September 9th 2013
Our government might be lobbing missiles at Syria fairly soon. Or it might not. In either case, what do any of us really know about Syria? In my case, not much other than it's north of Lebanon, is an ally of Russia, and that there's a civil war going on. The declared reason for an attack on Syria is the use of chemical weapons. But the assumption that it's the Syrian government using the chemical weapons may not be correct.* Here's a Q & A from the Washington Post listing things we should... Read Post
August 12th 2013
James Whitey Bulger Captured

It's official: Whitey Bulger has been found guilty - of a whole lot of stuff - and will presumably be spending the rest of his life behind bars.  Many of us would like to forget all about the notorious thug but, human nature being what it is, a fair number of us want to know all there is to know about Whitey and his doings.  To that end, here's a list of relevant books available through the Minuteman Library Network.

Whitey: the Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss by Dick Lehr... Read Post
June 20th 2013
I'm sure you've all heard by now about celebrity chef Paula Deen's admission that she has used racist language--and her insistence she's not a racist (um, yeah, keep telling yourself that). This troubling admission (and many others) occurred during her testimony in an L.A. courtroom--a former employee is suing Deen, alleging that she was subjected to "violent, sexist, and racist behavior" during the years she worked at one of Deen's restaurants. Incidents like this demonstrate that 150 years... Read Post
May 20th 2013
Watertown author Jan David Blais will be appearing at the central branch of the Somerville Public Library (79 Highland Ave.) this Thursday (May 23) from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss his tome "Twentieth Century Limited." Lovers of historical fiction,  war novels, journalism, and politics, take note! And, if all this wasn't enough, it's a bit of a mystery as well... follow main character Paul Bernard during his time fighting in the Vietnam War, his work as a reporter, and his criticism of  George W.... Read Post
March 15th 2013
Our thanks to the mayor for recognizing the essential and ever-changing role libraries play in the life of this city:  
March 6th 2013
Courtesy of

It should come as no surprise to this city’s residents, but members of this diverse and vital community have a story to tell. And your library is going to help them tell it – thanks to a grant from the American Library Associaton and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will enable us to launch our own version of the “StoryCorps @ your library” program. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and... Read Post
December 10th 2012

The communities of Somerville, MA, Somerville, NJ, and Summerville, SC are joining forces this month to support victims of Hurricane Sandy along the Jersey Shore.  In Somerville, MA, the donation drive begins today, December 10th and will last through Friday, December 21st.  You can drop items off at all library locations.  For a list of needed items and more drop off locations, please click here.
December 7th 2012
In a recent Somerville News column reflecting on the career of former Mayor Eugene Brune, Mayor Curtatone quoted a Boston Sunday Globe insert (below) from October 17, 1965 entitled, "The New Somerville--Colonial Birth, Space Age Rebirth," extolling a "new Somerville" with state-of-the-art infrastructure and institutions emerging from one of the birthplaces of America. But as the mayor pointed out, the insert mentions developments and transit plans that didn't get very far. And the Somerville... Read Post
October 28th 2012

We'll be closed tomorrow due to Sandy.  Stay safe everybody and we'll see you on Tuesday!

July 31st 2012
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Director of Libraries, Maria Carpenter, announced today that the City of Somerville has been approved by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) to be placed on a waiting list for an $18 million construction grant to partially fund a new public library in the heart of Union Square. Fourteen other communities were listed, but Somerville received the highest grant award in the state and placed first in the second round of review. Eight more... Read Post
May 8th 2012
I was very sad to read this morning that Maurice Sendak has died. Rest in peace, Mr. Sendak. We will always remember your incomparable stories. Your images are burned into our memories:

March 29th 2012
At the March 22, 2012 Board of Aldermen meeting Mayor Curtatone requested the following transfers from DPW Snow Account: $21,600 to replace the pipes and rugs in the Children's Room in the West Branch. $36,086 to repair the elevator in the Central Library. $59,500 to repair/replace the East Branch Library roof and front entrance. All three requests were approved by the Board. Our thanks to the mayor, the Board of Aldermen, and a very mild winter.
February 23rd 2012
Join us this Saturday afternoon from 1-3 at the Atrium in Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave) to celebrate Somerville being named one of America's 100 Best Communities for Young People for the fourth year in a row. There will be performances, exhibits, a scavenger hunt for kids, raffles and prizes! Local organizations (including the Library and the Friends of the Library) will be manning tables so you can lean more about what your community offers! We hope you can make it!
February 3rd 2012

Over the past week people have been mocking Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's proposal for a colony on the moon.   But Gingrich's idea reflects humanity's long-standing fascination with the idea of going to space—and possibly staying there.  The first fictional treatment of space travel is the ancient Roman author Lucian's True History, in which a group of men traveling by boat are lifted up to the moon by a giant waterspout. A little closer to our own time space travel was... Read Post

February 1st 2012

pictured, l to r: Library Director Maria Carpenter, Thy Toeum, Jim Ventura, and Mayor Joseph Curtatone

Cup o' Joe with Joe" is the City of Somerville's employee recognition program to acknowledge the efforts made by those employees or departments who have gone above and beyond in their usual job responsibilities.  This month's winners are the Library's own Jim and Thy!  Congratulations guys, you earned it!