Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Professional Secrets To Be Revealed on May Day

The "Professional Secrets" garden tour. It's new, it's exclusive, and it's only being offered to members of the Friends of CPL.

We've been talking for months about our new pro tour;  how for only $50 you can join a select group that will tour some of the Friends' secret gardens in the company of Michael Hanlon, a professional landscape gardener, on June 9th, the day before the official Sunday tour. On that Saturday you’ll get a head start on the tour itself and be able to get gardening tips from a professional. Then on Sunday you can check out the rest of the gardens on your own.  This is a "can't miss" for the amateur gardener who wants to get in on the secrets of successful gardening in Cambridge. 

There are only 12 tickets available, and they are only available to members of the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library.  So how do you get one?  At 9 AM on May 1st we will email all Friends members with specific directions for purchasing one of the Golden Tickets.  Then it's up to you to follow through.  It will be first come/first served until the tickets are gone.  What if we don't have your email?  If you are a Friends member, you can send it to us at before May 1st, and we will add you to our email group.

Good luck, and good gardening!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Kingdom for a Horse

Actually, you would probably do better on foot or by bike if you are planning to join the Harvard Square Business Association, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, the Cambridge Public Library, Revels, Zumix and all of Harvard Square’s book stores for the Fifth Annual Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration.  The festival is free, family friendly and will feature book store strolls, live music, dancing, performances, birthday cake and a sidewalk procession led by Curious George!

The festivities begin at 11:00 AM in the Whale Room at the Main Library.  There you will be able to make  banners, signs and/or hats to wear or carry during the sidewalk procession. Then,  at around 11:55 Toni Bee, Poet Populist of Cambridge, will share one of her poems and the newly inspired group, led by the man of the hour, Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat portrayed by Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s very own Allyn Burrows, and  Dr. Nick Walton from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the group will head to the streets.

The procession should arrive at 1 JFK Street around 12:30 for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of The World’s Only Curious George Store – Harvard Square.  Following the ribbon cutting the party moves to Palmer Street.  In addition, many of Harvard Square's book and printed word stores will be holding vents, book readings and promotions to celebrate the Bookish Ball.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


It's Library Snapshot Day!

If you happen to visit any of our Cambridge Public Libraries today, you may find yourself captured in the act. April 12th is Library Snapshot Day. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Library Association, Board of Library Commissioners, and School Library Association, Snapshot Day is just one part of National Library Week.

You can read about how to join in the fun by taking your own photos or just view the pictures that have already been taken by visiting . If you are going to snap some shots yourself, be sure to ask a librarian for the proper release forms first!

Happy Library Week!

There are always great things happening at the library! For more information on how you can get involved with the Friends and help to support our Cambridge libraries click here.

Wild Thing

MOVE ME is a public art project currently taking place in and around our fair city.  The Cambridge Arts Council, the Cambridge Public Library, and artist Roberta Paul have collaborated on this project, which was inspired by Paul's travels to the Serengeti.   The event, which includes a four-week gallery exhibition at the Cambridge Arts Council and a two-week continuous performance in the streets, investigates themes of immigration, national identity, and life transitions through the metaphor of animal migration.

The gallery exhibition will run from April 2-June 15, 2012 at the CAC Gallery on the second floor of the City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway.  The "pop up" part of the project will travel through the streets of Cambridge for several weeks starting with MBTA trolleys on April 9. The wrapped vehicles are meant to surprise viewers and hopefully begin a community dialogue about borders and barriers.  Those of you who use the Main Library may recognize the images that hung on display in one of the windows of the Beech Room earlier this year. 

Cambridge was selected as a starting point for this project because of the diversity of people and cultures found here. Within our 6.3 square miles you will find residents who come from all over the world and speak a myriad of languages. MOVE ME is about hearing the stories of Cambridge residents as they move through and around the borders of their neighborhoods.

The Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge Community Center, and StoryStream Cambridge worked together to the gather personal stories of immigration, migration, and boundaries. Last fall trained volunteers interviewed residents, and if you visit the CAC Gallery you will find that their stories have been integrated into the exhibition.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Reason to Rhyme

It's April and once again Cambridge poets in grades K-8 have the opportunity to enter their original work in the city-wide Cambridge Public Library/Cambridge Tree Project Poetry Competition. Entries are being accepted until Monday, April 30th.

Amanda Gazin, who is coordinating the competition, says, "Since its inception in 1999, the poetry contest has grown and developed into a competition that brought in over 1,200 entrants last year. And yet the poets and their poems continue to run the gamut of all that makes Cambridge special. We find them funny, earnest, flippant, tortured, from the accidental perfect phrasing of a first grader to the carefully crafted pentameter of a middle-schooler. The annual reading is one of the happiest and friendliest programs the library hosts. We were delighted to learn this year that the Friends of the Library have offered to fund the prizes as part of their regular annual budget."

