Tag Archives: Learn at the Library

Summer Fun at the Library!

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The Library is many things, beloved patrons: it is a place of learning, a place of study, a place for meeting old friends and making new ones, a place with resources aplenty and programs galore.

It is also a place with air conditioning.

And sometimes, that last point is reason enough to come and spend some time at the Library, especially considering some of the scorching days we have had recently.  You never need an excuse to come to the Library, but if you are looking for ways to fill your time while getting your fill of cool air, might we recommend some of our upcoming programs, classes, and events for you to enjoy?  We are always working to develop helpful, informative, and engaging programming for our patrons and community members, so please keep your eye on our calendars…and please let us know if there are any programs you would like to see offered at the Library!  We are, after all, here for you and for your needs…including your need just to cool off for a little while…

So, without further ado, here are some of the programs on offer in July and August for your enjoyment.  You can register for these programs on our website, or by calling the Main Library or Branches at the following numbers:
Main Library: (978) 531-0100
South Branch: (978) 531-3380
West Branch: (978) 535-3354


At the Main Library:

Winesburg, Ohio Discussion Series: Beginning Monday, July 16, 7:30 – 8:30pm

Professor Theo Theoharis will teach this four-part discussion series on Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio.  First published in 1919, this novel is widely regarded as a classic of American literature, and one of the first and best works in the ‘modernist’ mode.  A collection of short stories centered around the figure of George Willard, a newspaper reporter in a small Ohio town before the First World War, the book is part novel and part group portrait, depicting the private and public experiences of longing, disappointment, hope, religious conviction, joy in nature, joy in art, and the pains and rapture of romantic love.  Anderson’s ideas and tone, combining unsentimental assessment of flaws with compassionate probing of how scope for thought and feeling is found and lost in life, have made the book a classic that has remained in print continually since 1919 and influenced writers as diverse as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway.  This series will continue on July 30, August 13, and August 27.

The Addiction of Loving an Addict: Monday, August 6, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Please join Jenny Ravikumar for a workshop/discussion around healing your heart, body and soul from the addiction of loving an addict. During our time together, we will be learning about the addiction of loving an addict. What it means to be co-dependent, how shame and forgiveness play into family disease and what you can do to begin your own recovery. We will connect on how we can explore the use of yoga, al-anon principles, essential oils and breath work to heal. You deserve self-care. Addiction may not be your choice, but it is your journey. How you move forward is your choice. Let’s release shame, invite forgiveness and explore loving kindness. We will end with a guided meditation, breath work and an essential oil assist.  Jenny Ravikumar, e-RYT 500 hour teacher, reiki master, healer and writer. She will share her powerful story of how she began (and is still to this day) healing her own heart while staying strong in loving her son and creating a new family lifestyle for them both.


At the South Branch: 

Gray Seals and Great White Sharks of Cape Cod Presentation with Bob Michelson, July 26, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Join Bob Michelson of Photography of Michelson, Inc. for a special 1 hour presentation on Gray seals and Great white sharks of Cape Cod! Follow seal researchers as they capture and sample newborn Gray seal pups on the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness Area south of Chatham. Witness the first documentation of this species mating in the United States, and learn about the seals’ complete life history while in New England. Great white sharks have been returning in ever increasing numbers to hunt their favorite snack – Gray seals. Exclusive underwater photographs provided courtesy of the MA Division of Marine Fisheries and the Great White Shark Consortium show this apex predator in Cape Cod waters.  Bob Michelson is a published underwater photographer/videographer who has been diving for 38 years.  His work has appeared in numerous books and magazines such as National Geographic, Natural History, Highlights for Children, Field & Stream, TROUT, The Conservationist, and NH Wildlife Journal, and on various broadcast networks such as Discovery Science, ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS.


At the West Branch:

Heritage Films presents The Homestead Act History: Wednesday, July 25, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Come join us for film presentation by local historian and film maker Dan Tremblay of Heritage Films! This particular film will focus on the history of the Homestead Act. The Homestead Act is a wonderful 30 minute film made in the mid-west area about the western movement of immigrants when they found out that 160 acre plots of land could be gotten in 1862 as long as they maintained and lived on it. There were perils of course but the film has many great period photos of the Westward expansion.

Until next month, beloved patrons–we look forward to seeing you soon!

Planning for June…

Summer is here, beloved patrons, and we can only hope that you are looking forward to plenty of sunshine-filled adventures, intriguing getaways, and days filled with exploration, learning, and revelations.

