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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Ongoing events, available resources at Mary L. Stephens Library

The Davis branch provides craft communities, monthly book sales, material kits and more 


By SAVANNAH ANNO — arts@theaggie.org

Beyond just providing books, libraries can also serve as important community builders. By welcoming all members of society into their spaces, practicing outreach and hosting events that encourage patrons to interact with one another, public libraries offer not only reading material, but connection. 

Nestled between Davis Senior High School, North Davis Elementary and Community Park, the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library is one of these institutions focused on community outreach. If you’re looking to meet new people, get involved with the off-campus Davis community or practice a new skill, this library may have just what you’re looking for. 

For anyone interested in fiber arts, the library hosts a weekly Knitting & Crochet Circle. People of all skill levels are welcome to work on individual projects alongside each other, sharing tips and tricks from 5:30 to 7 p.m. each Tuesday. Don’t forget to bring your own materials as well as a few good conversation starters. No sign-up or registration fee is required. 

The library also hosts a variety of group meetings to help community members practice learning new languages. If you want to gain confidence and improve your conversational Spanish, Mandarin or English skills, attend weekly meetings to speak with other language learners. All skill levels are encouraged to attend, and no registration is required: simply show up ready to talk. English conversation groups are held each Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. as well as on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Spanish conversation groups are held on Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and Mandarin groups on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. 

Another weekly drop-in event held at the library is open hours with the Davis Makerspace. Each Thursday from 9:30 to 11 a.m., the non-profit group provides tools like the open-source software Arduino, single-board Raspberry Pi computers, a sewing machine, craft wood and other various pieces of small equipment to visitors. Davis Makerspace — a group of builders, makers and programmers — encourages community members to stop by and show off their projects or to ask any questions they may have about how to use the tools offered. 

Last on the list of ongoing events at the Mary L. Stephens Library is the monthly Friends of the Library Book Sale, hosted by volunteers and spanning three days. The sale begins on the first Friday of the month from 12 to 7 p.m., is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Being the final day of the monthly book sale, Sunday is “bag day,” meaning visitors are encouraged to fill a grocery-sized bag with books for $10. Find used books about poetry, cooking, science, politics and more in the Friends of the Davis Public Library’s collection. 

On top of the library’s in-person events, the Yolo County Library also provides a variety of online and material resources for members. Sign up for a free library card by visiting the Davis Branch with your ID and proof of California residency (a piece of mail with your address on it, for example) to gain access. With your card, the library opens up a world of possibilities: language-learning programs, performing arts video collections, LinkedIn Learning, test-prep materials and access to The New York Times online. 

In-person, Mary L. Stephens Library also offers interactive resources such as discovery kits for activities like bird watching, calligraphy, sewing, meditation and even ghost hunting. Each kit contains books, DVD tutorials and the necessary materials to get started with the project. Visit the library to explore each option, and if you have an idea for a new one, be sure to suggest it. 

By catering to a wide variety of interests, from knitting to language learning, the Mary L. Stephens Library encourages connection through shared hobbies beyond just reading. If you’re interested in enriching your free time, talking with a diverse group of people or improving your creative skill set, the local library just might be for you. 


Written by: Savannah Anno — arts@theaggie.org



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