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Director's Update, May 1, 2023


5/1/202313 months ago

New library at night

Dear Patrons,

 

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Awareness Month, when we celebrate the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities for their contributions to this country and reflect on their experiences and the challenges they face. The Library is collaborating with the Cambridge Families of Asian Descent to present an exhibition of photographs at City Hall. These photographs were taken by Cambridge youth of Asian descent who were asked to take pictures of something reminding them of their Asian heritage. I invite you to visit the display, which will be on the first floor of City Hall from May 22 through May30.

 

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, when we combat the stigma often associated with mental health and advocate for policies that support individuals and families dealing with it The Office of Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and the Library are collaborating on a special program, Woof Wellness with Therapy Dogs. Members of the community will be able to spend a few minutes with therapy dogs and learn about their important role in providing comfort and healing. The program will take place on Saturday, May 20, from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Main Library. Space is limited and registration is required.

 

We have some exciting programs coming up this month.

 

On Thursday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m., the Library will welcome the Pulitzer Prize finalist Nicholas Dawidoff, the author of The Other Side of Prospect: A Story of Violence, Injustice, and the American City, in conversation with Maya Jasanoff, an award-winning author and professor at Harvard. Registration is required.

 

Every Saturday in May, beginning on May 6, the Library will offer a Qi Gong workshop, led by Sunling Liew, an experienced Qi Gong practitioner. Falun Dafa Qi Gong is a traditional Chinese mind-body practice that consists of five easy exercises and meditation. Qi Gong is influenced by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. The practice component includes four gentle exercises that are done while standing along with a peaceful sitting meditation. Participants will gather from 10 to 11 a.m. at Joan Lorentz Park, in front of the Main Library.  Space is limited and registration is required.

 

On May 9, 1974, the photographer Barry Schneier recommended that concert promoters book Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to open for Bonnie Raitt at the Harvard Square Theater, a performance widely considered to have launched Springsteen’s career. On Tuesday, May 9, at 6 p.m., Schneier will talk about his book, Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Roll Future. Schneier’s lecture will be preceded by a week-long display of never-before-seen photographs of Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Harvard Square Theater. Registration is required.

 

On WednesdayMay 10, the Cambridge Public Library and the Harvard Book Store will welcome Mitchell Zuckoff, a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team and the recipient of the Livingston Award for International Reporting, for a discussion of his new book, The Secret Gate: A True Story of Courage and Sacrifice During the Collapse of Afghanistan. Zuckoff will talk with the writer, activist, educator, and recipient of the Malalai Medal, Homeira Qaderi. Registration is required.

 

Recent political violence in Sudan has claimed the lives of many civilians. Join Alex de Waal on Tuesday, May 16 at 12 p.m. for a Cambridge Public Library International Briefing on the Situation in Sudan. De Waal, widely known as the foremost expert on Sudan, is the executive director of the World Peace Foundation and the author of The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa. This event will take place on Zoom. Registration is required.

 

Harvard Book Store and the Cambridge Public Library will welcome Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for a discussion of her new book, Fires in the Dark: Healing the Unquiet Mind, on Monday, May 22, at 6 p.m. at the Main Library. Fires in the Dark is described as a beautiful meditation on the quest and adventure on healing the mind, on the power of accompaniment, and the necessity for knowledge.Registration is required.

 

On Wednesday, May 24, at 6 p.m., the Valente Branch Library will hold a discussion and reading of Camilo Pessanha's poetry, translated by Adam Mahler, with Bruno Carvalho, a professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and African and African American Studies at Harvard University and the author of Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro. Pessanha is the author of Clepsydra, an enigmatic collection of poems. He was a key figure in Portuguese modernism, emulated and admired by writers like Fernando Pessoa. Mahler will present his new translation of Clepsydra and discuss the work’s history and significance to Portuguese literature, as well as the translation process. This bilingual event will include readings in both Portuguese and English. Registration is required.

The City Council approved a resolution honoring the Library staff during National Library Week at their meeting on Monday, April 24. The resolution highlighted the unique services that libraries provide and the role of the staff in making these resources accessible to Library patrons. Thank you to the City Council for very inspiring resolution. 


