U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Director's Update, January 8, 2023

1/8/202316 months ago

Boudreau Branch Library Courtesy Kyle Klein Photography

Dear Patrons,

Happy New Year! I hope the holidays were a restful, peaceful time for you. Here at the Cambridge Public Library, we are hopeful for the year ahead and excited for the opportunity to continue to inspire minds and empower community. We are kicking off the first weeks of 2023 with some very exciting events:

First, we are thrilled to welcome Annette Gordon-Reed as the keynote speaker for the 48th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on Thursday, January 19, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Main Library! Dr. Gordon-Reed has transformed the way we understand American history through her works, including On Juneteenth and The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, and we are grateful to have her here. She has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Nonfiction and has received the MacArthur Fellowship and the National Humanities Medal. This event, which is cosponsored by the City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Trust Charitable Foundation, and the Cambridge Public Library Foundation, will be followed by a public reception. Registration is required to participate.

his lecture will coincide with the introduction of a new Black Voices collection at the Central Square Branch Library, which will be composed of popular and contemporary works by Black authors! This is especially thrilling, as it provides a diverse collection that hopes to satisfy the wide variety of our patrons’ interests. Please suggest any i additions you would like to make to the collection through the Library’s Suggest A Purchase form.

In other exciting news, the King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School and Complex by William Rawn Associates with Arrowstreet Inc., is a finalist for the BSA Harleston Parker Medal! Every year, this award recognizes "the most beautiful piece of architecture, building, monument, or structure built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years." We are thrilled to be recognized with this honor, especially considering how much enthusiasm the redesigned branch library has generated for the surrounding community. You can help Valente win the People's Choice Award by voting for it here by January 17!

On Tuesday, January 10, we will again host the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet for The Beethoven Project: In the Community, a performance that celebrates the music of Beethoven. Last month's Parker Quartet performance was attended by 200 people and was very well received, so don't miss it if you didn't get a chance last time! This phenomenal group is recognized as one of the leading ensembles of its generation, and we are thrilled to have them here. The performance will take place in the Lecture Hall at the Main Library at 5:30 p.m. See below for more details.

Our Wellness for Seniors program continues on Wednesday, January 11, with the ongoing Tai Chi Paradigm with Sifu Mynor Diaz! We are happy to continue offering this popular series, as many participants have asked that we offer it again. One participant called the program "hard and rewarding work that feels so valuable," while another expressed that they've "always wanted to do Tai Chi and never found a convenient class." Thank you to the Cambridge Public Library Foundation for sponsoring this well-appreciated series. This session is open to participants who attended the Fall session. See below for more details.

On Thursday, January 12, we are pleased to offer CPL Crafts: Paper Cutting Workshop with Zhonghe (Elena) Li! Create your own Chinese paper cuts to celebrate the year of the Rabbit! Not only will you learn the technique, but you'll also learn how to use papercuts as an avenue to tell your own stories. This workshop, cosponsored with STEAM and the Cambridge Arts Council, is open to all ages. See below for more details.


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. 

Baby Lapsit (Main)
Monday, January 9
10-10:20 a.m.

Just for you and your baby! Enjoy time together with other parents, caregivers, and babies to learn, play, and develop language and motor skills. Recommended for 0-12 months. Come prepared to sit on the floor one-on-one with your baby in your lap. This program can accommodate 15 babies and their caregivers. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis on the day of the program. The entire party must be present to receive a ticket. This program starts promptly, and unclaimed seats will be offered to someone waiting. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please call 617-349-4038 for more information. Learn more.

Wellness for Seniors: Combo Dance Fitness & Let Your Yoga Dance® (Virtual)
Monday, January 9
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’s good for everybody!  Registration for each session is required.

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design
Monday, January 9
2-4 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

Read to a Dog (O'Neill)
Monday, January 9
3-4 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 for each 10-minute time slot is required by calling or visiting the O’Neill Branch (617-349-4023). Learn more.

LEGO Time (Main)
Monday, January 9
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.   

ESOL Classes (Central Square)  
Tuesday, January 10, and Thursday, January 12
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 11, and Friday, January 13
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

The Parker Quartet Presents Beethoven in the Community (Main)
Tuesday, January 10
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Join the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet for a performance of “Beethoven in the Community” on the mezzanine of the Main Library. Internationally recognized for its “fearless, yet probingly beautiful” (the Strad) performances, the Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. Inspired performances and exceptional musicianship are hallmarks of the Quartet, which has appeared at the world’s most illustrious venues since its founding in 2002. Learn more.

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main)
Tuesday, January 10, 1-4 p.m.
Thursday, January 12, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday, January 13, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday, January 14, 12:30-4:30 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.

The Hive Safety Training (Virtual)
Tuesday, January 10
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Are you interested in using The Hive? In this workshop you will learn about our makerspace, how to use the resources we offer, and how to keep safe in The Hive. Find out what you need to get started as a maker in The Hive here.  Completion of The Hive Safety Training is the entry point to making, innovating, and collaborating in this space. Makers must also sign The Hive User Agreement and Waivers. Registration is required to participate in this workshop.

Knitting Group (Boudreau)
Tuesday, January 10
6:30-7:30 p.m.

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

Wellness for Seniors: Tai Chi Paradigm - Level 1 (Main)
Wednesday, January 11
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. Due to the popularity of this series, 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.

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

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

Play your favorite board game or complete a puzzle after school! (O’Neill)
Wednesday, January 11
2:30-4:30 p.m.

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

Videography 101 (Main)
Wednesday, January 11
2:30-3:30 p.m., 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 video editing software while working with your footage. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required.

After-School Stories and Crafts (Central Square)
Wednesday, January 11
4-5 p.m.

Join us in the Children's Room for a fun craft and related stories. For more information, call 617-349-4010. Recommended for ages 5-10. Learn more.

Saturday Songs and Stories with guest author Ellen Mayer (O'Neill)
Saturday, January 14
3:30-4 p.m.

Join us for stories, songs, and activities with Ellen Mayer. Mayer will be celebrating her new book, Leaves to My Knees (Star Bright Books, 2022), a playful introduction to the early math concepts of size comparison and measurement. If the weather cooperates, we’ll experience the story both as a read-aloud and as an interactive story walk along Rindge Avenue. For more information, please call 617-349-4023.

Stay Connected
Please subscribe to our email list, follow us on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook, and visit our website

All the best,

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries