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Mon, Jan. 27

Summertime in the library – not all about books
Programs, events, classes abound over the next three months

Prescott Valley Public Library staff members, Joslyn Joseph, left, and Jim Black, prepare juggling balls Nov. 2 for a Creative Aging class. (Prescott Valley Public Library/Courtesy)

Prescott Valley Public Library staff members, Joslyn Joseph, left, and Jim Black, prepare juggling balls Nov. 2 for a Creative Aging class. (Prescott Valley Public Library/Courtesy)

Children’s Summer Reading Program

June 5, 10 a.m. Arizona’s Raptors

June 12, 10 a.m. Brain & Body Games

June 14, 6:30 p.m. Digeridoo Down Under

(Note change in day/time)

June 19, 10 a.m. Patriotic Songs & Stories

June 26, 10 and 11 a.m. Sticks & Tones - music

July 3, 10 a.m. Mark Carter Science: Gadgets, Gizmos & Gyroscopes

July 10, 10 a.m. Children’s Fair

July 17, 10 and 11:30 a.m. Great Grand Canyon Balloon Show

July 24, 10 and 11:30 a.m. Japanese Taiko Drumming

Feeling creative but never took an art class? Want a night out with a movie and popcorn? Need extra help learning English? Looking for music entertainment?

Get thee to the nearest public library and find all kinds of diverse “extracurricular” activities over the summer that may or may not have to do with books.

More and more, public libraries are becoming public spaces for community events that attract everyone from babies to seniors. According to Teen Librarian Shelbie Marks, Prescott Valley Public Library, the best location for a library is near schools.

“It’s a place students can come and hang out. Prescott Valley has no teen center or after-school club. Here they can hang out with their friends,” Marks said earlier this school year.

When school is in session, early release Wednesdays brings students from the nearby middle and high schools within walking distance of the library.

Wednesdays are a favorite day of the week for seventh-graders Bryce Milner, Riley Biedenkapp and eighth-grader John Schmitt. They appear in Minecraft T-shirts and hats to participate in one of their favorite library activities — playing the popular computer game, Minecraft.

“It’s the best game ever. It pretty much started my life,” Riley said. “Before, there wasn’t much to do around the house. I will forever support it.”

Programs for teens

The Teen division also offers free tutoring, board games, and a healthy Teen Advisory Board that helps plan innovative programs and how to spend the budget. Two new book clubs, Project Lit and Meaningful Discussion, touch on current topics and provide a place for teens to talk through contemporary issues.

Teens also will have a venue beginning in the fall to learn how to respectfully listen to others’ opinions and express their own at the Current Events Café. “They can come hang out with no agenda and talk about the news. It doesn’t have to be heavy all the time like school shootings. It can be the ‘Black Panther’ movie,” Marks said.

On Wednesday, June 6, at 1 p.m., teens can eat and talk about how much they love tacos during the Tacos, Man event. More food is available at Book Brunch, 10 a.m. Friday, June 8. A Crappy Art Contest on Wednesday, June 20, will judge the best of “bad art.”

Teens can learn the basics at Babysitting 101, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 23. A chance to try out different musical instruments takes place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 27. Come prepared to win at the Nerf Wars, 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 11.

Prescott Public Library and PVPL alternate hosting a popular ComicCon event each year, which attracted about 3,000 participants last year. This event brings new people to the library who may not be regular patrons, Marks said.

This year, it’s Prescott Valley’s turn, and the Fandomania Comic Con event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 28, with artists, authors, games and workshops. Dressing as a favorite character is optional and lots of fun.

“It is an all ages event, so that’s not only youth,” Marks said.

Popular last year, the Teen Short Film Festival is slated for a showing of films on July 17. Find the official rules and registration information in the teen link at

Programs for children

PVPL Children’s Librarian Lynette Christensen has planned programs for this year’s Summer Reading Program’s theme, “Libraries Rock.” Upcoming events include visits from Sticks and Tones, and a Japanese Taiko Drumming group. All programs are free.

The summer programs have proven so popular, they take place in the large Crystal Room on the third floor. Even so, in order to accommodate the 5-11 age group these programs are focused on, parents and younger siblings may need to remain in the children’s section, Christensen said.

School-aged children will be seated first, and if there is room, parents and other siblings also can attend.

“Programs that have two sections, I’m hopeful we can fit more in,” she said. Otherwise, she will use teen volunteers as runners available to contact parents in the children’s section to children in the Crystal Room who may need their assistance.

Several of this summer’s programs involve science, math or nature, such as meeting some of Arizona’s raptors on June 5, participating in brain and body games on June 12, and learning from gadgets, gizmos and gyroscopes with Mark Carter Science on July 3.

Programs for Adults

Ongoing events for adults include a coloring class, meditation workshop, and crochet/knit, quilting, and photography groups. A recent grant paid for Creating Aging classes that have ranged from papermaking, origami, altered books, playful movement, printmaking and poetry.

“We have had a great group of people show up to these classes,” said Library Assistant Coleen Bornschelgel.

The grant was written so that many of the supplies and equipment will outlast the grant’s timeframe which ended this month with a papermaking, printing and binding class. In September, the classes will start up again on a monthly basis beginning with a class on watercolor.

The library also received a $3,000 STEAM grant for science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities. Bornschelgel said she hopes to purchase sewing machines and some machinery and equipment that will enhance the Digital Media Lab.

This summer, adult classes will cover topics on finance, such as planning for retirement, using Mac computers, and resources for caregivers.

Monday Night Movies take a break during the summers.

New this year for public use are 23 T-Mobile Wi-Fi Hot Spots (internet connections) available for checkout. These devices can be checked out for one month, and can be renewed if there are no holds on it. At this time, however, all 23 are checked out and 16 people are on the hold list, Christensen said.

Library Director Casey Van Haren said the library received three Library Services and Technology grants this year. In addition to the STEAM grant, the town council accepted a $30,000 grant for a Community Assessment Plan and a $4,000 grant for the Gateway to Citizens program, for a total of $37,000.

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