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As we ease into winter, we enter one of my favorite times of year, when we can take a breather and plan for the year ahead.  There’s still plenty going on at the Library, though, and we especially hope to see a lot of you out there at our Holiday Open House events throughout the County!

First off, as always, we offer Storytime at each branch every week, so if you’re looking for a fun and educational activity for your preschooler, bring them by!  From Grantsville to Kitzmiller our staff work hard to deliver fun crafts and stories for kids, so come by and see what it’s all about, and maybe your kids will make some new friends - parents might as well!  While you’re there, be sure to sign up your child for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program and get them a head start to reading - and a permanent celebration of that accomplishment at the Library as well.

We also have some great book clubs to join throughout the County.  The Main Library has book clubs for kids - one group for ages 3-5 and one for ages 6 and up, so if you’ve got readers in the family, this is a great opportunity for them to connect with other literary kids!  Of course, we’ve got plenty for adults as well - the Main Library has a “Page Turners Book Club” that focuses on sci-fi, fantasy and adventure that meets monthly, and Kitzmiller’s “Cover2Cover” club has a strong following with a lot of great people - if you live in the area, come see what all the fuss is about!  The Accident Branch has not one but two clubs as well - one that focuses on a new book every month in the traditional way, and another that just invites you to share your latest reads with other book lovers, whatever they may be.

For the creative folks out there, the Main Library has started to collect zines from the public to share!  For those unfamiliar, zines are small handcrafted magazines on any number of subjects, a format popular in the underground scene.  If you’re into zines or want to see what they’re all about, come on by the Main Library and grab one or two for yourself and who knows - maybe you’ll contribute one yourself one day, because they’re a great creative outlet.

We’re also excited to announce that we’re starting a new monthly program for adults and teens called Speak Out!  This program encourages people to develop their public speaking skills together by practicing speeches, playing improv games, and giving mutually supportive advice to become the best speakers they can be - good public speaking skills can be a real confidence and career booster, after all.  We hope you’ll join us the first Tuesday of every month!

The Library is also partnering with the Vagabond Taproom to host trivia night events at that location every other Friday night at 7:00 - I’ll be there personally with a challenging selection of questions for everyone, as well as books to highlight!

This month, I wanted to highlight our Kanopy movie streaming service, available through our website with your library card. With 30,000 movies to choose from, specializing in documentaries, indies and classics, there’s a lot to keep you entertained without a subscription, and Library card holders get ten play credits a month to see what it has to offer.

If you’re interested in helping make the Library the best it can be, we’re always looking for new Friends!  In January, the Friends of the Library, a Library Advisory Group, will be meeting once again each month - you can hear the latest news, help raise money for Library events (and decide how it gets spent) and we’ll even throw in pizza as well for people who can make it out to share their ideas.  Meetings take place on the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30, and we’d love to have you!

And your input will be more important than ever soon!  The Library will be developing a new Strategic Plan in 2023 to decide what its priorities for serving the community will be over the next several years. Watch this space for more opportunities to get your ideas to us!

There’s always something going on at our Library – hope to see you soon!