What’s Happening [Virtually] at Cheshire Library in March

We’re Marching on (yes, we did go there) with a month of engaging, enriching, and entertaining virtual programs. Mark your calendars and sign up while there are still spots open!

March Teen Volunteering Challenges

Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. March’s challenges include:

  • Art: Will March come in like a lion and go out like a lamb? Draw your favorite animal.
  • Writing: Write a story, poem, or essay about luck. It could be good, bad, or a bit of both!
  • Food: March 10th is National Oreo Cookie Day, so bake or make something awesome with Oreos!
  • Reading: Pick a book you’ve read and loved, and make a bookmark inspired by it.
  • More Reading: For Women’s History Month, read a nonfiction book about an accomplished woman you’ve never heard of.
  • Even More Reading: Think about your favorite book character- and choose a book you think that character would like to read!

If you participate in the challenges, earn community service credit by submitting your creations so we can share them on our social media pages

Book Buzz Teen Book Club: The Radium Girls

All month long

This month we are going to read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Register starting March 2 to pick up your copy of the book in the Children’s Room, then join us on 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.) For grades 6-12.

Take + Make Kits

Make something at your own pace this week with a Take + Make kit! We have kits for kids in every age group this month, and registration is required to pick up a kit in the Children’s Room each week. We have a limited number of materials and the kits get reserved very quickly, so please register early and limit to one kit per child.

Food Explorers

Join a Registered Dietitian from Food Explorers to make ChocolateCheesecake Egg Rolls and Loaded Veggie Tot Nachos! Ingredients are listed on our Event Calender. For kids ages 6-12. Please register for these virtual events and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Preschool Storytime

Tuesdays, March 9 – April 6, 2021, 10:00 – 11:00am

A virtual storytime for preschoolers (and their grown-ups!) to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing,and playing! Best for children ages 3-5. Younger and older siblings are welcome. Registration required. This program meets five times: March 9, 16, 23, & 30 and April 6. Register once to attend all five sessions. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link 1 hour before the beginning of each session.

Connecticut in Motion

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

This overview of 400 years of transportation developments in Connecticut, from the colonial era through the present day, focuses on the privately owned railroads and trollies of the nineteenth century and the publicly operated interstate and express highways of the twentieth. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

College Admissions in the Time of COVID-19

Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 6:45 – 7:45pm

Learn how COVID-19 is changing the college admissions landscape and how it will affect Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors. This program covers how admissions officers are handling the current situation and how students can position themselves to develop a compelling narrative to increase their chances for admission. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Toddler Storytime

Thursdays, March 11 – April 8, 2021, 10:00 – 10:30am

A virtual storytime for toddlers and their caregivers, with interactive songs, stories, and other fun activities. Best for children ages 1-3. Younger and older siblings are welcome. This program meets five times: March 11, 18, 25, and April 1 and 8. Registration required. Register once to attend all sessions. You will receive a Zoom link one hour before the beginning of each program.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Monday, March 15, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

We’re back! 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! Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Family Trivia Night

Monday, March 15, 2021, 6:30pm – 7:15pm

 
 
 
 
 
 

Looking for something that you can do as a whole family? Team up for this virtual trivia challenge! Trivia questions will cover a variety of topics and will be appropriate for children of all ages. Each family will need a device (or devices) to participate in Zoom and answer trivia questions. Registration is required–please register once per family participating. You will receive a link via email for the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Jammin’ with Jeffrey

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 10:00 – 10:30am

Join Early Childhood Music specialist Michele Urban and her silly puppet friend, Jeffrey, as they make music together! Best for ages 0-5 but all ages welcome. Please register for these virtual events to receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Ten Trends in Landscape and Land Care

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Presenter Kathy Connolly takes us on a brief visit to the world of landscape professionals. Listen as professional landscapers and garden center owners describe what they see for the future, and what common beliefs and practices they wish would change. Be prepared for some laughs and perhaps a bit of controversy. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

