Winter's a blast at Island libraries
Look for a lot more than books at Martha's Vineyard's libraries this winter. New programming runs the gamut from a series on genealogy in Vineyard Haven to how town government works in Edgartown.
At the Vineyard Haven library, live music, videos, and lectures are among the many offerings. The library has a new grant-funded database, ancestry.com, which accesses more than four billion names worldwide and has an immigration collection and learning center. There will be programs on how to do research on family history, and the library is expanding its genealogy collection. Vineyard Haven's reference librarian, Cecily Greenaway, went to Cape Cod for training sessions offered by the New England Historical Genealogical Society and will help patrons do genealogical research.
Because the Vineyard Haven Library stays open Tuesday evenings, library director Amy Ryan has scheduled weekly events including lectures, movies, music and other activities. Adult program director Betty Burton is coordinating the library's music programs. As part of the library's new music series, the Vineyard Sinfonietta will perform Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 pm.
Photos by Danielle Zerbonne
The library stays open Sundays from noon to 4 pm through March, and free coffee will be provided by Mocha Mott's. Among the programs already scheduled for Sundays at 2 pm are a talk by Pam Street about the Oak Bluffs Historical District on January 25, and one by Jay and Janet Sigler about their travels to Southern India and Panama on February 22.
The popularity of Wii has led the Vineyard Haven Library to continue to expand its activities related to the Nintendo interactive video game to include adults as well as children.
Still in the planning stages is programming that will take advantage of African-American History Month in February.
New for children is a drop-in crafts program offered at 3 pm on Thursdays. The library will also offer movies on school half-days and holidays.
Martha's Vineyard's other libraries are also busy boosting their activities for the winter. The emphasis in Oak Bluffs this winter will be on Intergenerational Gaming events, group and individual computer classes, and a lecture series. Lectures will focus on topics of interest to baby boomers and older adults. The library's Advisory Council, scheduled to meet this week, is considering topics in the following areas: health and economic issues; gardening and home improvement; books and authors; local history and genealogy; and current events. Oak Bluffs library patrons can go to oakbluffslibrary.org for details about upcoming events.
Mathew Bose, reference librarian and assistance director at the Oak Bluffs Public Library, secured a grant enabling the library to develop Lifelong Access programming.
The Edgartown Public Library is again fully operational, after being closed from early December 2007 to May 2008, because of smoke damage from a furnace problem.
Director Felicia Cheney says that at the top of the list this winter is a civic literacy project, "Edgartown 101," moderated by reference librarian, Nis Kildegaard. The series runs for six weeks in January and February, providing residents with a better understanding of local government.
It begins with "Inside Town Meeting, Inside Town Hall," featuring Edgartown Moderator Jeff Norton as a panelist, followed by, "Our Money: How Edgartown Gets It and Spends It."
Other programs in the series will present issues about public education with a school committee representative; the responsibilities of town selectmen and the limits of their power; land use with representatives from the planning board, zoning board of appeals and the Martha's Vineyard Commission; and the environment, with members of the conservation commission, board of health and Land Bank.
Starting December 10 with "The Thin Man," the Chilmark Free Public Library will be serving up chowder and a movie. The Wednesday series, scheduled from 12 noon to 2 pm in consideration of those who don't like to drive at night, will continue twice a month. And there will be wonderful aromas as well as sights. Library director Ebba Hierta says Chef Jean-Marc Dupon of Le Grenier Restaurant will teach a cooking class, "Mastering the Art of French Sauces," starting December 2. In addition, the library's Off-Season Café is open for business. Coffee, tea, and pastries are available in the meeting room, with special goodies, baked by staff members, on Saturdays. Special holiday programs are also in the works.
There is also a lot of activity in Aquinnah. "We're very excited," says Aquinnah Public Library director Jennifer Christy about the library's temporary move to the Old Town Hall. On November 7, the library closed its Church Street location in preparation for replacement of the floor. It will reopen at town hall early in December. Access to the town hall's kitchen means the library is finalizing plans for a chef's workshop there. It has been licensed to show movies and will offer a regular movie night this winter.
At the West Tisbury library, program director Colleen Morris has already begun arranging winter activities. Singer Willy Mason performed last weekend, and there was also a community poetry reading. Information on new programs for the coming months are available on the library's website, westtisburyfreepubliclibrary.org.