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And we are here to help!  As always, we have been hard at work thinking of new classes, events, and presentations that will help you learn, grow, and relax a bit.  Some of these are featured below, but you can check out all our sensational plans on our the calendars available on our website.

If you have paid a visit to the Main Library lately, you’ll have noticed that there are some changes afoot.  We are renovating and moving our materials around in the hopes of making the library a better place for you.  As a result, the offering at the Main Library are being kept on the low side for the month in order to make sure that we can complete all the tasks on our ‘to do’ list well–but rest assured, we will be back to our full schedule, and with some shiny new surprises for you at the Main Library very soon!

So please check out all the events we have on offer for you!  You can register for these events on our website, or by calling the Libraries themselves:

Main Library: (978) 531-0100
South Branch: (978) 531-3380
West Branch: (978) 535-3354

And, as always, please let us know what classes and programs you would like to see at the Library.  We are always working to make the Library a place where everyone feels welcome and everyone can enjoy, and your input is a critical part of that process!


At the Main Library:

Wednesday, June 20 & 27, 3:00 – 4:30pm: Intro to Excel 2016 (Two Part Class!)

In this two-week course, we will explore the basic functions of Microsoft Excel 2016.  Topics will include creating workbooks and spreadsheets, entering and arranging data, basic formatting, shortcuts, simple formulas, and if time allows, we will discuss basic tables, charts, and graphs.  Attendees must be comfortable using a computer and a mouse. Prior exposure to Excel is helpful but not required.

Please note: The library has just (5) available laptops with Excel 2016 for attendees, so space is limited.


In the Creativity Lab:

Tuesday, June 19, 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Create Your Own Bumper Sticker

Learn how to use the Creativity Lab’s vinyl cutter to create professional-quality weatherproof bumper stickers that you can design yourself!  Whether you want to write a message, cut a logo, or draw something from scratch, you can make it here.  For ages 9-adult. Space is limited so please register.

At the West Branch:

Wednesday, June 13, 1:00 – 2:00pm: Heritage Films Presents Wagon Trail: Legacy of the Old West

Calling fans of westerns and movie buffs!  Come join us for a 40 minute film presentation by local historian and film maker Dan Tremblay of Heritage Films! This particular film will focus on the Wagon Trails and the Legacy of the Old West.

Also at the West Branch…

Tuesdays, June 19th, June 26th, July 10th and July 17th, 4:00 – 5:00pm: Latin Dance Series with Greg Coles (Four Part Class!)

Greg Coles has years of experience in teaching Latin Dance and will be teaching a basic introduction to different varieties of Latin dance in this course. No prior experience is necessary. Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and comfortable, lightweight shoes.  Signing up for the first class signs you up for the whole series.

This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Library.


At the South Branch:

Wednesday, June 6, 1:00pm – 2:30pm: Learn to Make Natural Deodorant

Are you concerned about using traditional underarm deodorant and antiperspirant? If so, join beautician Linda Sessa in a workshop to learn how to make your own natural deodorant! With ingredients already likely in the kitchen, Linda will walk attendees through the process of making deodorant and you’ll be able to take a small sample home! Come dressed to get messy!   This program is free but space is limited and registration is required.

Resolve to Read 2018: Read A Book That Will Teach Me A New Skill

As we mentioned here previously, we here at the Library are Resolving to Read (more…different….) in 2018, and tackling both Book Riot’s and Scholastic’s 2018 Reading Challenges.  In the hopes of encouraging you to broader your literary horizons along with us, here are some suggestions for books that fall within the categories of the various challenges.

Today’s Challenge: Scholastic 2018 Reading Challenges
Category: Read A Book That Will Teach Me A New Skill 

Oh my goodness, if you are in the mood to learn something new, there is literally no better place to get started than at the Library.  That is quite seriously part of our reason for being in communities is to help people find things they are interested in and to learn more about those things!

The first step, of course, is thinking about what kind of skill it is you’d like to learn.  Have you always wanted to learn how to grow your own fruits or vegetables?  Or to knit?  Perhaps you were thinking about making children’s toy as gifts or for profit?  Or maybe learning a new language?  We can help you out with all those goals–and many more, besides.  If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea you like best, or if your wrestling with a number of different competing ideas, come by and talk to a member of our staff.  We’re here to help!

