Cambridge Public Library

Oct 25: Meeting with Directors of Community Schools


Directors of Community Schools, October 25, 1996

In attendance: Ted Burton, Karen Carmean of Library 21, with Managers and Directors of Community Schools... Roz, Judy, Elena, and.......exact list of those attending not available

To provide access to all the people of Cambridge and to insure that we manage our resources well, Library 21 is gathering information from as many groups as possible about what the people want.

What would you like in the library?

A. Community Activity Center

  • space for supervised activities at libraries
  • Watch cable for local city council programs so people could see this nearby and didn't have to go to City Hall if they don't have cable. This would be especially valuable during city budget hearings and other peak times when you can't get into City Hall. Need a place to see these special programs in neighborhood
  • Have cable access for parents in neighborhoods who can't get to important programs like the 7th and 8th grade parents who want to be involved in the high school restructuring program. They should be able to go to their neighborhoods
  • Meeting rooms so people can work together
  • Art tool boxes which people could borrow. and arts and craft tool boxes.
  • Space- performance space. the Gyms in the schools are not good performance spaces
  • Sound proof practice rooms
  • Pianos to play, practice and for group activities
  • 5:30-7:00 family events when parents get home and before they have dinner
  • Enhanced cultural activities for special occasions like Kwanza, Passover, 3 Kings, Solstice, etc.
  • Sing-along programs for older kids with parents and other activities for parents and children to do together

B. Community Information Center

  • map of Cambridge showing services- info on computers
  • bulletin board with info for reference
  • place for posting flyers, etc. and responses (e-mail?)
  • library as info posting/ gathering place for community resources
    "Introduction to Cambridge"
  • civic government night- candidates, etc.
  • Videos of programs offered at different sites so that others could access the information
  • Health insurance pamphlets listing resources on this topic
  • Neighborhood watch resources: how to start neighborhood watches, what to do, what to look for, etc. Materials, pamphlet, workshops, videos
  • Central clearinghouse for information on parking spaces in the neighborhood which are available during the day. Maybe the library could provide this information to those needing parking during the day.

C. Formal Education Support Center

  • a training and professional video library
  • more programs tied with school schedule
  • reading at summer camp programs - in schools "Native. Amer." example (?)
  • Science toolboxes to borrow like the Science Museum has
  • Videos on how to implement the tool boxes that might be loaned so that talented and knowledgeable teachers could share their good ideas with other teachers
  • Staff members from the library to run programs on early release days or in the summer on topics like gardening, animals, nature programs, science
  • Tool box for health programs including preventative measures, traditional medicine and alternative medicine strategies
  • Connected with school programs and resources

D. Independent Learning Center

  • Resume writing and computers to write them on and type them up
  • Language labs, fully outfitted with tapes, a-v
  • Parenting workshops for teens and for children
  • Red cross, first aid and baby-sitting programs and resources
  • ESL classes should be in the library and have access to the library
  • Adults feel comfortable about libraries

E. Popular Materials Lending Library

  • "sound room"
  • upgrade library staff for computers
  • internet access for public at branches
  • internet access and printers to use to print out what you find
  • Have at least some library open 24 hours
  • Linguistic minorities should have access to library
  • Books on tape: increase numbers
  • Have a section like Cybersmith so that young adults are attracted to the library with snacks and computers and tables with plenty of seats around the computers so groups can work together. This would interest the young adults.
  • Copying and faxing and printing resources at the library should be available at reduced cost. The schools have copying machine which can offer less expensive copying costs and the library should too or might use the schools copiers or get the kinds of copiers that the schools have
  • Videos made and stored of the parenting workshop which was funded by a grant so the information could be available to others
  • Mediation tapes and peer- to -peer programs, tapes, resources to deal with conflict and violence
  • Large type books
  • Large type music books for visually impaired
  • loan tools like tree pruner
  • loan musical instruments like tubas, flutes, etc.
  • expand video and CD collections

F. Preschoolers Door to Learning

  • more international videos for children like "Magic Garden"

G. Reference Library

  • Computers open to public
  • Earaches- and information on other common health problems which parents face so that they know when they really must take their child to the doctor since so many people don't have access to doctors
  • Kits on how to fix it. Pamphlets like at Tag's on how to fix common problems around the house
  • Videos of examples of parenting issues for parents of kids of different ages to use to help them know how else they might respond to particular situations
  • Vision impaired resources and how to get access.
  • Parenting materials
  • Health insurance research to help people in Cambridge find health insurance since 1 of 4 people are reported not to have health insurance.
  • card system for "flyer" info

H. Research Center

  • Programs to help high school students and their parents research colleges and apply to colleges and to apply for loans
  • "How to buy a house" pamphlet, workshop, video of workshop on specialized knowledge like this where the information would be free
  • Health insurance seminar to help people learn how to research this issue

I. Other- important functions missing from list

  • Focus on neighborhoods with need. better branches in these
  • Safety of children by using school libraries
  • volunteer staff- 1 hour/week. students help. Work/study help for library staff
  • library as school bus stop
  • school libraries and city libraries to extend evening use of school library by students and public, adults, too.
  • school library as a branch with easier access
  • "beefing up" satellites
  • more hours open especially in the summer
  • Library and books to borrow at the community schools
  • There is no transportation to the main library and there is no parking. From my house I would have to take several buses
  • Parking is needed.
  • Harvard garages should be open to residents after hours. They were open during snow emergencies once.
  • Need parking badly; Longfellow teachers have a terrible time
  • People who drive to work and don't use their parking spaces in areas near the libraries could give them for parking from 9-5.?
  • Portland or someplace like that bought a thousand bicycles and painted them an ugly yellow and people just ride them to where they are going and then leave them there wherever they go. We should do this.
  • Area 4 needs a branch library- perhaps in the youth center
  • Cafe- so I can eat lunch when I am at the library or have a snack while reading
  • air-conditioning in all branches
  • High school library open late, longer, 24 hours
  • Access to school library at night and weekends. Problem is security of computers and equipment so that would have to be addressed.
  • Main library- no transportation. no parking
  • Library shuttle to get you to the library
  • Later hours for children's room since many families have both parents working

J. An Important Civic Building

Who else should we talk to?

  • Neighborhood councils, and ?
  • School councils,
  • PTO

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Louis DePasquale
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager