Director's Update, July 10, 2022


Main Library Reading Room

Dear Patrons, 


Our Summer Reading program is entering its second week! Check out our Summer Reading programs or Your Next Great Read service to see what appeals to you. 


Summer Sunday service at the Valente Branch began on July 3. The pilot will run every Sunday through September 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. Join us for the Summer Launch Party at the Valente Branch on Sunday, July 10, at 2 p.m. Enjoy refreshments, create chalk murals, and learn all about the Summer Reading program. Learn more


On Wednesday, July 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Library will kick off its summer music program, Park Sounds, at Joan Lorentz Park, outside the Main Library. Performers include DJ Johnny Stevens of Soulelujah, a strictly vinyl party started in Central Square in 2003, and Albino Mbie, an award-winning musician from Mozambique whose sound combines rhythmic patterns and musical concepts from around the world to create a unique Afro-Pop and Moz-Jazz sound. In the event of bad weather, this program will be held in the Lecture Hall. Park Sounds is dedicated to the memory of Janet Axelrod, the late chair of the Library’s Board of Trustees and a musician. This program is supported by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. Learn more.                       


Outdoor Programs for Kids  


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


  • Outdoor Baby Lapsit: Just for you and your baby! Enjoy time with other parents, caregivers, and babies to play and develop language and motor skills.
  • Preschool Story Time: Recommended for children ages 3-5.
  • Sing-Along: All ages are invited to sing and dance!
  • Songs and 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.  


Book Groups

Learn more about our Book Group offerings this week.


Summer Launch Party (Valente)

Sunday, July 10 

2-4 p.m.  


Help us kick off Valente Summer Sundays with refreshments, bubbles, chalk art, and a performance by the folk artist Grace Givertz! Learn more.  

Fresh Pond Nature Walk (Collins)

Monday, July 11 

10:15-11 a.m. 


Join us on the second Monday of each month for a 45-minute relaxing walk around Fresh Pond with the 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 leave toward the pond at 10:15 a.m. Learn more


Creative Aging Poetry Writing Workshop (Main)

Monday, July 11 

2-4 p.m. 


In this Creative Aging Poetry class, students will be able to put their poetry muscles to work in a safe, creative, and supportive community. They will read, write, and share poetry focusing on the four elements of a poem: imagination, music, story, and structure. By using wordplay exercises, prompts, and reading a range of poetry styles, they will hone their poetry skills and begin to see the world through the eyes of a poet.  


The 8-week course will occur every Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. from July 11 through September 12 (no class will be held on 7/25 or 9/5). Participants should plan to commit to all eight sessions. Learn more


Lamp x the CPL Present: A Book Club Walks into a Bar (Lamplighter)

Monday, July 11 

7-8:30 p.m. 


You’re invited to our July brewery book club, where Lamplighter and the Cambridge Public Library team up to highlight contemporary works from marginalized voices while having a beer. This month, we’ll read In Every Mirror She's Black by Lola Akinmade Åkerström.  We’ll gather in the Lamplighter’s back taproom to discuss the book--what we learned from it, what we found ourselves touched by--and all other thoughts. Register here to participate.  


Playful Engineers Outdoor Traveling Makerspace (Valente)

Monday, July 11 

2-3 p.m. 


Join us for this hands-on, STEM-focused workshop to design, build, test, and play with Rube Goldberg Machines, paper constructions, domino towers, and more! Recommended for children ages 5 and up and their caregivers. In the event of rain, this program will be held on Monday, July 18. Learn more.  


Hive Safety Training (Virtual)

Monday, July 11 

4-4:30 p.m. 


In this workshop, you will learn about our makerspace, how to use our resources, and how to keep safe in The Hive. Before attending workshops in The Hive, all makers must bring signed copies of The Hive User Agreement and Waivers. Registration is required


Summer ESOL Class (Valente)

Monday, July 11 

6-7:30 p.m.  


Join us for an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class this summer! This class will be taught at a beginner level. No testing is needed. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call Maria Balestrieri at 617-349-4013. Learn more.  


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 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 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 Wednesdays and Fridays. Registration is not required. Learn more.  


Sewing 101 (Main)

Tuesday, July 12 

1:30-3 p.m.

Here you’ll learn the basics of sewing machine operation and safety. This session will cover setting up a machine, its basic functions, threading the machine, reloading the bobbin, sewing straight stitches, and recognizing when the stitch tension has gone awry. We’ll also cover some safety best practices when operating a sewing machine. As we learn together, we’ll work on a simple sewing project—a drawstring bag—which most students will be able to complete by the end of the class.   

You must complete The Hive Safety Training or The Hive Safety Training & Glowforge 101 before registering for this workshop. Registration is required.   


Summer Reading: STEAM Discovery: Will It Fly? (O'Connell)

Tuesday, July 12 

3-4 p.m.  


Come think like an engineer in the O'Connell Reading Garden. We'll make paper planes and helicopters and find out how well they fly! Recommended for children ages 5 and up and their grownups. Learn more.  


Jukebox First 25: A Release Party Celebrating the First 25 Stories (Main)

Tuesday, July 12 

5:30-7 p.m.  


Join us to celebrate the release of the first 25 Jukebox stories! These stories, told by members of the Cambridge community, will first be released online. When the Cambridge Foundry opens in September, you will be able to play the stories on the jukebox itself! Commissioned for the Cambridge Foundry through the City of Cambridge percent-for-art program by the Cambridge Arts Council, Jukebox is a participatory public art project that is dedicated to creating a center for gathering, listening, and sharing our stories.  


