Informational Alert | Coronavirus Updates

Contactless pickup of library holds available during modified hours at Main, Central Square, O’Neill and Valente. No appointment required. Request items from our online catalog. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email

Director's Update, January 31, 2021


Main Building Ground Floor
Dear Patrons,
February is Black History Month, the time of year that acknowledges and celebrates the contributions of Black and African American persons. While we should celebrate these accomplishments year-round, which we try to live at the Cambridge Public Library, I do want to acknowledge Black History Month. We do so against the backdrop of two important milestones – the election of Kamala Harris, the first African American and South Asian woman as vice president of the United States, and the election of Raphael G. Warnock, the first African American as U.S. senator in Georgia.
Let me also take this opportunity to wish Langston Hughes a happy birthday. Hughes was born on February 1, 1902; his work, including, “I Too,” speaks to the enduring contributions by Black and African American persons we should all celebrate year-round. I invite you to visit our calendar to learn more about some of the programs the Library is offering to celebrate Black History Month.
Book Groups
As we ease into February, we have lots of book groups and programs to explore! Book groups are an excellent way to join neighbors and friends around the joy of reading! We offer a number of virtual book groups this month:
  • Great Books Virtual Book Group: Tuesday, February 9, at 7:15 p.m.
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Virtual Book Group: Wednesday, February 10, at 6 p.m.
  • Contemporary Virtual Book Group: Tuesday, February 16, at 6 p.m.
  • Perspectives Virtual Book Group: Wednesday, February 17, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Mindfulness Virtual Book Group: Thursday, February 18, at 6 p.m.
  • Nonfiction Virtual Book Group: Monday, February 22, at 1 p.m.
  • Great Books Virtual Book Group: Tuesday, February 23, at 7:15 p.m.
Or join a book group at your branch library:
  • Boudreau Branch Virtual Book Group: Wednesday, February 10, at noon.
  • Collins Branch Virtual Book Group: Thursday, February 11, at 6 p.m.
  • O'Neill Branch Virtual Book Group: Tuesday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m.
  • O'Connell Branch Virtual Book Group: Wednesday, February 17, at 6:30 p.m.
50 Rappers Who Changed the World
On Monday, February 1, at 7 p.m., join our virtual event with the writer Candace McDuffie for a conversation with Justin McCarthy about her research, her writing process, and where she foresees hip-hop will take us next. She will profile some of the genre's biggest influencers, from the 1970s to the present. Registration is required.

Virtual ESOL Classes
Virtual English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Introductory ESOL takes place at 11 a.m., beginner ESOL at 1 p.m., and intermediate ESOL at 3 p.m. Registration is required for each class. Please see the Library’s online events calendar for more details.

Turn Your Drawing into 3D Charms
Please join us for one of our new virtual workshops on Tuesday, February 2, at 3:30 p.m., or Thursday, February 4, at 6 p.m. Turn Your Drawing into 3D Charms will teach you some of the fundamentals of using Google Drawing and Tinkercad to draw or design a charm or token and transform it into a three-dimensional object. Participants who wish may share a completed design file to be made into a 3D printed charm or token in The Hive and arrange to collect their projects via contactless pickup. Registration is required.

Virtual Baby Lapsit
Children who are not yet walking and their caregivers are invited to enjoy time together with other parents, caregivers, and babies to learn, play, and develop language and motor skills! This six-week series will take place Wednesdays at 10 a.m. until February 24. Come prepared to sit one-on-one with your baby in your lap. Registration is required.
Tween/Teen Comic Workshop
Starting Wednesday, February 3, at 4 p.m., grab some blank paper and pencils and join Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Studios for a four-week series designed to make you a better visual storyteller. Explore comic forms, develop your own catalog of characters, and share your work. Drop-in for one week or come for all four:
  • February 3: How Comics Work
  • February 10: Character Design Workshop
  • February 17: Storytelling
  • February 24: Comic Construction
Registration is required. Registering for one will sign you up for all the sessions.
David Coffin Presents: Life at Sea / A Voyage in Song

On Thursday, February 4, at 7 p.m., join the Revels' Artist-in-Residence David Coffin for a virtual exploration of the life of a sailor, whaler, and fisherman. Hear and sing the songs that illustrate the life they pursued at sea! Registration is required.

Join Us for Story Time
We invite children and their grownups to join us from home for 20-25 minutes of engaging stories. Plan to join in, sing along, and move around!
STEAM Story Times includes hands-on activities to explore science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math; please gather your activity materials before the event.
We are happy to offer these Story Times this week:
Registration is required for each event.
An Asian Treasure Bag of Stories
Children and their families are invited to join Eth-Noh-Tec and the Cambridge Public Library as we explore folk tales and myths from the Pan-Asian world in this live virtual presentation of Asian Treasure Bag of Stories. This event takes place on Friday, February 5, at 4 p.m. Registration is required.
Stay Connected
Best wishes,
Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries