Movies at the library

Even book lovers can enjoy a good movie. With that in mind, the Ashland library is offering movie screenings through the summer geared specifically for adults, teens and families with young children. It's a nice way to escape the heat, relax and maybe make a friend or two.

Movies are not the first thing one associates with a library, but the idea does make sense. Our library is a community center, a place where everyone is welcome, and people can gather for meetings, book clubs, author presentations, poetry readings, children's events, recreation activities, classes, and yes, movies.

Library Branch Manager Amy Blossom said library patrons have told her how pleased they are with the the movie events, and particularly the chance to watch a movie with other people.

"I wasn't sure about the library showing movies, but I am a big believer now. It helps form the community we are," she said.

The most popular movie event is the Wednesday afternoon community-interest series. Each week, library volunteer and movie series host Rob Koning facilitates a showing of recent release and popular films for the public. Koning is also credited with making sure there is popcorn with real butter at each show.

"The movie days are a lot of fun," Koning said. "We've had a great response, anywhere from 20 to 60 people." Koning said the library looks for movies that would appeal to a lot of people.

"We generally look for movies that are newly released on video and that will interest Ashlanders. For example, we'll be showing 'Coraline' in about two weeks. It's set in Ashland, so it has a lot of local interest." said Koning. "Lots of people have told me they could watch the movie alone, but it's so much more fun with a group. It's a chance for people to come together. We also have some good conversations afterward."

Upcoming community interest selections, showing Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m., are:

July 15 — "Hotel Rwanda"

July 22 — "Coraline"

July 29 — "When We Were Kings"

Teen movie night is on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. The PG—13 flicks include:

July 23 — "Transformers"

Aug. 28 — "Step Up 2"

The library is also offering several teen-specific events, such as summer-reading program activities and a teen gaming day, in which young people can play video games and board games on the third Saturday of each month.

As part of the summer reading program, the library is offering family matinees. These are all kid-friendly movies based on books for children and young adults. The movies show every Tuesday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Gresham Room. In July and August, families can enjoy the following:

July 14 — "Black Beauty"

July 21 — "Charlotte's Web"

July 28 — "Little Women"

Aug. 4 — "Mary Poppins"

Aug. 11 — "Swiss Family Robinson"

The library is my family's favorite downtown hot spot. The cheery staff has created a summer calendar loaded with events and activities. It is the perfect place to meet people, learn something new and enjoy some really good popcorn.

All movies are free. For more information call 774-6995. The Ashland Branch Library is located at 410 Siskiyou Blvd.

Tidings staff writer Vickie Aldous and Tidings correspondent Angela Howe-Decker alternate as author of the weekly column Quills & Queues.

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