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Director's Update, May 7, 2023


5/7/202313 months ago

Valente Branch Library Kyle Klein Photography

Dear Patrons,

 

I am pleased to report that the Valente Branch Library was selected by expert judges from nearly 150 submissions as one of the eight top innovators during the Urban Library Council’s 2023 Innovations Celebration, held virtually on April 27. The ULC’s annual Innovations Awards recognize transformative programs from their member libraries across the U.S. and Canada that further advocacy, anti-racism, and digital equity, democracy, education, health and wellness, and workforce development. The Valente Branch won in the Health and Wellness category.


The Valente Branch is one of the first buildings to be constructed in the city after the adoption of the Net Zero action plan in 2015. The building serves as a model for integrating sustainability and wellness into library design. The community’s demand for a healthier and more resilient space informed many of the design choices. Connecting with nature, providing thermal and acoustical comfort, and modulated daylight were incorporated in the Valente Branch’s design. Five play spaces, a reading garden, and a bocce court support physical and emotional wellness. The building integrates durable and healthy materials with a variety of seating options to create a comfortable and welcoming space for everyone. Today, the library’s circulation, programming, and patronage have more than doubled, and its amenities – the auditorium, cafeteria, pools, and gyms – attract people of all ages and abilities to engage with their city’s Library.


Join us for an opening reception to celebrate the Library's acquisition and exhibition of Jennifer Regan's Stitched Narratives on Thursday, May 11, at 6:30-8 p.m. in the Cambridge Room of the Main Library. Regan renegotiates traditional quilt-making themes through a feminist lens and finds the city of Cambridge as her inspiration. The quilting expert Pamela Weeks and the educator Jane Regan will discuss the rise of art quilts and Jennifer Regan's role in the movement.
Learn more and register here.

 

On May 13 from 11a.m.-4p.m., the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library will again be collecting donations of gently used children's (fiction and non-fiction), Young Adult, and adult fiction books for a book sale on June 17-18 benefiting the Library! Please drop off books at 31 Brattle Street. Please note that the library branches will not be accepting book donations. For more information on the book sale, please visit the Friends website for more information

 


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Here are the week’s 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. Thank you to our Youth Services librarians for hosting.

Sing-Alongs  

Story Times  

Book Groups     

Learn more about our Book Groups this week.

Baby
Lapsit (Main) 
Monday, May 8
10-10:20 a.m.
 
Just for you and your baby! Enjoy time 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 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. Unclaimed seats will be offered to someone waiting. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please call 617-349-4038 for more information.

Wellness for Seniors: Meditation (Main)
Monday, May 8
10-11 a.m.

Join us on Mondays (May  8
and 15) for guided meditations focused on the breath and body to foster loving connections with the world. You will leave class knowing how to meditate on your own. The instructor, John Mercuri-Dooley, has been studying meditation for more than 30 years and has taught for organizations such as the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, the Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, and the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center. Registration is required for each session. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Wellness for Seniors: Zumba Gold® (Virtual) 
Monday,
May 8
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. Join us! Registration is required for each session.

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main) 
Monday, May 8, 1-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9, 3-6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 10, 6-8:30 p.m. 
Thursday, May 11, 2-6 p.m.
Friday, May 12, 1-4:30 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.

LEGO Time (Main) 
Monday, May 8
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. 

Housed in Cambridge: Drop-In Hours (Main)
Monday, May 8
5:30-8 p.m.

አማርኛ (Amharic)

عربي (Arabic)

বাংলা (Bengali)

English

Kreyòl ayisyen (Haitian Creole)

Português (Portuguese)

简体中文 (Simplified Chinese)

Español (Spanish)

Do you have a question related to housing? Do you want to learn more about affordable rental opportunities? Need help navigating financial assistance programs for housing? Looking for advice about housing rights? Join us in the Community Room for a one-on-one confidential appointment with a housing advocate.

