Improvements to Children and Youth Services

The Children's Room at the West Branch in Davis Square is beloved by children and caregivers alike.  The home of Babygarten, storytime, and the summer reading club, it's where children discover the joys of reading and serves as a valuable resource for parents and teachers as well. In the past three years circulation of children's materials from the West Branch has increased by 44%. Clearly Somerville Children and parents don't just love and appreciate the West Branch Children's department—they need it. However, changes to the Children's Room are necessary. It suffers from water-damaged walls. The furniture and carpeting are wearing out. The lighting is inadequate. The room has no ramp or elevator to ease access. However, with City, community, and partner support we will make the West Branch a brighter, more inviting and more accessible place. The estimated cost of these changes is $30,000 for shelving, furniture, lighting, computers and media. This figure does not include construction and accessibility costs. The library has already received a generous donation of $15,000 toward these expenses. Tonight a community meeting is being held at the West Branch from 6-7 pm to discuss not just the next steps in making these much-needed changes but also other ways to improve the library. Please join us!


Anyone who's visited the Central Library between 3 and 5 pm on a weekday has seen what a lively mix it can be: adults trying to do research, apply for jobs or study alongside teenagers who are just, well, being teenagers. SPL is planning a Teen Room for the Central Library, that will provide a space just for teenagers and for teen programming. The room (where the Audio-Visual Department is currently located) will have chairs, a couch, and a widescreen tv for movies and gaming, as well as 10 computers networked to a color printer. YA materials, including books, comics and manga will be moved from their current location in the main reading room to the Teen Room. The Teen Room will also have DVDs, audiobooks and CDs of interest to teens.

The estimated cost of these changes is $60,000, for shelving, furniture, computers and media.

How You Can Help with Either Project:

1. Volunteer: Join a working committee. Email Marita Coombs @ mcoombs at minlib dot net.

2. Spread the word: forward this blog post, post to Twitter or Facebook or comment here on the blog.

3. Make a Donation: The Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143. Specify which project you're supporting.

For further information, please contact Maria Carpenter @ mcarpenter at minlib dot net.

To stay informed, check the SPL website.

Thank you so much for your support!

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