April 23 is the date traditionally observed as the birthday of William Shakespeare, an occasion celebrated wherever English is spoken with performances, readings, parades and other events. In Oxford today there was a parade and performances by school children. At Vanderbilt University in Tennessee there are jugglers, troubadors, puppet shows and performances of favorite scenes from the plays. Pittsburgh has declared April 22-28 "The Week of Will," with events ranging from plays in parks to... Read Post
The U.S. citizenship exam tests applicants on reading, writing, and speaking English, plus U.S. civics (history and government). What resources does the library have to help you prepare?
The most current resource comes from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On their Citizenship Resource Center page, you’ll find study materials including downloadable flash cards, vocabulary lists, information on understanding vocabulary for the interview, practice tests, and short... Read Post
Do you feel too connected to electronics? Is it impossible to get your kids off the iPad? Are you angry when your partner checks their phone in the middle of a conversation?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, Screen Free Week might be for you.
Screen Free week, presented by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, is slated for April 30 - May 6, 2018. Children, adults, families, schools and communities are encouraged to unplug from... Read Post
As of March 26, when anyone goes to the RMV to get or renew a driver's license, state ID, or learner's permit they will need more documents than in the past. In a nutshell, they'll have to have documents that:
1) Prove they live in Massachusetts;
2) Prove they have a Social Security number, and...
3) Prove they're legal US residents.
What do these requirements mean in practice? Various kinds of documents are... Read Post
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a hypnotic read about five girls at a summer camp and how a fateful night changes their lives forever.
The book starts off at Camp Forevermore, where the girls first meet during their childhoods. Author Kim Fu goes into great detail regarding the mixed feelings these girls have toward each other as they kayak across the waters, with their leader and camp counselor, Jan.
The childhood entries are narrated by Siobhan, who describes the... Read Post
Thanks to Hannah Payne, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Somerville, for this guest post!
In honor of this year's upcoming SustainaVille Week, I’m taking over the Somerville Public Library blog to share some of my favorite books and movies about the environment, climate change, and sustainability. SustainaVille Week is an annual celebration of sustainability and climate action in Somerville, hosted by the City of Somerville’s Office of Sustainability and Environment. There... Read Post
As National Women's History Month draws to a close this week, our spotlight is on Mae Durell Frazar (1852-1919) an accomplished writer, editor, world traveler, and entrepreneur who lived most of her life on or near Prospect Hill.
Frazar is chiefly known as Somerville’s first female publisher. In 1887 she created a 16-sheet paper called The Home Life, which was printed by the Somerville Journal, and "crammed with original matter, illustrated stories, prizes, premiums, music and book... Read Post
Thanks to our friends at the Table Talk Pie Company whose generous (and delicious) donation of pie enabled our teen library patrons to celebrate Pi Day right! And thanks (I guess?) to our frenemy Mother Nature for sending a storm that forced us to push our Pi Day celebration back a week to 3.21. A good time was had by all, as it is every month on Teen Game Day. We hope you can join us for our next get together on Wednesday, April 11th at the Central Library from 2:30 to 4:30 - it's a lot... Read Post
By now, you have likely heard of the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the most celebrated thinkers of our time. Dr. Hawking was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, advocate for disability rights, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
If you would like to learn more about his work or life, the Somerville Public Library owns several of his books, as well as biographical books and films written or produced about... Read Post
Daily savings time ends this Sunday, March 11; so on Saturday night (or very early Sunday morning) everyone should set their clocks ahead one hour. Many (quite reasonably) wonder why we set our clocks back an hour during the fall in the first place. The idea behind it is conserving resources. If everyone gets up an hour later (when it’s lighter) during the winter months we’re supposedly saving energy. Supposedly Benjmain Franklin first proposed daylight saving time (DST) as a way to save... Read Post
Are you a graphic novel fan? Why not check out your local library for your favorites? We have an entire area dedicated to graphic novels. Is there a title missing, that you’d like to see added? Just ask a reference librarian! Or just come sit and read in our lovely little alcove.
Below are some great titles that you shouldn’t miss!
Saga. Book Two- By Brian K. Vaughn
"Saga. Book Two continues the action-packed education of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents... Read Post
Would you believe that word-puzzle contests were so popular in the mid-20th century that many libraries had to put their dictionaries under lock and key? Puzzle-solvers devoured dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works in pursuit of cash prizes, and deluged library staff with requests for answers to puzzle questions. They ripped pages from dictionaries and hid reference books to thwart other contestants’ chances.
In a recent browse of our local history room, we... Read Post
If you're a knitter the Library has so much to offer you!Drop in knitting evenings (Mondays at the West Branch, Thursdays at the East Branch.) Socialize with fellow knitters, work on your current project, maybe get some advice on the tricky parts. Community Scarf Projects at all three SPL locations - sit down, relax, and add a row or two! Get Cozy at the Library! Enjoy the coziness, cocoa, and company at this winter program in which you can choose to make the craft of the day or... Read Post
Monday was a big day in the children’s literature world -- the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards were announced! The annual awards include not only the big two -- Caldecott and Newbery -- but a number of other awards recognizing a broad spectrum of children's and young adult literature.
The Randolph Caldecott Medal, which recognizes the most distinguished American picture book for children each year, was awarded to “Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and... Read Post
Are you interested in learning more about the history of Somerville or reading books that take place in Somerville? We've got you covered with this reading list. This list was compiled with the help of library staff at all locations and across all departments. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas!
1. Beyond the Neck : the Architecture and Development of Somerville, Massachusetts by Carole Zellie
We're kicking our list off with a few books that provide some... Read Post