Earth Day and the Environment

Today’s post is by Bill, Head of Adult Services.

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, with the intention of bringing awareness to environmental issues.  The first Earth Day events drew millions of participants across the U.S. and around the world.  This was the scene in New York City. Since 1970, celebrations have grown, with Earth Day becoming a global event in 1990.

2019 marks the 10th year that Cheshire Public Library has commemorated Earth Day by offering programs on the environment, outdoor activities, gardening, wildlife and more.  This year we offer six programs in April, among them, speakers who are highly esteemed in their fields – from butterflies to birds to “gardening as if the world depends on us.”

The library is a vital place for citizens to become educated and informed about environmental issues, from fracking, to plastic bags and straws, to carbon emissions, so that that they may approach their elected representatives with their concerns.  The environmental impact of plastic straws is a topic that has been in the news a lot recently: The Last Plastic Straw websiteShoreline Town to Consider Banning Plastic Bags, Straws, State of Connecticut Research Report ‘Banning Plastic Straws.

Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, published in 1962 and available in multiple formats at Cheshire Library,  expressed her passionate concern with the future of the planet and all life on Earth, and inspired the modern environmental movement.  In addition, CPL also offers many other materials for those interested in learning more about taking care of our environment:

 

We’ll end this post with an audio link to Before the Deluge by Jackson Browne.  The song was released 45 years ago and remains relevant today.

 

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in April

Spring is in the air and we’re getting back to nature at CPL this month with lots of programs about the natural world. We’ve also got some interesting wellness programs on the calendar, and a new lunchtime book club! Here are just a few of this month’s programs, head to the Event Calendar to see everything we’ve got in store for April.

Insomnia and Your Health

Monday, April 1, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Wellness Coach Cynthia Griffin will discuss how insomnia can cause a host of symptoms including weight gain, inflammation and lowered immune system. During this lecture, she will present natural tips from Ayurveda to help you ease into a better night’s sleep. Registration is required.

New Movie Thursday:  Aquaman

Thursday, April 4, 2019, 5:30 – 8:00pm

April’s New Movie is Aquaman! Arthur Curry discovers that he is the true ruler to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Now he must leave his old life behind to become a hero, keeping not just his underwater city at peace but the whole world. Rated PG-13. Registration is appreciated for this adult program.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays,  April 5, 12, 26, 2019, 1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies (no turpentine, please) to this drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup.  No registration required.

Empower Yourself by Letting Go

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

We often hold on tightly to old patterns, thoughts, people and things for false security and a misplaced sense of comfort. How would it feel to dig a little deeper and see things as they really are. Wellness Coach Cynthia Griffin will explain how habits can influence our lives and how the “letting go process” can open us up to new and greater opportunities for better health and happiness. Registration is required.

Thursday Evening Gardening Programs

Raised Flower Beds : Thursday, April 11, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Introduction to Gardening : Thursday, April 18, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Cordalie Benoit of the Connecticut Community Garden Association will discuss the benefits of raised flower beds and gardening basics in these two programs. Please register for each program individually.

Library After Hours: 80s Night with The Future Heavies

Friday, April 12, 2019, 5:00 – 7:30pm

Join us for a fun family evening featuring the Future Heavies band performing all of your favorite 80s songs,  dancing, face-painting and 80s-themed games!  Don’t forget to wear your favorite 80s outfits –prizes will be awarded for best costumes–er, clothes! Pizza and drinks will be provided by the Friends of the Library. There is no admission fee or cost for refreshments, but donations to the Friends are appreciated and help defray the cost of these special events. Please register so that we know how many goodies to have!

Concert: Bluegrass, Blues and Americana

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30pm

The BluesGrass acoustic duo of Mark White (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Jon Swift (upright bass, vocals) presents an “Americana” mix of bluegrass, blues, and oldies featuring strong duet vocals and powerful instrumentals.  No registration required.

Experience Nature as Healer

Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Discover how everyday, anywhere, nature can guide, calm, inform, and restore you. Marlow Shami BFA, M.S. is a nature-based teacher, artist, healer and writer who conducts Nature as Healer workshops and talks throughout New England. She specializes in the healing connection between humans and the natural world. Registration is required.

Birds & Butterflies on Wednesday Evenings

Butterflies in My Backyard : Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Birding in Connecticut : Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

On the 17th, noted lepidopterist and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History research affiliate, Victor DeMasi will take the audience on a virtual sunny day walk through his butterfly meadow in Redding, Connecticut, and will share an impressive display of specimens from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.  Then on the 24th,  join Frank Gallo, author of the new book, Birding in Connecticut, for a virtual journey to a variety of Connecticut’s birding locales, from hot spots to less-known gems. Please register for each program individually.

