinformation and media bias using our online subject guide.
  • Election Protection: The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Contact their information and assistance hotline by phone, text, or through the website’s chat feature.
  • Federal Elections Commission: The FEC was created to promote confidence and participation in the democratic process. Browse information about candidates, including financial and legal information.
  • Federal Voting Assistance Program: Provides voting assistance for military service members, their families, and other overseas US citizens.
  • Gov Track: An independent resource allowing users to track federal legislation or see the voting and bill sponsorship records of Representatives and Senators.
  • Massachusetts Voter Resources: Register online to vote, check your voter status, find out where to vote, and more – including recent updates.
  • National Coalition for the Homeless: Voting rights information for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Open Secrets: A nonpartisan, independent, and nonprofit website run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.
  • Pew Research: Pew’s topic page is a good starting point. Relevant topics include: Elections & Campaigns, Polling, Voter Participation, and Voting Process. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research without taking policy positions.
  • Podcasts:
  • Town of Chelmsford Election Information: For local voting information, sample ballots, precinct maps and voting locations, election results, and more!
  • US Congress: View and follow national proposals and legislative bills.
  • US Election Assistance Commission: EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, maintains the national mail voter registration form, and audits the use of HAVA funds.
  • US Vote Foundation: US Vote is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan public charity that develops and provides online tools to assist US citizens living anywhere in the world to register and request their absentee ballot using their state’s specific voter forms.
  • US Voting: Official usa.gov website about voting and elections. Find out about voter registration and how and where to vote. Also learn about voter registration on https://vote.gov/.
  • VOTE411: Massachusetts candidate and election information.
  • Voter Intimidation Law Fact Sheets: View a fact sheet about voter intimidation laws for every state.

Get Involved

Join or support local chapters and organizations:
Join or support national or international organizations:
  • Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote: APIAVote is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in electoral and civic participation.
  • Fair Elections Center: Fair Elections Center engages in a wide variety of advocacy efforts, including producing reports, talking points and fact sheets, providing state voter guides, providing testimony to legislatures, conducting trainings and seminars for organizations and their supporters, litigating voting rights cases in state and federal court, and working directly with local election officials and Secretaries of State to ensure that the right to vote is protected and expanded.
  • National Coalition on Black Civic Participation: A non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voter participation in Black and underserved communities.
  • National Voter Registration Day: National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. It is celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September.
  • Native Vote: A non-partisan organization that helps mobilize and assist native peoples with voting.
  • Nonprofit Vote: Helping non-profit organizations engage their membership in voting.
  • Vote Riders: Vote Riders is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote.
  • When We All Vote: A non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting.
Write to your representatives!


Free Computer Help at the Library!

oneononehelpposterThe Chelmsford Library offers free basic computer lessons for a variety of experience levels. Come to the library and sit with a librarian one-on-one to work on:

  • basic computing skills
  • ebooks & other online content
  • internet browsing
  • email
  • understanding eBay or Craigslist
  • word processing and resumes
  • excel spreadsheets
  • basic troubleshooting
  • digital cameras
  • smart phones and mobile devices

To make an appointment, contact the reference desk at askus@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x211!

Look up a Person, Company, or Career Info with AtoZ Databases

AtoZ LogoThe Chelmsford Public Library is happy to announce the addition of AtoZ Databases to the library’s free digital offerings. AtoZ Databases has millions of records, including businesses, white pages, job listings, and healthcare professionals. This is a great – and reliable – resource for looking up a person’s contact information, doing market research on competitors or potential customers, and finding out more about a future employer during your job search.

AtoZ Databases is very similar to ReferenceUSA, which many patrons use for researching companies and customers. If you’ve been a ReferenceUSA user, contact us at the Reference Desk for an intro to how keep getting that same great information from AtoZ Databases.

Access AtoZ Databases for free in the library, or online from home using your Chelmsford library card.