Summer fu­nat lo­cal li­braries con­tin­ues

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By M. English

21st Cen­tury Me­dia News


As the dog days of Au­gust ap­proach and the 2014-15 school year looms, stu­dent read­ing clubs are wind­ing down at lo­cal li­braries. But the lat­ter are still of­fer­ing a var­ied ros­ter of warm weather recre­ational (and painlessly ed­u­ca­tional) op­tions for young kids and teens.

Com­ing up? Con­shohocken Free Li­brary’s Mad Science class on Aug. 6, “Fizz, Boom, Read Ex­per­i­ments” on Aug. 18, wrap-up ses­sions of its Crazy 8s Club on Aug. 8 and 15 and CFL’s con­tin­u­ing as­sort­ment of in­fant through tod­dler story hours and events like Aug. 7 and 14’s Para­chute Play for 2- through 5-year-olds.

A few miles away, Wil­liam Jeanes Memo­rial Li­brary and Ni­cholas and Athena Karabots Cen­ter for Learn­ing in Whitemarsh Town­ship plans to host au­thor David Lubar at an Aug. 7 teen event that will in­clude free pop­corn, cot­ton candy and a dunk tank. Lubar has been mak­ing the rounds at lo­cal li­braries this summer, and his Jeanes visit fol­lows a July 29 ap­pear­ance at the Norristown Li­brary. Also on tap at Jeanes: Aug. 5’s Pup­pets Piz­zazz, Aug. 8’s Min­utes with Misty, a gold­en­doo­dle ther­apy dog and Aug. 14’s Gig­gle Magic … all in ad­di­tion to mul­ti­ple kid story ses­sions, in­clud­ing Aug. 5’s Sen­sory Sto­ry­time for kids at a preschool “de­vel­op­men­tal level.”

When Ben­jamin Franklin and fel­low mem­bers of the Junto — the philo­soph­i­cal club he es­tab­lished in Philadel­phia dur­ing the early 18th cen­tury — moved to cre­ate the first lend­ing li­brary in July 1731 they couldn’t have imag­ined how their book-cen­tric in­sti­tu­tion would evolve. Sure, li­braries still re­volve around books. But as con­tem­po­rary users know, they also of­fer a plethora of di­verse of­fer­ings for read­ers — and non-read­ers— of all ages.

Con­shohocken sib­lings Anna, Rose and Robert Har­ring­ton are fa­mil­iar faces at CFL pro­grams. On a re­cent af­ter­noon, the three were en­sconced in a com­fort­able cor­ner of the Fayette Street land­mark with their cur­rent page-turn­ers.

“Dou­ble Fudge,” a book in au­thor Judy Blume’s pop­u­lar Fudge se­ries, was one of 9-year-old Anna’s fa­vorite reads this summer.

“It had a lot of right words … words that were ex­actly right for the story … and it was funny,” she says. “I liked it a lot.” Read­ing in gen­eral? “I love it,” de­clares Anna, who will en­ter fourth grade in the fall. “I’m a fast reader, and I [en­joy] pic­tur­ing how the dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters look and [sound].”

Third-grader agrees.

“It makes you feel like you’re there in the [story],” she says. “It helps your writ­ing, too.”

Rose’s twin brother is par­tic­u­larly fond of non­fic­tion.

“I like to read about skate­board­ing, an­i­mals, his­tory, struc­tures … just about any­thing non­fic­tion,” Robert says. “And … su­per­heroes. I like them all, but my fa­vorites are Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Cap­tain Amer­ica.”

A num­ber of lo­cal kids have al­ready at­tended the Science in the Summer se­ries of­fered by area li­braries. The Har­ring­tons be­gan at­tend­ing Science in the


8, Summer ses­sions at CFL last week.

“We mostly learned about chem­istry… and did ex­per­i­ments, like turn­ing pen­nies into gold,” Anna says. “Last year when we did it, we learned about DNA. It was a lot of fun.”

CFL is lo­cated at 301 Fayette St., Con­shohocken. More in­for­ma­tion about con­tin­u­ing and up­com­ing youth pro­grams and li­brary hours is avail­able at 610825-1656 and org.

Wil­liam Jeanes Memo­rial Li­brary and Ni­cholas and Athena Karabots Cen­ter for Learn­ing is lo­cated at 4051 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill. In­for­ma­tion: 610-828-0441 and www.jeanes­li­

Norristown Pub­lic Li­brary is lo­cated at 1001 Pow­ell St., Norristown. In­for­ma­tion: 610-278-5100 and www. Ad­di­tional MCNPL branches are lo­cated in Roy­ers­ford (610-948-7277), Sch­wenksville (610-2878360) and Up­per Perkiomen Val­ley (215-679-2020) with links at

Wis­sahickon Val­ley Pub­lic Li­brary is lo­cated at 650 Skip­pack Pike, Blue Bell, and 209 Race St., Am­bler. In­for­ma­tion: 215-643-1320 (Blue Bell), 215-646-1072 (Am­bler) and www.wvpl. org.

Photo courtesy of Mont­gomery County-Norristown Pub­lic Li­brary

Norristown area teens show off ro­bots con­structed with re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als un­der the guid­ance of staffer Troy Allen as part of Mont­gomery County-Norristown Pub­lic Li­brary’s “Spark A Re­ac­tion” summer read­ing pro­gram.

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