Weekly Updates

April 12, 2024

  • The Concord Free Public Library will be closed on Monday, April 15 for Patriots' Day.
  • In this issue: Green Team Highlights - Cooler Concord Climate Festival - Adult Programs - Special Collections Programs - Virtual Films at Fowler - Makespace New Kits - Teen Programs - Children's Programs - Special Collections Highlights

Green Team Highlights

At the end of March the Concord Free Public Library submitted our application to become the first certified sustainable library in Massachusetts through the Sustainable Libraries Initiative. A panel of reviewers will take several weeks to go over our application and let us know the results. This is a big exciting step that the Green Team is very proud to finally take after four years of work.

We installed a hygrometer to assess the humidity and temperature conditions for the Main Library book collections. The levels are within the appropriate range for library books and we will continue to monitor them throughout the year. Our West Concord community-focused art group Art for All has the pollinator bug now, too. We led three workshops at Fowler to repurpose yard signs into celebrations of nature that also let passersby know that the creator's yard is not messy -- it is supporting biodiversity.

[Read Spring 2024 Green Team Newsletter]

Cooler Concord Climate Festival

Cooler Concord Climate Festival

Saturday, April 20, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Front Lawn, Main Library

Dive into the vibrant tapestry of community-driven climate action at the Cooler Concord Climate Festival - a gathering for all generations - Gather practical information, immerse yourself in hands-on demonstrations, and connect with passionate community members actively working to make a difference. Participants of all ages will be inspired by educational activities, engaging performances and collaborative art projects. The Concord Free Public Library's event table will include our fourth annual Native Tree Seedling giveaway. This event is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, a patron-supported non-profit organization. [Read More About the Festival]

[View More Earth Month Programs]

Adult Programs


Wednesday, April 17, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

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 Mother-daughter murder night, by Nina Simon. Copies of the book are available at Fowler in both standard and large prints. The e-book is available for immediate download on Hoopla Digital. [Register for Book-A-Mystery]

Virtual Group Meditation with Be Well Be Here

Thursday, April 18, 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]

Fowler Afoot: A Walking Book Club

Wednesday, April 24, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Fowler Branch

We will meet at the Fowler Branch Library at 10 am, and then walk together on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. The plan is to walk the trail for about twenty minutes and then turn around. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we will meet inside. For April, we will discuss Sy Montgomery's recent book, Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell. Copies are available for pick up at Fowler and the audiobook and ebook can be downloaded on Libby. [Register for Fowler Afoot]

Journeying with Harriet Tubman: Selfless, Courageous, Committed

Thursday, April 25, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) is an important figure in African American and the nation’s history. Heralded for escorting many slaves from bondage to freedom, her life had many riveting facets. Living History Performer Eddie Murphy brings Harriet Tubman radiantly back to life for audiences throughout the country. [Register for Harriet Tubman Event ]

Author Talk: Motherhood and Writing with Dora Farkas

Wednesday, May 1, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

Motherhood is one of the biggest changes in a woman's life, but how does it affect one's writing career? A mother of two girls and the author of two books, Dora Farkas will show how motherhood is one of the richest sources of inspiration to help women break through writer's block. Using personal stories from her life and that of her students, Dora will demonstrate how the unique challenges of motherhood can give you the structure you need to write and publish books and stories. [Register for Dora Farkas Talk]

Special Collections Programs

From Pasadena to Concord: Telling the Whole Story

Saturday, April 13, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library

For 129 years, Black educator and activist Ellen Garrison lay unsung and forgotten in an unmarked grave in Altadena, California’s Mountain View Cemetery. Ellen Garrison, native daughter of Concord, was the granddaughter of a freedman who fought in the Revolutionary War and spent years traveling alone through the South to teach formerly enslaved people how to read and write, protected only by a paper “passport” to show she was a free person. [Read More and Register for Pasadena to Concord Talk]

Concord: There Is More to Our Story - with Joe Palumbo

Wednesday, April 17, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Goodwin Forum, Main Library 

For over 10,000 years, humans have lived in this area, which we know as modern Concord, yet many of their stories have not been entirely told. With new research and a greater understanding of past events, we open new windows and opportunities to tell fuller stories of our community's people. [Read More and Register for Joe Palumbo Talk]

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

This slide presentation will feature videos and photos of wildlife from Well Meadow, the pristine wetland off Fairhaven Bay, on Concord’s southeast boundary. [Read More and Register for Ron McAdow Talk]

Virtual Films at Fowler

Past Lives (2023)

Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m.

(Discussion Date on Zoom)

In writer-director Celine Song’s awardwinning first film, Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), two deeply connected childhood friends in Seoul, are torn apart when Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York where they confront notions of destiny, love, and their choices in life. 

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 Spring 2024 Films at Fowler Calendar]

Makerspace New Kits

Citizen Science Kits

Celebrate Earth Month by borrowing one of the Library's brand new Citizen Science Kits. Each kit comes with everything you need to collect real scientific data and submit them to environmental research and advocacy organizations across the country, including NASA and the National Science Foundation. Just choose a subject that interests you, check out the kit, then follow the step-by-step instruction booklet developed by professors and librarians as part of the SciStarter program. Concord's Citizen Science Kits include:

A Teen Program

Teens Make-It!

Tuesday, April 16, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Workshop, Main Library

No younger siblings to bug you, no random adults to take up all the spots. Come to the Make-It Club programs developed exclusively by and for teens. Come have some snacks, check out our materials, and help us choose exactly the crafts, skills, and tools you want to learn in future programs. For makers 11-18 years only. No registration required.

Children's Programs at the Main Library

Spring Storytime Schedule

All storytimes are drop-in.

Mondays: Musical Monday at 10:30 a.m.

