Library turns up heat on activities as summer temps drive visitors indoors

“Let me tell you some really exciting news – we had more than 1,000 people come into the library last month.”
Maybe it’s the weather sending locals into the stacks at Lee-Bardwell Public Library. Regardless, Brandy Wynn was glad to see another 48 visitors walk in the doors July 1 after a healthy turnout in June.
“We’re off to a really good start,” she said, and the fun stuff hasn’t even begun.
Naturally, the local library director’s all about book-learning, but sometimes a person just has to go hands-on, and the 312 W. Pacific Ave. facility will kick-off its slate of July 2024 activities with ‘Home Ec Day’ this weekend.
“I’m really excited about July 6,” Wynn said, getting everything in place alongside Library Clerk Dotti McCoy and their band of volunteers. “We’re going to have a ton of stuff going on.”
Certainly, Saturday will feature more than just home economics, but that was the nugget of the idea – a local home-school family dropped by one day looking for leads about life skills classes.
“They were talking about how no one teaches certain things anymore,” Wynn says, practical things like cooking, canning and gardening. The idea soon snowballed and all those skills – and more – are on tap 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for July’s first Saturday. “I’m just really excited about the whole concept of having some type of learning program that we’re going to be able to do quarterly, if not more often.”
How about a budgeting booth? How about a how-to on starting a small business? Maybe the youngsters (and adults in-tow) can learn a bit of marketing?
“I’ve got booklets from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Basically, it’s teaching elementary school children financial literacy,” Wynn said. “There’s several different things. It’s about home budgets, business budgets, how to build your own very small business. I’ve looked through some of this, and it’s really neat, really cool stuff.
“We also have the beekeepers coming out because they’re pretty awesome,” and there’ll be a spotlight on fire prevention along with a crash course in first aid. “Everyone needs to know how to bandage someone if need be, what to do in case of emergency.”
Later, July 8-12 will be the second week of the library’s new Teen & Young Adult Book Club as the group reads “Siege and Storm,” the second book in the “Shadow and Bone” series.
Gladewater Fire Department will visit for a Storytime session July 18 then they’re back for the library’s second water balloon fight of the summer, set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 31 – coinciding with the annual celebration of Harry Potter’s birthday. It’s also the last day of the 2024 summer reading program and includes a drawing for end-of-summer prizes.
“It’s just going to be a really exciting, fun day,” Wynn said. She’s also jazzed about July 25: the Creature Teacher will be bringing a mini-menagerie of animals to the library at 11 a.m. (followed by a hot dog lunch) courtesy of Buckner’s HOPES and ASQ.
“They are sponsoring different types of programming for several of the libraries in the area.”

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