This event will take place on the patio of the Main Library. If it rains, we will move the celebration indoors to the Cambridge Room, on the second floor. Registration is required.  


Equipment and Studio Reservation (Main) 

Tuesday, July 12 

5:30-8:30 p.m.    

Thursday, July 14 

6-8:30 p.m. 

Friday, July 15 

1-4:30 p.m.   

Saturday, July 16  

1:30-4:30 p.m.   


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


City as Canvas: Film Screening (Valente)

Tuesday, July 12 

6-7:30 p.m. 


City as Canvas: Above the Free Walls is an award-winning documentary introducing the artists from all over Boston and the world who create Cambridge's “Graffiti Alley.” The film features personal interviews with numerous artists who reflect on the complexity and depth of their world alongside street arts, public arts, graffiti arts, and never-before-seen works to illuminate this visual adventure. These artists have developed a voice that speaks to a new generation of street art within the public art movement.  


Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with the film director, Weiying Olivia Huang, and a special guest artist to discuss the making of the film, public art, and the street art community. Registration is appreciated but not required. Learn more.  


Summer Reading: Outdoor Family STEAM Night (O'Neill)

Tuesday, July 12 

6:30-7:15 p.m.  


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 making and reading maps. Recommended for elementary school children and their families.  


In the event of bad weather, we will hold the program indoors. Learn more.  


Summer Reading: STEAM activity: Snow in the Summer (Central Square)

Wednesday, July 13 

11 a.m.-Noon  


Come experiment with baking soda, shaving cream, and water to make your very own snow in the summer! Recommended for children 5 and up and their grown-ups. This program will be held in the Central Square Branch’s plaza on the Franklin St. side, weather permitting. Learn more.  


Résumé and Job Application Support (Central Square)

Wednesday, July 13 

1-3 p.m.  


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


Summer Reading: Card Making (Boudreau)

Wednesday, July 13 

3-7 p.m. 


Drop in on Wednesdays in July to create cards for our neighbors at Cadbury Commons. Learn more.  


Videography 101 (Main)  

Wednesday, July 13  

5:30-6:30 p.m.  


Step into The Hive's state-of-the-art recording studio and film a short video of yourself in front of our green screen. Then, spend some time becoming familiar with our video editing software while working with your footage. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required.  


Summer Reading: Neighborhood Bird Watching (O'Neill)

Wednesday, July 13 

5:30-6:30 p.m.  


All ages are welcome to observe birds right outside the O'Neill Branch. As we explore the urban outdoors, we will discuss birdwatching tips,  how to identify an unfamiliar bird, and learn a little bit more about the birds we share our outdoor spaces with. Binoculars are recommended but not required. (A limited supply will be available for use during the program.) 


In case of bad weather, this event will be moved to Wednesday, July 27, at 5:30 p.m. Learn more.  


CPL PARK SOUNDS: Soulelujah and the Albino Mbie Trio (Main)

Wednesday, July 13 

6-7:30 p.m.  


Bring a blanket or chair and join us for an evening of Park Sounds in Joan Lorentz Park! The strictly vinyl party known as Soulelujah started in 2003 in Central Square. Join the resident DJ Johnny Stevens as he brings the best in known and unknown Soul, Funk, and R&B. Albino Mbie is an award-winning musician from Mozambique. His music incorporates his experiences from Mozambique, the U.S., and around the world, combining rhythmic patterns and musical concepts to create a unique Afro-Pop and Moz-Jazz sound.  


In case of bad weather, this program will be held in the Lecture Hall. It is supported by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation and is hosted in memory of Janet Axelrod. Learn more.  


Summer Reading: Puzzle Your Brain! (O'Connell)

Wednesday, July 13 

6:30-7 p.m.  


Use your detective skills to have fun solving mini-mysteries and riddles together! Recommended for children ages 8 and up and their grownups. Learn more.  


Zing Laser Cutting 101 (Main)  

Wednesday, July 13 

7:30-8:30 p.m. 


Learn how to use our Epilog Zing, an industry-standard laser cutting machine. Complete this workshop to earn a badge for the Zing laser cutter. With a badge, you can reserve the Epilog Zing to use at designated times.  


Note: The Epilog Zing laser cutter and Glowforge laser cutter require separate trainings. You must take part in a Glowforge workshop  to operate our Glowforge Pro laser cutter. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required.  


Vinyl Cutting 101 (Main)

Thursday, July 14 

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 The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required


Fund Your Small Nonprofit: Writing Winning Grant Proposals (Main)

Thursday, July 14 

6-7:30 p.m.  


Do you want to learn more about writing  grant proposals to increase the funding for your small nonprofit organization? Join this interactive workshop to understand how to compile a strong proposal and how to approach a foundation to build a lasting relationship. This workshop is intended for patrons who are already engaged in nonprofit work. Registration is required.  


Summer Reading: Crafternoon (Collins)

Friday, July 15 

2-3 p.m.  


Visit the Collins Branch to make and take a hands-on project. Recommended for children ages 5-10 and their caregivers. Learn more.  


XR Lab (Main)

Saturday, July 16 

10-11 a.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 The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required


Collaborative Art: My Neighborhood (Valente)

Saturday, July 16 

3-4 p.m.  


In this workshop, everyone will collaborate to create a single communal work of art entitled "My Neighborhood." Each participant will contribute pictures of houses, trees, animals, flowers, etc., with all the final elements assembled into a piece that will be showcased at the Valente Branch. Recommended for children ages 5 and up. Learn more


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All the best,  


Maria McCauley, Ph.D.  

Director of Libraries