Library packs July with fun activities

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published July 1, 2015

 Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that plugs into a monitor and can be used to program languages.

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that plugs into a monitor and can be used to program languages.

Photo by Donna Agusti


WEST BLOOMFIELD — From movie discussions to guitar lessons, the West Bloomfield Township Public Library’s July calendar is filled with events for residents of all ages.

Although the library hosts a variety of activities for teens and kids, adults can enjoy programs offered, too. A program called Berry Gordy and Super-Powered Motown Records will take place in the meeting room from 7-9 p.m. July 9. Registration is not required.

Berry Gordy and Super-Powered Motown Records is part of an ongoing summer series hosted by Wayne State professor and Detroit poet M.L. Liebler. The library has presented the program for about five years, and Main Library Branch Manager Mary Killian said Liebler is a local treasurer who has a vast knowledge of Detroit’s history.

“What (Liebler) brings to these presentations is he knows the insiders. He will have known Berry Gordy or people who worked with him,” 

Killian said, adding that Liebler gives the “inside scoop” on Detroit culture.

Liebler incorporates memorabilia, documents, news clips, photographs and old music albums into his discussion, and his talks tie in with the library’s summer theme or a current hot topic. 

“Our theme for summer this year is superheroes, and definitely to Motown, Berry Gordy is just that,” Killian said.

The library will also hold its final chapter of the film discussion series Novels at the Movies. Adults can join Tara Hayes, from Oakland University, at 7 p.m. July 13 to discuss books that have made it to the big screen. Registration is not required.

Though the school year is done, Steve Ketcham, the library’s young adult services coordinator, said that doesn’t mean teens can’t be introduced to something they may not have experienced before.

For those interested in coding or who maybe just want to learn about a credit card-sized computer, the library will offer Raspberry PiDays at 10 a.m. July 11 and at 6:30 p.m. July 20.

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer no thicker than a deck of cards that plugs into a monitor and can be used to program languages. Ketcham said the library is using Raspberry Pi this summer to teach teens Sonic Pi — code writing to create music — and Python — programming a language.

“They’ve been pretty popular. I’m surprised at how many people already signed up. … Parents are pretty excited that we’re offering that, as well,” Ketcham said.

Raspberry PiDays is for sixth- to 12th-grade students, and registration is required.

On July 13 and 27, teens can participate in Maker Monday, a program in which teens make craft projects that combine science and the arts. Maker Monday Jr. — for 4- to 6-year-olds — starts at 10 a.m., and Maker Monday — for 7- to 12-year-olds — starts at 2 p.m. Registration is required.

Each Maker Monday program has a different activity scheduled. Ketcham said one project includes creating a brushbot — a robot made from the head of a toothbrush. Teens can modify their bots and race them on a track that was built last fall.

Teens interested in music can become a “guitar hero” through the library’s guitar lesson program. Because the program was popular last summer, Ketcham said, he had to split it into two levels this year. In level one, teens will learn the basics of guitar and simple strums and chords. In level two, teens will learn more strums, chords and songs. The program is for sixth- to 12th-grade students. Registration is required, and each session is limited to five students. Instruments will be available for use in the class, but those who have a guitar are asked to bring their own. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. July 7, and at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. July 18.

On Wednesdays, kids up to 5 years of age can enjoy Super Stories at 10 a.m. in the Youth Activity Center. Super Stories incorporates movement, music, books and crafts. Registration is not required, and the program lasts 30 minutes.

Kids of all ages can join the library staff for an evening of music, face painting, stilt walkers, crafts and more at The Evening of Midsummer Fun from 5-8 p.m. July 21. Registration is not required.

For a complete list of events for adults, teens and kids, visit