The calendar has just changed, and that brings to mind our new motto: Lives change @ your library.   The winner of last year’s logo contest has started to appear on our website and flyers. It is also featured, with other entries, on the calendar produced by the Friends of the Library.  Copies are available for purchase at the library. You can think about changing your life every day.

Lives change when people make New Year resolutions.  As at every time of year, the library is a great resource.   Some of the most commonly made resolutions include health and fitness.  The library offers work out videos, diet books and a lot of useful health information. There is also advice on organization and financial education.  By borrowing these materials instead of buying them, you’ll be fulfilling your resolution to save money, too!

Lives change when people learn. Perhaps your resolution is to read more. As your library, we think this is a great idea.  Reading is more fun when you can discuss the books with others, and we have three different book clubs to help you.  The afternoon group meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 4:00 pm.  For January 13 the selection is Madame Tussaud, by Michelle Moran.  The French Revolution is about to begin, and Madame Tussaud, then a young woman living in Paris, must quickly adapt her famous wax models to reflect current politics.  Her talents as a sculptor plunge her into the center of the sea of change.

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Mystery lovers will enjoy the discussions taking place on the third Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm. On January 21, they will be talking about Egyptian Coffin, a thriller by Jane Jakeman. In 1830, a spirited young English heiress is sent to Egypt to recover her health, but her neighbor fears she will come to harm and rushes to Cairo, where he uncovers unspeakable evil.   

If you’re available in the evenings, there is a book club that meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm.  Their January 29th discussion will focus on The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. The son of an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il.

If you have resolved both to read more and to exercise, the library can help you do them at the same time.  Try using the Playaway portable audio books.  Weighing only a few ounces, these preloaded players feature excellent narration and a wide variety titles, making them the perfect audio track to accompany your workout.  If you’ve got a player of your own, you can download audiobooks from our website.  Look for the “Downloads” item on the menu bar.

Lives change when you explore new subjects. While you’re on the library website, you can work on your resolution to learn new skills. Go to the “Databases” menu and explore the options at Universal Class and the Transparent Language Learning sites.  You’ll be amazed at all the different things you can learn—for free—courtesy of your library.

Change the life of your entire family when you resolve to start eating healthier food. Once again the library comes to your rescue. A great way to encourage kids to make healthy food choices is to cook with them. Our children’s collection includes a large number of different cookbooks to give you new ideas, most simple enough for children to create on their own.  You’ll find books that feature fun foods, like pretzels, popcorn, and peanut butter and jelly sushi. You can cook with favorite characters like Fancy Nancy and Sponge Bob, or from recipes inspired by books like Green Eggs and Ham. 

Don’t change the habit of coming to children’s story times! Children who are read to and have fun at the library become readers for life. We’ve resumed the regular schedule of story times: Tuesday at 10:30, Wednesday at 6:15 and Thursday at 1:15 feature stories and crafts for ages 3 and up; Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 for 2- and 3-year olds. Babies under 2 who don’t yet walk should come at 10:15 Friday mornings; the ones who like to roam around should come at 11:15.

Come to the library to learn about big events that make big changes in lives. On Saturday, January 17, from 2:00-4:00 pm, the Friends of the Library are presenting local author Thomas J. Berry. Berry will be showing a video about and signing copies of his new book, Crosshairs. His third historical novel, Crosshairs showcases three real-life veterans in the skies and mountains of Europe during World War II.  One of them, Frank Krause, was a long-time resident of South Plainfield who fought on the beaches of Normandy and the craggy peaks of the Apennines. Along the way, he discovered an inner strength and selfless fortitude which would earn him a Silver Star.

Change your life by learning a new skill. The next session of Charlene Varry’s crochet class will begin on Saturday, January 10 at 10:00 am.  Young people and adults ages 14 and up can learn basic techniques and create something beautiful.  Sign up at the circulation desk to find out what materials you’ll need. The library has lots of other resources for needlework.

Lives change at the library, and so does the schedule for Monday Night at the Movies.  It’s always on Mondays, and usually at 6:30 pm, but the featured film changes weekly.  Call or visit to find out what’s showing this week.

Your life may be changing, but you can still have fun.  Thursday nights, kids of all ages over 6 can enjoy board games of the world. Play Mancala, Go, or Shogi.  All are welcome, from beginning to advanced players. The games start at 6:00 pm.

Here’s a change you can look forward to: on January 21, Mr. Ray will be rockin’ and rollin’ with children up to 7 years old.   This terrific musical program will be at the South Plainfield Senior Center at 6:30.  You don’t need to register; please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the food pantry.

Happy New Year!  Here’s to a year of peace, happiness and growth.