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

We’ve got a touch of Spring Fever this month, with programs about gardening and birdwatching on the calendar, along with several authors joining us to talk about their books. And don’t forget Take + Make projects for all ages. Sign up early to reserve your spots!

April 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. April’s challenges include:

  • Art: Now that the weather is getting nicer, draw something in your backyard.
  • Writing: Write a story, poem, or essay about April showers. Do they really bring May flowers?
  • Food: April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, so cook up some cheesy goodness to share with your friends or family.
  • Reading: Celebrate National Siblings Day on April 10 by reading a book about siblings. Share the story with your own sibling if you have one!
  • More Reading: Think of a skill or hobby you’d like to learn or get better at. Find a nonfiction book with information or how-tos.
  • Even More Reading: Think of your favorite movies. Find out if any of them were books first and, if so, read the book!

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: Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel

All month long

This month we are going to read Long Way Down: the Graphic Novel by Kate Moore. Register starting April 1 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 for kids & teens

  • Week of April 5: Magic Kit (Grades 2-8)
  • Week of April 12: Owl Pellet Dissection (Grades 6-12
  • Week of April 19: Pipe Cleaner Constellations (Grades 1-6)
  • Week of April 26: Finger Knitting (Grades K-6)

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.

Good Looking: how to get better views of birds

Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

This program will focus on “Fieldcraft”, the field practices and specialist skills for observing birds at close range. Techniques intended to advance birding proficiency and get those killer views will be revealed with the goal of raising gratification and lowering frustration that can accompany our favorite pursuit. 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.

Stunning Spring Perennials

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Whether you garden in sun or shade, there are lovely spring perennials that will add colorful flowers and interesting foliage to the early season garden. Master Gardener  Joan Butler will tall about some favorites with and how to combine them for best effect in your 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.

Paint Night for Teens

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Follow along with instructor, Pamela Halligan, of Pam’s Picassos as she walks you through creating your own masterpiece. For this virtual class, we will be painting a sunflower. For teens in grades 6-12. The library will provide all the materials you need, but supplies are limited.. Each teen must register in advance to pick up their supplies during open library hours.

Author Talk: Kupanda and Being Brave in the Attempt

Saturday, April 10, 2021, 1:30 – 2:30pm

David Maliar, a Cheshire Police Officer, has written a book about his quest to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Special Olympics athletes, by conquering the tallest mountain in Africa. Please join us as the author talks about his experiences climbing the mountain, his book and the Special Olympics. 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.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Monday, April 12, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

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.

Broadway Tails With Bill Berlioni

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 2:00 – 3:00pm

For more than 30 years, animal stage trainer Bill Berlioni has been rescuing animals and making them stars! The only trainer to ever receive a Tony Award, Bill is currently the director of Animal Behavior at the Humane Society of New York. Come hear Berlioni’s tales as he shares stories of his latest book Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars. 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: Superheroes

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 4:30 – 5:30pm

Award winning cartoonist and humorous illustrator, Rick Stromoski, will teach you how to create your own cartoon superheroes! 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.

Poetry Matters

Wednesday, April 14, 2021T, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Pat Mottola, President of the Connecticut Poetry Society and Aspiring Cheshire Poet Laureate, invites you to spend an evening with poetry and learn how it changes lives. 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.

Cut the Cord

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Back by popular demand, James Gifford returns to show you how to get out of a cable service agreement, find and negotiate the best internet/broadband access deal, and get started with streaming services for a vast range of entertainment options… many of which are free! Due to the popularity of this program and limited capacity,  registration will begin two weeks before the program.

Adult Take & Make Paint Night

Monday, April 19, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Follow along with instructor Pamela Halligan of Pam’s Picassos online as she walks you through the steps of creating your own masterpiece.  You must be registered in advance for the program in order to pick up a paint kit, which will be available for pickup on April 14 from 1-7 and April 15 from 10-4. Please make sure you can attend (and pick up kit) BEFORE you register.  A link to the program will be sent the day of the program. Please note this program is intended for adults.

Insomnia Affects your Overall Health

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Join Health and Wellness Coach Cynthia Griffin and learn why insomnia, inflammation and unstable weight can be related. You will be introduced to healthy natural practices that will align you with the circadian rhythms of nature, and learn how food can affect our sleep and the way we feel in our bodies. 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.

Earbud Holders and Wrapped Earbuds (Teen Take + Make tutorial)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 6:00 – 6:45pm

Create a fun earbud holder out of a metal tin using scrapbook paper and washi tape, and embroidery thread. Register in advance to pick up a Take + Make kit with supplies for the craft any time during open library hours the week of April 12, 2021, then join us on April 21 for the tutorial!

