Blog

September 25th 2017
Julie and Lilly

Welcome to our latest installment of Meet the Staff on the Library blog! This October, we would like to introduce you to two of our newest staff members, Julie and Lilly.

These two women bring a lot of great ideas, previous library work experience, and enthusiasm to their jobs at the SPL. Though Julie and Lilly work on a large variety of projects, they often find themselves working together to bring you great library programs. They’ve worked together on this year’s Somerville Reads... Read Post

September 12th 2017

In a recent blog post I advised people to go to the website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and input their name and part of their Social Security number to find out if their personal information was compromised. The current consensus is that the site itself is dysfunctional, returning conflicting reports to the same people at different times. In other words, Equifax itself is currently incapable of telling you if you've been put at risk.

So what can you do? First place a fraud alert... Read Post

September 9th 2017
photo of tech services and business office staff

This month on the blog and in our e-newsletter, we’re introducing you to our amazing staff from Tech Services and the Business Office! (If you’re joining us from our e-Newsletter, welcome to the blog!)

You might have seen these wonderful women around the Library, filling in wherever needed. You’ll often see Patty and Wendy in the Children’s Room (Wendy also does a great job at the Reference Desk), Christina at Circulation or in the Teen Room, and Weini at the Circulation Desk.... Read Post

September 7th 2017

The private information of as many as 143 million Americans (as well some Canadians and UK citizens) has been exposed in a cybertack on Equifax, a company that, ironically, sells protection against identity theft. To find out if you've been affected, go to  https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, click on "potential impact" at the bottom of the page and input your last name and Social Security number.

If the resulting message says your personal information  may have been compromised,... Read Post

August 28th 2017

Want to know more about banned books week, check out this YouTube video.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O19TVmXWcyI&feature=youtu.be

August 15th 2017
Stages of an eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible in most of the United States.  A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun.  While Massachusetts is not in the “path of totality,” Somerville residents should be able to see a partial eclipse -- as long as the weather cooperates!

The eclipse will begin around 1:30 PM and last until approximately 4:00 PM.  It will peak in Somerville around 2:45 PM, when about 63% of... Read Post

August 9th 2017

Okay everyone, that time of year is back and the Somerville Public Library's annual banned books are back as well! On September 30th, please join us at the Somerville Public Library on 79 Highland Avenue for a virtual read-a-thon! Pick your favorite banned book and read an excerpt while the Somerville Media Center streams it live!

 

Titles, according to ALA, that have been most challenged in 2016 include:

This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by... Read Post

August 8th 2017

We're past the late spring/early summer when many of us are beginning to think about what to plant on our back decks or in our window boxes. But there's no reason we can't start planning what to grow indoors. Plants are beautiful, they make us feel better, and they can even clean up our environment. Some plants are great for removing chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzine, carbon monoxide, and ammonia from the air. And even plants that aren't top of the line air-purifiers release oxygen,... Read Post

July 25th 2017

Last week I posted about the filter bubble--the selective bias programmed into search engines via your search histories and the cookies web sites leave on your computer. This week I'm posting about how to break out of the filter bubble, so that the results of your web searches don't merely reflect your previous searches but have a better chance of bringing you new information.

Step 1: Delete the cookies in your web browser. A cookie is a small file stored in your computer's web... Read Post

July 19th 2017

...which sites you visit? If you think you do, you're right only up to a point. Sure, you decide which links to click on, but who decides which links appear on your screen when you keyword search in the first place? If you're searching with Google, Bing, or Yahoo, they use your previous searches, the websites you've visited and your IP address to tailor your search results. And if you're logged in to your gmail account while using Google, your Microsoft account while using Bing, or your... Read Post

June 29th 2017
photo of Brigid in front of Central Library

It's time for another edition of Meet the Staff!

For any of you who haven't met her yet (you really are missing out!), Brigid is our English as a Second Language (ESL) Coordinator at the Library. She oversees our ESL program, which means that she teaches classes at all three library locations, organizes a group of great volunteer tutors, and even coordinates library tours and/or field trips for her classes. As we mentioned in the July/August edition of our e-newsletter (be sure to... Read Post

June 27th 2017

Decades ago, when people were looking for jobs, they answered ads in the jobs section of a newspaper or a trade magazine. Sometimes they walked down streets looking for businesses with "Help Wanted" signs in the windows.

Then the Web came along and upended all that. Soon job seekers were going to Craigslist, or web sites for businesses, schools, or governments.  And then databases like Monster and LinkedIn appeared.

And now you can just Google.

Yes, Google. As a... Read Post

June 20th 2017

Many Somervillians (such as the members of our thriving community of artists and writers) have specialized interests and undertake projects that might benefit from access to an academic library. However, many of those same people are neither students nor employees of any of the local universities.

Fortunately, Harvard now offers adult researchers with no academic affiliation access to its special collections: Houghton Library, The Harvard Map Collection, The Harvard Yenching Library... Read Post

June 13th 2017
Book covers of Buffering, Juliet Takes a Breath, and Fun Home

Happy pride month, Somerville! We are always looking for new and diverse books to read and and recommend.This month, we asked Autostraddle contributor, medical resident, and comic book enthusiast Lizz Rubin for some recommendations. Here’s a list of her favorite queer books right now:

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to... Read Post

June 13th 2017

June is LGBT Pride Month, when we celebrate the LGBT Community and recognize their history and present struggles. During this month some posts on this blog will commemorate significant dates in LGBT history.

On June 13, 1995, after the Justice Department refused to become engaged in the legal fight against a Colorado amendment that denied civil rights protections for LGBT people, the Clinton Administration established the first White House liasion to the LGBT communities.

The... Read Post

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