Library Blog

April 10th 2018

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

April 5th 2018

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

March 30th 2018
SustainaVille Week Poster 2018

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

March 24th 2018
Mae D. Frazar, Somerville MA , writing in the Boston Globe - Would a woman make a good president?

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

March 23rd 2018
boxes of Table Talk pies

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

March 16th 2018
stephen hawking books and movies

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

March 9th 2018

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

March 5th 2018
Image of Comics and Graphic Novels

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

February 24th 2018
Reference Desk at the Somerville Public Library, early 20th century

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

February 15th 2018
American Library Association Youth Media Awards Logo

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

February 14th 2018
somerville reading list book covers

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

February 8th 2018

African-American history is endlessly fascinating: it's the troubling, complex counterpoint to the sanitized, triumphalist version of American history so many of us were taught in school and that still appears in popular historical works. The Internet is a trove of riches on the black American experience.  Below are links to a small, eclectic sample of what's available online.

At the Library of Congress you can listen to, or read transcripts of, interviews conducted with former... Read Post

February 4th 2018

Have you ever bought a product online because of great reviews and customer ratings but ended up disappointed with it? You're not alone: the problem is common enough to warrant news coverage. Many of the rave reviews on retail websites are fakes: written by paid reviewers who've never used the product or service in question. In some cases the reviews aren't even written by actual people. can help you identify dishonest reveiws: simply paste the url of a product (for... Read Post

January 30th 2018
Magazine covers of new magazines

FOMO alert!

If you haven’t explored our magazine section lately, you could be suffering from the Fear Of Missing Out on our new titles! Just to tempt you to come to the second floor of the Central Library and take a look, here are a few of our edgier ­­­­­­new additions... With a valid Minuteman library card, you can check out all magazines, even the most recent issues, for one week.

Bitch – a feminist essential for any reader. Expect snappy reviews, in-depth... Read Post

January 24th 2018

Ursula Le Guin, the acclaimed author of The Earthsea Trilogy, The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness and more than 40 other works of science fiction and fantasy, died this past Monday. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including being declared a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. Le Guin was 88.

Yale professor and literary critic Harold Bloom called her a “major stylist” who “raised fantasy into high literature.” It’s almost impossible to imagine science fiction... Read Post