This fall, the South Coastal Library will continue its mission to provide service to the community, not only through providing information resources and reading materials, but also through its wide variety of programming.
“In the programming, we try to touch on everything that people might be interested in or needing in their lives,” said Barbara Litzau, assistant director of the library.
In “The Middle East Cauldron,” a three-part lecture series, Bill Gudelunas will explore the roots of the conflict in the Middle East. The series will be held on three Thursdays, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
“He’s extremely popular. He’s a very knowledgeable, as well as enthusiastic, lecturer,” said Litzau. “He has done a lot of programs for us. People know him and look forward to what he’s going to do for us each time.”
Part 1, “The Arab Israeli Dispute,” begins the series on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. Part 2, “Iraqi Unrest,” will be held on Thursday, Oct. 9, and Part 3, “Clashes in Iran,” will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16.
“It’s the root of conflict. It’s not going to be what’s going on now. He’s going to be talking about how these conflicts have been going on for many, many, many years and the roots of where this all started,” Litzau said.
“Each one stands on its own,” she noted. “He’ll be talking about different aspects of the Middle East. He usually goes back and touches on what was covered the session before. They could stand alone, but I think people would get the most out of it if they came to all three.”
Gudelunas has taught at Lehigh, Pennsylvania State University, Alvernia College and College of the Desert. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Wor-Wic Community College.
Litzau said the presentations will be given with the aid of PowerPoint, and Gudelunas welcomes questions and audience discussion.
“He’s always fantastic about people having questions,” she said.
For the musically inclined, on Oct. 7, an encore Celtic violin concert with conservatory-trained violinist Catherine Boyd will be held at 4 p.m.
“It’s Celtic music, which is always enjoyable. Usually we have very good attendance for her performances.”
Boyd began violin lessons at age 5 and, at the young age of 16, she played with the Fort Worth Symphony. She studied at the Meadowmount Conservatory and is a graduate of Harvard University. She has performed with artists including Willie Nelson and K.D. Lang.
“We had her here last year, and I got very, very good feedback. People said, ‘Oh, please have her again.’ We’re lucky she’s able to come over, as she’s based in New Jersey,” said Litzau. “I say come to the concert and then go out to dinner. It’s great pre-dinner entertainment.”
On Oct. 17, chef Charles Oppman will return to the library to share some innovative “Pasta-Possibilities.”
“He thought it would be perfect timing, having just returned from a trip from Italy.”
The program runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and will include a cooking demonstration and tasting. Oppman is the author of “Accidental Chef: An Insider’s View of Professional Cooking.”
“We do have a copy of his book. Last time he was here, it was actually checked out. He injects a lot of humor into his presentations. He’s funny… He’s been very good.”
For those looking for a career change, the library will continue to offer its Job Search Assistance program on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. In October, the program is scheduled for Oct. 8 and 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The program is run by Hope Ellsworth, job center coordinator, and is a free service for Delaware’s job seekers and career-changers.
“Hope — she’s very in-depth in helping people,” said Litzau. “She’ll spend a lot of time with each individual to really get you started on the right path to finding a job. Whether it’s helping you fill out an application or get your résumé where it needs to be before you send it out.”
Litzau said the program is especially great for those looking to spruce up their online résumés.
“They’re very different from the old-fashioned paper résumés,” she said.
Run through the Delaware Division of Libraries, the program travels from library to library. Litzau said that, so far, the program has been successful in helping people find job opportunities.
“This is what she does. She can help anybody, I think, that comes in, to get them in right place where they need to get a job. It’s really a wonderful program. It’s totally free, and all you have to do is walk in. You don’t need an appointment.
“We’re very fortunate through the Delaware Division of Libraries that we’re able to have something like the job search to really help someone get back on their feet or change a job they’re currently receiving satisfaction from or meeting the needs they have — not fitting the situation they’re in.”
Starting in October, kids may also sign up to participate in PAWS for Reading, offered on the first and third Monday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., which gives children the chance to practice their reading skills in an accepting and safe environment, while reading to dogs.
“The dogs and owners have gone through training,” explained Litzau. “It’s designed for children who sign up and read to a dog. The dogs are just so sweet and patient. I think the kids feel very much at ease… It really helps improve literacy skills in kids and helps foster a love of reading.”
Participation in the program is free; however, registration is required.
On Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m., the library will host a Halloween party, which includes Jungle John’s Halloween Safety Magic Show.
“We do want kids to come in costume. We love seeing them — they’re all so cute.”
The library’s children’s program will also continue its storytimes, Wednesday at 10 a.m. for baby bookworms ages 2 or younger, and rhythm, rhyme and preschool time, for those ages 3 to 5. On Thursdays, children’s storytime for children 5 or younger will be held at 10 a.m.; and on Saturdays children’s storytime for children 5 or younger will be held at 9:30 a.m.
For those looking to broaden their electronic capabilities, a class on how to download e-books to a Kindle e-reader will be held on Oct. 14, from 1 to 2 p.m. Class size is limited, and registration is required. An iPad discussion group will meet Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to noon.
Litzau said the library staff tries to offer an array of programming that will appeal to all patrons.
“I try to have a variety of types of programming we’re offering,” she said. “Some people are in the position of just wanting entertainment. Some people are seeking life-long learning, with the history program. No matter what age, it’s always fantastic to be able to pick up some bit of knowledge.”
Other special events are planned for October. The Adult Fall Programs brochure is available at the library, or visit the website at southcoastal.lib.de.us. For additional information, contact the South Coastal Library at (302) 539-5231 or visit southcoastallib.de.us. South Coastal Library is located at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach.