Informational Alert | Coronavirus Updates
NOTICE: Fall hours for contactless pickup of library holds at Main, Central Square, O’Neill, and Valente are now in effect. No appointments required. Request items online, by phone at 617-349-4040 or by email at

Director's Update, July 21, 2020


O'Connell Branch
Dear Library Patrons,
We concluded last week with a joyful and meaningful special story time with Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and Vice-Mayor Alanna Mallon, who shared with Cambridge youth about why and what they do as civic leaders. Thank you, Mayor and Vice-Mayor for your inspirational story time.
We have an exciting week ahead!

Kids Books to Go this Wednesday at O’Neill Branch & Next Monday at Collins Branch
At Kids Books to Go pop-up events, youth and families can borrow bags of library books for kids and teens without having to make an appointment or place catalog requests. Title selections are curated by Cambridge Public Library children's librarians. This week’s event will take place on Wednesday July 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. outside the O’Neill Branch at 70 Rindge Ave. We will host the following event outside the Collins Branch, 64 Aberdeen Ave., on Monday July 27, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bins will also be available at each location for library returns during these events.

Join us for Story Times
The CPL will host its next Virtual STEAM Story Time: Seeds Sprout on Wednesday July 22 at 11 a.m. for children and their grownups. Join us for 20-25 minutes of stories and hands-on activities to explore STEAM. Please gather activity materials before the event if you plan to participate. This week, you will need a small plastic zipper storage bag (sandwich or quart size), dried uncooked beans, peas, or seeds, paper towels and water. Registration is required.
Virtual Family Story time with Julie Roach takes place on Thursday July 23 at 11 a.m. Registration is required.
Wear your favorite cozy pajamas and join us from home for songs, stories, and rhymes to wind down the day! CPL will host Virtual Pajama Story time on Thursday July 23 at 6:45 p.m. Caregivers are asked to participate in the program with their children. Registration is required.

Upcoming Summer Reading Programs
You can also begin registering for these youth programs, which are happening next week: Concert with Shaw Pong Liu, Storytelling with Tony Toledo, Concert with Rolie Polie Guacamole, Wee the People, and Acrobatics by Li Liu.
Crafting at the CPL
Join us for Net Works - Hand Knitting Basketball Nets with Maria Molteni on Thursday July 23 at 7 p.m. Local artist Maria Molteni of New Craft Artists in Action will discuss her craftivist collective's on-going public art project, Net Works, and demonstrate how we can create our own basketball nets! Instructions are holistic and approachable, hoping to empower and inspire a new generation of crafters. Registration is required.
Plant Parenting 101
So you wanna be a plant parent? If you need help or want to learn more about caring for and maintaining your plants, know when and how to re-pot them; if you struggle to figure out how much sunlight is too much or finding the balance between underwatering versus overwatering, you won’t want to miss this event with Samantha Fontanez on Sunday July 26 at 10 a.m. Registration is required.
Adult Summer Reading: Writer’s Bone Virtual Podcast Recording
On Monday, July 27 at 6 p.m., author Daniel Ford will lead a special Adult Summer Reading: Writer’s Bone Virtual Podcast Recording with the Cambridge Public Library. The episode will feature crime and mystery writers John Vercher, Barbara Ross, and cohost of Noir at the Bar, Edwin Hill. The panel will discuss why they decided to write crime fiction, some of the things they’ve learned from readers, their upcoming projects, and more. Registration is required

Virtual CCTV Workshop
On Tuesday, July 28 at 6 p.m., in partnership with Cambridge Community Television (CCTV), we will offer a virtual workshop Intro to Cell Phone Cinema. You will learn how to set up your device for filming, acquire the skills to capture the best-looking video possible, and gain the knowledge to create a story using just your smartphone! Registration is required.
The Big Return
When we closed our buildings and book drops due to the COVID-19 health crisis, we extended most due dates to July 31. That date is now coming up! We anticipate a high volume of returns on July 31, so we greatly appreciate your returning your borrowed items earlier if you no longer need them. The outside book drop at the Main Library at 449 Broadway is now open 24/7. Oversize returns are accepted during our contactless pickup hours (Monday-Wednesday 1:30-7 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m).
Branch library book drops continue to be closed, though we hope to begin accepting returns at branches soon. The due dates for items checked out from Cambridge branch libraries will be extended to September 11.

In More CPL News...
Alyssa Pacy, CPL’s Archivist, was recently invited by artist and activist Lori Lander to join her weekly breakfast gatherings, conversations focusing on pressing local and national issues, to discuss race in Cambridge. Alyssa provided a bibliography, as well as information about relevant collections in the Archives. She will also give an interview on Tuesday July 21 to discuss systemic, racial bias in archives in general and the work she is doing to attempt to remedy it by highlighting recently donated collections from Cambridge’s African American community. 
Alyssa will also be joining archives collection donor, Pamela Worden, one of the country’s pioneers in the contemporary vision of public art, in a discussion on the concept of public art and monuments and how they may be reimagined for the present moment. This discussion will be used for a class on July 23, 2020, taught by Mathew Battles of Harvard’s Metalab.
Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries