Anyone looking for free activities during the Rock Island/Milan school break should check out the Rock Island Public Library. They have events for everyone from October 10 – 15.

Events at the Southwest Branch, 9010 Ridgewood Road

All ages can register to make a “It’s Halloween, Jack” pumpkin paper garland at the Southwest Branch on Tuesday, October 11. Crafting takes place in person from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Ridgewood Branch. Those who would rather work on their craft at home can pick up their kit the next day. Registration is required. To sign up, click here or call 309-732-7338.

Children five and under can enjoy messy art with Petite Picassos at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 12. The event is free and does not require registration. A child-size art apron will be supplied.

Events at the Downtown Library, 401 19th Street.

Adults can learn more about the history of the Rock Island Arsenal and “An Arsenal for Democracy” with a free lecture on Wednesday, October 12 at 2 p.m. in the Downtown Library Community Room. Historians from the Army Sustainment Command will discuss how the Arsenal has supplied a world at war over its 160-year history.

Kids ages 8 to 15 can learn the craft of paper quilling with a free class on Saturday, October 15. This ancient art makes pictures from curled, shaped and glued paper. The Paper Quilling for Kids class will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Room of the Downtown Library and registration is required.

Events Offered Elsewhere

The Rock Island Public Library is offering a free guided Fall Foliage Hike on Saturday, October 15. The hike winds through Black Hawk State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to noon and is for adults, teens and families. Children must be accompanied by an adult and registration is required. The terrain will be uneven, so participants should wear appropriate shoes and clothing for hiking.

The library is partnering with Illinois Libraries Present to offer a free online talk by bestselling author Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing; Salvage the Bones and the memoir Men We Reaped. The two-time National Book Award winner will discuss how her literary vision and personal experiences deal with urgent questions about racism and social injustice. Registration is required for the event, which is offered via Zoom at7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12.

To register for any of these events, click here or call the Library Reference Desk at 309-732-7341. For more information about library events and services, click here or call (309) 732-7323 (READ).