By Liz Johnson
Hunterdon County libraries are anything but quiet these days …
With widespread use of the Internet and the easy access to books and information it provides, you may think libraries have outlived their usefulness. But that’s not the case. Libraries around the country are remaking themselves, offering services the Internet can’t provide. At Hunterdon County’s libraries, you can print a potato bag clip, listen to live music or even take a class. Here are a few things going on worth checking out:
TEEN WRITING GROUP
Libraries aren’t just for reading anymore. Now, teens can use them to write and share their writing with others. The third Wednesday of each month, the North Branch Library in Clinton hosts a teen writers group from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. It’s geared to students in grades 6 -9, but older students are welcome to participate.
LEGO week takes place at the Tewksbury Library at 31 Old Turnpike Road beginning Friday, June 21. The popular plastic building blocks will be available all week for kids to come and make something magical. Creations will be displayed at the library the following week.
UNIVERSE OF STORIES SUMMER READING
Universe of Stories Summer Reading Program kicks off at the Holland Township Free Library at 129 Spring Mills Road on Saturday, June 22 at 10 a.m. with Young Adult Sci-fi author Danielle Novotny.
SUMMER STEM PROGRAM
The Summer STEM project launches at the North County Branch Library at 65 Halstead Street in Clinton on June 24 at 1 p.m. with a Marshmallow Solar Oven Challenge. Other STEM challenges include hovering on a cushion of air, making stardust playdough, creating a water filtration system, designing a planetary rover with pasta and glue, and learning to tell time with the sun.
Learn to play chess with New Jersey Girls Chess Champion Angelica Chen and New Jersey 9th Grade Champion Jonathin Chin at the Hunterdon Library Headquarters on Route 12 in Flemington. The two will host a three-day instruction beginning Monday, July 8th at 10 a.m. Each session includes an hour of instruction and 30 minutes of free play. Geared to students in grades 2-12.
VISIT A PLANETARIUM
Get a good look at the stars and planets at the Pearl Observatory Starlab, an inflatable planetarium that will be on display at the Hunterdon Library Headquarters in Flemington on June 25 from 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. and at the North County Branch from 6 p.m.-7 p.m.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Spend an afternoon making arts and crafts for the library to display during the drop-in crafter event sponsored by the Youth Services Program. The event is geared for students in grades 3-6 and will be held at the Hunterdon Library Headquarters in Flemington on June 26 from 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Learn Origami at one of the workshops hosted at the South County Branch at 1108 Old York Road in East Amwell on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in June and July. The workshop is open to all ages.
LEARN A LANGUAGE
Thinking about traveling abroad? Learn the language before you go. Beginner and advanced Italian lessons are being offered by the Tewksbury Library. Rosetta Stone courses are also offered free of charge to library cardholders. Click here for details.
LISTEN TO MUSIC UNDER THE STARS
The Belle Tones, which celebrates the harmony of girl groups from the 1930s through the 1980s, will perform June 12 at 7 p.m. at the Hunterdon County Library Headquarters in Flemington. John Nobile’s SummerSwing Orchestra will perform July 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Learn to work with yarn by taking one of the fiber art classes, such as the drop-in needlework group that meets at the South County Branch on Tuesday mornings, or the knitters group that meets at the Tewksbury Library on Thursday evenings or the Woolkeepers, who practice traditional rug hooking and meet at the Tewksbury branch on Tuesday mornings. Bunnvale Library, 7 Bunnvale Road, Califon, also hosts a knitting and crocheting club on the first and third Wednesdays beginning at 7 p.m.
WATCH A MOVIE
Catch an Academy Award-winning flick. Movies are hosted throughout the summer at both the Hunterdon Library Headquarters in Flemingtonand North County Branch in Clinton. Titles on tap: Black Panther and Free Solo. Check out the library’s website at for times and details.
Try a free yoga class hosted by the Holland Free Public Library on Saturday, July 13 at 10 a.m. and taught by Trish of Easton Yoga.
Print out a digital creation using the library’s 3D printer. The library charges 10-cents per gram of filament. Check out the library’s website for printing guidelines.
FREE MUSEUM PASSES
Take in a local museum using the library’s free museum pass services. One pass can be reserved per day, per cardholder. Participating museums include Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton and Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pa. Click here for details.
LAMBERTVILLE SCAVENGER HUNT
Take part in a town-wide scavenger hunt during Mission Control Lambertville Week July 16-24. Get clues from the library and walk around town to find the answers. The event culminates on Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. with a 50th Anniversary Moon Landing Party at the Lambertville Library on 6 Lilly Street. Scavenger hunt prizes will be awarded on Wednesday, July 24. For details, click here.
Join a book group. The library hosts several reading clubs, plus offers a list of groups on its website. It’s a great way to meet people if you’re new to the area.