West Branch

November 3rd 2020
StoryWalks in Somerville - Family Friendly Reading Outdoors!

Have you ever seen a StoryWalk®? It’s a super fun way to read a book and get some exercise at the same time! Book pages are laminated and installed along a sidewalk, fence, or building. As people walk along the path of the StoryWalk®, they are directed to the next page in the story.

To make our StoryWalks®, your friendly children’s librarians selected some of our favorite books and performed magical arts and crafts to separate the pages and mount them on oversized paper. Then we... Read Post

October 5th 2020
Kids Book Club at Somerville Public Library West Branch

Hello from the West Branch, where we have a thriving Kids Book Club! 

Each month, a group of amazing kids meets to discuss books. We loved meeting in person pre-pandemic, and we incorporated physical activity, arts and crafts, and STEAM activities into our meetings. For example, we discussed the “I Survived” books through the concept of Novel Engineering: each child read an “I Survived” book of their choosing, then built something that would have helped the main character in their... Read Post

September 8th 2020
Alison and the Song Cube

Hello from the West Branch! We miss you, and can’t wait to see you soon -- either for contactless pickup, Storytime, Kids Book Club, or just by chance in the grocery store or at CVS (yes, West Branch librarians run into library patrons all over the place!).

We feel strongly that libraries are a vital part of our community, and it’s been, well, different to be a librarian without that face-to-face interaction over the last six months.  However, we’re doing our very best to offer you... Read Post

May 15th 2020
Somerville Public Library West Branch vintage postcard

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 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

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