What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in February

We’ve got a lineup of online programs for young and old this month! A few adult programs are tentatively scheduled to meet in person, keep an eye on our Event Calendar for any changes.

Murder of the High Wizard – A Virtual Murder Mystery for grades 6-12

Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 3:30 – 4:30pm

The College of Wizards investigates a shocking murder! Join us in playing the roles of wizards and faculty for this virtual magic-themed murder mystery game. Your character sheet will be emailed to you about a week before the program so you can become familiar with the wizard you are playing, and the link to this event itself will be emailed to you an hour before start time to join this Zoom Virtual program. Registration is required.

Be on the Lookout: Spotted Lanternfly

Monday, February 7, 2022, 6:30 – 7:30pm

The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is the latest non-native insect to arrive in Connecticut.  Established populations have recently been found in Cheshire, and are a serious threat to residential areas and agricultural interests, especially orchards, vineyards, and nurseries. Join CAES’ Associate Agricultural Scientist, Dr. Victoria Smith, for an informative Zoom presentation to learn what the insect looks like, where to find it, tips on management and how to report sightings. Registration required.

Virtual Storytime 

Wednesdays: February 9, 16, 23, 10-10:30am

Thursdays: February 10, 17, 22, 10-10:30am

An online interactive storytime for children of all ages (and their grown-ups!) to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing! Registration is required.

Valentine Pillows (Teen Take & Make)

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 3:30 – 4:30pm

These adorable No Sew Fleece Tie Heart Pillows make the perfect Valentine’s Day craft for tweens, teens, and big kids! They’re super easy and fun to craft! Pick up a Take + Make kit with supplies for the craft any time the library is open during the week of February 1, 2022. For grades 6-12. Registration required to reserve supplies to be picked up and to attend this virtual program.

Take + Make: Rainbow Loom Bracelets

February 14-19, 2022.

Make something at your own pace with Take + Make craft kits! We have a limited number of materials, so please register to pick up your kit in the Children’s Room any time the library is open during the week of February 14, 2022. Best for children in grades K-6. Registration for each child is required to reserve and pick up a Take + Make kit. One kit per child.

Cheshire Anime Club

Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Can’t get enough Anime and Manga? Be an “Otaku” and join the Cheshire Anime Club! We’ll meet monthly, read and talk about what’s hot in the world of Manga, and watch some of the latest Anime releases. F0r grades 7-12. This month we’re meeting online, registration is required to receive a Zoom link before the program.

Loft Knitters

Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come socialize, learn, share your techniques with other knitters.  Experience the relaxing and calming effect of knitting. All levels of adult knitters’ welcome. We hope to meet in-person, please bring your own yarn and knitting needles. Registration, face masks, and social distancing are required.

Gardens of Black America

Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 7:00pm – 8:15pm

Black Americans have laid out a cultural blueprint for garden design in their own personal spaces. In this conversation, Abra Lee, noted horticulturist, historian and writer, will explore these historic legacies and the plants they used to beautify homes and communities. Registration is required for the online program.

Books Over Coffee: The Secrets We Kept

Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will meet over Zoom. This month’s book is The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott. We will meet on Zoom, registration is required.

Trivia Night

Thursday, February 24, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come by yourself or bring your friends. Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all For Pride, Not Prize. We hope to meet in-person for this adult program – registration, face masks, and social distancing are required.

From Uptown Girls to Downton Abbey 

Saturday, February 26, 2022, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Join anglophile and former U.K. resident Claire Evans as she recounts the tales of some of the famously loaded young Americans who infused bank accounts of many stately homes, including some close relatives of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. We will meet on Zoom, registration is required.

The Legacy of MLK

It’s hard to live in America and not know who Martin Luther King Jr. was. If you’re reading this from out of the country, MLK was a black Baptist minister who became the driving force in the 1960’s fight for civil rights, and for the equal treatment of black citizens in America. His call was for peaceful protest and non-violence – always non-violence – and he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. For his outstanding efforts, Mr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. James Earl Ray was charged with the murder, a white troublemaker with a 7th grade education and a long rap sheet. Ray admitted to the crime, had a strong timeline leading up to the crime, had fingerprints on the weapon, but because he lied numerous times and changed pleas and facts all over the place, conspiracy theories abound.

