standing Westerly Library

It seems like film adaptations are all the rage lately. Honestly, though, I’m not sure there’s been a time that they haven’t been popular. Films based on books were first seen in the late-1800s, including “The Death of Nancy Sykes” (1897) and “Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost” (1901), both based on novels by the great Charles Dickens. In fact, Dickens’ books have been adapted so many times, in nearly every medium, that it’s tough to get a definitive count on how many actually exist! In more recent years, streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have created numerous series based on books, many of which are fantastic. During this lockdown I’ve watched the miniseries “Normal People,” based on the book by Sally Rooney, as well as one based on “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng. Both had superb casts and engaging storylines, and I would highly recommend them.

If you don’t subscribe to Hulu or Netflix, there are still plenty of great movies you can access with just your library card. With our Library Takeout, you can check out five DVDs at a time, and we have some great options. Classics like the 1962 remake of “To Kill a Mockingbird” starring Gregory Peck, or “The Godfather” with Marlon Brando, are both available. If you prefer a more contemporary work, check out “Room” based on the 2010 book by Emma Donoghue, or “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan. And, of course, we have plenty of family favorites, from the “Harry Potter” movies to the 2018 film “Christopher Robin.” There’s truly something for everyone.

Your library card also grants you access to Hoopla, where you can choose from over a hundred movies/shows based on books. You can find it through our website, or by downloading the Hoopla app to your mobile device. Once you log in, click on “movies”, and then “categories”, and you’ll see a category specifically for “Books to Film.”

There are some real gems on the list! If you like thrillers, try “A Most Wanted Man” (2014), based on the title by John le Carré. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and was highly praised by critics. I would also recommend “Tracks” (2013), a wonderful, though largely overlooked, film based on Robyn Davidson’s memoir recounting her nine-month trek across the Australian desert with a dog and four camels. With the amazing Adam Driver as costar to Mia Wasikowska, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

To be honest, though, even mediocre movies can still be enjoyable if you just want to see your favorite characters brought to life. Bill Bryson’s bestseller “A Walk in the Woods” is one of my favorite books, and while (in my humble opinion) the film version didn’t captivate me or bring tears of laughter to my eyes the way that Bryson’s writing does, it was still entertaining. So whether you’re interested in an Oscar winner, or a slightly-cringe-worthy-but-nonetheless-enjoyable adaptation, check one out at the library!

Trending audiobooks on Hoopla

1. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins

2. “Stealing Home” by Sherryl Woods

3. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone “ by J. K. Rowling

4. “The Henna Artist” by Alka Joshi

5. “Have You Seen Me?” by Kate White

Trending ebooks on Hoopla

1. “Stealing Home” by Sherryl Woods

2. “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn

3. “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn

4. “Three Wishes” by Liane Moriarty

5. “The Water Keeper” by Charles Martin

Trending Movies on Hoopla

1. “Driveways”

2. “Safe Haven”

3. “A Small Act”

4. “A Most Wanted Man”

5. “Agatha and the Truth of Murder”

Check out any of these materials (no holds list or wait time) with your library card by visiting Contact with questions.

Programs and Services

Library Takeout — You are now able to check out materials from the library, contact-free! This service is offered Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., but you must make an appointment 24 hours in advance. There are 3 ways to request items for Takeout: 1) Call 401-596-2877 x2 during business hours, 2) email, or 3) complete the online request form on our website At this time, checkouts are limited to 5 items per card, or 10 per household.

Online Programs — Wednesday, 1-3 p.m.: Tech Social – Join us on Zoom to talk about all things technology. Email Allyn at to register; Ongoing: Our monthly book group meets via our Facebook group. This month we are reading “The Gone Dead” by Chanelle Benz (available for free through Hoopla); Couch to 5k Run Club – We are on our last week of the C25K® workout program to go from non-runners to 5k (3.1 mile) distance runner, but you can join at any time for advice on beginning running and working out safely. Join our Facebook Group to participate!

eBooks/eAudiobooks/Movies — You can borrow digital materials through Overdrive and Hoopla! Both services are offered for free with your library card, and let you access books, audiobooks, and movies (Hoopla even has music)! Available on your computer or mobile device. For tutorials on how to access them, visit our website and click on “Video Tutorials” under the Virtual Resources tab.

Resources for Adults — If you are looking for a good book, but don’t know what to choose, we are now offering personalized book recommendations! Fill out a brief questionnaire on our website at, and we will give you 5 recommendations within a day. This service is also available for children and teens.

Resources for Kids & Teens — Community Hero Storytime: Watch different Community Heroes read stories on our YouTube page; Phone-a-Story: Do you want to hear the Westerly Children’s Librarians read you a story? Dial 401-596-2877 x 220 anytime to hear some of your favorite stories read aloud. Each week, we will feature 3 new stories; Thursday,3:30-4:30 p.m.: Teen Virtual Book and Writing Club – Email to register for our first Book and Writing Club meeting through Zoom.

Visit our website at and our Facebook page for additional resources and updates. We are also checking and responding to voicemail messages. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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