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Charles W. Gibson Public Library
Charles W. Gibson Public Library / My Buckhannon file photo

Charles W. Gibson Library readies to kick off its first-ever summer reading program — and this year, it’s animal-themed

BUCKHANNON – The Charles. W Gibson Library will offer a summer reading program for the first time beginning Monday, June 14 through Sunday, Aug. 8.

Director of the Charles W. Gibson Library Catherine Norko said the program theme is “Tails and Tales.”

“Everything is about animals and reading, so our program is running eight weeks from June 14 to August 8 and the idea is, we’ll have books on display, relating to the theme, and we’re going to have activities for kids to do either in-person or you can take them home and then you of course, you can win prizes,” Norko said.

Some of the events will include a pet contest, a pet rock adoption fair, and kits to make finger puppets.

“I bought books like ‘Animal Colors, and ‘Stack the Cats,’ is my current favorite,” Norko said. “Some of the older kids’ books we have include ‘Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective,’ ‘A Whale of the Wild,’ and the personal favorite among the librarians right now is ‘Thundercluck! Chicken of Thor.’”

Norko said the library will provide plenty of recommendations, but participants are welcome to choose any reading material they are interested in.

“Essentially, the idea is kids get to choose what they read, but we have suggestions,” Norko said. “My idea is to start with animals and then if you don’t like animals, you can pick something else, as long as they are reading. I try to theme the activities and the prizes and then, if that’s not your cup of tea for reading, just read whatever makes you happy.”

Norko was inspired to start up the summer reading program because she wants to reach out to the community and increase interest in the library.

“We’ve lost our younger audience due to COVID; we didn’t have any children’s programming before COVID, but we were having a regular flow of people coming in to check out the kids’ books and then last year we were putting together a summer reading program and COVID came along,” Norko said. “This year, we decided to do a summer reading program because we want to get the kids back in here and we want to get the books circulating again because our kids’ circulation just kind of dropped off.”

She also wanted to make sure children have a library close to them, offering a summer reading program.

“In the past, if someone came to the library and asked about summer reading, they would direct you to the Upshur County Public Library,” Norko said. “Well, that’s a long haul for the kids on this side of town, especially when you have a library right here. You can go out to Upshur County and participate in their programs, but at the same time, why not walk down the street to the library? We’re right here.”

Follow the Gibson Library on Facebook to stay up-to-date on happenings there.

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