At the Westerly Library: Thanking Our Special Community | Guest columns


Thanksgiving is fast approaching! In a few days, dining tables near and far will groan under the weight of food platters as we kick off the holiday season with a traditional day of feasting, family and friends (and football). The last Thursday in November is a very holy day – many consider it their favorite holiday – because it’s a time to come together without the pressure of gifts. Now is the time to exchange smiles rather than gifts, and to tell stories rather than tearing the wrapping paper. In a culture obsessed with acquisition, Thanksgiving offers a welcome break – a day dedicated to remembering what really sustains us and which no one can value.

It has been said (and sung) that the best things in life are free, and I would say that one of those ‘best things’ is the sense of belonging and community created when we come together and interact with a feeling. of goodwill and gratitude. , rather than winning. It’s the essence of Thanksgiving, but it’s certainly not exclusive to the annual vacation, nor should it be limited to family and friends. The founders of the Westerly Library and Wilcox Park recognized this long ago; they have strived to satisfy the need for public places to come together and create community, to exchange ideas, information or just greetings – and our city is the richest of their foresight. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the building and the gardens; entry is free, and the more you visit (or stroll, browse, or borrow) the greater your sense of connection.

I know this because last year I was fortunate enough to be hired by the Westerly Library, and over the past 12 months I have witnessed and experienced countless examples of kindness and connection being rendered. possible through the existence of fully democratic civic spaces. . From my perspective at the loan office, I observed clients coming and going from all walks of life and served people from Watch Hill to WARM Shelter. Full disclosure – it had been a while since I darkened the library door before I was hired – but over the past 12 months I’ve been at the forefront of the types of gatherings and exchanges that maintain vibrant communities, and my life has been greatly enriched by this increased engagement in civic life.

This feast, I give thanks for the existence of the Westerly Library and Wilcox Park. I give thanks for this beautiful building and the collections it houses. I give thanks for the park it occupies, whose wonders are also shallow. But above all, I thank those who inhabit the two entities and breathe life into them. Young and old, rich and poor, employees and customers – Happy Thanksgiving and thank you.

Most Popular Books

1. “Apples never fall” by Liane Moriarty

2. “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

3. “The Last Thing He Said To Me” by Laura Dave

4. “The Judge’s List” by John Grisham

5. “Better Off Dead by Lee Child

6. Anthony Doerr’s “Cloud Cuckoo Land”

7. “State of Terror” by Hillary Rodham Clinton

8. “Peril” by Bob Woodward

9. “The Dark Hours” by Michael Connelly

10. “I wish you were there” by Jodi Picoult

Most Popular DVDs

1. “Jungle cruise”

2. “The Crown: The Complete Fourth Season”

3. “Free boy”

4. “Respect”

5. “Palm Springs”

6. “Easttown Mare”

7. “Calm waters”

8. “Pig”

9. “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

10. “Scream macho”

This week

TUESDAY – 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Family Story Time – Join us in the Terrace Room on the 3rd floor for a family story hour and take-out crafts! The program will target children from birth to 11 years old when accompanied by a caregiver; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available to help you connect to local services / resources. Email him at [email protected]; 2:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to answer your technical questions. Pre-registration is required; 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group meets weekly on the Reference floor.

WEDNESDAY – 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Family Story Time – Join us in the Terrace Room on the 3rd floor for a family story hour and take-out crafts! The program will target children from birth to 11 years old when accompanied by a caregiver; The library closes early at 5 p.m.

THURSDAY – Library closed for Thanksgiving.

SATURDAY – 9 am-4pm, DIY 3D Ornament – Take some time over the holiday season to create your own ornaments! Prefabricated parts are available for pickup in the children’s room and teenage area while supplies last; 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Wreath Take & Make – Instead of our annual wreath making workshop, we are once again offering a Wreath Take & Make kit at Wilcox Park! Kits will be available near the Memorial Fountain while supplies last; 10:00 am-3:30pm, Crafternoon To-Go: Handmade Holiday Edition – This week we’re making adorable gnome ornaments! Collect your kit in Reference while stocks last; 10:15 am-11am, Zumba in the Park – Try Zumba for a fun workout! Classes are FREE and will take place on the lawn near the gazebo, weather permitting; 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., annual tree lighting – Join us at Wilcox Park for a magical start to the holidays! Come taste treats and sing along with the Westerly Choir.

Kate Merryweather is Circulation Associate at Westerly Library.

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