August 28th 2013

One of the transformative moments in American history occurred on August 28, 1963.  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and spoke to roughly 250,000 people, calling for full civil rights for African-Americans. The "I Have a Dream Speech" is one of the pinnacles of American oratory, and as a statement of American ideals is second only to the Declaration of Independence. If you would like to know more about King and the Civil Rights Movement, we've got a... Read Post

August 23rd 2013


The Art Forger to be discussed at events throughout September.

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Maria Carpenter, Director of the Somerville Public Libraries, announced today that the City of Somerville will launch its fourth “One City, One... Read Post

August 22nd 2013

Last weekend a friend I hadn't seen in a long time stopped me on the street and asked me what the library was doing to commemorate the 200th birth year of Richard Wagner.  The library has too many programs for me to keep track of, so I said, "I'll get back to you on that." There is no question that Wagner is a towering figure in Western culture. He influenced  later composers such as Claude Debussy, Hector Berlioz and Gustav Mahler.  And  his cultural impact extended beyond music: the works... Read Post

August 20th 2013
Elmore Leonard, author of such works as Glitz, City Primeval and Killshot, died at his home in Michigan. He was 87. His works were populated by murderers, conmen and schemers, people living alongside us, but in a separate world with its own rules and risks and expectations.  Leonard wrote  about this world with an emotional depth and a gritty realism that endeared him even to critics prone to be dismissive of crime novels. Readers curious about Leonard have two options for sampling his... Read Post
August 14th 2013
We all know Somerville's a great town that faces a lot of issues, particularly gentrification and the conflicting desires of different communities with different histories. Earlier in the month Tufts professor Susan Ostrander (left) gave a talk based on her research for her book Citizenship and Governance in  a Changing City: Somerville, Massachusetts.  She talked to Somervillians of various ethnicities, occupations and ages. And she found that whatever people's differences, most of us want the... Read Post
August 12th 2013
It's official: Whitey Bulger has been found guilty - of a whole lot of stuff - and will presumably be spending the rest of his life behind bars.  Many of us would like to forget all about the notorious thug but, human nature being what it is, a fair number of us want to know all there is to know about Whitey and his doings.  To that end, here's a list of relevant books available through the Minuteman Library Network. Whitey: the Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss by Dick Lehr and... Read Post
August 9th 2013
Another Shark Week is drawing to a close, and a fine one it was, in spite of being marred by a spurious "documentary" and competition from a cat. And while sharks get all the publicity, I have been reminded by a co-worker that it's important to acknowledge the other members of the superorder of cartilaginous fishes. And if  you're sad that Shark Week is over, perhaps you can take a vacation to a town where every week is Shark Week.       I send you into the weekend with a poem: The Shark... Read Post
August 7th 2013
"Dark fins appear, innocent/as if in fair warning"--Denise Levertov, "The Sharks." "You may rest assured that the British government is entirely opposed to sharks"--Winston Churchill in Parliament, Prime Minister's Question Time, Feb. 20, 1945. We've barely begun to recover from the heart-stopping excitement of Sharknado, and here we are in the middle of Shark  Week, the Discovery Channel's annual celebration of all things squaline. And while I'm sure that most of the programming of SW 2013... Read Post
August 5th 2013

This August has some spectacular teen titles for you to read: here's a glance at some of the ones you'll be able to grab from the Somerville Public Library!

The Beginning of Everything—Robyn Schneider

The Bitter Kingdom—Rae Carson

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea—April Genevieve... Read Post

August 3rd 2013

The first book of Victoria Scott’s YA paranormal romance series, The Collector, was a fast, fun read about devils and angels. Dante Walker, a devastatingly handsome, infuriatingly cocky guy who died as a teen and got stuck tracking people’s sins for the Big Guy down below, is charged with an assignment that is more than even he might be able to handle. He’s got to collect sweet, innocent Charlie Cooper’s soul in ten days…or else. How hard could it be to corrupt... Read Post

July 30th 2013

July 24th 2013

  by Siegfried Sassoon

In the grey summer garden I shall find you   With day-break and the morning hills behind you.   There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;   And down the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.   Not from the past you'll come, but from that deep Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep:   And I shall know the sense of life re-born   From dreams into the mystery of morn   Where gloom and brightness meet. And... Read Post
July 15th 2013
This month we're happy to have Somerville High School juniors and seniors at the library doing research on the history of Assembly Square. They're employees of a collaboration between Federal Realty, Artists for Humanity, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and the City of Somerville. "Based on what we find out, we're going to make suggestions for a sculpture, " said SHS senior Larry Barnes. The sculpture will in some way embody the history of Assembly Square and will placed in... Read Post
July 12th 2013
"Observation" by Dorothy Parker If I don't drive around the park, I'm pretty sure to make my mark. If I'm in bed each night by ten, I may get back my looks again, If I abstain from fun and such, I'll probably amount to much, But I shall stay the way I am, Because I do not give a damn.
July 9th 2013
Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, July 10,  at 7 p.m.  for a screening of the documentary Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World. This is the second event in our NEH/ALA sponsored series Muslim Journeys.  Narrated by Susan Sarandon, the film takes viewers on a tour of 9 countries and almost 1,500 years, covering works ranging from household objects such as carved boxes to towering buildings such as the Taj Mahal. The film also examines the common artistic lineages of East and West and the unique... Read Post