Weekly Updates

September 16-22, 2022

The 2022 Concord Festival of Authors is October 13 - 31. Stay tuned for more information.

Climate Prep Week 2022: The Planet’s Health and Yours

Climate Preparedness Week is held every year at the end of September to raise awareness and provide educational programs to help prepare communities for extreme weather events. The Concord Free Public Library, in partnership with the Massachusetts Library System and the Blue Marble Librarians, joined in this initiative of Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) in 2019.

The Library has worked with many town and community partners over the years, and this year we are joined by the Concord Fire Department, Concord Health Department, Great Meadows Public Health Collaborative, Town of Concord Archives, Concord Land Conservation Trust, Concord Natural Resources Division, Codman Community Farms, the Concord Free Public Library Corporation, and the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

Please check our event calendar for details and to register. Highlights include:

Wildfires in Massachusetts: A Hot Topic with Concord Fire Chief Thomas Judge and Assistant Fire Chief Walter Latta

Thursday, September 22, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library & on Zoom

[Register for Zoom Link]

Propagate Local, Native Pollinator Plants Across Concord with Executive Director of Concord Land Conservation Trust Jane Gurba-Chevalier and Natural Resources Director of Concord Natural Resources Division Delia Kaye

Wednesday, September 28, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library 

[View Climate Prep Week Program Brochure]

Concert on the Lawn

Concerts on the Lawn - Pete Kilpatrick

Wednesday, September 21, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Main Library Front Lawn

(Rain Location: Goodwin Forum, Main Library)

Pete Kilpatrick is a Maine based singer/songwriter who has released nine albums and has performed with artists like Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies, Marc Cohn ("Walking in Memphis"), David Gray and many others. His original music has been featured on over 15 network television shows including The Office, Parks and Recreation and New Girl. Check out more information at www.petekilpatrickband.com.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. Free admission. No registration required. This event was rescheduled from the summer. 

Rom "Con": Romance Festival at the Library
Rom "Con": Romance Festival at the "Con"cord Free Public Library
Saturday, September 24, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Main Library, Front Lawn (weather permitting) or
Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Visit here for a schedule for the day. We are looking forward to a day of a booksale/signing, panel discussions, and a casual afternoon tea provided by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. Books for some authors will be provided by the Concord Bookshop - cash or check only. And, if you have books by our authors at home, please feel free to bring them and have them signed.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library and the Concord Free Public Library Corporation as well as the Friends of Ashland Public Library.

Registration is requested. But walk-ins are definitely welcome. Please click here to register.
Adult Events

Ancient Qigong Practices for Everyday Life

Sunday, September 18, 4:00 - 4:45 p.m.


Join us for this FREE session online with Be Well Be Here to learn about the Chinese ancient healing art of Qigong for releasing stress as well as physical and emotional pain. Discover ways to improve overall health through simple but powerful movements, breathing techniques and intentional practice. The ancient practice of Qigong is beneficial for every age - ALL are welcome! Led by internationally award-winning dancer, calligraphy artist and experienced Qigong practitioner, Lorelei Chang, of dancEnlight. [Register for Zoom Link]

Conversation Circle for English Language Learners at Fowler

Monday, September 19, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard or Meeting Room

Join us for a volunteer-led gathering to practice English. All levels welcome, including beginners. For more information, call 978-318-3350 or email dkarlin@minlib.net. Weather permitting, we will meet in the backyard. Or in the meeting room as rain location. No registration required.

Stitch Circle at Fowler

Tuesday, September 20, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Join fellow knitting, crocheting and needlework enthusiasts for an hour of social crafting. Help each other out of tough spots, share patterns and tips, and enjoy crafting together. No registration required.

Author Talk: Born in Cambridge by Karen Weintraub and Michael Kuchta

Tuesday, September 20, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Join Karen Weintraub and Michael Kuchta for a discussion of their book Born in Cambridge: 400 Years of Ideas and Innovators. Cambridge, Massachusetts is a city of “firsts”: the first college in the English colonies, the first two-way long-distance call, the first legal same-sex marriage. In 1632, Anne Bradstreet, living in what is now Harvard Square, wrote one of the first published poems in British North America, and in 1959, Cambridge-based Carter's Ink marketed the first yellow Hi-liter. W.E.B. Du Bois, Julia Child, Yo-Yo Ma, and Noam Chomsky all lived or worked in Cambridge at various points in their lives. Born in Cambridge tells these stories and many others, chronicling cultural icons, influential ideas, and world-changing innovations that all came from one city of modest size across the Charles River from Boston. [Register]

Book-A-Mystery at Fowler

Wednesday, September 21, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Join Madeline from Fowler on the 3rd Wednesday of each month to discuss a range of mysteries, from thrillers to whodunnits. This month we will discuss Murder at the Gardner by Jane Langton. Copies of the selected book are available at Fowler, and the ebook is available for immediate download on Hoopla Digital. Weather permitting, we will meet in person in our backyard. Please register so that we can provide updates and a zoom link if it is necessary to meet virtually. [Register]

FREE Online Group Meditation with Be Well Be Here

Thursday, September 22, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.


