West Branch

April 23rd 2019

At the West Branch storytime, we like songs, movement, and stories, and we particularly like interactive books. (Note: some people use the term interactive books to refer to books on a tablet or another electronic version of a book.  Here, we use it to refer to books that ask the reader questions, give the reader prompts, or otherwise engage the reader in the story.)


Interactive books have many benefits, including encouraging the reader to be part of the story, and showing... Read Post

April 18th 2019
West Branch Somerville Public Library

Before the West Branch library got a proper building in 1909, library service in West Somerville (and in East, North and South Somerville) was delivered by partnerships with local businesses, which became the early branches - then usually called agencies - of the SPL. These agencies served as pickup/dropoff points for library books, but for the most part provided no reading rooms or other library services.

In 1896 the library trustees voted to establish an agency for West Somerville... Read Post

August 2nd 2018
West Branch of the Somerville Public Library

The West Branch of SPL opened to the public on May 27, 1909. It was one of 2,509 libraries built in the U.S. with funds from Andrew Carnegie - the Central Library and East Branch were also built with Carnegie funds. The image here shows the adult reading room in the early 20th century, now home to mysteries and audiovisual materials. Wait, is that a ghost in the picture? See if you can find the double-exposure "ghosts" in the frame. More images (and more ghosts!) of the West Branch in its... Read Post

February 18th 2018
skeins of yarn

If you're a knitter the Library has so much to offer you!

Drop in knitting evenings (Mondays at the West Branch, Thursdays at the East Branch.)  Socialize with fellow knitters, work on your current project, maybe get some advice on the tricky parts. Community Scarf Projects at all three SPL locations - sit down, relax, and add a row or two! Get Cozy at the Library!  Enjoy the coziness, cocoa, and company at this winter program in which you can choose to make the craft of the day or... Read Post
August 31st 2015
As you may know, the West Branch Library is going to be renovated and we'd like to get community input on the design that's currently under consideration. Please take a few minutes to check out the website and leave your comments - we appreciate your efforts to help us make a West Branch that will serve the Somerville community well! You can view the plans by clicking here.
January 10th 2015
A small art installation by the Somerville Arts Council's 2014 Multi-disciplinary Artist Fellow Kris Hatch has found a permanent home in two of the Somerville Libraries.  Stationed appropriately between the Mystery and Reference sections at the West Branch, 'The Book of Knowledge' is a Victorian curio cabinet that invites the viewer to become a part of the mystery.  A second "cabinet" can be found near the Mythology section of the Central Library. This project is supported in part by the... Read Post
June 29th 2013
It's Summer Reading Club time at all three SPL locations!  This year's theme is Dig Into Reading.  When you join, you'll receive: a logbook to record your summer reading (books you enjoy on your own, or stories read TO you by a caregiver or...even a librarian!), a bag to carry those summer reading books, and a calendar of our summer events!  Thanks to the Friends of the Somerville Public Library, we have many fun and free programs planned this summer!  Highlights include: 3 Kidstock Theater... Read Post
November 5th 2012
The Director's Author Series continues with two events this week. On Wednesday, November 7:00th at 7:00 p.m., join us at the Central Library as we welcome author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan who will discuss her latest mystery thriller, The Other Woman. A former US Senate staffer and political campaign aide, Hank Phillippi Ryan is the investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate, and has won twenty-seven Emmys and ten Edward R. Murrow awards. A bestselling author of... Read Post
September 18th 2012

It's far too easy to take the spaces & buildings familiar to us for granted, to let their distinctiveness disappear due to the deadening power of habit. SPL friend Max Rottersman has created this panorama of the West Branch that showed me anew what a lovely, cozy place it is:

September 15th 2012

Library staff arrived at the West Branch last week to find their front fence adorned with colorful knitted "fence tips." The lively decor was part of the Nave Gallery's Wrap Around Project, which celebrates and supports the work of the Somerville Homeless Coalition. For more information about the project, click here.

July 6th 2012
Users of the West Branch know that the children's room has been closed for a face lift in recent weeks. However, the end is in sight! Pipes and walls have been repaired, walls have been painted, and the lower level of the room has been re-carpeted. Movers are scheduled to put the furniture and books back in place next week. Although the children's space will continue to be a work in progress -- with some new furniture and a few other updates coming later -- it should be open for business soon... Read Post
April 23rd 2012
Repairs are proceeding at the West Branch Children's Room.  Pipes are being replaced and the walls are being fixed. Re-painting and re-carpeting to follow.

Stay tuned....
March 28th 2012
Come to the Main Library, April 5th from 6-7 pm. Meet with staff and volunteers to generate ideas about fundraising possibilities for the West Branch Children’s Room.

Originally to be held at the West Branch, but since the Children’s Room is closed for repairs, the meeting will now be held at the Main Library.

Students from the Boston Architectural College recently shared plans they’ve created and so far the staff is intrigued by some of the ideas they’ve come up with.... Read Post