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Library news

Library news

October events at Robbins, Fox

robbins logo 12

Holiday hours in Oct.: Robbins Library is closed on Monday, Oct. 11, in observance of Indigenous Peoples Day.

Sunday hours Return: Robbins Library is open on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. from October to May. 

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Library Town Day book sale held

books bloom

It’s time again for one of Arlington’s venerable Town Day traditions -- the Friends of the Robbins Library’s Town Day Book Sale.

The sale will take place in the parking lot behind the library as well as in the library’s Community Room. There will be thousands of books at affordable prices. Shoppers may also purchase tote bags and more to support Arlington's public libraries.

This event will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Those who are members of Friends of the Robbins Library may come at 9:30 a.m. Any shopper may become a Friends’ member that morning if desired.

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Arlington Reads Together: Nomination deadline passes

Arlington Reads Together logo

The Arlington Reads Together selection committee is seeking nominations for the 2023 community-read book pick.

Have you read a book that explores issues facing Arlington? Have an idea for a great community read book that will inspire discussion and connection?  Please share it with the committee via the 2023 ART Title Nomination form by Friday, July 8.

Since 2002, the annual Arlington Reads Together program has inspired the community to come together to learn and engage with inspiring ideas through book discussions, author talks, and events for children, teens and adults. In March 2022, hundreds of Arlingtonians read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. 

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Libraries director leaving for Albany after nearly a decade

Andrea Nicolay, library director, 2022

Arlington’s director of libraries, Andrea Nicolay, has accepted the position of executive director of the Albany Public Library in Albany, N.Y. Her last day in Arlington will be Friday, July 1.

“Andrea has been a tremendous leader for both the libraries and the Arlington community and her contributions will be sorely missed," said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine in a May 24 news release.

"From her work on library programming to the Reimagining Our Libraries effort to her leadership role in the creation of Arlington’s first cultural district, Andrea has exemplified a true passion and care for Arlington, its libraries and its residents.”

Nicolay began as assistant director of Arlington’s Libraries in 2012 and was appointed director in 2015. Read about that here >>

 In her nearly 10 years in Arlington, she increased access to library resources by eliminating fines and rental fees, adding summer Saturday hours in July and August, and securing municipal funding for Sunday hours.

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Friends of Library hula program held


UPDATED June 8: Join the Friends of the Robbins Library for a hula program by Hui Lehua o Kamawila, set for Thursday, June 9, at 7 p.m., has been postponed two weeks because of expected rain.

The free program will take place on the lawn outside the Whittemore-Robbins House, behind the library.

Hui Lehua o Kamawila is a collaborative hula group dedicated to preserving and sharing Hawaiian dance traditions in Somerville and the New England area.

Hula is a storytelling dance. The dances describe the many special and storied places of Hawai’i. At the end of the program, the audience will be invited to join in a demonstration of some hula dance moves.

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Summer reading for kids, teens, adults; registration underway

robbins logo 12

Summer reading programs are back at Arlington’s libraries with fun activities and reading suggestions for kids, teens, and adults. 

Registration for all ages opens Saturday, June 18. Children aged 0-14 are also invited to the Kids Summer Reading Kickoff Party in the Children’s Room and adjacent garden patio on Saturday from 10 to noon.  Kids who sign up can pick up a free book, play games, blow bubbles, eat a Popsicle, enjoy face painting and more. 

Kids can sign up for summer reading all summer long at either the Robbins or Fox library, and choose a free book to keep. 

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Online access to Arlington newspapers from 1871-2005

Arlington Newspapers, 1871-2005Click to access >>

UPDATED April 11: Local-history research has become easier in Arlington. Thanks to a gift from local historian Richard A. Duffy to the Arlington Libraries Foundation, The Arlington Advocate and other Arlington newspapers dating from 1871-2005 have been digitized.

The Historical Arlington Newspapers online resource is available at and includes searchable full-page scans complete with photos and vintage ads. Look through the archive here >>

Users can search by topic or browse by publication or date. Entire pages of the newspaper or individual images and articles are downloadable.

Local-history librarian Steven Prochet said in a April 4 news release: “People will be able to easily discover the life events of their loved ones, moments in Arlington history, and details related to homes and businesses in Arlington.” 

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Spring-for-a-Book Sale held at Robbins 10-3

books bloom

Join the Friends of Robbins Library Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the Spring-for-a-Book Sale at the Robbins Library. 

Friends members only: Shop early from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Come browse for books in the Community Room, on the fourth floor and at outside tables behind the Robbins. 

Book donations are currently being accepted at the Robbins Library.  Look for the big blue bin in the front lobby near the circulation desk.

We welcome donations of gently used books and media. No textbooks please. 

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Spring-for-a-Book Sale at Robbins held

Book sale logo

A Spring-for-a-Book Sale at Robbins Library is set for Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friends of the Library members only shop early from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Come browse for books in the Community Room, on the fourth floor and at outside tables behind the Robbins. 

Donations began being accepted at the Robbins Library on Monday, May 9.

 Look for the big blue bin in the front lobby near the circulation desk.

We welcome donations of gently used books and media.  No textbooks please. 

Read more ...

Arlington’s Pride Prom held

Pride Prom, Sham Payne, Jayden JamisonPride Prom king and queen, Sham Payne and, Jayden Jamison.

Arlington’s Pride Prom, an alternative prom for LGBTQ+ teens and their friends, returns in person Friday, May 20, from 7 to 10 p.m., p.m. in the newly renovated event space at the Community Center, at 27 Maple St.

The event is an opportunity for teens to dance, celebrate, and come together no matter how they define themselves.  

This year, Pride Prom features a DJ and dancing, dress-up accessories, a quiet chill-out room, gender-neutral bathrooms, an all-queer adult staff from the library and partner organizations and a special performance from prom king and queen, Sham Payne and Jayden Jamison.

Alternative proms have been growing in popularity since the late 1990s. Robbins Library was the host of its first alternative prom in 2017, then known as Drag Prom.

In 2020 it was renamed Pride Prom to more accurately reflect the spirit of the event and welcome teens to come to the prom however they feel comfortable. The prom is open to teens from Arlington and beyond and strives to offer a welcoming space for queer and gender noncomforming teens, allies and friends. 

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