Gallery at SPL on brick wall
Call for Artists: 2018 Gallery at SPL

We are delighted to announce Gallery at SPL, a new art exhibition program designed to highlight local artists.

Gallery at SPL will feature month-long art exhibitions by Somerville artists held at the Central Library. This program will promote the work of Somerville's vibrant and diverse artistic community and make art accessible to all.

Each exhibition will have an opening reception, giving you the opportunity to meet the artists. Finally, Gallery at SPL will allow us to better promote and support those artists exhibiting their work.

Applications to Gallery at SPL are accepted through March 2nd and can be e-mailed to Julie at To view selection criteria and the required application materials, please visit At this time, we are seeking artists or art exhibitions for the following months:
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
Selected artists will be announced on the Library website  on April 9, 2018.  If you would like more information about Gallery at SPL or the application process, please contact Julie Walker at or call 617-623-5000 ext. 2966.

The Photography of Suzanne Hunt Opening Reception
Suzanne Hunt Photo Exhibit

All are invited to the opening reception for The Photography of Suzanne Hunt   on Sunday, February 4th from 2 to 4 PM. 

Suzanne Hunt uses photography to document compelling moments at home in Somerville and beyond. In this showing, she shares an eclectic mix of big mountains and small flowers, doggies and babies, and more! 

The exhibit can be viewed in the Central Library Auditorium from February 4th to February 26th.

For more information, please contact Julie at or 617-623-5000 ext. 2966.

Let Us Help You Find Your Next Book!
Readers_ Services available at all SPL locations

Did you set a reading goal for 2018?  Are you trying to read 25 or even 50 books this year?  Have you joined the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge?   We love hearing about your reading goals and want you to know that we are here to help you meet them!

Our librarians are knowledgeable about new books and trends in publishing across genres and  are trained to help you find what you want to read next! 

We are available to assist you with searching both the Library's print and electronic resources. If you would like an item that is not in the Minuteman Library Network, librarians can  request materials from other libraries for you.

We can assist you at the Reference Desk at the Central Library and at the Service Desks at the East and West Branch Libraries. You can also submit your reading request on our Ask A Librarian page, e-mail, or call our Reference Department staff at 617-623-5000 ext. 2950.
Adult Recommendations 
This issue's recommendations come courtesy of Central Library staff members Lilly, Meg, Kevin, and Cassie.
Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory: What's Normal, What's Not, and What to Do About It by Andrew E. Budson, MD
How do you know if your memory is normal? Is memory loss part of the normal aging process? How does your brain store memories? What causes memory disorders? Can you improve your memory? How? These questions and more are addressed in the seven steps that form the framework of  this practical, clearly written book by a neurologist and a neuropsychologist who teach, practice and conduct research in greater Boston. 
Recommended by Meg
7 Steps to Managing Your Memory Book Cover
An atmospheric historical fiction novel from  Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jennifer Egan,  Manhattan Beach  centers around Anna Kerrigan, a worker at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, whose father mysteriously disappears. As Anna learns more about her father's disappearance, the reader gets to peek inside the world of New York City gangsters, some of the very first divers, and merchant marine sailors. I found myself drawn in by the mysterious plot, and loved all the historical details.  
Recommended by Lilly

Manhattan Beach book cover
The Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris  
In this darkly comic collection, everything happens while nothing happens. A couple sit side by side trying to plan their evening, but inside they're miles from each other emotionally, their relationship spiraling apart. In the title story a husband and wife wait at a table laden with food and wine for guests who never arrive. The evening begins in anxiety and ends in anger and deceit. These stories move surprisingly fast despite their psychological density.
Recommended by Kevin
Dinner Party Book Cover
If you're looking for a fast, lighthearted read, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a bit of a challenge--a book to savor--this is your book. Beatty manages to write an intriguing and witty satire about "post-racial America". His  narrator, an African American man, decides to try to reintroduce segregation and keep a slave in the neighborhood of Dickens, found just outside of Los Angeles. Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2016, The Sellout, is perfect for those who like their fiction to make them laugh and learn at the same time.
Recommended by Cassie
The Sellout book cover

