standing Westerly Library

It’s happening! After what seems like an infinite winter, the weather is finally warming. This means it’s time to get a jump on that spring cleaning list, to go for long walks without the need for a down jacket, and — even better — to plan your vegetable garden and start those seeds indoors! In addition to the many books in our collection, we’ve planned a “Seed-to-Plate Gardening Series” to guide you in your horticultural journey all spring and summer!

It all kicks off on the first day of spring — March 20th — which is also “Plant a Seed Day.” From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the library’s Old Main Reading Room, we’re giving away free seed-starting kits on a first-come, first-served basis. Each kit includes an assortment of vegetable and herb seeds (of your choosing), a strip of 10 peat-seed starter pots, and information on planting dates specific to Rhode Island. Supplies are limited to one per person, and we will also have similar kits available for teens and children. If you’re new to seed-starting, or just looking for a refresher, check out the recording of Master Gardener William Baddeley’s presentation on the subject, which is available on our YouTube channel!

So, your seeds will have been started, you can check that off the list … but then they start to sprout. Now what? Don’t fret, we have a massive collection of books to help you plan and create the garden that is right for you. If you have limited space, you might like “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew or “Small-Space Vegetable Gardens” by Andrea Bellamy. Short on time? Try “The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener” by Thomas Christopher. Even seasoned gardeners can learn something new from Matt Mattus’s “Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening”! We have all of these titles and so many more.

Our gardening series continues throughout the summer with virtual events (all taking place via Zoom) that will keep your gardens (and your tummies!) happy. On April 19th, learn about Home Composting with the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. William Baddeley from the Master Gardeners joins us again on May 18th to talk about seed-saving. On June 16th we’ll have a summer salad cooking demonstration with writer and instructor Vanessa Young. And on July 29th, learn how to preserve some of those tasty veggies by quick-pickling and fermenting them! You can register for all of these events on our website, www.westerlylibrary.org.

Now, here’s the part where we ask something of YOU. This summer, we’re starting our own Westerly Library and Wilcox Park seed library, through which we hope to continue offering free seeds to residents year after year. In order to be sustainable, seed libraries depend on the community to save seeds and donate them at the end of the growing season. For this reason, we hope you’ll attend our seed-saving program on May 18th, and try your hand at saving (and sharing!) seeds from your garden this year.

Top requested books

1. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

2. “Win” by Harlan Coben

3. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig

4. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett

5. “Before She Disappeared” by Lisa Gardner

6. “The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles

7. “21st Birthday” by James Patterson

8. “Send for Me” by Lauren Fox

9. “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson

10. “Red Book” by James Patterson

Top requested DVDs

1. “News of the World”

2. “Wonder Woman 1984”

3. “The Undoing”

4. “Promising Young Woman”

5. “Tenet”

6. “Wild Mountain Thyme”

7. “The Last Vermeer”

8. “Yellowstone Season 3”

9. “Shadow in the Cloud”

10. “Palm Springs”

This week

MONDAY — Westerly Collaborative Art Project – We’re asking YOU to help us create a library-themed work of art. Beginning today, pick up a puzzle piece at any public service desk. You will have until March 29th to decorate the piece using any medium you want to fit the theme: “What my library means to me”. The completed puzzle will be displayed during National Library Week; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Crafternoon To-Go: Yarn Eggs – We’ll provide all the supplies you need (and directions) to add decorative yarn eggs to your spring decor! Kits are available on a first come, first served basis; 3-3:45 p.m., Teen Involvement – Interested in making a change in your community? Join us in a discussion of what’s going on in the world and what you can do to help! Email teens@westerlylibrary.org to register; 6:30-7:30 p.m., An Introduction to Gaeilge: The Language of Ireland - In honor of Irish Heritage Month, please join us and The Irish Coastal Club for a virtual presentation on the language of Ireland, featuring lecturer Liz Kading and musician David Iler. Registration is required.

TUESDAY — 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at advocate@westerlylibrary.org; 5:30-7:30 Virtual Knit and Crochet Club – We’re still meeting virtually! Email cwalsh@westerlylibrary.org for details; 6-7 p.m., Wellness Talk: Healthy Aging – Join Dr. Cannon to learn how you can support your body as you grow older, what to consider when thinking about supplemental products and questions to ask your own doctor. Preregistration is required.

WEDNESDAY — 12-1:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – Join us on Zoom for help with your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 2-3 p.m., Virtual Film Club – We will discuss three movies we selected last month and choose three to watch for our April meeting. Contact Hannah at hbeldock@westerlylibrary.org for meeting details.

THURSDAY — 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Older Adult Hour – We’ll talk about resources, programs, and services in and around Westerly that you may not have heard of, and each meeting will feature a special guest. This week, we will be joined by the Westerly Ambulance Corps. Register on our website www.westerlylibrary.org; 4-4:45 p.m., Teen Jackbox Games - Join your teen librarians to play some fun and weird virtual games! Email teens@westerlylibrary.org to register; 6-7 p.m., Documentary Talk with Local Filmmaker Hilary Steinman | The Codebreaker – Don’t miss this virtual discussion with local filmmaker Hilary Steinman on her documentary The Codebreaker, followed by a Q&A. Preregistration is required.

FRIDAY — 10-10:20 a.m., Kids Facebook Live Storytime – Join our Children’s Room staff, as each week, we do a short storytime through Facebook Live. Participants can go to our Facebook Page (Westerly Library & Wilcox Park) and click on the ‘Live’ tab at the top.

SATURDAY — 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Plant a Seed Day – In celebration of the first day of spring, we’re giving out free seed starting kits. Kits include a selection of vegetable and/or herb seeds, seed starter pots, and information about the RI planting calendar. Similar kits will be available for children and teens. Supplies are limited to one per person, and available on a first come, first served basis.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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