Staff from the City Manager's Office of the Housing Liaison, the Housing Division of the Community Development Department, the Department of Human Service Programs Multi-Service Center, the Human Rights Commission, and the Social Work Staff of the Library will be on hand to answer your questions and provide information. Housed in Cambridge is a citywide campaign designed to educate and inform residents on housing opportunities and housing-related resources and services.

Any questions? Contact Lucy, a librarian, at LFlamm@CambridgeMA.gov or 617-349-4022.

ESOL Class (Valente) 
Monday, May 8
6-7 p.m.
 
Join us for an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class at a beginner level. No testing is needed, and everyone is welcome. For more information, call Maria Balestrieri at 617-349-4013. 
Learn more.

Symbolism and Subversion: An Exhibition of Jennifer Regan's Stitched Narratives (Main)
Tuesdays, May 2-July 31
Lobby & Second Floor

When the writer Jennifer Regan moved to Cambridge in the late 1980s, she had an artistic and feminist awakening. She had recently left behind a whirlwind life as the spouse of a prominent Buffalo politician. Now divorced, middle-aged, and in an unfamiliar city, Regan found artistic expression in poetry, painting, and, most significantly, quilt making, or creating "stitched narratives," thematic stories sewn with symbolism and subversion.

Reworking the traditional themes of American quilts, such as a focus on biblical stories, she created narratives negotiating femininity, marriage, motherhood, and society through a feminist lens. For some of her pieces, Cambridge became a focal point – either directly inspiring her or serving as her subject. The Renaissance, politics, and societal inequities deeply influenced her other pieces. Regan's career flourished, and she created more than one hundred pieces between 1989 and 2006. Her stitched narratives can be found in the New England Quilt Museum and Burchfield Penney Art Center collections. 

This exhibit features the Library's new Jennifer Regan Stitched Narratives and explores how Cambridge influenced her artwork and feminist perspective. View these exciting additions to the Library's Archives and Special Collections on display at the Main Library in the lobby and the second floor.

Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m., with a talk by the quilt expert Pamela Weeks and Jennifer Regan as they discuss the rise of art quilts and Regan's role in the movement.

Fire Truck Visit (Main)
Tuesday, May 9
10-11 a.m.

Join the Cambridge Public Library, the Cambridge Fire Department, and the Home-Based Early Childhood Program as a fire truck comes to the Main Library! We'll gather and sing a few songs, followed by time to meet firefighters and explore the truck.

In the event of bad weather, this event will be held the following Tuesday, May 16. at 10 a.m.

ESOL Classes (Central Square)
Tuesday, May 9, and Thursday, May 11
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 10, and Friday, May 12
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.

Zing Laser Cutting 101 (Main)
Tuesday, May 9
1-2:30 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 Zing to use on our equipment at designated times. Note: 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. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop.
Register here. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Creative Aging: Storytelling: Planting Seeds, Growing Community (Main)
Tuesday, May 9
2-4 p.m.

This series of classes, A Garden of Stories, is community-based storytelling where older adults learn how to tell personal stories through sharing and connecting with their community. The eight-week course will occur every Tuesday, 2-4 p.m., from May 9 through June 27. It will be held in person at the Main Library. Space is limited to 15 participants. Due to its popularity and to gain the most out of this program, we expect all participants to commit to all eight sessions.
Register here. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Sit ‘n’ Knit (Main)
Tuesday, May 9
2:30-3 p.m.

Bring your project and enjoy the company of other fiber crafters as you work, get inspired,
pick up skills, and socialize. Knit, embroider, crochet, spin, and mend. Refreshments will be provided.

Barry Schneier Presents Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Roll Future
Tuesday, May 9
6-7:30 p.m.

