The Friends of the Cambridge Public Library is a non-profit membership organization, separate from the library itself, which helps support programs and community events at each of the Cambridge neighborhood libraries.

The last few years, the Friends have emphasized technology for the library, with the purchase of content for the new collection of e-readers that library patrons can check out and new sound equipment for the large meeting spaces at the main library. With the goal of bringing more people into the library, the Friends also organize and host a number of community activities. In many cases, the Friends’ support enables the library to provide services for its patrons that go beyond the scope of city and state budgets.

Through membership dues and fundraising events, the Friends sponsors important programming at the library, including:

  • free museum passes
  • the annual Cambridge READS program
  • author appearances
  • summer reading programs for children and teens
  • games for the children’s room
  • new collections and equipment for the citywide library system.

The Friends’ signature fundraising event is the Secret Gardens of Cambridge, a popular biennial tour showcasing hidden gardens around Cambridge.