What to Grow in My Medicinal Herb Garden?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

The right herbal “superstars” can help treat common ailments like colds and flu, inflammation, pain,  anxiety, poor digestion, and insomnia. But where should you begin? How do you even start a medicinal herb garden? It’s a question many people ask, and we’ll help take the mystery out of starting a medicinal herb garden. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Clear Lip Gloss with Gemstones (Teen Take & Make tutorial)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 6:00pm – 6:45pm

Pick up a Take + Make kit with supplies for the craft any time the library is open during the week of March 15. Then join us on Zoom March 24 to learn how to make your own lip gloss at home with lovely gemstones and no beeswax or petroleum jelly! Please register for this virtual event to receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Comics Club: Stargazing

Thursday, March 25, 2021, 4:00 – 4:45pm

This month we’ll make instruments in addition to discussing the book, Stargazing by Jen Wang. Please read the book before attending this virtual event. Copies of the book and craft materials are available at the children’s information desk starting on Feb 22. For kids in grades 3-5. You must register for each child in order to pick up a copy of the book and craft supplies. Registered participants will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the event start time.

Books Over Coffee: The Woman Who Stole Vermeer

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 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 Woman Who Stole Vermeer by Anthony Amore. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

YA Books for Theater Geeks

You have a show-tune playlist. You have a program or Playbill from every show you’ve seen.  You break out into accents in the middle of conversations. You own every season of Glee (and all the High School Musicals – admit it). You are a theater geek – embrace it, celebrate it! Read about it! The theater plays a leading role in these YA books:

1. Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg.  Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts high school in New York City, preparing for the senior recital and feeling the pressure to perform well.

2. Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth. 15-year-old Emma is acting as stage manager for her school’s production of Hamlet when she finds herself transported to the original staging of Hamlet in Shakespearean England.

3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier. Designing sets for her middle school’s play, Callie tries to overcome limited carpentry skills, low ticket sales, squabbling crew members, and the arrival of two cute brothers.

4. Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. A contemporary romance inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet follows the efforts of a plucky but lovelorn teen theater director who is unexpectedly cast in a leading role at the same time she begins receiving relationship advice from a playwright friend

5. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon. Mary Elizabeth Cep, (though she calls herself “Lola,”) sets her sights on the lead in the annual drama production, and finds herself in conflict with the most popular girl in school.

6. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan. The tale of a pair of teens who meet by chance on a Chicago street corner and discover that they share a name and intertwining destinies involving an epic production of a high school musical.

7. Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian. Gaining instant popularity after landing the lead in the school play, Rebecca breaks a pact with her new friends by dating a fellow cast member until backstage drama escalates into a life-changing accusation.

8. Ready to Fall by Marcella Pixley. Seventeen-year-old Max, struggling to come to terms with his mother’s death, is cast as the ghost in “Hamlet” and finds strength in his new theater friends.

9. Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. Claudia agrees to coach actors in her high school’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” leading to new friendships–and maybe even new love.

10. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate. After learning that her deep voice is keeping her from being cast in plays at her exclusive performing arts school, Jordan disguises herself as a boy to gain entry into a competitive, all-male a cappella group that is looking for a singer with her vocal range.

Library Services You Might Not Know About – Part 1

Life sure has changed from this time a year ago, hasn’t it? It’s still hard to wrap my head around how differently we are living our lives since the Covid-19 pandemic made its presence known. Schools and businesses have had to restructure just about everything they do. Libraries, too, have had to change the way they work, depending so much more on the Internet to connect with their patrons.
Cheshire Library is constantly reviewing and adjusting our online services to bring  patrons what they need. You’re probably familiar with our online programs by this time (had most of us even heard of Zoom before the pandemic?), and you may have become a pro at downloading library ebooks,  but there are so many other services and resources you can avail yourself of any time, right from our website. The library is still here for you, even though how you use it these days might look a little different.

