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Adventure abounds at local library
Season of stories, programs
kids storytime 3 jd
Joseph Jacobson, 5, along with his mother, Kari, watches a slide show during storytime at Sharon Forks Library. - photo by Jim Dean

For more information, go online at or visit any library to view program dates and times or sign up for summer reading.
Sandra Mitchell and her daughter each clutched a laminated blue paper sailboat — their tickets into Splashy Sports storytime at the Sharon Forks Library.

While the Forsyth County Public Library usually leaves the doors open for storytimes, the high summer turnout forces staff to monitor attendance for safety reasons.

“I usually try to get here at least 15 minutes before because a lot of times they have the line out to there,” said Mitchell, pointing far around the bookshelf’s corner.

In the first week of students’ summer break, storytime attendance boomed, as expected, with nearly 300 people attending the programs in one day, said programming coordinator Vanessa Cowie.

Stories aside, Cowie said the library system has been bustling with activity since schools let out for summer.

“We’re very pleased with the number of children and families coming out to the library,” she said. “In the summer, we expect consistently high numbers.”

Several free programs will be offered at the library this summer for children and families, including storytimes at all three branches.

Professional performers — including magicians, actors, musicians and storytellers — will present special programs over the next two months, said Cowie, adding that these events are usually the most popular.

The library will also hold three teenager nights, one at each library branch, beginning with a comic book artist Tuesday night at Hampton Park Library.

The other events will feature an actor discussing Greek Olympains, which Cowie said will please fans of the Percy Jackson book series, as well as a magician fusing his magic with mystery and horror books.

“We haven’t forgotten about those middle or high school students,” Cowie said. “The teens that came last year really enjoyed that.”

For toddlers to rising high school seniors, the library also encourages a summer reading incentive program through which children can sign up and record the books they read online.

The prize at summer’s end is a book to keep. The library also lets teachers at public schools know what their students read during summer break.

“Research has shown that kids who read over the summer maintain their literacy skills,” Cowie said.

As of late last week, about 900 children had signed up for the program.

Alison Pesqueria enrolled her 8-year-old son while visiting Sharon Forks for storytime.

He recently received stellar marks on a state assessment test, something Pesqueria attributed to him being an “avid reader.”

Over the summer, he plans to read “The Boxcar Children” series.

Pesqueria said all three of her children enjoy using the library and sitting in on storytimes as a summer activity.

“It keeps them involved, because it’s so easy to let them do nothing over the summer,” she said. “This is like summer camp that you can afford.”