Join Be Well Be Here for a 30-minute morning meditation practice with the Concord Free Public 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]

Fowler Afternoon Tea Book Club

Friday, September 23, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Join Samantha at Fowler Library on the fourth Friday of each month to enjoy a selection of teas and discuss a blend of historical and contemporary fiction. This month we will discuss Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. Copies of the selected book are available at Fowler. We will discuss the book and Jamaican recipes. Weather permitting, we will meet outside in Fowler's backyard. Please feel free to bring in food related to the recipe theme. [Register]

Virtual Films at Fowler Series Fall 2022

For twenty-six years Concord film viewers gathered on winter evenings at Fowler Library to see some of the most interesting and stimulating examples of current and classic cinema from around the world. That movie series, now called Films at Fowler, changed to an online format in 2021 and continues in that format in 2022.

We don’t meet in person, so we now view—on your own time schedule—selected movies on Kanopy, a free streaming service available to Library patrons. We will then gather on Zoom on scheduled evenings for lively movie discussions. The theme of the movies in fall 2022 continues with Breaking Boundaries. All six movies in this fall series are about going beyond the status quo and challenging limits and expectations. This poster shows the selected films to be viewed on Kanopy and the discussion dates on Zoom. 

Bob le Flambeur (1956)

Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m. (Discussion Date on Zoom)

In Jean-Pierre Melville’s existential thriller, Bob (Roger Duchesne), an aging but penniless Parisian gambler, decides to rob a popular casino on a busy weekend. 

Please watch the film on Kanopy before the discussion. To register for the discussion and receive a Zoom link, send an email to the host of the series Randall Warniers at FilmsatFowler@concordlibrary.org.

The series is sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

Poetry at the Library Series Fall 2022

The Fall, 2022 Poetry at the Library Series features three Sunday afternoon readings with award-winning poets, beginning with a virtual reading in October included in the Concord Festival of Authors and followed by in-person readings in November and December in the Goodwin Forum. 


At each reading, poets also engage in a Q & A with the audience and each other about inspirations, influences, and their poetic practices.  


The October poets explore the psychological effects of witnessing violence, the good harbor of family life, and the perils of our times. The November poets offer us the replenishing spirit of the natural world and Black Joy, its inner life. The December poets celebrate the wild contradictions and joys of life and the everyday moments and meditations on the past, especially the bonds of mothers and daughters. 


Join Emily Carlson of Pittsburg, Max Heinegg of Medford, MA and David O’Connell of Providence, RI on Sunday, October 30 at 3:00 p.m., ET for a Virtual Reading. [Register for Zoom Webinar Link] 


Join Concord resident Brian Burt and Boston-based Quintin Collins on Sunday, November 20 at 3:00 p.m., in-person in the Goodwin Forum.  [Register here for a seat in the Forum]


Join former Concord resident Helena Minton and Maya Janson of Western, MA on Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m., in-person in the Goodwin Forum. [Register here for a seat in the Forum]


This Series is sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. 

Teen Events

The College Essay Studio

Tuesday, September 20, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Teen Lounge, Main Library

Applying to college this Fall? Join The College Essay Studio, Tuesdays in July and August to hone your writing, brainstorm in an inviting and safe environment, and leave equipped with skills that will go beyond college applications to essays you will be writing in college. Facilitator/our Teen Librarian Cary Stough, a Brown University graduate and published writer, will lead you through the Common App 2022-2023 essay prompts so that none of it will be a surprise. This program is open to all teens, age 11-18, but recommended for high school students. No registration required. Contact Cary for questions: cmstough@minlib.net.

Teen Magic: The Gathering Tutorials and Practice

Wednesday, September 21, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Teen Lounge, Main Library

Teens - Join us every Wednesday in August for Magic: The Gathering tutorials and Practice. Whether you are a beginner or an old pro, you are going to learn a lot. Some decks will be provided by the Library, but are limited. We recommend you bring your own decks. Magic: The Gathering is a tabletop and digital collectible card game created by Wizards of the Coast. Released in 1993, Magic was the first trading card game and has since taken the world by storm. Cast spells, collect mana, and come play with us. This program is open to all teens, age 11-18. No registration required. Contact Cary Stough for questions: cmstough@minlib.net.

