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
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
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
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