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Director's Update, March 17, 2024


3/16/20244 weeks ago

Author Malia Lazu

Dear Patrons,  

On Monday, March 18, the Library will be hosting Malia Lazu, the author of From Intention to Impact: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, talking with Tony Clark of My Brother’s Keeper, Cambridge. The book provides guidance to organizations, leaders, and individuals on how they can create more inclusive environments that respect and value diversity. 

On Wednesday, March 20, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., the Library will host a screening and discussion of The SixTripleEight, a documentary highlighting the exploits of these valiant Black women. In the winter of 1945, 855 African American soldiers from the U.S. Army's Women's Army Corps (WACs) were sent to England and France to resolve the backlog of two years worth of mail. Despite racism and sexism, the 688th Central Post Directory Battalion (the SixTripleEight) managed to clear more than 17 million pieces of mail, thus raising morale for service members and their families across the globe. The documentary is cosponsored by the Governor's Women Veterans Advisory Committee, the City of Cambridge, the Town of Billerica, and the Women Veterans Network.

Today is the last day to vote in the City of Cambridge’s 10th Participatory Budgeting process! All Cambridge residents aged 12 and older, including all 6th-graders and university students, can participate by voting for their five favorite PB projects. Vote in person at the Main Library today, March 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. Residents can also vote online here or call the City of Cambridge Budget Office (617-349-4270) during regular business hours. Click here to learn more about PB in Cambridge.

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The Library is pleased to offer the following programs and events for the week that begins on March 18.

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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, March 18  
10-10:20 a.m.     
            
Just for you and your baby! Enjoy time with other parents and caregivers to help babies 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: Low Impact® (Virtual)  
Monday, March 18
11-11:45 a.m.   
   
This class is designed for people of all levels to strengthen muscles, the heart, and the brain
all while having fun and moving to great music! Come as you are and take everything at your own pace. You will feel the benefits in mind and body! 

Registration is required for each session. This is a virtual event. A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants 1 hour before the event.    

Equipment and Studio Reservations (Main)  
Monday, March 18, 2-4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19, 3-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 21, 3-8 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.   

(In)visible self: How do you know how you are? (O'Neill)
Monday, March 18
3-4:30 p.m.

How do you know how you are? Middle schoolers can create high- and low-tech sensors to measure their mental, emotional, and physical wellness. We will do this through creative exploration. This social-emotional awareness program was developed by the PLIX (Public Library Innovation Exchange) Program at the MIT Media Lab. The activity centers around building and speculating tools for revealing invisible parts of ourselves: our breath, our heartbeat, and other body rhythms. Here, “tools” means anything from simple electronic sensors to programmed circuits to mechanically activated paper constructions! Please register in advance! Pizza will be provided.

Crafternoon for Teens (Valente)
Monday, March 18
3-4 p.m.

Join us after school to make a low-key craft in the community room. This event is recommended for teenagers aged 12-18. No registration is required.

LEGO Time (Main) 
Monday, March 18
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.

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main)  
Monday, March 18
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, March 18 
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.   

Malia Lazu, author of From Intention to Impact: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Tony Clark of My Brothers Keeper, Cambridge (Main)
Monday, March 18
6-7:30 p.m.

Malia Lazu has recently published From Intention to Impact: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It guides organizations, leaders, and individuals on how they can create more inclusive environments that respect and value diversity. The book presents a seven-stage guide to help readers navigate the process, as well as a 3L model that encourages listening, learning, and loving. Readers can use this model, from the initial excitement of taking action to the frustration that comes with pushback and finally to the determination to continue working hard despite the challenges on both corporate and political fronts. Registration is required. Cosponsored by the Library.

ESOL Classes (Central Square) 
Tuesday, March 19, and Thursday, March 21
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20, and Friday, March 22
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.; 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, March 19, 1-2:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 21, 7-8:30 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.

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, March 19
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, March 19, 3-6 p.m.  
Thursday, March 21, 2-6 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 Studio (Main)
Tuesday, March 19
Wednesday, March 20 
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.

Creative Journaling for Teens (Main)
Tuesday, March 19
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Take a screen break and get organized! Plan your day, track your workouts, remember your friends’ birthdays, all with a pen and paper. Join other teens to learn the basics of the bullet journal and how you can use your doodles to plan your future.

Drop-in Tech Help (Central Square)
Tuesday, March 19
4-6 p.m.

Looking for some basic computer or mobile device guidance? Want help using an online resource? Need someone to read your resume and support navigating online job applications? Join us for our drop-in help hours. No registration is required. If you have any questions, please contact library@cambridgema.gov.

STEAM Academy: iFp Labs (Main)  
Tuesday, March 19
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 the 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.   

Spring Equinox Collage Event (Central Square)
Tuesday, March 19
6-8 p.m.

Seasons change, LIVES change too... If you're contemplating a life transition this spring, you can use collage to help envision your future. Meet others who are embarking on new journeys, too, The Central Square Branch invites you to our spring equinox collage event. Materials will be provided. You just have to bring yourself!

Intro to Libby: E-books and Audiobooks (Main)
Tuesday, March 19
6-7 p.m.

Learn how to borrow e-books and audiobooks on Libby! Please bring your library card and password and the mobile device you'll use to access the Libby app. To view and register for other Basic Tech Classes, please go to tinyurl.com/basictechclass.

Glowforge 101: Creative Laser Cutting (Main)
Tuesday, March 19
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 23
2:20-4:30 p.m.

