June 20th 2016

Children who don't read during the summer vacation don't do well on reading comprehension tests when school resumes. The cumulative effect can be devastating: summer non-readers can end up two years behind their peers by sixth grade. By contrast, children who read four or more books over the summer fare much better academically in the fall than their peers who read only one book or no books.  The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is challenging people of all ages to read four or... Read Post

June 13th 2016
The Friends of the Somerville Public Library are hosting a six-mile tour of the three library branches, with refreshments and activities along the way.  The aims of this event - beyond celebrating the arrival of summer! - are to introduce Somerville residents to the three historic branch libraries and to highlight the wonderful programs and services they offer. When: Saturday, June 18, 9:15 AM. Where: The Library Ride starts at the West Branch, 40 College Avenue (near Davis Square). Cost: $... Read Post
June 8th 2016

Ladies, are you looking to read a trashy novel that's going to get you into the summer mood? Do you want to travel to Nantucket but don't have the time? Try reading about it instead. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand is set on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachuset ts. The book is set around two housewives Grace Pancik and Madeline King. Grace, with two teenage daughters, may just start a steamy love affair with her landscaper. Madeline, a famous writer, struggles to... Read Post

June 8th 2016
Last Sunday marked the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim year.  If you're a non-Muslim and don't know anything about Ramadan, this brief article at covers the essentials. Muslims believe Ramadan  to be the month God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Mohammed. It's a time of contemplation and celebration. There are an estimated 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, so there's a possibility you know someone or will run into someone who's observing  it. As a... Read Post
June 6th 2016
The Library of America is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to producing  durable high-quality editions of the best of American writing. And it's not just fiction: their nonfiction volumes include the World War II reporting of A.J. Liebling, the movie reviews of James Agee, and the four-volume collection of diaries and letters, The Civil War Told by Those Who Lived It. If you want to get exposure to a range of American writing but are daunted by the size and number of LOA books, sign up for "... Read Post
May 27th 2016
It's Memorial Day weekend, which means the library will be closed Monday. However the library will be open tomorrow and Sunday. Regular hours resume Tuesday, May 31. If you haven't already made plans for this weekend, the Boston Discovery Guide has quite a few suggestions.
May 24th 2016
Our latest staff profile is of Heidi, our Technology Librarian extrordinaire. Heidi says, "I deal with technology issues at all three library locations.  I fix things when they get broken, and I also order and set up new tech equipment from computers, to scanners, to WiFi paraphernalia and more.  I offer one-on-one technology training to our patrons, and collaborate with SCATV to provide a series of classes called Getting Comfortable in the Digital World.  I work on technology programming too... Read Post
May 20th 2016
Cover of the book The Witchesook by Stacy Schiff’s 

Thank you to all the patrons who participated! 
The books are available now!

May 17th 2016
Don't miss out on the Friends of the Library book sale this weekend! You'll find great books at rock-bottom prices! Proceeds of the book sale help fund library programming and museum passes. The book sale begins at noon on Friday and continues to closing time on Sunday.
May 13th 2016
Friday the 13th. The unlucky day. But why do people think Friday 13th is unlucky? No one really knows. Why would anyone even think a particular day is unlucky? Stuart Vyse, the author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, says that superstitions stem out of a desire for control over our lives: so if we think there is a particular day on which the universe is out to get us, we're going to be more careful. And if something bad happens to you on Friday 13th, you can blame the... Read Post
May 12th 2016
...for May 12, 2016. Canadian author and environmentalist Farley Mowat (1921- 2014) was born on this day in Bellville, Ontario. He wrote more than 40 books, the most famous being Never Cry Wolf (1963), supposedly an account of his experiences observing wolves in the wilderness of subarctic Canada. Mowat was often accused of not actually having spent as much time with wolves as he recounts in the book.  Mowat's usual response was that his critics were confusing facts with truth. The book was an... Read Post
May 9th 2016
Mercury is moving between Earth and the Sun today, a relatively rare event known as a solar transit. It began around 7 am today and will continue until 2:42 pm Eastern Time. Whatever you do, don't look directly at the Sun to try watch it. In any case, there's not much to see: just a small black dot (Mercury) on the face of the Sun. If you don't have a solar filter for your camera or binoculars there are plenty of live streams on the Internet, such as the one here. NASA has provided some... Read Post
May 5th 2016
People have been voting for the next Somerville Reads book. So far Stacy Schiff's The Witches is in the lead. If you haven't voted already, come to the Central Library and do so.
April 29th 2016
Top view of Somerville Public Library

We're getting ready for Somerville Reads 2016 - our next One City, One Book program, which will take place in the early Fall - and we need your input! Which of these books would you  most like to read and discuss as a community? You can read about each book below (the reviews have been edited for length then vote for your pick at the bottom of this post.

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowel

What do you get when a woman who's obsessed with death and U.S. history goes... Read Post