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Somerville Reads 2014 Program Speaker

The Somerville Public Library has chosen Dark Tide by Stephen Puleo to be our 2014 Somerville Reads title. The book retells the events of the Great Boston Molasses flood of 1919. A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour.

If you would like to make a donation to support Stephen Puleo’s visit to the library please click on the Donate button for this event below on this page.

Children's Room at West Branch

The Children's Room at the beloved West Branch Library is a popular place for young children, their families, and care-givers. It is the scene of story hour, Babygarten, summer reading club, and other programs that focus on children's literacy and fun. It is a place where children discover the joys of reading, and serves as a valuable resource for students and their teachers. It provides space for tutoring and space for families to meet and interact. Last year the West Branch circulated 15, 541 children's items -- an increase of 44% over the past three years. Total annual program attendance has remained steady in the 2,400-2,500 range, despite a reduction - due to accessibility concerns -- in the number of programs held.

The Children's Room, however, suffers from water-damaged walls, aging furniture and carpeting, and inadequate lighting. Located in a split-level basement with no elevator or ramps, it also presents formidable physical barriers to many patrons. With City, community, and partner support, we plan to create a more inviting and welcoming space for our patrons. The renovated Children's Room will be a bright, airy, safe place, eventually free of physical barriers and directly accessible by a back or side entrance.

Estimated Cost: $30,000* for shelving, furniture, lighting, computer workstations, and media (does not include construction or accessibility costs)

*Some furnishing and equipment will be repurposed.

Teen Central

A Teen Room is being created in the Central Library. This will be an important addition to the Somerville youth community, giving teens a place of their own and a space for teen programming. This room is a self-contained space that will allow teens to congregate for fun and work both individually and collectively. The room will include a lounge area furnished with comfortable chairs, a couch, and a wide screen television for viewing movies and gaming. The room will also be equipped with 10 Internet computers connected to a central color printer.

The room will house the teen fiction collection including comics, manga, Young Adult classics and science fiction. It will also accommodate the teen audio book collection and DVDs and music CDs of special interest to teens. Though the space is relatively small, we hope to create collaborative work and social areas. To facilitate this, we will add booths and tables as space allows. There also will be a service desk at which the teen librarian will be available for help. Currently, teens share a small space in the main hall of the library where there is a small table and seating for four.

Estimated cost: $60,000* for shelving, furnishings, computer workstations, and media.

*There are no current teen furnishings or equipment (the current small table and seating will stay in the main hall).

Staff Development Fund

Please help us to support ongoing staff development including funding
for facilitators, classes, workshops, conferences, and visits to other

How You Can Help

To Make a donation, please send a check to: The Somerville Public Library, Attention: Director, 79 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143, and specify what project you would like to support. Or you may use the donation buttons below to make a gift using PayPal, your credit card, or a direct withdrawal from your bank account.

Alternatively, you can make an unrestricted gift online to support Library services and programs through the Friends by using their donation button below.

Children's Room, West Branch  
Teen Room, Central Library  
Staff Development Fund  
Friends of the Somerville Public Library (unrestricted gift)  
Somerville Reads 2014 Program Speaker  

For further information, please contact Ron Castile at rcastile@minlib.net

To keep abreast of developments, see http://www.somervillepubliclibrary.org

Thank you so much for your care and support!