July 15th 2008
Kidstock logo

We are very lucky (and excited!) to have the kids from Kidstock! back again this summer for another series of great theater for children!

The first performance will be “A Conga Line” which will be held on Wednesday, July 16th. The next show will be “The Emperor’s New Kangaroo” on Wednesday, July 30th, and the final performance will be “Surfing Beauty” on Wednesday, August 13th.

All performances are in the library... Read Post

July 14th 2008
Wild Reads logo

Wild Reads is the Massachusetts Summer Reading theme this year and the children's room has some great book ideas to help get you started.  If drawing is your thing, we have books to teach you how to draw wild animals, dinosaurs, and underwater creatures.  If you enjoy true stories of real animals, you might like reading about Knut, a polar bear cub raised at the Berlin Zoo, or Owen and Mzee, a hippo and a tortoise who strike an unusual friendship.  Below is a suggested book... Read Post

July 11th 2008
One of the pleasures of living in Somerville is the availability of wonderful food--and I'm not just talking about the restaurants. Every Saturday through October 25 from 9 until 1, there's a farmer's market in Union Square offering fresh fruit (the plums are amazing), potted herbs, fresh-cut flowers, free-range meat. It's all local and it's all wonderful. And if you want to know more about why shopping at a local farmer's market is a good thing to do, consider reading one of these books:... Read Post
July 7th 2008

Magical, sinister, mysterious: twins in literature always seem to have something extra. Here's a list of some great books about twins:

In the Country of the Young by Lisa Carey... Read Post
June 25th 2008

Are you a native French speaker who misses books from home? Are you an American who studied French in college or high school and would like to take a refreshing dip in la langue? The Somerville Public Library has a growing collection of books in French, ranging from the latest Prix Goncourt winners and American fiction in translation to cookbooks and biographies.

Sample titles:

Alabama song de Gilles LeRoy.

... Read Post
June 24th 2008
side by side comparison of two statues, Clarence and Damoxenus

Here at the Central Library’s reference desk we have a companion – a statue of a Greek boxer who, in accordance with long-standing Library tradition, we call Clarence. Clarence is actually Damoxenus, and he has an interesting history.

“Damoxenus. A boxer of Syracuse, excluded from the Nemean Games for killing his opponent in a pugilistic encounter. The name of the latter was Creugas; and the two... Read Post

June 16th 2008
If you would like to research your family tree but don't know how to begin, this workshop is just for you. I'll cover basic rules to follow no matter who you are or where your family is from, and resources (both in the Library and beyond)  helpful for different locales and nationalities.  I'll also walk participants through a search for documents on family members using HeritageQuest and, both available through the library.
June 11th 2008

To celebrate the return of the farmers’ markets to Somerville ( and give a shout out to the great services offered by the Somerville Garden Club ( and the Somerville Community Growing Center (, and to cheer on every seedling growing in the backyards, community gardens, and window boxes throughout the city, a list of books to share with children about the trials, tribulations and sheer joys of... Read Post

June 10th 2008
...because it's extremely hot and our air conditioning isn't working. Both of the branches are open from 10-6 today: West Branch is located at 40 College Ave. in Davis Square. East Branch is located at 115 Broadway near Sullivan Square. Look here for information on the City of Somerville's heat advisory and where you can go to cool off. The Main Library will be back in business tomorrow and our air conditioning should be fixed within a week. Stay cool!  
June 9th 2008
One of the most creative and dynamic film industries in the world right now is in Argentina. In recent years, the work of Argentine directors and script writers has been garnering rave reviews, film festival awards, and (most importantly) an ever-growing audience. Somerville Public Library has a rich collection of Spanish-language films that includes these Argentine gems: Common Ground (2002). When budget cuts force a university professor to take early retirement, he and his wife find they... Read Post
June 5th 2008
Cover of book "Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter"

It's been nearly a year since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in J. K. Rowling's 7-volume saga of "the boy who lived," and while Rowling has assured fans that there's no use expecting any more about Harry from her word processor, it doesn't look as though she's going to have the last word. I'm not talking about Potter fan fiction, crazy amounts of which can be found on the Internet. I mean books - books that don't... Read Post

June 2nd 2008
If you haven't read any of Jared Diamond's books, you absolutely must. His Guns, Germs and Steel (1998) was one of the most fascinating books I've read in my life. Have you ever wondered why man domesticated horses and not zebras? Have you ever been curious as to why Spain conquered the Incas and not the other way around? Do you want to know where almonds come from? Guns is a tour de force of scientific and social history. In Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), Diamond... Read Post
May 31st 2008
Walk Boston: Walking Tours of Boston's Unique Neighborhoods [917.446 SL] provides information about 30 different walks that guide you through a variety of Boston Neighborhoods from the South End to Brookline to Chelsea and Charlestown to name a few. In the book you will find directions, maps, descriptions of each walk as well as historic and cultural highlights. In Daytrips From Boston by Public Transportation [917.44 SC] discover places that you can get to by a combination of public... Read Post
May 23rd 2008
Three images: Hamlet; Snow White & Rose Red; ankylosaurus

When I got my first job in a library I was surprised to discover how much nonfiction people read. At that time I read fiction almost exclusively and didn’t see the attraction of nonfiction. Sure, one might occasionally need resume writing tips, baseball stats, or advice on where to stay in Vancouver, but surely these types of books couldn’t account for the huge amount of nonfiction that crossed the circulation desk every day. So what on earth were these... Read Post

May 20th 2008
Is it hard to find music you like? Via our good friends at Very Short List I discovered TuneGlue, an interactive website that locates musicians you'll probably like. For example, I typed in "Eric Bachman" (his "To the Races" was one of NPR's picks for Best CDs of 2006), clicked the little circle that appeared labeled "Eric Bachman," clicked on "Expand" and got "Stephen Fretwell and His Band," "The Good Life," and "Crooked Fingers." Those are all good (if unsurprising) choices. Giving it... Read Post