Libraries offer abundance of ways to improve your mind

Improving physical health seems to be a perennial on Americans’ list of new year’s resolutions. But have you thought about bringing some new resolve to your cultural wellbeing?


Public libraries in both Tempe and Chandler have unveiled programs that are certain to find a niche in virtually anyone’s busy schedule.


The following schedule, compiled by Tempe adult-program librarian Adrienne Bengtson, represents only a few of the opportunities that are available at your local library.

Start the new year by learning how to write your life story, one chapter at a time. Cameo Life Stories is a non-profit writing program for women, conducted in a fun, supportive class. Participants reminisce, share photos and stories of their lives. Step by step you will write your way through your lifetime. No special writing talent is required, just enthusiasm.

A meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19 in Study Room E at the library. Subsequent meetings will be held on first and third Thursdays.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, Tempe Public Library's Great Books Discussion Group will meet to discuss Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Have you been promising yourself that you'd get around to reading some really good literature, and want a chance to share the experience? The Great Books group meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month in the Youth Services Meeting Room.

Volunteers Kathy and Don Dietz serve as discussion leaders. Participants provide their own copies of the works to be discussed. Information: (480) 350-5566.

The library’s book discussion group, Let's Talk Books: Agents of Change, will meet to discuss The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13. It is often considered a childrens' book, but take a look: There's plenty of material there for discussion. Afterward, the group will choose books to read and discuss for the rest of 2005.

Are you an avid mystery reader? If so, you are invited to meet with other fans once a month to discuss favorite mystery books or authors. Participants are required to provide their own copies of the books to be discussed.

The group will discuss Day of the Jackal, by Fredrick Forsyth, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.

Responsibility for leading the discussion rotates around the group. Information: (480) 350-5557 weekdays.

Representatives from the Self Employment Loan Fund will introduce their programs for training, technical assistance and access to credit for emerging, low-income business owners, especially women and minorities, at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10.

SELF provides powerful tools to help you move forward with your dream of self employment and business ownership.

Information: (480) 350-5511 to register for this free seminar.

Rebecca Kennell and Gail Andrews will present the first part of "Smart Women Finish Rich", a two-part educational seminar providing seven steps to help you achieve financial security and fund your dreams, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13. Based on the best-selling book by David Bach. Phone (480) 350-5511 to register.

The second part of the series will be held at the library on Feb. 10.

Free wireless computer access is now available at the Tempe Public Library. If you would like to learn more about how to connect, you can attend a class at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10.

The class will provide the details you will need to connect your laptop to the Internet on the library's public network.

Information: (480) 350-5511.

Learn how to access the enormous amount of genealogical information now available on the Internet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12. Tips on how to make your searches more thorough and effective will also be provided. Space is limited; registration is required. Information: (480) 350-5511.