Director's Update, August 1, 2021


New library at night

Hello Patrons, 

In Memoriam

The Cambridge Public Library wishes to honor Dr. Robert Moses, a civil rights leader with close Cambridge ties who passed away last week. The New York Times noted that he “faced relentless intimidation and brutal violence to register Black voters in Mississippi in the 1960’s” and later started the Algebra Project to teach math as a means to social justice. He is survived by his wife, Janet Moses, and the Cambridge Public Library trustee Omowale Moses along with three other siblings and seven grandchildren. You can read the joint statement from Mayor Siddiqui and City Manager DePasquale honoring Dr. Moses here.

Dr. Moses, Janet Moses, Omo Moses, and Maisha Moses were the featured speakers at the 2015 CPL MLK Day celebration, which was attended by many Cantabrigians whose lives had been touched by the Moses family’s efforts.  

Omowale Moses has continued his father’s legacy of making learning math accessible and stimulating with his organization, MathTalk. On Friday, July 30, the Charles River Conservancy unveiled MathTalk’s new math learning art installation on the Magazine Beach footbridge. A number of books in our collection refer to Bob Moses’s contributions to the civil rights movement, including Robert Parris Moses: A Life in Civil Rights and Leadership at the Grassroots by Laura Visser-Maessen. 

In addition to our offerings this week, I’m happy to say that our popular, inclusive Yoga on the Lawn with Cap Aguilar classes are back this August!

Yoga on the Lawn with Cap Aguilar

Join weekly yoga classes on the lawn at the Main Library this August! Each class will be 90 minutes long. We will explore movement, mindfulness, and breathing practices for 75 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of reflective journaling and/or conversation. On Saturday, August 7, at 10 a.m., let’s explore various ways to honor the Brown and Black roots of yoga. By cultivating connectedness to the earth and our lineage, we can create a stronger sense of self as well as community. Registration is required

Listen to the Music of the Trees!

Life is all around us! Tune in to hear the biological process of our trees! 

Hidden Life Radio is a public art project from the artist Skooby Laposky, with assistance from the Cambridge Department of Public Works Urban Forestry. The project aims to increase our awareness of the trees in Cambridge and the city’s disappearing canopy by creating a musical “voice” for the trees. The Library’s trees are spotlighted, including the more than 80-year-old copper beech tree in front of the Main Library, the honey locust tree at the Boudreau Branch, and the red oak tree at the Collins Branch. 

Each tree has a solar-powered biodata sonification kit on one of its branches that measures the tree’s hidden activities and translates it into music. Hidden Life Radio’s broadcast is a musical composition unfolding in real time and running twenty-four hours a day. 

Learn more and listen in at This program is funded in part by a grant from the Cambridge Arts Council. 

The Hip Hop Transformation

The Hip Hop Transformation (THHT) is an award-winning program for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 that teaches the history of hip hop culture and explains the role hip hop culture plays in their lives and society. It gives students the resources and support to produce, write, record, perform, and distribute their own authentic hip hop music. Classes will take place in The Hive at the Main Library on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in August. 

THHT is offered by the Cambridge Community Center in partnership with The Bridge Sound and Stage, the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, and the Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative. Learn more at The Hip Hop Transformation.

ESOL Classes on Summer Hiatus

Please note that the Library will not offer any English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes this week. Classes will resume the week of August 9.  

Book Groups  

Book groups are an excellent way to join neighbors and friends in the joy of reading! You can take part in these groups this month: 

  • Boudreau Branch: Wednesday, August 11, at noon. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman 
  •  Collins Branch (Virtual): Thursday, August 12, at 6 p.m. His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie. Registration is required
  •  O'Neill Branch: Monday, August 16, at 6:30 p.m. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy 
  •  O'Connell Branch: Thursday, August 19, at 6:30 p.m. The Empathy Diaries by Sherry Turkle 

Summer Reading: Drop-In Outdoor Fun (Boudreau)

On Monday, August 2, 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., children of all ages and their caregivers are invited to stop by the Boudreau Branch, 245 Concord Ave., for summer stories and chalk drawing! Registration is not required. 

Hive Safety Training and Glowforge 101

Tuesday, August 3, at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, August 5, at 3:30 p.m. 

