Weekly Updates
July 30 - Aug. 5, 2021
  • Main Library: 10-6 (Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri.), 10-8 (Thurs.)
  • Fowler Branch: 10-6 (Mon. through Fri.)
  • Special Collections: 10-6 (Mon. through Fri.)
  • Closed on Sat. & Sun.
Shakespeare on the Lawn
The World's A Stage Players are excited to announce the return of summer Shakespeare to the lawn of the Concord Free Public Library with their next production, a condensed version of Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Nicholas Meunier.

This pastoral tale of lost souls in Shakespeare's fictional Forest of Arden will draw inspiration from the real Ardennes Forest of France and the Lost Generation of men and women who struggled through the displacement of World War I. It is a play about a search for connection, freedom, and identity, that maintains the whimsy, farcical mistaken identity, and word play that make Shakespeare's comedies so fun.

The play follows multiple characters' journeys within the forest. The banished Duke Senior and his followers have set up a new woodland court. The heroine Rosalind flees her uncle's persecution, disguised as a man and accompanied by her cousin Celia. Orlando flees his brother Oliver in search of his birth right. And the court fool, Touchstone, seeks a new identity for herself, free from society's constraints.

Saturday, July 31 & Sunday, August 1 at 5:00 p.m. Free admission.

For Library Lawn Performances: A limited number of chairs and open space will be available, but bring a lawn chair for guaranteed seating and comfort. If you like, bring a snack or beverage. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Rain venue: 51 Walden Street, Concord, MA.

For more information, please visit www.concordplayers.org.
Adult Events
FREE Online Group Meditation with Be Well Be Here
Thursday, August 5, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Join Be Well Be Here for a 30-minute morning meditation practice 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]
Tuesday Book Discussion Group
Tuesday, August 10, 9:30 - 11:15 a.m.
Trustees Room, Main Library
Each month, join other readers to discuss a range of books, from classics to contemporary. A limited number of copies of each month's book will be available at the Main. For August, our former staff member Mary Taylor will lead the group in a discussion of two Katherine Paterson books, entitled Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins. This discussion will be held indoor. Participants are strongly encouraged to wear a mask. Registration is not required.
Who Am I? The Liberation Journal Project (CFPL Mindful Wellness Series)
Tuesday, August 10, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
This online session invites participants to mindfully reflect on how we access, create and share our stories through the lens of equity and inclusion. Together, we'll explore ways identity can be conditioned and how we can break free of societal expectations to reveal our true calling. Guided and designed by Be Well Be Here mindful educator, Gihanah Seb-Di Dio, The Liberation Journal Project asks, Who am I? ... Where do I come from and how do I engage with the world? When it comes to a story of self, what are my responsibilities to myself and my community? Discover ways to liberate yourself from old tropes and uncover new forms of self-expression. Please arrive with paper and a writing instrument. Led by Gihanah Seb-Di Dio, DEI educational specialist, and hosted by Lara Wilson, curator of the Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) Mindful Wellness Series. [Register for the Zoom Link]
Cookbook Club
Wednesday, August 11, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Let's take Cookbook Club online! We can't meet in person, but it would still be great to discuss recipes and catch up! This month, we will make seasonal vegetables and fruits. You may choose any seasonal vegetable or fruit recipe you'd like. [Register for Zoom Link]
Films at Fowler Series: Summer Art House
Films at Fowler Series continues in the summer months. The new theme for the summer is Summer Art House, and the six movies selected for the season are provocative, surprising, fun, and independent in spirit. Please watch—on your own time schedule—the selected movies on Kanopy, a free streaming service available to Library patrons. The group will then gather on Zoom on scheduled evenings for a lively movie discussion.

The Westerner (1940)
Thursday, August 5, 7:00 p.m. (Discussion date on Zoom)
A neglected Western starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan and directed by William Wyler. Cooper avoids hanging by notorious “hanging judge” Roy Bean by promising to introduce him to actress Lily Langtry. [Watch Film on Kanopy]

To register for Films at Fowler online discussions, please send an email to randall.warniers@gmail.com.

Children's, Tween & Teen Events
Jacob Reads
Most Mondays, 10:00 a.m. on the Library's Facebook Page
All ages
Most Mondays, thirteen year-old Concordian Jacob reads a special story from our staff-curated list of 101 Picture Books Concord Free Public Library Loves. Can't make the Facebook video premiere at 10? No problem! "Jacob Reads" storytimes will be archived in a playlist, linked above.
Outdoor Baby Time at the Main, Ages 0-12 mos.
Monday, August 2, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Sudbury Road Garden, Main Library
Hear stories, songs, and rhymes in this gentle half-hour storytime for our very youngest readers. Outdoor programs may be canceled in the case of inclement weather. No registration required.
Bullet Journaling, Ages 12 and up
Monday, August 2, 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
Lower Level Meeting Room, Main Library
Teens! Have you ever wanted to start a bullet journal? Are you interested in learning more about what it is? Join us for this 4-week, in-person workshop to learn the basics and explore the different elements of bullet journaling. Through the month we spend together, we will set up weekly spreads, create lots of cool trackers, and play around with different styles of journaling. All materials will be provided. Claire Sun is a local artist from Carlisle, MA, who has been brush-lettering and bullet journaling for over five years. [Register]
PJ Storytime on Zoom, Ages 5 and under
Monday, August 2, 5:00- 5:30 p.m.
Get a jumpstart on bedtime with stories, songs, and rhymes. [Register for Zoom Link]

Outdoor Storytime at Fowler, Ages 5 and under
Mondays, 10:00 - 10:45 a.m.
Tuesdays, 10:00-10:45 a.m. & 11:00 - 11:45 a.m.
Join Fowler Branch Librarian Dorrie Karlin at the labyrinth garden at the West Concord Union Church (1317 Main St), across the street from Fowler, for an in-person storytime. We will share stories, songs, and rhymes. No registration required. Weather permitting.
Big 6 Read-Along at Fowler
Tuesday, August 3, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Fowler Branch Garden
Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers! Getting started on your summer reading? Join classmates (and staff member Madeline) at the Fowler Branch garden and jump into the books. Bring a copy of the book you have chosen or read one that we have on hand - we will do our best to have copies of both the middle school and high school books available. Sustenance (individually wrapped snacks) will be provided, but BYOH20 (bring your own water). If it is rainy, we will cancel. Keep an eye on our calendar for cancellations. It will take place outside, so dress for the weather. No registration required.
Outdoor Storytime at the Main with Royce, Ages 5 and under
Wednesdays, 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. & 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Join us on the lawn of the Main Library for an in-person storytime. We will enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. We will gather near the Sudbury Road entrance in the enclosed garden. No registration required.
Among Us, Ages 10-14
Wednesdays, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Join friends, impostors, and the like over Zoom, and play the very popular, freely downloadable game Among Us. Ages 10-14.
Thursday Storytime from Fowler
Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.
Join Branch Librarian Dorrie for stories, songs, and rhymes. Please register to receive the Zoom link. For ages 5 and under. The same link will work weekly. [Register for Zoom Link]
Xscape into Comix
Thursday, August 5, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Craft your reality in a character-based comics workshop with cartoonist LJ-Baptiste! We will work out and break down effective, fun animal design and how we can develop and make stories with the creatures we create. If you love cartoons, animation, or storiesZZ in general, this is the workshop for you. LJ-Baptiste is an art educator and cartoonist from Boston. He has collaborated with media giants such as Google, Hasbro, and PBS to produce essential works of art. He is best known for his ongoing comic book series, COMIXSCAPE, which features the adventures of a bright-eyed, perpetually preteen boy and his raccoon sidekick. This event is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. [Register for Zoom Link]
Cary's De-Classified College Survival Guide (Tips for College)
Thursday, August 5, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Main Library Front Lawn (Drop-In)
Going to college this Fall (or eventually) and have no idea what to expect? You are not alone. Join Cary, our sage of the library lawn and (possibly) most recent college graduate (he went to University of Missouri and Brown University), on the Main Library front lawn, every Thursday afternoon, for tips and tricks that will prepare you, inspire you, and provide you with some tools for survival. Snacks provided.
Animal World Experience
Friday, August 6, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Sudbury Road Garden, Main Library
Join us for a fun and interactive program that features exotic animals from around the world. Learn their fascinating stories, and find out more about how each animal has been rescued or adopted into their forever home. This program will celebrate the culmination of the 2021 Summer Reading Program. Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. [Register]
Craft Lab at Fowler, Ages 12 and under
Friday, August 6, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Fowler Backyard
Drop by Fowler to craft, experiment, and create. Join us each week for hands-on artistic exploration. No registration required.
Crafternoons with Karen
Friday, August 6, 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Sudbury Road Garden, Main Library
Join us in our Sudbury Road entrance garden for a fun craft and a short story. Each week, we will try a different project. Recommended for ages 10 and under. No registration required.
Rockabye Beats Live on Library Lawn
Monday, August 9, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Front Lawn, 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. Their music will have you bopping and moving along in no time. Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. No registration required.
New Fence at the Fowler Backyard
While the Main Library is undergoing a building expansion, the Fowler Branch backyard is getting a make-over with a new landscape design and an extended fence to create an enclosed, welcoming and safe space for outdoor programming. We invite you to stop by and check it out.

