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Director's Update, February 4, 2023


2/2/20244 months ago

Jazz in conversation with Poetry Carousel

Dear Patrons,

While we celebrate the contributions of our Black community all year, February is Black History Month, when we highlight the lived experiences of Black community members and their immense contributions to society. The Library is pleased to offer the following programs to honor Black History Month:

On Wednesday, February 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Library will host the Joel LaRue Smith trio in a conversation between jazz and poetry accompanied by the poet Tatiana Johnson-Boria, a professor at Emerson College. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library. This is a hybrid event, and registration is required. Thank you to the Communications, Programs, and Events team for this program.

On Tuesday, February 20, from 6 to 7 p.m., the Library will host Chef Anthony Brooks of the popular Coast Café as part of Cambridge Cooks, our cooking program. Cambridge Cooks invites local chefs to conduct a free cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting and Q&A with the chef.
Chef Brooks will teach participants how to cook catfish in two ways: with cornmeal and blackened. Registration is required. Thank you to the Communications, Programs, and Events team for this program.

Did you know that Harriet Jacobs, who wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl under the pseudonym Linda Brent, and her daughter are buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery? Join us to learn more about the Black men and women buried at Mount Auburn on Wednesday, February 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. We will be distributing copies of our “Black History Walking Tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery,” which was developed by librarians and the cemetery staff. Pick up your copy and a warm beverage and take a self-guided stroll of the cemetery. Learn more. Thanks to the Collins Branch team for this program.

On Thursday, February 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Library will welcome Opera on Tap in a performance of “Opera, Art Song, and the Harlem Renaissance: Celebrating Black Excellence.” It  will feature some of Boston’s finest classical singers and will explore music born of and inspired by the vibrant Harlem Renaissance while diving deep into the narratives of Black musicians, poets, and composers. Registration is required. Thank you to the Communications, Programs, and Events team for this program.

Also, take a look at our Black History Month Book Lists for your next great read during February:

Be sure to check out the Black Voices Collection at the Central Square Branch Library as well, which contains a number of titles pertaining to Black History.

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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.  Thanks to our Children’s Librarians Sing Alongs and Story Times.

Sing-Alongs  

Story Times             

Book Groups  
Learn more about our Book Groups.  Thanks to our Adult Service Librarians for curating these book group meetings.

Baby Lapsit (Main)
Monday, February 5
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 5
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.  Than you to the Adult Services team for this program.

LEGO Time (Main) 
Monday, February 5
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 5
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, February 5
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. 

ESOL Classes (Central Square)
Tuesday, February 6, and Thursday, February 8
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.     
Wednesday, February 7, and Friday, February 9 
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, February 6
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 Epilog Zing to use on our equipment booking page at designated times.
Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available. Note: The Epilog Zing laser cutter and Glowforge laser cutter require separate trainings. You must participate in the Glowforge workshop in order to operate our Glowforge Pro laser cutter. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop

Sit 'n' Knit (Main) 
Tuesday, February 6
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. 

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

STEAM Academy: iFp Labs (Main) 
Tuesday, February 6
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. 

Cambridge Cooks: Jam Sessions teaches Apple Cider Jelly (Main)
Tuesday, February 6
6-7 p.m.

Jam out during this Cambridge Cooks installment as Afton Cyrus of Jam Sessions teaches us how to make apple cider jelly using local apples. Cambridge Cooks invites chefs for a free cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting and Q&A with the chef.  Afton Cyrus is a freelance food editor and recipe developer in Arlington, Mass., whose work appears in print and online for America's Test Kitchen, Serious Eats, and Ten-Speed Press.

Board Game Night for Adults (Valente)
Tuesday, February 6
6-7:30 p.m.

Join us for an evening of board games. We have Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, chess, checkers, Boggle, Bananagrams, and more! Feel free to bring a board game to play with others. We will provide pizza and beverages. 

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

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main)
Tuesday, February 6
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.

Wellness for Seniors: Tai Chi Paradigm
Wednesday, February 7
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 popularity, we expect participants to attend all the classes. Please register for only one series. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Fiber Crafts Group - Drop-in (O’Connell)
Wednesday, February 7
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 7
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.   

English Conversation Practice, Intermediate (O'Neill)
Wednesday, February 7
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.

Serger Training (Main)
Wednesday, February 7
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 wait list is available.

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

Wednesdays of Wonder - WOW! (O’Neill) 
Wednesday, February 7
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.   

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main)
Wednesday, February 7
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.  

Black History Month at the CPL: Jazz in Conversation with Poetry with
the Joel LaRue Smith Trio and the Poet Tatiana Johnson-Boria (Main)
Wednesday, February 7
6-7:30 p.m.

Celebrate Black History Month with the Joel LaRue Smith Trio and featuring the poet Tatiana Johnson-Boria. 
Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. 

Hooked on Basics: A Warm Welcome to Crochet (O’Neill)
Wednesday, February 7
6-7:30 p.m.

Discover the art of crochet at this beginners
workshop! Dive into the basics of the foundation chain and single crochet stitches. With hands-on practice, you'll soon be crafting your own coaster. All materials are provided – just bring your enthusiasm! Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Wednesday Word Puzzles (O'Connell)
 
Wednesday, February 7
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 grownup. Recommended for age 11 and up. No registration is required. E-mail cmeisler@cambridgema.gov for more details.

Studio Recording 101 (Main)
Thursday, February 8
10-11 a.m.
Saturday, February 10
11:30 a.m.-12:30 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. 
Registration is requiredYou must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. 

Puzzle Party (Main)
 
Thursday, February 8
2:30-3:30 p.m. 
 
Join our librarians for tea, cookies, and a jigsaw puzzle. It’s an hour of fun and conversation. 

Read to a Dog (O'Neill)
Thursday, February 8
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).

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main) 

Thursday, February 8
7-8:30 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.    

Videography 101 (Main)
February 9
9:30-10:30 a.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. Registration is required. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. 

XR Lab 101 (Main)
Saturday, February 10
9:30-10:30 a.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. This workshop is full; a waitlist is enabled.

Sewing 101 (Main) 
Saturday, February 10
2:30-4 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.  

Stay Connected

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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.