gmhTODAY 07 gmhToday Mar Apr 2016 - Page 30

The Gilroy Library now offers free ESL classes. According to Yoshimura, “Students can develop basic English language skills and then move into our adult literacy program to become proficient in reading and writing in English.” U.S. Citizenship classes are also available at the Gilroy Library. “We’ve had a lot of interest,” Yoshimura said. “The class helps people navigate the application process and prepare for the citizenship test.” When it comes to personal investing and retirement plan- ning, Morgan Hill and Gilroy Libraries provide free access to Morningstar and Valueline business and financial databases, two respected online services that normally require a paid subscription. Tomasso also mentioned that people looking to learn or brush up on a foreign language can access audiobooks or Pronunciator, the world’s largest language-learning service, through the library district website. Savvy shoppers can research the pros and cons of top brands before they buy, with free access to library dis- trict resources including Consumer Reports and Bay Area Consumer’s Checkbook. Two library services with that “coolness factor” include Grandparents Gone Wild tech workshops for seniors (at Gilroy Library) who want to learn how to use Facebook and other social media. A Pinterest Craft Club meets monthly (at Morgan Hill Library) to work on craft projects featured on the fast-growing social media platform. and Rock is a bi-lingual program at both libraries that gets kids moving and helps them build beginning reading skills. “When parents bring their children to read and play together, the parents end up getting to know each other too,” Yoshimura said. “The library also gives teens a place to meet after school and work on projects together.” Participants in the Morgan Hill Library Cook Book Club bring a dish (and recipe) to share, with a different theme each month. Gilroy Library also hosts cooking workshops, which have ranged from sushi to cake decorating. In response to community interest, both libraries have held gardening workshops with a master gardener. Fans of Downton Abbey met recently at the library for a presentation and discussion of the hit TV series. Crochet and knitting groups are ongoing. “Sometimes people just want to get away from the screen, and make something by hand,” Yoshimura said, adding that hand-made holiday gifts are a popular idea. Many adults are borrowing a page from kids, and relaxing with a good coloring book. If you’re looking to start or join a writer’s group, check out the Gilroy Library. Or, if you enjoy talking about current events, politics and social issues, check library calendars for upcoming opportunities to watch recordings such as TED Talks. Library patrons looking for a little free legal advice can even sign up for a “Virtual Lawyer” session to meet with a lawyer online. Community Connections Silicon Valley Reads…at the Library For those who like to keep active and fit, there are classes from Zumba to YogaKids. The ever-popular Rhythm Rattle The entire Santa Clara County Library District participates in the annual Silicon Valley Reads program, which encourages Our Libraries by the Numbers Gilroy Library Opened in 2012 53,000 sf 193,000 items onsite 617,000 circulation 294,000 gate traffic Morgan Hill Library Opened in 2007 28,000 sf 189,000 items onsite 740,000 circulation 308,000 gate traffic 30 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2016 gmhtoday.com