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Director's Update, February 11, 2024


2/11/202410 days ago

Rossi Room at the Main Library

Dear Patrons,

Join the Cambridge Public Library on February 13, from 6-7:30 p.m. to celebrate the intersection of poetry and love. We're thrilled to be hosting three renowned poets—Jill McDonough, Rachelle Toarmino, and Tawanda Mulalu—all experts in tracing the contours of love and desire in poetry. Each poet will read for about twenty minutes and then join the Library's own Program and Events Coordinator, Zachary Bond, in a discussion of love poetry.
Registration is required. This hybrid event is cosponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

The Library now offers self-checkout machines at all of our branches! These machines are the same model you have already used at the Main Library. Self-checkout stations offer enhanced patron privacy, especially when paired with open holds and pickup aliases. They also create service parity between the branches and the Main Library, where self-checkout was introduced in 2009 and has steadily grown to become the most popular way to check out materials from the Main Library. As at the Main Library, self-checkout is an option for those who prefer it, but you will always be able to check out at a service desk with a staff member

The City of Cambridge is proud to announce the launch of the Digital Navigator Pilot Program (DNP), a collaborative effort between the City of Cambridge Information Technology Department, the Cambridge Public Library, the Cambridge Public School Department, Just A Start, and Cambridge Community Television (CCTV). This initiative is designed to support residents’ digital needs and will be funded by the Mass Broadband Institute and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in partnership with the MassHire Metro North Workforce Investment Board.

Navigators will connect residents with a wide array of social services, ensuring that both the digital and analog (nondigital) needs of families are met. A primary focus will be providing a menu of supports and services to low-income residents, including identifying and assessing individuals' digital needs, assisting residents in signing up with low-cost Internet providers, troubleshooting connectivity issues, and connecting residents to free or low-cost computers, hot spots, or related equipment. They will also help residents to set up computers, tablets, or other devices for home use, while tracking individuals' progress and types of requests and maintaining accurate and timely records.

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

Sing-Alongs  

Story Times             

 
Book Groups  
Learn more about our Book Groups.

Baby Lapsit (Main)
Monday, February 12
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.  Thank you to the Youth Services team for this program.

Wellness for Seniors: Let Your Yoga Dance® (Virtual) 
Monday, February 12
11-11:45 a.m. 
 
Breathe, stretch, and dance your way to a blissful body, joyous heart, and a steady, quiet mind! Open to all levels and abilities.
Registration for each session is required. A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants 1 hour before the event. 

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main) 
Monday, February 12, 2-4 p.m.
Tuesday, February 13, 3:30-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 15, 3:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday, February 16, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 17, 12:30-4:30 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.

LEGO Time (Main) 
Monday, February 12
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, February 12
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.          

Fiber Arts Adventure with Lenni: A Machine-Sewing Workshop Series (Main) 
Monday, February 12
5:30-8:30 p.m. 
 
Continue building your machine-sewing skills AND create bespoke sewn crafts! Learn to make patterns and create your own aprons and backpacks. This four-part series is led by the fiber artist and designer Lenni Armstrong;
https://cambridgepl.libcal.com/event/11685727. Registration is required. Those registered for the first session will automatically be enrolled in the following weeks. Spots are very limited; kindly enroll only if you plan to attend all four workshops. 

ESOL Class (Valente)
Monday, February 12
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, February 12
6-7 p.m.

Come join us for a chess challenge. Players of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Chess sets will be provided, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer. This is not an instructional class, but rather a gathering for individuals who want to play and test their skills against other members of the community. There's no need to register in advance - simply drop by and challenge yourself to improve your mastery of this classic game!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 617-349-4017 or via e-mail: ipachoncaballero@cambridgema.gov or mmcglathery@cambridgema.gov.

ESOL Classes (Central Square)
Tuesday, February 13, and Thursday, February 15
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.     
Wednesday, February 14, and Friday, February 16 
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.

Sewing 101 (Main) 
Tuesday, February 13
1-2:30 p.m.

In this 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.  

Sit 'n' Knit (Main) 
Tuesday, February 13
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. 

Valentine Card Party! (O'Connell)

Tuesday, February 13
4-5:30 p.m.

Come make Valentines for family, loved ones, or neighbors! We will have supplies available, and light refreshments will be served. All ages are welcome! For more information, contact us at 617-349-4019. 

Card Party! (Collins)
Tuesday, February 13
4-5 p.m.

Join us to celebrate love by making cards for family or neighbors! We will have supplies available, and light refreshments will be served. All ages are welcome! For more information,
call 617-349-4021. 

STEAM Academy: iFp Labs (Main) 
Tuesday, February 13
4:30-6:30 p.m. 
 
Innovators for Purpose (iFp) Labs start with students' interest in building a better world and introduce them to the underlying science and math principles that will bring their solutions to life. Youth in 7th and 8th grades are invited to join iFp on a journey into the world of artificial intelligence with “Smart Cars AI: Driving Innovation for All.” This 13-week adventure invites students to dive into the world of self-driving cars at the intersection of technology and innovation. 

Make a light-up card (O'Neill)
Tuesday, February 13
4:30-5:30 p.m.

Come make a card that will spread joy to others! Use simple circuits and LED lights to create light-up cards to share with loved ones. This program is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Please register in advance. This program is full; a waitlist is available.

“Sweeter than Wine”: A Poetry Reading and Discussion (Main)
Tuesday, February 13
6-7:30 p.m.

Join the Library the night before Valentine's Day to celebrate the intersection of poetry and love. We're thrilled to be hosting three renowned poets—Jill McDonough, Rachelle Toarmino, and Tawanda Mulalu—all experts in tracing the contours of love and desire in poetry. 
Each poet will read for about twenty minutes and then join the Library's own Program and Events Coordinator, Zachary Bond, in a discussion of love poetry. Registration is required. This hybrid event is cosponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Budgeting & Smart Spending (Valente)
Tuesday, February 13
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Need to get better at managing your money? Join the East Cambridge Savings Bank for a workshop on how to make a budget and manage your finances. 
Registration is required. Thanks to the East Cambridge Savings Bank for sponsoring this program.

Knitting Group (Boudreau)
Tuesday, February 13
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
Wednesday, February 14 and Friday, February 16
10-11 a.m.

Join us 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. 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. Note: We will be running two separate Tai Chi Paradigm series this year, a Wednesday series and a Friday series. Due to its subject matter, we expect participants to attend all the classes. Please register for only one series. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Fiber Crafts Group - Drop-in (O’Connell)
Wednesday, February 14
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, February 14
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.   

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main)
Wednesday, February 14
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.

English Conversation Practice, Intermediate (O'Neill)
Wednesday, February 14
1-2:30 p.m.

Join us for an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Conversation Practice. This group is for those with an intermediate or high level of English language skill. No testing is required. For more information on other ESOL classes, please call Maria Balestrieri at 617-349-4013.

Introduction to Genealogy Sources (Main)
Wednesday, February 14
2-3 p.m.

Thinking about trying to research your family tree? This class will teach you how to find genealogy resources in the
Library, online, and (where most of them are found) in city halls, courthouses, and other similar organizations. Registration is required.

Valentine's Day Cookie Decorating for Teens (Valente)
Wednesday, February 14
3-4 p.m.

Teens! Back by popular demand, join us after school on Valentine's Day to decorate sugar cookies with your friends. Materials will be provided. No registration is required for this drop-in event. 

Wednesdays of Wonder - WOW! (O’Neill) 
Wednesday, February 14
3-4:30 p.m.   
  
Come 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.   

Internet Basics (Main)
Wednesday, February 14
3-4 p.m.

Learn about the Internet and accessing websites. We will have laptops and mice prepared for the class. To view and register for other Basic Tech Classes at the Library, please go to
tinyurl.com/basictechclass

One-on-One Tech Help by Appointment (Boudreau)

Wednesday, February 14
4-4:45 p.m.

Would you like help navigating the
Library's e-resources like Libby or Hoopla? Or maybe you need some basic computer or mobile device guidance? Book a free one-on-one tech help session.

Some topics we cover include:

  • Downloading library eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines to your tablet, smartphone, or laptop
  • Navigating databases and other library resources such as Linkedin Learning
  • Using the Internet and e-mail
  • Setting up devices like smartphones or streaming devices

Guidelines for Basic Tech help:

  • 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.

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main)
Wednesday, February 14
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 617-349-4027 with any questions.  

Sewing Circle (Main)
Wednesday, February 14
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Continue building your machine-sewing skills AND receive support as you work on your own sewing projects with our Library sewing community. Participants must register but may drop in at any time. This program is designed for patrons who know the basics of how to use our Janome sewing machines. 
Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Wednesday Word Puzzles (O'Connell) 
Wednesday, February 14
6:30-7:30 p.m. 
 
Drop in to try some fun puzzles every week: word searches, riddles, and variety crosswords! You can come alone or bring a grown-up. Recommended for age 11 and up. No registration is required. E-mail cmeisler@cambridgema.gov for more details.

Vinyl Cutting 101 (Main)
Thursday, February 15
10-11 a.m.
Friday, February 17
9:30-10:30 a.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! 
Registration is requiredYou must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. These programs are full; a waitlist is available.

Puzzle Party (Main)
 
Thursday, February 15
2:30-3:30 p.m. 
 
Join our librarians for tea, cookies, and a jigsaw puzzle. It’s an hour of fun and conversation. 

The Hive Safety Training (Virtual)
Thursday, February 15
2:30-3 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
1 hour before the workshop starts. Registration is required. Before taking in-person workshops in The Hive, all makers must bring signed copies of The Hive User Agreement and Waivers. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Read to a Dog (Boudreau)
Thursday, February 15
3:30-4:30 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).

Protecting Yourself from Financial Scams (Valente)

Friday, February 16
11 a.m.-Noon

Learn how to protect yourself and others from financial scams in this workshop provided by the East Cambridge Savings Bank. Thanks to the East Cambridge Savings Bank for sponsoring this program. Registration is required.

Cambridge Young Authors' Squad (O'Neill)
Friday, February 16
4-5 p.m.

Young people ages 10 to 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! If you are attending for the first time,
registration is helpful but not required.

Saturday Songs and Stories (O'Neill)
Saturday, February 17
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

Please subscribe to our e-mail list, follow us on X, Instagram, or Facebook, and visit our website.  

All the best! 

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries                                                

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The City of Cambridge does not discriminate, including on the basis of disability. We may provide auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures to people with disabilities. For more information, contact us at library@cambridgema.gov, 617-349-4032 (voice) or via relay at 711.