In May 1974, Bruce Springsteen performed a show that is considered to be a watershed moment in his career. Having already released two albums with minimal success, he was in danger of being dropped by his record label. Barry Schneier, having seen Springsteen perform in Cambridge, suggested to the concert promoters, Windowpane Productions, that they consider booking him for a show. This chance encounter would lead to Bruce and the E Street Band opening for Bonnie Raitt at the Harvard Square Theatre on May 9 – a show which had been planned with no opening act. In the audience that night was Jon Landau, a music critic for Rolling Stone magazine and Cambridge-based The Real Paper. What Jon witnessed that night and would write about later would alter the trajectory of Bruce’s career forever, as well as his own. Revisit these historical moments in a conversation with Barry Schneier, the author of Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Roll Future, who photographed Springsteen's historic May 9, 1974, performance.
Register here.

Family STEAM Night (O'Neill)
Tuesday, May 9
6:30-7:15 p.m.

Families with elementary school children gather for hands-on activities focused on Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Math. Adults and children will learn and play together! May's project will revolve around spring planting!

Knitting Group (Boudreau)
Tuesday, May 9
6:30-7:30 p.m.

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

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main) 
Tuesday, May 9
6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Thursday, May 11
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Learn how to create your favorite game piece in digital space and print it out using our Sindoh 3D printers. In this workshop, 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 will need to complete The Hive Safety Training and create a free Tinkercad account at
www.tinkercad.com. Parents may need to assist users under the age of 18 to create an account. Register here. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Wellness for Seniors: Tai Chi Paradigm - Level 2 (Main)
Wednesday, May 10
10-11 a.m.

Join us in this 12-week Tai Chi Paradigm - Level 2 practice, which focuses on the mind-body connection. Tai Chi is a fluid sequence of movements choreographed in a low-impact routine. Participants must have completed Tai Chi Paradigm - Level 1. Sifu Mynor Diaz has been learning and teaching Tai Chi classes for over 20 years. He has taught at five VA Boston Healthcare System locations and at senior centers. This event is held in person. Due to the popularity of this series, we expect participants to attend all the classes.
Register here. This workshop is full.

Résumé and Job Application Support (Central Square) 
Wednesday, May 10
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.

Serger 101 (Main)
Wednesday, May 10
1-2 p.m.

Are you an intermediate or advanced sewer? This workshop will cover serger machine setup, threading a serger, and identifying correct tension settings with different types of fabric. You will learn about ways to use our Elna Extend 864 air serger to take your sewing skills to the next level by producing special finishing styles, hemming, and trimming and assembling your garments. This workshop is designed for patrons who have experience using a sewing machine. If you are new to machine sewing, we recommend you take our Sewing 101 workshop before using our serger.
Registration required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Creative Build (O'Neill)
Wednesday, May 10
2-4 p.m.

Join creative building fun with K'nex and Gears! All building materials are supplied by the Library. Please note that some building pieces are choking hazards for young children. For children ages 5 and up and their caregivers.

Get Creative! Series: Linocut Printmaking (Main)
Wednesday, May 10
2-4 p.m.

Learn the printmaking process of linocut at the Library! In this class, the professional printmaker and painter Brooke Lambert will cover techniques in carving linoleum, composition, ink mixing, and printing. At their own pace, students will learn how to create a design and carve it in linoleum. They will learn how to ink and print their linoleum blocks by hand. In a welcoming environment, students will create many beautiful prints of their own as well as collaborate with their classmates. Registration is required;
register here.

The Hive Teen Hangout (Main)
Wednesday, May 10
3:30-5:30 p.m. 
 
Have you checked out The Hive yet? Teens are welcome to learn about our space and try their hand at making stickers, recording videos in our studio, and more. This is a drop-in event for ages 12-18.

One-on-One Tech Help by Appointment (Boudreau)
Wednesday, May 10
4-4:45 p.m.

