With a handbag that resembles a copy of The Hunger Games with a handle, and holidays that involve stocking up on literary-themed finger puppets, Stephanie Vollick loves her job as youth services librarian at the Vernon branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.
“I’m always coming up with ideas wherever I am, from trips to Vancouver, to checking out Pinterest to see what other librarians are doing,” said Vollick, who has been busy planning fall activities at the library for kids of all ages.
For kids ages 12 to 18, Artsy Teen begins Sept. 25 and runs Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. Kids will have the opportunity to create crafts using a variety of unusual materials.
“I got inspired by some of the books we have on crafts,” said Vollick.
For the Love of Duct Tape uses that old handyman stand-by, while Manga Book Madness will take damaged manga books and recycling them into something else.
“Friends of the Library has given us money for craft supplies, which is great,” said Vollick. “All of the crafts are related to books in some way.”
Pre-registration is required for Artsy Teen, in person at the branch or online.
Wii @ the Library invites teens to share their love of gaming. The game console will be hooked up to the big screen in the library meeting room, with four controllers provided so kids can have fun with everything from Disney Universe to Rayman Origins.
“It’s amazing how much reading goes into a lot of the games, so I thought it was a good way to get reluctant readers into reading, and this will also get them socializing with kids they might not otherwise meet and get them comfortable with the library.”
As well, board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly will be on hand as kids wait for one of the controllers, giving them another chance to improve their literacy skills while still having fun.
“We have about 30 games and we’ll have occasional tournaments as well,” said Vollick, adding that the gaming system is thanks to Telus, which provided funding for technology at the library, from the big projector to the new self-checkout scanners. Vernon Teach and Learn donated the board games.
Wii @ the Library begins Sept. 26 and runs Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. for ages eight to 12, and from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. for ages 13 to 18. Registration is not required, just drop in for some fun.
For kids eight to 12, the Animal Stories Book Club is just for them. With a variety of chapter books as the focus, including classics such as Watership Down, the group operates the same way as a book club for adults.
“There are lots of themes for them to talk about, and we’ll look at different books, anything that interests the young kids but that are also thought-provoking.”
The group meets Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For older kids, ages 12 to 18, the Dystopian Book Club invites readers who enjoy books such as The Hunger Games to delve into others in the genre, including Delirium and Blood Red Road.
“It’s making them think of what goes on in our world and while a few of the books I’ve selected have some romance, I’ve tried to pick those that will appeal to both boys and girls.
“I’m the facilitator, so I’ll have some questions to think about if there is a lull in the conversation, but mostly I want them to talk amongst themselves, it’s not me giving a lecture.”
And readers don’t have to commit to attending each week.
“I don’t want them to feel pressured, so I won’t kick them out if they haven’t read the book.”
Dystopian Book Club runs Thursdays at 7 p.m. and begins Sept. 27.
On Saturdays, Craft Time for ages eight to 12 will be centred around a particular book, with crafts ranging from dragon eye jewellery to book marks.
“And one I think will be really popular is video game candy art, where you can make Zelda and Mario out of Skittles.”
Craft Time runs Saturdays at 1 p.m. and pre-registration is required, either in person or online.
And girls ages 11 to 14 are invited with their moms to the Mother Daughter Book Club, running Saturdays at 3 p.m.
“We thought it would be a nice way to bring moms and daughters together, because sometimes there is a disconnect between the generations.”
The club opens with The Mother-daughter Book Club and will include titles such as Pretty Little Liars.
“I’ve tried to offer good variety and as with the other book club, participants don’t have to attend every week, but it’s a way for moms and daughters to bond and discuss more grown-up things.”
The club meets Saturdays at 3 p.m.; registration is available online or in person.
And as always, the library will have a full schedule of events for babies and toddlers, including Toddler Time Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., for ages one to three years. The fun includes books, fingerplays, circle songs, rhymes, flannels and more. This is a drop-in group.
All groups are free to attend. For more information, to register or for a complete list of books on the reading club lists, call 250-542-7610 or see the website at www.orl.bc.ca/branches/vernon