Director's Update, January 17, 2021

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Dear Patrons,

I am delighted to share that Cambridge Public Library staff will be participating in the Virtual 2021 MLK Week of Service and Learning produced by Many Helping Hands 365, My Brothers Keeper, and the YWCA. This includes a special virtual story time in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Valentine’s Day cardmaking, supported by the staff, that will be distributed to elders, homeless adults, active-duty service members, and others in our community.

Virtual Story Time in Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Library is hosting a Virtual Story Time in Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, January 23, at 11 a.m. We invite families with children of all ages to join us for stories inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Caregivers are asked to participate in the program with their children. Registration is requiredThis event is part of the Many Helping Hands MLK Day of Service activities this week.

Reflections on the MLK Day Celebration

Thank you to those of you who participated in the recent MLK Day Celebration discussion with Kiese Laymon and Jesse McCarthy. My favorite quote of the evening was from Laymon: “Artistry and brutality must be talked about together; truth, dope. Beautiful.” I think there is momentous weight in Laymon and McCarthy’s discussion. As we think about these challenging times, our history, and our future, we can face the truth, strive for justice, and rejoice in the beautiful.

In addition to all of the MLK Day learning opportunities, there is also an excellent opportunity to get important foreign policy insights from a Cambridge neighbor, Ambassador Nicholas Burns.

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Biden-Harris Administration with Ambassador Nicholas Burns

Ambassador Nicholas Burns, the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard University and distinguished U.S. diplomat, will speak at this virtual event on Tuesday, January 19, at 6:30 p.m. He will discuss the foreign policy challenges awaiting the Biden-Harris administration as part of the Library’s Our Path Forward series, which examines issues important to the health of our democracy. Registration is required.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, January 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There will be no email or phone service available.

Books for the Cambridge Community

The Library and City officials are working to get books to our youngest community members and their families. This week, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the City delivered boxes of giveaway books appropriate to various age groups (babies, preschool, elementary school, middle school) to two affordable housing developments on Rindge Avenue. A broader project is also underway. The Library is reaching out to other housing developments and strategic sites to try to schedule safe, contactless drop-offs of library books. The Library will borrow these books on behalf of residents, and the sites will distribute these books to each young resident. We hope residents will enjoy the books until they are finished with them and return them to the Library when possible. There will be no strict due dates or fines for keeping library materials until they are returned.

Virtual Story Times with the Mayor

I am pleased to announce that beginning this week, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui will host a special monthly story time series, Virtual Story Times with the Mayor. This series will kick off on Thursday, January 14, at 4 p.m. Events will occur every third Thursday of the month at 4 p.m. from January through April. Registration is required.

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.

Google Drawing 101: Winter Lanterns

Join us on Tuesday, January 19, at 3:30 p.m. to learn the fundamentals of Google Drawing for designing and editing pieces for a laser-cut lantern. You'll also be introduced to our laser cutting machine. Participants may share a completed design file, which will be made into a lantern in The Hive; they can arrange to collect it via contactless holds pickup. Registration is required.

Virtual Baby Lapsit

Pre-walking children and their caregivers are invited to enjoy time with other parents, caregivers, and babies to learn, play, and develop language and motor skills! This six-week series will take place Wednesdays at 10 a.m. beginning on January 20 and continuing until February 24. Come prepared to sit with your pre-walking baby in your lap. Registration is required. When you register at any point during the six-week series, we will sign you up for all the remaining sessions. If you register but later find you cannot attend, please cancel your registration to make space for others.

Tween/Teen Virtual Hangout

Tweens, teens, and their caregivers are invited to drop in on Wednesday, January 20, at 4 p.m. Say hello to your librarians, get book recommendations and research assistance, find out about the library's virtual offerings, and bring your suggestions! Registration is required.

Join us for Story Time

We invite children and their grownups to join us from home for 20-25 minutes of engaging stories. We hope caregivers will join in, sing along, and move around with their children.

STEAM Story Times include hands-on activities to explore science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math; please gather your activity materials before the event.

We are happy to offer these Story Time programs this week:

Registration is required for each event.

The Hive Open House

On Thursday, January 21, at 7 p.m., join us for a virtual tour of the exciting new makerspace, recording studios, and extended reality lab at the Main Library. See what is possible in this space and find out about upcoming virtual workshops, where you can design projects to be produced and picked up from The Hive. Registration is required.

I hope you are keeping safe and healthy during this time of change. We miss seeing you and hope that we will be able to welcome you back soon! 

Stay Connected
To keep up with what’s happening at the Library, please subscribe to our email list, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and visit our website.
My best,
Maria McCauley, Ph.D.
Director of Libraries
Page was posted on 1/17/2021 3:23 PM
Page was last modified on 1/17/2021 3:26 PM
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