Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Wild Summer at the Emily Williston Memorial Library

In celebration of the Wild Reads theme, more than 100 adults signed up for our Adult Summer Reading Program. Different events touched upon the five sections of Wild Reads. For example, to celebrate Wild about Shakespeare, patrons watched as swordfighters from the Pioneer Valley Fencing Academy introduced them to the world of fencing. Afterwards, patrons chose a Shakespearean monologue and spoke the text aloud. Wild Rides was celebrated by showing the Charlie Chaplin classic film “The Circus”. The following day author Jay Ducharme discussed his book, "Mountain Park". Jay gave an in-depth 75- minute lecture and slideshow on the history of this fondly remembered local institution.

Included in the Adult Summer Reading Program were two book discussions. The books were the acclaimed graphic novel "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and "King Leopold’s Ghost" by Adam Hochschild.

On August 13th the program closed with our traditional Final Event at the library. The event featured food, live music, and a drawing of names from our raffle box for some very special prizes. Our musical guest for the evening was the immensely entertaining violinist and singer-songwriter, Emily Greene.

In the Youth Department, three-hundred and thirty-one children signed up for the summer reading program. This year’s raffles included: a ride in the police cruiser and tour of the police department; breakfast with the mayor; a tour of the state house with Rep. Scibak; a trip to Mt. Tom Ice Cream; Mandarin Chinese language lessons, a haircut, gift certificates for teens, and more.

On Thursday, July 17, a crowd of children collaborated with storyteller Jennifer Jacobson during her “Helping the Earth” workshop. The children left the workshop empowered by specific plans that they developed to help clean up our environment. For the “Bag Share Workshop” a group of adults and teens met at Anita Eliason’s Studio in the Eastworks building and created canvas tote bags for patrons to share in order to decrease the use of plastic bags.

Youth librarian and author Barbara Diamond Goldin led creative writing workshops in July. Some of the participants have started a weekly writing group in the Youth Department for kids led by kids. On July 24th, Justine Johnson and Richard Hutchinson presented “Worms, Worms, Worms!” to a packed house of delighted children. All the children were given two worms and a worm palace with instructions on the care of the wiggling creatures. Finally, a large group of children was entertained by wild, young actors during the Wild Pajama Storytime on July 30th.

The last two events of the Youth Summer Reading Program were, papermaking with our dear friend Sandy Records, and the Final Event held on Tuesday, August 5th in Nonotuck Park. This year’s picnic featured storyteller Tim Van Egmond and was supported by the Easthampton Cultural Council. The Easthampton Cultural Council, also supported Jennifer Jacobson’s program, as well as our kick-off event.

The annual Friends Book Sale will take place on Saturday, September 20, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This year’s sale will be in the parking lot of the Center/Pepin school. The Library Reading Group, led by Art Oriel, has relocated to the Emily Williston Memorial Library Beginning in September; this group will meet on the second Wednesday of the month. The Easthampton Book Group will resume on Monday, September 29th at 6:30 p.m.

One of our many goals is to make certain that our library is meeting the needs of our community. To that end, we have developed a survey for our patrons so we can better ascertain their needs. The library will continue to serve the needs of English Language Learners when the English Conversation Club begins again this September. Patrons who want to expand their conversation skills in English are invited to attend. On September 3, the library hosted an evening on resume writing with an expert from Cambridge College. We are also looking forward to September 24, when we will host an evening discussion on Organic Lawn Care.

~ Johanna Douglass, Program Director, Emily Williston Memorial Library, Easthampton

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