standing Westerly Library

Have you ever wondered about your family tree but weren’t sure how to begin your research? Or perhaps you are one of the committed (or is it addicted?) genealogists who dedicate all of your spare time to looking up birth and death dates and combing through archives in the never-ending quest for more information on your ancestors? Wherever you fall on the spectrum of genealogical research know-how, I am excited to announce we have a workshop for you!

Next Monday night, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m., the library is hosting a lecture for anyone interested in genealogy and wanting to know where to begin. Attendance is limited to 25 people — you can register for it on our website through our “Events” page, or call us at 401-596-2877 ext. 3.

“Diggin’ Your Roots” is a beginning genealogy workshop provided by Kate Wells, curator of Rhode Island Collections at the Providence Public Library, and Michelle Chiles, manager of the research center at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence. This lecture will address what genealogy is and how to get started. You will learn basic research methods and work with free websites (or paper if you prefer!) to create your own family tree. We will discuss tips and tricks for searching several free genealogical databases, and talk about what resources are available to you at the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Providence Public Library, and here in Westerly Library’s special collections.

People attending should have basic comfort with using an iPad or computer for online research. We will provide iPads for attendees. If you prefer, you could bring your own laptop or tablet. There will be time for people to ask questions and get some assistance.

I often hear people remark on how expensive the Ancestry database is — did you know that the library has a subscription and you can use it within the library building, even on your own computer? Come in anytime and we can show you how to log onto our public Internet computers and where to find the Ancestry database on our website, or bring in your own laptop or tablet and you will have full access to Ancestry while you are within the library walls. The nice thing about using your own device is that you can download any records you find and you’ll still have easy access to them once you go home.

These 25 spots in our genealogical workshop will fill up fast, so please register early for this very interesting and helpful workshop — I hope to see you there!

Top requested movies

1. “Game of Thrones, season 8”

2. “Avengers. Endgame”

3. “Outlander, Season 4”

4. “The Hustle”

5. “Rocketman”

6. “John Wick. Chapter 3. Parabellum.”

7. “Toy Story 4”

8. “The Secret Life of Pets 2”

9. “Aladdin”

10. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”

Top requested books

1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

2. “Summer of ‘69” by Elin Hilderbrand

3. “One Good Deed” by David Baldacci

4. “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert

5. “The New Girl” by Daniel Silva

6. “A Better Man” by Louise Penny

7. “The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware

8. “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner

9. “The Nickel boys” by Colson Whitehead

10. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

This week

MONDAY — 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Photography in the Park – learn to take better photographs, with Wilcox Park as your backdrop! 6-7:30 p.m., Master Gardener Talk! Tomatoes with John Merkel – gardening basics, growing varieties, and tasting. Bring one of yours to share, with the seed name and where to purchase.

TUESDAY — 1-2 p.m., Afternoon Book Group! New members are welcome, this month’s selection is “The Ugly American” by Lederer & Burdick (next month’s book is “Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Backman); 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen DIY Craft: Wind Chimes – make a wind chime out of recycled bicycle gears. Snacks provided! 5-7:30 p.m., Experience VR – a special night of guided virtual reality experiences and gaming for adults in our Makerspace; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group! – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club; 6-7 p.m., Nonfiction Author Spotlight! – Savoy Books presents local authors Valerie Dziengiel, Robert E.P. Elmer III, and Michael Fine. Books will be available for purchase; 6-7:30 p.m., Renaissance Toastmasters – meets twice a month to share stories and get comfortable speaking in front of an audience.

WEDNESDAY — 1-3 p.m., Senior Technology Social – meet fellow seniors and talk about your technology problems! Bring your questions, concerns, and gadgets—we are here to help and have a little fun too! 4-5:30 p.m., Swampabots – for ages 9-12, Join this First Lego League Robotics team as they practice building and coding with Lego robots; 5-7 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Open House – Last season, Shoreline Robotics were the state champions in the FIRST Tech Challenge competition, where they build and code their own robots to perform a variety of tasks. Drop in for an open house and hear about their experiences.

THURSDAY — 5:30-7 p.m., Climate Change: A Fresh Approach to Moving Forward – an interactive workshop; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 6-7:30 p.m., Dementia Family Caregiver Support Group -- A trained former caregiver will be facilitating all group sessions. The groups will be a safe space to discuss the unique challenges of caregiving; 6-7:30 p.m., Adult S.A.G.A. meeting -- a discussion and support group for adults about LGBTQ+ stories and issues in books, movies, TV shows, and more.

FRIDAY — 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 4-5:30 p.m., Tie Dye & Teen Involvement – come make tie dye shirts while brainstorming the future of the teen space. Register to reserve shirt, or bring your own.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., URI Master Gardener Kiosk – Get research-based answers to all of your gardening questions! 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Make & Take Crafts for children! 10-11:30 a.m., Champion Tree Tour of Wilcox Park – Wilcox Park is home to 28 trees in the R.I. Big Tree Registry - more than any other place in the state! Learn how a tree gets into the Registry, and meet the Champions and other Big Trees in the Park;10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Return of Camera Obscura – weather permitting (must be sunny), find us in Wilcox Park.

Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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