GREENFIELD — The kid-friendly favorites are all there — Lego-building, video game nights and more — but this year at the Hancock County Public Library, more events geared toward adults are making the calendar.

Library officials say they’re hoping to build on an increase in adult program participation seen last year, when attendance rose by 300 people after library officials scheduled more diverse offerings for their grown-up patrons.

Last year, the library added about 150 adult programs to the event lineup last year based on patron requests for more craft programs and reading programs geared toward specific audiences, like adults who enjoy young-adult books, said assistant director Barb Roark.

Officials say they’ll continue to provide more programs targeted at smaller adult crowds — groups of about 10 to 50 adults — this year to encourage that upward trend, said adult programming coordinator Shannon Bahler.

While the musical events and speakers bring big crowds, smaller events keep people coming back, Roark said. Popular events like monthly local genealogy meetings with local historian Joe Skvarenina or classes with Your Gourmet Girlfriends, a New Palestine-based duo of chefs and caterers, bolster the library’s attendance and keep people setting foot in the library, she said.

Jan Owens of New Palestine makes up one half of the chef duo from Your Gourmet Girlfriends, which caters and operates a meal delivery service in addition to providing classes at the library about four times a year. The classes change based on the time of year and the library’s themes for summer and winter reading programs.

Patron surveys filled out by program attendees suggest patrons enjoy programs that allow them to walk away from with a finished project, Bahler said.

Library staff also try to keep an eye on trends that cater to adults. One new program the library is initiating this year is “Color Me Calm,” an unstructured adult coloring event inviting visitors to bring their books and supplies and color at the library, Bahler said. She created the event in response to the adult coloring craze that has boosted coloring book sales across the country.

The event aims to be more than a craft event, with the goal of providing a relaxing wellness activity to patrons, Bahler explained.

“These are the kinds of things, large and small, that we hope to provide to the community,” she said. “We want people to be able to share creativity, have discussions and see whatever comes out of being in the same room.”

If you go

The Hancock County Public Library plans to host a variety of events throughout 2017, from live music to arts and crafts to trivia nights. Upcoming events at the library’s main branch in Greenfield include:

10 a.m. Feb. 2: Learn to paint with acrylics on canvas during a studio session with artist Peggy Brewer. Paint a version of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE painting.

7 p.m. Feb. 6: Bright Star Touring Theatre, a professional touring company based in Asheville, North Carolina, presents “Freedom Songs,” a musical revue of numbers about black history.

6:30 p.m. Feb. 9: Knit your way through winter among this social circle, open to people of all skill levels.

7 p.m. Feb. 16: “Your Gourmet Girlfriends,” Pam Cooley and Jan Owens, help beat the winter blues with a free workshop about warm and delicious comfort foods. Taste samples during the event and receive a free recipe booklet. Leave with loads of recipes (some of which can be made in a slow-cooker) and start preparing these high-carb, high-sugar, home-cooked dishes.

6 p.m. March 1: The library holds its third annual trivia contest. Entry is free this year, and space is limited to 15 teams of six. Register by Feb. 27.

Growing up

Participation in adult programs at the Hancock County Public Library is on the rise.


225 programs

5,438 people attended


388 programs

5,738 people attended

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or