Kids celebrate National Library Week through games and crafts
Union West Regional Library wants families to feel welcome and right at home when they walk through the library doors. To celebrate National Library Week, the library held its “You Belong at Your Library!” celebration April 10, giving families a chance to enjoy free fun and learn more about the services regularly offered.
Dozens of families came out for an afternoon of games, arts and crafts provided by the library’s children’s department. Kids of all ages challenged each other to a friendly competition of checkers, twisted themselves across a Twister board, held their breath as they carefully built a Jenga tower and cut and pasted to make unique artistic creations of all kinds.
For years, the library has offered special events during National Library Week. Previously, the library has hosted story celebrations to promote the event. But this year, staff wanted to go a step further to draw people in and make them feel like they are part of the library.
“We were looking to find a way to get the families to come in, because our theme for the National Library Week is ‘You Belong at Your Library,’” children’s librarian Terri Savago said. “We thought the best way to do that is to have crafts and games of all ages.”
Anais Garnett has been bringing her two daughters to the library for story time and other activities since they were two years old. Garnett wanted to find something educational to do with her girls during spring break.
“I really encourage reading with my kids as young as possible,” Garnett said. “I’ve read to them since they were tiny, and I want to encourage them to really love reading and find that it’s fun and not just something you have to do for school.”
Although National Library Week ends this weekend, the library will continue celebrating the event into next week. Performers from Matthews Playhouse will lead activities for children age 7 to 12, allowing them to experience some of their favorite books through the “magic of theater.” The event takes place Wednesday, April 18, at 4 p.m.
The library also is incorporating the “You Belong at Your Library” theme during story times throughout the week.
“We’re letting them know that people are using the library, and we’re glad they’re using the library,” children’s librarian Kenzia Lett said. “We want to try to encourage them to get their friends to come to the library and see what we have available for them.”
Union West offers regular services for children, including scheduled story times, a cartooning club, Pause a While to Read on Saturdays and at least one special program a month for families. The library also offers special services and events for teens and adults, and is eagerly anticipating its upcoming summer reading program.
“We’ve got a very, very full calendar for June, July and August,” Savago said. “We’ve got a lot of outside people coming and doing programs for us, and we’re doing two book clubs this summer, so we have a lot going on.”
Garnett is grateful for the services the library offers and plans to continue furthering her daughters’ education through books and library activities.
“I like the idea of the library and teaching kids to come and check out a book and respect the book,” she said. “It’s part of the community, and you return it back to the community. I really like that concept for them.”
For more information on Union West Regional Library services and events, call 704-821-7475 or visit www.union.lib.nc.us.