January in Illinois is a time for hibernation. Oh, who am I kidding? I will make that January and February for good measure. Recently the temperature has been -6 Fahrenheit with a wind chill that I liken to Siberia. The things that make winter enjoyable like sledding, boarding and fire pits outside are not possible as it is just simply too bone chillingly cold. Our cars are covered with salt, and most of us carry enough static in our body to jump start our vehicles after they refuse to crank. Glove and scarves are simply not fashion accessories as my Southern heritage tells me, they are necessities for survival as the wind is piercing.
We are post holidays and cheery gatherings, and I had a bit of excessive spirit in me and gained 4 pounds. One or two of those from the goodies patrons bring us at the library, especially at Holiday in the Grove. Our library staff table is a landmine of temptations and Lord knows I’m clumsy and set a few off.
I know I write about how wonderful the library is most of the year; however, the library is fabulous in the winter. Our fireplace is turned on in these cold months, and you can snuggle up with a book in a comfortable chair and warm yourself. Passages Cafe has coffee, tea and sandwiches, including new wraps. Our Wi-Fi is available so those working from home can utilize our warmth and comfortable spaces for a change of scenery. You can still get out of the house to the library, yet feel like you are staying in.
One of my favorite things to do in the winter is check out cookbooks and try new soup, stew or chili recipes. Incidentally we have 12 shelves of cookbooks of all types, including light eating, casseroles, stews, budget recipes, one-pot meals, crock pot dishes and many more. Our “new” bookshelf has interesting reads, and we regularly order the latest DVD releases to provide patrons with great stories and shows.
This month we feature craft programs for adults like rock painting, a historical performance portrayal of Louisa May Alcott, Second Saturday Wintermaket, Writer’s Group, Open Mic, a job fulfillment workshop and our usual menu of literacy storytimes and kid’s events. Check our calendar at sgpl.org for a full range of program offerings. It may be hard to get out in these cold months, but you can certainly stay active in our toasty spaces.
And after winter? You can join me in searching out all the “lite” recipe books, workout videos and exercise books as we slowly begin to rustle about again. Until then, hunker down at the library.
Shannon Halikias is the director of the Sugar Grove Public Library, a professor at College of DuPage, leads a local writing group and is an active outdoors lover with two rowdy boys. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback on this column can be sent to email@example.com.