standing Westerly Library

Which films did you love in 2018? I asked the library staff what they watched this year that particularly stood out.

Bill and Sara’s favorite was “BlacKkKlansman.” Sara also loved “Baby Driver,” “Logan Lucky” and “Three Identical Strangers.” Melanie enjoyed “Sorry to Bother You” and loved “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Susan thought Green Book was wonderful, while Amanda enjoyed “Isle of Dogs,” and the TV series “Versailles and Trust.”

Betsy picked the Avengers movie, as well as the TV show “Girls,” and Keara said “Christopher Robin” was her favorite, but then remembered that she loved “Coco” more.

I loved “The Florida Project,” which I think is a beautiful movie — joyful and heartbreaking, intelligent and insightful. I’m glad I watched it.

Ex Libris introduced me to the masterful filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. In his documentary you spend several hours in the New York Public Library, and absorb its wonderful-ness. If you’d like to see it, you will need to join the waiting list of (currently) 15 Rhode Island librarians, eager to geek out on it. Incidentally, I went on to watch his “National Gallery” from 2015 which, if anything, is even better. If you love art, galleries, museums etc., I particularly recommend this one. We don’t own it, but we can have it sent from another library.

My husband and I enjoyed “Divorce” (the TV series), because we understand middle-aged folly. It had us hooked from the opening coffee-can scene, and I especially liked Sarah Jessica Parker’s coats.

So what was the library’s most popular film of the year? For fun, I ran the numbers, and “Geostorm” comes out on top with 50 checkouts so far. Of course this isn’t fair, because some 2018 DVD releases have only just arrived at the library, while “Geostorm” was catalogued in February. So I asked the circulation database, “What is the favorite fiction DVD in Westerly Library of all time?” It’s a little-known British comedy called “Keeping Mum” from 2005, a light-hearted murder mystery with Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith, Patrick Swayze and Kristen Scott Thomas. It’s as much fun as it sounds, and has circulated many hundreds of times. We bought a replacement copy in May, and it’s circulated 23 times already, which is astonishing for a 13-year-old little-known movie … so it looks like you still love it!

Top-requested books

1. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

2. “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty

3. “The Reckoning” by John Grisham

4. “Past Tense” by Lee Child

5. “Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny

6. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

7. “Long Road to Mercy” by David Baldacci

8. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

9. “Dark Sacred Night” by Michael Connelly

10. “Unsheltered” by Barbara Kingsolver

Top-requested movies

1. “Crazy Rich Asians”

2. “A Star is Born”

3. “A Simple Favor”

4. “Bohemian Rhapsody”

5. “The Wife”

6. “The Equalizer 2”

7. “Venom”

8. “First Man”

9. “Mission Impossible: Fallout”

10. “The House with a Clock in Its Walls”

Top billing

For All Ages

MONDAY — 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners.

TUESDAY — The library will open at 1:00pm due to staff development in the morning.

1-2 p.m., Afternoon Book Discussion – This month’s pick is We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, a story of a family’s fight for survival at the beginning of the second World War; 5:30-7:30, Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-6:45 p.m., Meditation Group – Work on being more mindful and present with others in the 3rd floor Terrace Room; 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 — 2-3 p.m., Film Club – We will meet to discuss the following three movies: Brokeback Mountain, Casablanca, and Enchanted April; 4:30-7:30 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 5-7:30 p.m., Chariho Tech Community Forum – Parents and students can learn about the career and tech programs offered at Chariho. Programs starting in grade 9.

THURSDAY — 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Teen Anime Club – Join us for some anime fun. You choose the movie, we provide the snacks; 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; 6:30-7:45 p.m., John Graham’s Flute Recital – Free, and open to the public!

FRIDAY — 10:15-11:15 a.m., Stories, Sign, & Craft (Ages 3+) – A fun way to teach young ones to communicate their needs through basic sign language; 3:30-4:30 p.m., MAJEHN: Share a Thought, Get a Book – Discuss what you’ve been reading recently, and leave an advanced reader copy of a new book; 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics.

SATURDAY — 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.

Jules Belanger is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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