Tuesdays: Crafty Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and Sensory-Friendly Storytime at 4:00 p.m.

Wednesdays: Toddler Time at 10:30 a.m. and Baby Snugglebugs Storytime at 11:30 a.m.

Thursdays: Storytime at 10:30 a.m.

Fridays: Alphabet Storytime at 10:30 a.m.

Saturdays: Yoga & Movement Storytime at 10:30 a.m.

Peepapalooza: Candy Crafting Contest

Tuesday, April 16, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Come to the Peepapalooza and create a Peeps diorama from candy and craft materials on any theme you can dream up. The only rules? You must complete your creation within one hour, it must fit inside a shoebox, and, of course, it must include at least one marshmallow Peep. Leave your creation at the Library during the week of April Vacation (4/16-4/19), and the community will submit their votes for the winner. Pick up your diorama and learn who won at the Peeps Party on Friday, April 19 at 2:00 p.m. For Ages 5+. All materials will be provided while supplies last. Families may work individually or in teams. No registration required.

Make-it! Club with Unicorn Sparkle Association

Wednesday, April 17, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Join us to make sparkly sensory jars with special guest Rumi, teen business owner of biodegradable glitter company Unicorn Sparkle Association. For Ages 5+. No registration required.

Games in the Garden

Thursday, April 18, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Children's Garden, Main Library

Bring your friends for outdoor games and activities in the Children's Garden. There will be cornhole, hopscotch, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and more. Rain location: Activity Room. For Ages 5+. No registration required.

Peeps Party

Friday, April 19, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Children's Activity Room, Main Library

Come to the Peeps Party to celebrate all things marshmallow Peep. Enjoy a Peep tasting (with wild flavors including Sour Watermelon, Peppermint and more), sew your own stuffed Peep, and play Peep games and activities. Most importantly, vote for your favorite Peep Diorama from the Peepapalooza Candy Crafting Contest (see above). Winners of the Peepapalooza will be announced and prizes will be awarded at the close of the Peeps Party at 3:00 p.m. For all ages. 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, April 16, 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.

Read to a Dog at Fowler

Thursday, April 18, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Join Samantha, a young golden retriever, on the 3rd Thursday of the month 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. Samantha is a certified therapy dog through Pets and People Foundation.

Talk Yoga at Fowler (Ages 3-5)

Friday, April 19, 1:00 - 1:45 p.m.

Meeting Room, Fowler Branch

Talk Yoga classes incorporate movement, mindfulness, games and music to boost language, articulation, and sensory awareness. Benefitting children of all abilities, these classes help students connect their minds and body and gain acceptance, confidence and self-awareness. Sponsored by the Friends of Concord Free Public Library. [Register for Talk Yoga]

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

Highlights from Special Collections: Celebrating the Concord Fight: The Forgotten Women of the 1875 Centennial

As we prepare to celebrate Patriots’ Day, we want to remember a larger celebration of the Concord Fight in 1875. The Centennial Celebration of the Concord Fight had it all: the sitting U.S. President on the stage, Ulysses S. Grant, a massive parade with bands and flags, and a ball lasting late into the night. What it did not have, according to Louisa May Alcott, was a place for the contributions and sacrifices of the women of Concord. 

According to an article she wrote for the Women’s Journal, Alcott was incensed by the deliberate omission of women from the Concord celebration. Although the women had been asked to open their homes to the many guests who descended on the town, they were given no part in the procession. The town council had taxed the citizens of Concord to raise $10,000 for the Centennial, and women made up one-fifth of the taxpayers, Despite this financial investment, the women had no say in how the money was spent because they could not vote or run for office. Even in Concord, the early adoption of allowing women to vote for school committee would not begin until 1880.  

On April 19, 1875, the women of Concord who wished to hear the speeches, according to Alcott, were directed to wait at the Town House until “certain persons, detailed for the service, should come to lead them to the tent, where a limited number of seats had been provided for the weaker vessels.” They waited there for an hour before they were told to move to the Common to wait for an escort. As it was a cold and windy day, the ladies waiting outside were freezing and apparently forgotten. They entered the tent, and the seats that had been reserved for women were occupied by men. The only place for them was on the side of the platform, and even then, reporters complained that they were encroaching on their space. Alcott described her feelings thusly: “It was impossible to help thinking that there should have been a place for the great granddaughters of Prescott . . . It seemed to me that their presence on that platform would have had a deeper significance than the gold lace which adorned one side . . . and that the men of Concord had missed a grand opportunity of imitating those whose memory they had met to honor.”

As the speeches went on, the platform began to give way, and here, the women assisted in keeping the festivities moving smoothly. When the plank near the President gave way, he took a place with the women. George William Curtis, who gave the primary oration, managed to make it through his speech, but only due to the assistance of an unnamed woman who held the leg of his table up for nearly an hour despite his pounding on the table top. Another woman had her skirts caught under a beam until the crowd left the tent. According to Alcott, some men finally offered up their seats, but the women declined telling them “their platform was not strong enough to hold us.” Following the speeches, some women stayed for the dinner, while others went home to serve meals to guests. They went to the ball and finally the day ended at about four in the morning. 


In the end, while many were happy that the day was finally over, Alcott mused that “by and by there will come a day of reckoning and then the tax-paying women of Concord will not be forgotten I think, will not be left to wait uncalled upon, or be considered in the way; and then, I devoutly wish that those who so bravely bore their share of that day’s burden without its honor, will rally round their own flag again, and following in the footsteps of their forefathers, will utter another protest that shall be ‘heard round the world’.” You can see many of the records of the Centennial Committee within Special Collections as well as in the correspondence with Daniel Chester French on the creation of the Minute Man statue. To see Alcott’s full letter, please visit here.

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