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Director's Update, May 8, 2022


Homeira Qaderi Carousel

Dear Patrons,

We are pleased to offer the following programs at the Library this week, including two that celebrate Haitian Flag Day, a bilingual reading and conversation with Dr. Homeira Qaderi and Aria Aber about Qaderi’s memoir that describes the difficult choices she’s made as a mother in the face of oppression, and Outdoor Family STEAM Night: Sorting and Collecting at the O’Neill Branch.

Book Groups
Learn more about our Book Group offerings this week.

Outdoor Program for Children and Families

This week, these outdoor programs for young children will be offered (weather permitting) at our Boudreau, Central Square, Main, O’Connell, O’Neill, and Valente locations:

  • Baby Lapsit: Just for you and your baby! Enjoy time with other parents, caregivers, and babies to play and develop language and motor skills.
  • Songs & Stories: All ages are invited to sing, dance, and share a story!
  • Story Time: All ages are invited to join us for a half hour of stories!

Please see the events calendar for further details. Registration is not required.

Wellness for Seniors (Virtual)
Monday, May 9
11-11:45 a.m.

Put on your dancing shoes to improve flexibility and balance, strengthen muscles, and have fun! The certified Zumba Gold instructor Emily B. will lead you through 45 minutes of low-impact and easy choreography in your own home through Zoom. Registration is required for each session.

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main)
Monday, May 9
1:30-4 p.m.
Wednesday, May 11, and Thursday, May 12
6:30-8:30 p.m.

During this time period, anyone who has completed Hive Safety Training and is badged to use equipment or studio(s) can reserve Hive equipment or studio spaces. Learn more about becoming a badged maker. Staff will assist participants as they are able. Learn more.

Fresh Pond Nature Walk (Collins)
Monday, May 9
10:15-11 a.m. 

Join us on the second Monday of each month for a 45-minute relaxing walk around Fresh Pond with Park Ranger Tim Puopolo! No two weeks are the same in nature, and Tim will share his insights about what's growing, changing, and blooming in the neighborhood. The walk will meet in the courtyard of the Collins Branch and move toward Fresh Pond Reservation. Registration is encouraged but not required.

How to Buy a Used Bicycle! (Main)
Monday, May 9
6-8 p.m. 

This hands-on workshop led by Cambridge’s Mobility Education Coordinator is intended to show you what to look for when buying a used bicycle. We will cover how to evaluate a bicycle's condition, the different styles of bikes, and how to find a bike that fits your needs. We will end with a review of the best locking techniques! Registration is required.

ESOL Classes (Central Square)
Tuesdays and Thursdays   
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays and Fridays
10:30 a.m.-Noon

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes occur at the Central Square Branch on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Tuesday and Thursday, Intermediate ESOL is at 11 a.m., High Beginner ESOL is at 1 p.m., and Advanced ESOL is at 3 p.m. Beginner ESOL is at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Registration is required for each class.

Glowforge 101: Creative Laser Cutting, Parts 1 & 2 (Main)
Tuesday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 11
4-5 p.m.
Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14
12:30-1:30 p.m.

Learn how to cut, engrave, and shape designs from a variety of materials using the Glowforge Pro laser cutter in this two-part series. In Part 1, you will use the camera for focusing and scanning your own images, properly select materials for your project, and fabricate your first design. In Part 2, you will create digital artwork for the Glowforge Pro and learn file formatting for production. You must complete Hive Safety Training before participating in this program. Registration is required

Outdoor Family STEAM Night: Sorting and Collecting (O’Neill)
Tuesday, May 10
6:30-7:15 p.m.

We invite families with elementary school children to join us outdoors for hands-on activities focused on Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Math. Adults and children will learn and play together! In this workshop, we will explore our local urban ecosystem, collect various artifacts, and find different ways to sort and categorize. If the weather is bad, we will hold the program indoors. Thank you to MIT's Public Library Innovation Exchange (PLIX) for creating the Tangible Ecosystem workshop as part of its Urban Ecology series. Registration is not required. Learn more.

XR Lab 101 (Main)
Tuesday, May 10
7-8 p.m.
Saturday, May 14
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Extended reality (XR) opens the door to worlds and experiences outside the everyday through virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality equipment. Test drive our Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality glasses, Structure Sensor 3D scanner, Merge headsets, and more. You must complete Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required.

Exploring Alternative Medicine: Intro to Medical Cannabis (Virtual)
Tuesday, May 10
7-8 p.m. 

Join the Cannabis Nurses at Azalla Education to gain a basic understanding of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), learn why cannabis is medicine, and appreciate how more than 80 years of prohibition have harmed our communities at large, especially BIPOC communities. This session will include a succinct guided meditation and opportunities to have your questions answered following the presentation. Registration is required.

