Loving the Library Life: Almonte, Belle Isle, Del City, McLoud, Purcell

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss

When was the last time you visited your local library? When did you last try out a library that wasn’t nearby? Not all libraries are identical. Each library is like the books they carry- an enchanting experience. My young daughters and I have been on an adventure around Oklahoma to check out (see what I did there?) what makes each library unique. This is my second post in the Loving the Library Life. In each post, I will focus on five libraries and share what makes them extraordinary.  You can find other libraries that we’ve visited here.

The girls used Dewey Decimal Classification to find gingerbread house building materials.
The girls used Dewey Decimal Classification to find gingerbread house building materials.

Almonte 

Are you looking for a unique library? The Almonte library might be what you are seeking. The library is established in a strip center and has become a staple to many in the local neighborhood as it is walking distance. Every event that we’ve attended has been stationed in their multipurpose room. This room, though, seems magical to us. I have always felt transported to another place, not just a room. The multipurpose room opens to the teen area from one door and another door leads to a quiet hallway with bathrooms. This is very helpful for a mom with young children. I can send one child to the bathroom and keep an eye on my other one. The children’s librarian is one of the friendliest people I’ve met and always has a smile on her face and a sweetness to her voice. She led a gingerbread hunt that taught children about the Dewey decimal system that was enjoyed by the whole family, especially since it ended with decorating gingerbread houses!

Almonte Library has a couple of children’s activities on Wednesday mornings. Wonder Wednesdays are full of music, movement, stories, and activities for children under five years old. 123! Play with Me! 123! Juega conmigo! is a bilingual program that occurs once a month.  Homework help for kindergarteners through 6th grade is available on Wednesday evenings. Knitting Club and Coffee and Conversation (books, games, and my favorite-coffee) each meet once a month for adults.

a lovely afternoon of imaginative play
a lovely afternoon of imaginative play

Belle Isle

Belle Isle is one of the most utilized Metropolitan Libraries. We recently visited to drop off some stuffed animal friends for a Sleepover Library Camp. As we walked to the children’s area, Madi noticed another girl leaving a similar teddy bear as hers. Madi exclaimed that the two bears would probably become best friends. Before leaving the library, the girl and Madi played in the puppet show area together making up stories. Madi and her new friend are both very imaginative and ended up to be best friends too! I have found that libraries are always a splendid place to make new friends.  I was also absolutely impressed with their teen program (ATLAS). The teen area is located downstairs from the library giving the teens autonomy. As my young girls and I left, several teens offered to help them on the stairs while they joyfully engaged my girls in conversation.

ATLAS meets Monday through Thursday with projects to make, technology activities, and music recording. Baby and toddler activities meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings and incorporate music, puppets, books, and playtime.

Ali is using a table to program her robot.
Ali is using a tablet to program her robot.

Del City

Do your kids want to build extensive experiments, get gooey with science, and work on STEM projects? Joshua is the one to see at Del City Library. He leads the monthly Science Sundays that we adore. Joshua is marvelous with kids and it’s undeniable that he loves working at the library. Recently we attended a Science Sunday and learned about programming robots. It was geared toward kindergarten and above so Joshua grouped the participants into groups by grades.  Science Sundays are well attended but each child made to feel celebrated and given individual attention. Ali, 2, wanted to work on robots with the older kids and Joshua adapted the program to include her as well.

Del City Library has special monthly events that include puppet show times, Science Sundays, and family craft nights. You can also attend story times on Mondays and Wednesday mornings. Del City Library also houses a display case that can be reserved by the community.

A crafternoon led to little presents for many friends!
A crafternoon led to little presents for many friends!

McLoud

In our library adventure, McLoud Library is the smallest library we’ve visited so far. The children’s area is very petite but like all the libraries, the librarians make up for the library’s size in their enchanting ability to make the library seem boundless. Our family enjoyed a family craft afternoon in December. Many libraries will set out a few crafts for children to create but McLoud had eight crafts! The girls and I spent a lively afternoon moving from station to station using our imagination to make gifts for friends and family.

The McLoud Library offers Tuesday mornings story times (including once a month stress-relief preschool story time led by infant massage instructors) and once a month adult crafts.

Pumpkin play in Purcell
Pumpkin play in Purcell

Purcell

I had no prior knowledge about Purcell other than it is the hometown of some of my teacher friends. This library, though, has become a favorite of ours. The children’s section is smaller than other libraries we have visited, but is set up to feel much bigger. It houses a fish tank and a dollhouse which the girls love! The children’s librarians are enthusiastic while presenting activities. We first attended the Purcell Library for a pumpkin themed day. Not only did the girls get to play with pumpkin pie scented and puffy pumpkin paint, but they also watched pumpkin science (exploding, oozy pumpkin!) and make their own yummy pumpkin pie in a cup. We also delighted in a delicious cookie, hot chocolate, gingerbread house, and crafts event! All those in one event. It was pure heaven. Every event we’ve been to at the Purcell Library is planned full of surprises and they go all out on making it fun for the whole family.

Tuesdays at the Purcell Library are full of activities for children. Preschoolers and toddlers can snuggle up with their families at morning story times and school-aged children can take part in afterschool themed activities (Legos, movies, art, or games) on Tuesdays afternoons. Teens can take part in STEAM projects on Fridays afternoons. Purcell cares about their adults too. They have English as a second language classes on Mondays and GED classes on Tuesday

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