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Director's Update, January 29, 2023


O'Neill Branch

Dear Patrons,

January is almost over, and we can look forward to February, Black History Month, when we celebrate the lives, experiences, accomplishments, and contributions to this country by African Americans. I invite you to participate in a Library program celebrating Black History Month.

On Tuesday, February 14, from 4 to 4:25 p.m., we will host a story time with a special guest, Candelaria Silva-Collins, in the Rey Room at the Main Library. Candelaria Silva-Collins is an author, arts administrator, and facilitator. Her children’s stories, fiction, essays, and reviews have been published in local and national publications. She is also active on social media and is a frequent blogger. Candelaria has published a series of children’s picture books featuring an active and imaginative Black girl, Stacey Huggins: Stacey Became a Frog One Day (2020), Jump, Jump, Jump, Stacey! (2021), and What’s the Baby’s Name, Stacey? (2022).  Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis on the day of the program. Please call 617-349-4038 for more information. This program is cosponsored by Cambridge Arts. Learn more.

On Thursday, February 16, at 6 p.m., the Main Library is hosting The Life and Times of Harriet Jacobs: A One-Woman Show presented by the performance poet Lyn Blackston. The program celebrates the life of Harriet Jacobs, an author and abolitionist. Born into slavery in Edenton, North Carolina, in 1818, Harriet escaped from her master’s house to her grandmother’s home, where she spent seven years living in a crawl space. In 1842 she moved north, where she became active in the anti-slavery movement and wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. It Was published in Boston in 1860 under the pen name Linda Brent and is the basis of this performance. Registration is required to participate in this program.

On Thursday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m., we are hosting Boyah J. Farah, the author of America Made Me Black, at the Main Library. Farah will be
talking with Huey Hewitt, a Presidential Scholar and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of African & African American Studies at Harvard. Born in Somalia and raised among nomads, Farah grew up with a code of male bravado that helped him survive deprivation, disease, and civil war; he believed that code would help him succeed in his new country. Rather than safety and freedom, though, he found systemic racism, police brutality, and intense prejudice in all areas of his life, including the workplace. He learned not only what it meant to be an African in America, but what it means to be African American. The code of masculinity that shaped generations of men in his family could not prepare him for the painful realities of life in the United States. Registration is required to participate in this program.

The Main Library was pleased to host the opening reception for an exhibition of Cambridge Black Trailblazers, curated by the
Cambridge Black History Project, on January 26. The exhibition will be on display through February 28 in the second-floor lobby. Visit it to learn more about the fifteen extraordinary Black Cantabrigians whose lives and accomplishments have often been overlooked, and pick up a bookmark that includes their image.

The photograph is from the 48th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day program with Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed. Pictured, from left to right: Dina Scianna of Cambridge Trust; Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries; Fred Fantini, School Committee; City Councillor E. Denise Simmons; Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed; Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui; Caroline Hunter, School Committee; Philecia Harris, Assistant Director of Libraries.


We are pleased to offer the following programs.


Weekly Activities for Kids    

This week, these programs will be offered at our Boudreau, Central Square, Collins, Main, O’Connell, O’Neill, and Valente locations.    

Book Groups   

Learn more about our Book Groups this week. 

Wellness for Seniors: Combo Dance Fitness & Let Your Yoga Dance® (Virtual)
Monday, January 30
11-11:45 a.m.

Join us for this fun, dynamic, and ultimately blissful combo: We start with some high-energy (low-impact) dance fitness, then work our way through the seven energy centers (chakras) with Let Your Yoga Dance. You will leave with a good workout and a peaceful, happy mind/body/spirit. It’sgood for everybody! Registration is required for each session.

Creative Aging: Improv (Main)
Monday, January 30
2-4 p.m.

Learn how to seamlessly integrate interactive improv games, scenes, and skillful storytelling with performance in this series of classes offered in collaboration with Improv Boston. This 8-week course will meet on Mondays, from 2 to 4 p.m., from January 23 through March 20. It will be held in person at the Main Library. Space is limited to 15 participants, and registration is required. To gain the most out of this program, we expect all participants to commit to all eight sessions.  Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. 

Let's Build Drawbots! (O'Neill)
Monday, January 30
3-4:30 p.m.

Drop in and build your own drawing robot using everyday household items. Recommended for ages 7 and up. No registration is required.

LEGO Time (Main)
Monday, January 30
4-4:45 p.m. 
It's a weekly block party! Join friends to design and build amazing LEGO structures. Let your imagination run wild! The Children's Room has plenty of LEGO pieces, so you don't need to bring your own. Be aware that LEGO pieces are choking hazards for young children, so this program is for children ages 5 and up and their caregivers. It can accommodate 30 builders. Children under age 7 must be accompanied by a caregiver. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis on the day of the program. This program starts promptly, and any unclaimed seats will be offered to someone waiting. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please call 617-349-4038 for more information. Learn more.   

Fall ESOL Class (Valente)
Monday, January 30
6-7 p.m.     

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

Family STEAM Night (Valente)
Monday, January 30
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Drop in for a hands-on STEAM activity. This program is recommended for children ages 5-12. No registration is required. Please call the library at 617-349-4015 for more information.

