The community hub that libraries provide is valuable at all times throughout the year, but holidays provide the context for some truly magical settings. This is especially true around Christmas, and the library system in Rockingham County, North Carolina, is planning some literal holiday magic for its patrons.
This week, they welcomed a magic duo by the names of Chris and Neil to entertain library-goers. On December 9th, the free show began around 6:30pm in the Calvin Little Exhibit Hall. There were only 150 tickets to the event, on a first come first served basis, and patrons only needed to come into the library and request a ticket to receive one while they were available.
While the duo has performed at the venue already this year, this marked the first ‘Rock Start Christmas Show’ for the duo and for the library, and people were excited. Event coordinator Debbie Knight says that the duo have been extremely supportive of literacy events in the past and are always eager to help the library community in the area; she’s not surprised they were willing to perform for the event. For one of their tricks, Knight related excitedly, the magic duo made it snow inside of the actual venue.
Other libraries nearby are planning their own holiday events as well. One, for example, is going to have Santa making an appearance at a Hamlet library on December 12th, children will be able to visit with him for the day. In addition, children will be able to visit a special candy bar for some tasty treats and also pick out a wrapped present from under the tree.
Libraries in the area will also be hosting crafting activities, such as ornament making; children will be able to take everyday objects (old standbys like popsicle sticks are rumored to make an appearance) and make their own Christmas tree ornaments.
Festivities already kicked off earlier, when a “Polar Express” day was hosted. Children were invited for a reading of the original book, before a screening of the more contemporary Tom Hanks animated film was shown. To top the event off, employees of the library made a train out of boxes provided by nearby businesses. The events will run on various days up until the 24th of December, when the library is closed until the 27th, and then again for January first.
Rockingham’s libraries are far from the only ones hosting some holiday cheer, however. Across the country, a number of library systems hold Christmas or holiday themed events both as a service to the community and as a recruitment tool. Getting children off of their phones and tablets and into the public library is harder than ever, and making the library a fun and exciting place early on in the lives of patrons is a good way to get them to continue to value the library’s services for life. Who knows, your own libraries are probably hosting events as well – be sure to support and check them out.