Teen Sunlight Photography (Cyanotype) Workshop

Saturday, September 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Main Workshop, Library House

Artist Becky Behar will return on September 24, 1-4PM to facilitate another sunlight photography workshop. Harness the power of the sun! Create your very own masterpiece! Using the cyanotype photographic process results in a beautiful, enigmatic monochrome print. Materials will be provided for each participant, including materials to make their very own folio sketchbook. Registration is required. Please visit the library website for details. Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. [Register

Children's & Tween Events at the Main Library

StoryWalk: Pugs Cause Traffic Jams

Main Library (Main Street)

Come enjoy our newly installed StoryWalk along Main Street. This month we feature the book Pugs Cause Traffic Jams written by Jennifer McGrath, author, and illustrated by Kathryn Durst. This humorous story of Kirby the pug who has gone missing celebrates dogs of all shapes and sizes and breeds. The Storywalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. 

Musical Mondays - Rockabye Beats

Monday, September 19, 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. 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.

Alphabet Storytime

Tuesday, September 20, 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Join us for stories, rhymes and songs! Each week we focus on a different letter of the alphabet. Recommended for ages 5 years and below. No registration required.

Crafty Wednesdays

Wednesday, September 21, 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Come enjoy a story and then we will do a fun craft together. 

No registration required.

Creative Drama Workshop for Kids

Wednesday, September 21, 2:00 - 2:45 p.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Children ages 6-8 years are invited to join this free Little Spark theater class. Creative drama is a process-focused form of theater that establishes the building blocks of performance. We will focus on senses, feelings, and movement through fun and imaginative play. The workshop meets once a month (9/21, 10/19, 11/16, 12/28). Come to any or all of the workshops. Class size is limited, so register in advance to secure your spot.  This event is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. [Register]

Storytime at Main

Thursday, September 22, 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Join our staff member Fiona for fun action-oriented stories, fingerplays, songs, and rhymes. No registration required.

Concord Puppet Theatre

Friday, September 23, 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Each week we will feature different puppets, new songs to learn and sing along to, and occasional crafts. Feel free to bring your own puppet (sock or otherwise) or instruments from home to join in on the fun. No registration required.

Fowler Branch Children's Events

Fowler Baby Time, Ages 0-12 months

Monday, September 19, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Fowler Branch Large Meeting Room

Join us for songs, stories, and a chance to chat with other parents. No registration required.

Preschool Play at Fowler, Ages 5 and under

Monday, September 19, 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Drop by the Fowler backyard weekly for hands-on activities, self-led exploration, and bubbles to help wind down after a busy day. Enjoy a soothing atmosphere and free-form play with other preschool children and their caregivers. Rain location: Fowler Meeting Room. No registration required.

Zoom PJ Storytime, Ages 5 and under

Monday, September 19, 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.


Get a jumpstart on bedtime with songs, stories, and rhymes! [Register for Zoom Link]

In Person Fowler Storytime

Tuesday, September 20, 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. & 11:00 - 11:45 a.m.

Fowler Branch Large Meeting Room or

Labyrinth Garden at West Concord Union Church

Join us at Fowler for storytime. We will share stories, songs, and rhymes and do a simple hands-on activity. Outdoor: If weather permits, we will meet across the street at the labyrinth garden at the West Concord Union Church (1317 Main St). Rain location: Fowler Large Meeting Room. No registration required.

Mandarin Storytime with First Connections at Fowler

Wednesday, September 21, 10:15 - 10:45 a.m.

Fowler Branch Meeting Room

This special opportunity for learning and practicing Mandarin is open to children aged 2 to 5 years old. Parents and children attend together, and siblings are welcome to listen in as our Story Teller engages the children in songs, reads stories in Mandarin, leads language exercises, and introduces Chinese characters. This is a Mandarin immersion experience where siblings outside the 2-5 age group are welcome. Families may register after the program begins if there is space. Space is limited. Register for the 13-week session by emailing Linda Jensen, LSWA, of First Connections at lmatthews@jri.org.

Girls Who Code Information Session, Grades 5-8

Wednesday, September 21, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.


We invite girls and their families to join Girls Who Code facilitators to learn about our program. 

Over the course of the academic year (October - May), Concord Girls Who Code members learn a variety of coding skills and work together to design, create, and produce a project that addresses a real world problem. Our adult and teen facilitators have a range of coding and project development skills. They teach and mentor participants, encouraging them to develop their abilities and confidence. [Register for Zoom Link]

Zoom Storytime from Fowler, Ages 5 and under

Thursday, September 22, 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.


Join Fowler staff online for weekly songs, stories, and rhymes. [Register for Zoom Link]

Messy Fun at Fowler, Ages 5 & under

Thursday, September 22, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Drop by the Fowler backyard or large meeting room weekly for a range of activities from play dough to blocks. Stay for 15 minutes or for the full hour. We will have different stations, allowing for child-guided play and social distancing. No registration required.

