September 3rd 2009

A list of books about the Ice Age.

Adventures in the Ice Age by Linda Bailey     J 569.9 BA The Ascent of Mind: Ice Age Climates and the Evolution of Intelligence by William H. Calvin     573.2 CA Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Rediscovery of the Past by James M. Deem     J 599.9 DE Cave Detectives: Unraveling the Mystery of an Ice Age Cave by David L. Harrison     J 560 HA Children of the Ice: Climate and Human Origins by John & Mary Gribbin     573.2 GR... Read Post
August 26th 2009
Robert Barnard

Robert Barnard is one of my all-time favorite mystery writers.  In case you're not familiar with his books, here's a brief description, adapted from an essay by Marie J. K. Brenner in Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction, Revised Edition © 2008 by Salem Press, Inc. Robert Barnard (eight-time Edgar nominee, winner of the Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Nero Wolfe awards, and recipient of the Crime Writers Association’s Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement) is often said... Read Post

August 17th 2009
Starship Adventure logo

Starship Adventure, the 2009 Statewide summer reading program, is drawing to a close. The East Branch is wrapping things up on Thursday, August 20th at 3:30 p.m. with a Celestial Celebration! Summer Reading Club participants will get their certificates of congratulation, raffle prize winners will be announced, space snacks will be served, and a Martian craft activity is planned - in short, fun will be had! The Central Library will also hold an end-of-summer bash for their summer reading club... Read Post

August 14th 2009
musical group La Tuza - 2 men and 1 woman with musical instruments

Come by the Central Library tomorrow at 2 for a live concert by the Mexican roots band La Tuza! You may have heard them before at venues such as Toad, Club Passim and Johnny D's. There's no other band like them in the Boston area. In addition to conventional instruments, they also use traditional Mexican instruments such as the jarana jarocha and the quijada. You can hear songs from their new album here (my personal favorites are El Celoso and La Mariquita). The Boston Phoenix described... Read Post

August 7th 2009
N. C. Wyeth painting of Robin Hood

Do we ever get tired of Robin Hood and his band of merry outlaws in Sherwood Forest?  I don't.  Here's a short list of some of the Library's Robin-ish books - perfect for reading in the greenwood (or anywhere)!

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire written and illustrated by Howard Pyle A classic, and probably my favorite of all. Pyle's medieval-style illustrations are wonderful (Vincent Van Gogh confessed that Pyle's work "struck me dumb with admiration... Read Post
July 31st 2009
cover of book, "The Mildenhall Treasue" by Roald Dahl

One of the great pleasures of working in a library is this: spending so much time among so many books, sooner or later one is bound to run across something that is wonderful and unexpected - treasure! My latest find, discovered on a book cart in a hallway of the Central Library, is actually about treasure - this edition of Roald Dahl's nonfiction story, The Mildenhall Treasure.  I was familiar with the story (it's in Dahl's collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, and Six More) but... Read Post

July 28th 2009
The sixty-five foot portrait statues of Ramses II, before rock hewn temple of Abu Simbel, Egypt

You might never have a chance to visit the Library of Congress in person, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on all that it offers.  LOC has an array of fascinating digital collections that you can browse from any computer with an Internet connection.  The collections include maps, manuscripts, rare books, art prints, and lots and lots of photographs, such as the one above, which was taken in 1904 by an unknown photographer, and which you can find in the Prints and Photographs... Read Post

July 13th 2009
container of movie popcorn

The Central Library is showing free movies all summer, and so are the cities of Boston and Somerville! Popcorn Movies at the Somerville Central Library, 79 Highland Avenue: Monsters, Inc., Wednesday, July 22nd at 6:30 p.m. The Empire Strikes Back, Thursday, August 13th at 6:30 p.m. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Wednesday, August 26th at 6:30 p.m. Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Thursday, September 10th at 6:30 p.m. The Incredibles, Wednesday, September... Read Post

July 3rd 2009
Green Careers Guide logo

One thing that the economic downturn has meant for us at the Library is that we've been seeing more and more people who are looking for jobs.  Here's a website that offers help if you're looking for a job in the growing field of green industry. Green Careers Guide is an online resource for people seeking careers within the wind, solar, and geothermal industries.  It's free and membership is not required.  On the site you'll find green job listings and best places to train for green jobs.  If... Read Post

May 28th 2009
man's hand holding red pencil, circling help wanted ad in newspaper

Our thoughts and good wishes are with all of you who have lost jobs as a result of the recession.  We're here to assist you to the extent possible, with resumé writing tips, job search help, and books such as these: Are You a Corporate Refugee?: a Survival Guide for Downsized, Disillusioned, and Displaced Workers by Ruth Luban 650.14 LU Diary of a Job Search: One Man's Journey from Unemployment to a New Career by Tim Johnston with Laura Lorber and Perri Capell 650.14 JO The Disposable... Read Post

May 21st 2009
deliberately blurred black and white photo of a person sleeping
a secret wish expressed by the subconscious mind? a manifestation of a psychological archetype? a thought that occurs during sleep, which may or may not be relevant to a situation in waking life? a mere biological function?

Whichever theory you subscribe to (except for that last one, which sounds like no fun so let’s just pretend it isn’t there) the Library offers books that just may help you to understand the meaning of your dreams.

The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering... Read Post

May 15th 2009
West Branch library

This month our beloved West Branch in Davis Square is celebrating its 100th birthday.  If you've haven't been there yet, or even if you're a frequent visitor, now is a great time to get to know this lovely library better.

On Sunday, May 17th at 3:00 p.m., architectural conservator Sara Chase will give a talk entitled A Jewel in the Crown: the West Branch Library. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer period and a walk around the building to... Read Post

April 20th 2009

We shouldn't let National Poetry month go by without considering the limerick. You can find the Library's limerick books by clicking here. There are also lots of very funny ones to be found online at the Limerick Database. Not all of them are good, and not all of them are clean - you have been warned! - but here's an example of one that's both. (Bonus: it's not just a limerick, it's a template for would-be poets who are metrically challenged!)

There once... Read Post

April 17th 2009
storyteller Motoko

Sumo Mice & Power Rice: Tales and Games from Japan Central Library, 79 Highland Ave. Wednesday, April 22nd at 2pm Award-winning storyteller Motoko delights audiences of all ages with her expressive and exciting performance of folktales from Japan, complete with music, mime, and humor. The program is recommended for children age 5 and older and their families. At the end of the program, every child will receive Motoko’s original paper sumo game! Motoko has performed at many schools and... Read Post

April 15th 2009
John Tenniel illustration of Father William and his son

The Old Man’s Complaints and How He Gained Them by Robert Southey (1774 - 1843)

"You are old, father William," the young man cried,

"The few locks which are left you are grey;

You are hale, father William, a hearty old man;

now tell me the reason, I pray."


"In the days of my youth," father William replied,

"I remember'd that youth would fly past,

And abus'd not my health and my vigour at first,

That I never might need... Read Post