Find activity in our Friday afternoon series

Frida coverThe Newcastle Public Library welcomes school-age children to spend part of their Friday for various afternoon activities, each starting at 2 p.m.

The schedule for March includes:

March 2Art for School-Age Children: The group will read Frida by Jonah Winter and then create a self-portrait in the style of Mexican master artist Frida Kahlo using supplies provided by the Friends of the Newcastle Library.

March 9STEAM It Friday: Explore science and basic engineering with a look at metal engraving tools.

March 16Book-N-Cook: The group will read The Runaway Tortilla by Eric Kimmel and then produce flour tortillas from scratch. Supplies again are provided thanks to the Newcastle Friends.

March 23Crafts for School-Age Children: Attendees will make Q-Tip flowers using supplies provided by the Newcastle Friends.

Registration is required separately for each of the activities.

New series taking kids into the garden

PlantThe Newcastle Public Library is helping children develop their green thumbs heading into the spring gardening season through its new Garden Club.

The group will meet at 4 p.m. on 10 consecutive Wednesdays, beginning March 7 and running through May 9.

Children second grade and older are invited to participate, and they’ll learn about growing vegetables and preparing them for eating in the first activity using the new Newcastle Community Garden located at the library.

Representatives from the McClain County OSU Extension Service will lead the programs, and participants who attend all 10 sessions will be certified as Junior Master Gardeners.

Registration is required in advance.

Wednesday mornings mean time for preschoolers

Family readsThe Newcastle Public Library invites families with preschool children to its weekly activities at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays each week in March.

The schedule features:

March 7Healthy You Story Time, with stories, songs a healthy snack and a free book on healthy living for participating children. The program is made possible by the Pioneer Library System Foundation

March 14 and March 28Pre-K Story Time, which provides stories, songs, activities and a craft. It’s geared to ages 2 to 5 but babies and even older children are welcome too.

March 21 – Family Play Time/la hora de jugar, with activities that include play time and stories in a bilingual setting and are for children up to age 5.

Registration is encouraged in advance for each of the programs.

Join the discussion with multiple monthly groups

Bang coverThe Newcastle Public Library is giving readers of all ages a chance to share their love for books with multiple book discussion group meetings during March.

The library generally hosts a Brown Bag Book Discussion for adults on the second Thursday of the month, but that event has been replaced in March by a special scholar-led PLS Big Read Book Discussion at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 6.

The evening features a light meal followed by a discussion of the book Five Skies by Ron Carlson, the featured work in this year’s PLS Big Read. Leading the discussion will be Carolyn Cole, retired professor of literature from Oklahoma Baptist University.

Three more groups will host their regular monthly meetings.

Teen Book Discussion, 4 p.m. Thursday, March 8 – This month’s discussion is on Bang by Barry Lyga and will feature a guest speaker talking about gun safety. The event also includes refreshments provided by the Friends of the Newcastle Library.

Tween Book Discussion, 4 p.m. Thursday, March 8 – For ages 9 to 13, the discussion and related activity will focus on the book of short stories Guys Read the Sports Pages by Jon Sciecska.

Page Turners Book Club, 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 20 – The library’s newest book group hosts a discussion of The President Has Been Shot, on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, written by James L. Swanson.

Copies of each of the selected books are available for checkout at the library’s front desk. Registration is required separately for each of the discussions.

Library Board honors Newcastle’s Charlene Phillips

Charlene PhillipsThe Newcastle Public Library honored longtime library user and Newcastle Friends of the Library member Charlene Phillips with a recognition from the Pioneer Library System Board of Trustees at the board’s Feb. 27 meeting at the Newcastle library.

Phillips has been an avid library user and member of the Newcastle Friends since 2003 and currently serves as the group’s Secretary. She’s served in multiple capacities over the years as a board officer and as coordinator for the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale.

The annual full-day book sale has added several elements in recent years, including a craft show, blood drive, concession sales and children’s activities. And in an effort to engage members of the local community, Charlene has arranged for the first 100 people that purchase books at this year’s sale to receive a “goody bag” with promotional items and coupons from businesses and organizations around Newcastle. 

“The efforts of Charlene and all of the Friends volunteers have resulted in increased attendance and funds raised over the last three years,” said Branch Manager Phil Clark. “Their hard work and dedication provides the Newcastle Public Library the ability to serve our local community in the best way possible.”

Proceeds raised by the Friends group go to help the library’s programs and services throughout the year, including with several activities during the upcoming Summer Reading Program.