Bella Vista Library reaching out to all ages
Sometimes when the lights go out at the Bella Vista Library, the day isn’t quite over. On one Friday night each month, Library After Dark brings teens out.
The program, for everyone aged 12 to 18, happens on the third Friday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
“We’ve done some crazy things you couldn’t do if patrons were there,” Children’s Librarian Ellen Farwell said. “This way kids can be kids and we’re not disturbing anybody.”
The Library’s Teen Council helps plan each program, but sometimes a parent steps in to volunteer. Last month’s Car Show was organized by a parent, Farwell said. Several “cool cars” were on display in the parking lot while their owners told the teens about them, including details about each vehicles special features.
For November, the teens will celebrate the anniversary of the movie “The Princess Bride.” There will be Princess Bridethemed activites and then they will watch the movie, Farwell said. December brings a celebration of “Christmas Around the World,” she said. Both of those meetings are being planed by the Teen Council.
While the Teen Council has been in place for a while, there are new activities this year for younger kids. New this fall are two book clubs for older elementary students. It’s difficult to find books that both boys and girls like to read, Farwell, a former school librarian, said. So she decided to split the third through fifth graders up according to gender.
The girls meet at 4:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday in a group called Chapter Chicks. Boys meet on the first and third Monday at 4 p.m. and their group is called Guys Read.
Farwell borrowed the name of the boys group from the web page of children’s author Jon Sczieska, guysread.com. Their first book was “Earthquake Terror,” which she describes as an adventure book.
Although she lets the members have input in both book clubs, she’s makes the final decision.
“They haven’t tried enough different things to know what to focus on,” she said. “I can show them some other stuff out there.”
She uses the list at guysread. com and other similar lists for girls to make some decisions.
This month both the boys group and the girls group are reading biographies. She doesn’t want them to get stuck in any one genre, so she plans to expose them to all kinds of books.
The book clubs need more members, she said. While she wants them to stay small enough that everyone can participate, it’s hard to schedule elementary kids who have so many other after school activities.
Younger elementary kids have their own event. Elementary Storytime happens every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Like Preschool Storytime, the elementary version features both a story and a craft, Farwell said.
Preschool storytime is on Fridays at 10 a.m. Some of the parents of preschool storytime regulars have already joined a new program called “One Thousand Books before Kindergarten.” It’s a national program that each family can participate in by themselves. As they log the books they read, they earn small incentives. One good thing about the thousand books program, is that parents can count their toddlers favorite book every single time they read it, Farwell said.
With the new programs, the library has something for every age group. For more information, visit their webpage, http://www. bvpl.org.
Teen Nights at the Bella Vista Library usually draw between eight and 15 people aged 12 to 18. They meet after the library is closed so they they don’t have to worry about disturbing other patrons.