Kings death no doubt played a major role in the passage of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, just a week later, in an effort to help quell the riots that followed his death. His examples reached into South Africa and Northern Ireland, areas of long hostilities, and a statue of him stands in Westminster Abbey in London.

King’s beliefs and activities created as many conflicts as they tried to solve. While the racially charged South saw him as too progressive, so far as to call him a communist, many in the black community, such as Malcolm X, thought he didn’t go far enough and demanded radical action, not peaceful protests. King alienated himself from the US government by opposing the war in Vietnam. Herbert Hoover, head of the FBI, considered King a radical and sent him threatening letters. It wasn’t until 1986 that Ronald Reagan enacted Martin Luther King Day as a Federally recognized holiday.

Biographies will give the standard information on Martin Luther King, and while White Trash (warning: FaceBook will jail you for discussing this book) and Caste are excellent books which will open your eyes to issues you never considered, they’re heavy on sociology and can be difficult to slog through at times. If you’d rather read about the issues he fought against, and where we stand today on Civil Rights in an easier fashion, check out these non-fiction books that will give you a good perspective of the issues. If non-fiction isn’t your thing, try these novels about modern issues as well, and realize we still have a long way to go. 

The Hate U Give

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Small Great Things

My Brother Moochie

The Help

Evicted

Native Son

Born a Crime

Sing, Unburied, Sing

A Raisin in the Sun

Long Way Down

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Martin

My Life With Martin Luther King Jr

Survival Math

How We Fight for Our Lives

8 Strategies to Read More in 2022

Is “reading more” on your list of things to do this year? Finding time to read isn’t always easy – life can often get in the way, and distractions are plentiful! So how can we devote more time to books and reading in the coming year? Here are 8 strategies to try, you’ll be surprised how much reading you can get done!

OK, now that you’ve found some time to read, here are a few tips for finding what to read.

Check out the FastTrack shelf when you’re at Cheshire Library. We reserve a copy of our most popular titles for the FastTrack shelf. These copies are immune from Holds, go out for 14 days, and cannot be renewed. If there’s a hot new book that you’re dying to read (or you just want to see what the hot new books are), check out this shelf each time you come into the library. They’re designed to move fast, so check back often!

Sign up for our New Items Newsletter. Powered by Wowbrary, our weekly e-newsletter shows you everything the library has purchased for the collection (including downloadable items) each week. You can get a jump on the Holds list by requesting items as soon as we’ve ordered them.

Browse the Staff Picks display. This wall of books is located near the Checkout area, and our staff keeps it filled with their favorites. Librarian approved!

Peruse the book lists in our online catalog. You can find the latest New York Times Bestseller lists, lists of our newest items, and Staff Picks (staff-created book lists on a wide range of topics).

Grab a Book Bundle. We bundle together 3 books on a similar theme and display them on the Book Bundle shelf in our lobby. The themes change frequently, check this shelf often!

Try our MatchBook service. Our personalized reading service will help you find your next book. Just answer a few questions on our online form and we’ll provide you with a selection of fresh reads based on your interests.

There are even more ways to find a good book on our website, check out our Find a Good Book page.

Meet the New Head of Adult Services!

Lauren Gledhill is the new head of Reference and Adult Services at Cheshire Public Library, following the retirement of Bill Basel last July.  Many of you may already know Lauren from the children’s department, where she’s been CPL librarian for several years, keeping watch over much of the children’s media selections. If you haven’t met Lauren before, come on downstairs to the Reference Department and get to know her!

Lauren got her Library Degree from the Dominican University in Chicago, a big change from the rural Pennsylvania area she grew up in. Cheshire certainly falls between the two!

Children’s Librarian to Reference Librarian is a big change.  What does she prefer to read?  Lauren likes horror, graphic novels, and non-fiction science. Her favorite book as a child was Ferdinand the Bull. If you haven’t read it, Ferdinand is a sweet classic children’s story from 1936 about a bull who prefers to smell flowers rather than fight in the bullring – and not surprisingly was banned as subversive by both Hitler and Francisco Franco!  Today, Lauren’s favorite author is Barbara Kingsolver. Her favorite movie? She loves Spirited Away, the animated feature by noted Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Given the chance, she much prefers to listen to audiobooks over print. (Did you know that audiobooks alone make up almost 10% of Cheshire’s offerings?).

Librarians often get the chance to meet world-famous authors at book expos and conventions. Two authors Lauren would love to meet are Neil Gaiman, the multi-award winning author of tales such as Sandman and Coraline, as well as Hugo-award winning author Ursula Vernon, who also writes under the pen name T. Kingfisher. (I hate to mention it, Lauren, but Neil was a guest at Noreast Con 4 the year I went. If I remember right, he emceed the Costume Call.)

Lauren promises to bring new and exciting ideas to the Adult Services Department, so stay tuned and keep checking back to see what’s up!

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in January

Happy New Year! We had a calendar full of in-person programming all set to go this month, but Covid is not cooperating. Our guidance from the Town and the Health Dept. has been to hold off on in-person programs for kids and teens for at least another month, so in the interest of safety we’re doing just that. Status of adult programs is still to be determined, keep an eye on our Event Calendar for any changes to scheduled programs.

January Art Show: Will McCarthy

All Month

Cheshire Library’s January art show features features Will McCarthy’s atmospheric landscapes.  Working in oils, Will creates luminous landscapes featuring images of trees against sky, field, and river that evoke a subtle variation of light and atmosphere. Will’s work will be on view in the lobby and the Mary Baldwin Room from January 4 through January 29. 

Teen Virtual Volunteering: Book Reviews

All Month

Teens in grades 7-12 can earn community service hours by submitting a book review for us to add to CPL’s blog! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. Submit a 300 word book review HERE

Book Buzz Teen Book Club: A Court of Thorns and Roses

All Month

This month we are going to read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Books will be provided and are yours to keep! Books will be provided and are yours to keep! To pick up your Book Buzz book, starting on January 3rd, you must register for this event. Then you can come into the library and pick up your book at the Children’s Desk. Join us online here (our Google Classroom page) to share and hear our different points of view about the book! This book discussion group will be available all month -and beyond- and you can interact with us and post your thoughts any time that’s convenient for you.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Thursday, January 6, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us virtually for an open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Join us once, join us every month! Registration is required.

Cheshire Anime Club

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Can’t get enough Anime and Manga? Anime Club will meet monthly, read and talk about what’s hot in the world of Manga, and watch some of the latest Anime releases. For grades 7-12. We hope to be back in-person soon, but for now we’ll meet online. Registration is required to receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Great Garden Escapes in New England with Jana Millbocker

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 7:00 – 8:15pm

Do you enjoy touring beautiful gardens? We will show you the best public gardens, nursery display gardens, and private gardens open to the public in the Northeast to visit for inspiration! Learn about each garden’s highlights, ideal times to visit, and enjoy a visual tour of each amazing destination. This is a virtual program, and pre-registration is required to receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Online BOOK CLUBS!

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: Thursday, January 20, 2022, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Art League Book Club: Friday, January 21, 2022, 11:00am – 12:30pm

This month the Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club will discuss Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, a classic from the golden age of detective fiction. The Art League Book Club will discuss Renoir’s Dancer: the Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon by Catherine Hewitt, plus the readers’ choice from the following list: Camille Claudel: A Life by Odile Ayral-Clause, Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb, or Mind of Steel and Clay: Camille Claudel by Enrique Laso. Registration is required to receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Houseplant Swap

Saturday, January 22, 2022, 9:00am-4:30pm

Looking for a new houseplant to brighten up your indoor space this winter, or wondering what to do with yet another cutting from your overgrown plant? Bring at least one healthy, pest-free cutting or houseplant to swap. Please register on our Event Calendar.

Books Over Coffee: Miss Benson’s Beetle

Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will be meeting on Zoom this month. This month’s book is Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce. Registration is required.

Trivia Night 

Thursday, January 27, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come by yourself or bring your friends. Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all For Pride, Not Prize. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a link via email to join the event.