At the Library: Build a better world with your local library

At the Library: Build a better world with your local library


Each year, libraries across the country collaborate on summer reading programs, sharing resources and ideas to bring our communities the very best programs. It’s basically a library superpower…or, at least, that’s how I like to think of it. This year, the united theme is “Build a Better World”, and we’ve been working hard to develop fun, informative, and creative programs for all ages!

The great thing about this year’s theme is how expansive it is. Every one of us can find a simple and unique way to contribute to building a better world. For some, this is accomplished by literally building houses, little free libraries, or other structures to benefit the community. Others build a better world with their words and their actions. There is no “one way” to build a better world, but here are some of the ways that the Westerly Library can help you contribute to the cause this summer:

Build a better world through…creativity and art

We have a plethora of programs that aim to help children and adults exercise their creative muscles! Our incredibly successful Animation Nation workshop teaches children and teens the basics of stop-motion animation, and walks them through the process of creating their own film. For youth who are interested in a less techy art form, the children’s and teen spaces have numerous crafting and music programs throughout the summer. Don’t worry, we’re not overlooking adults– our second Pop-up Museum is scheduled for July 21st!! The Pop-up Museum is a temporary exhibit in which anyone can bring an item (or several) that fits the theme (this month it is “Build a Better World”, of course!) to display for a two-hour period. Items may include books, crafts, photographs, inventions, or something completely different. It’s your chance to be creative!

Build a better world through…Sustainability

Our Green Saturdays series is in full swing! Almost every Saturday, a local individual or organization will talk about various issues related to sustainability and the environment. Later this month we have the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Fish and Wildlife Division, as well as the Audubon Society coming to speak about their work. All of our Green Saturdays programs are free, and are sure to inform and delight all ages. Check out more events on our website!

Build a better world through … sharing

The Watch Hill Memorial Library and Improvement Society, along with Ethan Gilsdorf, have begun their 6-week “Westerly Memoir Project”workshop at the library. This popular program is a wonderful opportunity for participants hone their writing skills while also sharing their memories and experiences. If you were not able to sign up for this workshop, but are still interested in sharing your story, you may be interested in our upcoming Westerly Oral History project. We’ll be looking for volunteers, as well as people willing to contribute their stories and memories of Westerly. Join us for an informative meeting on August 29th, or email for more information.

Top-requested books

1. “Camino Island” by John Grisham

2. “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins

3. “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand

4. “The Late Show” by Michael Connelly

5. “The Force” by Don Winslow

6. “The Fix” by David Baldacci

7. “House of Spies” by Daniel Silva

8. “No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories” by Lee Child

9. “16th Seduction” by James Patterson

10. “The Midnight Line” by Lee Child

Top-requested movies

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Beauty and the Beast

The Boss Baby

Going in Style

Hidden Figures

The Lost City of Z

La La Land

Ghost in the Shell

John Wick: Chapter 2

The Shack

Top billing

For All Ages

MONDAY — 10-11: a.m., Toddler Music (Ages birth-5) – Join us for some interactive, musical fun; 2-3:30 p.m., Teen Summer Program: Cricut Decal Making – Help us make some decals to decorate the Teen Space walls; 6-7:30 p.m., Book Talk: Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg – The author of Eden, a family drama set in a fictional Rhode Island town over the 4th of July weekend, will talk about her novel; 6-6:45 p.m., Meditation Group – Practice your mindfulness and breathing. New members are welcome.

TUESDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Westerly Memoir Project – This 6-week workshop guides participants in building their writing skills, ultimately producing a short personal memoir; 10-11 a.m., Bwana Iguana: Live Animal Experience @ Craig Field – Ages 5-12 are invited to this fun and interactive program about the fascinating world of reptiles; 2-3 p.m., Teen Summer Program: Minute to Win It! – Challenge yourself and other contestants to complete random tasks in only 60 seconds; 2-5 p.m., Westerly Memoir Project – This afternoon class is intended for returning students, or by instructor permission. Register online at; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit & Crochet Club – Work on a project and swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:30 p.m., Internet Basics 1: Navigation – This free workshop will help you become comfortable with using common internet browsers, search engines, and websites.

WEDNESDAY —10-11 a.m., Animation Nation for Ages 8-12 (FULL) – Kids and tweens will learn different animation methods, and create stop-motion films; 2-3 p.m., Teen Summer Program: Henna by Heather – Learn about Henna and go home wearing your own design! Space is limited, so register today; 2-3 p.m., Art in the Park (FULL) – This 5-week workshop gives kids the opportunity to learn about different art mediums; 4-6 p.m., Animation Nation Club Version 2.0 (Ages 13-17) – Young adults will learn how to create original stop-action films; 6:15-7:45 p.m., JavaScript Basic - Code Habit, a meetup in Westerly for beginning programmers, will host this program to teach you the basics of coding! Bring a laptop if you are able, but it is not mandatory; 6-7:30 p.m., Two Wheeling Across America and Back – This father-son due cycled from Rhode Island to Oregon and back in support of an 8-man cycling team of Wounded Warriors.

THURSDAY — 10-11 a.m., Eric Fulford: Comic Book Making (Ages 5-12) – In this hilarious and interactive storytelling experience, the audience will help in the creation of a comic strip. This will be held at Cimalore Field; 5-6:30 p.m., Teen Summer Program: Open Mic Night – Actors, writers, poets, musicians…come showcase your talent; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome. Chess sets and roll up boards will be provided; 6-7:00 p.m., Internet Basics 2: Everyday Internet Uses – Learn how to setup and manage an email account, use social media sites, and more; 6-7:30 p.m., Learn the Language of Ireland – the Irish Coast Club hosts this weekly summer class, which will introduce you to the Irish language.

FRIDAY — 3:30-5:30 p.m., Popup Museum: Build a Better World – A Pop-Up Museum is a temporary exhibit made by people who want to participate! Bring an item that you feel matches the theme (Build a Better World), fill out a label, and display it for 2 hours only while also checking out the other submissions; 4-4:45 p.m., Teen Fact Finders: Fake News! – Learn some tips and tricks for spotting and stopping fake news; 6-10 p.m., Movies in the Park: Moana – Enjoy a special showing of this fabulous new Disney movie. The preshow includes Luau dance party and singalong.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Master Gardener Kiosk & Soil Test – Bring your gardening questions and/or soil samples to Wilcox Park, and the URI Master Gardeners will test your sample and provide suggestions for improvement; 10-11:30 a.m., Native Gardens of Wilcox Park – Meet the URI Master Gardeners by the fountain for a 90-minute walking tour of the park, and learn about the native plants and gardens, and how to best care for them; 1-2:30 p.m., Teen Summer Program: Make that Face (FULL) – Participants learn a different style of makeup each week; 2-3:30 p.m., Green Saturdays: DEM Fish & Wildlife – Hear about the many projects DEM is involved in, such as tracking Bobcats! They will also have animal pelts and skulls for show.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference associate at the Westerly Library.

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