Here are just a few books that are waiting on our shelves for you, eager to help you acquire new knowledge, to flex your muscles and your memory, and to create things that can bring beauty to your life and the lives of others.  And please know this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

Simple Knitting : a complete how-to-knit workshop with 20 projects: There are lots and lots of books in the Library on how to knit, but, for my money, there aren’t many better than Erika Knight.  Her attention to detail and her easy-to-follow instructions make the daunting prospect of learning how to knit into something that is both accessible and rewarding (and take it from a left-handed knitter, here, if she can teach me, she can teach almost anyone).  This book also comes with a number of projects to make with your growing knitterly skills–projects that are both easy to make and easy to wear.  These are the kind of gifts that make a whole holiday season worthwhile.  And now is a perfect time to start working on those gifts!

And for the experienced knitter looking to take on a new challenge, why not give brioche a try?  There isn’t a better teacher out there than Nancy Marchant, and her book Knitting fresh brioche : creating two-color twists & turns offers a terrific tutorial (that the right- and left-handed amongst us can follow) as well as some fun projects to work on at the same time.  There are directions in this book for basic brioche, as well as multi-colored and motif knitting, so you are sure to emerge from this book with oodles of new skills and projects!

Natural Wooden Toys : 75 easy-to-make and kid-safe designs to inspire imaginations & creative play: Erin Freutchel-Dearing is a stay-at-home mom who taught herself how to make toys without any prior woodworking experience.  In this book, she shows you how to acquire the same skills, with step-by-step instructions that lead to  cute and creative wooden toys for children.  There are no complicated tools needed for these projects: just a scroll saw, a palm sander, and a drill.  Not only do these projects result in pitch-perfect gifts, but studies have shown that working with your hands reduces stress, focuses concentration, and leads to even greater leaps of creativity.  Just think what you can achieve after mastering wooden toys!

Apartment Gardening : plants, projects, and recipes for growing food in your urban home: Hey, we’d all like to live in a world where we can wander among the lush fields and have lots and lots of space to grow the food we need.  But that’s not the case for many (most) of us.  But Amy Pennington’s book offers a number of creative solutions for those looking to grow more of their own food, even if space is at a premium.  Whether you’re a veteran gardener or a novice getting your hands dirty for the first time, this book provides hands-on advice to start using urban space in a sustainable, efficient, and inexpensive manner.  From the right containers to use to choosing your soil, this book guides you through the growing process, and even offers advice for how to prepare your newly-grown goodness.  In fact, the recipes and illustrations in this book are inspiration enough to want to give Apartment Gardening a try!

On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft : Part memoir and part guide to good writing, Stephen King’s incredible book discusses all the things that make an author’s work compelling and emotional and evocative.  It is also a stunning book for reminding us why reading is such a fulfilling, meaningful, and deeply human practice. Those who love King’s fiction will savor this peek behind the curtain into his process, and may very well gain some tips in their own work.  But this is a book that even those who aren’t King’s fans have loved, because it is such a clear and frank look at writing.  For those looking to write or read more in the coming year, this is a reminder of why those things are so critical to us all.  It’s also one of those books that feels like a long chat with an old friend, and for that reason alone, this is a book worth savoring.

 

What skills are you eager to learn in 2018?  Come into the Library, and let us help you find the right tools to get you started!

April Events At The Library

March may have come in like a proverbial lion, beloved patrons, but it seems to be preparing to go out like a lamb.  The added sunshine to the day is making everything a little brighter, and we know many of you have begun to look forward to real, honest, Spring.  So, in the spirit of looking ahead, we wanted to highlight a few of the programs taking place at the Main Library and Branches in April to help you plan and prepare.   You can register for these events at our website, or by calling the hosting library directly.  And check out our full calendar to see all the great programs we have in store in the coming months!

And don’t forget–if there are any events, programs, or classes you would like to see at the Library, please let us know!  We always aim to bring you the best programming we can, and your feedback is critical to that goal.  And now, without further ado, here are some of the great events we have planned for April!

At the Main Library: 

Sean Gaskell: West African Kora Performance
Wednesday, April 4: 7:00 – 8:00pm

Sean Gaskell will give a performance and educational demonstration on the kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa.  He will feature traditional songs that are the heart and soul of the kora’s musical repertoire in addition to some of his own personal compositions.  The Kora is native to the Mande peoples who live within the countries of Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau. The music is traditionally played by oral and musical historians known as Griots (Gree-ohs). The Kora is a melodic and seemingly peaceful instrument, which is somewhat contrary to its musical repertoire. Many songs tell ancient stories of war and hardship, while others praise people of high political status and those who helped expand the Mande Empire. While the Kora is only 300 years old, some commonly played songs can be traced back 800 years to the Mande empires’ founding. Gaskell has been featured at numerous festivals in the US, Gambia, and Senegal.

