Chippewa River District Library celebrates with holiday favorites and new free programs in December

What’s happening: About 20 free events for both kids and adults are planned throughout Chippewa River District Library’s Isabella County locations this December. From holiday-focused events (see a Polar Express model train in action, discuss “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and discover a new holiday recipe) to NERF battles and a presentation on lady lighthouse keepers, there’s a lot happening at the library. 

What they’re saying: We have some new programs happening this month, as well as some holiday favorites,” shares Lisa McCartney, marketing and public relations coordinator at Chippewa River District Library. “Bird on the Bookshelf is a new program that helps kids discover new topics in the book stacks. Not only will kids get the thrill of looking for the hidden bird, but they will also get the opportunity to explore the stacks and maybe find a new topic that interests them.

“For our adult patrons, our upcoming talk, Ladies of the Lights, will explore the dangerous and physically demanding job female light keepers endured while keeping the shores safe across the Great Lakes. 

“And a big holiday favorite, the Polar Express, will be back for a short time,” says McCartney.

See a Polar Express model train in action at the Veterans Memorial Library in downtown Mt. Pleasant. The Polar Express train will be set up in the children's area Thursday, Dec. 1 through Monday, Dec. 5. (Photo courtesy of the CRDL)

Why these events are important:
“The library provides residents with programs that educate, inform and entertain. We always work to remind people that while books are a huge part of our services, we are more than books!” continues McCartney.

“The library is a community gathering space, and we strive to provide fun, entertaining programs that welcome patrons of all ages, and are free. We are able to provide access to programs that might otherwise be out of reach due to geographic or financial reasons for many people. We love that we are the place where the whole family can not only get their reading fix, but can also attend a talk on an interesting part of Michigan’s past, grab a craft kit to keep busy over Christmas break, or even take part in a NERF battle to run out some energy inside on a cold winter day.”

Let’s learn more about the take-home craft kit: Library patrons are invited to stop by any of the five CRDL locations (during their respective open hours) beginning on Dec. 6 to pick up a Snowflake Craft Kit. Since no two snowflakes are alike, make your own perfectly unique GIANT snowflake decoration with a CRDL Take & Make Kit. The kits will be available while supplies last.

What else is the CRDL providing in December: A community health worker from Isabella Citizens for Health will be available on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A community health worker (CHW) is knowledgeable about area service organizations and resources that help improve difficult situations, provide access to basic needs, and minimize or eliminate barriers to an improved quality of life. CHW’s can assist you in health insurance enrollment, transportation assistance, housing resources, and more.

The full CRDL December event schedule: Here's a look at this month's CRDL event calendar.  All events are free but registration is required for some events. Register for events, and download free books, movies and more by visiting www.crdl.org.

Bird on a Bookshelf
All month long, All CRDL branches
During the month of December, Snowdrop the snowy owl is perched somewhere in your branch library! Tell the librarian where its hiding place is, then pick a prize or piece of candy. Please play only once per day. 
 
The Polar Express
Dec. 2 – 5, Veterans Memorial Library
Stop by Veterans Memorial Library to see our Polar Express model train in action! The Polar Express train will be set up in the children's area Thursday, December 1 through Monday, December 5. Children may also take a turn playing the engineer when they ask for the remote control at the Help Desk (with adult supervision, please). Keepsake jingle bells and train tickets available to attendees, while supplies last.
 
Snowflake Craft Kit
Dec. 6, All CRDL branches
No two snowflakes are alike! Pick up a craft kit at your branch library and make a perfectly unique GIANT snowflake decoration! Take & Make Kits will be available at all five library branches, while supplies last. 
 
Sunday Cinema
Dec. 11, 2 p.m., Faith Johnston Memorial Library
With comfortable seating and freshly popped popcorn, watch Togo (PG) on the big screen at Faith Johnston Memorial Library.
 
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Dec. 27, 2 p.m., Faith Johnston Memorial Library
With comfortable seating and freshly popped popcorn, watch the award winning film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (PG). We will also serve samples of Turkish Delight, while supplies last. 
 
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Dec. 28, 2 p.m., Faith Johnston Memorial Library
With comfortable seating and freshly popped popcorn, watch the award winning film and the second movie in The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy, Prince Caspian (PG). We will also serve Bugles snacks (enchanted horns), while supplies last. 
 
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Dec. 29, 2 p.m., Faith Johnston Memorial Library
With comfortable seating and freshly popped popcorn, watch the award winning film and final movie in The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (PG). We will also serve "gold" cupcakes, while supplies last.
 

Adults

True Crime Club: Wineville Chicken Coop Murders
Dec. 4, 6 p.m., Faith Johnston Memorial Library
Join us for an engaging, lighthearted discussion of this fascinating, yet disturbing genre. We focus our discussion around uplifting and empathizing with the victims of these crimes. We will be reading The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders by Anthony Flacco as our main source of information, but feel free to research this topic however you choose!
 
Ladies of the Lights - Michigan
Dec. 7, 6 p.m., Veterans Memorial Library Annex
They were women before their time, taking on the romantic, yet dangerous and physically demanding job of tending to the beacons that protected the shoreline. In all, some 40 women have been identified who excelled in this profession over the years — dating back as early as the 1840s and as recent as present day. Nearly 70 images of keepers, their families and their lights make up this presentation. The program includes readings from newspapers and autobiographies, as well as handouts including the list of featured ladies and additional reading references for attendees.
 
Spice It Up: Orange Peel
Dec. 14, All CRDL branches
Are you ready to spice up your meals? Laura from GreenTree Co-op Market will share a tasty recipe using Orange Peel. This event will be offered as a blog post to view at your leisure. Register to receive a sample of the spice of the month at your branch location.
 

Fun for Teens

Teen RPG Club
Dec. 1, 4 p.m., Veterans Memorial Library
High school students are invited to explore their love of role playing games at Veterans Memorial Library.
 
Middle School Reading Masters
Dec. 12, 5 p.m., Veterans Memorial Library
Join us for a special end of year in person book club party! We will be serving pizza and enjoying each other’s company at this monthly book club led by students for students! Join us as we discuss A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We will be providing free copies of the original novel to participants who register at least a week in advance, while supplies last.
 

Fun for Kids

Blue Jays Gaming Group
Dec. 8, 4 p.m., Shepherd Community Library
Join us for after school gaming fun once a month at Shepherd Community Library! For students in grades 4-8.
 
NERF Battle!
Dec. 27, 11 a.m., Veterans Memorial Library
Are you NERF enough? Come find out at Veterans Memorial Library. All NERF gear and goggles are provided. Please register for each participant. It’s gonna be a BLAST!
 
Storytime & Crafts
Dec. 1 & 15, 2 p.m., Shepherd Community Library
Babies to preschoolers will enjoy stories, songs, dancing and crafting all while building vital early literacy skills!
 
Baby Time, ages 0 – 2 years
Every Thursday, 9:45 a.m., Veterans Memorial Library
 
Family Story Time, ages 0 – 5 years
Every Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Faith Johnston Memorial Library
Every Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Veterans Memorial Library
Every Thursday, 2 p.m., Shepherd Community Library
 
Music & Movement, ages 0 – 5 years
December 9, 10:30 a.m., Veterans Memorial Library


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