Read to a Dog (O'Neill)
Wednesday, May 11
1-2 p.m.

Read with a cuddly friend! Trained therapy dogs provide warm and nonjudgmental reading companions for new or experienced readers up to age 14. Registration is required for each 10-minute time slot, and it begins on Wednesday, May 4,CAN YOU FIX DATE? by visiting or calling the O’Neill Branch (617-349-4023).

Vinyl Cutting 101 (Main)
Wednesday, May 11
1-2 p.m.
Friday, May 13
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Would you like to make your own vinyl signs, stickers, or images to transfer to T-shirts and other textiles? In this workshop, you can learn how to use our Roland Camm-1 GS-24 vinyl cutter. You can then design a sticker and cut it with our vinyl cutter! You must complete Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required for each session.

Half-Day Hangout (Valente)
Wednesday, May 11
1-3 p.m. 

Join us after school for low-key games and activities. The Valente Branch will provide craft materials and board games. This event is recommended for children ages 5 and up. Registration is not required. Learn more.

Résumé and Job Application Support (Central Square)
Wednesday, May 11
1-3 p.m.

Are you looking for assistance creating a résumé or finding a job? Drop by the Central Square Branch for help with preparing a résumé, conducting a job search online, and completing online applications. No registration is required. Learn more.

LEGO STEAM Kit Play Day (O'Connell)
Wednesday, May 11
3-5 p.m. 

Join us to try out the Library's newest STEAM kits: LEGO Storytales and LEGO STEAM Park! Drop in at the O'Connell Branch to give your creativity a workout, and maybe check out a STEAM kit to take home. Registration is not required. Learn moreLEGO pieces are choking hazards for young children. This event is for children ages 3 and up and their caregivers. Children under age 7 must be attended by a caregiver.

Urban Gardening: Vegetable Gardening 101 (Virtual)
Wednesday, May 11
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Whether you're new to gardening or have been doing it for years, there's always more to learn. In this workshop, we'll cover the basics of growing a healthy organic garden including soil prep, planting, watering, and garden planning. Join us and get your garden growing right this season! Presented by the Trustees Boston Community Gardens Program. Registration is required.

Cambridge Room Lecture Series: The Beauty of Book Binding and Decoration: Linked Spine Bindings (Main)
Wednesday, May 11
7-8 p.m. 

Join the book conservator Sam Ellenport for an illustrated talk on the history of linked spine bindings, a little-known aspect of bookbinding decoration used on sets of books. The binder uses all of the book spines as a canvas to produce an overall design, whether representational or abstract. Ellenport has been a hand-bookbinder since he bought the Harcourt Bindery in Boston over 40 years ago. Registration is required.

Navigating Solo: Tools for Creating Your Plan for Aging Well (Virtual)
Thursday, May 12
10:30-11:30 a.m.

In this lecture and workshop series for active older adults, Ailene Gerhardt of Beacon Patient Solutions LLC will explore the special considerations and planning needs of solo agers ( adults who, because of choice or circumstance, are without the support structure of adult children or other close family). In session 8, we’ll discuss how to evaluate what is best for you. Presented in collaboration with Cambridge Neighbors. Registration is required.

Zing Laser Cutting 101 (Main)
Thursday, May 12
4-5 p.m.
Friday, May 13
10-11 a.m.

Complete this workshop to earn a badge for the Epilog Zing laser cutter. You must complete Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required.

Note: The Epilog Zing laser cutter and Glowforge laser cutter require separate training. You must participate in the Glowforge 101: Creative Laser Cutting workshop in order to operate our Glowforge Pro laser cutter.

Homeira Qaderi Presents Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son (A Bilingual Event) (Main)
Thursday, May 12
6-7:30 p.m. 

Join us for a bilingual reading and conversation with Dr. Homeira Qaderi and Aria Aber. Qaderi’s Dancing in the Mosque is a mother’s searing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. She describes the unimaginable choices she’s made as a mother in the face of oppression. This event will include live translation from Persian to English, and questions can be asked in both languages. Registration is required.

Haitian Flag Day Celebration (Main)
Saturday, May 14
1:30-3 p.m. 

Join us for a celebration of Haitian Flag Day with presentations by Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul, and the former Cambridge Poet Populist Jean Dany Joachim. Then enjoy a small reception with Haitian Patties and a drop-in art station for all ages. This event is cosponsored by the Cambridge Public Schools District, the Mayor’s Office, and the City Manager’s Office. Registration is required.

Haitian Flag Day Storytime (O’Neill)
Saturday, May 14
3-3:25 p.m. 

We invite children and their grown-ups to join us for 20-25 minutes of stories to celebrate Haitian Flag Day. Stories will be read in both English and Haitian Creole. All language speakers are welcome! Registration is not required. Learn more.

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All the best,

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries