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Family Programs Abound at the Austin Public Libraries

published on December 6, 2011

The Austin Public Libraries offer numerous programs for children, families, and adults. Programs range from science exploration, to movie nights, to holiday events, to game tournaments, to chess clubs, and more. All events are free and open to the public, with libraries located in almost every neighborhood in Austin, from the Milwood branch in the Milwood neighborhood, to the central branch in Downtown Austin, to the Hampton Branch at Oak Hill near the Sendera neighborhood. Upcoming events occurring at the Austin Public Libraries include:

Kids In Space

Kids in Space, recommended for ages eight and up, blasts off to explore the weather in space. The weather in space is extreme; giant plasma storms fry magnetic fields, 500 year-old hurricanes eat smaller storms, and volcanoes erupt electricity. Find out how the weather on Earth works and how it stacks up against the places you can only see from a telescope. December 13 at Village Branch, 4 p.m. January 20 – Far-Out Finale, Ruiz Branch,1600 Grove Blvd. at 6 p.m.

Family Movies

Community Cinema: Lioness @ Windsor Park Branch December 6, 7 – 9 p.m. 5833 Westminster Dr. Through harrowing personal stories, a group of women candidly share their experiences in Iraq as well as from their lives back home to form a portrait of the emotional and psychological effects of war. After the screening, lively discussions bring citizens and organizations together to encourage dialogue and action around important and timely social issues. Light refreshments provided.

Afterschool Movies: Wizard of Oz @ Cepeda Branch

December 12, 4 p.m., 651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd.

Polish Film: The Reverse @ Howson Branch

December 13, 6:30 p.m., 2500 Exposition Blvd. This film tells the story of a bookish woman who falls for a secret policeman during the Stalinist terror.

Family Movie Night: Kung Fu Panda 2 @ Twin Oaks Branch

December 13, 6:30 p.m., 1800 S. Fifth St.

Family Movie Night: Winnie The Pooh @ Pleasant Hill Branch

December 20, 6:30 p.m., 211 E. William Cannon Dr.

Family Movie Night:Kung Fu Panda 2 @ Pleasant Hill Branch

January 17, 6:30 p.m., 211 E. William Cannon Dr.

Family Movie Night: Smurfs @ Pleasant Hill Branch

February 21, 6:30 p.m., 211 E. William Cannon Dr.

Mario Kart Family Gaming Tournament

Adults and children are welcome to compete in the Mario Kart (rated E for everyone) video game racing tournament. Tournament Schedule:

Saturday, November 12 at 2 p.m. @ Hampton Branch, 5125 Convict Hill Rd.

Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m. @ Manchaca Road Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd.

Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m. @ Cepeda Branch, 651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd.

Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. @ Southeast Branch, 5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd.

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m. @ Milwood Branch, 12500 Amherst Dr.

Wednesday, December 21 at 3 p.m. @ Terrazas Branch, 1105 East César Chávez St.

Wednesday, December 28 at 2 p.m. @ Windsor Park Branch, 5833 Westminster Dr.

Wednesday, January 4 at 2 p.m. @ University Hills Branch, 4721 Loyola Ln.

Saturday, January 7 at 2 p.m. @ North Village Branch, 2505 Steck Ave.

Saturday, January 14 at 2 p.m. @ Ruiz Branch, 1600 Grove Blvd.

Wildcard and Finale: Saturday, January 21 at 1 pm. @ Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S. Fifth St.

Leaf for a Leaf

The Leaf for a Leaf program promotes borrowing library books to reduce the number of trees that are cut down to make paper. Learn to improve the air we breathe, minimize environmental impact, and enhance your surroundings. The program celebrates trees in the late fall through the early winter because it is the best time to plant them in Central Texas. This year, Leaf for a Leaf takes place from October 29 through March 3. Turn in a card at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 South Fifth Street, for every five books you read for your chance to win prizes.

January 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Family Library Day @ Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S. Fifth St. Bring the whole family out to celebrate the Texas tree-planting season and see “Mr. Tamarin’s Trees,” a puppet show by Literature LIVE! There will also be a Bonsai Craft program for teens and adults, along with altered book crafts for all ages presented by Recycled Reads. Snacks will also be provided.

March 3 at 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Tree Celebration Finale @ Ricky Guerrero Park, 2006 S. Sixth St. Come show some love for the trees at Ricky Guerrero Park. Join the Library and Parks Departments to mulch the park’s trees. There will be snacks, hands-on book and tree themed crafts for kids and adults. Everyone who attends will walk away with a free book bag, sapling and mulch. Austin Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry experts will be on hand to teach you how to care for your new tree-to-be. Additionally, turn in your Leaf for a Leaf frequent reader cards to be entered into a drawing for exciting prizes.

Ongoing Weekly Events

Chess Knights @ Windsor Park Branch every Monday, 6 – 7 p.m., 5833 Westminster Dr. Put down the video game controller and pick up a pawn, bishop or knight. Chess for beginners is here. Learn the original strategy-based game with people of all ages.

¡Qué me cuentas! @ Faulk Central Library every Wednesday, 6 – 7:30 p.m., 800 Guadalupe St. Practice and learn Spanish as a second language with ¡Qué me cuentas! through reading and discussion of Latin-American short stories and newspapers, this group offers a unique way to practice Spanish for more advanced speakers (40% proficiency in Spanish is preferred).

Chess Club @ Oak Springs Branch every Wednesday, 5 – 6 p.m., 3101 Oak Springs Drive. Beginner through advanced level players, age 8 through adult, may come for chess. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between academic achievement and the ability to play chess, but most importantly, chess can be a lot of fun!

Practiquemos Español @ Faulk Central Library every Saturday, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 800 Guadalupe St. Practiquemos Español is not a Spanish class, but rather a place to fine-tune your Spanish in a relaxed environment. In order to participate you will need to know a little Spanish.

Chess Club @ Spicewood Springs Branch every Saturday, 1 – 2:30 p.m., 8637 Spicewood Springs Rd. Beginner through advanced level players, age 8 through adult, may come to play chess. Affiliated with the United States Chess Federation (USCF), this club is for the benefit of customers who wish to become tournament players and receive valuable chess how-to articles. You are encouraged to bring your own chess board and pieces.

Ongoing Monthly Events

Make, Craft, Create @ Ruiz Branch, 2nd Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., 1600 Grove Blvd. Come make, craft, create something the second Monday of each month:

September: Plushies

October: Felt Masks and Hair Ornaments

November: Up-cycled Produce Bags

December: Cookie-Cutter Tree Ornaments

January: Mobiles

February: Silhouette Valentines

Café Au Lit @ Twin Oaks Branch, 2nd Tuesday of each month, 2 p.m., 1800 S. Fifth St. Can’t wait to tell someone about the great book you just read? Or don’t know what to read next? Then come to a different kind of book club where you can read what you like and find out what others are reading at the same time.

The Windsor Players @ Windsor Park Branch, 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7 – 8:30 p.m., 5833 Westminster Dr. Put a little Drama in your life – come out for a play reading. No previous acting or theater experience is necessary. Come and ham it up or listen—your choice. Members choose the next play each month.

Conversation Café @ Hampton Branch at Oak Hill, 3rd Saturday of each month, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., 5125 Convict Hill Rd. Hungry for conversation? Drop in for open, public dialogue on a variety of topics and add to the diversity of perspectives. The discussion is led by Jo Virgil, Community Outreach and Information Coordinator in the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.

Libraries are community pillars – bringing people together over literature, culture, art, and as proven by the Austin Public Libraries, a gamut of activities that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Austin realtor Brian Talley believes libraries enrich communities, from the most modest neighborhood to Austin luxury homes, every resident can benefit from the fantastic programming and book selections at our neighborhood libraries.

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