Holidays

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.  
October 27th 2015
Erica Jones, the dynamic Outreach Director for Somerville Community Access Television, asked people from the community to read spooky stories on TV in honor of Halloween. It's a fun, spook The link to all the Spooky Story Readings is here. And below are two readings by our very own head Children's Librarian Cathy Piantigini and James Fox of the Friends of the Library. Enjoy!
October 31st 2014
Run, Ichabod, run!!

Happy Halloween! I am reminiscing about my favorite childhood Halloween TV specials. I always loved Disney's Halloween Treat that featured the Ichabod Crane clip, which sadly I can't find online. (The Headless Horseman scared the pants off me!) But there's plenty of other goodies to be found in that special on YouTube: http://youtu.be/ASuuZejf8VE I also loved the Garfield special, which had a scary part, but also Garfield memorably chanting "Candy, candy, candy!" as... Read Post
October 30th 2014
Every year on the evening of October 31 children in the US and Canada put on costumes and go door to door asking for candy. Some adults put on costume parties. TV networks and theaters air horror movie reruns. But why? Halloween is a corruption of the term All Hallow E'en or  All Hallows Eve, the day in the Christian liturgical year before All Hallows Day, a.k.a. All Saints' Day, which is followed by All Souls' Day. In Catholic tradition it's the time when one  is supposed to remember the... Read Post
June 16th 2014
In honor of Bunker Hill Day, which commemorates the defeat of American forces on a different hill.
March 13th 2014
You know how sometimes all you want to do is celebrate the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter?   Well tomorrow is the perfect day to do exactly that: it's March 14th, aka Pi Day! Here in Somerville there are a few events planned that should make this Pi Day the best one ever. Petsi Pies is having their annual Pi Day celebration.  Recite the digits of pi from memory and win free pie!  More digits = more pie!   Starts at 1:59 p.m. The East Somerville Community School is... Read Post
December 31st 2013
New Year's Day-- everything is in blossom! I feel about average.      Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) New Year's Day-- everything is in blossom! I feel about average. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5889#sthash.6qXeBlLU.dpuf
December 13th 2013
The sound systems in supermarkets and shopping malls are blaring Christmas music, your neighbors have extra lights that are well on their way to frying the local electrical grid and you're trying to figure out an appropriate gift for the uncle who last year gave you From Prairies to Peaks: A History of the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service, 1905-2012. Well, maybe you would like to avoid Yuletide this year.  Maybe you're not in the mood for wreaths and eggnog. Take heart. You've... Read Post
November 26th 2013
Thursday, November 28, will not only be Thanksgiving Day, it will also be the first day of Chanukah.  Some people have taken it upon themselves to create culinary mashups of the two holidays,  an effort I think misguided, but if the Internet is any indicator of the zeitgeist, it seems to be what some people want.   Just like when patrons ask for help finding Fifty Shades of Grey: it's not for me to judge.** My job is just to provide information. Herewith, a modest catalog of Thanskgannukah... Read Post
October 30th 2013
In honor of Halloween, some denizens of the Interwebs are indulging their list-making mania by compiling lists of scary books or movies.  Below is a brief list of my own: six works--three books, three movies that were created with one purpose in mind: to scare the bejesus out of us. Books: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This 1959 novel is the haunted house story. Hill House is a long-abandoned country residence with an unsettling reputation. An investigator of psychic... Read Post
May 26th 2013
Today is the day the nation remembers those who have died serving in the armed forces.  Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday began to honor those men who had died for the Union in the Civil War.  Time has a brief history of the holiday  here. If you're interested in learning more about the grim realities of military service, I recommend War by Sebastian Junger.  The award-winning author of A Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont accompanied a platoon during a fifteenth-month tour of... Read Post
January 21st 2013
Today we honor the memory of one of the greatest Americans ever, a man whose courage, wisdom, and determination changed this country forever. In the twelve years between his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and his murder at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Martin Luther King did more to advance racial justice than had been accomplished in the previous century since emancipation. The finest work I know on King's life and work is Taylor Branch's three-volume America in the King Years. I... Read Post
October 16th 2012
Come to the East Branch Library on Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m. and meet one of the nation's foremost authorities on Halloween, Lesley Pratt Bannatyne. Lesley will share her knowledge of Halloween in a talk and slide show. She will also be signing copies of her new book, Halloween Nation.

On a mission to define the modern Halloween, Lesley delves into the world of enthusiasts, fanatics, and subcultures including Goth, metal, and zombie. In a series of investigative... Read Post
August 31st 2012
Take a YouTube break and learn about the politically charged origins of Labor Day:
December 27th 2011
Burning the Christmas Greens by William Carlos Williams Their time past, pulled down cracked and flung to the fire --go up in a roar All recognition lost, burnt clean clean in the flame, the green dispersed, a living red, flame red, red as blood wakes on the ash-- and ebbs to a steady burning the rekindled bed become a landscape of flame At the winter's midnight we went to the trees, the coarse holly, the balsam and the hemlock for their green At the thick of the dark the moment of the... Read Post