Whether your New Year’s resolution is to get healthier, learn more, express your creativity, connect with your community, or you’ve rejected the ideas of resolutions altogether, your local library can offer so much. Here’s what’s happening in Portsmouth and Rye this month.


Work by “Ten Piscataqua Photographers” is on view at Portsmouth Public Library through the end of the month. This exhibit features work by Carol Van Loon, Philip Case Cohen, Gary Samson, Rich Beauchesne, Cheryle St. Onge, Bear Kirkpatrick, Rob Karosis, Douglas Prince, Charter Weeks and Karrah Kwasnik.

If you fancy making some art of your own, you’ll have a few chances this month. The library will offer Drop In Art sessions on the first Saturday of each month, January through March. Stop by on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to make art. The library will provide ideas and supplies, or bring your own work or project. This month’s session will offer prompts to get you involved with a Community Read co-hosted by 3S Artspace. Read “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit during the month of January and create art inspired by the book. Bring your work to 3S Artspace in February and it will be exhibited in the lobby with other community art throughout next month. To find out more, visit the 3S Artspace website.

The library offers free, drop-in Language Discussion Groups for Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Italian speakers. Now, you can help kickstart a new Russian Language Discussion Group. If you speak Russian and are interested in speaking it in an informal setting, come to the library on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., or 6:30 p.m. for an interest meeting.

Learn how to discover the history of your house at the next library Genealogy Workshop, on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. Marian Pierre-Louis will discuss deeds, U.S. Federal Census records, and other sources for discovering the story of the building where you live.

Berklee professor, author and performer Scarlet Keys will present “The Craft of Songwriting” on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. Part concert, part workshop, this event will explore the emotion behind each chord, how to incorporate this magic in your own music, and why great songs affect us the way they do. Copies of Keys’ book will be available for purchase.

The library is also a proud co-sponsor this year of the RPM Challenge. Every year, people all over the world attempt to make an album during the month of February. You can join in, too! The library will host a Kickoff and Gear Up! Gear Swap on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring your musical instruments or equipment to sell or trade, meet up with other hopeful RPMers, and find out more.

Don’t forget, the library also hosts weekly Mah Jongg, World Affairs Discussions, Drop In Meditation sessions, Needlework groups, and a full schedule of Computer Classes. Visit the website or talk to a staff member to find out more.

All month, the library will host a Post Office Play Room pretend space for kids. Regular youth events include Chess Tutors on the first and third Saturday of the month; Reading Dogs every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; book clubs for teens, grades 3- 4 and grades 4-5; Lego Free Build on the third Saturday of the month, and a monthly Teen Advisory Board. Note that Story Times resume the week of Jan. 29, and are created with specific ages in mind. Ask a librarian which Story Time is right for your child.

The library will host several teen events this month, including an introductory meeting for the Teen D&D Club on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., a Crafting with Care program on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 4 p.m., and a Planner Party on Monday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Start the year off right with a newly decorated planner!

Questions? Call Laura Horwood-Benton at (603) 766-1711, email libinfo@cityofportsmouth.com, or visit www.cityofportsmouth.com/library.


Thinking of joining a new group or learning something new this year? Rye Public Library offers weekly programs that are open to the public. Senior Chair Yoga, Movie Matinee, Mah Jongg, Book Club, Military Book Group, Knitting with Mary, Coloring Club, Mindful Meditation, and Drawing Together are all part of our ongoing programming. Check our website for more details: ryepubliclibrary.org

January is a good month for homemade soup! On Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Rye Public Library welcomes back Chef Liz Barbour for a “Feasting With Soups” discussion and demonstration. Liz will teach you the important steps to prepare a hearty soup, then take the leftovers of that soup, add a few additional ingredients and create an entirely new an amazingly delicious variation.

On Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Rye Public Library presents a New Hampshire Humanities program entitled "New England Lighthouses and the People Who Kept Them." Maritime author and historian Jeremy D’Entremont will share the history of New England’s historic and picturesque lighthouses with a slideshow and tell dramatic stories of lighthouse keepers and their families.

Questions? Contact Gwen Putnam-Bailey at 964-8401, or visit www.ryepubliclibrary.org.