Don’t say there’s nothing to do on the East End this winter. These local libraries offer free and low-cost events for community members throughout January and February. Here’s just a sampling.
The Mattituck-Laurel Library will host a free concert by Paolo Bartolani and Ginevra Petrucci on January 27 at 2 PM. It will feature classical compositions by Bartok, Schubert, and Schumann rendered on piano and flute. The library also offers an eight-week “Low Impact Dance Aerobics” class starting on January 28. Instructor Laurie Short will lead participants through choreographed aerobic movement to the music of the ’60s through ’80s followed by strength training and stretching.
Dr. Edward Marlatt will present “Roosevelts, Vanderbilts, Astors, and Rockefellers: New York Families of Fortune” on February 3 at 2 PM. Dr. Marlatt, a Mattituck resident and retired professor from Adelphi University, will trace the rise of the New York American families from their acquisition of wealth by the family tycoon, as well as how the money has been spread to descendants. The library will also offer programs for children and young adults, including a “Fishing Fun Storytime” and “Henna Tattoos for Teens.” Both events are free, but registration is required. Find out more at www.mattlibrary.org.
Shelter Island Public Library will host the fourth annual Battle of the Brains trivia contest on February 8 at 7 PM. Bob DeStefano will return to host the event. Refreshments will be served, and the winning team will take home prizes. Those interested can sign up in teams of four at the library’s circulation desk. Other interests include a chess club, knitting club, Dungeons & Dragons club, and, of course, book clubs. Visit www.shelterislandpubliclibrary.org to register and for more information.
The Amagansett Library will host a poetry workshop throughout February, to celebrate the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth. Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan, founder of The North Sea Poetry Scene Press and poet-in-residence at the Southampton Historical Museum will discuss the poet’s life and work during the Civil War. Novice and experienced poets alike will have a chance to explore Whitman’s verse and to write some lines of their own. Refreshments will be served. The workshop is offered on four Saturdays in February from 1 to 3:30 PM. Attend one session or come for all four. For more info about this and many other programs, visit www.amaglibrary.org.
Head on over to the East Hampton Library for a plethora of events. This Saturday, January 26, at 1 PM, author Nicholas Hirshon offers up a talk and book signing of “We Want Fish Sticks,” his take on the recent history and change in the New York Islanders hockey team. On February 1, the library screens “The Learning Tree,” about an African-American teen in Kansas in the 1920s, and the traumatic episode that brings a change to a small town.
Local Loretta Orion will discuss her newest book “It Were as Well to Please the Devil as Anger Him: Witchcraft in the Founding Days of East Hampton” on February 2 at 2 PM. Goody Garlick was accused of witchcraft in the 17th Century by Lion Gardiner’s daughter, Elizabeth Howell, who died days after childbirth. Was she really a witch or just a victim of the times? Who were the players in this intriguing story and how did the time period affect the outcome? The book discussion will include Hugh King, Catherine Tremblay, and Aimee Webb. For more information, and for tickets to events (which are required in some cases), visit the website at www.easthamptonlibrary.org.
The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton is showing the film “Plimpton!” in conjunction with Hamptons Doc Fest on Monday, January 28, at 7 PM, and will feature a talk by author Linda Francke. Restaurateur T. Alexander will pepper a cooking demonstration with tidbits of history for Soul Food Fun, the kickoff of a celebration of African-American history, on Saturday, February 2, at 3 PM. A buffet-style dinner will be served and registration is required. There’s lots more on the website — www.hamptonlibrary.org.
The Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton will offer a jam session for local musicians and fans on Thursday, January 24, from 7 to 8:30 PM. Participants may bring their instruments. A Steinway piano and microphones are available. A talk titled “The Power of Intention: How Will You Manage the New Year?” on Tuesday, January 29, at 5:30 PM will be led by Kathleen Bradley, the author of “The Light Becomes You.” There’s much more for all ages, visit www.myrml.org to learn about its other myriad programs and to register.
Moving west to the Westhampton Free Library, Chinese New Year celebrations for kids, tweens, and beyond will spice up the first week of February, including sensory painting, drumming, and more. On February 8, the senior wellness “Lunch and Learn” series continues with Dr. Charles Guida, a geriatric specialist on staff at Stony Brook University Hospital. And on February 9, the library invites families and their furry friends to a photo session, “Pet Photos,” taken by Keith Galluzzo in front of a green screen with your choice of backgrounds. Most programs require reservations. Find out about these events and more at www.westhamptonlibrary.net.
Compiled by Bridget LeRoy