Weekly Updates

February 9, 2024

  • The Concord Free Public Library will be closed on Monday, February 19 for Presidents' Day. [View Library Hours]
  • In this issue: Music from the Library - Adult Programs - Virtual Films at Fowler - Makerspace Programs - Teen Programs - Children's Programs - Special Collections Highlights

Music from the Library Concert Series

Music from the Library presents three concerts in the Library rotunda in its 2024 spring season: February 24, March 16 and April 20. All concerts are Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. The doors open at 7:00 p.m. Free admission. Reservations are required. Generously sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

Music from the Library 2024: Victor Rosenbaum, piano

Saturday, February 24, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Rotunda, Main Library

Victor Rosenbaum, solo piano, performs works by Mozart, Brahms, Chopin, and Schubert. He has performed in the US and in many countries around the world and collaborated with ensembles such as the Borromeo and Brentano string quartets and with artists such as cellist Laurence Lessor and violinist Roman Totenberg. He is a member of the Wheaton Trio and the Figaro Trio. He has been on the faculties of the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music (also as Director and President) and guest teacher at conservatories around the world.

Registration for the concert opens at 9:00 a.m. on February 10, two weeks prior to the event. Register here for the Concert or call 978-318-3301.

Adult Programs

Black History in Concord: The Robbins House and Ellen Garrison

Saturday, February 10, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Learn about the history of The Robbins House and the stories of the Robbins and Garrison families and Ellen Garrison's journey from a school girl in Concord to her civil rights activism during Reconstruction. Registration is not required.

Tuesday Book Discussion: Black Walden by Elise Lemire

Tuesday, February 13, 10:00 - 11:45 a.m.

Trustees Room, Main Library

Each month, join other readers to discuss a range of books, from classics to contemporary. For February, we will discuss Black Walden: Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts by Elise Lemire. Copies of the book are available at the Main Library Circulation Desk. Electronic copies of the book can be found on Libby. [Register for the Book Discussion]

Virtual Group Meditation with Be Well Be Here

Thursday, February 15, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.


Join Lara Wilson for a 30-minute morning meditation practice with the Library and start your day with a moment of ease. Discover mindful tools that center the body, settle the mind and open the door to wellbeing. [Register for Zoom Link]

How to Talk to Your Kids About Race and Racism

Friday, February 16, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Join COAR to watch a brief video from EmbraceRace and discuss ways to talk to your young children about race. Walk away with tips and strategies for engaging kids of varying ages and readiness in conversations about differences. Activities will be provided for children during the event. [Register for COAR Event]

Heal for Real: Communities Seeking Ease, Justice & Connection

Film Screenings of The Dhamma Brothers

Conversation with Sam Williams and Harry Harding

Join us at the Concord Free Public Library to screen The Dhamma Brothers, a documentary film about the profound impact of a meditation retreat held in a maximum security prison in Alabama (co-created by the late filmmaker, Jenny Phillips of Concord). We will then learn about experiences guiding meditation for the incarcerated in our local community with Sam Williams, Executive Director of Concord Prison Outreach, in conversation with radio host, Harry Harding, of Leaderfull Life Works.

Huzzah! Drinking with John Hancock During the American Revolution with Dr. Brooke Barbier

Sunday, February 25, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Learn more about the important role of alcohol in the culture and politics of Colonial America in this free lecture with Brook Barbier, author of King Hancock: The Radical Influence of a Moderate Founding Father (2023). This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Minute Man, Minute Man National Historical Park, the Concord Free Public Library, and Concord 250. No registration required.

Virtual Films at Fowler

Priceless (2006)

Wednesday, February 21, 7:00 p.m.

(Discussion Date on Zoom)

In this sparkling comedy set in the French

Riviera, Audrey Tautou plays a young woman who loves

nice things and loves to have wealthy men pay for them.

Please watch the film on Kanopy before the discussion. To register for the discussion and receive a Zoom link, send an email to the Coordinator of the program Randall Warniers at FilmsatFowler@concordlibrary.org. This series is sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

[View Winter 2024 Films at Fowler Calendar]

Makerspace Workshop Programs

"Pal"entine's Day Paint Night

Monday, February 12, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy some cozy (non-alcoholic) sips and paint-along with Pop-Up Art School. Recommended for makers ages 10 to 110. [Register for Paint Night]

[View More Makerspace Workshop Events and Classes]

Teen Programs

Teen Magic Hour

Tuesday, February 13, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Teen Lounge, Main Library

Ok, technically "Magic 90 minutes" but this sounded better. Join our pod of Magic the Gathering collectible card game players. Bring your own deck, or, try out one of our pre-built decks. All skill levels and formats welcome! No registration required.

Teen Dungeons and Dragons

Wednesday, February 14, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Teen Lounge, Main Library

Try your hand at tabletop heroics in our new and ongoing game. Build a character, choose your weapon and lay waste to nasty critters with a roll of the dice. Space is limited. Contact Erick at egordy@minlib.net prior to attending.

Children's Programs at the Main Library

Winter Storytime Schedule

All storytimes are drop-in unless otherwise noted.

Mondays: Musical Monday at 10:30am

Tuesdays: Crafty Tuesday at 10:30am

Wednesdays: Toddler Time at 10:30 am and Baby Snugglebugs Storytime at 11:30am

Thursdays: Storytime at 10:30 and Sensory-Friendly Storytime at 11:30am

Fridays: Alphabet Storytime at 10:30am

Saturdays: Yoga & Movement storytime at 10:30am

Musical Monday: Rockabye Beats

Monday, February 12, 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Rockabye Beats is a fun, family group whose music is reminiscent of founder Marcos Valles’s Puerto Rico. Their songs offer a range of styles from rock n’ roll to calypso to funk and even blues. Enjoy movement, dancing, counting, singing, and a little bit of Spanish vocabulary. This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of Concord Free Public Library. No registration required.

Make-it! Club (Ages 5-10)

Wednesday, February 14, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

The Workshop, Main Library

Join us every Wednesday afternoon for an awesome craft, art project or engineering puzzle geared towards kids ages 5 to 10 and their caregivers. No Registration Required.

For more Children's programs at the Main Library, visit here.

Fowler Branch Children's Programs

Fowler Storytime (Ages 5 & under)

Tuesday, February 13, 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. & 11:00 - 11:45 a.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Join us at the Fowler for storytime. We will share stories, songs and rhymes and do a simple hands-on activity. No registration required.

Valentine's Day Craft Lab at Fowler (Ages 12 & under)

Wednesday, February 14, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Join us for a special Valentine's Day Craft Lab with Fowler and Mothers Out Front. Participants will have the opportunity to express their love for the earth by creating heart-shaped magnets from recycled materials. Additionally, they will experience the wonders of cooking with magnets as they enjoy delicious chocolate-dipped strawberries made with a portable induction cooktop. [Register for Craft Program]

Read to a Dog at Fowler

Thursday, February 15, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Join Samantha, a young golden retriever for a 10-15 minute reading session. No advance registration required. When you arrive, sign up and choose a book to read and we will do our best to accommodate all interested participants. This program is designed for developing readers of all ages. 

For more Children's programs at Fowler, visit here.

Highlights from Special Collections: Celebrating the Children’s Art Quilt!

For years, a spectacular quilt has graced the foyer at the Sudbury Road entrance of the Concord Free Public Library. This quilt, six feet wide by nine feet four inches high, features 35 unique panels. The individual panels measure twelve square inches and have a unique design. Thirty-four of these panels have images that represent the work of a specific children’s book illustrator, including Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Astrid Lindgren, and Maurice Sendak. The final panel, designed and quilted by Kristina Joyce, commemorates the project. 

Former Assistant Children’s Librarian Fayth Chamberland came up with the idea to celebrate the new children’s wing of the Library, which opened in 1987. The Library wanted to “have something childlike, bright and colorful - something the children would recognize.” Chamberland and Karen Ahearn, former Children’s Librarian, compiled a list of thirty-four illustrators and sent off letters explaining the project and a two-inch by twelve-inch strip of fabric, asking them to sign the strip and return it to the Library. Within six months, all of the illustrators responded with letters coming from Concord (Ilse Plume), England (P.L. Travers), and Japan (Anno), among others. Michael Bond and his friend Paddington Bear sent along their good wishes. Beverly Cleary, the writer of the Ramona books, shared a story of her visit to Concord in the 1950s. When she asked a librarian what they could do in Concord that evening, the librarian suggested a dog obedience class at the school, which she and her husband attended. Some authors created unique drawings on their signature panels, like Steven Kellogg’s dog Pinkerton and a small image of Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. 

Once all the signatures had returned, the work of creating the quilt began. Joan Kenneally, a quilter by trade and avocation, initially advised the Library staff on the feasibility of the project. Then, she took on the management of the actual quilting. She taught quilting at Concord-Carlisle Adult Education, with Karen Ahearn as one of her students. The squares had some links between the illustrators and the quilters. Mardi Perry, who owned a farm, “chose a scene from Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm to celebrate the work” of Alice and Martin Provenson. Susie Hower, a big fan of Robert McCloskey, chose a scene from Make Way for Ducklings. Once all the squares were done, a quilting bee set up shop in the corner of the Children’s Room at the Library.

People of all abilities could drop in and work on the quilt. It was, in the words of Kenneally, “painstakingly slow” and took much longer than the staff thought. Fifty volunteers spent thousands of hours doing the meticulous sewing work. The quilting was finally finished in 1988, but displaying it would take another year. The quilt is extraordinary, and displaying it without a frame would have damaged the fabric by handling and light. Finally, after a year, local carpenter Ralph Shamer agreed to make the frame, and the quilt was finally unveiled on July 17, 1989. 

Please note the quilt is being temporarily uninstalled for professional cleaning.

Upcoming Programs:

Author Talk: James Marcus - Glad to the Brink of Fear: A Portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 21, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

[Read More About James Marcus Talk and Register]

Concord Wetland Wildlife: Close Looks at the Animals of Thoreau’s Favorite Swamp - with Ron McAdow

Sunday, April 21, 2:00—3:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

[Read More About Ron McAdow Talk and Register]

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Munroe Gallery February Exhibition: The Art of The Automobile by Steven Edson

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