October 15th 2008
maple tree with orange leaves

the National Month for so many things, from the serious (Breast Cancer Awareness, Gay & Lesbian History) to the silly (Popcorn Poppin', Squirrel Awareness.)  Let's choose a few topics and see what the Library has to offer: 1. National Children's Magazine Month. The Library has lots: Dig, Cobblestone, Ranger Rick, Sports Illustrated for Kids, American Girl, Cricket, Highlights for Children, National Geographic Kids, and many more! 2. National Emotional Intelligence Month. Again, we've got... Read Post

October 10th 2008
...then you've probably got some complaints about the Vista operating system.  New York Times writer Stephen Williams feels your pain--and he knows ways you can get some relief. Check out his October 8 article for tips on how make Vista run faster and more smoothly. If you're really ambitious you might want to walk away from Windows altogether. We've got a few books on Ubuntu--the free operating system from the people behind Linux. Do some reading: you might find  open-source software is for... Read Post
September 30th 2008
September 27-October 4 2008 is Banned Books Week, held every year to remind Americans of  their right to freedom of expression by calling attention to books that people have tried to deny others the right to read. You find can a list of the most frequently targeted books of 2007 here. If you want to test your knowledge of censorship history, you can take this fun Banned Books quiz from the Guardian. And here's an interesting discussion of book banning on the Wall Street Journal's law blog.... Read Post
September 22nd 2008
Beading Basics/Carole Rodgers

745.582 RO

Creative Beading/Juju Vail

745.582 VO

Simply Beautiful Beading: 53 quick and easy projects/Heidi Boyd

745.582 BO

Beading in the Native American Tradition/David Dean

746.5 DE

... Read Post
September 19th 2008
Are you unsure what to think about AIG? Are you baffled at the nationalization of the mortgage industry under a Republican administration? SPL has a few books that can clear things up. For starters, check out  Railroading  Economics: The Creation of the Free Market Mythology by  Michael  Perlman.  Or maybe it'll help to review another  financial meltdown:  Full Faith and Full Credit:  The Great S & L Debacle and Other Washington Sagas by L. William Seidman.   And if you feel  you need to... Read Post
September 16th 2008
DVD cover of "The Secret of Roan Inish"

The Somerville Public Library is hosting an Irish film series this fall. All shows will be held on Tuesday evenings at the Central Library at 6:30 p.m. Dates and screenings are listed below, along with some links to reviews and plot summaries. We hope you can join us!


Sept. 16: The Crying Game

Sept. 30: The Magdalene Sisters

Oct. 7: The Secret of Roan Inish

Oct. 28:... Read Post

September 10th 2008
Of course you are - everyone is. It's hard to tell who and what to believe amidst all the rhetoric, accusations, and claims. None of us has the time to research everything we hear, but luckily a couple of websites out there have done it for us. is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that monitors the factual accuracy of claims made in ads, interviews, news releases, speeches, and debates. It is updated daily. is similar, but includes the fun and entertaining... Read Post
September 6th 2008
Wordpress apparently has difficulty handling images: it wouldn't allow me to post more than two before and after photos in one post, so I'm doing a second one.  And a heartfelt thank-you to JM's Painting Company for all their great work!
September 5th 2008
Last month the Central Library received some much-needed maintenance and repair work. You can see the improvement in these sample before and after pictures.
August 29th 2008
If you are looking for a new movie to enjoy, the AV department has some new titles on the way. Make sure to stop by and check out these and many more new movies this fall! Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) "Ireland, 1920. Damien and Teddy are brothers. But while the latter is already the leader of a guerrilla squad fighting for the independence of his motherland, Damien, a medical graduate of University College, would rather further his training at the London hospital where he has found a... Read Post
August 19th 2008
I'm sure many of you are on the hold list for books such as Unaccustomed Earth, The Last Lecture, or What Happened. While you're waiting, you might want to pass the time with some of the older books in our collections--many of which never have been and never will be the flavor of the month but are great reads nonetheless. Joseph Mitchell was one of the great journalists of the mid-twentieth century, writing wonderfully detailed portraits of people and places in New York City--an exemplar of... Read Post
August 13th 2008
Last Saturday's talk on Somerville, Massachusetts: A Brief History was a success. Dee Morris gave a brief talk on the writing of the book. Her co-author (and former Somerville librarian) Dora St. Martin read a couple of passages--one on Franklin Roosevelt's devoted secretary (and Somerville native) Missy LeHand and another on Somerville poet Sam Walter Foss. People came and went for the better part of two hours to buy copies and talk to the authors. There were so many buyers the author ran out... Read Post
August 11th 2008
Ian Frazier

Ian Frazier is a funny guy. He's so funny that when The Atlantic Monthly published selections from the best writing ever to appear in its pages, Frazier was one of only four authors represented in the category of humorous essays. The others were Mark Twain, James Thurber, and Kurt Vonnegut. Frazier's latest collection, Lamentations of the Father, exemplifies why he belongs in such illustrious company. The title essay is a list of directives from a father to his offspring couched in biblical... Read Post

August 6th 2008
We've decided to ask local authors what books they've been enjoying lately. First up is Pagan Kennedy, the award-winning author of Black Livingstone, The First Man-Made Man and The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories (coming out in September). "These days I'm most interested in narrative nonfiction, so here's a pick from that genre: The Scarlett Professor by Barry Werth. In the 1950s, a professor at Smith College revolutionized the field of literary criticism. Newton Arvin was... Read Post
July 30th 2008
Cover of book "Introducing Somerville: a Brief History"

Enter Somerville, a city packed with stories larger than itself, to salute a heritage that justifies the fierce pride of its citizens. Share a perch on one of Somerville's celebrated hills with Dee Morris and Dora St. Martin and watch the raising of America's first flag and the stringing of its first telephone line. Strolling from neighborhood to neighborhood, this brief history knocks on the doors of everyone from the father of Fenway Park to Missy LeHand, Franklin D. Roosevelt's private... Read Post