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Contra Costa Libraries Celebrate Picture Book Month

November is Picture Book Month, and Contra Costa County Libraries will be celebrating it with children’s book character Pete the Cat.

Reading picture books helps children cultivate an appreciation for art while strengthening their visual skills. They learn the structure of a story while developing their vocabulary and comprehension. Picture books are meant to be a shared experience that helps create a unique bond between a child or group of children and a trusted adult.

Visit any branch to enjoy Pete the Cat-themed activities, including a scavenger hunt and guessing game. Plus, check out five picture books and show your receipt to win a prize

Read Against Costa: The countywide library system’s reading program, Read Contra Costa, continues in November with a discussion about the book and an interview with its author.

This year’s book is “Portrait of a Thief” by Grace D. Li. The novel is about a high-stakes heist and is inspired by the true story of the disappearance of Chinese art from Western museums. The plot involves a group of inexperienced thieves who agree to try and recover stolen art in exchange for $50 million.

Read Contra Costa is an annual event that encourages all county residents and library users to share the experience of reading and discussing the same book at the same time. The book is available in hardcover, eBook or eAudiobook format.

The Read Contra Costa book discussion will take place at 6 p.m. on November 1 on Zoom. The recorded interview with author Li, available on YouTube and Facebook, will take place at 8 a.m. on November 15.

Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Library celebrates increased hours of operation. The library is now open six days a week for a total of 12 additional weekly hours. Thanks to increased funding from the City of Pittsburgh, the library is now open on Mondays and two additional hours on Tuesdays.

This is the first time the city has been able to fund additional hours at the library beyond the base 40 hours paid by the county and the first time since 2009 that the library has been open on Mondays. The city pays for overtime with Measure M money, a half-cent sales tax that generates between $3.6 million and $3.8 million in revenue for the city each year. Visit ccclib.bibliocommons.com/locations for complete listings of library branch hours.

Services to veterinarians: Every Monday from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Brentwood Library, a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) is available to help local veterans navigate their benefits process with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA ). VSRs are county employees who are fully trained and accredited by the VA to help veterans achieve maximum benefits.

Each veteran’s VSR will work closely with duty officers from a veterans organization of their choice. RSVs can help with compensation for service-related disabilities, retirement, education benefits, medical treatment, home loans, life insurance and more. Appointments are required. Visit ccclib.bibliocommons.com/v2/events online to find more information.

Plant wildflowers: County libraries are participating in a national education and action initiative to highlight pollinator diversity and spark local efforts to support wild pollinators. The program focuses on the crucial role bees and other pollinators play and encourages community members to support local pollination by planting native wildflowers.

Learn more about wildflowers in the All About Wildflowers webinar on Zoom at 6 p.m. November 30, hosted by Certified Nurseryman Dan Alexander of Sloat Gardens. He will discuss wildflower seeds, benefits and when, where and how to plant them. In December, stop by one of the branch seed libraries and pick up a free wildflower seed starter kit. Visit the system’s Library of Things webpage at ccclib.org/library-of-things for seed library locations.

Visit ccclib.org to sign up for a library card and connect to books and resources. For questions about library services and programming or account information, contact us via online chat, email [email protected], or text questions to 925-290- 7627.

Brooke Converse is the Public Information Officer for the Contra Costa County Library System and can be reached at [email protected]