Learn how to cut, engrave, and shape designs from a variety of materials using the Glowforge Pro laser cutter in this workshop. 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. Registration is required.

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.

Knitting Group (Boudreau)
Tuesday, March 19
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, March 20
Friday, March 22
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. Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.  

CPL Nature Club: Morning Bird Watching Walk at Mount Auburn Cemetery (Collins)
Wednesday, March 20
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 migratory birds as well as those that can be spotted 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.) at 10:15 a.m. and head over to the 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, March 20
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.    

Online Meeting Basics (Main)
Wednesday, March 20
11 a.m.-Noon

From online classes to connecting with loved ones, videoconferencing is a great tool. We will cover the basics of Zoom and similar platforms and make sure you are prepared to join a meeting or start one of your own! To view and register for other Basic Tech Classes, please go to tinyurl.com/basictechclass.

Résumé and Job Application Support (Central Square)
Wednesday, March 20
1-3 p.m.         

Looking for assistance creating a résumé or finding jobs? Join us for assistance with 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, March 20
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, March 20
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 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.

Wednesdays of Wonder - WOW! (O'Neill)
Wednesday, March 20
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. This week we will be playing with air-dry clay.

Nintendo Switch Party for Ages 7-9 (Main)
Wednesday, March 20
3:30-4:30 p.m.

Join our Nintendo Switch party for ages 7-9! We'll have two multiplayer games available to play on our library consoles. There will be a Switch Party for older kids in April.

This program can accommodate 16 gamers. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis on the day of the program. The gamer must be present to receive a ticket. This program starts promptly, and any unclaimed spots will be offered to someone waiting. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please call 617-349-4038 for more information.

The Hive Teen Hangout (Main)
Wednesday, March 20
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 drop-in event is designed for ages 12-18.

One-on-One Tech Help by Appointment (Boudreau)  
Wednesday, March 20
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, March 20
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, March 20
5:30-8:30 p.m.

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

Board Game Night for Adults (Valente)
Wednesday, March 20
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. Registration is required.

Wednesday Word Puzzles (O'Connell)
Wednesday, March 20
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 ages 11 and up. No registration is required. E-mail cmeisler@cambridgema.gov for more details.

Women's History Month Screening and Discussion: The SixTripleEight (Main)
Wednesday, March 20
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Join us for the screening of The SixTripleEight followed by a discussion. The documentary chronicles the efforts of 855 African American soldiers from the U.S. Army's Women's Army Corps (WACs) who were sent to England and France to resolve the backlog of two years worth of mail. Despite racism and sexism, the 688th Central Post Directory Battalion (the SixTripleEight) managed to clear more than 17 million pieces of mail, thus raising morale for service members and their families across the globe. 

Puzzle Party (Main)
Thursday, March 21
2:30-3:30 p.m.

Join our librarians for tea, cookies, and a jigsaw puzzle—an hour of fun and conversation.

CPL Nature Club: Egg Story Time (O'Connell)
Thursday, March 21
3:30-4 p.m.

We invite children and their grown-ups to join us for 20-25 minutes of songs and stories about hatching eggs, with a craft to take and make at home while supplies last. You can touch the shell of a real ostrich egg! No registration is required. Please call 617-349-4019 for location and details.

Puppetry Studio: Crankie Theater Storytelling (Main)
Thursday, March 21
5-6:30 p.m.

A crankie theater uses illustrated scrolls that are hand-cranked to advance the story along. We will adapt the folktale “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” for a tiny stage and perform our masterpiece for family and friends. This three-week puppetry workshop is for kids ages 7-10. No experience is necessary! Registration is required. This workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Fiber Arts Adventure with Lenni: A Machine-Sewing Workshop Series (Main)
Thursday, March 21
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Continue building your machine-sewing skills and create bespoke sewn crafts! Project options are tailored on two tracks: those who are familiar with our Janome machines and beginner sewers and those who are intermediate sewers. This four-part series is led by the fiber artist and designer Lenni Armstrong.

Spots are very limited; kindly enroll only if you plan to attend all four workshops. All sessions meet in the Rossi Room. This intermediate workshop 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.

Zing Laser Cutting 101 (Main)
Thursday, March 21
7-8:30 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.

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.

One-on-One Tech Help (Main, by appointment)
Friday, March 22
11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Looking for some basic computer or mobile device guidance? Want to access audiobooks and eBooks? Stop by for our drop-in hours! These 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 your online transactions.
  • computer hardware and technical maintenance.

Registration is required.

Coffee, Cribbage, and Chess! (Boudreau)
Friday, March 22
11 a.m.-Noon

Join us on the fourth Friday of the month for coffee, treats, and games (chess, cribbage, dominos, etc.). Bring a friend or meet a new one at the library!

Kids' Zine Collective (O'Neill)
Friday, March 22
4-5 p.m.

What's a zine? And how do I make one? Come find out! Kids are invited to explore making, copying, sharing, and swapping zines. It will include activities like writing, drawing, and collage. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Snacks will be provided!

The Hive Safety Training (Virtual)
Saturday, March 23
10-10:30 a.m.

In this workshop, you will learn about our makerspace, how to use our resources, and how to keep safe in The Hive. The Zoom link will be sent out an hour before the workshop starts. Registration is required. Before taking workshops in The Hive, all makers must bring signed copies of The Hive User Agreement and Waivers.

Studio Recording 101 (Main)
Saturday, March 23
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.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 required. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop.

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.