Fairy Tales at Fowler, Ages 4 - 12

Thursday, September 22, 4:30 - 5:15 p.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Explore the world through folktales and fairy tales in this storytime for a slightly older audience. We will share songs, stories, and do a hands-on craft. Rain location: Large Meeting Room. No registration required.

Lego Club at Fowler, Ages 12 and under

Friday, September 23, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Fowler Branch Large Meeting Room

Join fellow builders to construct from our Lego collection. Try out weekly challenges or work on your own project. No registration required.

Saturday Studio at Fowler, Ages 5 and under

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Fowler Branch Backyard

Join Fowler staff each week for a mix of stories, crafting, and other hands-on activities. Rain location: Large Meeting Room. No registration required.

Chess Club at Fowler, Ages 0-100+

Saturday, September 124, 3:00 - 4:45 p.m.

Fowler Branch Meeting Room

Join members of the Concord-Carlisle Chess Society to improve your chess game. Participants (ages 10 - 100+) should have intermediate to advanced skills. Boards provided. Drop-ins welcome. [Register]

Special Collections Highlights: The Middlesex Hotel

The Middlesex Hotel—once located at the corner of Main Street and Monument Square, opposite the Wright Tavern—thrived as a center of county and town life for decades during the nineteenth century. It provided food, drink, and lodging for lawyers, litigants, and witnesses on court days and served up meals to the prisoners in the county jail behind what was then the County House and is now the Catholic rectory.

Out-of-town attendants of the Middlesex Agricultural Society's annual fall Cattle Show lodged and dined there. Workers in the Concord's Mill Dam shops stopped in for a quick drink during their day. The hotel accommodated large dinners and dances, including the lavish military balls of the Concord Artillery, and a local dancing school held sessions there during summer and winter. In addition, the place offered rest and refreshment to teamsters hauling loads over long distances, and food and drink (paid for by the Town of Concord) to selectmen and other local officials who met in the Middlesex to transact municipal business. It was also a stop for passenger and mail stages before the coming of the railroad in 1844 led to the decline of the stagecoach as a form of transportation.

Baker and hotelkeeper John Richardson came to Concord in the late 1770s, was involved in multiple business ventures, including the tannery on the Mill Dam, and owned several hotels and stables in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His early Middlesex Hotel was a three-story structure featuring a barroom, large dining room, private dining rooms and parlors, a kitchen on the first floor, a public space on the second, and a dance hall (complete with dressing room) occupying a full half of the third. The direct access to Richardson's building was at its rounded southeast corner. A porch along the first floor shows in John Warner Barber's engraving of Monument Square as it looked in 1839. In 1825, Richardson sold the hotel to Thomas D. Wesson and Gershom Fay, who ran it together for a few years. Fay then sold his interest to Wesson, who ran the establishment during the hotel's heyday (1825-1845).

The original Middlesex Hotel burned on Tuesday, June 10, 1845. Although the stable and surrounding buildings were spared, the hotel was destroyed. Against the advice of those who understood that times were changing, Wesson insisted on rebuilding a new hotel on the location of, and similar to, the one that had gone up in flames. The reopening of the Middlesex Hotel was celebrated with a ball on April 20, 1846.

Despite his optimism, Wesson was unable to make a success of the new place. The convenience and speed of railroad travel decimated business, as did the loss to Lowell by the late 1840s of two terms of the Court of Common Pleas. (The remaining courts were removed from Concord in 1867.) Finally, in 1881, the hotel suffered another major fire that destroyed its stable and threatened to ignite the hotel itself, saved only by the vigorous exertions of firefighters. As a result, the hotel closed its doors for good in 1882.

Following the downward spiral of its final thirty-plus years of operation, the abandoned Middlesex Hotel stood in Concord Center for nearly two decades. Finally, in 1900, four Concordians (Stedman Buttrick, Edward Waldo Emerson, Richard F. Barrett, and Prescott Keyes) bought it and sold it to the Town of Concord. The site was designated for municipal purposes as part of the town's celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Concord Fight, and the building was finally demolished. Today, the Middlesex Hotel location serves as a memorial park to honor Concordians who made the supreme sacrifice in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Dominican Republic, and Iraq.

Quick Links

Minuteman Library Network Mobile App

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

Concord Stories Series

Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard Goodwin's Personal Library Collection

Boston Public Library Electronic Resources Free to All MA Residents

Reserve a Museum Pass

September Art Gallery Exhibit: Inside and Outside: A Joint Exhibition By Rachel Newsam & Sarah Paino 

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