Enjoy games galore at Hinsdale Public Library

Often, people use the library to learn more about something they don't know. Why are my stupid houseplants turning yellow? How do I make a tagine? What does Doris Kearns Goodwin have to say about leadership in turbulent times?

Sometimes though, we turn the tables and give you a chance to show off what YOU know.

In our latest "Maple Street Mixer" for adults, we'll test your title recall with book riddles. And readers will race against each other to find phrases in one of their own books to complete a challenge from the host. This virtual program takes place Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m.

After a long day of looking at screens, why would you want to log on again for this Readers Rivalry edition of our popular Maple Street Mixer series? One - how often do librarians give you permission to shout? Two - games are good for you! Social games like trivia give you happy little dopamine boosts. And who doesn't need that in the last full month of winter?

Games are also a form of play, which is good for grownups.

In a 2017 Washington Post article on the benefits of play for adults, Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, CA is quoted as saying, "What all play has in common is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome."

You know what else is a form of play? Reading. That's right, when you are curious and engaged in a great story, your attention is focused on this pleasurable activity. When the only outcome you expect is enjoyment, you're doing something mind-clearing. Something restorative.

Storytelling as self-care? Sign me up! To find more books for your "to be read" pile, come hear the publishers from Sourcebooks talk about some of their favorite titles from last year and what they're excited about this spring. Register online for Book Buzz on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

And, of course, we've got lots of play-based programming for kids and families, as well. Do you have a tiny trivia master in your house? Join us for Family Trivia on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 4 to 5 p.m. This version of Kahoot is best for kids in third grade and up. Please register online so we can send you the link in advance.

While we miss seeing you in person, many staff find connecting online to be the best part of their day. We get to meet new siblings in storytime, see unmasked smiles and hear how you're doing. It's not perfect - but it can be fun. Come play with us.

Find a full listing of our virtual programming and register in advance at https://www.hinsdalelibrary.info/events.

- Karen Keefe is the executive

director at Hinsdale Public Library