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Here are the week’s programs:

Weekly Activities for Kids  

This week, these programs will be offered at our Boudreau, Central Square, Collins, Main, O’Connell, O’Neill, and Valente locations.


Book Groups     

Learn more about our Book Groups this week.

Baby Lapsit (Main) 
Monday, May 1
10-10:20 a.m.
 
Just for you and your baby! Enjoy time together 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.

Wellness for Seniors: Meditation (Main)
Monday, May 1
10-11 a.m.

Join us on Mondays, May 1, 8, 15, for guided meditations focused on the breath and body to foster loving connections with the world. You will leave class knowing how to meditate on your own. The instructor John Mercuri-Dooley has been studying meditation for over 30 years and has taught for organizations such as the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, the Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, and the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center. Registration required for each session. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.

Wellness for Seniors: Zumba Gold® (Virtual) 
Monday, May 1
11-11:45 a.m.

Put on your dancing shoes to improve flexibility and balance, strengthen muscles, and have fun! The certified Zumba Gold® instructor Emily B. will lead you through 45 minutes of low-impact and easy choreography in your own home through Zoom. Join us! Registration is required for each session.

Sewing 101 (Main)
Monday, May 1
3-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2
1-2:30 p.m.

In this 90-minute class, you will learn the basics of sewing machine operation and safety. You will cover machine setup, basic functions, threading the machine, reloading the bobbin, sewing straight stitches, and recognizing when stitch tension has gone awry. Register here. These workshops are full; waitlists are available.

LEGO Time (Main) 
Monday, May 1
4-4:45 p.m.
 
It’s a weekly block party! Join friends to design and build amazing LEGO structures. Let your imagination run wild! The Children's Room has plenty of LEGO pieces, so there is no 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 up 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.
 
ESOL Class (Valente) 
Monday, May 1
6-7 p.m.
 
Join us for an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class at a beginner level. No testing is needed, and everyone is welcome. For more information, call Maria Balestrieri at 617-349-4013. Learn more.

Symbolism and Subversion: An Exhibition of Jennifer Regan's Stitched Narratives (Main)
Tuesdays, May 2-July 31
Lobby & Second Floor

When the writer Jennifer Regan moved to Cambridge in the late 1980s, she had an artistic and feminist awakening.  She had recently left behind a whirlwind life as the spouse of a prominent Buffalo politician. Newly divorced, middle-aged, and in an unfamiliar city, Regan found artistic expression in poetry, painting, and most significantly quilt making, or creating "stitched narratives," thematic stories sewn with symbolism and subversion.

Reworking the traditional themes of American quilts, such as a focus on biblical stories, she created narratives negotiating femininity, marriage, motherhood, and society through a feminist lens. For some of her pieces, Cambridge became a focal point – either directly inspiring her or serving as her subject. The Renaissance, politics, and societal inequities deeply influenced her other pieces. Regan's career flourished, and she created more than one hundred pieces between 1989 and 2006. Her stitched narratives can be found in the New England Quilt Museum and Burchfield Penney Art Center collections. 

This exhibit features the Library's new Jennifer Regan Stitched Narratives and explores how Cambridge influenced her artwork and feminist perspective.  View these exciting additions to the Library's Archives and Special Collections on display at the Main Library in the lobby and the second floor. 

Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. with a talk by the quilt expert Pamela Weeks and Jennifer Regan as they discuss the rise of arts quilts and Regan's role in the movement.


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

Sit ‘n’ Knit (Main)
Tuesday, May 2
2:30-3 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, May 2, 3-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 4, 3:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday, May 5, 1-4:30 p.m. 
Saturday, May 6, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
 
During this time, anyone who has completed The Hive Safety Training and is badged to use equipment or studio(s) can reserve The Hive’s equipment or studio spaces. Staff will assist participants as they are able. Learn more. 

Cooking Concepts Series: Make a Bento (Main)
Tuesday, May 2
4-6 p.m.

