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Director's Update, March 3, 2024


3/1/20246 weeks ago

Library Legislative Breakfast Group Photo

Dear Patrons, 

Happy Women’s History Month! In celebration, the Library will host Ayida Solé, a chef, author, and activist, as part of the Cambridge Cooks series. A proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, Ayida will prepare a traditional Haitian dish.

Join us for a screening of the film Left on Pearl, followed by a moderated discussion with the filmmaker and past and current members of the Cambridge Women's Center, including Maya Volaitis, Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, and Susan Jacoby. The panel will be moderated by Erin Trahan. Left on Pearl chronicles a highly significant but little-known event in the history of the women's liberation movement, the 1971 takeover and occupation of a Harvard University building by hundreds of Boston women. The ten-day occupation of 888 Memorial Drive by women demanding a Women’s Center and low-income housing for the community in which the building stood embodied many of the hopes, triumphs, conflicts, and tensions of Second Wave feminism. One of the few such takeovers by women for women, this action was transformative for the participants and led directly to the establishment of the longest continuously operating Women's Center in the U.S.

Our legislative breakfast hosted by the Library trustees on Friday, February 23, was a success. We were delighted to welcome so many city leaders, state and national legislators, and their representatives to hear about the work that the Cambridge Public Library and libraries across the Commonwealth are doing to support and strengthen communities. We heard from Kaija Langley, the Chair of the Board of Trustees; Mayor E. Denise Simmons; Debbie Conrad, the president of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, who spoke about supporting the Massachusetts Library Legislative Agenda; Representative Steve C. Owens; and Michael Dawson, the cofounder and CEO of Innovators for Purpose (iFp). Their remarks underscored the importance of the work we do. Thanks to the CPL Foundation for providing refreshments.


                                                                                                                                  +++

                                                                               

Yi-An Huang, Cambridge’s city manager, is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees for the Library. The application deadline is Monday, March 18. Library trustees are volunteer community representatives, library advocates, and leaders in the establishment of goals and policies for the Cambridge Public Library system. They are a vital link between the staff and the community and work to ensure the quality of the Library’s services, collections, and programs, and make certain that the Library reflects and is relevant to the community.

 

On Thursday, March 7, the City of Cambridge will begin the voting process for its 10th Participatory Budgeting (PB) cycle! From March 7 through 17, all Cambridge residents aged 12 and older, including all 6th-graders and university students, can vote for their five favorite PB projects. They can vote in person at the Main Library between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10. They can also vote online here or by calling the City of Cambridge Budget Office at 617-349-4270 during regular business hours. Click here to learn more about PB in Cambridge

The Library is pleased to offer the following programs and events for the week that begins on March 4.    

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 4 
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.  

Overdose Prevention Training (Central Square)
Monday, March 4
10:30-11:30 a.m.

Join the Cambridge Public Health Department in person for a free training on Naloxone administration and overdose prevention. 

Participants will learn

  • about the impact of opioids on our community
  • how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose
  • the importance of calling 911 in the event of an overdose
  • how to administer Naloxone
  • various treatment options for opioid users

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. 

Wellness for Seniors: Low Impact® (Virtual) 
Monday, March 4
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 4, 2-4 p.m.  
Tuesday, March 5, 3-6 p.m. 
Thursday, March 7, 2-6 p.m.  
Friday, March 8, 1-4:30 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, March 4
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 4
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 4
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.  

Felted Winter Scene Hoop Workshop (O'Neill)
Monday, March 4
6-7:30 p.m.

Learn how to “paint” a seasonal landscape with wool. You'll attach loose wool fibers with a special barbed needle. It's easier than it looks, and it’s relaxing and fun to needle-felt wool! You'll leave the class with the skills and tools needed to continue needle-felting on your own.
Registration is required.

2024 CPL Eclipse Celebration: Solar Stories and Craft (O'Neill)
Tuesday, March 5
11 a.m.-Noon

Are you excited about the 2024 Solar Eclipse? We are! We invite children and their grown-ups to join us for solar system stories, followed by a craft activity.

E-mail Tips and Tricks (Main)
Tuesday, March 5
11 a.m.-Noon

Learn tips and tricks on how to use Gmail (Google e-mail). A Gmail account is required for this class. Please remember your password! To view and register for other Basic Tech Classes at the Library, please go to 
tinyurl.com/basictechclass

ESOL Classes (Central Square) 
Tuesday, March 5, and Thursday, March 7
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-2:30 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.     
Wednesday, March 6, and Friday, March 8
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, March 5
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.

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.
Registration is required. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshopThis workshop is full; a waitlist is available.

Crafternoon: Paper Beads (Collins)
Tuesday, March 5
2-3 p.m.

Learn to make one-of-a-kind beads from recycled strips of paper. Once the beads are constructed, you can thread them into a piece of jewelry. Recommended for children ages 5-12 and their caregivers.

