By Jeong Park
Daily Press Intern

Learning new skills takes effort and guidance. The Santa Monica Public Library seeks to offer guidance for those who are willing to provide effort.

Branches of Santa Monica Public Library will host a second annual “How-To Festival” from June 25 to July 30. The festival consists of 40 mini-workshops taught by library staff and community members, offering opportunities for the community to learn skills such as songwriting and coding.

“It’s a great way for the community to try something new,” said Rachel Foyt, administrative analyst at the library, who is one of the staff organizing the festival.

Nancy Bender, an adult programs librarian at the SMPL, said the library decided to bring back the festival, as it was a success last year. Last year’s festival on May 30 featured more than 55 workshops.

The workshops this year will be spread out throughout the month, with the Main Library hosting 28 workshops on June 25. Other four branches of the library will rotate hosting workshops on Saturdays starting on July 9 and ending on July 30. Foyt said the library decided to spread out the workshops because of feedback from the community.

Foyt said the library chose workshops based on suggestions from the community and the staff. The library also received about two-dozen proposals from the community, she said.

Ocean Park branch, for instance, will host three workshops on July 9 such as a workshop on writing a mystery novel and on getting ready for retirement.

Karen Reitz, a manager of the Ocean Park branch, said the branch decided to host those workshops because many visitors of the branch have shown their interest in learning those skills. Reitz oversees a group that meets monthly to discuss latest mystery books.

The Fairview branch will have a grand launch of the renovated building as it hosts workshops on July 16. On July 23, the Montana branch will host workshops on skills such as speed reading and creating nail art. On July 30, the Pico branch will host workshops on skills such as making flower arrangements.

Bender said she hopes members of the community will use the library’s resources to improve on skills they learned at the workshops.

“You can talk to a librarian, or get DVDs, or do other things to learn more about the topics,” Bender said.

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