Join us for a beginner-friendly bento workshop! As part of the Cooking Concepts Series, Chef Nagisa will introduce you to Japanese cooking and bento basics. Bento is a Japanese-style packed lunch that includes rice, vegetables, and protein. You will get to take your very own bento home, for free! Registration is required. *This workshop will include food with the following allergens: soy, gluten, and eggs.

Knitting Group (Boudreau)
Tuesday, May 2
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Bring your project and enjoy an hour in the company of other crafters. Learn more.

Navigating Solo: Planning Tools for Aging Well (Virtual) Every other Tuesday, May 2-June 27, 6:30-7:45 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Join us for this 5-session workshop series exploring the needs of solo agers (adults who, because of choice or circumstance, are without a family support structure). Ailene Gerhardt, board-certified patient advocate, will explore the special considerations and planning needs of solo agers related to health care and community and discuss the programs and resources available for solo agers.

  • May 2: Planning Tools for Aging Well
  • May 16: Health Care Decision-Making & The Value of Advance Care Planning
  • May 30: Evaluating Your Current Support System
  • June 13: Assessing and Enhancing Your Support System
  • June 27: Bringing It All Together & Developing an Organized Solo Aging Plan

Presented as part of the Cambridge Public Library’s Active Older Adults Lecture and Workshop Series in partnership with Cambridge Neighbors. Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. Registration is required for each session.

 

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

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

Looking for assistance creating a résumé or finding a job? Join us for help with résumés, job hunting, and online applications. No registration is required. Learn more.

3D Printing 101: Game Piece Design (Main) 
Wednesday, May 3
1-3 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.

The Hive Teen Hangout (Main)
Wednesday, May 3
3:30-5:30 p.m. 
 
Have you checked out The Hive yet? Teens are welcome to learn about our space and try their hand at making stickers, recording videos in our studio, and more. This is a drop-in event for ages 12-18.

Free Drop-in Tutoring for Teens (Main) 
Wednesday, May 3
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. Just drop by! Please contact Megan Andres (mandres@cpsd.us) with questions.

Fiber Crafts Group - Drop In (O'Connell)
Thursday, May 4
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, cross stitch. 

Videography 101 (Main)

Thursday, May 4

2-3 p.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. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering. Registration is required.


Puzzle Party (Main)
Thursday, May 4
2-3:30 p.m.
 
Join our librarians for tea, cookies, and a jigsaw puzzle. It’s an hour of fun and conversation.

Afternoon Games (O’Neill) 
Thursday, May 4
3-5 p.m.

Join us to play your favorite board game or complete a puzzle! No registration is required.

XR Lab 101 (Main)

Thursday, May 4

7-8 p.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 requiredThis workshop is full; a waitlist is available. You must complete The Hive Safety Training before registering for this workshop.

 

Teen Room x The Hive (Main) 
Friday, May 5
3:30-5 p.m. 

Grab a friend for some creative exploration and play! Try your hand at sticker-making, 3D doodling, immersive VR, and more in the Teen Room. This is a drop-in event for ages 12-18. 
Thank you to our Youth Services librarians and our STEAM team for coordinating.

 

 

Qi Gong with Sunling Liew (Joan Lorentz Park)
Saturdays in May, beginning on Saturday, May 6
10-11 a.m.

Every Saturday in May, beginning on May 6, the Library will offer a Qi Gong workshop, led by Sunling Liew, an experienced Qi Gong practitioner. Falun Dafa Qi Gong is a traditional Chinese mind-body practice that consists of five easy exercises and meditation. Qi Gong is influenced by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. The practice component includes four gentle exercises that are done while standing along with a peaceful sitting meditation. Participants will gather
from 10 to 11 a.m. at Joan Lorentz Park, in front of the Main Library.  Space is limited and registration is required.

Crafting Corner (O'Neill)
Saturday, May 6

1:30-3 p.m.

Fiber crafters of all skill levels are welcome to drop in for companionable crafting! Bring your project and enjoy tea, snacks, and conversation with other crafters. Chat, share tips, and even inspire others. No registration is required.

 

Stay Connected   

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All the best!

Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries