Fort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library, 14010 University Blvd in Sugar Land, on the UH campus, presents a variety of free children’s programs, adult computer classes, book clubs, and special programs for people of all ages each month. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, see the Fort Bend County Libraries website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), or call the University Branch Library (281-633-5100) or the library system’s Communications Office (281-633-4734).
- Income-Tax-Preparation Assistance – Saturdays, Feb 1-Apr 11, 10:00 am-2:00 pm, Conference Room 1. Representatives from the AARP will provide free income-tax-preparation assistance for low-income taxpayers. Patrons should bring the following information to the session if possible: photo ID; Social Security card(s) for self, spouse, and all dependents; last year’s tax return; W-2, 1099s, and any other compensation received in 2019; unemployment compensation statements; and any other documents that are necessary to complete your return. This service is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Income-tax forms will no longer be available at the libraries, but patrons may use the libraries’ computers and printers to download and print out the forms from the IRS website, www.irs.gov, during regular library hours. A library card is needed to use the printers, and the cost to print is 10¢ per black-and-white page.
- “Pinterest for Beginners” – Wednesday, Feb 5, 2:00 pm, Computer Lab. Learn all about Pinterest, the virtual pinboard that has taken the social-media population by storm. Pinterest enables people to organize and share items of interest to them that they have found on the Internet. Pinboards can be used to collect ideas for anything from planning weddings or decorating homes to organizing favorite recipes, and much more. Those attending the class should already have a working email address and password. Registration required.
- “Craft Squad: Macramé” – Friday, Feb 7, 1:00 pm, Meeting Room 1. People who enjoy crafts are invited to join the Craft Squad, where they can make new crafty friends, learn a new craft or two, and share tips, tricks, and resources with fellow crafters. Each month will have an instructional meeting introducing a new craft on the first Friday of the month, and badges can be earned for each new craft that is learned. The rest of the Fridays will be devoted to “Craft-Squad Meet-ups,” where patrons can bring their own craft to work on while networking with other crafters. In February, earn the “Macramé” badge by learning this ancient art of knotting cord or string into patterns to create decorative items. Macramé can be used to make wall art, plant hangers, jewelry, and more. This activity is suitable for adults and older teens ONLY. Materials are provided through the generous support of the Friends of the University Branch Library. Registration is required.
- The weekly meet-ups will take place on Fridays, Feb 14, 21, and 28. Registration is not required for the meet-ups.
- “Podcasting for Beginners” — Saturday, Feb 8, 2:00 pm, Meeting Room 1. Blogger and podcaster Alpana Deo will share her experiences as a podcaster and will share tips for others who are interested in becoming a podcaster. Gain a better understanding of why people listen to podcasts, how to open a Podcast channel on Ancho, how to prepare a the first episode of a podcast, things to consider while recording, and how to create engaging content.
- “Intro to Canva: Valentine Edition” — Wednesday, Feb 12, 2:00 pm, Computer Lab. Canva is a free, online graphic-design tool. Canva’s easy-to-use interface provides access to millions of photographs, graphics, and fonts, enabling the user to create designs for web or print. Learn how this tool can be used to create blog graphics, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, presentations, and more. This class will focus on Valentines. Those attending this class should have a working email address to create an account with Canva. Registration is required.
- “Culinary Book Club” – Wednesday, Feb 19; 1:30 pm, Meeting Room 1. This month, the theme is “Heart-Healthy Food.” Cooking enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels – from beginners to advanced — are invited to join. Those attending are welcome to bring their own cookbooks and recipes, or they may browse the library’s collection of cookbooks. Share tips, get ideas, and enjoy the camaraderie of other individuals who have an interest in cooking and good cuisine! Meets on the third Wednesday of every month; different cooking genres are explored each month.
- “How to Learn a New Language with Transparent Languages” – Wednesday, Feb 19, 2:00 pm, Computer Lab. Are you planning to visit a foreign country? Would you like to make yourself more marketable to an employer by being bilingual? Learning another language can have many benefits, and Fort Bend County Libraries’ “Transparent Language® Online” resource makes learning a new language easier than ever – and it’s free! The database includes more than 80 languages – from Afrikaans to Zulu – as well as ESL (English as a Second Language) classes for non-English speaking people who would like to learn English. Reservations are required.
- “Senior Series: The Truth About Your Aging Brain” – Friday, Feb 21, 10:30 am, Meeting Room 1. Liz McNeel, a senior real-estate specialist and certified senior-housing professional, will debunk many of the longstanding myths associated with age-related changes, getting older, and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
- NEW! “University Branch Podcast Club” — Thursday, Feb 27, 7:00 pm, Conference Room 1. Similar to a book club, the Podcast Club is a monthly club for people who enjoy listening to podcasts on a variety of subjects. Each month, a theme will be selected, along with a short list of podcast episodes. Listeners will meet to discuss the podcasts they have listened to and the themes within them. In February, the theme is “Friendship.” The list of podcasts from which to choose includes:
- “Make New Friends (And Keep Them)” – Life Kit from NPR, 24 m.
- “When Friendship Changes, How to Cope” – Life Kit from NPR, 22 m.
- “The Science of BFFs” – Stuff Mom Never Told You, 1 h.
- “When the World is Exploding Around You” – StoryCorps, 10 m.
