standing Westerly Library

Since you never asked, let me tell you how I feel about this holiday season. Yes, I love looking at the decorations and lights on houses when I’m on my walks through the neighborhood, and I certainly love a day off from work, but I would not say that this is my favorite time of year. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a Grinch, but it’s always a bit of a struggle. Still, I try my best to get into the spirit or at least out of my funk by listening to some holiday music or watching some movies.

This year I am going to work my way through some holiday movies by streaming them on a service available through the library called Kanopy. Kanopy offers a broad selection of more than 30,000 films including quality documentaries, feature films, foreign language films and training videos from producers including PBS, BBC, the Criterion Collection, the Great Courses and thousands of independent filmmakers. Films can be streamed via westerlylibrary.kanopy.com or by downloading the Kanopy mobile app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Roku or Chromecast. There are certainly classics available like “The Bishop’s Wife” starring Cary Grant, who plays a debonair angel, and Loretta Young. But I would encourage you to explore some of the more quirky offerings.

Set almost entirely in a Chinese restaurant, “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas” is an irreverent musical documentary that tells the story of a group of Jewish songwriters who wrote some of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. These songwriters include Irving Berlin, Mel Torme, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Gloria Shayne Baker and Johnny Marks, who wrote classics like “White Christmas”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The film also offers insights from musicologists, religious leaders, comedians and others.

There’s also plenty for the kids and kids at heart! “In the Month of Kislev” follows a wealthy merchant who learns the true meaning of Hanukkah when he takes the family of a poor peddler to court for savoring the smell of his wife’s pancakes from outside their window. In “Günter Falls in Love,” it’s Christmas Day and Günter, a pudgy pug, watches from his dog bed as his human family unwraps their presents. When an uninterested child throws an old hand-me-down family toy to the side, Günter becomes besotted. I’m really looking forward to this one because who doesn’t love a pudgy pug!

Of course, we have lots of holiday movies available on DVD here at the library, but if you have a chance, give Kanopy a try. You can find some great entertainment without leaving your house. Just go to westerlylibrary.kanopy.com to get started!

Top requested books

1. “Apples Never Fall” by Liane Moriarty

2. “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

3. “The Judge’s List” by John Grisham

4. “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave

5. “The Dark Hours” by Michael Connelly

6. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr

7. “State of Terror” by Hillary Rodham Clinton

8. “Better Off Dead by Lee Child

9. “Wish You Were Here” by Jodi Picoult

10. “Peril” by Bob Woodward

Top requested DVDs

1. “Jungle Cruise”

2. “The Crown: The Complete Fourth Season”

3. “No Time to Die”

4. “Respect”

5. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

6. “Cry Macho”

7. “Palm Springs”

8. “Free Guy”

9. “Stillwater”

10. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

This week

MONDAY — 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Letters to Santa – Come mail your letters to Santa in our special Santa Mailbox, located in the Kids room, between December 1st and 11th! Make sure to put your address on it because he may even write you back!

TUESDAY — 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Letters to Santa – Come mail your letters to Santa in our special Santa Mailbox, located in the Kids room, between December 1st and 11th! Make sure to put your address on it because he may even write you back; 10-10:30 a.m., Family Storytime – Join us in the 3rd floor Terrace Room for a family storytime and craft to go! The program will be geared towards ages birth through 11 years when accompanied by a caregiver; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at advocate@westerlylibrary.org; 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting weekly upstairs in Reference.

WEDNESDAY — 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Letters to Santa – Come mail your letters to Santa in our special Santa Mailbox, located in the Kids room, between December 1st and 11th! Make sure to put your address on it because he may even write you back; 10-10:30 a.m., Family Storytime – Join us in the 3rd floor Terrace Room for a family storytime and craft to go! The program will be geared towards ages birth through 11 years when accompanied by a caregiver.

THURSDAY — 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Letters to Santa – Come mail your letters to Santa in our special Santa Mailbox, located in the Kids room, between December 1st and 11th! Make sure to put your address on it because he may even write you back; 4-4:30 p.m., Teen Advisory Board – Do you have ideas for library programs or books to add to our collection? Join Teen Advisory Board (TAB)! This is a hybrid program and will be held on Zoom and in the Teen Space. Preregistration is required.

FRIDAY — 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Letters to Santa – Come mail your letters to Santa in our special Santa Mailbox, located in the Kids room, between December 1st and 11th! Make sure to put your address on it because he may even write you back; 9-10 a.m., Yoga in the Library with Chelsea Hauck – We invite you to join us for an all levels (beginner friendly) yoga practice in the 3rd floor Terrace room! Wake up your body with a gentle stretch followed by flowing movement and strengthening; 10-11 a.m., Project Outreach Veterans Assistance – Members of the organization Project Outreach of Westerly will have a table set up outside the library’s Old Main Reading Room the second Friday of every month. They will be there to aid veterans in navigating available benefits and other services.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Letters to Santa – Come mail your letters to Santa in our special Santa Mailbox, located in the Kids room, between December 1st and 11th! Make sure to put your address on it because he may even write you back; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Adult Writers Group – The Adult Writers Workshop will meet the second Saturday of each month in the 2nd floor Roberts Room. Share work, discuss readings, and write in response to prompts in this group-led writing workshop. All experience levels and genre interests welcome; 10:30-11:30 a.m., Zumba in the Park and Library – Try out Zumba for a fun workout! Classes are FREE and will be held on the grassy area near the gazebo (weather permitting) or in the 3rd floor Terrace Room (in undesirable weather); 3-6 p.m., Ghost Tours in the Park: A Christmas Carol Story – Ebenezer Scrooge is both Guide and Participant on this ghostly tour of Wilcox Park. This event is free and open to the public! Tour Groups depart every 15 minutes starting at 3pm. (Rain date: Sunday, December 12th.)

Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.

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