Next time you are out and about by the West Branch Library in Davis Square - since we can't yet go in - take a moment to appreciate the details of the entrance to the building that has welcomed readers for more than 100 years. Lamps are positioned on either side of the staircase, and on the landing at the top of the stairs, two columns frame the doorway, supporting a triangular pediment over the door. Look up above the pediment, and you’ll see another pair of lamps on either side, though... Read Post
April 23 is the day observed as Shakespeare’s birthday throughout the world. Normally the occasion would be marked by live play performances, open-air celebrations, sonnet slams and Shakespeareaoke. Due to COVID-19, events have been postponed, or cancelled altogether, and others have moved online. So this year (or this month at least), celebrations of the bard’s birth will be more virtual and, sadly, solitary.
Fortunately during this time of quarantine, various... Read Post
We are missing our patrons and we hope you haven’t forgotten what we look like! Maybe you are one of our patrons who would come in and head to the third floor balcony to find a cozy spot to do your work. Here’s a fun library fact for you, there wasn’t always a third floor balcony! That’s right, the Central Library went through a major renovation in its past. The renovation began in June 1975 and the library was reopened July 1, 1976.
Some of the new features of the... Read Post
To get started, you'll need your library card number and your PIN/password. Your PIN was created when you applied for your library card.
If you don’t know your PIN, email email@example.com to request a new PIN. Be sure to include your library card number in the email—we can't reset your PIN without it—and a staff member will create and send a new PIN to you.You can... Read Post
As Black History Month draws to a close, we wanted to share recommendations for a few of the African-American history resources available online.
Last year was the 100th anniversary of the official end of World War I. The National Museum of African-American History and Culture marked the occasion with an exhibit on African-Americans in World War I, “We Return Fighting,” that will run through June 14, 2020. View the online version of the exhibit here.
The Library of... Read Post
...to cook. In New England many of us spend half the year longing for summer, but once it's actually here we realize that hot weather makes certain basic life-maintenance tasks (such as cooking) unappealling. However, we still have to eat, even when the thermometer goes way up and the weather is sizzlin' hot. Some of SPL's books on seasonal cooking and main dish salads can help you find dinners to prepare without turning your kitchen into a furnace. When Mark Bittman was still writing his "... 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
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
A recent issue of American Libraries featured an article called "Going Beyond Google Again," a sequel to an earlier article exploring the uses of alternatives to general-purpose search engines (e.g., Google and Bing). The more recent article gives urls and descriptions of various free online databases that give you more focused search results than you would get from simply typing keywords into the open maw of Google.
One of the databases profiled, Voice of the Shuttle, is a... Read Post