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 7, 2021


Boudreau Branch Library

Dear Patrons,

We are so pleased to be able to offer our contactless holds pickup services again this week!

I am particularly happy to offer a dedicated first hour of service daily for senior and at-risk patrons at the Main Library. Please note that all holds will be kept through the close of business on February 20 to give you plenty of time to get your items—there’s no need for anyone to rush!

There are also lots of virtual programs to enjoy this week, including a discussion about the influence of hip-hop, ESOL classes, a training session for sea lions and fur seals with the New England Aquarium, workshops for creating 3D charms and personalized coasters, a comic workshop for teens/tweens, various Story Time programs, and virtual cooking events for African-American cuisine and Red Velvet Banana Pudding!

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Best wishes,

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries


Holds Pickup Resumes, with Senior/At-Risk Hours at the Main Library

We anticipate lots of enthusiasm and some lines, but we look forward to getting your materials to you! Please note the pickup hours, as some times have changed:

Main Library (449 Broadway)

  • Tuesday and Wednesday:
    • Seniors and at-risk individuals: noon - 1 p.m.
    • General pickup hours: 1 - 7 p.m.

  • Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:
  • Seniors and at-risk individuals: 9 - 10 a.m.
  • General pickup hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Central Square Branch (45 Pearl St.)

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: 1 - 7 p.m.

O’Neill Branch (70 Rindge Ave.)

  • Wednesday: 1 - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Valente Branch (826 Cambridge St.)

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Friday 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Return hours at the Boudreau, Collins, and O’Connell branches will also resume according to the dates and times on the Library’s website calendar.

How the Turntables Have Turned! A Conversation About Hip-Hop & the Media

On Monday, February 8, at 7 p.m., learn how the influence of hip-hop extends to television, film, advertising, fashion, the media, language, and more. In recent years, there has been a shift in tone in how media outlets consume and present hip-hop to their respective audiences. The Library is excited to welcome the music journalists Bobby Carter, Bianca Gracie, and Dart Adams to discuss the media’s influence on the history and development of hip-hop culture, including the consistent call for censorship. 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.

Family Night with the New England Aquarium

Join marine mammal trainers on Tuesday, February 9, at 5:30 p.m. for a live training session with the California sea lions and northern fur seals. Learn about training and what you can do to protect the ocean environment for these amazing animals. Registration is required. If you register but cannot attend, please cancel your registration to make space for others.

Turn Your Drawing into 3D Charms

Please join us for a virtual workshop on Wednesday, February 10, at 1 p.m. Turn Your Drawing into 3D Charms will teach you some of the fundamentals of Google Drawing and Tinkercad to draw or design a charm or token and transform it into a three-dimensional object.  Participants may share a completed design file to be made into a 3D printed charm or token in The Hive. Patrons can arrange to collect their finished projects via contactless holds pickup. Registration is required.

Virtual Baby Lapsit

Toddlers 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 series will take place on Wednesdays at 10 a.m., continuing until February 24. Registration is required. Register at any point during the series and we will sign you up for all the remaining sessions.

Tween/Teen Comic Workshop

Continuing Wednesday, February 10, at 4 p.m., grab some blank paper and pencils and join Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Studios for a 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:

  • February 10: Character Design Workshop
  • February 17: Storytelling
  • February 24: Comic Construction

Registration is required. Registering will sign you up for all the sessions.

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 include 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 Time programs this week:

Registration is required for each event.

Google Drawing 101: Personalized Coaster Set

On Thursday, February 11, at 3:30 p.m., learn the fundamentals of Google Drawing to design and edit images for a set of four coasters. You'll also be introduced to our in-house laser cutting machines. Participants may share a completed design file to be made into coasters in The Hive and arrange to collect them at contactless holds pickup. Computer proficiency is necessary for this course. Registration is required.

The Essentials of African American Cuisine with Malcolm Green

Join us on Thursday, February 11, at 7 p.m. to celebrate Black History Month and learn the essentials of African American cuisine with the Master Chef Season 4 contestant Malcolm Green. This virtual presentation will feature a Southern breakfast favorite, Shrimp & Grits. Registration is required.

The Hive Open House

On Friday, February 12, at noon, join us for a virtual tour of the new makerspace, recording studios, and extended reality lab at the Main Library. See the many possibilities and learn about upcoming virtual workshops where you can design your own projects to be produced and picked up from The Hive. Registration is required.

NapSnacks: Red Velvet Banana Pudding

On Saturday, February 13, at noon, our local baking enthusiast Hermeline Pierre will lead a virtual workshop showing participants her unique touch to a classic recipe, her renowned Red Velvet variation of Banana Pudding. Registration is required.

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