By AMY MANN
Technical Assistant for the Children’s Department, Warsaw Community Public Library
How important are libraries in today’s world?
As I sit at the reference desk in the Children’s Department of the Warsaw Community Public Library on a pleasant Saturday morning, I hear a quiet buzz of voices. I hear dads conversing in Spanish, and moms are speaking together, as well. A volunteer had been playing with a younger patron, and now the two girls are on a hunt for books to read together. A local tutor is working with an elementary school-aged boy. They have read, played, and done a lesson together. They seem comfortable here and, it seems, are connecting quite well.
A new volunteer, Michelle, is alphabetizing books, and becoming familiar with our collection. She is 11, the age our volunteers can begin. She’s doing an incredible job. We love our volunteers. They are an essential part of our team, and are learning how to use our resources and to pass on that knowledge to their siblings and peers.
A puzzle is being assembled, computers are being used for educational and recreational purposes, and I’m noticing the farm book display that has been picked nearly clean by little hands. That makes us happy, as librarians. I need to go on a hunt for replacements, which will probably be in local homes in a day or two.
A lovely little girl just asked for coloring pages, so she can show her creativity. She led her daddy over to the table to interact with her while she does her artistic work. Others are following suit. We occasionally have contests, and our September “Library Sign-Up Month” coloring contest, though it started out slow, finished strong. We have some very talented little patrons.
During the week, we see many moms with their little ones, here for programs and to choose books and to play with our book-themed toys. Dads, grandparents, and other caregivers come, as well. On Saturdays and evenings, especially, we see whole families congregating in the children’s area. I love to see dads choosing Easy Reader books for their sons and daughters. As an educator, I am excited to see the opportunities that our library offers our patrons, from birth on. Check out our Facebook page (WCPL’s Kids corner) to see what’s happening this week, and come on in! The library is for you!