Summer programs, events to return to Finney County Public Library this year

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Lexie Ortega, Finney County Public Library teen programmer, checks out a book for a customer Wednesday at the library. 

Programs and events are returning to the Finney County Public Library this summer. 

Pam Tuller, library director, said there will be more going on this year compared to last year when the library was closed to the public for a time due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The programs and event will be a bit different than in years past to accommodate social distancing, Tuller said. 

"We're changing up some of our programs because what it was doesn't work well for social distancing and what not," she said. "There's still a teen night, so it's going to be Teen Crafts every week and we're going to do a Tween Time where it might be a movie this week but it might be video games next week or crafts."

Additionally, there will be adult programs every Sunday afternoon except for the last two weeks in July, which will be held on Saturdays.

Tuller said they are cutting back on the amount of virtual programming they offer this summer, however they will record some of their in-person programming and post it to Facebook so people who are not comfortable coming are still able to have story time with their child, like with the Wee Readers Storytime program.

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When's the library's Summer Reading Kickoff event?

One big summer event for the library is their Summer Reading Kickoff event on June 4, it's a Farm Animal Story Walk.

At the event children come with their families and will have a tour guide to walk around the outside of the library where the 4-H members are bringing animals. 

"They'll get to go to each animals and have a story read to them, that way we're still distanced but it's still something fun," she said. 

Lexie Ortega, Teen Programmer at the library, said the event will have a "day at the farm" vibe.

The event is comparable to the library's past Day at the Farm event, but it's larger in scale and who it's being catered to, Ortega said. 

"For the Kickoff it's everyone ... usually it's a Wee Reader event, so this will be the first time that all of us are involved and all of us are going through it," she said. "We want it to be big, but we're excited to do it and practice social distancing so we can see how that all plays out."

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Ortega said she's excited to have summer programming this summer, especially the Summer Reading program, which was all virtual last summer.

"We were so sad," she said. "We got the call that we have to shut down for a bit, we'll work here and then we're not going to do summer reading, so everything we planned (is now gone)."

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What else is going on this summer at the Finney County Public Library?

Tuller said they're going to try to do a lot of their programs this summer outside so they don't have to require masks but still encourage social distancing.

The library's bigger events this summer will actually be with library attending other summer events, Tuller said. They'll be in the Beef Empire Days parade and they'll have booths at both Art in the Park and at Silver Sage Renaissance Festival. 

Tuller is most excited for the Silver Sage Renaissance Festival at Wildwood Park. 

"We're going to be doing a story telling booth as well as a build your own castle, we're going to have big boxes, like refrigerator and couch boxes, things like that so kids can come and build a castle," she said. "It's going to be fun."

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The Tweens & Teens Library Game on June 22 is another summer event, Tuller said. 

"We give them really goofy and difficult things to do while they have to be quiet," she said. "They have to unwrap Starburst with mittens on. They're in groups and they have to be quiet, it's going to be really interesting and I think they're going to have a really good time with it."

Additionally the library will host four mini book sales in partnership with the Friends of the Library, Tuller said. They're going to be genre sales, so one might only sell romance and mystery books and another might only have non-fiction.

"We're kind of excited about those because we've never done anything like that before and just to kind of see how that goes and get people back into books a little more," she said. 

For more information on the library's programs and events visit finneylibrary.evanced.info/signup or their Facebook Page, facebook.com/FinneyCountyPublicLibrary.