March 16th 2018
stephen hawking books and movies

By now, you have likely heard of the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the most celebrated thinkers of our time. Dr. Hawking was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, advocate for disability rights, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. 

If you would like to learn more about his work or life, the Somerville Public Library owns several of his books, as well as biographical books and films written or produced about... Read Post

March 9th 2018

Daily savings time ends this Sunday, March 11; so on Saturday night (or very early Sunday morning) everyone should set their clocks ahead one hour. Many (quite reasonably) wonder why we set our clocks back an hour during the fall in the first place. The idea behind it is conserving resources. If everyone gets up an hour later (when it’s lighter) during the winter months we’re supposedly saving energy. Supposedly Benjmain Franklin first proposed daylight saving time (DST) as a way to save... Read Post

March 5th 2018
Image of Comics and Graphic Novels

Are you a graphic novel fan? Why not check out your local library for your favorites? We have an entire area dedicated to graphic novels. Is there a title missing, that you’d like to see added? Just ask a reference librarian! Or just come sit and read in our lovely little alcove.

Below are some great titles that you shouldn’t miss!

Saga. Book Two- By Brian K. Vaughn

"Saga. Book Two continues the action-packed education of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents... Read Post

February 24th 2018
Reference Desk at the Somerville Public Library, early 20th century

Would you believe that word-puzzle contests were so popular in the mid-20th century that many libraries had to put their dictionaries under lock and key? Puzzle-solvers devoured dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works in pursuit of cash prizes, and deluged library staff with requests for answers to puzzle questions. They ripped pages from dictionaries and hid reference books to thwart other contestants’ chances.

In a recent browse of our local history room, we... Read Post

February 18th 2018
skeins of yarn

If you're a knitter the Library has so much to offer you!

Drop in knitting evenings (Mondays at the West Branch, Thursdays at the East Branch.)  Socialize with fellow knitters, work on your current project, maybe get some advice on the tricky parts. Community Scarf Projects at all three SPL locations - sit down, relax, and add a row or two! Get Cozy at the Library!  Enjoy the coziness, cocoa, and company at this winter program in which you can choose to make the craft of the day or... Read Post
February 15th 2018
American Library Association Youth Media Awards Logo

Monday was a big day in the children’s literature world -- the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards were announced!  The annual awards include not only the big two -- Caldecott and Newbery -- but a number of other awards recognizing a broad spectrum of children's and young adult literature.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal, which recognizes the most distinguished American picture book for children each year, was awarded to “Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and... Read Post

February 14th 2018
somerville reading list book covers

Are you interested in learning more about the history of Somerville or reading books that take place in Somerville? We've got you covered with this reading list. This list was compiled with the help of library staff at all locations and across all departments. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas!

1. Beyond the Neck : the Architecture and Development of Somerville, Massachusetts by Carole Zellie

We're kicking our list off with a few books that provide some... Read Post

February 8th 2018

African-American history is endlessly fascinating: it's the troubling, complex counterpoint to the sanitized, triumphalist version of American history so many of us were taught in school and that still appears in popular historical works. The Internet is a trove of riches on the black American experience.  Below are links to a small, eclectic sample of what's available online.

At the Library of Congress you can listen to, or read transcripts of, interviews conducted with former... Read Post

February 4th 2018

Have you ever bought a product online because of great reviews and customer ratings but ended up disappointed with it? You're not alone: the problem is common enough to warrant news coverage. Many of the rave reviews on retail websites are fakes: written by paid reviewers who've never used the product or service in question. In some cases the reviews aren't even written by actual people. can help you identify dishonest reveiws: simply paste the url of a product (for... Read Post

January 30th 2018
Magazine covers of new magazines

FOMO alert!

If you haven’t explored our magazine section lately, you could be suffering from the Fear Of Missing Out on our new titles! Just to tempt you to come to the second floor of the Central Library and take a look, here are a few of our edgier ­­­­­­new additions... With a valid Minuteman library card, you can check out all magazines, even the most recent issues, for one week.

Bitch – a feminist essential for any reader. Expect snappy reviews, in-depth... Read Post

January 24th 2018

Ursula Le Guin, the acclaimed author of The Earthsea Trilogy, The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness and more than 40 other works of science fiction and fantasy, died this past Monday. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including being declared a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. Le Guin was 88.

Yale professor and literary critic Harold Bloom called her a “major stylist” who “raised fantasy into high literature.” It’s almost impossible to imagine science fiction... Read Post

January 10th 2018
feed the monkey bananas game

Looking for some new toys?  Check something out from the Library!  We’ve got you covered with fun games like...

Feed the Monkey: work on that pincer grip and feel like you’re accomplishing something.

Easy-Twist Animal Builders: fine motor skills, matching, and crazy animals.

And a personal favorite, Don’t Let the Bugs Fall: it’s like Jenga with dice.  (You can see SPL librarians playing this game at the Somerville Media Center!)

Available at all... Read Post

January 7th 2018

Normal hours resume tomorrow.  We apologize for any inconveniences caused by the power outage.

January 5th 2018

The East Branch is currently closed. Stay tuned for updates.

Power will be back on as soon as possible.

January 5th 2018

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of... Read Post