All Contra Costa County library branches offer programs for children, teens, adults and families. All branches will be closed Dec. 23-25, for the Christmas holiday and by 5 p.m. Dec. 31-Jan. 1, for the New Year's holiday. For library hours and updated information, call the local branch or 800-984-4636 or visit www.ccclib.org.

  • At the Martinez Library, Story Time programs are free.

    Mother Goose Time: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4. For babies and toddlers, ages 0-5, it features songs, bounces, tickles and simple stories.

    Pajama Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Children can wear their pajamas for a story and a craft. Best for ages 3-6; siblings are welcome.

    Gift Wrap Origami Style: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Dec. 11. All ages are invited to Charles Esseltine's hands-on workshop to learn how to to create origami gift wrapping. Participants can bring a special gift or two. Registration is required by 8 p.m. Dec. 10. Space is limited.

    One Wacky Winter: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Randall Metz and the Puppet Company present a mystery about the Grunch -- the Grinch's long-lost brother -- and broken toys kidnapped from the toy workshop. For children to age 11.


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    Martinez Library Book Discussion Group: 6:45 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month. Registration is required online or by calling the library. New members are welcome. On Dec. 11, the discussion is on Debbie Macomber's "There's Something About Christmas," the story of Emma, a small-town reporter assigned to cover a national contest to find the best fruitcake in America. She believes the world is divided into those who love it and those who don't.

    The library is at 740 Court St., Martinez. Phone: 925-646-2898. Hours: noon-8 p.m. Mondays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays; noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Thursdays.

  • At the Pleasant Hill Library, Story Time programs are free.

    Mother Goose Time: 11:15-11:45 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; and also 1:15-1:45 p.m. Fridays. There will be songs, rhymes, bounces, tickles and simple stories for tots up to age 3.

    Preschool Storytime: 11:15-11:45 a.m. Thursdays features stories and songs for preschoolers and toddlers, ages 3-5.

    Saturday Storytime: 11:15-11:45 a.m. Saturdays, for babies, preschoolers and kids. There will be stories, songs and more.

    Afternoon Storytime: 1:15-1:45 p.m. Fridays. There will be songs, rhymes, bounces and simple stories to introduce children ages 0-3 to literacy.

    Lego Creators Club: 2-3 p.m. Dec. 1. Kids can meet other builders and get tips, themes and challenges every month, plus book tie-ins to take home.

    Holiday Puppet Show: The Nutcracker: 1 p.m. Dec. 11. Children and all ages are invited to the Puppet Company's presentation of the seasonal favorite, featuring sugar plum fairies, mouse armies, mechanical toys, the Snow Queen, and a nutcracker who becomes a prince.

    Wii Thursdays for Teens: 3-4:30 p.m. Dec. 6, 20. Teens are invited meet others and play games on the library's Wii system.

    Pleasant Hill Teen Advisory Group (TAG): 3:30-5 p.m. Dec. 12. Teens ages 13-18 can meet other teens and the young adult librarian every second Wednesday of the month in Room A to create fun programs and suggest new resources. Participants can receive volunteer hours for their time.

    Contra Costa Teen Chess Club: 3-5 p.m. Fridays. Students 12-17 can get instruction and participate in friendly matches and tournaments. Games are in the Baldwin Room and participants who have them are encouraged to bring their own chess board and pieces.

    Pleasant Hill Library Book Discussion: 6:30 p.m. in Room A. On Dec. 18, the discussion will be on Robert Morgan's "Gap Creek."

    Afternoon Book Discussion: 1-2:30 p.m. Dec. 7. Adults can read with others at the library and discuss "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," by Isabel Wilkerson.

    Volunteer Orientation: 3-4 p.m. Dec. 8, 22. Teens and adults can apply to be a library volunteer. Participants will tour the library with a trained staff members who will give them the details of volunteering.

    English Conversation Practice for Adults: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Adults can practice speaking and listening to English in a casual group run by the library staff and volunteers.

    Doorstep Farmers: 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays. Pick up a box of organic fruits and vegetables every week at the library by signing up with Doorstep Farmers, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) service supporting local agriculture and sustainable healthy living. All participants have the choice of a 5 percent discount or donating 5 percent to the Pleasant Hill Library. Sign up at www.dorstepfarmers.com, and write "Pleasant Hill Library" in the comment section. Call Doorstep Farmers directly at 925-349-4568.

    Las Juntas Artists Association: In partnership with the library, each month the group exhibits the works of different artists during regular library hours. In November, June Vega's acrylic and mixed media works will be on display.

    The library is at 1750 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Phone: 925-646-6434. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 1-8 p.m. Tuesdays; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.