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North suburban libraries participate in How-To Festival

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Seven local libraries will participate in the How-To Festival on June 22. Hours, times and events vary by library. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, go to

Here are schedules for some of the local libraries:

Northland Public Library, McCandless

10 a.m. — Woodworking, exercises to improve posture, growing roses.

10:30 a.m. — Zentangle.

11 a.m. — Exercises to improve posture, sign language, twirling a baton.

11:30 a.m. — Zentangle.

12 p.m. — Sign language, teach your dog simple commands.

12:30 p.m. — Make gift tags, gift cards and scrapbook embellishments.

1 p.m. — Learn tai chi, make condiments.

1:30 p.m. — Make gift tags, gift cards and scrapbook embellishments; learn to “plarn,” make yarn out of plastic bags.

2 p.m. — Learn tai chi, make condiments.

2:15 p.m. — Learn to “plarn.”

Hampton Community Library, Hampton

9 a.m. — Walking program.

11 a.m. — Creating a dreamboard.

12 p.m. — Transplanting potted plants.

Northern Tier Regional Library, Richland Township

10 a.m. — Zumba.

11 a.m. — Sign language.

12 p.m. — Hoopnotica.

1 p.m. — Knit and crochet.

2 p.m. — Play the flute.

Shaler North Hills Library, Shaler

10 a.m. — Beekeeping, e-reader basics, knitting, sewing, how to raise chickens.

11 a.m. — Dance Magic presentation.

1 p.m. — Watercolor demonstration.

7 p.m. — Teen events: pop-tab bracelets, T-shirt scarves, candy sushi, Lego WeDo robotics, Zumba.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

From raising chickens, to making craft beer and a host of other projects and activities, seven community libraries will offer a day of “how-to” try something new.

“It's a day where people can learn how to do almost anything at their local library,” said Sewickley Public Library librarian Meghan Snatchko, whose library joins those in Avalon; Fox Chapel; McCandless; and Hampton, Shaler and Richland townships for the daylong How-To Festival on June 22.

A chicken will help a retired librarian show participants how farm fowl can be raised in suburban environments at the Shaler North Hills Library, adult services director Marie Jackson said.

“She was auditioning her chickens to see which one would be a good performer for how-to day,” Jackson said.

If backyard farm creatures aren't an option, participants at the Northland Public Library in McCandless will have a chance to learn a kinetic meditation called Zentangle, spokeswoman Donna Rau said.

The abstract drawing technique uses repetitive patterns that can act as a calming mechanism, she said.

The festival is a chance for libraries to strut their stuff, Rau said.

“The library can be a community center, as well as a place of books and learning,” she said. “More and more, libraries are becoming an integral part of the community.

“These different programs open up people to the library.”

The event also gives people a chance to explore other areas and libraries, said Jackson, of the Shaler library.

“For me, the key is that we're collaborating with other librarians in the north region,” she said.

“This type of event emphasizes that for all of the communities. People are very fiercely loyal to their library, and that's great, but an event like this shows that libraries everywhere have their strengths, (and) it's really cool to visit another library.”

While someone can take out a book on learning to do a variety of items, said Diane Illis, assistant director of Northern Tier Regional Library in Richland, said some hobbies are learned through seeing, not reading — especially learning to play the flute or use sign language, which are two of the events planned at the Richland Township library.

“If you want a book, you go to the library, but that's not always how people learn,” Illis said. “You want to learn how to Zumba (a Latin-dance fitness program), we'll show you. It's more of a hands-on way of doing things.”

Gone are the days when patrons came to the library exclusively for reading material, Rau said.

“We're bringing people to the library for very unconventional reasons,” she said. “Libraries are an exciting place to be.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or

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