Library Lines: Read Contra Costa program’s book to be ‘We Are Not Free’ – East Bay Times

Read Contra Costa is an annual event that encourages all county residents and library users to share in the experience of reading and discussing the same book. This year’s Read Contra Costa, featuring the young adult novel “We Are Not Free” by Traci Chee, takes place from Sept. 27 through Nov. 9.

“We Are Not Free” tells the story of a tight-knit group of young Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) living in San Francisco’s Japantown whose lives are irrevocably changed by the federal government’s internment of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Read Contra Costa also includes virtual programs planned around the novel. Register for a discussion with the author, a presentation about the Japanese American floral industry during this time period, learn about the arts and crafts created at the internment camps or enjoy a book club discussion.
Diversity: Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans as part of a celebration of heritage rooted in all Latin American countries, encompassing the Caribbean world and indigenous peoples of the Americas. Held from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the library is offering programs, crafts, book lists, and displays to celebrate this diverse group. Virtual events will include an art exhibit from SOMArts group CARAVANA and an online panel discussion of lowrider and car culture.
For adolescents: TeenTober is a new, nationwide celebration of teens hosted by libraries every October and meant to promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways they can help teens learn new skills and fuel their passions in and outside the library. This October the library is hosting three programs aimed specifically at teens:
Food donations: The library system is once again partnering with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties for their annual food drive. Food donation barrels will be available in every county branch from October through December. Come to the library, get a book and drop off a can of food. The food bank accepts donations of any nonperishable food items.
Seedy places: Seed libraries available at some branches, while varied in their use, are places for community members to share and trade seeds that have been donated or harvested locally. This means that the plants that grow from these seeds will often do better than store-bought seeds since they have acclimated to the local microclimates and soils. The library has three branches where you can “borrow” and donate seeds, and several other branches are exploring adding the service in the near-future.
Nature journaling: In a presentation at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12, learn how to keep a notebook or journal to enhance your observation skills and joy as you explore in nature. Presenter John (Jack) Muir Laws is a principal leader and innovator of the worldwide nature journaling movement. Laws is a scientist, educator and author who helps people forge a deeper and more personal connection with nature through keeping illustrated nature journals and understanding science.
Halloween: At 4 p.m. Oct. 27, join us virtually for a (not too) spooky show suitable for all ages based on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the Washington Irving classic tale featuring Ichabod Crane, his love Katrina Van Tassel, the local bully Brom Bones and, of course, the Headless Horseman. You may view the prerecorded show on the library’s YouTube channel on the day of the event. The recording will remain available for a limited time.
Please register for these and other Zoom events and find more information about library programs at Visit to sign up for a library card and get connected to books and resources. For questions about library services and programming or account information, contact the library via online chat, email [email protected] or text questions to 925-290-7627.
Brooke Converse is the Contra Costa County Library system’s public information officer and can be reached at [email protected].
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