Archive for the “Library Services” Category
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Courtesy of storycorps.org
It should come as no surprise to this city’s residents, but members of this diverse and vital community have a story to tell. And your library is going to help them tell it – thanks to a grant from the American Library Associaton and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will enable us to launch our own version of the “StoryCorps @ your library” program.
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. StoryCorps has collected nearly 70,000 interviews from all 50 states. Each interview is recorded on a free CD for participants to take home and share with their loved ones. With permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts each week on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” To catch up on previous stories, click here.
As Somerville Public Library moves to become one of the nation’s personal history hubs, the library’s new Teen Center and Local History Collection will anchor the program, by providing participants and information needed to launch the program. We intend to capture life in Somerville from people of all ages, races, orientations and backgrounds. The library will train participants in the use of StoryCorps methods, including learning how to use media equipment, story board and animation, and will keep copies of these valuable oral history documents in the library. The library will also have a visual and audio web portal that will feature rotating stories.
The library will be working with community groups — including the Library Teen Advisory Group, the Somerville Arts Council, the Welcome Project, Somerville High School and the Awesome Box Project — in this endeavor. Somerville joins the following libraries as members of this pilot program: San Francisco Public Library; Chicago Public Library; Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries, Tampa, Fla.; Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup, N.M.; Bellmore Memorial Library, Bellmore, N.Y.; Greensboro Public Library, Greensboro, N.C.; Multnomah County Public Library, Portland, Ore.; Nashville Public Library, Nashville, Tenn.; and Smithville Public Library, Smithville, Texas.
See storycorps.org or this press release for more information about the program.
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The Somerville Public Library is doing something no other public library has done before.
In a partnership with the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, the SPL’s three branches are the first public libraries to have an “Awesome Box.” (Harvard University has utilized these boxes in some of their libraries.) Pictured on the right, these boxes are near the regular return drop off points. Patrons who have particularly enjoyed a book, CD, movie or any other item can return the item to the Awesome Box. They will then be listed on the library’s Awesome Box page (http://somerville.awesomebox.io/), so patrons can share what they find interesting and discover what their neighbors enjoy.
The main branch’s “Awesome Box”
If there’s something that strikes your fancy, click on the item and the site will send you to the library’s catalog, where you can read more about the item, find out if it’s currently available and place a hold on it. There is also a “most awesome” section, which shows the items that were most thought to be awesome. Users can also search for items that are listed as awesome.
We hope that these boxes will spark conversation among library patrons and their neighbors as we continue to provide the best possible service and resources to you!
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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.
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Do you want to learn Adobe Dreamweaver or Flash? Learn the basics of statistics? Get an electrician’s license? We’ve got a great new database for Somerville patrons who want or need to learn new skills. LearningExpress is a database of online tutorials and exams geared to the educational needs of children and teens and the vocational needs of adults. The tutorials and online courses cover school subjects ranging from elementary school reading to AP calculus. Computer software training includes learning the basics of Windows or the Mac OS, the Adobe family of programs, and runs the Microsoft gamut from basic spreadsheets (Excel) to intranet content management (SharePoint).
Anyone who needs to prepare for an occupational exam should check out LearningExpress: it’s got practice tests for the Civil Service exam, the Commercial Driver’s License test, the ASVAB, the plumber’s license and more.
LearningExpress also offers lessons on resume and business letter writing, job interviewing, managing your personal finances and GED prep.
Finally there’s a section for Spanish speakers that includes a guide to getting a green card, citizenship exam prep, and ESL lessons.
To get started with LearningExpress, click on the “Databases” link on the Minuteman catalog page. If you’re doing this from home you’ll be prompted for your library card number. Enter it and you’ll be taken to a page with an alphabetical list of databases. Go down to “L.” Then register to create a username and password. Then it’s off to school!
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Technology has changed the way we consume entertainment. If you like cats, every minute Youtube uploads 72 hours worth of video (I am guessing 50% of which is cats doing funny things). Video was supposed to kill the radio star in 1981, but in 2013 modern technology has not bumped radio off yet; to to contrary, we have satellite radio. It would be hard to picture 20 years ago, pulling out your cell phone instead of a camera to take a picture, but that is where we are today. Books have also gotten a digital overhaul. In the past few years, eBooks have flooded the market. Manufacturers have produced a record number of Kindles, Nooks and iPads. How it will affect books in the future is playing out now in courtrooms and living rooms.
There is a lawsuit from the Justice Department about the the format eBooks are being sold and price fixing. What it breaks down to is: when you buy a book, how much do you really own it? And do the big publishers have a monopoly where they can set any price for their product?
Obviously there is more to the lawsuit than these questions, but it gets you thinking. It is easy to wrap up a book and give it as a gift. But when the giftee has an eReader, do you give them gift card to their online store with a book title in mind? Somehow that seems less personal. Many of the books I own have an inscription on the inside cover from a family member, or close friend– that’s not so easy with an eReader. And how many books have you lent out to a friend or bought for a birthday (hoping to borrow it in the future). The DRM format prevents sharing of eBooks. The music industry has scared the publishing industry into thinking anything that is digital will be stolen or pirated. If you own a Kindle and iPad and want to read your book on both devices- have fun buying it twice.
Classics, like Les Miserables, Moby Dick and Tom Sawyer, haven entered into the public domain, are available for free. This is a great way to find books and authors you’ve heard of your entire life, but haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Somerville Public Library has its own collection of eBooks. We encourage you to check them out! What you can’t find in eBook format, try audio books. Now that many people have phones with mp3 capabilities, it is easier to carry an audio book rather than 7 CDs (as long as you have the digital space).
As much as we all love technology, there are certain feelings you get from having a book in your hands. The musty tang of an old book or the fresh ink and paper smell of a new book is a secret love of mine (even though I’m breathing in the decaying glue binding). Or how about the feeling of being 90% done with a book, and having your left hand full of the pages you have read? I know I’m not the only one who, at a party, looks over the host’s bookshelf to find out a little more about their reading proclivities. I’m looking forward to see how eBooks will change the Publishing industry. In the meantime- try not to go Fahrenheit 451 on your print books just yet (unless it’s the yellow pages).
Somerville Library Board of Trustees
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Blogging on this site was fun while it lasted. I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and favorite books with everyone. However, today is my last day as a Somerville Public Library staff member, therefore this will be my last blog post.
I would like to say good-bye and thank you to all the staff for such a wonderful work experience. Maria is a kind and caring director. Ellen is so nice, kind-hearted, and helpful. I loved talking to Marita about good books. Ron is really friendly and a perfect teen librarian. George was funny. I enjoyed working with Zoe and Max. As always, Cathy and Ann were nice, loving, and ready to answer any question I had. Weini and Patty were really kind to me. Wendy and Jim were down to business, but also very kind. Again thank-you to all the staff I have and haven’t mentioned. I’m glad that I got to know you better by working here. I hope to see you around when I stop by as a library “customer!”
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Susan Hassan :)
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Posted by: Susan in Books, Events, Library Services, Online Resources, Teens, You've Got to Read This, tags: homework help, library, Somerville Public Library, Teen Advisory Board, teen space, Teens
Hi, this is Susan and Zoe! We just got out of an awesome meeting with the Teen Advisory Board. As you may or may not know, SPL is in the process of creating a space for teens to hang out, work, and collaborate. It will be located in what is now the Audio-Visual room (that stuff is going to be moved upstairs), and there are going to be a lot of great things about the new space. First of all, how many times have you gone to the library to work or hang out, and been told you were talking too loud? Yes, it’s even happened to us. Now you can finally have somewhere to work on group projects, get homework help, or even play cards, and not have to worry about “whispering.”
There are going to be some great resources available as well. The Leonard Carmichael Society (LCS) is a student run community service organization at Tufts. They have one-on-one tutoring on campus, but are looking to branch out and start a tutoring program at the library. One of LCS’s co-presidents, Shayna, came to our meeting to brainstorm ideas for the program. Here are some of the ideas that we came up with (and hopefully will be put into action!)…
- after-school homework help
- workshops (about topics like essay writing, note taking, and study skills)
- help with science fair and other group projects
- a teen book club
- help with summer homework (and pacing)
- advice and assistance with the college application process
Hopefully the space will be open in the fall, but for now feel free to come to the TEEN DROP-INS in the auditorium of the Central Branch Library from 3-6 pm on Friday afternoons. Check out the new Facebook page for details.
Hope you’re having a great summer!
Susan and Zoe :)
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I am working at the library because, first of all, I wanted a summer job. Many of my friends decided to participate in the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program and my older sister has done it last year. Based on all that, I decided to participate as well since it looks good on a resume, is good for college, and a good introduction to the working world.
On the application, there were 5 categories of jobs and you had to rank them in order of what you would like to do most. These categories included: office, library, DPW, and recreation. I ranked library as my first choice and drew a little star next to it. Office was my second choice.
I chose library as my first choice because I love it here. I thought it would be fun to actually work here. I envisioned it as a quiet, peaceful job where I would be putting books on shelves and barcodes on books. So far I have put barcodes on books and then put them on shelves, but there is so much more work to do in a library than I thought. There are also events to plan and run, a teen room to design, and blogging (like I am now!) to do. I think that I’ll have a great time while I’m here! :)
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