 This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries


At the Main Library: 

Raining Poetry Painting Day
Monday, April 9: 3:30 – 5:30pm

Cloudy with a chance of poetry? Yes! This spring it will be ‘Raining Poetry’ in Peabody! The Peabody Institute Library is pleased to invite people to participate in the creation of a temporary art installation called ‘Raining Poetry.” Participants will meet in the courtyard of the Main Library.  Using stencils created with the library’s laser cutter, participants will transfer poems to Peabody sidewalks. We’ll treat the stencils with a solution, so that poems appear up and down Main Street when it rains. The spray used to write the poems is invisible; when the surrounding pavement is darkened by rain, the dry words emerge and treat pedestrians to the secret poems that quietly wait to be read.

Launched in honor of National Poetry Month, ‘Raining Poetry’ was begun by Seattle resident Peregrine Church and this particular art-instillation is brought to you by Mass Poetry, the Peabody Cultural Council, Peabody Institute Library, the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries, and a mother-daughter team of locals: Jennifer and Chloe Jean.

This event is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries


At the West Branch

Basic Gardening with Dan Tremblay
Saturday, April 14: 10:00 – 11:00am

Dan, who is also the filmmaker from Heritage Films, who many of you may remember, is bringing an informational gardening program to the West Branch! Dan will cover soil prep, planting, maintenance, fertilizing, and harvest. This session and the one in April will cover the same topics.
Note: This is the same presentation that is being offered in March.


At the Creativity Lab

Coding for the Web
Tuesday, April 10: 6:30 – 8:30pm

Eight Part Class

If you want to build your own website or web app, this course is the place to start. This eight-session course will teach attendees how to use the essential coding languages of the Web, from laying out web pages using HTML and CSS to programming your site’s behavior with JavaScript.  For ages 13+. Space is limited; sign up is required. Signing up for the first class session automatically registers you for the full eight-session class.

 

Happy Spring, dear readers!

Looking Forward to March…

It’s not really February’s fault that it became the month where everything is kind of dark and murky and generally not conducive to optimism.  However, dear readers, it’s also the shortest month.  And with the turning of the calendar page, we get that much closer to Spring, and the potential for sunshine, longer days, and new adventures.  So, in the spirit of looking ahead, we wanted to highlight a few of the programs taking place at the Main Library and Branches in March to give you something to look forward to on this last Monday of February.   You can register for these events at our website, or by calling the hosting library directly.  And check out our full calendar to see all the great programs we have in store in the coming months!

And, as always, if there are classes or programs that you would like to see offered at the Library, please let us know!  We are here for you, and are always striving to provide the best classes, programs, and events possible for you!


At the Main Library:

Pleasure Grounds: Public Gardens Close to Home
Monday, March 5: 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Flowers and foliage in the dull days of March! This armchair tour showcases six public gardens within just 40 miles north of Boston—gardens with important history and significant horticultural elements. The audience will ‘meet” the ladies and gentlemen who created these gardens including the Editor of The Atlantic Monthly magazine, a nephew of Isabella Stuart Gardener, and an heiress who gave away her entire fortune to historical and charitable endeavors. Antique photos are mixed with colorful images of perennial borders, rose gardens, allées and drives, woodland paths, tropical annuals, water features, statuary, and more. b North Shore native Gail Anderson is a trained horticulturist and has been researching and photographing these gardens for nearly 10 years. Gardens covered in the lecture include: Ropes Mansion, Salem; The House of the Seven Gables, Salem; Glen Magna Farms, Danvers; Sedgwick Gardens at Long Hill, Beverly; the Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich; and the Stevens Coolidge Place, North Andover.  To register, please call (978) 531-0100.
This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries.


At the Creativity Lab:

Making Decals With Vinyl Cutting
Wednesday, March 21: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

For ages 13 to adult. A vinyl cutter can be used to make all sorts of professional-quality decals, from small bumper stickers to giant wall decorations. Learn the basic operation of a vinyl cutter here, and leave with a decal of your own!  To register, please call (978) 531-0100.


At the South Branch:

Adult Game Night
Thursday, March 15: 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Adults 18+ are invited to the library for a night of board games and card games! Bring your friends or other family members who are 18 years or older for light snacks, laughs, and fun! Enjoy more classic games like Chess, Scrabble, and Backgammon, or indulge in newer games such as Cards Against Humanity, What Do You Meme?, and Codenames. All snacks and games will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own along as well! Come for all three hours or any time in between. Space is limited and registration is required; please call (978) 531-3380, ext. 11
Please note: Some of our games contain crude humor, strong language, or suggestive themes.

