Mar 09 2013
We’re getting ready for Somerville Reads 2013 – our next One City, One Book program, which will take place in the early Fall – and we need your input! Which of these books would you most like to read and discuss as a community? You can read about each book below, then vote for your pick at the bottom of this post.
The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community engagement by
Feb 11 2013
Jan 24 2013
The Somerville Public Library will compete with the libraries in Arlington, Belmont, and Lexington in a Library Card Sign-Up competition throughout February. These public libraries will perform outreach with local organizations and businesses to encourage residents to sign up for a library card (Somerville will give away prizes for new signees, culminating in the grand prize of an e-book reader.) Participating businesses will offer a discount to customers who show their library card or keycard during their purchase.
“Library cards offer residents a gateway to a world of information resources, learning tools, and possibilities,” says Somerville Library Director Maria Carpenter. “Residents can grab a book, movie or e-book; take a computer class; practice English; attend a lecture; take a free creative writing class; meet up with friends in the new Teen Space; research family history; and use online college test and civil service preparation databases, among many other options!”
Whichever library has the higher percentage increase in new library card registrations in February 2013 compared to February 2012 will be the victor – and the prize is a platter of baked goods delivered to the winner from the losing cities’ favorite local bakeries. To kick off this campaign, there will be a press conference from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Robbins Library Reading Room, 700 Massachusetts Ave., in Arlington.
New library card registrants and current card holders referring a friend can look forward to incentives such as buttons, bracelets, pencils, bookmarks, and the like when they sign up. These new card holders will then be entered in the grand prize drawing of the e-book reader. In addition, these new patrons can also be entered in a drawing hosted by local businesses – and may win movie passes or tickets to a local performance. Patrons who already have library cards can bring in a friend to register for a card and also receive a prize.
But February’s competition is just the start of Somerville’s endeavor to register new library card holders. The library plans to tie this into a yearlong outreach effort in different areas of the community to obtain new library users. As part of the Library and Schools dual strategy of providing seamless education services, the library and area schools are partnering on this effort. So be sure to look for our announcements and signs throughout the City about upcoming outreach events and patron incentives!
For local businesses who would like to participate in the campaign, please contact Eileen Fontenot, email@example.com or 617-842-2278.
Dec 17 2012
Librarians across the Commonwealth are sharing online resources to help parents talk with their children in the wake of this national tragedy. Here are a few suggestions:
American School Counselor Association
National Association of School Psychologists
Dec 10 2012
The communities of Somerville, MA, Somerville, NJ, and Summerville, SC are joining forces this month to support victims of Hurricane Sandy along the Jersey Shore. In Somerville, MA, the donation drive begins today, December 10th and will last through Friday, December 21st. You can drop items off at all library locations. For a list of needed items and more drop off locations, please click here.
Nov 16 2012
Here’s a sampling of new picture books available at the East Branch. Children’s librarian Meghan loves them and thinks that you will too!
Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee (who wouldn’t love a story of 2 canine companions that matter-of-factly states and illustrates, “They pee on the same tree.” !?)
The Tooth Mouse by Susan Hood
Lovabye Dragon by Barbara Joosse
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle
Mr. Pine’s Purple House by Leonard Kessler
Nov 05 2012
The Director’s Author Series continues with two events this week.
On Wednesday, November 7:00th at 7:00 p.m., join us at the Central Library as we welcome author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan who will discuss her latest mystery thriller, The Other Woman.
A former US Senate staffer and political campaign aide, Hank Phillippi Ryan is the investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, and has won twenty-seven Emmys and ten Edward R. Murrow awards. A bestselling author of four mystery novels, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
Book Description: Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.
Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting the young women of Boston. As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a scandal.
Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, The Other Woman is the first in an explosive new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Seduction, betrayal, and murder – it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election.
Then on Thursday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m., the West Branch will host an evening with Clea Simon, author of the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe mysteries. Clea has also written three nonfiction books and her essays and short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies as well as The New York Times, The Boston Phoenix, and such magazines as American Prospect, Ms., and Salon.com. She lives in a 100-year-old house in Somerville with her husband, Jon S. Garelick (also a writer), and their cat, Musetta.
