The Weatherford Library is a place to be this summer - and not just for kids.
Already well-known for its youth programs, the Weatherford Public Library is in its second summer of adult programs.
"One of the three main components of the library’s mission is to promote lifelong learning," said Chris Accardo, director of library services. "That is partially satisfied by offering the self-teaching opportunities provided by the library’s collection, but sometimes people like to have a more structured or formal learning opportunity."
Accardo stressed, however, that "structured and formal" should not be confused with “dry and boring.”
"We inject a healthy dose of fun into our adult events when appropriate," he said. "In fact, that’s one of the sayings we frequently use in regard to activities for adults: Why should kids have all the fun?
"Moreover, one of my goals for the library is that we become a community hub, a place where people come together and find each other, or find groups with which they identify. Technology is wonderful, but with the pace of modern life, long commutes, internet, smartphones, etc., it is increasingly vital that we maintain personal, face-to-face connections."
Accardo said last summer, the first year the library offered a Summer Challenge for adults, they had over 400 participants, leaving him to realize they were onto something. So this year he said they brought it back bigger and better.
Participants complete challenges, such as attending events, reading books, and using library services. For each challenge they complete, they get entered into drawings for prizes.
"We try to have activities that appeal to a wide variety of people in our community, but what really excites us is helping people step outside of their comfort zones," Accardo said. "That is when the most effective learning occurs, and when we really feel like the activities we offer are making the biggest difference in the area’s quality of life."
Accardo said that while enjoyment is important, so is not shying away from tackling difficult topics. For instance, they are currently in the middle of a series of events that are part of a Texas State Library and Archives Commission initiative called “Read Across Texas: The Veteran Experience” in which participants delve into topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder and integration of veterans back into civilian life.
To balance that, they have more lightweight, non-controversial events such as Coloring for Adults. That is exactly what it sounds like as attendees are provided with colored pencils and coloring sheets - and they color.
"We have people who come month after month - and bring friends - for the relaxation benefits," Accardo said.
Classes of note this summer include:
▪ Do It Yourself Recycled Glass Succulent Terrariums, Friday, June 16, 2-3:30 p.m. Participants bring a glass container with a wide-mouth opening and the library will provide the other materials and instructions.
"We did offer the Zentangle class before and it was very well-received," Accardo said. "Some of the creations that came out of it were really interesting. That is another class that is taught on a volunteer basis by a local resident."
▪ Understanding Shakespeare, Monday, July 24-6-7 p.m. Accardo said the class had its beginning in a presentation for teens that was intended to introduce Shakespeare and his language in a more teen-friendly way.
"That evolved into the teen Shakespeare workshop, WPL Players, which we offered last summer for the first time. WPL Players culminated in a performance of 'Romeo and Juliet,' rewritten for a modern audience by local actor and performer Sam Nash," Accardo said. "As more adults found out about WPL Players, they expressed an interest in having something similar for themselves."
▪ Home School 101, Tuesday, July 25, 6-7:30 p.m. Veteran homeschooling mom and reference librarian at the WPL will present the basics of homeschooling with topics including information on current Texas homeschool laws, popular methods and curricula, and more. The program is specifically designed for those who are homeschooling for the first time.
▪ Storm Warriors in partnership with WPL and Doss Heritage and Culture Center, Thursday, July 27, 5-8 p.m. The Storm Warrior Team will help folks in the community prepare for severe weather. Visitors can see the storm truck and meet the team, including search and rescue puppy in training Rayne. The event will also honor first responders.
▪ Basic Home Repair - Presented by Home Depot, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2-4 p.m., includes information on flooring, painting, electrical and gardening.
▪ Texas String Art, Friday, Aug. 11, 2-4 p.m. Participants will craft a nail and string art project that displays their Texas pride. Space is limited. Call 817-598-4208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of the programs are free. For more information, contact 817-598-4150.