News from the Allied Gardens Library

By Kathryn Johnson

February is Library Lovers Month and we have lots of programs lined up to give you ample reason to love your Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library:

It is Book Sale time again at the library. Show your love for the library by taking advantage of the wide variety of book offerings on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can’t beat the prices and selection. In fact, if you have books in good condition, our Friends group would greatly appreciate your donations. All proceeds go toward programming and support for the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library.

Our Vegan Adventures program will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to join us as we share recipes and cooking ideas while tasting new dishes and appetizers. Be sure to come hungry as we will be making vegan-friendly vegetarian chili for all to share.

The psychedelic art of Greg Lloyd will be on display Saturday, Feb. 17. (Courtesy AG Librarly)

Handmade @ Your Library will take place on Friday, Feb. 23, at 10:30 a.m. Seasoned crafters and those looking to learn simple craft techniques are encouraged to join us. This month participants will be making a paper bead bracelet.

Tax Help @ the Library will take place again this year on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Mondays, AARP will be providing free tax filing from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. This service is geared toward older adults or those with low to moderate income. The program is offered starting Feb. 5 and will continue through April 10 and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Psychedelic light show

For the last three weeks, our patrons have been stopped in their tracks by Greg Lloyd’s colorful and exuberant abstractions. These kaleidoscopic, freeze-frame images represent 1/30th of a second of his continuous video performance, “Kinetic Collage.” Lloyd explains that these images show “how chaos can be parsed into sections to create elegant order.”

Some of you may have ventured inside the reading area to take a closer look at his complex and otherworldly pen and ink illustrations. Many have been reworked from rock concert flyers. Others, the artist explains, were rendered for the simple, tactile joy of applying India ink to paper. Visitors get a sense of that tactile joy as they drift into the cosmic planes of Lloyd’s dreamy visions.

“Kinetic Collage” is best experienced as a live performance. So, we are delighted that Lloyd has scheduled an afternoon of “special effects projections and related visual phenomena” just for us! Join us for the aptly titled, “Eye Candy” on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Community Room. You will be amazed!

STEAM Storytime

Start your weekend off right with our brand new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Storytime. Each week we will read some fun stories, sing some catchy tunes and of course do some weird, quirky, magical science. Children of all ages welcome.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

What is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, you may wonder? Well, it is a reading incentive program that inspires and challenges caregivers to share 1,000 books with their children before they begin school.

And why is this important? Research shows that the more books a child is read to by the time they begin school, the greater chance for future success. Sharing books, conversations, and songs with young children builds language skills, contributes to their healthy development, provides skills to succeed in school, and helps assure that they will learn to love reading.

For every 100 books that are read, program participants earn a smart stripe that they can show off to their friends, teachers, and librarians! Signing up is easy and it will start your child on the path to becoming a life-long reader.

We continue to offer story times for babies, toddlers and preschoolers throughout the week. As well as our popular adult programs. Please visit the branch or check out our Facebook page for a schedule.

Please note that the library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 19, in honor of President’s Day. We will open for our regular hours on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 11:30 a.m.

From all the staff at the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Branch Library, thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the library!

— Kathryn Johnson is managing librarian of the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Branch Library. Reach her at

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