Book Description: Clea’s latest mystery is Cats Can’t Shoot. When Pru Marlowe gets the report of a cat shooting, she’s horrified. Animal cruelty is the one thing this tough-girl behaviorist won’t abide. When she gets to the scene, though, and finds a man dead – and his white Persian only slightly singed, she knows something else is afoot. Could the pampered pet have set off the rare dueling pistol? Or is the Persian being set up as a cat’s paw in a deadly game? That’s what Pru and her tabby sidekick Wallis must find out in Cats Can’t Shoot.
We hope that you’ll be able to join us for one or both of these Meet, Mingle, Read events!
Nov 01 2012
Join us for a three-part film series showcasing the use of classical music in war movies. The series kicks off at the Central Library this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with Gallipoli. Live musical accompaniment for some scenes will be provided by members of the Cambridge Symphony Chamber Players for all three films.
1981; Starring Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins, Charles Yunipingli, & Ron Graham; Rated PG; 1 hour 52 minutes
Amazon.com says, “An outstanding drama, Gallipoli resonates with sadness long after you have seen it. Set during World War I, this brutally honest antiwar movie was cowritten by director Peter Weir. Mark Lee and a sinfully handsome Mel Gibson are young, idealistic best friends who put aside their hopes and dreams when they join the war effort. This character study follows them as they enlist and are sent to Gallipoli to fight the Turks. The first half of the film is devoted to their lives and their strong friendship. The second half details the doomed war efforts of the Aussies, who are no match for the powerful and aggressive Turkish army. Because the script pulls us into their lives and forces us to care for these young men, we are devastated by their fate.”
The next two movies in this series are:
Scent of a Woman, on Saturday, November 17th at 10:00 a.m.
Amazon.com says, “Hoo-ah! After seven Oscar nominations for his outstanding work in films such as The Godfather, Serpico, and Dog Day Afternoon, it’s ironic that Al Pacino finally won the Oscar for his grandstanding lead performance in this 1992 crowd pleaser. As the blind, blunt, and ultimately benevolent retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, Pacino is both hammy and compelling, simultaneously subtle and grandly over-the-top when defending his new assistant and prep school student Charlie (Chris O’Donnell) at a disciplinary hearing. While the subplot involving Charlie’s prep-school crisis plays like a sequel to Dead Poets Society, Pacino’s adventurous escapades in New York City provide comic relief, rich character development, and a memorable supporting role for Gabrielle Anwar as the young woman who accepts the colonel’s invitation to dance the tango. Scent of a Woman is a remake of the 1972 Italian film Profumo di donna. In addition to Pacino’s award, the picture garnered Oscar nominations for director Martin Brest and for screenwriter Bo Goldman.”
Platoon, on Saturday, December 1st at 10:00 a.m.
Amazon.com says, “Platoon put writer-turned-director Oliver Stone on the Hollywood map; it is still his most acclaimed and effective film, probably because it is based on Stone’s firsthand experience as an American soldier in Vietnam. Chris (Charlie Sheen) is an infantryman whose loyalty is tested by two superior officers: Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), a former hippie humanist who really cares about his men (this was a few years before he played Jesus in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ), and Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), a moody, macho soldier who may have gone over to the dark side. The personalities of the two sergeants correspond to their combat drugs of choice–pot for Elias and booze for Barnes. Stone has become known for his sledgehammer visual style, but in this film it seems perfectly appropriate. His violent and disorienting images have a terrifying immediacy, a you-are-there quality that gives you a sense of how things may have felt to an infantryman in the jungles of Vietnam. Platoon won Oscars for best picture and director.”
The Cambridge Symphony Orchestra has worked with organizations that honor American veterans over 2012. The CSO has chosen these three war-themed films, and through an introduction with live chamber music, will spotlight how familiar classical music underscores the theme of war and its aftermath for veterans.
These programs are free and all are welcome. We hope you can join us!