Would you like help navigating the Library's e-resources, such as Libby or Hoopla? Or maybe you need some basic computer or mobile device guidance? Book a free one-on-one session at the Boudreau Branch. Some topics we cover are downloading Library eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines to your tablet, smartphone, or laptop; navigating databases and other resources such as LinkedIn Learning; using the Internet and e-mail; and setting up devices like smartphones or streaming devices. Scheduled sessions run between 30 and 45 minutes. Please bring your device, cords, and any necessary account information. Library staff cannot be held responsible for damage to patrons’ equipment. If you have questions, please send them to
ipachoncaballero@cambridgema.gov. Register here. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main) 
Wednesday, May 10
5-6 p.m.
 
Need help with a class? Have a question before an exam? Tutors are available to help you! Cambridge School Volunteers and the Library are pleased to offer tutoring services in the Teen Room. Just drop by! Please contact Megan Andres (
mandres@cpsd.us) with questions.
Thank you to our Youth Services librarians for coordinating.

Mitchell Zuckoff Presents The Secret Gate in Conversation with Homeira Qaderi
Wednesday, May 10
6-7:30 p.m.

Join Mitchell Zuckoff, the author of The Secret Gate: A True Story of Courage and Sacrifice During the Collapse of Afghanistan, in conversation with the writer, activist, educator, and recipient of the Malalai Medal, Homeira Qaderi.
Registration is required.

Yoga Nidra (Main)
Wednesday, May 10
6:30-8 p.m.

Join us for Yoga Nidra, deep relaxation for stress relief. Suitable for all levels, no yoga or meditation experience required. Please bring a yoga mat, wear comfortable clothes, and bring any props that will make you comfortable while lying on the floor – a blanket, bolster, eye pillow, etc.
Registration required. This class is full.

Brewery Book Club (Lamplighter)
Wednesday, May 10
7-8:30 p.m.

You’re invited to our May 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 How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu. 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.

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

Bring your project and enjoy the company of other fiber crafters. Work on your craft, get inspired, pick up skills, and socialize. Knit, embroider, crochet, spin, mend, cross stitch. 

Puzzle Party (Main)
Thursday, May 11
2-3:30 p.m.
 
Join our librarians for tea, cookies, and a jigsaw puzzle. It’s an hour of fun and conversation.
Thank you to our Adult Services librarians for coordinating. 

Read to a Dog - grades 3-5 (O'Neill)
Thursday, May 11
3-4 p.m.

Read with a cuddly friend! Trained therapy dogs provide warm and nonjudgmental reading companions. Priority for this session will be given to kids in grades 3-5. Registration for each 10-minute time slot is required by calling or visiting the O’Neill Branch (617-349-4023).

Read to a Dog (Boudreau)
Thursday, May 11
3-4 p.m.

Read with Ana the Therapy Dog! Therapy dogs provide warm and nonjudgmental reading companions for new or experienced readers of all ages. Registration for each ten-minute time slot is required. Sign up the day of the program by phone or in person at the Boudreau Branch (617-349-4017).

Afternoon Games (O’Neill) 
Thursday, May 11
3-5 p.m.

Join us to play your favorite board game or complete a puzzle! No registration is required. Thank you to our Youth Services librarians for coordinating.

Cooking Concept Series: Cajun Cooking Workshop (Main)
Thursday, May 11
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Join Chef Anthony from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts as he demonstrates the technique of making a Cajun roux and spice mix. This is the foundation of making gumbo, a traditional Cajun dish. Participants will take home a sample of rice, roux, and spices. Registration is required;
register here.

Opening Reception for Symbolism and Subversion: An Exhibition of Jennifer Regan's Stitched Narratives (Main)
Thursday, May 11
6:30-8 p.m.

Join us for an opening reception to celebrate the Library's acquisition of Jennifer Regan's Stitched Narratives. The quilting expert Pamela Weeks, Binney Family Curator of the New England Quilt Museum, and the educator Jane Regan will discuss the rise of art quilts and Jennifer Regan's role in the movement.

