I began working in the Carbondale Library’s Children’s Room as the head of youth services last spring. As a Pennsylvania certified teacher, I was so excited to take on this critical position as it gives me the opportunity to be actively involved and engaged in a child’s educational growth. To me, it is extremely important that the library create strong relationships with children and their caregivers while creating an environment that feels welcoming and family friendly.
Each phase of a child’s development is vital to their intellectual advancement. Promoting early literacy in children helps them to develop reading comprehension, self-expression and build a rich vocabulary. These tools help them to become successful readers and lifelong learners.
The Youth Services department of the Carbondale Public Library is made up of myself and Marina Lumbag, my dedicated and diligent youth services assistant, and is devoted to offering children of all ages a safe and stimulating space to connect with materials and resources, children their own age and an exposure to the growing world around them.
In this technologically rich world, it is important for children to have an outlet away from screens and other forms of entertainment that distract their developing minds. The Carbondale Public Library realizes this and strives to offer resources and programs that have a positive effect on children’s mental and emotional health, social aptitudes and cognitive processes. We want parents to know that it is never too soon to take your child to the library and that there are opportunities for learning, playing and socializing to children of all ages at their local library.
Baby Bounce meets every Friday at 11 a.m. and is geared for infants through toddlers aged 2. At Baby Bounce, children are introduced to the library and new friends through songs, movement, stories and other fun activities. This program is a bit shorter than Library Littles to allow for developmentally appropriate focus and concentration. Ample time is allotted for group play, interaction and socialization.
On Thursdays at 11 a.m., the Library Littles meet for songs, fingerplays and fun, educational activities and group play. This group is designed for children ages 2 to 5 and concentrates on kindergarten readiness skills such as letter recognition, counting, sorting, color identification, reading comprehension and more.
Also on Thursdays, the Homeschool program meets at 2 p.m. This program gives students who attend school in their homes a chance to mingle with children their own ages while engaging in special activities led by the librarian in areas such as robotics, art, poetry, mathematics and more.
For budding photographers ages 12 to 18, the library hosts Shutter Club, a photography club that meets every other Thursday. John Washicosky from United Neighborhood Center runs this wonderful club. He teaches novice photographers the parts of the camera, tricks to taking great photos, editing and more.
STEM has been on the minds of educators and parents alike, therefore, the library has proudly teamed up with Tim Frank from Johnson College. Tim will be available on Mondays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to demonstrate and spark an interest in the STEM-related concepts of robotics and 3-D printing. This program is geared to children ages 7 to 12 and will begin on Jan. 23.
The Carbondale Public library has collaborated with Jurassic Raptor 570 to offer the Carbondale Area Dinosaur Club beginning this month. This club is open to children from 4 to 12 years of age and will be the first of its kind in the upper valley. The club will meet on the third Saturday of the month, starting Jan. 21, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Each meeting will feature a new dinosaur, crafts, game and snacks. Time will also allow for a show and tell for the children to discuss facts about their favorite dinosaur.
A kick-off pizza party for early registration will be held on Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. Jurassic Raptor 570 will be available for a meet and greet with one of his famous dinosaurs. Come and have a bite with the dinos and sign up for an exciting new club in the Carbondale Area.
Young adults in the Carbondale Area have a new book club to look forward to. The Wednesday Addams Book Club is a new goth-themed, in-person book group that reads, listens to and discusses the works of some of history’s darkest and macabre authors and poets! January’s series is called Pizza & Poe, which is exactly the way it sounds. We will dine on pizza from local pizzerias and listen to works by Edgar Allen Poe narrated by the infamous Vincent Price. Looking ahead to February, the theme will be Peanut Butter & Shelley. Wednesday’s favorite author, Mary Shelley, and her book, “Frankenstein,” will be the focus of our talks while we munch on all things peanut butter.
The Carbondale Public Library is proud of its ability to build a rich children’s and young adult collection to meet the interest of its younger community. In 2022, the children’s room has added several hundred new titles to its collection, including an extensive addition to the non-fiction section. The Spanish/bilingual section has also been expanded and we added a Jewish holiday and Jewish-themed section, as well.
Avid readers will be happy to know that our county-wide Winter Challenge will start this season on Jan. 23 and will run until Feb. 24. This year’s theme is “Step Right Up to the Greatest Winter Ever!” Readers of all ages are welcome to spend the cold, dreary days of winter by taking part in different reading and activity challenges to complete for five weeks. Readers can participate with paper forms or use Beanstack, a reader’s app, to track their progress. Prizes will be awarded by raffle for different age groups at the end of the challenge.
The children’s department at the Carbondale Public Library looks forward to welcoming children and their families this new year. We invite everyone to come and check out our space which includes a new teen lounge section. The Carbondale Public Library can be found on Facebook and Instagram where all events and programs are posted. I would be happy to address any of your concerns or inquiries by phone, 570-282-4281 x 204, or by email, email@example.com.
Happy New Year to everyone and keep reading!
Stephanie Spaid is the assistant to the director and the head of youth services at Carbondale Public Library. She’s been with the library for seven years. For the most up-to-date information on library events and more, visit lclshome.org/carbondale.