Stories from a Peace Corps Volunteer in Libya

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30pm

Randy Hobler served in the Peace Corps in Libya in 1968 and 1969.  When he set out to write a book about his experiences he decided the book should include the stories of some of the other volunteers who also served in Libya.  Eventually,  Randy tracked down 101 of his fellow volunteers.  His new book, 101 Arabian tales : how we all persevered on Peace Corps Libya is a collective memoir of these volunteers. 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.

Virtual Trivia Night

Monday, April 26, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Come by yourself or bring your friends! ! Test your knowledge from general categories, including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course, literature. Please register once per home computer for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Designing a Sunny Perennial Border

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Learn about plant layering, new and reliable perennials, companion plants and design techniques that will make your garden POP with Jana Milbocker of Enchanted Gardens. Please register once per home computer for this virtual event and you will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the start of the program.

Books Over Coffee: News of the World

Wednesday, April 28, 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. This month’s book is News of the World by Paulette Jiles. We will meet over Zoom, 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.

Science Comics: The Digestive System

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Join Massachusetts-based graphic novel writer, Jason Viola, for a behind-the-scenes look at how a comic is made and learn about some of the decisions that go into the construction of a professional comic book page! Jason will also discuss his newest book, Science Comics: The Digestive System. Participants will receive a free copy of the book to keep! For ages 7-12. 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.

Library Resources You Might Not Know About: Part 2

We recently highlighted some services & resources offered by Cheshire Library that may have been new to you. From a book-matching service to streaming video and online courses, the library has an abundance of free resources. Today we’ll highlight a few more you may not be aware of, that you don’t even need to have a library card to use.

Cheshire Library is constantly reviewing and adjusting our online services to bring  patrons what they need. The library is still here for you, even though how you use it these days might look a little different.

A Page Full of Freebies

When the shutdown happened in March 2020, our intrepid librarians started assembling a list of useful free resources that people could access from home. This expanded from Local (links to the CT Covid Response Page, 211 Directory, Cheshire School Meal Distribution)  and  National  (links to the CDC, NIH, WHO) Health Information to other resources that might help take the sting out of being isolated. Sites to access free online activities like virtual museum tours, webcams of animals and nature, interactive learning, and even armchair travel!

Community Service in a Virtual World

Many high school student are required to complete a set number of community service hours as part of their curriculum, but COVID-19 has made it difficult to volunteer in-person. We’ve designed a program (info on our Teen Page and monthly Event Calendars) where teens can earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video,  or other content for us to add to CPL’s social media pages. Ideas for submissions include book reviews, artwork, poetry, short stories, personal essays, photos or video of food you’ve cooked or baked, or any other creative idea you have for content. (Not all submissions will be used on our social media, and submissions including photos of people are not allowed.) Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours.

Get WOWed by Our Newest Books and Dvds

If you’re not able to get into the library as often to check out what’s new, we’ve got a resource you’re going to love. We’ve teamed up with Wowbrary to deliver a list of the latest additions to our catalog straight to your inbox. The New Item Newsletter lets you know everything that’s new, digital items as well as physical items. In fact, you’ll learn about the physical books and dvds the minute we order them, before they even hit the shelf, and can place holds on them right away (you will need a library card for this part)!

No Printer? No Problem!

Many people have used our public printers in the past to print up important documents. Now you can do so without ever stepping foot inside the building. Our Mobile Printing Portal (accessed through the “Visit” tab on our website) allows you to send print jobs to us right from your computer or mobile device. We’ll let you know when your printouts are ready, and you can pick them up at the Grab ‘n Go station by the parking lot entrance.

Something Fun for Our Youngest Patrons

Our Baby Bop music & movement classes for infants 0-12 months and their caregivers has been on hiatus during the pandemic, but we’ve created a dozen free printable guides (find them on our Kids Page) of fun lap-sit songs, rhymes, and activities of music and movement to help develop motor and language skills. But mostly it’s just plain fun – playing is learning! We will add new guides periodically, so check back often!

Entertainment and Information in the Video Age

Finally, we encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. We’ve really stepped up our video content creation during this pandemic, and the results are on YouTube. From DIY tutorials, to lit tips,  to silly skits, to full length programs, we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy and learn from. You can even sit in on a Library Board meeting, if that’s your jam! Subscribe to be notified when we post something new.

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.

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.