standing Westerly Library

The holidays are about giving in so many ways. We give presents, share homemade cookies or pumpkin bread (or insert your holiday baking specialty here), and spend time with family and friends. People gather to sing songs, watch tree lightings, and share a cocoa and some holiday cheer. If you haven’t visited the library in a while, it is looking very festive with lovely holiday displays of evergreens and trees and lights around. Our coffee shop and redecorated Old Main Reading Room are very cozy and warm as well so stop in and enjoy a warm beverage in front of our original fireplace!

Here at the library, we are so fortunate that we have people that give us the gift of their time every week. Every department in the library relies on volunteers. I estimate that we have between 20 and 30 that work at the library or in Wilcox Park on a regular basis. We really could not do our jobs nearly as effectively without them.

In the Reference Department, we have volunteers that pull books requested by other libraries so we can send them on their way. There is a person who keeps track of all of the deaths in the Westerly Sun and comes in and types them up every week so that we have an up-to-date obituary index. Numerous volunteers staff our Local History room to allow us to offer more hours open to the public (currently 25 hours a week). One volunteer comes in once a week and spends hours entering the obituaries into an Excel spreadsheet so that it is searchable and serves as a backup of the paper index. Other volunteers deliver library items to homebound patrons—and this is just what goes on in the Reference department!

In other departments in the library, volunteers shelve books, run clubs such as our weekly chess club, work tirelessly to assist our Friends of the Library group to organize all of the books that go into our book sales, spend time in Wilcox Park doing planting, weeding, and other forms of gardening, and help us stuff envelopes during our annual fund drive. I am sure there are many other things as well that I am forgetting at the moment! So in this season of giving, I would like to thank all of the lovely people that give the generous gift of their time to the library. All of you help us in so many ways and we are very grateful.

Top-requested books

1. “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty

2. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

3. “The Reckoning” by John Grisham

4. “Past Tense” by Lee Child

5. “Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny

6. “Long Road to Mercy” by David Baldacci

7. “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly

8. “Fear: Trump in the White House” by Bob Woodward

9. “A Spark of Light” by Jodi Picoult

10. “Unsheltered” by Barbara Kingsolver

Top-requested movies

1. "Crazy Rich Asians"

2. "The Equalizer 2"

3. "Mission Impossible: Fallout" 

4. "A Simple Favor"

5. "The Meg"

6. "Christopher Robin" 

7. "Incredibles 2"

8. "A Star is Born"

9. "The Wife"

10. "Peppermint"

Top billing

For All Ages

MONDAY — 10:30-11:30 a.m., Holiday Sing-a-Long Circle with the Olean Center – Join the Frank Olean Center in playing instruments (feel free to bring your own!) and singing festive tunes; 3:30-5 p.m., Teen Trivia – Test your pop culture knowledge! Trivia is created and run by other teens; 4-7:30 p.m., Make-A-Gift: Drop In Workshop – If you need inspiration for holiday gifts, stop by the Makerspace and let us show you some of the unique treasures you can create for loved ones; 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners.

TUESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Family Storytime – Enjoy a story and craft for all ages; 1-2 p.m., Afternoon Book Discussion – This month’s choice is Sing for Your Life by Daniel Berger. New members are always welcome; 3-4:30 p.m., Teen Radicle Book Club – Come and discuss the Radicle Reads with other teens; 5:30-7:30, 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., Renaissance Toastmasters of Westerly – This group gathers twice a month to share stories and learn to be more comfortable and confident public speakers.

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., 1-3 Year Old Storytime – Join us for stories, songs, and fun with books; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Teen Crafting: DIY Beeswrap – Come and make reusable food wraps! These are a great step towards going green, and make great holiday gifts!; 4:30-7:30 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 5-6 p.m., Focus Group – Help us in developing a great new program aimed towards helping new Westerly residents become more connected with the community! We will be talking through ideas and getting input from YOU; 6-7:30 p.m., How Does the Census Count You? – Deborah Smith presents this interesting and informative program on the 2020 Census.

THURSDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., 3-5 Year Old Storytime – This storytime is jam packed with stories, songs, play and crafting; 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Teen Anime Club – You choose the anime we watch, we choose the snacks! We will also having art supplies on hand; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 6-7:30 p.m., Adult S.A.G.A. Meeting – Join our discussion and support group for adults about LGBTQ+ stories and issues in books, movies, TV shows, and more.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Last Day for Santa Mail – Drop off your letters for Santa before his special mailbox closes for another year; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Make & Take Crafts – Drop in at any time to create with other children; 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 1-3 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons (Teen Led Program) – No prior experience with the game is necessary.

Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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