Merrimack Valley Life

From Your Library

36 ‘Faces of Addiction’ on display at library



We have a remarkable art exhibit in the Beshara Room this month, coinciding with September as National Recovery Month. It is called “Faces of Addiction.”

Anne Marie Zanfagna’s first portrait was of her daughter, Jackie. Zanfanga. The artist lost her daughter to heroin and she found painting the portrait therapeutic. Zanfagna used bright colors that her daughter loved.

Zanfagna began getting requests for portraits after she brought the painting to a grief support group. Requests poured in after NPR featured her story in 2015. The artist started the nonprofit Angels of Addictions to raise money for scholarships and addiction-recovery resources, and has traveled to Washington to promote it. Her portraits are highly styled and use vibrant colors. She has created over 200 portraits.

The library has 36 portraits on display. Eleven area libraries will also have her portraits on display this month. For more information about Zanfanga’s free portraits or Angels of Addictions, visit



Craft & Chat

We are pleased to offer a new biweekly program this fall called Craft & Chat. Adults are invited to bring whatever craft project they’re working on. This will be offered every other Thursday from 6:30- 8:30pm in the Beshara Room. The first meeting is Thursday, Sept. 21. This is a drop-in program with no registration. We hope any and all crafters will come.

Making vinegar

In September, the monthly guest speaker/ performer series resumes. The next program is “Making Vinegar at Home” with Emily Makrez. At this class on food preservation, you will learn what vinegar is and the chemistry behind the process. Learn how to turn anything into vinegar, even bananas! The class will include a demo of making vinegar, a viewing of vinegar “mothers” and tasting samples of various scrap vinegars.

Makrez is the owner of F-Word Farm, a place for farming, foraging and fermenting. Her interest in food took her to Seattle to purse a master’s degree in nutrition at Bastyr University, but her love of New England brought her back home to start her own farm and delve deeply into the world of fermentation (lacto, Koji, vinegar and alcoholic) and foraging.

Join us on Tuesday, Sept, 19 at 4pm for this engaging free program.

‘Freedom Trail Stories’

On Sept. 12 at 7pm, former library director Eleanor Strang will be presenting a program at the Old Town Hall Museum called “Freedom Trail Stories” with a focus on Faneuil Hall. The museum is located at 310 Main St., Salem. This program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available after the presentation. This program is made possible thanks to the Salem NH Historical Society.

Book Groups

Our Book Group will be reading and discussing the following books. Copies are available at the front desk; new and drop-in members are always welcome. For info, contact Heather at (603) 898-7064 or

• “Sisters in Arms: A Novel of the Daring Black Women Who Served during WWII” by Kaia Alderson on Wednesday, Sept. 27th at 4pm. “Kaia Alderson’s debut historical fiction novel reveals the untold, true story of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, who made the dangerous voyage to Europe to ensure American servicemen received word from their loved ones during World War II,” according to Amazon. This is the Kelley Book Group Selection.

• “Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4pm. “Throughout his engaging, well-researched history, Kurlansky sprinkles witty asides and amusing anecdotes. A piquant blend of the historic, political, commercial, scientific and culinary, the book is sure to entertain as well as educate,” according to PW Daily. This is the Non-fiction Book Group Selection.

For children

Chess is September’s theme in honor of American Chess Day on Sept. 1. There are chess games, activities and crafts available throughout the children’s room.

A new story walk will be outside in October. It is called, “Those Darn Squirrels” by Adam Rubin. Discover what happens when a grumpy old man and some mischievous squirrels match wits — with hilarious results.

In October, fall programming will begin.

• Play Group is offered on the second and fourth Mondays from 9:30-11am (Sept. 24, Oct 23). Playgroup is geared toward ages 3 months to 3 years. Meet in the Beshara

Room. Parents provide the supervision, the library offers the play. For babies there is a jumbo play mat, soft blocks, sensory balls, Look at Me Mirror Center and a Butterfly Climb & Slide. For toddlers there is a balance beam, castle blocks, toy cars with a city rug, tree doll house and jumbo blocks. No registration required.

• Take & Make Crafts: Pick up a craft kit on Wednesdays. Each week a different craft is offered. Crafts include Bluey Paper Tubes and a Sweater bear, Cat Bookmark to celebrate World Animal Day, Spinning Top: Participate in International Top Spinning Day by making your own toy and spinning all day!

• Reese’s Taste Test: Wednesday, Sept. 27 beginning at 2pm, for ages 7-14. Do you love peanut butter? Each participant will get the same 8 flavors of Reese’s candy to taste. Kids will be able to vote for their favorite and we will tally up votes at the end of the program to see which flavor is the champion! No registration necessary, so drop in before the candy is gone!

• Baby and Me Storytime: Session runs Tuesdays at 9:30am from Oct. 3 to Nov. 14, for children up to age 2. Join Katelyn for this interactive program for babies and their caregivers. Siblings are welcome. Katelyn will be leading everyone into a variety of activities including stories, songs and bouncing rhymes. No registration required. Contact Katelyn at with any questions.

• Music & Movement Storytime: Session runs Wednesdays at 10am from Oct. 4 to Nov. 15 for ages 2-5. Join Katelyn for this part storytime, part music and movement program. Both toddlers and preschoolers will be sitting to listen and dancing their wiggles out! No registration required. Contact Katelyn at with any questions.

• LEGO Builder: Ages 5-10 can join David every other Thursday 4:30pm. Get creative with LEGO! Make up your own creation or try out the build challenge for the week. On Oct. 5, the challenge will be building a tower. On Oct. 19, the challenge will be a race car. There is no registration necessary. Contact David for more information at

• Zombie Food: Science Explorers: Join David on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 4:30pm, for ages 7-10. Hold a heart in your hand and chow down on some brains! Sign up online at, and e-mail David at with any questions.

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