Bookmark: The Library During the Holidays — “A Christmas Carol,” Shopping Resources and More

Bookmark: The Library During the Holidays — “A Christmas Carol,” Shopping Resources and More

As the holiday season shifts into full swing, don’t forget the Town of Pelham Public Library is there for you in more ways than you might realize. It’s a resource for fun activities and even helps with shopping.

Yes, that library card in your wallet or on your key chain is a passport to a more enjoyable holiday season. And it’s not just about borrowing a holiday classic such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas on DVD (though that’s not a bad idea either). Read on to get the most out of your library card this special season.

Use Consumer Reports to Research That Pricey Present
Here’s something you couldn’t have done with your library card even a year ago: use it to access the extensive research on to buy just the right gifts with confidence. This service has been available to Pelham Library cardholders for only a few months.

Simply click on the eLibrary tab at, scroll down and click on the Consumer Reports icon with the logo, enter your library card number and you’re in! Once there, you’ll be able to search through one of the biggest and most thoroughly vetted sets of product information in the world. This interactive version of the magazine comes not only with product ratings and reviews but also with in-depth advice by staff experts and constantly updated articles, blogs and video content.

Individual products that are featured on the site have extremely detailed information, including an overview, a ratings report card, a brand reliability score, user reviews, specs and a price-and-shop option that puts you only a click away from a number of retailers. One side benefit: If you’re tired of being stalked online by ads for something you’ve just researched, this site is especially for you. It’s a completely ad-free environment, a rarity on the Internet these days.

Holiday Activities Through the Museum Pass Program
The holiday season is one of the best times of the year to check out the Library’s Museum Pass Program, which offers free or discounted passes to more than a dozen nearby museums. To reserve a pass, scroll over the “Programs” link at and click on “Museum Passes.” The days off from school make for plenty of time to spend with family, and in the weeks leading up to the holidays, there are seasonal events of all sorts at local museums.

Below is just a sampling (check out their respective websites for more details; some activities may carry fees):

  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan: Throughout the month of December, there are special activities, including a Kwanzaa Festival, Winter Recess Wonderland and the opportunity to make Big Apple holiday decorations.
  • Hudson River Museum: There will be a holiday star show in the Museum’s planetarium every Saturday and Sunday throughout December at 2 p.m., among other seasonal activities. The show follows the earth through the last season of the year and the longest night of the year —the Winter Solstice.
  • Maritime Aquarium: This aquarium, located in Norwalk, Connecticut, will have visits from Santa on December 6, 12 and 13. Also during December, there will be a Festival of Lighthouses contest and IMAX screenings of Polar Express.
  • Museum of the City of New York: This museum will be hosting a number of holiday-themed activities all during December, including the opportunities to make a gingerbread house, family holiday card and ornaments, as well as group sing-alongs.

December Events at the Library
Of course, there’s plenty going on at the Library itself this December. See below for events for young and old:

  • Traveling Lantern Christmas Carol 2015A Christmas Carol: The Traveling Lantern Theater Company will come to the Library to present this play for all ages on Monday, December 28 at 1:30 p.m. for a performance of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. The Classic tale of a miser’s redemption. Ebenezer Scrooge is a nasty, mean, snarling old geezer with no care for anything other than his money. His one and only friend visits him as a ghost, and starts him on a journey that melts his icy heart and teaches him the joys of caring for, and giving to others. Registration is required.
  • Nighttime in the Animal Kingdom: Join Animal Embassy on December 29 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon for this fascinating journey into the night life of the animal kingdom. With this captivating program, children will learn the differences between “nocturnal,” “crepuscular” and “diurnal” animals by providing exciting, live examples of each. Participants will discover what these amazing creatures do while we are tucked tightly in our beds dreaming. Many nocturnal critters have highly developed senses of hearing and smell and specially adapted eyesight to help them navigate with the light of the moon and the stars. Animal Embassy’s Animal Ambassadors plan to bring animals such as a red-eyed tree frog, an African hedgehog, a sugar glider, a ball python, an African fat-tailed gecko and more! For ages 4 – 12. Registration is required.
  • Central Park Zoo’s “Polar Opposites”: The Central Park Zoo will come to the Library on Wednesday, December 30 from 2 to 3 p.m. This program explores Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, the two ends of the world that look and feel the same but have very different types of animals that call these icy lands home. Attendees will explore how they differ through two performances: “Polar Bear and the Beat” and “A Penguin State of Mind.” This program is for ages 4 – 12. Registration is required.

Make this holiday season special, with the help of the Pelham Library!

CHILDREN’S DECEMBER PROGRAMS (For further details, see main Bookmark story)
Sounds Good Westchester: December 18, 11 a.m.
A Christmas Carol: Monday, December 28, 1:30 p.m.
Animal Encounters:
Tuesday, December 29, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Central Park Zoo’s “Polar Opposites”: Wednesday, December 30, 2 – 3 p.m.

Story Time: Tuesdays for ages 3 – 5, 10:30 a.m.; Wednesdays for children ages 2 and under, 10:30 a.m. Take the little one in your life to the Library’s Story Time for pre-schoolers. Attendance is limited to the first 40 people who sign in, caregivers included. Sign-up begins at 10:15 a.m. Story Time is made possible by the Junior League of Pelham through the Library Partners program.

Homework Help: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
For children in grades 1 – 8. Students must bring their written assignments and accompanying textbooks. (The last Homework Help of the year will be on Thursday, December 17. The program will resume in January.)
For events that require registration, call the Library at (914) 738-1234.

SoloFIRE Culminating Performance: Saturday, December 12, 2 – 4 p.m. For more information, see above.

After-Dark Book Club: The Club will go on its usual January hiatus and then will resume with a discussion of We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas on February 4.

Second-Friday Book Club: Friday, December 11, 10:30 a.m. The Second-Friday Book Club will discuss Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman at its next meeting. The Club will go on hiatus in January and return on Friday, February 12, when it will discuss Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh. Check out this Club’s page at for additional selections through June.

One-to-One Computer and Device Instruction: Call the Library to make an appointment for individualized instruction in popular computer programs, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. You can also bring your smartphone or tablet to the Library and learn how to get started with apps that give library patrons access to free e-books, e-audiobooks, e-music and more.

The Library will be closed on Thursday, December 24; Friday, December 25; Thursday, December 31; and Friday, January 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It will be open both Saturday, December 26, and Saturday, January 2. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and wish you and your loved ones all good things in 2016!

SoloFIRE is made possible by a gift in memory of Karin and Ted Mayer and with funds from Westchester Library System’s Unlimited Possibilities Mini-Grant Initiative supported by Entergy, Con Edison and the H.W. Wilson Foundation. The Second-Friday Book Club is funded by a gift in memory of the Mayers. The Sounds Good Westchester, Animal Embassy, Central Park Zoo and Homework Help programs are made possible by The Friends of the Town of Pelham Public Library. A Christmas Carol is made possible by the Friends and a gift in memory of the Mayers.
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