At the Library: All the reading material you need to celebrate Presidents Day in style

At the Library: All the reading material you need to celebrate Presidents Day in style

The library is closed today for Presidents Day. This holiday was established in 1885 to honor George Washington, and it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. This was the first federal holiday that honored an individual American (the other holidays were Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving). Initially it fell on Feb. 22, Washington’s actual birthday, but in the 1970s when holidays were moved to Mondays to give more workers three-day weekends, it began to be called Presidents Day to honor all U.S. presidents.

Naturally, Westerly Library has many biographies of George Washington, including ones for children. We also have several audio books as well as documentaries on DVD about our first president. The library has a great biography section and many books on the lives of U.S. presidents. I thought today I would focus on other things the library has to offer that concern our past presidents.

There are lots of wonderful feature films — the first that comes to mind is a 2013 film, “The Butler,” which is loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, an African-American man who worked in the White House under eight presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama. I thought it was an enjoyable movie and I liked the focus on the civil rights movement. “All the President’s Men” is an older (1976), excellent film, about Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and their investigation of the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation. A classic! “Lincoln” is a compelling 2012 historical drama on the life of Abraham Lincoln that was very interesting and well done.

I also highly recommend the 2008 HBO miniseries John Adams, which the library has on DVD — I loved this seven-part series. It is a biopic of John Adams and also a story of the first 50 years of the United States. The cast was wonderful, the sets really recreated the time period, and it was excellent — it won 13 Emmy awards, more than any other miniseries in history. It ends with his death, and I thought it was interesting that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who was his vice president, were estranged (although they reconciled via letters in their later years), and both died on the same day, hours apart. That day was July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  It’s based on the book by renowned author David McCullough — and the DVD set also has an extra documentary on McCullough’s life and writing process!

All of these films are available at the library, as are a plethora of biographies and audio books. Come on down and check one out!

Top-requested books■1. “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn■2. “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff■3. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah■4. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng■5. “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham■6. “The 17th Suspect” by James Patterson■7. “The Wife Between Us” by Greer Hendricks■8. “Fifty Fifty” by James Patterson■9. “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate■10. “The Fallen” by David Baldacci

Top-requested movies■1. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”■2. “Lady Bird”■3. “Wonder”■4. “Darkest Hour”■5. “Thor: Ragnarok”■6. “Murder on the Orient Express”■7. “Dunkirk (2017)”■8. “Coco”■9. “A Bad Mom’s Christmas”■10. “Only the Brave”

Top billingFor All Ages■MONDAY –– Library closed for President’s Day■TUESDAY –– 10-11 a.m., Family Storytime – Join us every Tuesday for family-friendly storytime with Miss Sandy; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:30 p.m., 6-7:45 p.m., Ninigret Quilters – Members of the Ninigret Quilters will be in the Makerspace for a weekly meetup! Bring a project to work on, or stop by if you have questions/need pointers.■WEDNESDAY –– 10-10:45 a.m., 1 to 3-Year-Old Storytime – We’ll venture through story and song in this interactive storytime; 11-11:45 a.m., Homeschooler’s Book Group (FULL) – Our book for this session is Story Thieves by James Riley; 6-7:30 p.m., Cookbook Club – This month, we’ll explore Indian cuisine by preparing and sharing recipes from Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbooks! Pre-registration is required, contact the Reference Department for details.■THURSDAY –– 10-10:45 a.m., 3 to 5-Year-Old Storytime – This story hour is full of stories, song, play, and crafts; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Poetry SLAM! – Come to our very first poetry slam in the Auditorium! We’ll begin with an open mic, then do some free-writing with a second chance to read our poems. Snacks provided; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome; 6-7 p.m., Adult Writer’s Workshop – We will be meeting to share our work, discuss readings, and free-write together! New members are always welcome.6-7:30 p.m., Word Basics 2: Page Setup and Formatting – Become more comfortable with the basics of word processing, in a low-pressure environment. We’ll cover the formatting basics that will allow you to give your document the visual impact you’re looking for.■FRIDAY –– 10:15-11:15 a.m., Sign and Craft featuring Bear in Underwear – This storytime incorporates simple and useful signs to help your little ones communicate more effectively!■SATURDAY –– 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tax Prep Help (with AARP) – This program is available to all taxpayers, no AARP membership required. Drop by the library for assistance with your taxes, given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.


Latest Videos