Today we know the Somerville High School Radiator as the annual yearbook, but in the 19th and for part of the 20th century it was a monthly student literary and news magazine, often with striking cover art and design. The group of covers we're featuring for today's Throwback Thursday were created by Bill Hanley, who graduated from SHS in 1945. His later work appeared on the covers of the Boston Globe Magazine and other magazines, book jackets, and commercial advertising. He was the art... Read Post
All the action in James Joyce's Ulysses, arguably one of the greatest novels ever, takes place on June 16, 1904, a date now known as Bloomsday, after the novel's main character, Leopold Bloom. And now every June 16 around the world, fans of Joyce's encyclopedic, beautiful, baffling book gather to celebrate the author and his work. This Saturday is the 23rd annual Worcester Ramble: from 8 am to 9 pm, participants walk through Worcester to sites reminiscent of places in Ulysses and read... Read Post
Can’t find a book in the Minuteman system? Well, maybe you should try searching the Commonwealth Catalog, a.k.a. Comcat. Using Comcat you can look for books, CDs, DVD’s and audiobooks in other library systems throughout all of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
This expands your search to library systems in Western Massachusetts, The North Shore, South Shore, Cape Cod, Central Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
As part of the Minuteman Network we get certain... Read Post
We at the library recently created a Flickr page for sharing photos and images from our local history collection. So far, we've scanned and uploaded photos of Somerville kids dating back to the 1920s; the city's centennial celebration in 1972; Davis Square landmarks from the 1960s, before the Red Line; Somerville High School, and advertising from 19th- and 20th century Somerville businesses, like the Metropolitan Ice Company card featured with this post. We'll be adding more images regularly... Read Post
Let it go back to the anthill.
If it brushes inattentively against your fingers
in the furrows of your hand,
don’t chase it away or squash it.
Let it go back, as best it can, to the anthill.
Guide it to where it belongs.
Surely the others, those smart-asses, will make fun
of its new habits,
of its stubborn disorientation.
Let it go back, if it can, to the anthill,
even though... Read Post
The Muslim holiday of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer, begins this year on May 15 at sundown. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam; the other four are profession of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca.
The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s major holidays.
Here are a few book... Read Post
In February I posted about the ways we can identify fake Amazon reviews, particularly the tool Fakespot.com. Earlier this week Buzzfeed published an article about the business of fake Amazon reviews, which includes these staggering statistics: 87% of Amazon shoppers surveyed said a positive Amazon review was critical in their decision to purchase a product, but fewer than 10% of Amazon customers write reviews of items they've bought. However, getting positive reviews is essential to... Read Post
Ready to trade in your job for life as an entrepreneur? Need market analysis, access to real estate transactions, or business and advertising information? We have some terrific free resources for you here at the Somerville Public Library! Come and check out our business related magazines and newspapers like some of these:
Banker & Tradesman -- a weekly banking, commercial, industrial, and real estate newspaper for Massachusetts. It is a valued advertising vehicle, providing a... Read Post
"Fake news" is a phrase we've been hearing a lot over the past year. The barrage of half-truths and outright lies seems endless. At times it seems we live in a fog of rumors and fabrications. A conversation with a casual acquaintance can open a window into a world of alternative facts (A national fast-food chain serves burgers made of human flesh! There's an ebola outbreak in your hometown! A Muslim mayor has outlawed Christmas!).
Fortunately we've got an increasing number of tools... Read Post
Mystery lovers: have you read any of Robert Galbraith's novels yet? They're so good!
Galbraith (a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling...now where have I heard that name before...?) writes a series featuring private investigator Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. Of the three that have been published so far - The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil - each is better than the last. A fourth book, Lethal White, is expected to be published this year, and Rowling has... Read Post
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