What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in March

You know what they say about March, it comes in like a lion & goes out like a lamb. No matter the weather, you might say we’ve got a “menagerie” of programs to entertain, educate, and inspire you this month!

Author Talk: The Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Cheshire resident, John White, will discuss his book, The Pledge of Allegiance & the Star-Spangled Banner: A Patriot’s Primer on the American Spirit and a Citizen’s Guide to Restoring the Republic, which deals with the essence of America—its principles, ideals and values, its history, its future. Registration is required.

New Movie Thursday – Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor. Rated PG. Registration appreciated for this adult program.

Abilities Without Boundaries All Star Band

Saturday, March 7, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Join us for this open house concert with Abilities Without Boundaries All Star Band. Cheshire musician John Ingrassia will lead the All Star Band for their debut performance. John hosts his music therapy class “Music Matters” for Abilities Without Boundaries and has assembled an all star band to perform around the area. No registration required.

From Jazz to Soul with Rhonda Denet and her trio

Sunday, March 8, 2020, 2:00 – 3:15pm

Rhonda Denet and her trio were the most popular concert we had last year, so we are bringing them back for  “part 2” of From Jazz to Soul!  They will perform jazz and soul standards from the 1930s through the 1960s, paying tribute to song stylists from Ella Fitzgerald to Aretha Franklin. No registration required.

Ogham Celtic Alphabet

Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Colleen Conway, co-owner and artist of Ogham Art in Southington, will discuss “The Ogham Alphabet: Past & Present”. Represented as a series of perpendicular and intersecting lines, Ogham is the earliest written form of primitive Irish and the oldest of the Gaelic languages. It is thought to be influenced by the Latin alphabet using 20 characters. Registration is required.

Introduction to Gmail

Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Learn the fundamentals of Gmail; set up an account,learn to compose and send an email. Must be familiar with basic computer knowledge. Registration is required.

Starting Plants from Seed

Saturday, March 14, 2020, 2:00 – 4:00pm

This event, geared to the home gardener, includes: unique method of pre-sprouting large seeds; making pots from newspapers; using found materials for plant markers and mini greenhouses to start small seeds; proper watering and fertilizing; hardening off of plants; and catalogs where heirloom, rare or exotic seeds can be found. Registration is required.

Irish Music with Deirdre McMorrow and Paul Pender

Sunday, March 15, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Enchanting traditional Irish fiddler, Deirdre McMorrow, and guitarist/songwriter, Paul Pender, will energize every Irish native—and those who turn Irish for St. Patrick’s Day– in a concert of traditional and original Celtic songs. No registration required.

Intro to Meditation Workshop

Monday, March 16, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Presenter Tia Mandrozos will explain what meditation is and its positive effects—the many ways that meditating bestows  benefits on those who practice it regularly.  Tia will also lead a 15 minute guided meditation. Registration is required.

Irish Dancing Through the Ages

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 4:00 – 5:00pm

A program on “Irish Dancing Through the Ages” will be presented by Irene Horgan, Ph.D., Director of Cheshire’s Horgan Academy of Irish Dance. Geared for all ages, the program will include demonstations by Horgan Academy dancers. All attendees will be invited to learn a popular Irish dance step! No registration required.

Nature as Mentor

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Learn the magnificent language of nature in this powerful workshop with Marlow Shami, M.S., who will present an informative talk enhanced by beautiful illustrations, a compelling activity, and a deep relaxing guided meditation. No meditation experience necessary. Registration is required.

Spring Canal Walk @ Lock 12 Park

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Celebrate the first day of spring with a story and a stroll along the Farmington Canal Trail here in town! We’ll meet at Lock 12 Historical Park, 487 North Brooksvale Road, and explore the changing seasons on foot. Best for ages 5 and up. Registration is appreciated.

Sound Healing Bath

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join Donatella Moltisanti, internationally renown Sound Healer, for an evening of transformational Soul Healing! Donatella will discuss how music can heal the body and take us to new levels of awareness and peace, then guide participants through an hour-long sound healing journey. Registration is required.

Poetry in Song: A Cheshire High School Choral Concert

Friday, March 27, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00pm

The Cheshire High School chorus is going on the road !  Please join us for this special noon-time concert featuring the Cheshire High School chorus.  The chorus will be performing choral works by Lauridsen, Stroope, Lauridsen, Whitacre and more, featuring poetry by James Agee,  Robert Burns, Robert Frost, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling and others. No registration required.

 

 

The Amazing Short Stories of Ted Chiang

Our sci-fi guy, Harold, has an author recommendation for you:

If I could only recommend one science fiction author to read this year, it would be Ted Chiang. Though Chiang has written only 14 of short stories and one novella, his works have been critically acclaimed. His short story collections are Exhalation and Stories of Your Life.

Chiang has been the recipent  of four Nebula awards, four Hugo awards, and won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (for his short story, “Babylon”).  His short story, “Story of Your Life,” was the basis of the film Arrival (2016). Exhalation was a Goodreads Choice Award in 2019. The New York Times named Exhalation one of the 10 Best Books of 2019. That’s a lot of awards that are, in my opinion, well deserved!

Chiang’s works are hard to describe since they are not conventional science fiction, per se. It’s a subtle distinction, but they are more fiction based on science than science fiction. President Obama, via Facebook, said that they are “a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.”

These are precisely articulated, well-crafted and thought-provoking stories. There are no rocket ships or cosmic battles. Instead, they expand upon and extend science, and technology that exists today. Two of my favorites from Exhalation are “Babylon”, a re-work of the Tower of Babel story, and “Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate”,  about a merchant in ancient Persia who can travel through time to correct past mistakes.

Exhalation  and Stories of Your Life are available at the Cheshire Public Library as printed books.  Exhalation is also available as an ebook, and Stories of Your Life is also available as a downloadable audiobook. They are well worth reading. The film, Arrival, based on Chang’s “Story of Your Life”, is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Dance Your Cares Away

Dance is one of man’s oldest forms of art and storytelling, with cave painting depictions going back 30,000 years. Dances occur around the world, in every culture. Some were used for storytelling. Others were used for religious purposes. Some cultures had dances for healing, for appeasing Gods, for weather control, for courting, for festivals and celebrations, and entertaining royalty. Dances were used to teach, as social commentary and rebellion, and sometimes as just plain exercise. Dances can be as low key as the Hokey Pokey, or as tightly regulated and choreographed as grand ballet, or worse, synchronized swimming dances. 

Physically, dancing is wonderful for the body. 

  • It burns calories
  • It improves coordination 
  • It promotes muscle strength and flexibility
  • It’s a weight-bearing exercise, so it’s good for improving joint function and staving off bone loss.
  • It’s fantastic as an aerobic exercise to improve cardiovascular function, circulation, and endurance.  Tap dance for just 10 minutes. Try it. 
  • As an exercise, it can help improve mood and increase endorphin levels in the body, making you happier.
  • There is no age limit on dancing – whether you’re one or one hundred, you can do it! 
  • Disability isn’t an deterrent – many forms of dance can be adapted for people who cannot walk.

And dancing isn’t just for women! Plenty of men have been famous dancers – Rudolf Nuryev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr., John Travolta, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Michael Flatley, and “Gangnam Style’s” Psy, to name just a few.  Dance takes tremendous strength and physical training. Football players take ballet to improve coordination and movement. HipHop is a male-dominated dance field. In ethnic dances around the world, men predominate, from Russian squat dancing to the New Zealand Haka and the Northern Plains Indian Grass Dance, to the Aduma dance of the Masai warriors in Kenya. Dancing, by far, is as much a man’s sport as a woman’s.

If you have to be stuck inside in the winter, why not dance! Throw some fast music on and shake out those winter blues! Throw in a ballet DVD and leap (move the furniture out of the way first!). Or join us for some New England Country Dancing at the library later this month! Don’t feel like moving? Grab a blanket and a cup of tea and check out some of these great books and movies filled with dance!

Saturday Night Fever              A Chorus Line              Dirty Dancing 

The Nutcracker                         All That Jazz                  Billy Elliot

Step Up                                      West Side Story            Oliver!

An American In Paris              La La Land                      Fiddler on the Roof

Swing Time                    Dancer                    A Time to Dance 

Russian Winter             Out Loud               Life in Motion 

The Girls at 17 Swann Street                 Dance in America: A Reader’s Anthology

 

President’s Month

Today’s post is from our Head of Adult Services, Bill:

February marks the birthdays of two of our greatest presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. CPL will commemorate Presidents Day and the office of the American presidency with the Arthur Hostage Memorial Lectures – two events in late February. These programs are made possible by donations given to the Friends of the Cheshire Public Library in memory of Arthur Hostage.

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2:00pm for “Simply Lincoln“. Being in the presence of Howard Wright as President Abraham Lincoln is an experience you will not soon forget. Dressed in precise period attire and speaking with a Kentucky accent, Lincoln’s mannerisms, speaking style, and humanity flows over the listener with each moving sentence, witty observance, or eloquent description of a tortuous time that was the Civil War. Authenticated speeches, letters, quotes, and humorous stories have been the foundation from which Howard Wright has crafted his program, giving you a sense of what it was like to have been in the presence of Abraham Lincoln.

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., Dr. Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History, CCSU, will deliver a talk on “The Changing Nature of the American Presidency“. Dr. Warshauer’s books include, Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law: Nationalism, Civil Liberties, and Partisanship (2006); Andrew Jackson in Context (2009); Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice and Survival (2011), all of which have received praise from noted historians. Warshauer’s most recent book publication is Inside Connecticut and the Civil War: Essay’s on One State’s Struggles (2014), in which he edited essays authored by CCSU’s Department of History master’s students.

To learn more about the presidency throughout our nation’s history, we suggest checking out the following titles:

BOOKS

 

DOWNLOADABLE AUDIOBOOKS

 

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in February

February’s a short month, but it’s long on programs here at Cheshire Library. Visit our Event Calendar for the full roster of programs for adults & kids this month – here are some highlights!

