Two copies of the Union Square Neighborhood Plan and the draft Fiscal Impact Analysis of Union Square and Boynton Yards are available at the library for public review and comment. The city Department of Planning and Zoning is accepting public feedback through noon of December 31. Their email address is Other contact information is available on their home page.

The documents are in the upstairs reading room at the Central Library on the shelf beneath a window near the Consumer Reports.



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For the week of Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2015.

thomas dylanOct. 27: Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath are both born on this date in 1914 and 1932, respectively. While both are considered among the greatest 20th century poets who wrote in English, their work is extremely different. Thomas wrote elegaic poetry influenced by the Victorian poets Hardy and Hopkins, with imagery drawn from the Bible, Welsh folklore and the works of Freud.  The much-younger Plath plathshocked  readers with the angry tone and brutal imagery she used to express  alienation and describe the darker sides of motherhood. Curiously, the best known poems of both are addressed to their fathers.  The contrast is stark. Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” addressed to his dying father, concludes, “And you, my father, there on the sad height,/Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray./Do not go gentle into that good night./Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy,” addressed to her deceased father, ends, “There’s a stake in your fat black heart/And the villagers never liked you./They are dancing and stamping on you./   They always knew it was you./Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.”

boswellOct. 29: James Boswell is born in Edinburgh in 1740. An alcoholic lawyer who is believed to have contracted venereal disease at least 17 times, he would be virtually unknown had he not been friends with the English writer Samuel Johnson and written a biography of Johnson that has been called the greatest biography ever written. Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson was a breakthrough in the practice of biography for incorporation of dialogue and unprecedented inclusion of personal details. Boswell provides a full (and therefore often unflattering) portrait of his subject.

Oct. 31 Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes issherlock published as a book in 1892. The individual stories in the collection had previously been published in The Strand Magazine. Like all the Holmes stories, those in Adventures are narrated by Dr. Watson. In the first story, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” Holmes affectionately refers to Watson as “my Boswell.”


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Wondering what to do on the upcoming weekend? The Friends of the Library  Book Sale starts at noon on Friday at the Central Library. It continues through Sunday.

If you’ve got kids to entertain you could take them to the East Branch at 3 pm Friday for festive snacks and craft-making with their ever-so-much-fun children’s librarian Meghan Forsell.

The Boston Calendar has a list of events occurring this Saturday, many Halloween- themed, others not.

And if you just feel like curling up with a good book, here’s a list of recommended horror novels.


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Erica Jones, the dynamic Outreach Director for Somerville Community Access Television, asked people from the community to read spooky stories on TV in honor of Halloween. It’s a fun, spook The link to all the Spooky Story Readings is here.

And below are two readings by our very own head Children’s Librarian Cathy Piantigini and James Fox of the Friends of the Library. Enjoy!


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Remember Mark Watney in The Martian modifying the astronaut habitat to grow potatoes? Over at Quirk Books Danielle Mohlman has posted some potato recipes from various online sources.

And if you’re interested in food real-life astronauts would eat, Tara Ziegmont of Feels Like Home has instructions for making astronaut pudding. The post includes a video of an astronaut on the International Space Station demonstrating how he and his co-workers make dinner.



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Earlier this week, NASA announced the discover of water on Mars.  However, the Curiosity rover is banned by treaty from analyzing it.

The Mars Orbiter spotted a dry-ice avalanche on the planet.

Over at, staff writer Mike Wall outlines the various ways NASA might get a manned mission to Mars.

And over at, Angela Watercutter explains why the movie is better than the book.


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In light of ongoing national conversations surrounding this topic, the City of Somerville invites residents to share their experiences, concerns, and ideas on race and racism in a new round of its Community Conversations Series beginning on Monday, October 5th.

Organized by the Office of Health and Human Services, ‘conversations’ will be held in each of the City’s seven wards. Residents are invited to join these small-group discussions to share their experiences and learn from their neighbors.

“We, as a city, must do our part to move the national conversation on race forward,” said Mayor Curtatone. “Somerville can and should lead the way in showing how a city can reflect on itself and take action against injustice. I look forward to hearing from our residents and working with the community to ensure everyone has the same opportunities and is treated fairly.”

Each conversation will be led by a trained facilitator and light refreshments will be served. Child care and translations services will be provided by request to enable more Somerville residents to participate in the dialogue.

“Systemic racism is a complex challenge that will result in various approaches, initiatives, and public conversations,” said the Mayor. “We will be using this time to listen to the experiences of residents and use that feedback to guide us moving forward.”

Community Conversations are scheduled for:

Feel free to walk in to any conversation – no reservations are necessary.  However, if you will need child care, translations services, or any ADA accommodations, please RSVP to Director of Human Services Nancy Bacci at or 617-625-6600 x2250.


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Marvin_the_Martian_by_raelynn36Does your kid want to make a Martian? Silly question–what kid wouldn’t? Be at the East Branch tomorrow with your children at 3:30 and Children’s Librarian Meghan Forsell will open her Ali Baba’s cave of craft supplies and help your kids make mini-Martians out of her wondrous trove of creative goods.




Then follow it up with dinner and a movie at the Central Library! marsattacksChildren’s Librarian Cathy Piantigini hosts a potluck dinner and an outdoor screening of the 2005 version of The War of the Worlds. This box-office smash hit about a Martian invasion of Earth stars Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, and features eye-popping special effects by Steven Spielberg.

The fun starts at 6:00 pm!


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Football fans are passionate. It happens at a young age. We get caught up in the emotional draw of a winning team. We support our favorite players and their teams – no matter what, and encourage them when they’ve fallen, whether literally on the field or off.

Football takes its toll, all the way from the professional sport, to colleges, high schools and even younger players. Injuries and concussions happen more than we want to admit. The lure and excitement sometimes makes us forget how brutal the game can be.

Thursday night at 7pm at the Central Library, Steve Almond will share his own experiences – his love of the game and the challenges he faced accepting the physical trauma the game promotes.

Steve Almond is a local author; he’s published several books, many of which can be found on our shelves, including his latest Against Football.  He’s also a regular correspondent on NPR and co-hosts the Dear Sugar radio program with Cheryl Strayed. His writing has been called thoughtful and provocative. We are excited to have him at the Somerville Public Library.

Thank you to the Friends of the Library for funding this free event.



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DeCordova Sculpture Park

It’s been a long time since we’ve reminded you about the variety of discount museum passes that your library offers, so here goes.


Gardner Museum

We’re fortunate to live in an area with a wealth of fascinating museums and other cultural attractions. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library, passes are available for Somerville residents to visit a number of these nearby treasures at a discount. Borrow a museum pass soon and discover inspiring worlds of artistic and natural beauty right on Somerville’s doorstep.


Museum of Science

Discount museum passes are available for:

Each pass is different in terms of the discount offered. For more information click here or call the Reference Department of the Library at (617) 623-5000 x2955.


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