Weekly Updates

November 17, 2023

  • The Concord Free Public Library will be closed at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 11/22 and all day on Thursday, 11/23 and Friday, 11/24. Regular hours resume on Saturday, 11/25. We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. [View All Hours]
  • In this issue: Holiday Book Sale - Adult Programs - Poetry at the Library - Teen Programs - Children's Programs - Highlights from Special Collections 

Holiday Book Sale

The 2023 Holiday Book Sale will take place in the Goodwin Forum of the Main Library:

  • Friday, December 1, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 2, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 3, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Holiday Book Sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, will be full of nearly-new or gently used books, movies, and music CDs for adults and children. Come for your holiday shopping and have a fun time. Currently the Friends are still accepting donations for the Book Sale.

Volunteers are needed for the Book Sale. Please sign up here if you are able to help.

Adult Programs

Fowler Afoot: A Walking Book Club

Wednesday, November 22, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Fowler Branch

Please meet at the Fowler Branch at 10:00 a.m. The group will walk together on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. For November, we will read Edmund de Waal's memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance from 2010. Copies of the book are available for pickup at Fowler. The ebook of the title is available to borrow on Libby. The digital audiobook is available on Libby and Hoopla. [Register]

Virtual Group Meditation with Be Well Be Here

Thursday, November 30, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.


Join Be Well Be Here 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. Please note - There will be no meditation class on November 23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. [Register for Zoom Link]

Poetry at the Library

Poetry at the Library with Cynthia Bargar and Wendy Drexler

Sunday, December 3, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m.

Trustees Room, Main Library


Join award-winning poets Cynthia Bargar and Wendy Drexler for a moving afternoon of round robin reading and discussion. Cynthia and Wendy have workshopped together since 2020 and are familiar with and fond of each other’s work. The themes they share are the layers of mystery their poems explore in their life histories and a love of nature, particularly the beach, in their current collections. They will read a sequence of poems back and forth, then lead a discussion, and continue with another set or two before ending with two strong longer sequences.

Cynthia Bargar’s Sleeping in the Dead Girl’s Room (Lily Poetry Review, 2022) - a ghost story, a memoir in poems - grapples with an 18-year-old’s presumed suicide months before the birth of her niece. Wendy Drexler is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of two separate awards for poems in her fourth collection Notes from the Column of Memory (Terrapin Books, 2022).

Poetry at the Library series is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

Teen Programs

Teen Unhoused Care Packages

Tuesday, November 21, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Teen Lounge, Main Library

Want to help your neighbors in the season of giving? Come help us assemble care packages for the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest. It is not required but feel free to contribute new socks as well as new or gently used gloves, mittens, scarves, or hats. One hour of community service will be given for participation. No registration required.

Teen Dungeons and Dragons

Wednesday, November 22, 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. No registration required.

Children's Programs at the Main Library

Musical Monday: Alan Goodrich

Monday, November 20, 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Start your week off right by dancing, singing, and having some fun at Musical Monday - Enjoy music and stories with Alan Goodrich. Alan is a guitarist and singer-songwriter/solo performer who presents live music concerts "for kids of all ages" including classic and current children's songs and original songs. Generously sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. No registration required.

Make-It! Club

Wednesday, November 22, 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.

Yoga and Movement Storytime (Ages 2-6)

Saturday, November 25, 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Children and caregivers - join us for storytime, yoga & singing along together. Younger siblings are always welcome. No registration required.

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

Fowler Branch Children's Programs

Building Community Book Club

Monday, November 20, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

What does it take to build community? We will seek inspiration in books and talk to others interested in creating and strengthening connections in this book club founded with our friends at Art for All. Books for each month will be available for pickup at Fowler. [Register]

Fowler Storytime (Ages 5 & under)

Tuesday, November 21, 10:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Labyrinth Garden at West Concord Union Church (Rain Location: Fowler Branch Meeting Room)

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

Craft Lab at Fowler (Ages 12 and under)

Wednesday, November 22, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Drop by Fowler to craft, experiment, and create. Join us each week for hands-on artistic exploration. No registration required.

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

Highlights from Special Collections

The Middlesex Agricultural Society Records

The Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, one of the earliest agricultural societies in the United States, was incorporated in 1792. Among the founding members were Samuel Adams (who hosted the first meeting), Charles Bulfinch, Timothy Pickering, Benjamin Lincoln, Christopher Gore, and Benjamin Guild. The Society's raison d'être as stated in their petition for incorporation, was to join the ranks of the agricultural societies in Britain and America "whose particular business is to make experiments themselves and invite others thereto on the subject of agriculture. . . [and] to give handsome premiums to the men of enterprise who have by their inquiries made useful discoveries and communicated them to the public."


The Middlesex Agricultural Society was organized in 1794 under the name, Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen by Middlesex County members of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture. The Society was formed to encourage the exchange of agricultural information and ideas and to foster experimentation with techniques and was incorporated on February 28, 1803. The first Board of Trustees was chosen on October 22, 1804. The name was changed to the Society of Middlesex Husbandmen and Manufacturers by an Act of the Massachusetts legislature on January 24, 1820, and to the Middlesex Agricultural Society in 1852. The Society's first meetings were held in various locations in Middlesex County, but its activities were centered in Concord from 1820 on.


Its annual Cattle Show (also referred to as the Agricultural Festival) was first held at Concord on October 11, 1820, initially on property adjacent to the New Hill Burying Ground. Premiums were awarded at the Cattle Show for the best in various categories of produce, livestock, farm products, handiwork, etc. In 1853, the Society's Committee to Purchase Land &c. bought property in Concord near the Concord Depot, where sheds, pens, a platform, fences, and other permanent structures were built to accommodate the Cattle Show. Membership lists within the records show many Concord residents among the Society's members, including Ephraim Wales Bull, Nathan Brooks, Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, William Munroe, Minot Pratt, John Shepard Keyes, and Harvey Wheeler.


The Middlesex Agricultural Society Records include the group's bound records with lists of officers, minutes of meetings, Cattle Show Premiums, and Cattle Show, Membership, and Financial documents along with ephemera and correspondence.  

Connecting the Community: An Exhibition to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Concord Free Public Library

October 1 - December 22, 2023

Art Gallery, Main Library

We are inviting you all to visit the newly renovated Art Gallery (pictured, right) to view "Connecting the Community: An Exhibition to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Concord Free Public Library," a special exhibition curated by the William Munroe Special Collections, highlighting the history of the Library's buildings, services, and staff. Special Collections also features displays on the first floor (pictured, left) on early circulation procedures, conservation of the Library's First Collection, and a selection of books checked out to Concord residents, including Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, in the first decade of the Library's operation.

Quick Links

Library Home Page

Library Hours

Library Director's Report

Visit the Library Corporation's Website

Special Collections

Minuteman Library Network Mobile App

Visit the Minuteman Library Network's New Online Catalog

Visit the Concord Free Public Library's Online Catalog

Wall Street Journal Digital Home Access for Concord (MA) Residents

Art Gallery Exhibit: Celebrate the Library's 150th Anniversary

Free Electronic Resources via the Concord Free Public Library

Library Event Calendar

The Library's Green Team Newsletter

Makerspace Programs

eBooks and More

New Arrivals

BookPage Digital Edition

Reserve a Museum Pass

Hoopla Bonus Borrows Available in November

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