When the writer Jennifer Regan moved to Cambridge in the late 1980s, she had an artistic and feminist awakening.  She had recently left behind a whirlwind life as the spouse of a prominent Buffalo politician. Now divorced, middle-aged, and in an unfamiliar city, Regan found artistic expression in quilt making, creating "stitched narratives," thematic stories sewn with symbolism and subversion. Reworking the traditional themes of American quilts, such as a focus on biblical stories, she created narratives negotiating femininity, marriage, motherhood, and society through a feminist lens. For some of her pieces, Cambridge became a focal point – either directly inspiring her or serving as her subject.  Regan created more than one hundred pieces between 1989 and 2006, and her stitched narratives can be found in the New England Quilt Museum and Burchfield Penney Art Center collections. Register here.

Wellness for Seniors: Introduction to Tai Chi Paradigm (Main)
Friday, May 12
10-11 a.m.

Join us in this 12-week Introduction to Tai Chi Paradigm practice, which focuses on the mind-body connection. Tai Chi is a fluid sequence of movements choreographed in a low-impact routine. No previous experience is necessary. Sifu Mynor Diaz has been learning and teaching Tai Chi classes for more than 20 years. He has taught classes at five VA Boston Healthcare System locations and at senior centers. This event is held in person.  Due to the popularity of this series, we expect participants to attend all the classes.
Register here. This class is full. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Cambridge Young Authors' Squad (O'Neill) 
Friday, May 12
4-5 p.m. 
 
Young people ages 10-14 who love to write are welcome to share their ideas and writing. There will be time for share-outs/workshopping as well as group or solo writing. Snacks are provided!
Registration is helpful but not required.

Studio Recording 101 (Main) 
Saturday, May 13
9:30-10:30 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 studio equipment and software. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering.
Registration is required. This class is full; a waitlist is available.

Qi Gong with Sunling Liew (Joan Lorentz Park)
Saturdays in May
10-11 a.m.

Every Saturday in May, the Library will offer a Qi Gong workshop led by Sunling Liew, an experienced Qi Gong practitioner. Falun Dafa Qi Gong is a traditional Chinese mind-body practice that consists of five easy exercises and meditation. Qi Gong is influenced by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. The practice component includes four gentle exercises that are done while standing along with a peaceful sitting meditation. Participants will gather from 10 to 11 a.m. at Joan Lorentz Park, in front of the Main Library.  Space is limited and
registration is required.

Radius Ensemble (Main)
Saturday, May 13
11 a.m.-Noon

Join us for a free family concert. Meet the woodwinds and play along on kazoos! For children of all ages and their caregivers.

Vinyl Cutting 101 (Main)
Saturday, May 13
11:30 a.m.-12:30 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
the vinyl cutter! You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering. Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Crafting Corner (O'Neill)
Saturday, May 13
1:30-3 p.m.

Fiber crafters of all skill levels are welcome to drop in for companionable crafting! Bring your project and enjoy tea, snacks, and conversation with other crafters. Chat, share tips, and even inspire others. No registration is required.

Poop for Breakfast: Story time with Sara Levine (O'Neill)
Saturday,
May 13
2-3 p.m.

Sara Levine presents her new children's nonfiction book, Poop for Breakfast: Why Some Animals Eat It (Lerner Publishing Group, 2023). Children and their caregivers can
gather for a story time and fun activity about the digestive system.

Glowforge 101: Creative Laser Cutting (Main) 
Saturday,
May 13
2:30-4:30 p.m.

Learn how to cut, engrave, and shape designs from a variety of materials using the
Glowforge Pro laser cutter. This two-hour workshop replaces the previous two-part Glowforge 101 offering; the content and length of this workshop and the two-part series are the same. You will start by using the camera on the Glowforge to focus and scan your own images, properly select materials for your project, and fabricate your first design. You will create digital artwork for the Glowforge and learn file formatting for production. Note: This is a badging course for laser cutting. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before participating in this program.
Register here. These workshops are full; waitlists are available.

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All the best!

  

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.  

Director of Libraries