We are grateful to the Library Corporation for their generous support.
Special Collections Highlights: The Extraordinary Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley
Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, whose crayon portrait by Seth Wells Cheney is on view in Special Collections, was born in Boston on July 31, 1783, to Gamaliel Bradford III and Elizabeth Hickling Bradford. Her father was a sea captain and scholar who encouraged his eldest daughter in the pursuit of learning. She began studying Latin, and her facility with languages eventually encompassed Greek, French, German, and Italian, all of which she learned on her own. She also studied philosophy, literature, mathematics, and especially science, particularly botany and chemistry. Due to the early death of her mother from tuberculosis and the frequent absences of her sea captain father, Sarah raised and educated her eight younger siblings. Being a woman of that era, she could not attend Harvard but got the education through the books her brothers brought home. 
She married Samuel Ripley in 1818, who was the son of Ezra Ripley, the longtime minister of First Parish Church in Concord. Sarah and Samuel had nine children of which seven lived past infancy, whom they raised in the parsonage in Waltham. Reverend Ripley also had a boarding school preparing boys for entrance to Harvard, and Sarah assisted in teaching and housekeeping. She tutored boys in numerous subjects, and the boys who learned from her held her in great esteem. One of her students, Henry Fowle Durant, would found Wellesley College, and credited her with “inclining his min . . . to the higher education of women.” According to her friend Elizabeth Sherman Hoar, at a gathering in Cambridge, “the meeting with Mrs. Ripley was the crown of the occasion.”

Samuel Ripley retired in 1846, and the couple moved to Concord, living in the Old Manse. When Ripley died the next year, Sarah continued learning, raising her children, and occasionally tutoring others. She corresponded with Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Mary Moody Emerson, and Theodore Parker on a number of subjects. She also corresponded with her nephew by marriage, Ralph Waldo Emerson. He described her as someone who can “take possession of society wherever they go, and give it its form, its tone.” Sarah and Henry David Thoreau exchanged botanical specimens and were part of gatherings at Emerson House. Upon his death, she wrote to Cynthia Thoreau, in which she thanks Mrs. Thoreau for books given her as a "token of remembrance from the Friend and the Philosopher" (Henry Thoreau), and extends sympathy on his death. She died on July 26, 1867. U.S. Senator George Frisbie Hoar, one of her former students, once described her as “one of the most wonderful scholars of her time, or indeed of any time. President Everett said she could fill any professor's chair at Harvard.”

You can read more about Sarah Ripley in Joan Goodwin’s biography, The Remarkable Mrs. Ripley: The Life of Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, available here.
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