Fine-free December
Start 2018 With a Clean Slate: December 2017 is Fine-Free Month

Do you have a stack of long overdue Somerville Public Library (SPL) items around the house or in the
back seat of your car? Have you been agonizing over the mounting fines?

December 2017 is the perfect month to come back to the Library!

This month is Fine-Free December, a one-month "amnesty" period that will allow you to return overdue Somerville Public Library materials without paying overdue fees.

Simply bring your overdue items back to any SPL location and any fines that have accrued on SPL items will be waived. During the entire month of December 2017, you can return any overdue SPL item without penalty, no matter how overdue the item is

This fine-forgiveness program will also waive accumulated overdue fines on already-returned Somerville Public Library materials. Visit any of our three library locations between December 1st and December 31st 2017 and present your library card or photo ID, and any old or existing overdue fines on SPL materials will be waived.

Materials of any type may be returned with the exception of damaged or un-useable items. 
Additionally, there will be no reimbursement for previously paid fines/fees. This policy only applies to items borrowed from the Somerville Public Library, not those borrowed from other libraries. 

If you would like to learn more about Fine-Free December or have questions about returning damaged or un-useable items, please call 617.623.5000 ext. 2900 to speak to our Circulation staff.
Afsaneh_ Health Services Coordinator
Library Hires Health Services Coordinator 

We are pleased to welcome Afsaneh Moradi, who began her position as Health Services Coordinator for the Somerville Public Library in mid-November. Afsaneh will provide referrals and related services, including one-on-one counseling, on behalf of vulnerable populations, as well as offer support to Library staff. Afsaneh will be based out of the Central Library, where her office is located, but will be available to members of the public at all three branches of the Library.
 
The Health Services Coordinator will enable us to better address the complete social and emotional needs of community members who use our libraries, ultimately improving patrons' library experience and the Somerville community's overall health. The Coordinator will assist vulnerable library patrons, from youth through the elderly, to advocate for themselves and oversee the provision of services that will support their mental health and physical well-being. 
 
The position is a pilot project and the result of a partnership between the City of Somerville and the Cambridge Health Alliance, a local provider of choice for primary care, specialty care, emergency services, hospital care, maternity care and behavioral health, serving residents of Somerville, Cambridge, and the Metro North region.
 
For more information about the new Health Services Coordinator, please contact Cathy Piantigini, Deputy Director of the Somerville Public Library, at 617-625-6600 ext. 2954 or read more in Scout Somerville's article featuring Afsaneh.
Making the Most of Winter: SPL December Programs

Getting Cozy Graphic
We want you to make the most of the upcoming winter months and enjoy the season. This year, we are celebrating winter and offering programs that do the same!
 
Our Getting Cozy @ the Library series is in full swing, with hot cocoa-fuelled crafting programs on December 3rd and January 6th. Join us in December to craft miniature books, which we think make great gifts or ornaments. In January, we invite you to create upcycled woodland snow globes. As always, supplies are provided free of charge. 
 
We are also happy to announce our Ninth Annual Paper Snowflake Workshop, which takes place on Saturday, December 16th from 2 to 4 PM at the Central Library.
Snowflake Workshop Graphic 
Our own snowflake master, Thy Toeum, will show you how to make the prettiest paper snowflakes you have ever seen. These enchanting snowflakes look wonderful when hanging from windows or ceilings during winter months!
 
For more information regarding our Getting Cozy @ the Library series, please contact Lilly at 617-623-5000 ext.  2961 or lsundell-thomas@minlib.net. 
 
For more information about the Snowflake Workshop, please contact Thy at 617-623-5000 ext. 2900 or ttoeum @minlib.net.  

To see a complete listing of all SPL programs and events, please visit our Programs & Events page .
Self-portrait of Josh
Self-portrait by Josh
Staff Spotlight: Josh

This month, we are highlighting Josh, one of our frontline staff members. Josh has worked at the Library for over a year and splits his time between Circulation and the Children's Room. He has years of valuable library experience, including former positions at the State Library of Massachusetts and the Widener and Fine Arts Libraries at Harvard. He's also known around SPL for his homemade breads!

Outside of the SPL, Josh also works as an artist. He earned his BFA from Henderson State University in Arkansas and continued studying locally at the  School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Josh has studied and worked with many types of art, including photography, printmaking, and ceramics, but currently focuses primarily on drawing, watercolor, and oil painting when possible. 

During the month of January, Josh's artwork will be on display in the auditorium at the Central Library. On January 21st, we will be hosting an exhibition reception from 2 to 4 PM. We would love to see you there!
Adult Recommendations 
This issue's recommendations come courtesy of Tim and Cassie at the Central Library.
 
Authors, activists, and everyday parents come together to share their stories, struggles, victories, and experiences as parents in this anthology. Rad Families broaches a wide variety of subjects that affect parents of all walks of life.
Recommended by Tim
Rad Families Book Cover
I've been telling absolutely everyone about this book! Readers will follow a Korean family through generations as they move to Japan, live through historical events, and struggle to stay together and succeed. Min Jin Lee craftily weaves together the themes of love, class conflict, history, prejudice, and family into an unforgettable and moving novel. I so wished the book did not end, so I could continue following and learning from their family.
Recommended by Cassie
Pachinko Book Cover
Abuela y los Dead Mexicans by Dave Ortega 
This is a newspaper tabloid-sized comic by Somerville artist Dave Ortega. As with his new comic series Dias de Consuelo, this comic looks at the lives of his grandmother and great-grandmother against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution. Abuela was published in conjunction with a show at the Boston Center for the Arts. 
Recommended by Tim
Abuela zine cover
Inspirado  is a short, 16-page dialog between two local artists and bookmakers, Marissa Falco and Mary Megan Creamer. In its playfully-illustrated pages, they talk about why they do what they do, how they juggle their jobs with their creative work, and where they find their inspiration. Falco is well-known for her
Miss Sequential series and
Parcel Ghost zines; the Somerville Public Library is proud to have a number of these titles as well!
Recommended by Tim
Inspirado Zine Cover

Still looking for more? See the Staff Picks page! 
YA (Young Adult) Recommendations
This issue's YA recommendations come from Karen, Lilly, and Cassie at the Central Library. 
 
