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, October 11, 2020


Rossi Room, Cambridge Public Library

Dear Patrons,

Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day! Cambridge celebrates the second Monday of October in recognition of the culture, history, and diversity of Native American Peoples and their continued contributions to the vitality of our society.

As the weather gets chilly, I can’t think of a better way to spend some time than snuggled up with a good book! You can find some great ideas from the Cambridge Public Library staff. Some of our current book lists include Kids Books for Fall (ages 0-8), New Books, and New in Nonfiction. You can even Read If You Dare this season on Libby!

Extended Contactless Pickup Service Hours at the O’Neill Branch

The O’Neill Branch (70 Rindge Ave.) began Contactless Holds Pickup the week of September 7, and the service has proved popular, with more pickups each week. As a result, we have increased the time an additional 6.5 hours a week. The new hours at O’Neill, which began the week of October 7, are:

  • Wednesdays, 1 to 7:30 pm
  • Thursdays, 11 am to 5:30 pm
  • Fridays, 11 am to 5:30 pm

Dream Big 2020

It wouldn’t be fall without the Cambridge Public Library Foundation’s annual event, Dream Big. Held virtually this year, the theme is Big Data, Big Problems: Looking to the Past to Understand the Present. I am honored to host the Harvard Professor of American History Jill Lepore and the Executive Director of the American Library Association, Tracie D. Hall. They will discuss Jill Lepore’s new book, If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, and how the early work of a little-known company in the 1960s was a precursor to today’s world of Big Data surveillance and advertising psych-ops. Register today to attend what promises to be a memorable event!

Solo Aging: Building Health, Community, and Emotional Support

Join us on Thursday, October 15, at 1:30 pm for Unique Needs of Solo Agers: Building Health, Community, and Emotional Support. Working with Cambridge Neighbors, this virtual program will explore the needs and particular considerations of solo agers. We will review specific needs related to health care and community, tips for avoiding loneliness and isolation, and tools for creating support systems. Attendees will leave this talk with useful resources and many questions addressed. Registration is required.

The NapSnacks: Sweet Plantain Empanadas!

On Saturday, October 17, at noon, Ayida Sole leads a demonstration of how to make her delicious original sweet plantain empanadas. An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries of Latin America and southern Europe. Registration is required.

Join Us for Story Times

The next Virtual STEAM Story Time: Ramps and Inclines will be on Wednesday, October 14, at 11 am. Children and their grownups can join us for 20-25 minutes of stories and hands-on activities to explore STEAM. Please gather your activity materials before the event. Registration is required.

The Library will host Virtual Family Story Time on Thursday, October 15, at 11 am. Plan to join in, sing along, and move around! Registration is required.

Virtual Family Night with Children's Illustrator Bryan Collier

Join us on Monday, October 19, at 6 pm for a very special chat about art, storytelling, and making books with the beloved, award-winning children's book writer and illustrator Bryan Collier. Registration is required. This event is sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Stay Connected

To keep up with what’s happening at the Library, please subscribe to our email list, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and visit our website. You won’t be disappointed!

Best wishes,

Maria McCauley
Director of Libraries