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Director's Update, November 26, 2023

11/22/20233 months ago

New library at night

Dear Patrons,

Give the gift of stories you love this holiday season by donating new children's and young adult books to families living in transitional housing in Cambridge. Bring new, unwrapped books to any Library location or shop at Porter Square Books for 20% off books purchased for this program. Shop our donation wishlist online using coupon code CPLHOLIDAY23. 


The Library is pleased to offer the following programs and events for the week that begins on November 26.




Activities for Kids       


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

Story Times                   

Book Groups   
Learn more about our Book Groups. 

Baby Lapsit (Main)  
Monday, November 27
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: Zumba Gold (Virtual)   

Monday, November 27
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. A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants 1 hour before the event.

Puzzle Party (Main) 
Monday, November 27 
2:30-3:30 p.m.  
Join our librarians for tea, cookies, and a jigsaw puzzle. It’s an hour of fun and conversation.  

Drop-in Craft Project (Valente)

Monday, November 27

3-4:30 p.m.


Join us after school to make a drop-in art project! All materials will be provided by the Library. 

This program is intended for children ages 5+ and their caregivers. No registration is required. Call  617-349-4105 for more information.

Serger Training (Main)

Monday, November 27
1-2:30 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, trimming, and assembling your garments. Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

This workshop is designed for patrons who are familiar with a sewing machine. If you are new to machine sewing, we recommend you take our Sewing 101 workshop before using our serger.

STEAM Academy: iFp Studio  

Monday, November 27
Tuesday, November 28

Wednesday, November 29

Thursday, November 30
3:30-7 p.m.  


Innovators for Purpose (iFp) Studio is a teen-powered design and innovation program where teens channel their energy and creative vision to imagine and build a better world. Blending art, design, science, technology, and storytelling within a social justice framework, teens engage in real-world client-sponsored projects. Teens are invited to learn more and apply on the iFp website: Innovators for Purpose

LEGO Time (Main)  
Monday, November 20 
4-4:45 p.m.  
It’s a weekly block party! Bring 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 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.

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main)   
Monday, November 27
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 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Please contact us with any questions at 617-349-4027 (voice) or via relay at 711.  

ESOL Class (Valente)
Monday, November 27
6-7 p.m.   
Join us for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)! 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.   

Chess Hour (Boudreau)

Monday, November 27

6-7 p.m.  
Come join us for a chess challenge. Players of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate. Chess sets will be provided, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. This is not an instructional class but a gathering for individuals who want to play and test their skills against other members of the community. Registration is not required. Contact us by phone at 617-349-4017 or via e-mail:
ipachoncaballero@cambridgema.gov or mmcglathery@cambridgema.gov.

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main)  
Tuesday, November 28
1-2:30 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.

Sit 'n' Knit (Main)  

Tuesday, November 28
2:30-3:30 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.

Sticker Painting for Teens (Valente)

Tuesday, November 28

3-4:30 p.m.


Join us in the Community Room to paint by sticker, creating fun sticker art together! The Library will provide sticker art for each participant while supplies last. Register online to guarantee a sticker page. Materials will be available for drop-in participants while supplies last. This event is for preteens and teens ages 12+. Call 617-349-4015 for more information.

Teen Advisory Board Meeting (Main)

Tuesday, November 28

4-5 p.m. 


Teens, help us plan teen programs for the Library! Earn community service hours! 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. 

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main)

Tuesday, November 28, 5-8:30 p.m. 

Thursday, November 30, 4:30-8:30 p.m.

Friday, December 1, 12-4:30 p.m.

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


One-on-One Tech Help (Central Square)
Tuesday, November 28
5-7 p.m.

Looking for some basic computer or mobile device guidance? Want to learn how to access audiobooks and eBooks? Stop by for our drop-in hours! Sessions will be limited to 30 minutes for each patron. 

We can help you with:  

  • accessing library eBooks, audiobooks, and other eResources on your devices 
  • e-mail and searching the Web 
  • smartphone and mobile app questions 

We are not able to help you with:  

  • installing advanced software programs
  • completing online transactions
  • computer hardware and technical maintenance  

If you have any questions, please contact syasuda@cambridgema.gov.


Film in Translation (Valente)

Tuesday, November 28

6-7:45 p.m. 


Join us for a screening of an international film, which will be shown with English subtitles. Popcorn and soft drinks will be provided. 

Please 617-349-4015 for the name of the film. 


Fabric Mending: Repairing Garment Closures (Main)

Tuesday, November 28

6:30-8 p.m.


Repairing Garment Closures will focus on reattaching and adding simple closures like buttons, snaps, and hooks & eyes to clothing. Using just a needle and thread, participants will learn how to replace different types of buttons, including shirt and coat buttons, or add invisible snaps to help their garments lie on the body better. Please note that this workshop will not cover zipper repairs. Suitable for beginners with little or no sewing experience. 


Knitting Group (Boudreau) 
Tuesday, November 28
6:30-7:30 p.m.   
Bring your project, yarn, and needles to enjoy an hour in the company of other crafters.


