If I don’t drive around the park,
I’m pretty sure to make my mark.
If I’m in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again,
If I abstain from fun and such,
I’ll probably amount to much,
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.
Introducing our latest database, Freegal! Freegal is a downloadable music service that offers access to about 3 million songs from over 10,000 labels with music that originates in over 60 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. All you need is your library card number and PIN!
You can search by keyword, artist, or album or use the advanced search page. You can also browse artists A to Z, see genre lists in dozens of categories, and listen to sample clips before you download.
Somerville residents are entitled to download three free tracks per week. Downloads are all in the MP3 format and will work with any MP3 player, including iPod, and can be loaded into iTunes. There are also mobile apps available for iOS and Android devices. Check it out!
It’s Summer Reading Club time at all three SPL locations! This year’s theme is Dig Into Reading. When you join, you’ll receive: a logbook to record your summer reading (books you enjoy on your own, or stories read TO you by a caregiver or…even a librarian!), a bag to carry those summer reading books, and a calendar of our summer events! Thanks to the Friends of the Somerville Public Library, we have many fun and free programs planned this summer! Highlights include:
3 Kidstock Theater shows at the Central Library
Rosalita’s Puppets at the East Branch
Live Animal presentations at all three libraries
Groundwork Somerville programs at all three libraries
Jungle Jim’s Wild About Reading Balloon Magic Show at Central & East
Ed Morgan the Music Man at East
plus origami, writing programs, storytimes, sing alongs, and more!
Just a short ferry ride from Long Wharf gets you to the islands, and once you’re there you’ll find it hard to believe that you’re so close to the City. Having personally spent many happy days on the islands, I can highly recommend them. You can picnic under the trees or explore the Civil War era fort on George’s Island, relax on the beach on Lovell’s or Spectacle Island, watch the wild rabbits on Grape Island, pick berries on Bumpkin, and so much more.
The Boston Harbor Islands pass provides 2-for-1 ferry tickets for up to four people. It is available on weekdays – excluding June 18th, July 4th & 5th, August 9th, September 2nd, and October 14th, which are Free Ferry Days!
I didn’t submit my suggestions in time to be included in the last post but I’ll throw a few out there now. I recently saw Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery , which was a lot of fun. Woody re-teams with his erstwhile muse Diane Keaton, and the inspired addition of Alan Alda and Anjelica Huston makes the whole thing even better. Carol and Ted (Keaton and Alda) are sure that their elderly acquaintance Paul (Jerry Adler) has committed the perfect murder. Hard-boiled author Marcia Fox (Huston) jumps into their bumbling investigation with both feet, but Larry (Allen) thinks they’re all nuts. Extra: before they were famous fun! Look for Zach Braff (aka J. D. Dorian) and Aida Turturro (aka Janice Soprano) in blink-and-you-miss-them roles.
Some of the old sitcoms make me laugh too, and The Dick Van Dyke Show has to be one of the best. The show features great writing (much of it by Carl Reiner) and an incredibly talented cast. Check out this clip for some crazy 60′s dancing by Buddy, Sally, and the rest of the gang, including a 25 year old Mary Tyler Moore. As for Dick Van Dyke’s performance, I have no words, only a question – how does he do that?
Did you know that the Library subscribes to LearningExpress Job & Career Accelerator, a resource that combines everything you need for a successful job search into one easy-to-use online application? With this innovative job-hunting system, you can:
Explore detailed information on over 1,000 different occupations
Match your interests and skills with the career that’s best for you
Search over five million up-to-the-minute local and national job postings
Search for internships, schools & programs, scholarships & financial aid
Create professional resumes and cover letters
Practice and master interviewing skills
Get invaluable tips and advice every step of the way—from your initial search to accepting an offer
Conveniently organize and track your job-search progress all in one place
Whether you’re looking to find a new job in your current field, or to pursue a career in an exciting new industry, LearningExpress Job & Career Accelerator will guide you through every step of the process.
The Library is offering free workshops on how to get started using Job and Career Accelerator throughout the month of April. Choose from the dates and times listed below:
Tuesday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 16th at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 20th at 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, April 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 25th at 3:00 p.m.
The workshops will be held at the Central Library. Please register in person at the Reference Desk or call 617-623-5000 x2955 or email email@example.com.
