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, March 28, 2021


Main Library Exterior


It finally seems like spring! I hope that you are feeling hopeful, as many more of us can get vaccinated and the weather is warmer and sunnier. Amid this brightness, I know that many of us are struggling with the loss of lives due to hate and gun violence, as we have seen most recently in Boulder, Atlanta, and Myanmar.

Also, many are mourning loved ones who passed away during this pandemic year. If you or people you care about are suffering, I want you to know that we at the Library are thinking of you with love. I also want to note that the beloved children book’s author Beverly Cleary recently died at the age of 104. Here are some reading suggestions to consider as we continue to process loss.



Book Groups

Book groups are an excellent way to join neighbors and friends in the joy of reading! We offer a number of virtual book groups this month:

Or join a group at your branch library:

Crafternoon with Alex Makes Art

On Monday, March 29, at 4 p.m., allow Alex Makes Art to bring some color into your week! We will be using everyday household items to create projects that can be modified for all ages. Registration is required. Registrants will be sent a list of suggested supplies.

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.

Inkscape 101: Leather Bookmark

On Tuesday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m., learn the fundamentals of Inkscape to design and edit images for a bookmark. Participants may share a completed design file to be made into a bookmark from recycled leather in The Hive and can arrange to collect their finished work through our Contactless Holds Pickup service. Basic computer skills are necessary for this class. Registration is required. Alternative materials are also available.

Hip Hop HERstory: A Discussion of Influential Women in Hip Hop

Celebrate Women’s History Month with us on Tuesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. Throughout the years in this genre dominated by males, female rappers have proved that women are unapologetically fearless and capable of holding their own and outshining their male peers. Join the panel of Candice Benbow, Candace McDuffie, and Brande Victorian as they take us on a musical journey of some of the best moments in Hip Hop. This program is hosted and sounds are provided by the cofounders of WWOC Radio, Courtney Boston, and New England’s hottest female DJ, DJ T. Lawson. Registration is required.

Design Support at The Hive

Have you attended one of our virtual design workshops or developed an idea on your own that you would like to bring to life using some of the tools in The Hive? Virtually drop in to The Hive on Wednesday, March 31, at 3:30 p.m., for help in using design tools such as Google Drawings, Tinkercad, and Inkscape to develop your project. Basic computer skills are necessary for this program. Registration is required.

Tween/Teen Virtual Hangout

Tweens, teens, and their caregivers are invited to drop in on Wednesday, March 31, at 4 p.m. Say hello to your librarians, get book recommendations and research assistance, find out about the Library's virtual offerings, and bring your suggestions! Registration is required.

VOICES Concert Series with Andrea Cruz

On Wednesday, March 31 at 6 p.m., join us in celebrating Women's History Month! VOICES, a concert series celebrating the beauty and power of the voice, will be featuring the magical and talented vocals of the Puerto Rican artist Andrea Cruz! Cruz has been featured on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, performed in major festivals such as SXSW and LAMC, and was recently awarded a residency at MASS MoCA. Registration is required.

Join Us for Story Time

We invite children and their grownups to connect with 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. 

We are happy to offer these Story Time programs this week:

Registration is required for each event.

Wellness for Seniors: Low Impact Fitness

Wellness for Seniors: Low Impact Fitness is a virtual class on Thursday, April 1, at 11 a.m. It is designed for people at all levels to strengthen muscles, the heart, and the brain--all while having fun and moving to great music! Take everything at your own pace. You will feel the benefits in mind and body! Registration is required.

Who's Little Joe: Photo Detecting 101

On Thursday, April 1, at noon, join Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, to discover unidentified people in your family albums. Learn 10 easy steps for naming the unidentified in your pictures. This interactive lecture will help you discover new identities and connections in your family history. Registration is required.

Tinkercad 101: Customized Phone Stand

On Thursday, April 1, at 3:30 p.m., learn the fundamentals of Tinkercad to design and edit objects for 3D printing. Participants may share a completed design file to be printed in The Hive and arrange to collect their finished projects through our Contactless Holds Pickup service. Basic computer skills are necessary for this course. Registration is required.

The Hope Storytelling Project: Finding Unity in Diversity

On Thursday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m., join our workshop to find unity in diversity through the lens of poetry, an art form that, despite its longevity, is continually fluid and diverse. David Xiang and Alisha Yi hope to offer a window into the worlds of other viewpoints and hope that you leave feeling attached and drawn deeper into the connections that make us human, to the richness of the lived experiences we all have Registration is required.

Being One with Earth: Telling Stories with Papercutting

On Saturday, April 3, at noon, join the first workshop of this series that focuses on the traditional Chinese art of papercutting and telling stories through multimedia presentation: a combination of traditional Chinese papercutting, watercolor, poetry, video, and digital animation. Create your own style of storytelling using any combination of these mediums!  Registration is required.

John Lewis: Good Trouble Virtual Roundtable Discussion (& Film)

If you registered for the first event of the Voices for Justice series, featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates, you know that it was postponed. We will let you know its new time soon. Voices for Justice is a free, virtual series of events from the Cambridge Public Library Foundation in support of the Library's world-class Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. The next event will be a roundtable discussion featuring local activists and community leaders and a free screening of the film John Lewis: Good TroubleYou are strongly encouraged to view the film before the roundtable discussion (a link will be provided to registered attendees on April 10). The discussion will take place on April 13, at 7:30 p.m. The speakers include Danielle Allen, Elijah Booker, the Reverend Ray Hammond, and Shirley Mark.  Registration is required.

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Warm wishes,

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries