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Kids meet critters and books, too

National Library Week has local libraries pulling out all the stops

POSTED: April 13, 2009 11:07 p.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Brothers Riley Meyer, 6, top, and Aiden Shuman, 3, listen to Kelley Uber of the Humane Society of Hall County read a story at the Blackshear Place Library on Monday afternoon during Kids N Kritters Story Time. This week, Uber brought an 8-week-old kitten named Dracula for children to see.

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While the Hall County Library System has a variety of events planned this week in honor of National Library Week, the assistant director said exciting programming doesn’t require a special occasion.

“We just do that kind of programming year round,” said Lisa MacKinney, the library system’s assistant director. “Not all of these are uncommon.”

Started in 1958, National Library Week is an observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

MacKinney said she hopes National Library Week will help highlight the many services and programs available at Hall County libraries.
Some programs, such as the Kids and Kritters story time, happen on a regular basis, while others like book signings and speakers on Social Security and credit scores, are special for National Library Week.

“People may not think about the library,” MacKinney said. “If you haven’t been to the library since you were young, you may not really think of it beyond picture books and homework help. But reading and understanding your credit report is really homework help for an older generation.”

MacKinney said people who visit area libraries this week may learn that the libraries have more to offer than just books and children’s programs.

“Programming for all ages is important for us,” she said.

One of Monday’s special events was “Kids and Kritters” at the Blackshear Place Library at 3 p.m.

Kelly Uber of the Hall County Humane Society brought along a feline friend and read a story.

MacKinney said this monthly event features a different surprise animal every time.

Many have already taken advantage of the economical entertainment options available through the library system over the last year, MacKinney said.

“Our programming for all ages really has boomed over the last year,” MacKinney said. “We’re in a good place and it’s an exciting time for the library. We’re busier than we’ve ever been. We can probably blame some of that on the economy, but we’re glad people are remembering us and what we have to offer.”

One new branch and another proposed branch have also brought renewed interest in libraries around the county.

“The opening of our Spout Springs branch has really revitalized us as a library system and has really gotten people excited about what we are and what we do, including our staff,” MacKinney said.



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