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City and MBK Partners to Launch Liberation Libraries

4/4/202217 months ago

The City of Cambridge, in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Cambridge, will launch five mini free libraries, entitled Liberation Libraries, across the city on April 12. The Liberation Libraries were created to advance literacy and community in the city. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, from 4-5 p.m., at the Essex and Harvard Street location, next to the Moses Youth Center. The rain date is set for April 21, from 4-5 p.m., at the same location. This exciting project is a collaboration between MBK Cambridge, the Mayor’s Office, the City Manager’s Office, and the Cambridge Public Library. Refreshments will be served and community members are welcomed to attend. 

The mission of the Liberation Libraries is to expose Cambridge residents to the Black and Brown lived experience through literature. The Liberation Libraries will be stocked with an intentional selection of books written by Black and Brown authors and will include titles for all ages. Authors highlighted in the first offering include Imani Perry, Jacqueline Woodson, George M. Tracey Baptiste, Kelly Starling Lyons, and Useni Eugene Perkins.  

“The Liberation Libraries will help educate and inspire the Cambridge community as we uplift and center Black and Brown authors and artists,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “My office strives to work with city departments and local organizations to advance equity in Cambridge and I am proud to collaborate with the Cambridge Public Library and My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge on this effort.” 

“The City of Cambridge is committed to fostering an environment built on the principles of equity and inclusion,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “These new neighborhood Liberation Libraries are an important step in that effort.”  

The Liberation Libraries, which are gray in color, are made of composite, contain 2 shelves each, and measure 16 inches wide and 20 inches tall, will be installed and accessible to all members of the Cambridge community at the following locations: 

  • Corner of Cherry Street and Eaton Street
  • Corner Jackson Street and Rindge Ave.
  • Corner of Western Ave. and Jay Street
  • Corner of Cedar Street and Rindge Ave.
  • Corner of Essex Street and Harvard Street 

“MBK is committed to celebrating and normalizing the exploration of reading and dreaming through the written word,” said Tony Clark, Co-Founder/Co-President of MBK Cambridge. “We are excited for this partnership and eager for the connection and growth opportunities the Liberation Libraries and programming will offer our community.” 

When the Liberation Libraries are operational, they will serve as a free “giving library,” where community members will be able to check out selected titles, which they can keep indefinitely or share with family members or other community members as they wish. The libraries will be stocked by designated volunteers and titles in the collection will be switched on a quarterly basis. Programming connected with the Liberation Libraries will be offered through a partnership of MBK Cambridge, the Mayor’s Office, the City Manager’s Office, and the Cambridge Public Library.  

“Cambridge Public Library strives to be an inclusive place of learning,” observed Director of Libraries Maria McCauley. “We are honored to be part of this initiative, which provides additional access to important works that are reflective of the community.”  

Funding for the Liberation Libraries was provided by the City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Public Library Foundation.  

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 cplcommunications@cambridgema.gov, or by phone at 617.349.4040, or via relay at 711.


About the Cambridge Public Library:
At the Cambridge Public Library, we welcome all, inspire minds and empower community. We support a Cambridge where everyone has equitable opportunities to learn, people live their best lives, and democracy thrives. 
Visit our website to learn more.  

Media Contact:
Muna Kangsen, Manager of Communications, Programs and Events
Office: 857-235-9809
Mobile: 857-259-0065 | mkangsen@cambridgema.gov