Library abounds with events in January

By Erin Mullins
With 22 events open to the public in January, the Lovell Library has near daily offerings for the public.
The first event of the year, Teen Xtreme on Tuesday evening, was well attended, librarian Cathy Collins said. The event is powered through a grant by Rocky Mountain Power for teens 12-18 based on the theme of making your dreams come true.
Three community members, Travis Nichols, Blake Gustafson and Mike Jones, spoke to the teens about goal setting, financial planning and career planning. The teens enjoyed sandwiches and an Italian soda bar while listening to the speakers.
After the speeches, the teens wrote down what they learned on a sheet of paper and inserted that paper into a drawing for a door prize. The night ended with multiple group games, including a competition to mummify a team member in toilet paper as fast as possible and passing Life Saver candy with toothpicks from mouth to mouth.
Teen Xtreme activities are planned quarterly this year, Collins said. The library also has a book club for young adults, which will meet at 5 p.m. January 8. The book this month is “The Strangers” by Margaret Haddix and copies are still available for those interested. Young adults get to keep the book each month.
The adult book club is reading “Dreamland” by Nicholas Sparks and will meet January 17 at 5 p.m. Adults do not get to keep the book every month. The costs of the book club are covered entirely by Lovell Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
So far, bingo is not a cash ball. It has been rescheduled from 10 a.m. Mondays to 1 p.m. due to low attendance. Several patrons asked for the event to be later in the day because they would not be available in the mornings, Collins said.
So far, turnout has only been around three people, but she hopes the group will grow to around 10 with the rescheduling. The group plays normal, four corners and blackout bingo. Finger foods and water are served.
Attendees get book bucks, which can be used to purchase prizes, for attending the event or winning bingo rounds. Attendees get five book dollars for attending, one for winning four corners or normal bingo and five for winning blackout.
Bingo is currently the only way to earn book bucks. There are three levels of prizes: five, 10 and 25.  Prizes on the low end include candy and word search books and at the high end include a sports first aid kid and power lantern.
One of the most popular events at the library is the preschool story time, which is 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday and draws around 30 kids. Each week, about three simple picture books are read. Sometimes, there are fingerplays or songs, and there is always a craft or activity after. All ages are welcome, but the stories are designed for kids around 3 years old, Collins said.
One of Collins’ favorite books for preschool story time was “Edward the Emu,” a tale about an emu that is sick of the zoo who learns by the end of the book that it is good to be yourself.
Collins said the story time has always been popular, and she sees new faces every year. The library also offers a book reading and craft day, Book and Create, for young children monthly. This month the event will be on Thursday the 11th at 4 p.m., and the craft is a snowflake card.
Another opportunity for kids to have fun at the library is run through the Children’s Resource Center, Stay and Play.  The center runs the program and offers rotating activities, like games and crafts. The event has been recently restarted post COVID and turn out is expected to grow over time.
“I do kind of wonder if it’s hard for families to come on Tuesday for story time and Wednesday for the Stay and Play, but we just want to be able to be a community center where everybody can come in and learn and socialize and feel welcome here,” Collins said.
This month, Stay and Play will be on Wednesday Jan. 17 and Wednesday the 31st at 10:15 a.m.
The final event the library is offering for youth this January is a new program. Each month, Lego Club will give kids a challenge to build with Legos. After each kid completes the challenge, they will be entered into a drawing for the door prize. After finishing the challenge, the rest of the event is for free play with Legos. The inaugural Lego Club will take place on the 19th from 3-4 p.m., and a large turnout is expected.
Although the library is popular with kids, the Stitch Happens group is popular with adults. The event happens twice a month, which will be on Thursday the 11th and Thursday the 25th at 5 p.m. Anyone is welcome to bring in crochet crafts they want to work on or need help on and no prior experience is required.
The event was started by a community group last fall. Originally, Stich Happens was once a month, but it has proven to be so popular that it expanded.
Although the library has recently started offering monthly tech help through TCT, the event is not well attended, and Collins hopes to get the word out.  So far, TCT has been able to either solve or find the answer for every problem. Tech help will be offered on a drop-in basis from 10 a.m. to noon on January 11.
Finally, the library is the perfect event for difficult research. Every Monday at 10 a.m., community member Rena Croft comes into the library to help patrons research their family history.
If any of the public events don’t fit in with a community member’s schedule, Collins said that private events are available by request.  If one is interested in something like a private story time, they should call the library to arrange the event, which is free to host.