ESOL Classes (Central Square)
Tuesday, January 31, and Thursday, February 2
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 1, and Friday, February 3
10:30 a.m.-Noon 

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes occur 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.Printing 101: Game Piece Design

Tuesday, January 31
Choose a session: 3-5 p.m. or 6-8 p.m.

Learn how to create your favorite game piece in digital space and print it out using our Sindoh 3D printers. You will get hands-on experience running the 3D printer, gain fundamental 3D modeling skills using Tinkercad, and earn your 3D Printing badge for future reservations in The Hive. Before taking this workshop, you must complete The Hive Safety Training and create a free Tinkercad account at www.tinkercad.com before arriving for the course. Parents may need to assist users under the age of 18 to create a Tinkercad account. View The Hive's workshop schedule here

Teen Advisory Board Meeting (Main) 
Tuesday, January 31
4-5 p.m.  

Help us plan teen programming at the library! Earn community service hours and enjoy free snacks! We meet monthly during the school year. No registration is required. Stop by the Teen Room or call 617-349-4027 to learn more.

Knitting Group (Boudreau)    
Tuesday, January 31
6:30-7:30 p.m.   

Bring your project and enjoy an hour in the company of other crafters. Learn more.    

Sewing 101 (O'Neill)
Tuesday, January 31
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Learn to use a sewing machine! This 4-week series of 60-minute classes is designed for ages 7-18. Ages 7-11 must participate with an adult. Ages 12-18 may participate alone or with an adult. In this series, you’ll learn the basics of sewing machine operation and safety. We will cover machine setup, basic functions, threading the machine, reloading the bobbin, sewing straight stitches, and recognizing when problems arise. As we learn together, we’ll work on one or two simple sewing projects. Please
register only if you will be able to attend all four sessions.

Participants may use this series to become badged for the sewing machines at The Hive. If you wish to do this, please complete The
Hive Safety Training before the end of the workshop series. This series is part of the O'Neill Community Quilt Project. Visit our calendar for more event listings.

Wellness for Seniors: Tai Chi Paradigm - Level 1 (Main)
Wednesday, February 1
10-11 a.m.

Join Sifu Mynor Diaz in this 12-week Tai Chi practice, which focuses on the mind and body connection. Tai Chi is a fluid sequence of movements choreographed in a low-impact routine. We expect participants to attend all classes. This workshop is open to participants who have attended the fall session.Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. Learn more and register.

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main)
Wednesday, February 1, 1-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 2, 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 3, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

During 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. Staff will assist participants as they are able. Learn more.   

Résumé and Job Application Support (Central Square)  

Wednesday, February 1
1-3 p.m.  

Looking for assistance creating a résumé or finding a job? Join us for help with résumés, job hunting, and online applications. No registration is required. Learn more.

Zing Laser Cutting 101 (Main) 
Wednesday, February 1
6-7 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 on our equipment booking page to use at designated times. Please note that the Epilog Zing laser cutter and Glowforge laser cutter require separate trainings. You must participate in the Glowforge workshop to operate our Glowforge Pro laser cutter. Registration is required. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop

The Hive Safety Training (Virtual)
Wednesday, February 1
8-8:30 p.m.

In this workshop, you will learn about our makerspace, how to use our resources, and how to keep safe in The Hive.
Registration is required. The Zoom link will be sent out an hour before the workshop starts.

Before taking workshops in The Hive, all makers must bring signed copies of The Hive User Agreement and Waivers.

Fiber Crafts Group - Drop-In (O'Connell)
Thursday, February 2
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Bring your project and enjoy the company of other fiber crafters. Drop in with this informal group to work on your craft, get inspired, pick up skills, and socialize. Knit, embroider, crochet, spin, mend, cross stitch, and more. All crafts are welcome! Please call 617-349-4019 if you have questions.

Afternoon Games (O’Neill)
Thursday, February 2
3-5 p.m.

Join us to play your favorite board game or complete a puzzle after school! To learn more, please call 617-349-4023. Thanks to the O’Neill Branch staff for this program.

Film Screening: Woman in the Mirror (Main)<<YES?
Thursday, February 2
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Join us for a screening of Woman in the Mirror, directed by Tatyana Bronstein. This film is about a strong woman, a ballerina, who defected from the Soviet Union because of antisemitism and a lack of artistic and personal freedom. This is the story of her transition to the American ballet stage that led, after a 25-year career, to a new role as a teacher and to new challenges as she struggles to adapt to the educational styles of American ballet. The documentary also takes an insightful look into the lives of the students as they struggle with the challenges of intense ballet training, including physical and emotional stress, anxiety, clinical depression, and family issues.
Registration is required. 

XR Lab 101 (Main) 
Friday, February 3
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. Registration is requiredYou must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop.

Studio Recording 101 (Main)
Saturday, February 4
10-11 a.m.

Are you interested in podcasting, audio production, or video production? The Hive has two state-of-the-art recording studios! Join this workshop to become familiar with our studio equipment and software. 
Registration is required. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop

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All the best,

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries