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Libraries launch into the new year

Pocahontas County Libraries Director Cree Lahti is proud to showcase a new year of activities offered by the libraries for patrons and visitors. L. D. Bennett photo

Laura Dean Bennett
Staff Writer

Those of you who know me, know that I am a regular library patron. 

Honestly, I don’t know what we’d do without our libraries – the resources available there continue to amaze me.

To find out what’s happening in the new year at our libraries, I asked Cree Lahti, Director of the Pocahontas County Libraries and Visitor Information Centers, to sit down for a chat.

“I am excited by the new initiatives happening throughout the county at our libraries,” Lahti said. “By evaluating our services and making some changes, we are strengthening this community resource.

“I would encourage people, if they have not been in their local library for a while, to stop by and see what is new.  And let us know what you think.”

Pocahontas County Libraries has long been a place for residents and visitors to go for entertainment.

But our libraries also offer education, meeting space, genealogical study, special programs and enlightening displays of community interest.

“We are proud to serve visitors to our county as well as our local patrons,” Lahti continued.  “The library’s role is to be a source of information for everyone, and we take that role seriously.”

“We are partnering with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide up-to-date, useful information to visitors to the county as well as local patrons. We are going to have a rack of Convention and Visitors Bureau brochures at each branch for the convenience of our patrons and visitors.

“All of our library staff have received the Convention and Visitors Bureau West Virginia Welcome training so we can be well-versed when answering questions about Pocahontas County.

“We receive regular updates from our tourist destination sites around the county, including their hours of operation.”

And, speaking of hours, all branch libraries in Pocahontas County will now be open on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“We hope that by providing Saturday hours, we can better serve our patrons who have difficulty in coming to the library during the week,” Lahti said.

Regular hours will vary from branch to branch.

Stop by the library for a bookmark and a fridge magnet so your family can have the new hours and the library phone numbers and email addresses at hand.

Not new to the county, but a new face at the libraries is Hallie Herold – the libraries’ Americorps Volunteer.

She is developing after-school programs for the libraries.

During the first week of January, when the sub-zero weather caused a week of school closings, Herold offered snowday activities for young students who were looking for something fun to do indoors.

She hopes to do it again if and when another extended period of days off from school should happen.

There are pre-school storytimes for children under age five at each library:

~ Budding Bookworms: meets at the Hillsboro branch Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and at the Marlinton branch on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

~ Story Time: meets at the Durbin branch on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and the Linwood branch on Wednesdays at 1 p.m.

~ Play Group: meets at the Green Bank branch on Wednesdays at 10:3 a.m.

The pre-school storytime groups will not meet on days when school has been cancelled.

All branches are looking for volunteers to help with these programs. 

And there’s more.

Additional events coming up in January:

The Linwood Library will feature a winter craft activity Thursday, January 18, at 3:30 p.m. 

“Jamaica in January” will be celebrated Saturday, January 20, at 3 p.m. at the Hillsboro Library. The event, which will include the music and culture of Jamaica, is sponsored by the Hillsboro Library Friend’s group. 

Game night is happening at the Durbin Library Friday, January 26, at 7 p.m. There will be fun and games for all ages. 
All of these events are free and open to all.

For more information, you may call McClintic Library in Marlinton at 304-799-6000.

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