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
On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye. Claire makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer. Desperate to improve her situation, she lets herself be lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—one of the Degas masterpieces stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when the long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery. Claire’s search for the truth about the painting’s origins leads her into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life. B. A. Shapiro’s razor-sharp writing and rich plot twists make The Art Forger an absorbing literary thriller that treats us to three centuries of forgers, art thieves, and obsessive collectors. It’s a dazzling novel about seeing—and not seeing—the secrets that lie beneath the canvas. [publisher's description]
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
This is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Boo’s (The New Yorker) first book. She takes a look at the stark lives of the inhabitants of Annawadi, a slum across from Mumbai’s Sahar Airport, to reveal the wrenching inequality and urban poverty still endemic in India’s democracy. Using recorded and videotaped conversations, interviews, documents, and the assistance of interlocutors, Boo profiles the lives of some of the slum dwellers from November 2007 to March 2011. There is Abdul, a young adult scavenger with a profitable trade in recyclables. The one-legged Fatima’s home is divided from Abdul’s by merely a sheet. Readers follow the treacherous paths of these and other lives. A fateful chain of events leads to a criminal case against Abdul and his family. Boo presents glimpses of the corrupt police who feed on those without political power or education. She claims she witnessed most of the events described in the book. A tour de force, this book is powerful yet far from harrowing. Highly recommended. – Library Journal
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken
The year is 1950, and in a small town on Cape Cod twenty-six-year-old librarian Peggy Cort feels like love and life have stood her up. Until the day James Carlson Sweatt–the “over-tall” eleven-year-old boy who’s talk of the town-walks into her library and changes her life forever. Two misfits whose lonely paths cross at the circulation desk, Peggy and James are odd candidates for friendship, but nevertheless they find their lives entwined in ways that neither one could have predicted. And as James grows–six foot five at age twelve, then seven feet, then eight–so does Peggy’s heart and their most singular romance. Named one of the 20 Best Young American Novelists by Granta, Elizabeth McCracken is a writer of fabulous gifts. The Giant’s House, her first novel, is an unforgettably tender and quirky novel about the strength of choosing to love in a world that offers no promises, and no guarantees. [publisher's description]
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The first immortal human cells, code-named HeLa, have flourished by the trillions in labs all around the world for more than five decades, making possible the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, and many more crucial discoveries. But where did the HeLa cells come from? Science journalist Skloot spent 10 years arduously researching the complex, tragic, and profoundly revealing story of Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old African American mother of five who came to Johns Hopkins with cervical cancer in 1951, and from whom tumor samples were taken without her knowledge or that of her family. Henrietta died a cruel death and was all but forgotten, while her miraculous cells live on, growing with mythological intensity. Skloot travels to tiny Clover, Virginia; learns that Henrietta’s family tree embraces black and white branches; becomes close to Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah; and discovers that although the HeLa cells have improved countless lives, they have also engendered a legacy of pain, a litany of injustices, and a constellation of mysteries. Writing with a novelist’s artistry, a biologist’s expertise, and the zeal of an investigative reporter, Skloot tells a truly astonishing story of racism and poverty, science and conscience, spirituality and family driven by a galvanizing inquiry into the sanctity of the body and the very nature of the life force. – Booklist
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
In his most compelling chronicle to date, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner
Tracy Kidder investigates a far harsher world in the company of Paul Farmer, a radical
public health reformer devoted to providing medical care to the poor, mainly in Haiti. A
Harvard-educated medical anthropologist, TB expert, and MacArthur genius gifted with an unshakable moral imperative, an ardent imagination, and limitless energy, compassion, and chutzpah, Farmer created Partners in Health, a renegade yet hugely influential organization. A powerful presence, this uncompromising visionary is too spectacularly impressive not to be disconcerting, and Kidder shares his puzzlement over and occasional discomfort with this charismatic and tirelessly giving man who eschews personal comfort to care for the underdogs of the underdogs. As Kidder accompanies Farmer on his exhausting and risky daily routines and epic travels, he parses the cruel realities of deep poverty and the maddening politics of international health care. Most importantly, Kidder portrays a genuinely inspired and heroic individual, whose quest for justice will make every reader examine her or his life in a new light. – Booklist
Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community engagement by
encouraging people all over the City to read and discuss the same book.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-842-2278.