© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


Kids of all ages, like Lilith Mroczkowski, look to new adventures at the county's libraries.   Janet Imrick.Randolph Hub

Libraries promote ‘adventure’ this summer

Janet Imrick
Randolph Hub 


Randolph County public libraries have released their calendar of summer programs, beginning in June and centered around the theme “Adventure Begins in Your Library.”


Children will be able to pick up a reading worksheet at any of the seven branches, marking squares with the number of minutes they read to qualify for prizes. The official signup date is Saturday, June 8.


"Each sheet is a different adventure that the kids can go on," said Samantha Martin, head of youth services. "We're trying to game-ify summer reading a little bit, because it gets really exciting for the kids when they see themselves progressing."


Martin helped coordinate the events and performances across all branches. "We're very much primarily focused on making sure that children have something to do over the summer, something to lean on when the school system is out," she said. "We want to make sure we can avoid this summer slide. So, we're trying to provide entertainment but also education."


Donna Toomes, branch manager of the Randleman Library, said prizes include a backpack, badges and tickets for grand prize drawings.


"Randleman Public Library’s summer reading program will center around several adventure themes: World, fairy tales, music, magic, dinosaurs, and dragons," Toomes said. "Programs will be offered for children and teens, and adults are welcome to attend our Family Shows as well."


Performers will come from around North Carolina, with the return of some favorites from previous years. They include magician Mr. Fantastic, the puppeteer Jeghetto, and Alex Weiss with Different Drum. Shepherd Shakespeare will present a show based on the play "Hamlet."


Brenda Hornsby Heindl, branch manager of the Liberty Public Library, said the theme encourages families to think about adventure as more than travel or a staycation.


"Books are like windows, doors, and sliding glass doors," Hornsby Heindl said. "You can use a window to look into a world and think about an adventure. You could use a book as a sliding glass door, and you can open it and see through it and decide to walk through it. Or you can use it as a door and literally walk into that world."


Some activities will be outdoors. Liberty Library is continuing its StoryWalk Story Trails, which break a story into large panels set along a path. Ramseur Public Library will have an outdoor foam party.


Liberty Library will also hold sensory after-hours for people with autism or other conditions that make it difficult to be around crowds and noise. During those hours, the library will lower the lights and host activities in a quieter setting.


Some activities will be centered around skills in science, coding and cooking. "We're having a group out of the Raleigh-Durham area called Mad Science," Hornsby Heindl said. "We've had people over the years ask for more science and experiments."


As visits pick back up at libraries following the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin said the staff wants to promote interactions across all generations.


"We were really nervous that children would be being raised by computers and being raised by iPads. But what children really do want is to play together," Martin said.


While the primary focus is on children ages 3 to 18, Martin also looked at ways to engage parents. She said, "We're seeing in our early literacy programming that we do, like Baby Lapsit and storytimes for Pre-K, that the parents are really enjoying having a space to come together."


Events are listed on the website randolphlibrary.org/summer and the library branch websites. Some activities require registration beforehand.