At the West Branch:

DIY Aromatherapy Crafts and Beauty Recipes
Monday, March 19: 4pm – 5pm
Have you ever wanted to try making your own natural beauty products? Join us once a month through the spring and summer as we try a different recipe each month. We’ll make things like sugar scrubs, facial mists made with tea and essential oils, and aromatherapy eye pillows. All supplies will be provided.
Sign up for one session or multiples.  Please contact Linda if you have any questions or concerns about potential allergens at (978) 535-3354 , ext. 11
We look forward to seeing you at one of our programs soon!

What’s New For Fall?

But when fall comes,…it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.
(Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot)

Well, dear readers, I think it’s safe to say that it’s officially fall!  There’s a briskness to the morning air, and a chill note in the breeze.  There are caramel apples for sale, and apples by the peck to be had over at Brooksby Farm (they are scrumptious!).  There is pumpkin-spice…everything, and maple sugar candy.

So, in the spirit of the season, why not think about turning over a new leaf at the Library this month, and take part in some of our fantastical programming?  Get it?  Leaf…?  …Anyways, we’ve got some great learning opportunities, creative outlets, and artistic adventures on tap this month–and every single one of them are free!  Take a look at the events calendars on our website and register for some of our super-terrific offerings, or give us a call and we can assist you with registration.

To whet your appetite, here is a highlight of some of the events scheduled for the coming weeks:

Intro to Fiction Writing: 4-Week Class

Beginning: Friday, October 6, 9:30am

Everyone has a story (or two…or three…) to tell.  But it can be difficult to find the time, the motivation, or the tools to get that story out into the world.  There are still a few spots left in our four-week beginners’ writing class, designed to help you outline, plot, and begin the process of writing a piece of fiction.
We will begin by discussing forms and genres, in order to help participants frame their work, and then we will discuss writing methods and practices, so that your writing can continue to flourish long after the class is completed.  Each class will feature some free-writing time as well as group critiques and discussions.  Some work in between classes will be expected, especially as your fiction begins to develop.  Bring something with which to write–a notebook and pen, laptop, tablet, whatever works best for you!
No experience is necessary—first time writers are welcomed and encouraged!
Registration for this workshop will sign you up for all (4) weeks of the series.

West Branch: Drift Wood, Stone Circles, Three Canoes, a Lost Lighthouse and a Piano: Stories of Collaboration and Engaging the Public

Tuesday, October 10, 7:00pm

This presentation will be given by Victor Mastone, Director and Chief Archaeologist of the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources of Massachusetts…When the public thinks about underwater archaeology, they generally picture intact shipwrecks, pirate treasures and mystery. I have never dealt with the first, unfortunately had to deal with the second, but constantly court the third. As archaeologists and resource stewards we are all familiar with mystery. We nearly always face that when we first approach a shipwreck site. ‘What ship is this? I don’t know. I need to investigate.’ At various points, we turn outward to colleagues and the public to find answers. The process of addressing this question becomes a form of collaboration and means to engage the public.  While Massachusetts waters hold about 3,500 shipwrecks, we have a diverse range of submerged cultural resources encompassing now submerged Native American sites, maritime industry structures, bridges, and aircraft. The Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources depends on the active involvement of and collaboration with the public to identify, evaluate, and protect these non-renewable resources. This presentation describes the state’s diversity of archaeological resources and various ways the public is engaged in their study.


Film Screening: I Am An American Dream

Tuesday, October 24, 6:30pm

A film by A Light Storm Studios, I Am An American Dream shines a light on the collective misunderstanding of differences among Americans while also highlighting our collective American Dream. This program will include a full screening of the film followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Andrew DeCola.
Andrew DeCola, founder of A Light Storm Studios, prides himself on works of art that serve not just his own personal creativities but also a larger social purpose. Through both music and film Andrew aims to both enlighten and educate.

South Branch: Bay State Phantoms

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Just in time for Halloween, join us at the South Branch for a talk about the phantoms of Massachusetts. New England folklorist John Horrigan provides an amusing historical overview of paranormal events, sightings of odd creatures and strange happenings from 1630-2010. Topics include (but not limited to): Bridgewater Triangle, Red-Headed Hitchhiker of Rt. 44, Dover Demon, Bridgewater Bigfoot, Gloucester Sea Serpent, UFO sightings and the Lady in Black.  John Horrigan is a historian, 5-time Emmy (TM) winner and host of the TV show, The Folklorist and has been called a ‘vanguard of the new popular public history.’
This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. To reserve your free spot, please register online, in person, or by calling 978-531-3380.