News You Can Use

February 13th 2015
Worried about how much of your personal information Google, Facebook, and other online software providers have collected? Concerned about overbroad government surveillance programs hoovering up your private data? Uneasy about criminal hackers who might seek to exploit you? Our online privacy is indeed under threat, but the good news is that there are technology tools to help us fight back. Join us at the Central Library, February 21 at 11:00 a.m. Alison Macrina, a librarian and privacy rights... Read Post
January 28th 2015
SPL opened at noon today. The libraries will close at their regular times tonight. Normal hours resume tomorrow. Stay warm.
January 26th 2015
Due to snow. To pass a little of the time, read this poem by Wallace Stevens, because I like it. The Snow Man One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That... Read Post
January 26th 2015

The Somerville Public Library will close at 4:30 today due to the impending storm.

January 3rd 2015
Concerned about your privacy (or lack thereof)? Join us at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave.,  Jan. 10 at 11:00 a.m., where James O'Keefe of the Massachusetts Pirate Party and other privacy experts show you how to use the web anonymously, encrypt your mail, stop companies from using your cell phone to track you, and more. This is a hands-on workshop, so please bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone so we can help you install the latest anonymizing software and show you how to... Read Post
November 26th 2014
Somerville Public Libraries will close at 5 pm today and will be closed all day both Thursday and Friday. Normal hours resume on Saturday, November 29.
November 24th 2014
Do you have a Gmail account? If you're reading this (and therefore an Internet user) you probably do, since Gmail is the most popular email service. After all, it's reliable and it's free, right? Well, it's free in that we don't pay money for it.  But as the saying has it, "If you're not paying money for the product, by default you are the product." Google collects information about you and what you do online and sells that data to other businesses so that when you're online, you'll be... Read Post
October 17th 2014
Do you use Whisper, the  social networking app that provides a safe virtual space to say things you wouldn't on Facebook? That supposedly guarantees anonymity? Well, according to The Guardian, Whisper not only tracks its users, the company staff monitor the activity of users who might soon be newsworthy, and they maintain  a searchable database of posts, including posts users think they've deleted. Whisper also recently revised its terms of service: even if you have turned off your smartphone's... Read Post
October 14th 2014
When you check out a book (or anything else) from the library, that information is supposed to be private. Safety is essential for personal exploration and growth, and one way to help people be safe is ensuring that what they read or watch or listen to is known only to them and whomever they decide to share that knowledge with. One of the software programs developed for reading ebooks is Adobe Digital Editions. And recently various sources reported that the latest version of the program,... Read Post
October 7th 2014
October is American Archives Month, the purpose of which is to promote awareness and value of archives in society - as our country’s collective memory. The city of Somerville has its own archives, as does the SPL in the form of our Local History Room. I love old pictures, so I enjoy visiting the city archives’ tumblr, too. While it’s unlikely you actually work at an archive, you may want to create your own personal archive. Right now, it may be a shoebox full of old photos and letters, or it... Read Post
September 30th 2014
Apple has released patches for the Shellshock security flaw. They're probably not 100% effective but far, far better than nothing: download links and other information here. Go the follow links to access the patches for RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and CentOS  here.
September 27th 2014
By now many of you have probably heard about the Shellshock bug and the dire threat it poses to computers world wide.  If you don't know what it is, it's a flaw in the user interface of some computers' operating systems that provides an opening for hackers to take control of other people's computers. Some tech journalists were opining that Shellshock could be bigger than Heartbleed, the security bug last spring that put half a million servers (and all the passwords on them) at risk. Well, don'... Read Post
August 4th 2014

by Eileen and Sujei

If you’re like me, you have a ton of things on your mind/plate. And although I knew July was International Zine Month, I couldn’t quite pull the trigger on this blog post till now. But, all this information is still valid – and it's always a good time to enjoy and make zines.

But wait – I should slow down, back up – and address a question you may have: What is a zine anyway?

A zine made by women over 40. Found at the Papercut Zine Library.

 ... Read Post

July 1st 2014
July 4 is coming up, a day for fireworks, cookouts and spending time with friends.   Here's a brief guide to local fun on Independence Day. Somerville's July 4th festivities will be Thursday evening at Trum Field. Live music  starts at 6:15, fireworks at 9:15. Everything you need to know, including rain date information, is here. If you want to go to the banks of Charles, hear the Boston Pops and see fireworks you need to read this guide by cbslocal. You could also listen to the Pops and see... Read Post
June 17th 2014
Additional material by Sujei

Now that the United States has won a game at the World Cup,* you may be asking yourself, what more can I learn about soccer (or football, futebol, foutbòl, fútbol, etc., if you’d prefer)? Or maybe you're one of our community's many, lifelong Brazil fans and want to see what happens next as your team advances to the next round**? (We've noticed that the level of yellow around our streets has increased.)

All I see here is a Captain Picard-style... Read Post

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