Informational Alert | Coronavirus Updates

Main Library now open during modified hours. Boudreau, Central Square, Collins, O’Neill and Valente reopen week of 6/14. No appointments required. For assistance, contact us at 617-349-4040 or

Director's Update, May 2, 2021


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Flowers bloom, deciduous trees unfurl their leaves to greet the sun, and balmy weather is upon us... Welcome to the beautiful month of May! I hope you are enjoying the spring splendor and that you can enjoy reading in the fresh air on a warm day.

The Library is committed to building an anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive environment and culture. Our amazing staff is working on related internal and external work. One group is producing a series for families and children that begins later this month. I am really proud of the efforts of this team.

Anti-Racism Youth Programs to Launch in May

We have lined up a number of programs aimed at combatting racism and promoting social justice. The programs, which are geared to children and their caregivers, were created by a task force launched to address systemic racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd last year. All the programs are free and open to the public and will be held virtually. 
Registration is required to participate in each event.

Mental Health Awareness Month

For more than 70 years, the month of May has been dedicated to raising our awareness of mental health. During what is widely celebrated as Mental Health Month, organizations and individuals try to spread knowledge and fight the stigmas surrounding mental health and well-being. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now more than ever, it is critical to address the stigma around mental health struggles because it often prevents individuals from seeking help.

This year, the Library is partnering with the Cambridge Public Health Department and Mayor Siddiqui’s office to highlight stories that focus on mental health, and we have created a booklist of resources. We hope this partnership brings a greater awareness to the importance of talking about mental health as part of our overall well-being.

Long Overdue Library Materials

Beginning May 17, the Minuteman Library Network (MLN) will resume billing for library items that are more than four weeks overdue. (This is the standard policy, but it was suspended due to the pandemic.) If you are billed for a long-overdue item, that charge will appear on your account. If you return the item, the charge will be removed from your account. Learn more.

STEAM Kit Surprise!

STEAM Kit Surprise! is available at the Main Library and the Central Square, O’Neill, and Valente branches using our Contactless Holds Pickup service. Simply complete this brief form, and we’ll match your STEAM interests with an available kit. Requests for specific kits cannot be taken at this time. We kindly request only one submission per household at a time.

Virtual Book Groups

Book groups are an excellent way to join neighbors and friends in the joy of reading! We offer a number of virtual book groups this month:

Or join a virtual group at your branch library:

Virtual ESOL Classes

Virtual English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Introductory ESOL takes place at 11 a.m., beginner ESOL at 1 p.m., and intermediate ESOL at 3 p.m. Registration is required for each class. Please see the Library’s online events calendar for more details.

Virtual Baby Lapsit

Toddlers and their caregivers are invited to enjoy time together with other parents, caregivers, and babies to learn, play, and develop language and motor skills in this six-week series, Wednesdays at 10 a.m. until May 26.  Registering for one will sign you up for all remaining sessions in the series. Registration is required.

Climate Justice Monopoly with Spring Forward (Tween/Teen Hangout)

On Wednesday, May 5, at 4 p.m., tweens and teens are invited to the first in a series of workshops about social justice. Gain an understanding of climate justice and how BIPOC communities are more affected by the climate crisis. Registration is required.

Wellness for Seniors: Low Impact Fitness

Wellness for Seniors: Low Impact Fitness is a virtual class on Thursday, May 6, at 11 a.m. It is designed for people at all levels to strengthen muscles, the heart, and the brain--all while having fun and moving to great music! Take everything at your own pace. You will feel the benefits in your mind and body! Registration is required.

Join us for a Virtual Story Time

We invite children and their grownups to join us from home for 20-25 minutes of engaging stories. Plan to sing along and move around! We are happy to offer these virtual Story Times this week:

Registration is required for each event.

Preserve Your Family Treasures

On Thursday, May 6, at noon, join the preservation specialist Alison Fulmer to learn simple techniques to properly care for treasured family scrapbooks, letters, journals, books, and photographs. Registration is required.

So You Wanna Be a Plant Parent?

On Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m., come and learn virtually about caring for and maintaining your house plants. If you want to know how much sunlight is too much, find the proper balance between underwatering and overwatering,  or how and when to re-pot plants, then you won’t want to miss this session! Registration is required.

Basics of Photography (CCTV)

On Friday, May 7, at noon, learn the basic points to consider when exploring photography. If you are exploring photography or want to brush up on your knowledge, then this is the class for you! Registration is required.

Wampanoag New Year Traditions

On Friday, May 7, at 4 p.m., kids and their families are invited to join Kitty Hendricks-Miller, a Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Citizen and Educator, in a celebration of Wampanoag New Year traditions. Learn about the daily life of the Wampanoag in the 17th century, as well as their current lives and communities. Registration is required.

Stay Connected

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Best wishes,

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries