City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Public Library Donate Books to City Youth via Lunch Sites and Community Members at the War Memorial

The City of Cambridge and Cambridge Public Library announced this week that they are distributing donated books to Cambridge youth, as well as community members staying at the temporary emergency shelter at the War Memorial Recreation Center. The donation of books keeps with the Library’s dedication to promote literacy and bridge gaps in access during the Library’s closure as a result of COVID-19.

Supported by the Offices of the Mayor, Vice Mayor, and City Manager, Cambridge Public Schools, Food For Free and Find It Cambridge, the Library has distributed books to school-aged youth via lunch sites throughout the City. The books were delivered to City Hall and sorted by volunteers and school staff into bags donated by Find It Cambridge. In total, community volunteers sorted out 60 boxes of books into bags containing 3-5 books each for students. 

In collaboration with the Cambridge Public Library Foundation, the City and the Library have also donated books to community members experiencing homelessness that  seek shelter at the War Memorial during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Cambridge Police Department helped to deliver the books.

“We are proud to be part of this creative partnership, which supports one of our fundamental tenets – to promote reading and a love of books,” said Director of Libraries Dr. Maria McCauley.  “We can all find solace in a good book, and I hope this donation of books provides this opportunity to our community members temporarily living at the War Memorial.”

“Reading provides a vehicle for learning new information, exploring diverse perspectives and sparking the imagination,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale in a joint statement. “We are honored to participate as one of many partners that have worked closely together to provide  our young people with access to literature and to fuel their passions for reading.”

Both giveaway plans were vetted by the Cambridge Department of Public Health for hygiene issues/safety. 

The book giveaway was also made possible by a collaboration with Urban Libraries Council and Book Rich Environments, a national initiative that seeks to connect families living in public housing communities with reading resources. Algonquin Books for Young Readers and Workman Publishing, Candlewick Press, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster all made generous book donations in support of this critical effort.

The City and the Library remain committed to improving access to technology and informational resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the City’s efforts and to access available information, please visit the City’s dedicated COVID-19 information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19.

Page was posted on 5/8/2020 5:44 PM
Page was last modified on 5/8/2020 5:44 PM
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