May is Cheshire Food Pantry Month

In the state of Connecticut, 414,730 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 117,380 are children. Here in Cheshire, one might hope these statistics don’t apply to our residents, but of course, we are not immune to the problem. The Cheshire  Food Pantry is a community organization that provides food in situations for all eligible individuals and families in need, regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
 The Cheshire Food Pantry is different from many food pantries because it uses a client-choice model in which clients are allowed the freedom to select their own groceries. This model provides food subsidies to low income families in crisis, while nurturing their ability to be independent and take control of their life.
For the month of May, we are shining a light on the Cheshire Food Pantry with a Food for Fines campaign, and craft programs that will benefit the food pantry. Throughout the month, CPL will be accepting donations of non-perishable food and toiletry items in lieu of overdue fines on library materials.  All donations will be delivered to the Cheshire Food Pantry. 
According to Library Director Beth Crowley, “This is a great time for patrons who are returning library materials late or who have accumulated overdue fines to clear their record while helping someone in need.” Crowley said “We chose the month of May to run this program because, in speaking with the Cheshire Food Pantry, we discovered donations tend to drop off this time of year but the need is always there.”

Donations can be used to clear fines on materials that have been returned in good condition.  They will not be accepted for lost or damaged items.  There is no rate of exchange; a minimum of one donated item can be used to clear fines on one account.  A list of suggested items to donate is available at the Library and on our website at www.cheshirelibrary.org/food-for-fines All donations must be non-perishable, unopened and cannot be expired. (Items of particular need include: Jar Pasta Sauce, Mayonnaise, Canned Peaches, Fruit Cups, Crackers, Toilet Paper, Tissues, Paper Towels. )

We also have 2 programs for kids and families to create totes for Food Pantry users. Caring Crafts is a twice-monthly program for kids in grades K-6 to make things while making the world a better place. We’re getting extra-creative this month and decorating canvas tote bags for food pantry clients on May 9th, and on May 23rd we’re making birthday cards for kids who use the food pantry.  Crafters and artists of any age are invited to decorate totes at Crafting for a Cause on Wednesday, May 22nd. We’ll supply art materials and design ideas if you need some inspiration, but feel free to bring your own designs and your own supplies. We’re making one tote for each of the 130 food pantry clients, so you’ll have plenty of blank canvas (literally) to create something beautiful! Please register in advance for these programs.

Want to learn more about the problem of hunger in America? Here are some resources at CPL:

A Place at the Table / Participant Media presents a Catalyst Films/Silverbush production ; a Lori Silverbush/Kristi Jacobson film ; produced by Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington ; produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush  (DVD | 2013, rated PG)

Hunger in America : Issues and Assistance edited by Gaston T. LaBue (E-Book)

Hunger : A Modern History by James Vernon (E-Book)

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What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in May

Some art, some history, some travel, and more is on the agenda for May – check out our Events Calendar for details on all the programs blooming this month! Here’s a preview:

SPRING BOOK SALE!

The Friends of the Cheshire Library are excited to announce their annual Spring Book Sale! The book sale features more than 15,000 books of every possible genre. Adult and children’s titles are available in both hard and soft cover editions and are priced from 50 cents to $2.

Preview Night!
Wednesday, May 1st, 6:30pm – 8pm
Preview night is for Friends members only.
Memberships may be purchased at the door.
Book Sale:
Thursday, May 2nd, 9am – 8pm
Friday, May 3rd, 9am – 4:30pm
Saturday, May 4th, 9am – 4:30pm
Bag of Books Sale:
Sunday, May 5th, 12pm – 3pm
Fill a bag with books and pay only $10.
A second bag is just $5!

 

Color and Form in Abstract Art

Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 6:00 – 8:15pm

Artist Elizabeth Gourlay discusses her use of the nuances of color and form in her abstract paintings and works on paper, which she compares to musical compositions. Gourlay incorporates  warmth and gesture into all of her works, whose layered vocabulary of abstract forms emerges from her thoughts, emotions and observations of the world. No registration required, sponsored by the Cheshire Art League.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays from 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.

Terrific Tweens

Make a CD Hovercraft! Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Lemon Power! Wednesday May 22, 2019, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Kids are invited 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! For grades 5-8, no registration required.

New Movie Thursday: Welcome to Marwen

Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:00 – 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. May’s movie is Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carrell. A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process. Rated PG-13. Registration is appreciated.

Author Talk:  Soldiers of a Foreign War

Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Vietnam Veteran, Dr. Charles McNair, shares his novel that presents the Vietnam War in all its conflicted complexity. It is told from the enlisted soldiers’ perspective and deals with the American and Vietnamese’s, North and South, all teenagers, experiences as they leave their families and enter their countries’ respective armies. Registration is required.

Armchair Traveling

Discovering France: Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Mexico and Central America: Wednesday, May 29, 2019,  6:30 – 8:00pm

Come and join us on the journey to different parts of these magnificent regions. During our journey through France, we will visit Paris, the Palace of Versailles, Giverny, Normandy, the Loire Valley and the Southern region.  For our look at Mexico and Central America, we will look at photos of traditional landscapes and architecture of the Aztecs and Mayans and then look at contemporary tourism landscapes. Please register separately for each program.

Katharine Hepburn: From Hartford to Hollywood

Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Born and raised in Connecticut, Katherine Hepburn had a career in stage, film and television that reflected the changing role of women in broader society.  The story of her life-long ties to Connecticut offers a complete picture of how Hepburn became the woman and the star she was. Registration is required.

Improving Your Life Through Meditation

Monday, May 20, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Meditation can bring about a sense of calm and balance that benefits both your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Join Clare Vidich for this enjoyable and informative meditation workshop for new or experienced meditators. Registration is required.

Crafting for a Cause

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Unleash your artistic side while making your community a better place! Come and decorate canvas totes to be donated to the Cheshire Food Pantry. The Library will supply the totes and art supplies, but feel free to bring art materials from home! This program is open to adults and children of all ages. Please register in advance so we can provide enough supplies. Please register in advance.

Books Over Coffee: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Eat lunch with friends? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called “Books Over Coffee.”  Books are available each month ahead of time, and will be available in audio & ebook format.  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is our May selection. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea! Registration is required.

Author Talk: The Dogs of Camelot: Stories of the Kennedy Canines

Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join us as Joan Lownds talks about her book  The Dogs of Camelot: Stories of the Kennedy Canines, which illuminates the inside story of the Kennedys’ lifelong love of dogs and the unparalleled canine corps they brought to the White House. Through cooperation with the Kennedy Library, the authors have access to rare and previously unpublished photos and stories that present a fascinating angle about the Kennedys that is deeply revealing about their character and compassion. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. Registration is required.

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Don’t forget, May is Food for Fines Month!

Clear your fines! The Library is accepting donations of food and toiletries to benefit the Cheshire Food Pantry. Donations will clear fines on materials that have been
returned. Click here for details.

 

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.

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.