Summer programs return to Chambers library system

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

VALLEY — The Chambers County Library System’s summer programs have had some cutbacks in the past two years due to the Covid pandemic. The 2020 summer program was limited to virtual events and in 2021, group events took place on the library grounds when the weather permitted. Things are back closer to normal this summer.

Librarian Mary Hamilton discussed this at a recent meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Valley.

“Preregistration of our summer programs started on May 16, with the program getting underway on May 27,” she said.

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Hamilton is especially pleased that children are signing up for library cards at an early age. “Our goal is for every first grader in our local area to have a library card,” she said. “Four classes had 100 percent participation. We were very excited about that. We are so pleased to have our first graders back this year in our summer reading program.”

Being active in the summer months isn’t just for kids.

“Some of our readers are in their nineties,” Hamilton said.

Children who check out a certain number of books can earn what’s known as a Brag Tag. They can get one of these tags for every 500 pages read.

June was hectic for both Bradshaw Library in Valley and the Pilot Public Library in LaFayette. Among the events, children could attend National Donut Day on June 3, Ocean Storytime in LaFayette and an outdoor movie night and luau in Valley both on June 6, a Lego Club in Valley and Under the Sea Slime in LaFayette on June 7, a Teen Hangout in Valley on June 7, Make & Take Jellyfish Crafts in Valley on June 9, 20,000 Laughs Under the Sea with magician Tommy Johns at both sites on June 10, creating wind chimes made from seashells in Valley on June 11, Puppets Under the Sea with Gene Cordova at both locations on June 13, a Make & Take Sand Art necklace class in Valley on June 16, Rocketry with Chambers County 4H in LaFayette on June 16, Make & Take Socktopus in Valley on June 23, a Teen Ice Cream Party in LaFayette on June 23, Touch-a-Truck in Valley on June 25, Animal Tales Presents Animal Science in Valley on June 27, Make & Take a Crab Puppet on June 30 in Valley and the Sunny Side of Science STEM Activity in LaFayette on June 30.

Lego Clubs and Teen Hangouts took place at Bradshaw Library every Tuesday.

The LaFayette library will be hosting Construction Storytime on July 11, with STEM Days taking place in Valley on July 11th and 12th. A Sunny Side of Science STEM Activity will be going on in LaFayette on July 12, and on July 14, Bradshaw Library will be hosting an art day for children in the 7-to-12 age group. They will be painting sea turtles that day. On July 14, the LaFayette library will have a make-and-take event in which the children will be taking part in chalk jellyfish art. July 15 will be the final day for the kids to record their summer reading results. Bradshaw Library will have an outdoor movie that night.

Adults could take part in National Donut Day at both libraries. Game Day for grown-ups took place from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, and Tech Help was available on June 21 and July 19th. This allowed adults to get some help in operating their laptops, smartphones or Chromebook devices.

Well over 1,000 people took part in the library’s June programs.

“It’s good to be getting back to normal this year,” Hamilton said.

The library will be hosting speakers this fall, and plans are being made to resume day trips.

Copying and fax service is available. Up to 10 pages can be copied for free, e there’s no charge for fax service. Chromebooks can be checked out for up to two weeks and Hot Spots for one week.

“We are very busy with faxing,” Hamilton said. “We recently sent ten faxes in one hour.”

The local library is an excellent place for anyone doing genealogy research, and many people are doing that. It’s a wonderful place to have access to e-books.

The library’s newly designed website is getting a growing number of visits.

To reach those with different interests, the library has access to Canopy.net, which has been called Netflix for nerds, and Hoopla.net.

A major resource that’s available are universal classes.

“Over 600 courses are available,” Hamilton said. “School credit is available for some of them.”

One of the library’s more popular resources is its wide availability of newspapers. “We have thousands of newspapers from all over the U.S.,” Hamilton said.

“We have medical resources, and for anyone with an interest in car repair, we have Chilton’s Repair Manuals that date to the 1940s.”

Chambers County voters recently extended three-mill taxes for local schools, roads, and bridges. The library’s biggest source of revenue is a two-mill tax. It won’t come up for renewal any time soon, but people need to remember what a vital resource the Chambers County Library system is when it does come up.