We're past the late spring/early summer when many of us are beginning to think about what to plant on our back decks or in our window boxes. But there's no reason we can't start planning what to grow indoors. Plants are beautiful, they make us feel better, and they can even clean up our environment. Some plants are great for removing chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzine, carbon monoxide, and ammonia from the air. And even plants that aren't top of the line air-purifiers release oxygen,... Read Post
Last week I posted about the filter bubble--the selective bias programmed into search engines via your search histories and the cookies web sites leave on your computer. This week I'm posting about how to break out of the filter bubble, so that the results of your web searches don't merely reflect your previous searches but have a better chance of bringing you new information.
Step 1: Delete the cookies in your web browser. A cookie is a small file stored in your computer's web... Read Post
...which sites you visit? If you think you do, you're right only up to a point. Sure, you decide which links to click on, but who decides which links appear on your screen when you keyword search in the first place? If you're searching with Google, Bing, or Yahoo, they use your previous searches, the websites you've visited and your IP address to tailor your search results. And if you're logged in to your gmail account while using Google, your Microsoft account while using Bing, or your... Read Post
It's time for another edition of Meet the Staff!
For any of you who haven't met her yet (you really are missing out!), Brigid is our English as a Second Language (ESL) Coordinator at the Library. She oversees our ESL program, which means that she teaches classes at all three library locations, organizes a group of great volunteer tutors, and even coordinates library tours and/or field trips for her classes. As we mentioned in the July/August edition of our e-newsletter (be sure to... Read Post
Decades ago, when people were looking for jobs, they answered ads in the jobs section of a newspaper or a trade magazine. Sometimes they walked down streets looking for businesses with "Help Wanted" signs in the windows.
Then the Web came along and upended all that. Soon job seekers were going to Craigslist, or web sites for businesses, schools, or governments. And then databases like Monster and LinkedIn appeared.
And now you can just Google.
Yes, Google. As a... Read Post
Many Somervillians (such as the members of our thriving community of artists and writers) have specialized interests and undertake projects that might benefit from access to an academic library. However, many of those same people are neither students nor employees of any of the local universities.
Fortunately, Harvard now offers adult researchers with no academic affiliation access to its special collections: Houghton Library, The Harvard Map Collection, The Harvard Yenching Library... Read Post
Happy pride month, Somerville! We are always looking for new and diverse books to read and and recommend.This month, we asked Autostraddle contributor, medical resident, and comic book enthusiast Lizz Rubin for some recommendations. Here’s a list of her favorite queer books right now:
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to... Read Post
June is LGBT Pride Month, when we celebrate the LGBT Community and recognize their history and present struggles. During this month some posts on this blog will commemorate significant dates in LGBT history.
On June 13, 1995, after the Justice Department refused to become engaged in the legal fight against a Colorado amendment that denied civil rights protections for LGBT people, the Clinton Administration established the first White House liasion to the LGBT communities.... Read Post
Did you know that you can borrow eBooks and audiobooks from the library for FREE? You’re reading a library blog so the answer to that question might be “yes,” but we think it’s a fact worth repeating. Speaking of downloading eBooks from the library… Overdrive* has just released a spiffy new app called Libby. You can download Libby from the App store, Google play, or Microsoft. We’ve been tinkering with it at the Central branch, and are happy to report that the new app is great! If you’ve... Read Post
It's been a while since we've added a Meet the Staff installment to the blog, and we wanted to fix that! This time, we thought it would be great to not only let you meet one staff member, but our whole Children's Department! The Children's Department has seen a few changes over the last year or so, meaning we have plenty to share. Between the Central Library and the East and West Branch, we've got one of the best teams of Children's Librarians around!
We asked each of them a few... Read Post
Looking for a job? Did you know that public libraries are key sources of helping job applicants find jobs? Libraries give access to job-seekers. In this vital time of economic stress, this is very important.
So, the Somerville Public Library has thrown together a display of articles, lists of job websites, general information on how to find a job, and where local facilities are in the area that can also be of assistance to you. In addition to this, we have tons of books (we always... Read Post
If you're someone that is into your privacy or not into privacy these resources may be of interest to you. Tech-savvy or not you should protect you, your friends and your identity from the internet!
A search engine like Google that doesn't track your searches!
This application re-routes and encrypts communications through a variety of networks. This makes it very hard for someone to track you! The Tor Browser can be... Read Post
After the Celtics score last night, some of the Boston fans out there may be a tad disappointed or feeling like basketball is over for the year. Well, it doesn't have to be. Basketball doesn't have to be over as long as there are books to be read. In fact, the Somerville Public Library has quite a sports section. Some titles your local librarian recommends include:
The book of basketball : the NBA according to the sports guy / Bill Simmons
Bill Simmons, the from-... Read Post
Check out this cool interactive website that will tell you what to read next based on your favorite book or author!