“Without libraries, what do we have? We have no past and no future.” Ray Bradbury
When was the last time you visited your local library? When did you last try out a library that wasn’t nearby? Not all libraries are identical. Each library is like the books they carry- an enchanting experience. My young daughters and I have been on an adventure around Oklahoma to check out (see what I did there?) what makes each library unique. This is my second post in the Loving the Library Life. In each post, I will focus on five libraries and share what makes them extraordinary. You can find other libraries that we’ve visited here, here, and here.
Are you looking for a unique library? The Almonte library might be what you are seeking. The library is established in a strip center and has become a staple to many in the local neighborhood as it is walking distance. Every event that we’ve attended has been stationed in their multipurpose room. This room, though, seems magical to us. I have always felt transported to another place, not just a room. The multipurpose room opens to the teen area from one door and another door leads to a quiet hallway with bathrooms. This is very helpful for a mom with young children. I can send one child to the bathroom and keep an eye on my other one. The children’s librarian is one of the friendliest people I’ve met and always has a smile on her face and a sweetness to her voice. She led a gingerbread hunt that taught children about the Dewey decimal system that was enjoyed by the whole family, especially since it ended with decorating gingerbread houses!
Wonder Wednesdays are full of music, movement, stories, and activities for children under five years old. Older kids (K-2nd graders) can get active with math when they become part of Crazy 8’s Math Club. Homework help for kindergarteners through 6th grade is available alternating Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Coffee and Conversation (books, games, and my favorite-coffee) meet once a month for adults.
Belle Isle is one of the most utilized Metropolitan Libraries. We recently visited to drop off some stuffed animal friends for a Sleepover Library Camp. As we walked to the children’s area, Madi noticed another girl leaving a similar teddy bear to hers. Madi exclaimed that the two bears would probably become best friends. Before leaving the library, the girl and Madi played in the puppet show area together making up stories. Madi and her new friend are both very imaginative and ended up to be best friends too! I have found that libraries are always a splendid place to make new friends. I was also absolutely impressed with their teen program (ATLAS). The teen area is located downstairs from the library giving the teens autonomy. As my young girls and I left, several teens offered to help them on the stairs while they joyfully engaged my girls in conversation.
ATLAS meets Tuesdays and Thursdays targeting on technology, art, literacy, community engagement, and life-skills. Baby and toddler activities meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings and incorporate music, puppets, books, and playtime. Kindergarteners through 3rd grade can enjoy Kids Learning Club on Mondays at 4 where they could learn about staying healthy, preventing prejudice, and other topics through stories and STEM activities.
Do your kids want to build a bot, use coding and team work, and have fun? Come join the Robotics Club at the Del City Library! Our family has attended Science Sunday previously and learned about programming robots. It was geared toward kindergarten and above so Joshua grouped the participants into groups by grades. Science Sundays were well attended and each child made to feel celebrated and given individual attention. Ali, 2, wanted to work on robots with the older kids and Joshua adapted the program to include her as well. The Science Sundays have become Robotics Club and meet each Sunday. You must attend a robotics boot camp that they also offer to join the club.
Del City Library has Lego Club on the first Thursday and family craft nights on the third Thursday of the month. You can also attend story and play times on Mondays and Wednesday mornings. Del City Library also houses a display case that can be reserved by the community. Robotics Club meet for an hour each Sunday for elementary kids at 3 and teens at 4.
In our library adventure, McLoud Library is the smallest library we’ve visited so far. The children’s area is very petite but like all the libraries, the librarians make up for the library’s size in their enchanting ability to make the library seem boundless. Our family enjoyed a family craft afternoon in December. Many libraries will set out a few crafts for children to create but McLoud had eight crafts! The girls and I spent a happy afternoon moving from station to station using our imagination to make gifts for friends and family.
The McLoud Library offers Tuesday mornings story times (including once a month stress-relief preschool story time led by infant massage instructors). McLoud cares about your health and offers Adult Heart Healthy Cooking School, Teen Healthy Cooking School and Healthy Kids Preschool Story-time monthly.
I had no prior knowledge about Purcell other than it is the hometown of some of my teacher friends. This library, though, has become a favorite of ours. The children’s section is smaller than other libraries we have visited, but is set up to feel much bigger. It houses a fish tank and a dollhouse which the girls love! The children’s librarians are enthusiastic while presenting activities. We first attended the Purcell Library for a pumpkin themed day. Not only did the girls get to play with pumpkin pie scented playdoh and puffy pumpkin paint, but they also watched pumpkin science (exploding, oozy pumpkin!) and make their own yummy pumpkin pie in a cup. We also delighted in a delicious cookie, hot chocolate, gingerbread house, and crafts event! All those in one event. It was pure heaven. Every event we’ve been to at the Purcell Library is planned full of surprises and they go all out on making it fun for the whole family.
Preschoolers and toddlers can snuggle up with their families at Tuesday morning story times and school-aged children can take part in after-school themed activities (Legos, movies, art, or games) on Thursday afternoons. Teens can take part in Teen Lounge with activities and snacks on every other Fridays afternoon. Purcell cares about their adults too. They have English as a second language classes on Mondays and GED classes on Tuesdays. You can also find genealogy family tree help on Wednesday afternoons.