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Style Magazine

Beyond Books: Unique Library Programs

“Books are just the tip of the library iceberg,” according to the California State Library (CSL). In fact, California’s public libraries provide 435,000 programs with over 10.6 million attendees a year. Book clubs, workshops, parenting resources, literacy classes–these are just a sampling of how public libraries facilitate exploration, lifelong learning, connection, and fun.

Why are these programs vital for communities? “Public libraries are community hubs that bring people together and close the opportunity gap by connecting people to essential services and resources,” states the CSL. Read on to learn about some of the programs and resources offered at public libraries in our region.

Folsom Public Library Health & Wellness Kits


Folsom Public Library

Folsom Public Library offers youth and adult Health & Wellness Kits that are available for a three-week checkout. Each kit is curated around a particular mental health topic. For adults, topics include Alzheimer’s disease, postpartum depression, stress reduction, and more. Kits for youth help them navigate emotions such as worry, confidence, and anger. Health & Wellness Kits may contain books, activities, resource lists, and/or toys relating to the designated topic—all stored in a tote bag for adults or a backpack for youth. Most bags also contain a discussion guide to encourage and help individuals talk to someone on the topic.

The library has partnered with GetSetUp to provide adults aged 55 and older with free Well-being Classes. The interactive online classes cover health, fitness, mental health, the arts, and more. Participants can connect with others who share similar interests while discovering new hobbies.

Folsom Public Library's Mental Health and Wellness Kits


Folsom Library’s patrons also have access to thousands of online classes to learn new vocational and educational skills, earn professional certificates, and prepare for jobs. Classes by providers like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera are free for at least one year and accessible through the library website or in-library public computers.

Roseville Public Libraries

The Traveling Art program for children ages 7-12 promotes cultural awareness through art. Each Traveling Art session highlights a different country from around the world. Children participate in hands-on art projects—like painting Russian nesting dolls—that teaches them about a country's history and culture. All sessions are free; registration and parent participation are required.

Roseville Public Libraries Traveling Art program


Maidu Library is equipping youth with a skill vital for their future success: Digital literacy. Three-day Kano Coding Workshops teach 8-12-year-olds how to put together a computer and the basics of coding with Kano. Workshops are free but registration is required.

Book clubs promote community bonding and life-long learning, and are a great place to meet new people. Maidu Library has two adult book clubs that read across all genres and meet on the second Saturday of every month. Page Turners Book Club meets from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. While the Club Maidu Book Club meets from 12:30-2 p.m. Clubs are led by volunteers and are open to the public.

Maidu Library Kano Coding Workshop


El Dorado County Libraries

The Parents Supporting Parents group offers parents and caregivers of children (ages 0-22) with special needs (medical, behavioral, developmental, learning, and mental health) a safe space to share their joys and challenges. The group connects via Zoom every other Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. To sign up, contact Jaclyn Raya at [email protected] or call 530-503-5626.

Play & Learn Circle Time is a fun environment for children ages 0-5 to practice their social skills while caregivers connect with one another. Placerville Public Library also offers caregivers free child development information. The play group is held Fridays from 9-10 a.m. Registration is required.

Every Tuesday at 5 p.m., Cameron Park Public Library hosts a Play & Learn Group in Spanish. Parents receive valuable advice and child development information while children participate in games and activities.

Mother Goose on the Loose is an award-winning lap-sit story time that helps develop reading skills for 0-2-year-olds by combining music and movement with visual and language development. Children and their caregivers gather at the Placerville Public library on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Placer County Libraries

Placer Adult Literacy Services (PALS) provides reading, writing, and basic math training to equip adults with the skills they need to improve their lives. English as a second language (ESL) classes are held at Rocklin Public Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Conversation Club meets at Rocklin Public Library on Tuesdays from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and at Granite Bay Library on Thursdays from 10-11 a.m.

Preschool Storytime includes stories, fingerplays, and songs for children ages 3-5. Rocklin Library hosts the 30-minute class on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and Granite Bay Library hosts it on Fridays at 9:30 a.m.

Placer County Library cardholders can discover their family roots through the Ancestry Library Edition. The online database houses historical records such as census records, passports, and immigration records from around the world. Available for in-library use only.

by Nelly Kislyanka
Photos courtesy of their respective companies or organizations.