**If you are a Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) staffer interested in registering for a special session on Monday, August 2, at 12:30 p.m., please contact:  

In this hour-and-a-half workshop, you will learn about our makerspace, how to use our resources, and how to keep safe in The Hive. You will also create your Hive badge ID using our Glowforge laser cutter and learn how to use it to cut and engrave your own creations. Registration is required.  

All makers must sign The Hive User Agreement and Waivers to participate.

STEAM Story Time (Collins)

On Tuesday, August 3, at 11 a.m., we invite children and their grown-ups to join us outdoors at the Collins Branch, 64 Aberdeen Ave., for 20-25 minutes of stories and hands-on activities. Today, we'll explore wind, rain, storms, sunshine, and all things weather. Rain gear is optional! In the event of rain, this program will move indoors. Registration is not required. 

Outdoor Story Time 

We invite children and their grown-ups to join us for 20-25 minutes of engaging stories on Tuesday, August 3, at 4 p.m. Plan to sing along and move around! This program will be held in Joan Lorentz Park outside the Main Library. In the event of rain, it will move indoors. Registration is not required. 

Studio Recording 101  

Are you interested in podcasting, audio production, or video production? The Hive has two state-of-the-art recording studios! Join this workshop on Tuesday, August 3, at 4 p.m. to become familiar with the basics of the equipment and software of these tools. You must complete Hive Safety Training & Glowforge 101 before participating in this workshop. Registration is required

The New England Poetry Club: Voices of Poetry (Virtual)

On Tuesday, August 3, at 6 p.m., please join us for an evening of poetry with the esteemed writers Sam Cha, Rage Hezekiah, Indigo Moor, and Donald Vincent as part of the New England Poetry Club's Voices of Poetry series. The New England Poetry Club, founded in 1915 by Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, and Conrad Aiken to foster the art of poetic expression, is the oldest poetry reading series in the country. Registration is required

Cambridge Book Bike Story Time (O’Neill) 

The Cambridge Book Bike Team invites children and their grown-ups to join us for 20-25 minutes of songs, stories, and rhymes on Wednesday, August 4, at 2 p.m. This program will be held outside at the O’Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave. Registration is not required.

Summer Reading: Comics Workshop with L. J. Baptiste (Virtual)

This one-and-a-half-hour workshop on Wednesday, August 4, at 4 p.m., is recommended for tweens and teens. We'll focus on the art of crafting original character-driven comics and cartoons, while also studying the work of pros in graphic novels, newspaper comics, and manga! Registration is required

Google Drawings 101: Sticker Design

Do you want to design your own vinyl stickers? In this design course, Wednesday, August 4, at

6 p.m., learn the fundamentals of Google Drawings to design and edit images for distinctive stickers. Google Drawings is a free, web-based application. Basic computer skills are necessary for this course. Computing devices will be provided. Registration is required.

Vinyl Cutting 101

Would you like to make your own vinyl signs, stickers, or images to transfer to T-shirts and other textiles? In this workshop on Wednesday, August 4, at 7:30 p.m., 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! You must complete Hive Safety Training & Glowforge 101 before participating in this program. Registration is required.


Children and their grown-ups, please join us in Joan Lorentz Park outside the Main Library on Friday, August 6, at 11 a.m., for 20-25 minutes of singing and dancing! Plan to sing and move around! Caregivers are asked to participate with their children. Registration is not required. In the event of rain, this program will be canceled. 

Tinkercad 101: Customized Phone Stand

Friday, August 6, at 1 p.m. and Saturday, August 7, at noon 

Are you interested in making your own phone stand? Learn the fundamentals of Tinkercad to design and edit objects for 3D printing. You'll also be introduced to our 3D printers. Tinkercad is a free, web-based application. Basic computer skills are necessary for this course. Computing devices will be made available. Registration is required.

3D Printing 101   

On Saturday, August 7, at 1:30 p.m., learn how to use our Sindoh 3D printers and customize a design for your first 3D print in The Hive. You need to complete Hive Safety & Glowforge 101 before registering for this workshop. The workshop includes a design tutorial in Tinkercad. Create a Tinkercad account at before you come. Parents may need to assist users under the age of 18 to create an account. Registration is required

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