New Valente Branch Library Now Open. Community Celebration Planned for Nov. 20


Rendering-Valente Interior

The Valente Branch Library has opened in its new location at 826 Cambridge St., with expanded hours and services. Valente Branch hours will be Monday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 1-5 p.m. The Cambridge community is invited to an opening celebration on Wednesday, November 20, from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The Valente Branch is part of the King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School and Community Complex. The 10,000 square foot branch, which is twice the size of its predecessor, includes free wifi, a collection of over 25,000 items, and a multipurpose community room that will enable Valente to offer more programming, including author talks, public lectures, and children’s story times. The community room will also be available for use by community organizations and nonprofits. Continuing the curved gesture of the terracotta-clad school building, Valente Branch serves as a transparent and welcoming beacon that activates a new civic plaza along Cambridge Street. Its soaring interior volume is infused with daylight from three sides to provide a balanced, glare free environment and a place people want to be.

One of the more beloved areas of the original Valente Branch built in 1961 was the Reading Garden, a space for individuals and families to reflect and play. Located next to the Childrens’ Area, the reimagined Reading Garden maintains its prominence at the new Valente Branch and is a refreshing outdoor space that complements the immersive and exciting experience of the library. The popular Alley Cats by Judy Kensley McKie have been restored and are also a familiar feature in the new Reading Garden.

“We are thrilled that the new Valente Branch is poised to open for the entire Cambridge community to enjoy and thank the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for their investment in the community,” said Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries. “Cantabrigians are proud of the space, size, accessibility, and welcoming nature of our public libraries, and this new space is another example of the city’s commitment to enhancing the experience of Cambridge residents when visiting our libraries.”

The Valente Branch Library was designed by William Rawn Associates, the architectural firm responsible for the signature glass wing addition to the Main Library. As with the rest of the school and community complex adjacent to the branch, Valente is designed to be a Net Zero building, producing as much renewable energy as it consumes.

Funding for Valente Branch Library was provided by the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Opening events are sponsored by Manny Rogers and Family, via the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.


Valente Night Photo by Nikul Patel. Day Photo by Robert Benson Photography.

About the Cambridge Public Library:
The Cambridge Public Library opened in 1889 and serves the community of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It provides free access to information for over 105,000 Cambridge residents and provides an engaging community space for innovative events and programming. The Library’s programming provides an opportunity for civic dialog, conversation and learning, which includes exploring a wide range of views.