 If you'd like more information on how to enter, you can find it on the library's web site.  Just click here and scroll down until you see the contest flyer.  And if you are looking for inspiration, you might enjoy reading this poem, written by last year’s First Place Kindergartner, Ellen:

You can find out more about last year's contest and winners if you click here .

There are always great things happening at the library! For more information on how you can get involved with the Friends and help to support our Cambridge libraries click here.

Shop Local and Say Thank-you

We are so grateful to our many Friends members for your financial support.  Your membership donations help us in turn to support many worthwhile programs at our Cambridge public libraries.  In addition we should all be grateful to the numerous local businesses who have given their support in the form of certificates and member discounts. Crema Cafe, Games People Play, and Porter Square Books were the generous donors of the gift certificates won by the lucky members pictured in the side-bar to the right. And in case you've forgotten, all members receive discounts at the  local organizations listed below.  Please be sure to identify yourself as a Friend when you shop, and acknowledge their support for our wonderful library system.

Actor’s Shakespeare Project: $5 discount off tickets for productions from January through December 2012, subject to availability. Visit or call 866-811-4111 to learn more about the season. Use code FOCPL5 when making your purchase, then show your Friends’ sticker at the box office. Offer cannot be combined with other promotions.

American Repertory Theater: $5 off tickets for performances at the Loeb Drama Center during the 2011/2012 season. Visit to learn more about the season. Use code CPLFRIEND to get your special discount. Offer good for online ticket sales only. Subject to availability. Offer cannot be combined with other promotions.

Central Square Theater: $10 off regularly priced tickets for the 2012 season through June (Saturdays excluded) Show your Friends’ sticker at the box office.

Clothware: 10% discount on non-sale items upon presentation of FCPL membership card.

The Harvard Coop: Present the coupon and your FCPL membership sticker to get 20% off a non-textbook purchase. Offer valid one-time only – January 2012 to December 2012.

Dolphin Seafood: $3 off two lunches, $5 off two dinners with presentation of FCPL membership card. Offer good through December 2012.

Follow the Honey: Friends of the Cambridge Public Library 2012 enjoy 10% off all purchases.
Harvard Bookstore: Present the coupon you received with you membership acknowledgment and your FCPL membership sticker to get $5 off any book printed by the in-store robot, Paige M. Gutenborg. Offer valid one time only January 2012 to December 2012.

Nomad Clothing and Accessories: 10% discount on all purchases upon presentation of FCPL membership card.

A Garden Poem to Share

In honor of Poetry month and the coming of spring, our Secret Gardens chairperson offers the following:

"I may not know much about poetry, but I know when something moves me. I read this poem for the first time when it appeared in The New Yorker in May of 1987, and reading it every spring since still gives me a chill. If you're a gardener, you'll know what I mean. And even if you're not--my God, how can the last line not give you goosebumps?"
 - Bruce

An American Naturalist Writes to a Londoner, 1758
Brendan Galvin

Now I will tell you my manner
of gardening here, which progresses
not by calendar but by natural signals.
On a clear March night, I sight down
the Dipper’s bowl, for a backward
question mark—tail of the rising Lion—
and then may be found slapping mud
from the plot into balls, squeezing
to test for water content, this before
even a single mallard clack from
the creek, and pumpkins seem the wreckage
of last year’s quarter-moons.
Then the whole plot is already staked
in my head, minus slugs, borers,
hornworms, loopers, beetles, and all
that plague I forget each year
until they descend like a host of
savages to be bought off
only by a feast of this or that leaf,
and dug out of vines and stems
where they poke without welcome.
Asparagus I intercrop with parsley,
since I have discovered they agree
with one another. The latter
is said to go to the Devil and back
nine times ere it breaks the soil,
but I have found it mild
and without evil influence. Beans
I keep far from onions they can’t
abide, and basil, which breeds
a merry heart, I grow along borders
with umbelliferous dill, whose leaves
are agreeable with fish, though of
a strength not to everyone’s taste.
These strong-scented herbs, with chives
and mint, may keep a barrier against
insects, though my studies here
need more attention. Native squashes
and gourds are set when the dogwood
flowers, and tomatoes during
the mayfly hatch. This conveys somewhat
my manner of gardening. I would
continue but that in the mere telling
I grow fatigued, and must ask myself why,
yearly, I engage in it with such ardor,
since I am without family. For the surety
of plenty? Or the images such growth
alone provides? Or because I do better
with vegetable kind than human
(no easy admission), and have come to
myself more than once knocking upon
and addressing a blue squash
of five-stone weight and pebbled like
the back of an alligator? By the time
of the Perseids, when my turnips go in
for autumn, I am as weary as some
old king fighting his battle with the sea,
down on hands and knees in that
riptide of beans and cabbage splashes,
a spume of chickweed flying over
my shoulders, wishing I had never listened
for spring peepers chiming their long,
ghostly sleigh rides through the dark.

- Poem included with the author's permission.