Public libraries are such an incredible and integral part of any community. Obviously, they have stacks of books in all genres for all ages, but they have so much more – Internet access, activities, playgroups and a place for friends to meet.
Since 2011, the first Saturday in February has been known as Take Your Child to the Library Day and is a celebrated by libraries in the United States and Canada.
Pocahontas County Libraries and Visitors Information Centers has been participating since 2018 and have exciting activities planned for this year.
Interim director of Pocahontas County Libraries and Green Bank librarian Hallie Herold said three of the five county libraries have signed up for the event and have lots of fun in store for visitors.
“So far, we have Green Bank, Hillsboro and Linwood libraries officially registered,” she said. “The main goal of the event is to encourage people to come to our libraries – families specifically – to bring your child to the library and spend some time there, getting to know our services, collections and offerings.”
In addition to special activities for the day, the libraries will also sign up visitors for a library card, which has no age limit.
“It feels really special, as a librarian, to give somebody their first library card because they really are, genuinely, excited to get that,” Herold said. “We don’t actually have an age limit to get a library card from our libraries. It does require a parent or guardian’s signature, but I have noticed that some parents have different requirements for their kids.
“I’ve had families that say ‘you can get your library card when you can write your own name’ or even ‘when you can write your name in cursive,’” she continued. “Then others, as soon as they have a baby, will sign them up for a library card because they want them to have it right away.”
Children in Marlinton and Hillsboro visit their local libraries on a regular basis because they are also the school libraries and so Take Your Child to the Library Day is also a day where the children can show off their library to their parents and guardians.
“Those kids are familiar with their libraries, and I think it can be really exciting for them to have the opportunity to take their parent or their guardian – their grownup – to the library with them and show them what they know about it, explore the space together and just spend some quality time there.”
All the county libraries are open on Saturdays and Herold said she hopes that this special day will lead to more families visiting the libraries on Saturdays on a regular basis.
“It’s a really nice opportunity to maybe make a tradition that Saturdays are library day for those adults who work during the week,” she said. “It is just the perfect day that you can commit to spending time in these spaces and find out what kind of cool stuff we offer there.”
The events for the day are as follows:
Green Bank – 1 to 4 p.m. Astronomy activities from the Mission2Mars program. Refreshments and prizes all day.
Linwood – 1 to 3 p.m. STEM activities, playtime and movement games, snacks and door prizes. If there is snow, dress warm for playing outside.
Hillsboro – 1 to 4 p.m. Refreshments, activities and games, mystery match books and read aloud.