Du Quoin Public Library Director Kristina Benson is celebrating her six-year anniversary at the library.
Benson said that one of the most enjoying tasks she has experienced since becoming librarian was filling in recently for board member Betty Eastman, reading to about 25 children at the local daycare centers.
"Betty has the best job, hands down," Benson said.
Board members recently expressed their appreciation for Benson's dedication and hard work, giving her a round of applause.
Library looks to start 'StoryWalk'
"We've been made aware of a brilliant new idea that came from a library volunteer in Montpelier, Vt.," Benson told the board earlier this month. "She has created an innovative and invigorating way for children and adults to enjoy reading and activity together."
It's called the "StoryWalk." Pages of a children's book are laminated and mounted on hardwood stakes and placed at an outdoor public place so that children and their parents can follow the pages and the path to the end of the story.
StoryWalk has been installed in 50 states and 11 countries, including Germany, Canada, England, Russia, Malaysia and Pakistan.
"We are definitely going to find a way to use this at one of our events," Benson said. "I think it's a brilliant idea and I just wish I had come up with it."
Upcoming events include photo boot camp
Upcoming events at the library include adult coloring at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 27.
An outdoor photography boot camp will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at Du Quoin City Hall. The workshop will be led by Rodney Deutschmann through a new library partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Deutschmann is an award-winning Marine combat correspondent, a veteran newspaper managing editor, a 20-year community educator and a professional photographer.
Future events also include a rescheduled seminar on the Civilian Conservation Corps at 6 p.m. June 15, with a speaker who wrote a book on the CCC in Southern Illinois.
Regular events include homework help at 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and story times at 10 a.m. Saturdays.
Summer programming at the library is in the final planning stages.
"We are booking events, creating calendars and adding new programs for all ages," Benson said. "That's new this year, programs for teens and adults."
Children's events will include stargazing, the "Bubble Bus," Animal Tales and mad science experiments. The "Bubble Bus" produces lights, music and lots of bubbles to dance and play in. Animal Tales is a live animal educational program, and mad science promises science demonstrations and experiments designed to delight and intrigue.
Summer programming also includes an eclipse party Aug. 21. That's when the library staff will be handing out about 1,000 solar viewers provide by the Science-Technology Activities and Resources Library Education Network or Star_Net.
The library is also working on a special request from some of the teenage patrons. They wanted an old Microsoft XP computer to take apart, just to see what's inside.
"I said that we could do that," Benson said.
Summer Reading Program schedules and reading trackers will be available at the circulation desk starting May 1.