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Laurene Weste:

Posted: December 1, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 1, 2012 2:00 a.m.

There’s nothing like the holidays to bring family and friends together. Whether it’s decorating a tree, cooking special dishes or watching a movie, the holidays are a time for sharing and friendship.

This December, we’d like to encourage you to make the Santa Clarita Public Library a part of your family’s holiday traditions. The library is not only a place for learning and books, but also a place where residents of all ages can enjoy free events — just in time for the holidays.

The Valencia, Canyon Country and Old Town Newhall Library branches are offering an assortment of free, holiday season activities throughout December.

During the month of December, community members can enjoy learning new ways to prepare for the season by participating in free classes at the Old Town Newhall Library.

Visit the new 30,000-square-foot library and enjoy making creative holiday cards and gift tags, as well as holiday wreaths at free, hands-on workshops that offer inspiration for decorating.

Grab the entire family and head to the library to watch a variety of holiday-themed movies that are sure to put everyone in a festive spirit. The free family movie nights will include showings of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Polar Express” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Kids and families can also visit the Old Town Newhall Library to enjoy an afternoon with Santa that includes candy canes and treats, seasonal story times and plenty of creative crafts and music throughout the month.

Meanwhile, for those looking for a few tips or a few laughs to deal with the inevitable holiday stress, the library shelves are full of insightful books that just might help. The Old Town Newhall Library is even offering classes to teach community members how to access free eBooks for your Nook, Kindle and iPad.

For a full schedule of holiday activities happening at the Santa Clarita Public Library, visit

One of the fun things about books is their ability to impact audiences of all ages across multiple generations. Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, J.R.R. Tolkien’s story “The Hobbit” made its debut in 1937 and has continued to be one of the most widely read books of the 20th century.

In honor of this timeless classic, which will appear in movie theaters later this month, the Santa Clarita Public Library will host a variety of special programming to take readers deep within the text to uncover its mysteries and enchantments.

Now through Dec. 15, all three of the city’s library branches and several community partners will offer free workshops, movie screenings and literary discussions to build excitement about this popular book leading up to its movie release.

Some of the free Hobbit-themed events happening in December include:

- a screening of the animated film “The Hobbit,” the unedited 1977 version on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at The Old Town Newhall Library;

- a Hobbit scavenger hunt hosted Dec. 5, through Dec. 12, at each of the libraries;

- a book sharing discussion hosted on Dec. 11, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Canyon Country Library and Dec. 13, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Valencia Library.

Community members who participate in at least one library activity will have the opportunity at all events to win free tickets to a private screening of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” on Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. at Edwards Valencia Stadium 12.

To be eligible to win a ticket, participants must have a valid Santa Clarita Public Library card and be 13 years or older.

The Santa Clarita Public Library is committed to promoting literacy and education through innovative programs and services. Library programming and events not only help educate community members about the numerous resources available at each library, but also engage residents through reading, writing and fun activities for every season of the year.

I really want to encourage you and your family to enjoy the holidays at one of our local library branches this season. For more information about any of the Santa Clarita Public Library events, visit or contact the city’s library hotline at 661-286-4055.

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at


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