Getting books to readers: Matchbook and Grab ‘n Go services.

Remember the days when you could come into the library and leisurely browse the shelves, find a comfy place to sit and look through books or magazines before checking out your selections?  While the library is now open limited hours to the public, it’s not a place to kick back and hang out these days, due to social distancing and safety precautions we’ve put into place. To help you find your next good read, we began offering a service called Matchbook.  It’s a service we had tried a few years ago with limited success, but it has been booming since we brought it back in July of 2020. Fill out a quick form on our website letting us know your reading preferences, and a library staff member will hand-select several titles we think you will like, and put them aside for you, “matching” you up with some books! One Matchbook user told us it was like her birthday or Christmas every time a new selection of books was ready for her, and she discovered several new authors she loved! Books can be picked up inside the library at the Checkout Desk when they’re ready, or you can arrange a contactless pickup with our Grab ‘n Go program.

Stream away with Acorn TV and The Great Courses.

One of the first things we did when the library was shut down in the spring was figure out how to increase out digital offerings on a budget. We crunched some numbers and came up with two streaming services (available through the RBdigital app) that have proved to be  user favorites. Acorn TV is a very popular streaming video platform that many people pay for, but CPL cardholders have free access to. Acorn TV brings world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond to your Internet-ready TV or mobile device. The Great Courses is another for-pay service that CPL cardholders can use for free.  The Great Courses is the leading global media brand for lifelong learning and personal enrichment, with hundreds of courses spanning thousands of in-depth video lectures on subjects like Science, Health & Wellness, History, and even Travel. Learn at your own pace, in your own time!

Dig up your ancestors.

Well, not literally. We’re talking genealogically, here. Ancestry® Library helps you research and understand your family tree with access to billions of names in thousands of genealogical databases including Census and Vital Records, birth, marriage and death notices, the Social Security Death Index, Passenger lists and naturalizations, Military and Holocaust Records, and more. Before the pandemic, Ancestry® Library was available for use inside the library only, but the company has generously extended our subscription to home users during this time of limited library use. All you need is your CPL card and a computer, and you’re ready to climb your family tree!

Keep up with the latest newspapers and magazines, digitally.

We’ve has to suspend our subscriptions to local newspapers during this time, but you’ll be happy to know that you can still access the news online though Newsbank, a news database that provides archives of media publications, and includes access to the Cheshire Herald, Meridan Record-Journal, and New Haven Register. While we still have many magazines available for checkout at the library, there are many more (over 3000 titles and up to three years of back issues!) that are available digitally through the Libby app. The great thing about digital magazines is there’s no waiting list, and back issues are available on most titles!

 

 

 

Taxes!

As if Covid hadn’t made  things complicated enough, now we’ve come to Tax Time! Lots of people are likely to be filing online this year, but some of us still need to put pencil to paper. Libraries have traditionally been places you can get tax forms and instruction booklets, but this year … not so much. Actually, the amount of CT State forms and booklets libraries receive started dwindling even before Covid times, but this year there will be no hard copies of CT State Tax materials at the library, and a very limited amount of Federal Income Tax printed materials.

But fear not! Everything you need is out there in the Cloud, ready for you to download and print. For CT State Tax forms and instructions, visit https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/DRS-Forms/Current-Year-Forms/Individual-Income-Tax-Forms. Federal Income Tax forms and instructions can be found at https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions.

No printer? No problem. You can make an appointment to come in and use one of our computers to print up your documents (.10/page for black and white copies). Adult public computer use appointments for specified time slots may be reserved by phone (203-272-2245), up to one day in advance, and patrons may book one session per day.

You can also use our Mobile Print Portal to send print jobs from home to the library’s printer. More information on mobile printing can be found on our Printing & Technology page. You can arrange to pick up your printed pages through our Grab ‘n Go contactless pickup service.

The CT Department of Revenue Services also offers a number of ways to help you file your state taxes. Upon request, patrons are welcome to contact DRS at the following phone numbers below Mon-Fri from 8:30-4:30 to request tax forms, booklets, and instructions that DRS maintains in-house, and can mail directly to the patron’s home address.

  • 860-297-5962 (from anywhere)
  • 800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only)
  • 860-297-4911(TTY, TDD, and Text Telephone users only)

The DRS website has the answer to many state tax questions,including a Frequently Asked Questions page. Taxpayers are also encouraged to call or email DRS with questions specific to their situation. DRS now also offers remote assistance, where taxpayers can schedule an appointment and receive real-time DRS tax assistance from the comfort of their own homes, from a trained DRS professional during normal business hours, via the online Microsoft Teams platform. DRS tax examiners are available to schedule appointments with patrons and library staff (to insure technology for the patron is available), at a time that is mutually convenient.

 

 

What’s Happening (Virtually) at Cheshire Library in February

February is Love Your Library month! We’ve got lots of online programs to love in February, sign up for as many as you like!

February Teen Volunteering Challenges

Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. February’s challenges include:

  • Art: Make art with heart- design a Valentine’s Day card for someone, or create a masterpiece made out of hearts.
  • Writing: Write a story, poem, or essay about something you love. It could be a person, a book or movie, or food- fact or fiction.
  • Food: February is Great American Pie Month, so bake your favorite pie and share that flaky goodness with someone special.
  • Reading: Re-read a book you fell in love with as a kid.
  • More Reading: For Black History Month, read a Coretta Scott King Award-winning book. (Named for Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, this award is given to the most distinguished children’s and teen’s books about the African American experience. You can find a list of all the winners since 1970 here.)
  • Even More Reading: Close your eyes and run your hands along a book shelf (either yours, or in the library). Choose any book at random and read it!

If you participate in the challenges, earn community service credit by submitting your creations so we can share them on our social media pages!

Tips and Tricks for Remote Learners from a Homeschool Veteran

Monday, February 1, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30pm

Schooling at home and homeschooling are different, but there’s also a lot of overlap.  Get some tips and tricks for remote learning from 20 year homeschool veteran, Linda Hincks. We’ll talk about how to relieve stress for kids and adults alike and revive energy for learning.  Bring your questions and concerns. Please forward your questions to aallen@cheshirelibrary.org ahead of time so Linda can include the answers in her presentation. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program

What Can We Learn From the Census?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Carol Ansel, Director at the Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown, will discuss the history of the United States Census, how the questions changed to reflect what was happening in the nation at that time, and how you can use it to learn about your ancestors. There are stories hidden in all those facts and figures–you just have to know how to find them! Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Musical Journey with Liz McNicholl

Saturday, February 6, 2021, 10:00 – 10:45am

We can’t celebrate Take Your Child to the Library Day in person, however we can still have fun together, virtually! Join Liz McNicholl from Musical Folk for a wonderful, interactive virtual music making program with your little one! Grab some items from around the house to use as instruments (shakers, scarves etc.). Best for children ages 2-5, however everyone is welcome to attend. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Food Explorers

Join a Registered Dietitian from Food Explorers to make Chocolate Cheesecake Egg Rolls and Loaded Veggie Tot Nachos! Ingredients are listed on our Event Calender. For kids ages 6-12. Please register for these virtual events and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Take + Read: Blind Date with a Book

Pick up February 8-13, 2021

Blind Date with a Book is a “mystery” book, wrapped in brown paper, tagged with clues, and is yours to keep! This can be a fun way to discover something new or read outside your comfort zone. Registration is required to reserve and pick up a kit, and kits are limited to one kit per teen per week. register to pick up your kit in the Children’s Room any time the library is open during the week of February 8, or arrange for contactless pickup. For grades 6-12.

Virtual Paint Time (Adult Take & Make )

  • Pick up kit Tuesday, February 5, 2021, from 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Painting Program Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 2:45 – 4:45pm

Learn how to paint a real work of art at home! Follow instructor Pamela Halligan of Pam’s Picassos online as she walks you through the steps of creating your own masterpiece and you will create a beautiful completed painting.  You must be registered for the program in order to pick up a paint kit, which will be available for pickup on February 5, 10-4. There are limited spots for this program. Please make sure you can attend (and pick up kit) BEFORE you register.

Adult Cooking Program – Chocolate!

Thursday, February 11, 2021, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Join Food Explorers to learn how to make two chocolate recipes with a Registered Dietitian! Perfect for Valentine’s Day, we’ll be making Chocolate Bark and Chocolate Avocado Truffles, and while we’re cooking you’ll have the chance to ask any food or nutrition related questions you may have. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Cartooning Workshop for Beginners

Thursday, February 11, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Award winning cartoonist and humorous illustrator, Rick Stromoski, will teach you how to create your own cartoon characters, draw facial expressions and animals! All you will need is a stack of paper and something to draw with. For children and teens in grades 3-8. Please register once per family and you will receive a Zoom meeting link 1 hour prior to the program start time.

Pajama Storytime

Monday, February 15, 2021, 7:00 – 7:30pm

Put on your pajamas and fuzzy slippers and tune in for a fun-filled evening of stories, songs, and adventures! Best for ages 2-5. Registration is required for this virtual event. You will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the event start time.

Homeschooling: What’s Next?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30pm

You’ve decided to homeschool. What’s next? Join Linda Hincks of Wren Homeschool Consulting to find out not only what to do, but how! Please forward your questions to aallen@cheshirelibrary.org ahead of time so Linda can include the answers in the her presentation. Please register for this virtual event, and you will receive a Zoom meeting link 1 hour prior to the program.

Looking for Owls

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Through field experiences and knowledge about the life histories of owls, we will embark on a continuing expedition in search of owls and in the process reveal strategies for finding owls in your backyard, your local patch, and beyond. Please register for this virtual event, and you will receive a Zoom meeting link 1 hour prior to the program.

Minecraft Hour of Code: Voyage Aquatic

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Join us for this free, one-hour virtual workshop to take part in the global Hour of Code movement. Using the power of code, students will explore aquatic worlds and uncover hidden treasure with the 2018 Minecraft Voyage Aquatic tutorial. For children and teens ages 8-16. Please register for this virtual event and you will receive a Teams Meeting Link 1 hour prior to the program start.

Genealogy Research Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, February 24, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Carol Ansel, Director at the Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown, will share a number of hints to make your online genealogy searching easier and more effective. Please register for this virtual event, and you will receive a Zoom meeting link 1 hour prior to the program.

Teen Take & Make: Book Hedgehogs

Wednesday, February 24, 202, 6:00 – 6:45pm

Learn how to fold discarded books into adorable hedgehogs and personalize them with a variety of craft supplies. Pick up a Take + Make kit with supplies for the craft any time the library is open during the week of February 15, 2021. (Arrangements can also be made for contactless pickup.) Registration required to reserve supplies to be picked up and to attend this virtual program.

 

Facing War: CT in WWI

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

What was life like on the homefront during WW1? Learn about this dramatic time during which CT confronted women’s demand for the vote, a deadly flu epidemic and the mass immigration- all while sending thousands of men and women to the front. Please register for this virtual event, and you will receive a Zoom meeting link 1 hour prior to the program.

Macramé  Earrings & Necklace (Adult Take & Make )

  • Pick up kit Tuesday, February 23, 2021, from 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Macrame Workshop Saturday, February 27, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Join macramé artist Linda and learn to make macramé earrings & necklace using basic knots. We will make a set of jewelry using 2 mm cotton or jute cord, and working on a small scale, so average manual skills in tying knots are needed. You must be registered for the program in order to pick up a supply kit, which will be available for pickup on February 23, 10-4. There are limited spots for this program. Please make sure you can attend (and pick up kit) BEFORE you register.