Off-season at Island libraries

There are plenty of events going on at libraries, and the bonus is that they’re offered free of charge.

Libraries are like longtime loyal friends — welcoming, fun, and reliable. They so rarely let you down. In fact, if you’re looking for things to do off-season, Island libraries got you covered. Here are some cool things happening:

Aquinnah Library

The Aquinnah library is small but mighty. Located near Gay Head town hall it is a quintessential small-town gathering space for the Island community. According to director Rosa Parker, they will be offering their regular Saturday crafting, book group, and after school clubs year-round. Email for more information.


Chilmark Library

“To Walk It Is To See It,” author’s talk. Walks provide perspective, exercise, and opportunities to see things we might not ordinarily notice when flying by in our cars. On Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 5 pm, author Kathy Elkind will talk about her book “To Walk It Is To See It.” In 2018, Elkind and her husband walked the 1,400-mile Grande Randonnée Cinq (GR5) across the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Walking for 98 days isn’t for the faint of heart. Elkind and her husband experienced sickness, language barriers, storms in the Alps, and more. As the days unfolded, however, Eklind discovered her own strength and the gratifying realization that a long marriage is like a long trail: it’s hard work, and there are ups and downs, but the beauty along the way is staggering. Email for more information. This talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Library.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, at 3 pm, the Chilmark library is helping you help the ocean by offering an Eco Bag Workshop with Laurisa Rich, collaborator of Island libraries and Vineyard Conservation’s Beach BeFriender Initiative. Make a one-of-a-kind Beach BeFriender bag out of upcycled materials and found items. Then take your hip BeFriender bag and hit the road or the beach and collect in style. What goes around comes around. All materials and instructions provided. Email for more information.

Tea time on zoom. Join Chilmark library’s monthly tea tasting club and talk about (and taste) teas from around the world. On Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 3 pm, author of “Hummingbird Lane and Lady Tan’s Circle of Women,” Lisa See, will be discussing two teas she recommends: Silver Needles Jasmine and Green Mandarin Stuffed Pu-erh. See will also share more information about the tea research journey she went on while writing her books. Pick up your tea, or have us send it before our discussion, and either brew beforehand or during our zoom meeting. Email to sign up, receive your tea, and get the zoom invite. Sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark library. 508-645-3360.


Edgartown Library

Food, food, and more food! Chef Look is back — and in person. Edgartown library is kicking off their new Chef Look Cooks series with a class about batters. On Thursday, Sept. 28, from 3 to 5 pm, Chef Look will talk about the history of Takoyaki. Derived from the Japanese word tako, for octopus, Takoyaki is a classic Osaka street food that is traditionally served with braised octopus, and a variety of seasonings and toppings. In October, it’s all about waffles. Come November, crepes will be center stage, and in December, Chef Look brings on the cornbread. This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Edgartown Public Library. Registration is required:

Children’s librarian extraordinaire Elyce Retmier has some fun activities in the hopper. On Thursdays, pop over for weekly “Wiggle with the Words” Story Hour — a lively and interactive storytime, using props, stories, and songs for ages 1 to 5. Musical Mondays music circle launches in October, and encourages movement and creativity through classic songs. Kids will have the opportunity to explore different instruments. On Tuesdays, it’s all about the Drop-in Play Doh Group, where youngsters can create squishy masterpieces. Running regularly on Wednesday afternoons, Bonnie Kingsbury heads up Fit Camp, where kids get their bodies moving in the Program Room. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. Rounding out the week, kids ages 1 to 5 can learn the basics of ASL, in Intro to Sign Language classes, which runs on Fridays. No registration required. Funded by the Friends of the Edgartown Library.

Restorative Reset Yoga, with Jelisa Difo. Restorative Yin Yoga promotes deep rest and physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. Restorative yoga is practiced close to the ground, at a slow pace, focusing on long holds, stillness, and deep breathing. Restorative Yin Yoga is appropriate for all levels. There are a limited number of yoga mats and props available at the library. If you have your own, please bring them with you. Wednesdays at 5:30 pm.


Oak Bluffs Library

Cancer, Environmental Causes and Prevention is a one-hour educational presentation, highlighting how thousands of untested chemicals in products we use each day could be impacting our health. The presentation will provide resources to help choose safer products, and share what steps you can take to reduce exposure to dangerous chemicals. Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm.

