General FAQs

1. Is your building handicap accessible?
Our building is unfortunately not handicap accessible at this point in time. There is a half flight of stairs up the front of the building to the first floor that houses our Reading Room, Gallery, and Ballroom. The Library is on the second floor. Classrooms are on the second, third, and fourth floor. The Kitchen and Children's Classrooms are in the basement.
2. Le français est ma langue maternelle. Qu'y a-t-il à ma disposition?
Chacun est le bienvenu au French Cultural Center. Nous proposons des cours pour enfants bilingues, une médiathèque riche d'oeuvres classiques et contemporaines, et des evènements en français. Un petit coin de France à Boston!
3. How do I get to the French Cultural Center?
The French Cultural Center is located at 53 Malborough Street in Boston, Massachusetts. We are at the corner of Marlborough and Berkeley streets in the Back Bay neighborhood. Public Transit We are easily accessible by the Red Line (Charles/MGH Station), Green Line (Arlington Station) Orange Line and Commuter Rails (Back Bay Station). Parking Parking is available at the Boston Common Parking Garage (located at Zero Charles St, below the Boston Common Park) on Saturdays all day and on week days after 4pm for $10. Buy your discounted ticket with our receptionist.
4. Do you have parking?
No. Discounted parking is available at the Boston Common Parking Garage (located at Zero Charles St, below the Boston Common Park) on Saturdays all day and on week days after 4pm for $10. Buy your discounted ticket at our reception desk.
5. What's the story of your building?
It was built in 1867 by Sturgis and Brigham as the home for wine merchant Edward Wainwright Codman and his wife Leslie Prince (Tilden) Codman. The architecture is the French Academic Beaux-Arts style of the late 19th century. The mansion was donated in 1957 by Katherine Lane Weems, and in 1985, the townhouse next door at 300 Berkeley Street was joined to the main building for additional classroom space.

Library FAQs

6. How many items can I borrow at a time?
Borrowing privileges are reserved for members of the French Cultural Center. Different levels of membership have different borrowing limits. Check out our policies for details.
7. How do I renew items?
Library books renew automatically for three additional weeks if they have not been reserved by another patron. DVDs and games are non-renewable. Please e-mail or call the library with any questions.
8. What are my options for returning items?
If you cannot make it to the circulation desk during our opening hours, place items in our drop box at any time. It is located next to our front door. You can also mail items back at your own expense.
9. Do your films have subtitles? Can they be viewed with a US player?
We purchase zone 1 DVDs which you can view on an American DVD player or computer. You can search our catalog for DVDs with English subtitles or French subtitles.
10. What is Culturethèque?
Culturethèque is a digital library platform of French media available for free to our members. To obtain your ID and password for the catalog and Culturethèque, please contact the circulation desk via email at librarian@frenchculturalcenter.org, or by calling 617.912.0417, with your name and membership number.
11. How can I access my Library account?
You can access all the Library features such as renewal, holds and purchase suggestions by clicking the "Library Catalog" green arrow on the Library Page of the website. Or simply save this link to your favorites!
12. Can I donate materials to your library?
The Library accepts donations of books published no earlier than 1995. We do not accept donations of vinyls, videotapes, CDs, DVDs in zone 2 (purchased in France), books in languages other than French. Donations which cannot be kept to develop our collections are added to our book sales, which raise funds for our new acquisitions. Thank you for your generosity!
13. Do you have any books in translation?
Our Library houses a wide selection of books, films, CDs, magazines, and games in their original French language formats. We do not purchase translations of popular language materials for children and adults.
14. How can I access the library catalog?
Click here to browse our catalog, search by author or title, or make purchase suggestions. Members can login to access their library accounts.

Classes FAQs

15. I took French a long time ago. How do I know what class to sign up for?
If you are not sure of your level of French and if you have never taken a class with us before, we ask that you please take our placement test. This will help us to best recommend the class and level that fits your knowledge of French.
16. I signed up for a class, but now I can’t attend anymore. What should I do?
If you need to drop a class, aucun souci (no worries)! We will apply your tuition to a credit balance (valid for a year), which you can use towards another class or private lessons. To drop a class, please contact the Education Department by phone at 617.912.0415 or by email at education@frenchculturalcenter.org
17. If I can’t make my normal class, can I attend the same level class on a different day to make it up?
Unfortunately, we do not allow make-up classes. If you are going to miss a class, you can go onto our online forum CANVAS, to find that week’s assignments to keep up with the class material.
18. Do you offer any proficiency exams?
We offer three kinds of proficiency exams: the DELF/DALF, the TEF and the DAEFLE. You can read more about these different exams, including dates, prices and how to register, here.

Membership

19. Do I need to be a member to use the Library?
The public is welcome to browse the Library, but a membership is required for borrowing privileges.
20. Can I pay my membership dues in monthly installments?
Oui!
21. How can I join or renew my membership?
Online, over the phone, or in person.
22. When is my membership active?
As soon as it has been processed, usually within one business day. You will receive your card in the mail within 7-10 business days.
23. Do members receive special discounts at French-inspired businesses and at French cultural events organized by other organizations in the Boston area?
Local businesses that are part of our Club Avantage offer special discounts to our members. Keep an eye on the Members' Corner section of the eNewsletter for other special discounts and offers throughout the year.

Families FAQs

24. Do you offer enrichment for children who already speak French at home?
Mais oui! We offer classes for both non-native speaker and bilingual children. Our Children's Library is also an excellent resource for French books, movies, and music for all ages. Additionally, keep an eye out for special seasonal children's events.
25. At what age can my child start taking a class?
Classes start as young as age 1. An adult must accompany the child in our 1- through 3-year-old class levels.