73 Programs for Kids, Teens and Adults at Valley’s Bradshaw Library

Published 9:30 am Friday, April 21, 2023

VALLEY — At Wednesday’s noon hour meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Valley, Bradshaw-Chambers County Librarian Mary Hamilton discussed plans for the library’s summer season.

“Right now we are gearing up for our summer programs with visits from all our Chambers County and Lanett first-grade classes as part of our First Card for First Grade,” she said.

This is an attempt to get local first graders interested in checking out books from Bradshaw Library in Valley and the branch library in LaFayette.

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Teachers send home a library card application to complete. If all students in a given class have a library card, that class will be treated to a pizza party and their teacher’s name put in a drawing for a $100 gift card.

“During a field trip to the library,” Hamilton said, “the first graders are given a behind-the-scenes tour and then a fun presentation to let them know what’s coming up for summer. They also receive a book of their own to take home.”

The annual Sylvia Word McCollough Summer Reading Challenge will get under way on May 26th. A Kona Ice truck will be visiting both the Bradshaw and LaFayette libraries that day. The reading program will continue until mid July. “Through a generous donation by Mrs. McCollough and the support of our Friends of the Library,” Hamilton said, “we are able to provide some great incentives for readers of all ages. Our youngest summer readers are just a few months old, and our oldest are in their nineties.”

Hamilton explained the incentives that will be offered summer readers this year. For  every 400 pages read a Brag Tag will be given along with a trip to the Treasure Chest and 50 Big Bucks to spend at the Big Bucks Store in July. With 1,000 pages read they will earn a star reader medallion and a certificate. Any school-age reader who reads 4,000 pages will receive a box of school supplies from Kits for Kids and a pizza from Papa John’s. Younger readers will receive a box with a stuffed animal and a book.

Hamilton said that it’s super easy to register for the summer program. “You can download our Beanstack track app or sign up on the Beanstack website,” she said. “This will allow you to log your reading. Adults can earn Brag Tags, trips to the Treasure Chest and book bucks, too.”

The library had a total of 621 registered readers last summer. They collectively read more than 1.5 million pages. “That’s the equivalent of 46,000 books,” Hamilton said. “From the first of June through July 23rd, we offered 70 programs with attendance reaching just under 3,300 people.”

A total of 73 programs are planned for this summer. Programs for children, teens and families include Lego Club, Make and Take crafts, magicians, puppeteers, educational programs about animals, art and STEM activities, a Touch-A-Truck event, family craft days, outdoor movies and more.

“We won’t be forgetting our adults either,” Hamilton said. “Every Friday in June we will be hosting a program for adults, and on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 5 p.m. we will be having Game Day for Grown Ups.”

Game Day for Grown Ups is very popular with the older set. It goes on year round. “Folks come and bring snacks,” Hamilton said. “They play Rook, Canasta, dominoes and Texas rummy. We have one-on-one tech help. You can bring your device or laptop and Charles, our IT specialist, will sit down with you to help resolve any problem you might have. Our book club meets once a month. We also have a monthly speaker program, arts and crafts, basket making, Fun Friday activities, workshops and day trips.”

On Friday, April 28th, Dani Carroll of the Alabama Extension Service will present a program on veggie container gardening. Registration is required and can be done by calling the library at (334) 768-2161 or emailing: programs@chamberscountylibrary.org. Supplies provided include a five gallon bucket and a plant.

The Library Travelers recently took a trip to the annual Sylacauga Marble Festival. This included stops at the Imery Marble Quarry, the Comer Museum and the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory.

“We have 10 computers available for use by the public at the library,” Hamilton said. “We also check out Chromebooks for two weeks and Hot Spots for one week. Free WiFi is available as well.”

Fax service of up to ten pages is free. Up to 10 pages will be printed at no charge. “One of our most popular services is our mobile printing,” Hamilton said. “Most print jobs may be sent to our mobile writing service via email from a home computer or cell phone. Photocopying is available at ten cents per page with the first 10 pages being free.”

Cobb Archives has an extensive print genealogy collection along with access to Ancestry.com. “In fact, you can bring your own device and use Ancestry on it as long as you are connected to our WiFi,” Hamilton said.

The library has such resources as eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and streaming of movies, documentaries and TV series. This is done through Libby and Hoopla. “Libby allows you to have up to five items out at a time,” Hamilton said. “It’s a resource shared by almost every public library in Alabama. Libby allows one user to check out one copy at a time, just like you would check out a book at the library. Up to 50,000 titles are available, but there’s usually a wait time for the popular titles.”

Hoopla Digital provides access to 100,000 titles, and the user is allowed up to 10 checkouts per month. “The big difference between Hoopla and Camellia.net is that titles on Hoopla are available immediately for check out. There’s no holds and no waiting.

The library offers extensive access to newspapers. Access to current newspapers is through Newsbank and historical papers through Newspapers.com. “They provide access to thousands of papers across the country,” Hamilton said. “These two sources has almost complete coverage from 1920 until now. The great part of doing research using these databases is the ability to search by keyword and name. We do have a pretty thorough obituary index compiled by Benny Gross from local newspapers.”