standing Westerly Library

December is disappearing before our eyes, and 2019 will be here before we know it. That being said, there are still 2 weeks left in this year, so there’s no need to give up on your New Year’s Resolutions yet! Here are a few things that you can do before 2018 ends to help kick off the new year on the right foot.

Hopefully you didn’t break out in a cold sweat at the mention of “New Year’s Resolutions.” The end of the year can be a stressful time, so the first thing on all of our lists should be to take some time to relax. If you have some time this Tuesday evening, the library hosts a Meditation Group on the third floor Terrace Room at 6 pm. Meditating — even for a short period of time — can have extraordinary benefits: it reduces stress, improves concentration and sleep, and enhances our self-awareness and ability to focus on the present. We have recently had a meditation coach conducting weekly sessions for staff on lunch breaks (as part of our wellness initiative), and I can personally attest to the positive effects it has had! If you can’t make it to the Meditation Group this Tuesday, they will continue meeting every other week in the coming year.

Another great way to decompress is by reading, but we don’t always make the time for it. This year, I’ve been putting aside 15-20 minutes to read before bed. It’s a very short amount of time, but enough that I’m able to finish a book every few weeks! If you also resolved to read more in 2018, and haven’t been able to follow through, pick one of the books on your “to-read” list, check it out of the library, and see if you can finish it before the end of the month. We also have plenty of great audiobooks, which is another great way to get through the books on your list! I’ve been listening to "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondō during my commute this week. I’ve been meaning to read it for a couple of years, and in only a few days I’m almost finished! Now, if only I could declutter my house as quickly and easily!

Even if all you are focused on right now is finding the perfect gift for that special someone, the library can help! The Makerspace on the first floor has some great tools to help you make unique and personal gifts. The laser-cutter in particular is fantastic, and can be used to make custom designed leather bracelets, laser-cut earrings, stone engravings, and more. Give us a call to set up a good time to learn to use it! While you’re here, you can also take a look at the books available for purchase near the circulation desk, which includes a bunch of great holiday-themed ones from our Winter Book Sale.

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. “A Spark of Light” by Jodi Picoult

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

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. "A Star is Born"

6. "The Wife"

7. "The Meg"

8. "Christopher Robin"

9. "Peppermint"

10. "Incredibles 2"

Top billing

For All Ages

MONDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Sensory Storytime (Ages 4+) – An interactive storytime for children on the spectrum or with sensory challenges; 12-5 p.m., HealthSource RI Enrollment – Open to all RI residents in need of health insurance for 2019; 3:30-6 p.m., Teen Crafting: DIY Bath Bombs – We’ll be making natural bath bombs with rose petals and essential oils. Registration and parental consent is required; 4-7:30 p.m., Make-A-Gift: Drop In Workshop – 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; 6-7:30 p.m., Cookbook Club: Cookie Swap – We’ll be swapping baked goods using recipes from Dorie’s Cookies. Registration is required.

TUESDAY — 10:30-11:30 a.m., Holiday Toddler Music w/ Mike Markowitz – A fantastically fun sing-a-long for ages birth through 5; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen S.A.G.A. Meeting – A discussion and support group for teens 12-18 about LGBTQ+ stories and issues; 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; 6-7:45 p.m., Quilters Corner – Bring a project to work on while socializing with others in the Makerspace.

WEDNESDAY — 3:30-5 p.m., Teen Cookie Baking – Help bake holiday cookies with the librarians; 4:30-7:30 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 6-7:30 p.m., Piano Recital – Join Miss Sue and her students ages 4 to 12 for their Annual Christmas recital.

THURSDAY — 10-11 a.m., Winter Wonderland Storytime and Craft – Our friends at the Children's Workshop will be returning for some winter themed stories and a craft; 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free conversation class for English Language Learners; 3-6 p.m., Teen Cookie Decorating Contest – Come to the teen space and show off your best cookie decorating skills; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 6-7:30 p.m., Monthly Cribbage Night – Come to the Makerspace for an all-ages Cribbage night! Some boards are provided, but feel free to bring your own from home

FRIDAY — 12:45-2:30 p.m., Art with the Olean Center – Create fun and original artwork at this community art class with the Olean Center. Materials are free, but preregistration is required; 2-5:30 p.m., Teen Snowflakes and Cocoa – Join us for hot cocoa, paper crafting, and great company; 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.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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