July 6th 2016
There are so many different ways we're being watched, it's easy to think having any privacy is hopeless, but you shouldn't give up.
On Saturday, July 16 at noon we're hosting an online privacy workshop here at SPL. It will be very hands on, so bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop (or all three) so fix your settings, download apps, and add browser extensions to keep your online activities safe from prying eyes.
In the meantime here are some easy steps you can take now to lay the... Read Post
July 1st 2016
You've probably already made your Independence Day plans, but if you haven't, here are some ideas:
The Boston Calendar has a list of 76 Things to Do in Boston this Weekend.
If you want to see fireworks but dread the mobs at the Esplanade, here are some options.
And for food, historic walking tours, live entertainment, and art, consider going to Boston HarborFest.
Have fun and be safe.
June 28th 2016
It will get easier to say no to Windows 10. Soon when you click on the x in the upper-corner of the pop-up box nagging you to "upgrade" to Windows 10, the box will actually disappear as you would expect instead of downloading Windows 10. Furthermore the pop-up will soon feature the option "Decline Free Offer" which means you will never see it again.
But be aware if you use Windows 7 there will be no more system updates. However, Microsoft will continue to support the system with security... Read Post
June 27th 2016
Last week I posted about books, plays and television programs related to Henry VIII (last Friday was the anniversary of his coronation). A reader of this blog pointed out to me that I omitted a certain musical tribute to England's most famous king, so here it is:
I also discovered this video that sums up most of what you would learn from any books about Henry VIII and his wives:
Never say I don't give the public what they want.
June 24th 2016
...for June 24:
Henry VIII was crowned King of England on this day in 1509. It was the beginning of a turbulent reign, and nearly all of the turbulence was caused by his difficulties in fathering a son: he was only the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, a family whose claim to the crown was shaky at best. To prevent a return to civil war it was essential Henry have at least one male heir. In his quest for sons, he married six times, beheaded two of his wives, and took England out of the... Read Post
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 Vox.com 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
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.