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Libraries are often thought of as quiet and orderly places. But visitors of all ages turned out for Saturday’s How-To Festival at the downtown Napa County Library and bustled from class to class, hoping to pick up a new skill.

The downtown Napa library was one of four Napa County Library locations that participated in the festival. Libraries in American Canyon, Calistoga and Yountville hosted their own classes.

Participants in Napa learned to draw, strum a ‘ukulele, dance merengue, line dance, build robots, play the Japanese taiko drum and perform acupressure, a practice similar to acupuncture. Home Depot had its own classroom and showed visitors how to install a bathroom faucet, light switch, light fixture, drip irrigation system and tile. Kids built robots, wove paper animals and brightly colored yarn crafts and practiced yoga.

A total of 13 presenters led 20 classes.

At Summer Sempervirens’s yoga class, two girls tapped on drums while kids lay sprawled out on yoga mats. Sempervirens, a yoga instructor who works with schools and after school programs, says the activity fosters love and community between kids of all ages.

“I want them to keep their sense of wonder because we seem to lose that as adults,” she said.

Chelsea Hernandez-Garcia, a library employee, set out chairs before Ida Danielson’s packed ‘ukulele class. This year’s festival has been in the works since summertime and seemed to have higher attendance than years past, she said.

Kristen Lawrence and her 11-year-old son, Colt Maloney, were first-timers at the How-To Festival. They sat outside of the ʻukulele class and munched on snacks from a food truck parked in the library parking lot.

Colt, who was involved with a robotics team at school, was looking forward to learning from the Napa High Robotics Team, he said.

Lawrence said it can be hard to find free, kid-friendly activities in Napa, especially this time of year. She appreciated that the library found a diverse group of presenters with interesting skills.

“We just kind of wanted to get out of the house and try something new,” Lawrence said.

Ann Davis, a children’s librarian and bracelet-making enthusiast taught a class on creating beaded bracelets. She practices at home and has been making bracelets for friends and herself for about five years.

“I just want to share what I’ve learned and what I know,” she said.

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Public Safety Reporter

Courtney Teague is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She can be reached at 707-256-2221. You can follow her reporting on Twitter and Facebook, or send her anonymous tip at: