News From Regional & Continuing Education

OLLI Members Bring Expertise and Love of Learning to Butte County Library Branches

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico is partnering with the Butte County Library in an engaging summer speaker series called “Because You Asked!” This unique educational program is made possible by a generous grant from the California State Library and will showcase local subject experts at five library branches each month from June to August.

This project will bring experienced presenters to areas where accessibility to services and special educational programming can be limited. Melanie Lightbody, Butte County Librarian and Director of Libraries, says “’Because You Asked!’ will bring subject experts to our rural residents and those who may have low literacy or for whom learning by reading is not optimal.” The sessions, which begin on June 18, are based on reference questions most frequently asked at the library branches. Members of OLLI, who lead classes during the academic year, have volunteered to present on gardening, local history and geology, media trends, creative writing, and health and wellness—all topics selected by Butte County residents in a recent survey of frequently asked questions.

Ann Nikolai, Director of OLLI at CSU, Chico, chose to partner with the Butte County Library as part of the organization’s commitment to lifelong learning and the program’s recent expansion. “Bringing educational opportunities to communities in Butte County, and throughout the North State, is part of OLLI’s mission,” says Nikolai. “This partnership utilizes the best resources of both OLLI and the Butte County Library. Library branches serve as a hub for learning in many small communities and our peer leaders are excited to share their passion, expertise, and love of learning with the broadest possible audience.”

“Because You Asked!” presentations will take place June 18, July 16, and August 20, from 4 to 5 p.m., in the library meeting rooms in Chico, Durham, Gridley, Oroville, and Paradise. The public is invited to join the Butte County Library and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) for a summer of fun and learning in a collaborative and stimulating environment.

Schedule of Presentations:

Tuesday, June 18, 4–5 p.m.

  • Chico: California’s Magnificent Geology, Stewart Monroe
  • Durham: How to Find (and Read!) A Really Great Book! Roy Cook
  • Gridley: The Maximum You! Yvette Small
  • Oroville: Current Issues with Emphasis on Media, Robert Main
  • Paradise: A Bar Stool History of the Paradise Ridge

Tuesday, July 16, 4–5 p.m.

  • Chico: How to Find (and Read!) A Really Great Book! Roy Cook
  • Durham: Bee-friendly Gardens, Jeanette Alosi and Tom Hanson
  • Gridley: Aging with a Smile, Mary McCart
  • Oroville: The Maximum You! Yvette Small
  • Paradise: California’s Magnificent Geology, Stewart Monroe

Tuesday, August 20, 4–5 p.m.

  • Chico: Current Issues with Emphasis on Media, Robert Main
  • Durham: Health Screening: When to Start? Kirk Berger
  • Gridley: Creating a Wildlife Habitat, Kay Perkins
  • Oroville: California’s Magnificent Geology, Stewart Monroe
  • Paradise: A Life Behind the Words, Claire Braz-Valentine

For more information about the “Because You Asked!” project, contact:

Ann Nikolai
Program Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU, Chico
(530) 898-5858  

Melanie Lightbody
Butte County Librarian/Director of Libraries
(530) 538-7525

About the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico celebrates 25 years of lifelong learning this fall with more than 80 non-credit classes and activities for adults 50+ or retired. OLLI is a peer-led, learning in retirement organization offering you the opportunity to stay sharp and engage with many talented and interesting people. Its 850 members can take classes in Chico, Oroville, Paradise, or Willows.  Additional information can be found on the OLLI website at or by calling (530) 898-6679.

About the Butte County Library

Originally established in the Butte County Charter in 1913, the Butte County Library system today consists of six branch libraries and a literacy program. Administrative offices for the Library are located in the Oroville Branch Library. The Library also serves residents through branches in Biggs, Chico, Durham, Gridley, and Paradise. The mission of the Butte County Library is to provide all individuals, regardless of age, ethnic background, educational or economic level, with free access to ideas, information, and technology.