Dance the Salsa Suelta with Christina Montoya on Oct. 12, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Salsa Suelta is a form of Salsa dancing from Cuba, commonly incorporating various styles of Cuban dance, including Afro-Cuban traditions and elements of African American Urban Dance styles. In this class participants will explore basic rhythms and movements of this style and related styles of dancing, and will learn a bit about the history and culture of Salsa Suelta. You do not need a partner to attend. Registration is encouraged: or call 508-693-9433.

Cooking Classes on Tuesdays. On Tuesday Nov. 7, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm, join Brent Turner of Rosewater Market and Takeaway, for the first session of Cooking Classes on Tuesdays. Turner will be teaching participants how to make a variety of food items we often buy. Save money and learn something new. Each week a new item will be covered, including granola, ricotta, mayo, nut butter, pie crusts, and more.

Adult Crafts: Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up and create. On Fridays in December, at 3:30 pm, pop over to the Oak Bluffs library and create unique gifts for friends and family, or make practical projects you can use at home. Winter Crafting classes are open to all skill levels and materials are provided. Registration is encouraged. Classes run Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22. Email or call 508-693-9433 with any questions.


Vineyard Haven Library

Beginning in mid-September, from 7 to 8:30 pm, professor of literature at Swarthmore College, Philip Weinstein, will present a six-part seminar on Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.” Weinstein’s numerous publications include “Faulkner’s Subject: A Cosmos No One Owns” (1992), “What Else But Love?” “The Ordeal of Race in Faulkner and Morrison” (1996), and “Becoming Faulkner” (2009). His newest book is a collection of essays entitled “Soul-Error” (2022). This program will be hosted on Zoom. To register, visit A limited number of copies of the book will be available for pickup at the library, or can be requested through

Cats are hilarious, often ruling households, knocking over water glasses, and winking flirtily at their humans. On Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 6 pm, join Barbara Friberg for a Warhol Inspired Cat Drawing class. Learn how to draw different cats based on the artwork of Andy Warhol. Using colored pencils, participants will learn the use of lines, shapes, and angles to help them complete a cat portrait masterpiece. Contact for the Zoom link.

Listening to stories leads us to new worlds and helps us learn new things and explore new places. on Monday, Oct. 23, from 10:30 to 11 am, as storyteller extraordinaire, Weezy, yarns poetic. If the weather is nice, storytime may be held outdoors in the library courtyard. If not, find Weezy in the program room. This program is designed for ages 3 to 5, but all ages are welcome. No registration required. Email for more information.


West Tisbury Library

Rainbow fish are pretty and so are clownfish, but wouldn’t it be fun to create your own fish? On Oct.14 from 2 to 4 pm, you can. Artists Julie Prazich and Sara Rosenthal will hold the annual Wooden Fish Painting Class. Design and paint one or two fish to take home. Wooden fish, paints, and brushes will be provided, but if your fish likes wearing sparkly hats, a striped tie, or a feather boa, feel free to bring any adornments you want to add. This class is free and open to adults and children ages 9 and up, who are accompanied by a mature caregiver. Sign up for this class in advance by calling the library, or simply drop in. 508-693-3366.

Put on your best Barbie, Spider-Man, or Mandalorian ensemble — or another costume of choice — and come to the West Tisbury library for some Halloween Fun. On Oct. 31, from 3 to 5 pm, hop on a hayride, play games, paint a pumpkin, and chow down on some yummy refreshments. This spooktacular event is free and open to people of all ages. (Yes, even adults are allowed to dress up like a hotdog). Email: for more information.

Online Balance Class. As we age, our ability to balance changes. This doesn’t mean we can’t maintain what we have or even improve our balance, though. On Mondays and Fridays at 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky, hosts an online balance series. Lipsky is a massage therapist and yoga teacher. She is also a painter, dancer, and singer who has been exploring alternative forms of healing and healthy living for many years. No yoga mat needed, but a chair will be necessary for some of the movements. Classes will meet virtually through Zoom. Contact to sign up.

Virtual Reality for Tweens and Teens. There are those days when one feels as if they’re living in a virtual reality. This isn’t always a bad thing. Exploring new worlds can be fun, and luckily for Island Tweens and Teens they can visit a galaxy far far away every Wednesday from 3 to 5 pm in the Young Adult Room. The Virtual Reality for Tweens and Teens is the computer-generated simulation of a three dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside, or gloves fitted with sensors. The library’s Oculus Virtual Reality will be set up for 10 to 15 minutes of use time per person with age-appropriate games. Sign up on site. This program is for ages 10 to 18 and is free and open to the public.

See? There are plenty of things to experience on the Vineyard year-round. Island libraries pull through again. We should send them flowers, chocolates, and thank-you notes.