In this ongoing comic book series, first generation Pakistani-American Kamala Khan just wants to be a teenager like other girls at her high school. Disobeying her overprotective parents, she sneaks out to go to a party, an action that results in Kamala being gifted with superpowers. As a teenage superhero, Kamala not only struggles with how she can best use her powers but with who she wants to be versus the expectations of her parents. If you like Volume 1, which collects Ms. Marvel issues 1-5 and won a Hugo Award for best graphic story, you still have Volumes 2-7 to check out.
Recommended by Karen
Ms. Marvel Book Cover
Fans of Pullman's  His Dark Materials  will be thrilled to reenter the world of Lyra Belacqua.  La Belle Sauvage  is the first book in a trilogy,  The Book of Dust , which centers around 11-year-old Malcom Polstead and his daemon, Asta. When a great flood turns Oxford into a dangerous frontier, Malcom and his (reluctant) companion Alice go on an epic journey to keep baby Lyra safe. 
Recommended by Lilly
The Book of Dust book cover
Jane, Unlimited
by Kristin Cashore  
"If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go," Jane remembers her recently deceased Aunt Magnolia telling her. When Jane's former tutor, Kiran Thrash, offers her just that invitation, Jane packs up her apartment and her umbrella-making supplies and travels to the exclusive island home of the wealthy Thrash family. Amid the frenetic preparation for a gala, the house is full of people--from family and friends to party guests and staff. Yet Tu Reviens offers Jane a simple choice: who to follow. Each choice Jane can make is taken to resolution, as in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story, and at the same time contributes to the overall story. This book is unlike anything I have read in a long time. 
Recommended by Karen
Jane_ Unlimited book cover
A history book like no other, Turtle Island
combines archaeology, legend, storytelling, and various scientific methods to tell stories of Indigenous people living in North America before 1492. The illustrations, photos, and artwork also make for a visually-pleasing learning experience that will leave you wanting to know more about the original inhabitants of North America.
Recommended by Cassie

Looking for a couple extra recommendations? Check out our YA Staff Picks  from Ron and Ellen! 
Children's Recommendations
This issue's recommendations come courtesy of Ann and Karen at the Central Library and Alison at the West Branch Library.
 
Magic Word by Marc Barnett and illustrated by Elise Parsley 
Paxton asks for a cookie, and his magic word is not please, it's ALAKAZOOMBA!  Magically a cookie appears in his hand. Alakazoomba--another cookie and a glass of milk and a walrus and a water slide and the list goes on. Soon his house is a utopia of all his favorite things. Eventually he tires of all these things and wants things back to normal, but what magic word can make it all right again?
Recommended by Ann
 
Magic Word book cover
Thanks to a caring group of friends, a fishbowl-based narwhal sees the world. This is a beautiful book about friendship, individual strengths, and realizing dreams, with captivating illustrations (including a great fishbowl perspective!). Those of you who want even more narwhal stories are also invited to our special narwhal-themed storytimes on December 11th (5:30 PM) and December 12th (11:00 AM) at the West Branch Library.  
Recommended by Alison
Someday_ Narwhal book cover
Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Johannes Shelley
Beatice Zinker is someone that kids will remember for a long time. She has an unforgettable wit, a wild imagination, and an unbreakable spirit. She shows readers the importance of having dreams now, not only when you're older. Readers who love Ramona Quimby or Clementine will love Beatrice! 
Recommended by Ann
Beatrice Zinker book cover
Cursed Morrigan is blamed for all the bad luck in her town, from broken dishes to heart attacks, regardless of whether she is present or not. Everyone is looking forward the bad luck ending--when Morrigan dies at midnight on her eleventh birthday. Before that can happen, a stranger named Jupiter North arrives to spirit her away to a strange land and offers her the opportunity to join the most exclusive club. The catch? Morrigan must compete in four trials against the smartest and most talented children in the land, to secure one of nine spots. If she loses, she'll be sent back to her world where she is supposed to die. Hang in with the slow start, as this story picks up steam and contains some unique world-building. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Recommended by Karen
The Trials of Merrigan Crow Book Cover
Wifi Image
Improved WiFi at Central and West Libraries

Recently, our Information Technology (IT) Team has upgraded the WiFi connections in both Wellington Hall (the second and third floors) at the Central Library and at the West Branch Library. Not only has the WiFi speed increased, but we are also now able to accommodate a larger number of simultaneous WiFi users in both locations.

Our free high-speed WiFi connections make the Library an excellent spot for studying, writing, working, or even streaming your favorite videos or audiobooks from Hoopla.
 
If you have more questions about technology at the Library or would like to schedule a  one-on-one technology instruction, please contact Tim at 617-623-5000 ext. 2963 or tdevin@minlib.net .
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