Sit 'n' Knit (Main) 
Tuesday, March 5
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.  

STEAM Academy: iFp Studio (Main)
Tuesday, March 5, and Wednesday, March 6
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.

Drop-
in Tech Help (Central Square)
Tuesday, March 5
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 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.  

Knitting Group (Boudreau)
Tuesday, March 5
6:30-7:30 p.m.           
          
Bring your project, yarn, and needles to enjoy an hour in the company of other crafters. 

Hive Safety Training (Virtual)
Tuesday, March 5
7:30-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 7
9:30-10:30 a.m.

In this workshop, you will learn about our makerspace, how to use our resources, and how to keep safe in The Hive. Registration is required. The Zoom link will be sent out 1 hour before the workshop starts.

Before taking workshops in The Hive, all makers must bring signed copies of The Hive User Agreement and Waivers.

Wellness for Seniors: Tai Chi Paradigm 
Wednesday, March 6, and Friday, March 8
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. 

Fiber Crafts Group - Drop-in (O’Connell) 
Wednesday, March 6
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, March 6
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 6
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 6
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 already 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 6 
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.     

Hive Teen Hangout (Main)
Wednesday, March 6
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 designed for ages 12-18.

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main)
Wednesday, March 6
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 6
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. 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.

Cambridge Cooks: Ayida Solé of the Haitian Croissant (Main)
Wednesday, March 6
6-7:30 p.m.

Cambridge Cooks invites local chefs for a free cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting and Q&A with the chef. During Women's History Month, we’ll focus on women entrepreneurs in the culinary industry. This session welcomes Ayida Solé, a chef, author, and activist. 

Wednesday Word Puzzles (O'Connell)
Wednesday, March 6
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. Email cmeisler@cambridgema.gov for more details.

One-on-One Tech Help (Main, by appointment)
Thursday, March 7
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 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 

Registration is required.

Puzzle Party (Main)
Thursday, March 7
2:30-3:30 p.m.

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

Read to a Dog (O'Neill)

Thursday, March 7
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).

The Spot: Shop for Free (Central Square)

Thursday, March 7
4-6 p.m.

Shop for Free with the Spot. 

  • Warm clothes (hoodies, jackets, long sleeves, pants) 
  • Toiletries (shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes)
  • Shoes
  • Underwear, socks 

All available for free. 

Puppetry Studio: Crankie Theater Storytelling (Main)
Thursday, March 7
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. Participants must attend all sessions and have read a version of the folktale before the first session. Stop by the Children’s Room to pick up a copy or call 617-349-4038. For questions about the Puppetry Studio, please e-mail nzylicz@cambridgema.gov

Women's History Month: Left on Pearl Screening and Talkback (Main)
Thursday, March 7
6-7:30 p.m.

Join us for a screening of the film Left on Pearl followed by a moderated discussion with the filmmaker and past and current members of the Cambridge Women's Center, including Maya Volaitis, Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, and Susan Jacoby. The panel will be moderated by Erin Trahan.

Left on Pearl chronicles a highly significant but little-known event in the history of the women's liberation movement, the 1971 takeover and occupation of a Harvard University building by hundreds of Boston women. The ten-day occupation of 888 Memorial Drive by women demanding a Women’s Center and low-income housing for the community in which the building stood embodied many of the hopes, triumphs, conflicts, and tensions of Second Wave feminism. One of the few such takeovers by women for women, this action was transformative for the participants and led directly to the establishment of the longest continuously operating Women's Center in the U.S.

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main) 
Thursday, March 7
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)
Friday, March 8
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. 

Kids' Zine Collective (O'Neill)
Friday, March 8
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 are provided!

Studio Recording 101 (Main)
Saturday, March 9
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. 
Registration is requiredYou must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop. 

Drop-in Maker Studio (O'Neill)

Saturday, March 9
1-3 p.m.

Come to the Library to create something special! Use your own supplies or try out our equipment! You can use our 1-inch button maker, 2.5-inch button maker, 3-D Doodle pens, or Janome sewing machines. The Library will provide basic supplies. This program is for people who feel comfortable using these machines on their own. The Library will not provide instruction. Anyone wishing to use the sewing machines must have completed a Sewing 101 training through the Library. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Women’s History Month: Saturday Screening of Women Talking, dir. Sarah Polley (Main)
Saturday, March 9
1-3 p.m.

Stop by and catch a screening of the film Women Talking (dir. Sarah Polley). This month, we will be screening films directed by women on Saturday, March 9, and Saturday, March 30, at 1 p.m. 

In this film, women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith. Through the back story, we see a community of women come together to figure out how they might move forward together to build a better world for themselves and their children. Starring Rooney Mara, Judith Ivey, Claire Foy, and featuring Frances McDormand. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1 hour 44 minutes. 

Sewing 101 (Main)
Saturday, March 9
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   

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.