Gardening As If the World Depends on Us

Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Worried about the world? Take action! Actually, just by being a gardener, you are already making a big difference. Want to do more? Gardens offer so many opportunities to link with nature and rescue the world. What can you do to help? Everything! This lecture by Tovah Martin (author of more than a dozen gardening books) is filled with ideas from gardeners who rallied their acreage in backyards large and small to make a difference. Registration is required.

Books Over Coffee

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Eat lunch with friends? Join us for a new adult monthly book club program called “Books Over Coffee.”  On the last Wednesday of every month we’ll meet to discuss the selected title. Books are available each month ahead of time, and will be available in audio & ebook format. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is our April selection. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea. Registration is required.

A Practical Guide for Building Wealth (author talk)

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Kevin Daniels, the author of “A Practical Guide For Growing Wealth” will be at  speak about this new exciting book. Kevin is the current President of Tribute Financial in Wallingford. During this evening Kevin will introduce his new book and will point out some highlights of growing wealth. Come and spend an hour to make your financial future brighter! Registration is required.

Create Mother’s Day Cards

Monday, April 29, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join Sue Bernier and create beautiful Mother’s Day Cards. You will use rubber stamps, ink and Stampin’Up products to create your cards. This program is geared toward adults and registration is required.

Leading Ladies in Literature – Strong Female Reads for International Women’s Day (March 8)

When asked to write a post about strong female protagonists, it took me longer than I’d like to admit to think of my favorites. Even if I’ve read hundreds of books over the course of my life, only a handful stand out in their portrayal of a female lead. Most often, the most interesting characters I’ve come across are varied, flawed, and human, filled with errors and quirks that I find easy to relate to in my day to day life. These are the women I find myself relating to (even if I do wish I could be as perfect as Hermione Granger) and rooting for. I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorites, which barely scratch the surface of the wonderful and wide world of women in books, but hey, we all have to start somewhere.

If I’ve missed your favorites, please feel free to leave a comment down below, I’m always looking to add books to my reading list.                                                    

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. First off, this is a book I swore to never read again, ironically,  just because of how much it hurts to read. Wally Lamb is a master of creating a character you physically hurt for after getting to know them, and Dolores Price is no different. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably lovable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections. Through rough edges and rougher trials, including assault, mental institutions, absentee parents and lonely adulthood, Lamb shapes a character you find yourself cursing at, wincing for, and holding close.

519bogs1ivl._sx330_bo1,204,203,200_How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran. After she shames herself on local TV, 14-year-old Johanna Morgan reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde–a fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. Watching Johanna stumble through her rebirth into a plucky more confident version of herself made me look back fondly (and lets be honest, not that fondly) on my high school years. Trying to re-brand yourself, whether it be with new fish net stockings, a streak of pink in your hair, or a new favorite band, is a rough process. How to Build A Girl highlights how surface level all of these additions are, and asks the question, how far will one really go to re-imagine themselves? I found myself wanting to hug the pivotal character Johanna, and tell her it gets better, if not by action, then by time. It seems like even if she’s struggling, Johanna is a character you find yourself egging on, and even being somewhat jealous of at times.

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein.  I brought this book on vacation thinking I’d enjoy a pulpy novel about crime scene clean up. I’m a true crime fan myself, and my interest in forensic science has led me down an interesting path in terms of books in the past year. This book turned out to be the opposite of pulp, and had very little to do with crime scene clean up after all. Sandra Pankhurst is a titan in the industry of Specialized Trauma Cleaning, she does her job and she does it well. Before she began professionally cleaning up their traumas, she experienced her own. First, as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home. Then as a husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, and trophy wife. The true life story of Sandra left me wounded in ways I didn’t expect. In a world that profits of making jokes of hoarders and death, this book, and Sandra, treat these people with dignity. She bags up their postcards, their books, their recipe cards tucked into binders, and saves them from the despair of dirt and mold. She returns them to their family, and gives the people effected by it hope to start their life over. She never once jokes at their expense, or teases them for their situation behind closed doors. After going through such a violent and unforgiving life, Sandra shows grace and humility, mixed in with grit and sarcasm I find comforting.

51cbsqw0cbl._sx331_bo1,204,203,200_Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.  If you’re looking for a strange, otherworldly novel, that expands into two more books, then the Southern Reach trilogy is for you.  A group of female scientists, ignoring the high mortality rate of the previous missions, travels into an area only known as “Area X” to research a strange phenomenon.  Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.  The narrator, the biologist of the group,  is a strange and difficult character to get a hold on. You don’t know her motives until they uncover themselves, slowly and methodically throughout the text. She seems driven by knowledge and the unknown alone, until it’s revealed that she had a husband who also went into the reach, but who came back strange and unrecognizable. I think one of my favorite parts of this character is that she’s not a broken record throughout the story. She doesn’t repeat over and over her need to find her husband in the Reach, if anything, she loses that goal almost immediately. Her goals become more abstract, her position as a narrator is unreliable at best, which makes her all the more interesting.

Some other books with strong female protagonists worth checking out: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell, Little Women by Louise May Alcott, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in March

In like a lion, out like a lamb, and in between there’s a month full of marvelous programming at Cheshire Library. Here are the highlights for March:

Terrific Tweens

Wednesdays, March 6 and 20, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Kids are invited to drop in for fun with art, science, technology, and games. We’ll assemble robots & contraptions, play with our food, create fun works of art, and bring video games to life,  something different each time! For grades 5-8, no registration required.

New Movie Thursday: Bohemian Rhapsody

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 5:45 – 8:00pm

Did you miss the screening of a film you wanted to see in theatres?  Join us for the first Thursday of the month for a screening of a recently released film. This month we are screening Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Oscar-winner Rami Malek as the unconventional lead singer of the celebrated band Queen. Rated PG-13. Registration is appreciated for the adult program.

Game Night : Dominion

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 6:15 – 8:00pm

Spend your evening meeting new people or with your family and friends playing tabletop games! There will be a different game each month for you to try and to enjoy, this month we are playing Dominion.   Staff will be available to teach you how to play. Light refreshments will be served.  Registration required for this adult program.

From Jazz to Soul with Rhonda Denet and her trio

Sunday, March 10, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Rhonda and her trio will perform jazz and soul standards from the 1930s through the 1960s, paying tribute to song stylists from Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin. The trio features Mike Bardash on piano, Gene Torres on bass, and Chuck Batton on drums. No registration required, but get here early for the best seats!

Author Talk: Xhenet Aliu, author of “Brass: A Novel”

Monday, March 11, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Please join us as we welcome Xhenet Aliu, Waterbury native and author of Brass: A Novel, who joins us on her U.S. promotional tour of the paperback version of her bestseller. Told in parallel narratives with biting wit and grace, Brass announces a fearless new voice with a timely, tender, and quintessentially American story. Bookclubs are encouraged to attend. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, registration is required.

Comics Club

Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Bang! Pow! Join us for a new graphic novel book club for kids!  Make comic strips, play games, and other fun activities. This month we are discussing Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke. You can pick up a copy of the book at the children’s information desk starting on February 15. For kids in grades 2-5, registration is required.

Art in the Afternoon: A Cheshire Public Library & Artsplace Collaboration

Saturday, March 16, 2019, 1:00 – 4:00pm

Have you always wanted to try a class at Artsplace? Here is your chance to sample up to three classes at no charge! Four artists from Artsplace will be giving free mini-lessons during the afternoon sign up for 1 or more.

  • Sketchbook 101 with Linda Marino
  • Ink & Watercolor with Bob Noreika
  • Felting with Robin McCahill
  • Colored Pencil with Rita Paradis

Pre-registration is necessary as class sizes are limited.

“Headin’ Home” St. Patrick’s Day concert

Sunday, March 17, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Hailing from Cheshire, the father- daughter duo Headin’ Home creates a joyous sound. Dan Hedden (guitar/vocals) and Christine Hedden (fiddle) dig into the soil of New England and Irish traditions, playing both traditional tunes and songs as well as originals grown from these traditional seeds. No registration required.

Italy: A Cultural Journey

Monday, March 18, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

When one thinks of Italy the usual thoughts come to mind: great food, great wine, beautiful countryside. But delve deeper into this rich and complex country and you will actually find a melting pot of cultures. We will explore the regional differences in a slide presentation which takes us on a colorful journey from north to south and even to the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Registration is required.

Historic Homes of Cheshire

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Robert Kerson will discuss the historic Nathaniel/Benedict Ives Homestead, the historic Deacon Joseph Ives home, and the Steven R. Bradley house. Learn more about these hometown historical properties! Registration is required.

Kensett Birthday Party Celebration

Friday, March 22, 2019, 3:00 – 5:00pm

Join us for a celebration of John Frederick Kensett’s 203rd birthday!  Cheshire native Kensett was a renowed landscape painter and a founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We will enjoy cake and activities for both children and adults, including pop-up cards. Sponsored by Artsplace, registration is required.

