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Rediscover Your Public Library

 

If you still think of your local library as a building full of dusty books and kindergarten storytimes, you’re missing out on a whole new world.

Today’s public libraries double as classrooms, art galleries, music venues and public computer labs. They host movie screenings, book clubs, writing and knitting groups, and even yoga classes! And let’s not forget the large-print and audio books, most of which can be borrowed without ever leaving your home. And the best part – it’s all free!

Some programs require a resident library card, but even that is free to anyone living within the library district. Cards are available to out-of-district patrons at a charge.

It’s impossible to list all of the events, activities and services available at area libraries, but we’ve put together a list of just a few, along with a guide to public libraries in the area.

 

 

Knit Together

Knack for Knitting or Knot is a weekly gathering for knitters of all skill levels, ages 16 and up. The group meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays at the La Grange Public Library, 10 W. Cossitt Ave., La Grange. Call (708) 215-3200 for details.

Knit Clique meets at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Westmont Public Library, 428 N. Cass Ave., Westmont. Knitters of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Call (630) 969-5625 for details.

Knitting Circle meets from 1 to 3 p.m. on specified Thursdays at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library, 800 Chestnut St., Western Springs. Join fellow knitters on Jan. 19, Feb. 2 and Feb. 16. Call (708) 246-0520 for more information or for additional dates. Or visit fordlibrary.org/events.

 

Chess

Adult chess players of every skill level are invited to engage in friendly competition each Monday at 6 p.m. at the Indian Prairie Public Library, 410 Plainfield Road, Darien. Call (630) 887-8760 for more information.

 

Current Events Group

Catch up on the latest news, share your views and hear the views of others at the Current Events Group, held at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Indian Prairie Public Library, 410 Plainfield Road, Darien. This month’s meetings are Jan. 9 and 23. Call (630) 887-8760 for more information.

 

Works of Art

The Hinsdale Public Library, 20 E. Maple St., Hinsdale, changes its featured art exhibit each season. The Winter exhibit now on display showcases a collection of photographs by Gary Niederpruem that exlore the people and culture of Havana. The exhibit’s official opening takes place Jan. 12 with a free open house reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

Indian Prairie Public Library, 410 Plainfield Road in Darien, showcases a local artist each month in its upper-floor gallery. The library also has two display cases filled with works or artifacts from local groups and individuals. This month features a display by the Darien Garden Club. The featured gallery artist for January is landscape photographer Chuck Morris. In February, stop in to admire Christine Ploense’s watercolor paintings.

The work of mixed media artist and photographer Georgia Velisaris is on display at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand, Brookfield, through February, with a meet-the-artist presentation scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. Call (708) 485-6917 for details.

 

Looking Back

When Football was Football takes place at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Westmont Public Library, 428 N. Cass Ave., Westmont. Author and lifelong South Side Chicago resident Joe Ziemba provides a humorous look at the wacky early days of professional football. The presentation includes rare archival photos and surprising insight into local historical figures.

 

Write On!

Adults can stretch their writing muscles at the Western Springs Writers’ Society. Meetings are held periodically at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library, 800 Chestnut St., Western Springs. Writers of all levels and genres are invited to share their work and review the work of others. The next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. Contact Marie Gerken at marie@gerken.org or Jim Swinehart at jswinehart@clausen.com with any questions.

 

Movies and More

The film “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man” will be viewed and discussed at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library, 800 Chestnut St., Western Springs, at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13. This documentary on the legendary singer-songwriter includes performances by those musicians he has influenced. Call (708) 246-0520 for more information.

 

Get Healthy

Chair Yoga is offered at 10:30 Monday mornings at Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd., Brookfield. Learn the basics of yoga from Susan Wilkens, co-owner and co-founder of Dancing Cranes. Call (708) 485-6917 for more information.

 

Volunteer

Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien, will hold a Community Connections Expo from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 14. Discover how to give back to your community through volunteering and/or membership activities. Featuring local organizations, clubs, and social service agencies.

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