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The facility will also offer an online Oregon Humanities Conversation Project next week

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Library Director April Witteveen pauses for a photo on Monday morning in front of the bookshelves that people can once again visit in person, starting this month.

After a health-and-safety-related hiatus, the Crook County Library will resume in-person programs for all ages beginning in January 2022.

"We've been very committed to maintaining a safe environment for our community and staff at the library throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Director of Library Services April Witteveen. "With the increase of vaccination rates and lower case counts in the county, we are ready to offer regular in-person programming."

Witteveen added that all library-sponsored events will involve safety measures such as social distancing along with the ongoing building-wide face covering policy as ordered by the State of Oregon.

In-person programs set to resume include storytimes for young children and their caregivers, which kicks off with a Storytime Bash on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. Witteveen proclaimed that Miss Jennifer and Alfonso the Llama can't wait to share stories and activities with their young friends in our Children's Room. Meanwhile, monthly STEM-based programming for elementary-aged youth will feature activities like open LEGO building, marble painting and DIY ice cream.

New Teen Services Librarian Katie Fischer is offering a lineup of events for middle and high schoolers. Witteveen said teens can come learn the ins and outs of Dungeons and Dragons at a Saturday game session and try out a new activity like faux stained glass.

Adults will find a fun variety of programs and events as well, Witteveen said. The library is hosting a virtual Conversation Project from Oregon Humanities on the topic of relationships and resilience on Jan. 18.

"In a time of intensifying social and ecological crises, in a cultural context of individualism, the pressure to practice 'self-care,' build 'personal resilience' and 'transform oneself' is pervasive," Witteveen said. "While 'doing your own work' is important, we overemphasize the individual to the detriment of our human communities and the rest of the living world. In this conversation, we will explore the dynamics of our strongest relationships, seeking to name the qualities and practices that underpin resilience. How can we bring our insights more intentionally and broadly to bear in our human relationships and in our relationships with our homelands, waters and ecosystems?"

The free conversation held virtually via WebEx with facilitator Christina deVillier on next Tuesday at 6 p.m. It is hosted by Crook County Library and sponsored by Oregon Humanities, and people can RSVP by contacting the library at 541-447-7978 or through the online event calendar listing on the library website: www.crooklib.org.

Christina deVillier is a writer, a gardener and the Connections Coordinator for Greater Hells Canyon Council, Witteveen said of the facilitator. There, she works with a broad network of collaborators to improve ecological connectivity and strengthen social-ecological relationships in her spectacular home region.

"Through the Conversation Project, Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful and challenging conversations," Witteveen said. "Oregon Humanities connects Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities."

In addition to the Oregon Humanities event, Adult Services Librarian Amber Smith is kicking off a brand-new book club in February just for mystery lovers, and WorkSource Oregon will deliver a series of monthly computer classes designed for those who need an introduction to computers and basic software applications.


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