- “Brush-Pen Calligraphy Workshop” — Saturday, Feb 29, 1:00-3:30 pm, Meeting Room 1. Graphic designer and calligraphy artist Lauren Cole will present an introductory demonstration of calligraphy. In this hands-on workshop, learn calligraphy concepts, warm-up drills, basic strokes, and lower- and upper-case alphabets. Students will gain a working knowledge of how to use a brush pen and connect letters together to create words and phrases. Materials are provided through the generous support of the Friends of the University Branch Library. Registration is required.
Friday Film Series
- Friday, Feb 14, 1:00-3:00 pm, Meeting Room 1. Released in 2018, this documentary paints a portrait of the life and work of children’s entertainer, Fred Rogers, star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The film explores the life, lessons, and legacy of this iconic children’s television host who creatively communicated themes of empathy and acceptance. The documentary will be followed by a discussion at approximately 2:30 pm. The discussion will explore topics such as love, kindness, and early-childhood development. This documentary is rated PG-13.
BOOK CLUB – Monday, Feb 10, 7:00 pm, Meeting Room 2.
- The book to be discussed is The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, written by Stuart Turton. New members invited to attend!
ADULT COMPUTER CLASSES
- All computer classes take place in the Computer Lab. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Events,” select “University Branch Library,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library at 281-633-5100, or by visiting the library.
- MS Excel Survival Basics – Tuesday, Feb 4, 2:00 pm
- MS Excel: Intermediate – Tuesday, Feb 11, 2:00 pm
- MS Excel: Advanced – Tuesday, Feb 18, 2:00 pm
MS Excel 2010 Series
TEEN PROGRAMS (grades 9-12)
- “YA Make It: Mardi Gras Masks” – Saturday, Feb 8, 2:00 pm, Meeting Room 2. Teens in grades 9 through 12 will celebrate Carnival by creating festive Mardi Gras masks. Materials will be provided through the generous support of the Friends of the University Branch Library. Reservations required.
- “Young Adult Advisory Council” – Thursday, Feb 13, 5:00 pm, Conference Room 1. Teens in grades 9-12 who are interested in an exciting new leadership opportunity and volunteer-service hours are invited to attend. Members will have a chance to share ideas about library programs, to help out at events, to give suggestions for teen services, books, and movies, and to meet new people. Meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month, except during the summer.
- Mother Goose Time – Mondays at 10:30 am – provides caregiver/infant multisensory circle-time activities — including simple sign language, folksongs and lullabies, and finger plays — that are especially designed to stimulate babies’ social, emotional, and physical development through rhythm and music. Mother Goose Time is intended for infants from age 1 month to 12 months.
- Toddler Time – Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30 am – offers caregiver/child activities, stories and songs for older babies, from 12 to 36 months of age.
- Preschool Story Time – Thursdays at 10:30 am – presents stories, movies, and age-appropriate craft activities for children 3 to 6 years of age.
- Pajama Night Story Time – Wednesdays at 7:00 pm – gives families an evening option for some activities presented during the day time.
- Rise & Shine Family Story Time – Saturdays at 10:30 am. Families with children of all ages are invited to come and enjoy stories, movies, and crafts together.
- After-School Breaks – 2nd and 4th Tuesday beginning at 4:15 pm. Crafts, movies, stories, and more for school-aged children in grades K through 5. Materials for these programs are made possible by the Friends of the University Branch Library. The schedule for February is as follows:
- Feb 11 – STEAM Stations. Children will participate in various STEAM activities involving Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. They will also enjoy a short film and a story.
- Feb 25 – Eco-Friendly Crafting.
- Creative Connection – 1st and 3rd Saturday at 2:30 pm. Activities for youth in grades 4 through 8. Materials for these programs are made possible by the Friends of the University Branch Library. The schedule for February is as follows:
- Feb 1 – STEAM Game Day: Centripetal Force. Have fun with others while playing a variety of games and discovering something new during the STEAM session of the day! Learn how centripetal force works using a hexagonal nut and balloon.
- Feb 15 – Hello? Create a basic telephone using plastic cups and office supplies.
SPECIAL FAMILY EVENTS
- Teddy-Bear Sleepover: Sign-Ups – Feb 1-6
Children of all ages can bring their second-favorite teddy bear or toy and sign them up for a teddy-bear sleepover. (Stuffed animals should be backpack-sized or smaller). Stuffed animals can be brought to the library for registration and drop-off anytime during library business hours starting Saturday, Feb 1, at 10:00 am, through Thursday, Feb 6, at 9:00 pm, at the Youth Services desk. On Friday, Feb 7, the library’s Youth Services staff will post photos on the library’s Facebook page showing the stuffed animals and their adventures! The stuffed animals can be collected during the Books & Bears Story Time on Saturday, Feb 8, at 10:30 am.
- Books & Bears Story Time — Saturday, Feb 8, 10:30 am, Meeting Room 1. Families with children of all ages will enjoy a puppet show, crafts, and a teddy-bear giveaway. Those attending are invited to bring their stuffed animals to the program as well! Children whose stuffed animals participated in the Teddy-Bear Sleepover will be reunited with their toys toward the end of the program. Materials for the program are made possible by the Friends of the University Branch Library.
- LEGO® Club – Monday, Feb 17, 4:15-5:00 pm, Meeting Room 1. Families with kids of all ages will have an opportunity to get creative with LEGO building blocks at the library! Different-sized LEGO pieces will be available for the varying ages in attendance. Materials for this event are made possible by the Friends of the University Branch Library.