What do Ms. Frizzle, the Critter Keeper, and the South Carolina Aquarium all have in common? They are part of the Anderson County Library System’s lineup of summer events beginning this June as part of Summer at the Library’s “Oceans of Possibilities.” With free, engaging events and the Summer Reading challenge, everyone can find something to do during June and July at the library.
Summer Reading kicks off on Saturday, June 4 at the Anderson, Powdersville, and Pendleton libraries. Drop by between 10am-1pm to enjoy games, check out books, and register for the reading challenge. At the Anderson Main Library, children and families can meet with the Greenville Drive’s mascot Reedy Rip’It and explore activities with Clemson Extension, Anderson County Beekeepers Association, and others.
“We’re excited to see more of our community returning to the library for Summer Reading,” says Head of Youth Services Diane Smiley. “This year’s Oceans of Possibilities theme gives us the opportunity to partner with other organizations around Anderson County and help families learn about the importance of being good stewards of our water resources for environmental and economic vitality.”
Ms. Frizzle will take children on an ocean adventure June 6-9 at libraries across Anderson County. The Critter Keeper will introduce children to the amazing world of reptiles and his wild friends, like the albino Burmese python, Julius Squeezer, on Friday, June 10 at the Iva Civic Center and Watkins Community Center in Honea Path. And on June 7 at the Anderson Main Library, the South Carolina Aquarium will share information on deep sea exploration, unique animal adaptations, and even have some marine invertebrates to meet and touch.
“Summer Reading is our busiest time of year as well as our favorite time of year,” says Smiley. “We look forward each year to having kids and families at the library for fun events they can enjoy with their friends.”
Love birds? Want to help scientists better understand their migrations? Be a citizen scientist with Project Feederwatch! Project Feederwatch will begin November 13 at the Anderson Main and Pendleton libraries.
To participate, visit the children’s area at either library any time Fridays and Saturdays November 13 through April 30. If you see any birds at the bird feeders, identify them with our aids or the Merlin app, then write down your findings.
At the end of each week, library staff will report your sightings to Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. That data tell scientists about changes in bird abundance and distribution across the United States and Canada, like where birds are and where they are not. This crucial information enables scientists to piece together accurate population maps and identify species that might be at risk.
This will be the second year the Library System participates in Project Feederwatch. For the 2020-21 season, only the Anderson Main Library was an observation site. During that time, library patrons and visitors observed 231 individual birds and identified 22 different species. This year, the Library System is expanding to have two observation sites: at the Pendleton Library and again at the Anderson Main Library.
Patrons can also explore great collections of picture books or nonfiction books for children and adults about birds, nature, backyard gardens, ornithology and more. For those who want even more educational activities to do at home, Cornell Lab provides free K-12 resources online.
Explore downtown magic with the storefront storywalk in Anderson! Visit downtown Anderson this December for a special, self-paced walking tour of the book The Magic Snowflake by local artist and author Scott Foster. The illustrations and text of each page in the book will be featured in store windows along Main Street. Start with page 1 at Belle Beauty, then follow the map on the sidewalk and read the magical story, or have the book come to life in a dramatic reading podcast produced by Market Theatre!
Storywalks are a great way for families to share the magic of reading, and the downtown storefront storywalk is the perfect opportunity to bring a love of reading and practice literacy skills while supporting downtown Anderson. After you finish the story, visit Carolina Wren Park for Holiday Ice, take pictures by the Christmas tree, or visit one of the local businesses that have copies of The Magic Snowflake available for purchase.
Visit the Anderson Main Library for a special scavenger hunt based on the book, then check out The Magic Snowflake or explore additional books perfect for the holidays. Complete the scavenger hunt and be entered in a drawing for a copy of the book and other fun prizes. Children can also pick up a Take ‘n Make snowflake ornament kit, and adults can pick up a Take ‘n Make craft kit to make a winter evening scene.
This unique event is presented by the City of Anderson in partnership with the Anderson County Library System, with a dramatic podcast by Market Theatre.
Recently, a Facebook group of which I am a member changed its name from “Librarians Serving Homeschool Families” to “Librarians Serving At-Home Learners and Homeschoolers.” Parents are more involved than ever in their children’s education, and it’s imperative that they know all the resources that are available to them, especially the ones that cost little to nothing. Enter the public library.
The Anderson County Library is part of a consortium of twenty county library systems in South Carolina that share resources. If we don’t have a book in Anderson County, but Beaufort County has it, you can put it on hold from wherever you are and have it brought to your nearest branch library, and it usually takes less than a week. The following chart shows how to save almost $300.00 on just a few items by using the library instead of purchasing literature for your class.
Savings From Using the Library
Wind in the Willows, The
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Velveteen Rabbit, The
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Magic Treehouse set (Books 1-28)
Boxcar Children set (Books 1-12)
Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry
*prices retrieved from Amazon September 14, 2020
But what if you need an item right away? Digital resources make that entirely possible. The Hooplaand Libbyapps allow you to download e-books, audiobooks, music, and videos straight to your device. Want to take a free online course? The library offers the popular Universal Class on our website if you have a library card. From Accounting to Web Development, Universal Class has dozens of topics for you, including more than 40 online courses under the “Homeschooling” category alone. Do you have a teen learning to drive? Look under the “Research” tab of our website and you’ll find current SC DMV practice tests. Do you need a tutor for your child? No problem. Tutor.com offers one-to-one tutoring anytime, anywhere at no cost to you, thanks to DISCUS.
Learning at home presents many challenges. The library’s new resource CreativeBug offers innovative ideas for making science fun. Are you studying polymers? Let CreativeBug show you how to make Galaxy Slime. (Full disclosure: I did this with my middle school age niece and nephew and it was a hit!) Are you studying the states of matter? Ponder the soap bubble: is it a solid, a liquid, or a gas? CreativeBug shows you a great recipe for bubble solution that produces bubbles far sturdier than any solution you’ll find in the stores. (Another hit with my niece and nephew.) It’s science. It’s fun. It’s all available through the library.
Libraries all over the country have valuable resources online to help at-home learners and their families succeed. September is National Library Card Sign up month. Stop by your nearest branch to get yours today.
Finally, I encourage each family to download the Flipsterapp, which allows access to leading digital magazines on your mobile device. This can be limited to Family & Children’s resources, and includes the popular National Geographic for Kids, as well as Muse, which encourages reading for fun as well as learning.