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Start your New Year’s resolutions with a trip to the library

By Marissa Creamer
Rowan Public Library
A new year stretches before you, a clean, blank slate offering endless possibilities. This is your chance to re-invent yourself, or at the very least, to make some improvements to the current model. If you have made any New Yearís resolutions, you are following a tradition going back to the early Romans.
The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the Roman god depicted with two faces. Since he was able to look back at the old year and forward to the new, Janus became the symbol for resolutions, and many Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies before the beginning of the New Year.
The Puritans also believed the New Year was a good time for renewal. They tried to make the holiday an occasion for changing the way they lived their lives, and often made vows to overcome their weaknesses, make use of their talents and make themselves useful to others.
Today, our most common New Yearís resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more and stop smoking. We also vow to become more organized, stick to a budget and save more money. Despite our best intentions, resolutions can be difficult to keep. Experts say that it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, and six months for it to become a part of your personality.
No matter what your resolution, Rowan Public Library can probably help you achieve your goal. The library has books, CDs and DVDs about diet, cooking, exercise, financial management, home organization and more.
If you have resolved to eat fresher, healthier meals and avoid mass-produced items, check out ěCook This Now,î by New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark. Subtitled ě120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Canít Wait to Make,î this book takes a seasonal approach to cooking, using fresh, in-season ingredients and fewer processed foods. Recipes are arranged by season and individual month, with dishes including starters, entrees, sides and desserts.
Start the New Year with Crisp Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas, Lemons, and Carrots with Parsley Gremolata; welcome spring with Green Poached Eggs with Spinach and Chives; celebrate summer with Berry Summer Pudding with Rose-scented Custard; and warm up autumn with Butternut Squash Risotto with Pistachios and Lemon.
If your resolution involves becoming more organized, the library has a wide selection of organization titles, including several by Peter Walsh, acclaimed organization and clutter expert. In his latest, ěLighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier With Less,î Walsh focuses on money and debt. His goal is to ěhelp you achieve a personal balance that brings you happiness and the courage to choose a richly rewarding life over the mindless pursuit of stuff.î
You can find these titles, as well as the latest issue of magazines such as Health, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times and Runnerís World, at Rowan Public Library. Stop by and find materials to help you make your New Yearís resolution a reality.
Computer classes: No computer classes in January.
Book Bites Club: South only, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., ěSpell of the Highlander,î by Karen Marie Moning. Book discussion groups for both adults and children are held at South Rowan Regional Library and meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and free to join at any time. Discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
Music and storytelling evening at East Branch only: Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., Rhythm Nights. Mike and Gaynell Lambert will perform a musical program with storytelling from Robert Jones followed by open mic readings from the community. Everyone is welcome at these free programs.
Teen program: All 5:30-7 p.m. South, Jan. 17, Anime/Manga event; East, Jan. 30, Anime/Manga event; Headquarters, Teen Scavenger Hunt. Are you a teen who loves Anime and Manga or Japanese culture? Come dressed as your favorite character and make Japanese inspired crafts at the South and East Branch. At the Headquarters, test your sleuthing skills for a Teen Scavenger Hunt. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Library closings: Jan. 2, all locations closed for New Yearís holiday. Jan. 16, all locations closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Displays: Headquarters ó Looking Glass Collective, Moon Eye stone artifacts; South, SRHS art class; East, rubber stamping by Glenda Trexler.

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