MARION – This summer, Marion Public Library is going to the dogs – and cats, and bunnies and birds – during the Tails and Tales Summer Reading Program beginning June 14. Residents can contact Marion Library to register for Summer Reading, and watch the library’s Facebook page for programming updates.
Library Director Janet Marler said patrons will have more opportunities to access the library, and the pet-themed Summer Reading Program with expanded hours.
On Saturday, the library will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
“We are open. Masks are optional. We are trying to keep everything clean and safe. We want to get everyone back in and get back to reading and having a fun summer,” she said.
With three in-person story time sessions this year, Marler said she was pleased to be back reading to children. And, based on the full pre-registration, patrons are happy to be back in the library.
“We have several programs, including a Read to a Dog Program,” she said. Sissy, a very calm, fluffy dog, owned by Clara and Matt Sprowls, will be visiting the library June 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. for children to read to her. Children will need to sign up for a time-slot to read to Sissy.
On July 16, Will Parker, a local magician, will host a show for Summer Readers.
Children can also create their own reading buddy through a stuffed animal workshop in July.
“It is like Build-A-Bear with dogs and cats. You can name it and get a birth certificate. We’ve done it for the last three years,” said Marler.
Children will need to register for the stuffed animal workshop in advance through the library.
There will also be a (stuffed) pet adoption drive, with beanie babies for children to take home and read to.
“We also hope to have a stuffed animal sleep-over. The stuffed animals will get to spend the night at the library, and we will take pictures of everything they get into,” said Marler.
She added, this summer kids and parents can get out their cameras as, “we’re thinking about a photo contest with children reading to pets at home and posting photos.”
While this year Marler said the library is hosting a more traditional Summer Reading Program, there are still challenges.
“In a way, we are starting over, but luckily we’ve kept what we’ve done in the past, and we’re changing some things. But it’s been fun getting back to it and doing it like ‘normal’,” she said.
Local businesses are stepping up again this year, with Gambino’s Pizza, C.B. Bakery, Salsbury Sweets and Casey’s supplying prizes.
“I’m really looking forward to Story Time. We are doing stories about dogs, cats, bunnies, fun stories. We will have felt boards, snacks, some activities. It’s just a fun theme this year,” she said.
Community movie nights are also in the works, in keeping with this summer’s theme.
With the library welcoming patrons back in the doors, children will also have a chance to explore the stacks, searching for “tails,” along with a few guessing games.
Adults will also have opportunities to get in on the Summer Reading action, with an adult reading program June 14 to July 16.
“Each time they read a book, they may enter their name into a drawing,” said Marler. Two lucky winners will receive $25 gift cards.