Adult Coloring Club relieves stress and offers socialization

Phyllis Gallagher likes to color birds.

Gloria Montesino likes to color flowers.

Omaira Castejon likes buildings.

And Gail Hilliker likes “variety.”

The women are all members of the Adult Coloring Club at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library, which is free and open to adults of all ages who like to create pretty pictures.

The club started out “as a house on fire” about five years ago, “and it hasn’t cooled down,” said Hilliker, an original member.

“It’s amazing how the books have different styles,” Hilliker added about the coloring books for adults that the library provides, along with markers, pencils, gel pens and crayons in every color of the rainbow.

“All they need to do is bring their imaginations,” said Anne Crawford, assistant branch manager and reference and adult services librarian. Coloring clubs are “a trend in libraries that is sweeping the nation,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for people to come together and be authentic and destress. Because coloring has been proven to help people destress and decompress and relax.”

The club meets in the library’s Glass Room the first Tuesday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m. and every third Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.

The library plays soft classical music and offers refreshments during coloring time. The Friends of the Library Ponte Vedra Beach funds the club and its materials, which include coloring books with removable pages that range in style from simple to complex, from the “Beauties of Nature” to “Art Noveau Vogue.”

Members can also color bookmarks and greeting cards and have them laminated.

“I gave Christmas bookmarks to my whole family,” said regular Barbara Nailler. “I think coloring is good for eye hand coordination. As you get older, you need to work on your fine motor skills.”

Luci Satterelli said she also enjoys the camaraderie. “It’s a good time to socialize,” she said. “You get a lot of people who are fun and kind.”

Whether they care “to be chatty” or “more introspective,” Crawford said members write it in their calendars and look forward to coming.

“It’s been very popular,” Crawford said. “It started out once and month and then went to twice a month” for that reason. “It has an enthusiastic following, but newcomers are always welcomed.”