Libraries and Community

January 5th 2017

The upstairs area at the Central Library--where people get books, museum passes, DVDs, and music, where they use quiet study rooms, access the Internet or just read--has traditionally been called "reference" because that's where the reference desk is.

But that's not a very informative name. And it confuses many people.

If you want to weigh on what to call the upstairs area at Central, take our survey here.

August 9th 2016

Posted by: Heidi

Ever wondered what a banned book is? In the United States approximately 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. This means that someone found certain content offensive and no longer wanted the public to read. Although, in many cases, these books can provide an education to children, young adults and older adults.

The first Amendment states:
“Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free... 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
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

April 29th 2016
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 on vacation? This wacky,... Read Post
April 11th 2016
Did you know that you can check out an e-book for free from your library and download it to your Ipad or kindle fire? A whopping 40% of people don't know they can check out an eBook from their library! So instead of spending all that money on Amazon.com, you can get all the books for free, by signing into Overdrive using your library card. Overdrive has audio books & eBooks! This is just another way libraries are moving along with the times and providing you more ways to access information... Read Post
January 12th 2016

Have you ever noticed the 600 section in the main Somerville library on the second floor? The one where all the eating healthy and fitness books are? Well, I’m on a mission to read all of those books. Will I fail or succeed, who knows? Starting in the 613.2 section, I’m going to read the ones that interest me the most, and write mini reviews along the way. So here it is. Laurie Bell in her book, Loose the Lies, Loose the Weight, is incredibly mmotivating and will... Read Post

September 2nd 2015
Did you know that the Somerville Public Library and SCAT TV have a combined membership? That's right, two of your favorite community places sharing spaces! This combined membership includes technology instruction classes, specifically focused on media, which will be starting in October on the third Tuesday of every month! The first class will be on Social Media 101,  Using your Smartphone and Digital Storytelling. So come join your favorite library at SCAT TV! If your interested, call Heidi... Read Post
August 31st 2015
As you may know, the West Branch Library is going to be renovated and we'd like to get community input on the design that's currently under consideration. Please take a few minutes to check out the website and leave your comments - we appreciate your efforts to help us make a West Branch that will serve the Somerville community well! You can view the plans by clicking here.
August 12th 2015
We're still getting responses to our question about how the Library has impacted your lives. Some are short and simple, like this one: The Library has taught me the invaluable lesson of research and how to learn something new by gathering the books to collect and learn. Whether it be the law, electrical, carpentry, computer knowledge, etc. And of course the simple pleasure of reading a good book. and this one: It’s great to be able to request books and DVDs through the Minuteman Network... Read Post
August 5th 2015
First, the Library has allowed me to break the habit of overbuying books. In the last five years I've learned to ask the Library for a book, and wait, rather than to just buy a book and then have to store it, give it away, or chuck it. The Library always comes through. Second, the Library takes gifts of books and videos and puts them to good use - in circulation, offered in twice-a-year sales, or to recycling. It's allowed me to slowly cull my book count by at least a bookcase worth. I hope... Read Post
July 21st 2015
Here are a few more stories you've shared with us about how the Library has affected you: I am a life-long library goer, but it is only recently that I have really dug into the amazing resources available to me through my local library in Somerville. Six months ago, I started a blog about Somerville's history. The library's archive of Somerville Journal newspapers (going back to the late 1800s) has been invaluable and the librarians have been extremely helpful, showing me how to use the card... Read Post
July 16th 2015
As promised, here's another tale of library love, recently submitted by a Somerville Library user.  We've been absolutely delighted by the stories you've been submitting and would love to hear more.  If  you would like to share your story (and qualify for a chance to win a $25 gift card) email Glenn Ferdman, Director of Libraries, or click here to fill out a short online form.  You can also fill out a paper form at any SPL location.  Thank you! The public library has been a crucial part of my... Read Post
July 14th 2015
Last week we asked you to share your stories of how the Library has impacted your life or the life of a loved one.  Over the last few days we've received some amazing responses, and they're too good to keep to ourselves.  Here's one for a start, and we'll post more soon! When I was a senior in Somerville High School in 1957, I applied for a job as a librarian in the Somerville Public Library on Highland Avenue near the high school.  I was hired part-time to help repair the plastic covers of... Read Post

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