Still looking for more? See the Staff Picks page! 
YA (Young Adult) Recommendations
This issue's YA recommendations come from Central Library staff members Kevin, Karen, and Cassie. 
15-year-old Julia Reyes is the angry, intellectual feminist daughter of undocumented immigrants. Her parents don't understand her at all. She desperately wants to go to college. She wants a way out of the poverty that surrounds her--but she's worried she'll drown in it. This novel is a compelling, messy portrait of an   intelligent teenager flirting with self-destruction.
Recommended by Kevin
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Follow three of the most influential primatologists through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of their research in this funny and meaningful graphic novel. This read will leave you inspired by both their research and conservation efforts.
Recommended by Cassie
Primates Book Cover
Sandra Uwiringiyimana shares her story, beginning with her childhood years living in the hills of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, going to school and playing with her siblings and her pet monkey. When she is ten-years-old, her family is forced to flee to a refugee camp where she then survives a massacre. Sandra continues her story as she immigrates to the US, and uses art and activism to process her experiences and trauma.
Recommended by Cassie
How Dare the Sun Rise book cover

The winner of the fashion competition will receive a one-year scholarship to the local private arts high school. Among the competitors are Charlie Dean, the new girl who is focused on creating a fashion statement every day, and John Thomas-Smith, who doesn't care at all about fashion, but thinks that winning the scholarship would help him with his metalwork. But both Charlie and John are more than they seem. How far will they go to win?
Recommended by Karen
Fashion Committee Book Cover

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 Alison at the West Branch and Karen and Ellen at the Central Library.
My Journey to the Stars by Scott Kelly
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly tells the story of his journey from troublemaker to commander of the International Space Station.  Combining illustrations and photographs, incredible facts and plenty of emotion, this inspiring story will please readers of all ages.
Recommended by Alison
My Journey to the Stars Book Cover
This rhyming picture book biography tells the story of Joyce Chen, who emigrated from China to Cambridge in 1949. The egg rolls she brought to her child's school bake sale led to a restaurant, cooking classes, cookbooks, television show, and line of sauces and utensils. With brightly colored illustrations by Katy Wu and a recipe to help you make your own
 dumplings,  Dumpling Dreams   combines family, food and local history.
Recommended by Alison

Dumpling Dreams book cover
Traction Man is Here! by Mini Grey
A boy's action figure comes to life and takes on everyday tasks in extraordinary ways. He fights the poisonous dishcloth, adopts a pet scrubbing brush, and whisks the kitchen spoons to safety. An imaginative and fun read for kids!
Recommended by Ellen
Traction Man is Here book cover
Twelve-year-old Malu (or Maria Luisa if you want to make her mad) likes punk rock and zines and hates cilantro. She's angry at her mom for always trying to remind Malu of her Mexican heritage. She's also angry at her mom for moving her from Florida, where her dad lives above his record store. But her new life in Chicago is not what Malu expected. How can she make friends in middle school and still follow the first rule of punk--be yourself?
Recommended by Karen

First Rule of Punk book cover
printer and printed color page
Upgrade to Printing and Scanning Services at All SPL Locations

We are upgrading our printing and scanning services at all Library locations this year. New printers have already been installed in Wellington Hall, the Children's Room, and the Teen Room at the Central Library. New printers are also scheduled to be installed in  both the East Branch and the West Branch in the upcoming months.

Our new multi-functional printers produce  professional-quality color documents and allow for easy document scanning.  Color printing costs 30 cents per page, and black and white printing is 15 cents per page. Document scanning is free. We recommend that you bring a flash drive to save your documents.

If you have more questions about printing and scanning services,  please contact us at 617-623-5000 ext. 2955 or . If you would like to set up a one-on-one appointment to learn how to use the computer to scan documents, contact Tim, our Technology Librarian, at or 617-623-5000 ext. 2963.
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