NORWICH — The Guernsey Memorial Library, located at 3 Court Street in Norwich, offers much more than just books. In addition to their array of children's programs, the library also offers a litany of programs and activities for adults.
Twice a month, the Guernsey Library hosts a free adult craft workshop taught by local crafters. Although the workshops were scheduled for every other Wednesday evening in 2022, Guernsey Memorial Library Director Connie Dalrymple said this year the workshops will be held on various days and times each month to allow for more people to attend.
"We’re trying to rotate the days and times a little bit so that different people who have conflicts all get a chance to participate," she said. "We found that there would be a loyal group of people, but then they would stop coming and other people wouldn't come because presumably they had things to do Wednesday nights."
January's crafts include cross stitch bookmarks at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 21 and personalized mouse pads at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 30. Other crafts planned for this year include string art, knitting and crocheting, clocks made out of records, plastic canvas crafts, and PVC pipe flutes.
Prior registration is not necessary — Dalrymple said those interested in doing the crafts can show up to whichever ones they like. All supplies will be provided, and Dalrymple said the workshops are almost always free. However, if any of them do have a cost to participate, it will be advertised on the Guernsey Memorial Library Facebook page.
Local crafters who want to share their skills with others are also welcome to contact Dalrymple at 607-334-4034 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss becoming a workshop teacher.
"We’re always looking for future crafters, too. So right now I’ve got like half a dozen people who do these throughout the year, but this year we’re adding two or three more people who haven’t done it before," she said. "So we’re always hoping that people who have skills will share them. So if anybody has any ideas, I’d be welcome to hearing them."
In addition to the craft workshops, there are a few other clubs and activities available to adults at the Guernsey Memorial Library. Last year, an improv class created by community member, professional songwriter, and actor Gil Polk began weekly sessions at the library.
Polk's classes are specifically geared toward non-actors, and aim to teach them communication skills, how to think quickly, help them overcome social anxiety, and learn not to take themselves too seriously.
"This is perfect for non-actors because I don’t want people to think they have to have any acting training whatsoever," Polk explained. "A lot of us worry in life about being a perfectionist, or I’m not good enough, or what I’m going to say is not good enough. And in improv, everything is good enough. There’s no mistakes."
Improv classes are held at the library every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Those new to the group are encouraged to arrive early at 5:30 p.m.
New to the library is a writer's group, which will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, and will meet on the third Thursday of every month going forward.
"There may be like going in and reading each other’s work and commenting and so on. I think there was also some discussion that they might try to have local authors come in and speak. So that’s kind of a work in progress," said Dalrymple.
Local artists can attend the Let's Draw Together program, an art club that meets at Guernsey at 5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. The group is led by Guernsey Memorial Library Board Member Leah Meeling.
Of course, being a library, Guernsey also has an adult book club that meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. Dalrymple said it's similar to traditional book clubs, where members read a book and get together once a month to discuss it.
There is something for everyone at the Guernsey Memorial Library. To learn more about available programs and activities, visit GuernseyMemorialLibrary.org or the Guernsey Memorial Library Facebook page.