Events for Adults

Each month, we host a variety of events for adults, including book discussions, movie events, crafting, computer classes, tasting events, and so much more!

If you have any questions about our adult programs or ideas for future programs, please contact Catherine Bailey at 217-342-2464, ext. 29.

The learning doesn’t end with the event, check below for handouts and other information from past events.


The Joys and Challenges of Eating Locally and Seasonally – Mrs. Niemann explained the importance of eating locally and seasonally and how to go about doing that.  This program was brought to us by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance as part of their Farmer Speaker Bureau.

Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015
Presenter: Deborah Niemann, Antiquity Oaks Farm
Information: Eating Seasonally and Locally PowerPoint Presentation;

Healthy Habits of a Lasting Relationship – Judy Latta spoke to us about how to culture a relationship with our loved one that will stand the test of time.

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015
Presenter: Judy Latta MS, LCPC; The Wellness Loft
Information: Healthy Habits List

Cottage Food Law – Want to produce and sell something at your local farmers market?  Learn about labeling, licensing and what you can and cannot produce and sell at a farmers market.

Date: Thursday, March 5, 2014
Presenter: Jamie Washburn, University of Illinois Extension
Info: Cottage Food Law Information

Organic Vs. Non-Organic – Learn what constitutes organic produce, meat, dairy and eggs.

Date: Monday, February 23, 2015
Presenter: Jamie Washburn, University of Illinois Extension
Info: Coming Soon

Instagram – Learn the basics of Instagram with professional photographer, Kate Key.

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Presenter: Kate Key
Info: Instagram Powerpoint

Intro to Geocaching – Nancy Ladendecker, geocacher with 10 years of experience, introduced us to geocaching and we located a cache on HML property.

Date:  Saturday, January 10, 2015
Presenter: Nancy Ladendecker
Info: Geocaching 101

Homemade Yogurt – Dr. Naddaf taught us how to make yogurt, kefir and greek yogurt at home.

Date: Monday, December 8, 2014
Presenter: Dr. Naddaf
Info: Homemade Yogurt Presentation

eBay Basics – Experienced eBay sellers Stephanie Rieman and Brian Milleville shared tips, tricks and pitfalls to avoid when selling on eBay.

Date: September 8, 2014
Presenter: Stephanie Rieman and Brian Milleville
Info: Welcome to the Wonderful World of eBay

Penguin Random House New Books Presentation – A presentation on new and upcoming book releases from the Penguin Group.  Like movie previews but for books!

Date: September 4, 2014
Presenter: Jon Mooney, Penguin Books
Info: New Books Presentation

Sculpture Walk – The Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau again lead us on a walking tour of some of the Sculptures on the Avenues.

Date: July 21, 2014
Presenter: Presentation compiled by Mrs. Thomas’s Central School class
Info: Sculpture Presentation Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Time Management – Debby Cook from Life Links in Mattoon shared her favorite methods for being efficient and organized.

Date: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Presenter: Debby Cook
Info:  Work Smarter, Not Harder

Stress Proof Your Family – Dr. Abbie Ballard from Ballard Family Chiropractic shared ways to ensure we’re taking the best care of our families through the fun, hectic summer.

Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Presenter: Dr. Abbie Ballard
Info: Get a Grip on Stress Presentation

Pause to Read Product Labels – Anneke (Wolff) Hudson, co-owner of Olivia Tree, taught us about which chemicals in our home and personal products we should steer clear of and why.
Date: June 12, 2014
Presenter: Anneke Hudson

Grant Writing for Nonprofits – Johnna Schultz, Adult Services Manager, walked us through the grant writing process and shared tips for finding donors in our area.

Date: April 16, 2014
Presenter:  Johnna Schultz
Info: Grant Writing for Nonprofits

Sitting Still Like a Frog – Amy Guy presented tips for teaching children (and ourselves) mindfulness.  Based on the book, Sitting Still Like a Frog.
Date:  Tuesday, April 8
Presenter:  Amy Guy, The Wellness Loft
Suggested Reading:
Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel
Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda by Lauren Alderfer and Kerry Lee MacLean
You Are Not Your Thoughts by Brian Despard and Joanne Despard
Visiting Feelings by Lauren Rubenstein
What Does It Mean to be Present by Rana DiOrio and Eliza Wheeler
A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh and Wietske Vriezen
Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean and Kerry Maclean

Bread Machine Baking – Rosie Gibbons shared some of her favorite bread machine recipes and tips.
Date:   Monday, April 7, 2014
Presenter:  Rosie Gibbons, Siemer Milling Company
Info:  Recipes and Bread Machine Tips

Travel with a Purpose Open House – Representatives from various mission and secular groups presented information about past and upcoming trips.
Date:  Saturday, March 22, 2014
Info:  Effingham Daily News article

  • Africa Sun Volunteering – Volunteer to work in either animal sanctuaries (cheetah, elephant, bird, etc.) or in a children’s home in South Africa.  Email or phone Rob Davies locally at (217) 343-5102.
  • Carol Toney – Mission trips taken usually during the first quarter of the year.  Contact Carol Toney at
  • Feed the Crave – Contact Andrew Bloemker at
  • H.O.W. (Helping Orphans and Women) Jewelry – Michelle Outman, or Debby Sefton,  Also on Facebook.
  • Packed with Purpose – 2015 mission trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  Contact Jill Jones (217) 343-8856 or Tony Muñoz (504) 715-0133.
  • Travel Quarters – Collette Vacations offers one day foundation visits at destinations all over the world.  Contact Ellen Westendorf at (217) 347-0522 or

Food Preservation – Dr. Naddaf taught us how to save the healthfulness and taste of delicious summer fruits and vegetables with her favorite food preservation techniques.

Date:  Thursday, March 20, 2016
Presenter: Dr. Naddaf
Info: Natural Food Preservation Presentation

Composting – Jamie Washburn, Small Farms and Local Foods Educator from the University of Illinois Extension, taught us the ins and outs of composting.
Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Presenter: Jamie Washburn, University of Illinois Extension
Info: Presentation
Slides 1 to 6
Slides 7 to 12
Slides 13 to 25
Slides 26 to 30

Human Trafficking – Anne Schomaker from the Set Free Movement out of Greenville, IL, gave us information about human trafficking worldwide and in America and shared with us ways to stop it.
Date : Thursday, February 20, 2014
Presenter:  Anne Schomaker, Set Free Movement, Greenville, IL
Info: Set Free Presentation

Book Discussion – Orange is the New Black: My year in a women’s prison by Piper Kerman.  The first book in our Uncorked book discussion series held at Village Wine Shop in downtown Effingham.
Date:  Monday, January 27, 2014
Info:  Interview with Piper Kerman, Reading Guide, Book Review

New Books for 2014 – Jon Mooney from Penguin Books gave us a sneak peek at great new reads coming out this winter and spring.
Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Presenter: Jon Mooney from Penguin Books
Information: Penguin New Releases Winter Spring 2014

Memory Loss – For World Alzheimer’s Month Trisha Katt shared the importance of memory: how the mind remembers, what can go wrong and how to care for those who have memory impairments.
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Presenter: Trisha Katt, Heartland Human Services Caregiver Advisor
Info: Memory Loss Presentation

What’s the Deal With…Fracking – The University of Illinois Extension Fracking Task Force presented an unbiased look at fracking, a controversial method of extracting oil and natural gas.
Date: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Presenters: U of I Extension Fracking Task Force Members
Info: Fracking Presentation Part 1 & Part 2

Juicing for Your Health – Linda Ditzler, R.N., a holistic nutritionist, educator and nurse, taught us how to unlock the nutrient power of fresh vegetable juices.
Date: Monday, September 9, 2013
Presenter: Linda Ditzler, R.N.
Info: Juicing Presentation

Pinterest 101 – Learn the basics for getting started on Pinterest.
Date: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Presenter:  Joanna Davies, HML Staff
Info: Pinterest Presentation (updated)

What’s the Deal With…The Injustice System – Ryan Ervin, adjunct professor at Lakeland College, lead us in a discussion of the justice system in America.
Date: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Presenter:  Ryan Ervin
Websites: Bureau of Justice Statistics, The Innocence Project, Rights of the Accused (an overview), Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Butterfly Release/130th Birthday – Helen Matthes Library turned 130 years old this year and to celebrate we had a birthday party complete with cupcakes, singing and a butterfly release.
Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Info: Butterfly farm from where we purchased our butterflies – Swallowtail Farms, Inc.

Sculpture Walk II – Helen Matthes Library and the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau once again lead participants on a walking tour of some of the sculptures in downtown Effingham.
Date: Monday, July 15, 2013
Presenters:  Joanna Davies, HML Staff & Abbey DePoister, ECVB
Info: Sculptures on the Avenues Presentation

South Africa Travelogue – Robert and Joanna Davies walked us through the ins and outs of traveling in South Africa.
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Presenters: Robert and Joanna Davies
Info: Traveling In South Africa

What’s the Deal With…The Middle East – Ryan Ervin, Adjunct History Professor at Lakeland, lead us in a discussion about issues in the Middle East.
Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Presenter: Ryan Ervin
1. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom:

2.’s analysis of government corruption:

3. New York Times’ Page on the Middle East:

4. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman articles (a Middle East expert):

5. Time Magazine contributor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria’s website (a lot of globalization information, with some focus on the Middle East):

6. Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute. Ambassador Ross is probably the foremost expert on United States Middle East policy for the past 30 years. An archive of his analysis and articles is at the bottom of this webpage:

Cheese Tasting – We held an international cheese tasting tour in the Reading Room.  Open the link below for the list of the cheeses we had from around the world.
Date:  Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Info: List of Cheeses

Photography with Kate Key – Professional photographer Kate Key covered basic beginner digital photography topics like camera settings, lighting, depth, ISO, camera lens and photography composition.
Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Presenter: Kate Key Photography
Info:  Kate Key Digital Photography presentation

Bread Tasting – Rosie Gibbons of Siemer Milling introduced us to a sample of different breads from around the world – Cottage Dill Loaf, Glazed Irish Tea Bread, Old-World Rye Bread and Rieska.
Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Presenter:   Rosie Gibbons of Siemer Milling Company
Bread Tasting Recipes

Travel Italy  – Chris Kramer shared her experiences traveling through Italy and also explained how one can accompany her next summer with Lake Land College’s Culture of Italy Tour.
Date: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Presenter: Chris Kramer, Lake Land College’s Director of Auxiliary Services
Info: Culture of Italy Tour Info

Get Bookin’ 5K Run – Congratulations to JR Elder who finished first in the Second Annual Get Bookin’ 5K!  For more race results, click here.  Thanks again to everyone for supporting the new library!  Fun race pictures are available at the library’s Facebook page.
Date: Saturday, April 27, 2013

Instagram & Twitter – Our presenters introduced us to these two forms of social media and walked us through the basics of using them.
Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Presenters: Instagram – Sara Smith, Twitter – Susan Lorenz
Info: Twitter 101

Seed Starting Class Our presenters walked us through the process of starting seeds indoors.  Handouts with tips and information about starting seeds and general gardening information were distributed.
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Presenters:  Master Gardener Larry Johnson, Master Gardener Intern Janet Kennedy and Master Gardener Purnima Shah
1. Seed Starting Basics:

2. Seed Starting Tips:

3. Seed Starting Chart for the 2013 Frost Free Date for Effingham (May 12, 2013): 

For years following 2013:

4. Frost Tolerance of Vegetables and Flowers:

5. Cold Resistant Definition:

6. Click on the “sheets” below for various garden tips.


A Crash Course in Writing 101 – Local author J.T. Hartke, author of the Dragonsoul Saga series, gave us his tips on how to write and get published.
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Presenter: J.T. Hartke
Info: Writing and How to Get Published

Ghost Hunting in Illinois – Bruce Cline and Kale Meggs of the Little Egypt Ghost Society spoke about Southern IL hauntings, equipment used in ghost hunting and how to capture spirits with a camera.
Date: February 25, 2013
Presenters: Bruce Cline, author of History, Mystery and Hauntings of Southern Illinois and More History, Mystery and Hauntings of Southern Illinois; and Kale Meggs, author of 99 Nooses: Illinois Justice at the End of a Rope, 1779-1896.
Handout: Tips for Capturing Ghosts with Your Camera

Pinterest 101 – Learn the basics for getting started on Pinterest.
Date: January 24, 2013 & February 14, 2013
Presenter: Joanna, HML Staff
Info: Pinterest 101 Presentation

Mother and Daughter After Hours – Mothers and daughters came together at HML to make scrumptious stocking stuffer body scrubs and eco-friendly newspaper gift bags.
Date: November 30, 2012
Presenters: Johnna & Catherine, HML Staff
1. Newspaper Gift Bags
2. Body Scrub Recipes

Local Author Night – Eighteen local authors and one local harpist set up shop at HML to talk about their books as well as sell and sign them.
Date: November 8, 2012
Info: Local Author Contact List

Sculptures On the Avenues – Participants took a stroll around downtown Effingham and learned about fourteen of the sculptures placed there as part of the Sculptures On the Avenues program.
Date: October 3, 2012
Presenter: Vicki, HML Staff
Presentation: Sculptures On the Avenues Presentation

Exploring Vegetarian Cooking – HML Library Director Amanda McKay presented on her reasons for cutting meat out of her diet, shared recipes and tips on where to buy great vegetarian products locally.
Date: July 12, 2012
Presenter: Amanda McKay, HML Director
1. Vegetarian Recipes
2. Sample Vegetarian Menu

Couponing 101
Presented by: Jacki Whitacre and Lynda Jakubowski
Date: 9/13/2011