Cuba: More Than Rum and Revolution

Monday, March 25, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

For decades, US tourism to Cuba has been illegal , and the importation of Cuban coffee, rum and other goodies has been banned, but no longer. Join Dr. Cynthia Pope of the CCSU Geography Department as she talks about the link between our two countries and takes a look at why Cuba is a worthy destination for travel. Registration is required.

Kids Yoga

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Get moving at the library with fun and relaxing yoga games, songs and stretches! Yoga helps kids with relaxation, focus, balance and flexibility. This class will be taught by one of our children’s librarians who is also a certified kids yoga instructor. For kids in grades K-6. Registration is required starting March 1st.

Renovation Celebration! Concert & Reception featuring the CONN-MEN

Sunday, March 31, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Join us for a reception, concert and library tours to celebrate Cheshire Library’s newly renovated space!  The concert will feature the CONN-MEN, UCONN’s premier all-male a cappella group. No registration required. This concert is made possible by donations given to the Friends of the Library in loving memory of Janice Miner.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in February

February is “Love Your Library” Month, and there’s plenty to love at CPL! Jane Austen fans will want to check out the “For the Love of Austen” events scheduled all month long, and we’re celebrating the Chinese New Year this month, too. Happy Year of the Pig!

Dramatic Reading : Darcy and Elizabeth

Sunday, February 3, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00PM

Join us for a dramatic reading of Darcy and Elizabeth presented by; the Cheshire Community Theatre. Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy take center stage in this one-act version of Jane Austen’s beloved romance. Registration is appreciated.

Create Valentine’s Cards

Monday, February 4, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00PM

One of the many joys of the Valentine season is sending cheerful cards to the ones you love. Join France Angle and create beautiful Valentine Cards using rubber stamps, ink and Stampin’Up products. Space is limited and registration is required.

Tai Chi

Tuesdays, February 5 – March 19, 2019, 6:30 – 7:30pm

Tai Chi Instructor Kathy Brenner will lead six weekly sessions of Tai Chi and Qigong, on Tuesdays, February 5 through March 12. Join her in an easy to follow series of low impact and aerobic exercises, (please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing). Space is limited and registration is required.  Register online or call 203-272-2245, x4.

Library After Hours: Chinese New Year Celebration

Friday, February 8, 2019, 5:00 – 7:30PM

Join us for a celebration of the Chinese New Year featuring an acrobatic performanace by Li Liu, mask-making, a dragon parade and more!

Pizza and drinks will be available for purchase. There is no admission fee, but donations to the Friends of the Library are appreciated and help defray the cost of these special events. Please note that the Lower and Upper Levels of the Library will not be open to the public. Please register so that we know how many goodies to have!

New World Trio Concert

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30PM

For more than three decades, the New World Trio, featuring Anhared Stowe on violin, Peter Zay on cello and Pi-Hsun Shih on piano, has brought the excitement and intimacy of chamber music to live audiences throughout New England. Today’s program, “The Influence of a Woman”, will feature Tchaikovsky’s Trio in A Minor op.50 and Debussy’s the Premier Trio in G Major and highlights the influence of Nadezhda von Meck on both composers.

The Romance of Jane Austen

Thursday, February 14, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Professor Rebecca Adams will discuss Jane Austen and the ideals of Romance. Learn the expectations for women during Jane Austen’s life, as well as a description of Jane Austen’s life and the real life characters who inspired some of her more famous characters (Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins). Registration is required.

Create Zentangle

Monday, February 18, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00PM

Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.  Each patron will learn the Zentangle method and leave with one landscape artwork. Registration required for this adult program.

The Importance of Tea in Chinese Culture

Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Tea is an important aspect of Chinese tradition. Join Vivian Huang and learn about the different types of tea, find out why tea become an essential part of Chinese culture and learn to write “Tea” in Chinese calligraphy. Registration is required.

Silk’n Sounds A Capella Concert

Sunday, February 24, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00PM

Silk’n Sounds is greater New Haven’s premier auditioned women’s a cappella chorus. Dedicated to excellence in the performance of four-part harmony in the American barbershop tradition and in other musical traditions, he chorus performs a broad repertoire of songs in traditional and contemporary musical styles.

Regency Dance Lesson

Thursday, February 21, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Do you love to watch Jane Austen Movies and the lavish balls?  Have you ever said to yourself; I would love to learn how to dance like that?  This is your chance to learn!  One night and one night only join us for fun evening of dance.  Come dressed up if you so choose and please bring good shoes to dance.  Space is limited for this adult program and registration is required.

Shades of Jane Austen

Thursday, February 28, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Join us as we learn about the world in which Austen grew up, mainly rural England.  With the aid of beautiful slides, including many of paintings of the time, Patricia Carr will help us enter that world and learn a little more about what life was like for the country gentry. Registration is required.