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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

June 5th 2017

Did you know that you can borrow eBooks and audiobooks from the library for FREE? You’re reading a library blog so the answer to that question might be “yes,” but we think it’s a fact worth repeating. Speaking of downloading eBooks from the library… Overdrive* has just released a spiffy new app called Libby. You can download Libby from the App store, Google play, or Microsoft. We’ve been tinkering with it at the Central branch, and are happy to report that the new app is great! If you’ve... Read Post

May 27th 2017

It's been a while since we've added a Meet the Staff installment to the blog, and we wanted to fix that! This time, we thought it would be great to not only let you meet one staff member, but our whole Children's Department! The Children's Department has seen a few changes over the last year or so, meaning we have plenty to share. Between the Central Library and the East and West Branch, we've got one of the best teams of Children's Librarians around! 

We asked each of them a few... Read Post

May 26th 2017
Picture of resume and cover letter writing Books

Looking for a job? Did you know that public libraries are key sources of helping job applicants find jobs? Libraries give access to job-seekers. In this vital time of economic stress, this is very important.

So, the Somerville Public Library has thrown together a display of articles, lists of job websites, general information on how to find a job, and where local facilities are in the area that can also be of assistance to you. In addition to this, we have tons of books (we always... Read Post

May 25th 2017

Hey all,

If you're someone that is into your privacy or not into privacy these resources may be of interest to you. Tech-savvy or not you should protect you, your friends and your identity from the internet!

DuckDuckGo-

A search engine like Google that doesn't track your searches!

Tor Browser-

This application re-routes and encrypts communications through a variety of networks. This makes it very hard for someone to track you! The Tor Browser can be... Read Post

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