Wellness for Seniors: Tai Chi Paradigm (Main)   
Wednesday, November 29

Friday, December 1
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 meaningfulness of this series, we expect participants to attend all the classes. Register here. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.


CPL Nature Club: Morning Bird Watching Walk at Mount Auburn Cemetery (Collins)

Wednesday, November 29

10:15-11:30 a.m.


Join us for a morning walk at the renowned birdwatching spot in our own backyard, Mount Auburn Cemetery! We will help you identify birds, learn birdwatching tips and tricks, and familiarize yourself with autumn migratory birds as well as those that can be spotted all year round. A limited supply of binoculars will be available. Registration is required. The walk will meet at the courtyard of the Collins Branch (64 Aberdeen Ave.)  and head over to Mount Auburn Cemetery together. For more information, contact Michael Roberson at mroberson@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-4021.


Fiber Crafts Group - Drop-in (O’Connell) 
Wednesday, November 29
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, and cross stitch.


Résumé and Job Application Support (Central Square) 
Wednesday, November 29
1-3 p.m.   
Looking for assistance creating a résumé or finding jobs? Join us for assistance with résumés, job hunting, and online applications. No registration is required. For more information, call Maria Balestrieri at 617-349-4013.   


Wednesdays of Wonder - WOW! (O’Neill)  
Wednesday, November 29
3-4:30 p.m.   
Come to the Library for games and a different activity each week! Kids of all ages can hang out and do crafts or STEAM activities. No registration is required.

The Hive Teen Hangout (Main)  
Wednesday, November 29  
3:30-5 p.m.   
Have you checked out The Hive yet? Teens are welcome to come learn about our space and try their hand at sticker making, video recording in our studio, and more. This is a drop-in event for ages 12-18.  Thanks to The Hive team for offering this program.


Read to a Dog (O'Connell)
Wednesday, November 29
4-5 p.m.

Read with Bowie the Therapy Dog from Pets & People! Therapy dogs provide warm and nonjudgmental reading companions for new or experienced readers of all ages. Registration for each 10-minute time slot is required. Sign up by phone or in person (617-349-4019).


Sewing Circle (Main)  
Wednesday, November 29
5:30-8:30 p.m.  
Continue building your machine-sewing skills and receive support as you work on your own projects. Participants must register but may drop in anytime during the program. This program is designed for patrons who know the basics of our Janome sewing machines.
Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.


Sewing 101 (Main)
Wednesday, November 29

6:30-8 p.m.

In this 90-minute workshop, you’ll learn the basics of sewing machine operation and safety. This session will cover machine setup, basic functions, threading the machine, reloading the bobbin, sewing straight stitches, and recognizing when 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 project—a drawstring bag—which most students will be able to complete by the end of the class.
Registration is required. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.


One-on-One Tech Help (Main, by appointment )

Thursday, November 30

11 a.m. -1 p.m.


Looking for some basic computer or mobile device guidance? Want to learn how to access audiobooks and eBooks? Stop by during our drop-in hours! A laptop will be available for use during the session.  If you have any questions, please contact syasuda@cambridgema.gov.  


Glowforge 101: Creative Laser Cutting (Main)
Thursday, November 30
2-4 p.m. 


Learn how to cut, engrave, and shape designs from a variety of materials using the Glowforge Pro laser cutter. This 2-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. Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available. Note: This is a badging course for laser cutting. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this program. View The Hive's workshop schedule here.


XR Lab 101 (Main)
Thursday, November 30
7-8 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 The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available


Teen Room x The Hive (Main)

Friday, December 1

3:30-5 p.m.


Grab a friend for some creative exploration and play! Try your hand at sticker making, 3D doodling, and more in the Teen Room. This is a drop-in event designed for ages 12-18. 


Cambridge Young Authors’ Squad (O’Neill)

Friday, December 1

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. 


The Hive Safety Training (Main)

Saturday, December 2

9:30-10:30 a.m.


Are you interested in using The Hive? In this workshop you will learn about our makerspace, how to use our resources, 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.

Beginners’ Mandarin Class (Main) 
Saturday, December 2
10-11:30 a.m. 
Come learn the second-most-spoken language in the world! This class is taught by Sunling Liew, an experienced Chinese-language instructor at the Ming Hui Academy Boston. No testing or experience is needed, but
registration is required.  

The class sessions are as follows:  

It is strongly encouraged that any interested parties register for ALL of the classes; the lessons build upon one another. If you have any questions or would like to register but foresee a scheduling issue, please reach out to zbond@cambridgema.gov. 

Crafting Corner (O'Neill)
Saturday, December 2
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 and snacks as you chat, share tips, and even inspire others. No registration is required.   


Saturday Songs and Stories (O'Neill)

Saturday, December 2

3:30-4 p.m.


Music, movement, and stories! Join your librarians for 20 minutes of fun! For children of all ages and their grown-ups.

Stay Connected

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All the best!


Maria McCauley, Ph.D.  

Director of Libraries