Explore New Worlds: Virtual Reality Tours

Monday, February 3, 2020, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Experience virtual reality with the library’s Oculus Quest headsets. Choose from 3 of our own Cheshire-based VR adventures or visit other new places and experiences. The event starts at 6pm, but you will be contacted prior to the event with the exact time of your personal session.   Sessions will be in the order of registration.

Drop-in Tech Help

  • Tuesday, February 4,  1:00 – 2:30pm
  • Wednesday, February 19, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Do you have questions about your laptop, smartphone, or iPad? Do you need help navigating the internet or downloading an ebook? Bring your technology-related questions and issues to Cheshire Public Library’s Drop-In Tech Help. Our librarians will be available to answer your questions and offer advice. NOTE: Please be sure your device is charged beforehand. Tech help is available on a first come first served basis. Tech help may be limited to 15 minutes per person.

Terrific Tweens – Let’s Make Wishing Bracelets!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Kids in grades 5-8 can drop in and decorate paper beads on one side with crayons, markers or pencils, and then write a wish on the other. Then we’ll roll them up, string them together and wish for good things! No registration required.

Take Your Child to the Library Day

Saturday, February 8, 2020 9:00am – 5:00pm

Celebrate your local library today! Stop by the Children’s Room and go on a scavenger hunt, play with toys, crafts, and more! Cheshire residents of any age can get a library card with a photo ID and proof of address. Non-residents can bring their card from their hometown library and get set up to borrow Cheshire materials. And as always, no card is needed to enjoy the day’s activities!

The Winter-Wonderland Music, Bubble and Comedy Show!

Saturday, February 8, 2020, 10:00 – 10:45am

This movement-focused 45-minute performance by Turtle Dance Music is a musical experience that is designed to engage children through song, movement, stories, projections, and interactive music technology! Best for children ages 2-12 but younger siblings are welcome to attend. Please register in advance for this program.

Sally Rogers concert

Sunday, February 9, 2020, 2:00 – 3:15pm

Join us for a concert of traditional, contemporary and original ballads and songs with acclaimed folk musician and recording artist Sally Rogers. Much of the material Sally performs includes compositions of her own (accompanying herself on guitar and Appalachian dulcimer),  many of which are considered classics of the folk and popular genre.  No registration required.

Intermediate Mac

Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 11:00am – 12:00pm

Have you purchased a Mac and want to learn more about the applications?  In this lecture style class we will go over Calendar, Photos, Finder, Preview and more. To take this class you must have a fundamental understanding of Mac computers.   Please bring your fully charged Mac computer and all applicable passwords. Space is limited and registration is required.

Learn to Scan Family Photos

Thursday, February 13, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Do you have albums and boxes of family photos that you would like to digitize? You can do it for free at the Library! Learn how to use the Scannx Scan Center on the library’s lower level in this short hands-on demonstration. Registration is required.

Author Talk: Dear George, Dear Mary

Thursday, February 13, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Author Mary Calvi has written a fascinating book called Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington’s First Love. Did unrequited love spark a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution? Dear George, Dear Mary explores George’s relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.  Books will be for sale and signing after the presentation. Registration is required.

Simply Lincoln

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Being in the presence of Howard Wright as President Abraham Lincoln is an experience you will not soon forget. Dressed in precise period attire and speaking with a Kentucky accent, Lincoln’s mannerisms, speaking style, and humanity flows over the listener with each moving sentence, witty observance, or eloquent description of a tortuous time that was the Civil War.  Registration is required.

The Hot Flashes concert

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00pm

The Hot Flashes are an exciting and eclectic group fronted by three female vocalists who have made a name for themselves on the New England music scene showcasing their tight vocal harmonies and jazzy acoustic stylings. Join us for a rousing afternoon of bluegrass, folk, vintage country, swing, jazz, and blues tunes…with a few cowgirl and traditional tunes thrown in for good measure! No registration required.

Principles of Organic Gardening

Monday, February 24, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00pm

This talk by Dr. Yonghao Li from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station  will explain the basic elements of successful organic gardening including site selection, soil preparation, garden design, irrigation, mulching, fertilization, and disease management. Registration is required.

Trivia Afternoon

Monday, February 24, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Come by yourself or bring friends. Test your knowledge from general categories including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course, literature! Registration required for this adult program. When registering please register entire group from one person to a max five people.

The Changing Nature of the American Presidency

Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Dr. Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University, will deliver a talk on The Changing Nature of the American Presidency. Dr. Warshauer received his Ph.D. (1997) in American Studies at Saint Louis University and joined the faculty at CCSU that same year. He is the author of several history books. Registration is required.

New England Country Dance

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a night of dance!  Hosted by  Rich Sbardella who has been a dance caller for thirty years.  Please wear good shoes for dancing! Registration is required for this adult program.

Color Yourself Calm & Watch a Movie

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Back by popular demand! De-Stress from your busy life and color. In addition to coloring we will be watching New in Town (2009, rated PG) starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. All supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Registration required for this adult program.