Since last fall, Finney County Public Library has begun expanding its programming for adults, racking up a list of recurring events that hold their own on the library’s bursting schedule. The hard part, said Director Pam Tuller and Adult Services Coordinator Cody Spitzer, is getting people to show up.
Busier schedules mean it’s generally harder for adults to find time for themselves, Spitzer said. But ideally, as time goes on and the library gauges what dates and activities are more successful, more people will see them for what they’re meant to be: a welcoming space for people seeking connection.
“I think for adults it’s a lot harder to make friends because you have so much going on and you’re so busy. But the library is a great place to come and meet people … So, it’s a nice little community we’re trying to build,” Spitzer said.
Over the past months, the library has kicked off several new, free programs, including trivia nights, a life skills how-to class dubbed Adulting 101, a biweekly book club, basic computer classes and Conversation Circles for residents that want to practice speaking English. In the coming weeks, several events will also factor into the library’s space-themed summer reading program, including stargazing through telescopes and movie nights for adults featuring “The Martian” and “Avatar,” Spitzer said. And the read-aloud program Club Read is still in full swing.
The full schedule is available at the library’s website, www.finneylibrary.org.
At Tuesday’s Adulting 101 classes, attendees discuss and break down lessons surrounding the month’s theme. In April — diet and nutrition month —Spitzer taught guests how to transform ramen noodles into classier meals. Before that, he walked them through family and relationship tips and exercise tactics. This month, the focus is on careers, taking up topics like online job searches, resumes and dressing for success.
Club Read and the book club help build community surrounding books — the groups are currently reading “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Hidden Figures,” respectively — and computer classes cycle through a four-week, recurring course on basic online skills. Events like trivia nights are purely social.
Offering adult programming is fair, Tuller said — local adults support the library with their taxes whether or not they stop by events catered toward children and families. But beyond that, the library should be a space for everyone, she said.
“A lot of people do see the library as a place for kids. We are really trying to show the library as a community center,’” Tuller said.
She and Spitzer, neither Garden City natives, both said there is a need for local programs geared towards adults.
When Tuller moved to Garden City for work 12 years ago, she met people where she could — at work, at the gym. Adult-centric events like the library’s may give locals another place to turn.
“Had there been some things that I knew I was going to be welcome at, I would have gone to them,” Tuller said. “But, being new in the community or a young adult where you’re just sprouting off from your parents, you don’t always know where you’re going to feel welcome. And we’re just trying to put it out there that anybody and everybody is welcome here.”
The library is happy to take feedback and suggestions for more events. To reach out, contact Spitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org or the library at email@example.com, or on the library’s Facebook page.
Contact Amber Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.