Every month the libraries in the Upper Keys host programs that provide information and entertainment activities for children and adults.
In Key Largo, you’ll find many local groups and some government agencies holding meetings at the Community Room in the library building. All the meetings held there are free and open to the public.
A big draw for visitors and some locals are the computers and Internet access offered at the libraries. Each branch has free Internet and Wi-fi access — and no password is needed to access the Web through Wi-fi if you have a laptop computer. Library PCs have web browser and word processing software and are available to residents and visitors.
And residents with a library card can use the Web to order materials from the countywide library collection. The Monroe County Library system lets users check out and renew books on the Web, and you can browse the online “card catalog” and order books from any of the five branches — Key West, Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada and Key Largo — to be delivered to your closest branch for checkout.
All Keys library branches will be closed on Tuesday, Feb. 22 following the Monday President’s Day holiday (the libraries close on Tuesdays following a Monday holiday).
The Key Largo Library is located in the center of the Trade Winds shopping center at 101485 Overseas Hwy. Call 451-2396 for more information or see www.keyslibraries.org. The library is open at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Closing time is 6 p.m. except on Wednesday, when the library closes at 8 p.m.
During tax season, free tax help is available at the Key Largo Library every Wednesday starting at 10 a.m., courtesy of the AARP tax assistance volunteers.
For youngsters, the library offers Story Time for up to age 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
Regular meetings of the following groups are held monthly in the library’s Community Room:
Senior Group: Mondays at 10:30 a.m. the group has coffee, games, speakers, sharing and more, followed by A Matter of Balance at 1 p.m.
Florida Keys Quilters: Friday mornings at 10 a.m., quilters meet for quilting and sharing. The group holds its regular meeting the first Saturday each month.
AA: Every Friday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. meetings are held.
Bridge lessons: Tuesdays at 1 p.m. you can learn how to play bridge. In February, the lessons will not be offered on the last Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Purple Isle Arts Guild: The artists’ group meets at 9:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday each month.
Macintosh Users Group: 7 p.m. on the first Thursday each month, computer enthusiasts gather for demonstrations, discussion and lessons.
Contra Dancing: 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 and Feb. 27, you can learn the steps and enjoy a dance in this old-time traditional style.
Historical Society: 7 p.m. on the second Monday each month, the Upper Keys Historical Society, led by Jerry Wilkinson, presents a program that looks into the events and people that have shaped the Upper Keys, through slide shows, video and guest speakers.
Reading Club: 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday monthly, book fans gather for discussion of the works they are reading.
Orchid and Bromeliad Society: 7 p.m. on the third Thursday monthly, gardeners get together to discuss and learn from experts on orchids and bromeliads.
Latitude 25 Writers Club: 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday, writers meet for discussion of their works.
The Helen Wadley Branch Library in Islamorada is at 81830 Overseas Highway, bayside. Call 664-4645.
There is a small bayfront park managed by the Village of Islamorada behind the library building.
The library is in a building built by the Works Progress Administration shortly after the 1935 hurricane that devastated the area. It was originally a school building and storm shelter and became the library in 1965. A similar building was also constructed in Tavernier to house a school.
The Islamorada Library opens at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Closing time is 8 p.m. on Tuesday and 6 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday.
Regular events at the Islamorada library include a weekly toddler story hour at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays. Readers in Mrs. Wadley’s Book Club get together on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. to discuss a book they are reading.