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East County Regional Library has full Nov. calendar

Upgrades made to technology and library carpet

November 7, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Family is the mantra at the East County Regional Library, and continues to be the focal point as staff creates new activities and programs are added to the monthly calendar.

"When you see Grandma and Grandpa, a cousin visiting, siblings together, mom and the kids, and the dad and children, a blended family . . . that just brings so much joy to our hearts. They are coming here," Regional Branch Manager Samantha Wallace said. "They could have gone to the mall, stayed home. They could have went to Redbox and got a couple of movies. No, they come here. That brings a smile to our face."

The November calendar is packed with activities for the entire family to enjoy.

"We have a lot going on in November," Head of Youth Services Kamara Shonhai said.

The library's storytime kicked off last week, with the first Family Storytime taking place last Saturday, Nov. 2. The next Family Storytime will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.

Shonhai said the storytime is for children birth to 5 years old and focuses on the entire family enjoying pre-reading skills, songs, rhymes, finger plays and stories.

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Toddler Tales is held every Tuesday at 10 a.m. for ages 18 to 36 months old. Baby Rhyme Time, birth to 18 months old, is held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. Preschool Storytime, for those 3 to 5 years old, is held every Thursday at 10 a.m.

R.E.A.D. to Dogs will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

Library Teen Talk will continue from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19. Shonhai said it is a great way for their staff to get to know their teen patrons.

"We present a question each week that is relevant to them," she said about the hour long discussion. "We keep it interesting and ask those questions that are going to get those teens talking."

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, there will be a "Way Back Movie Wednesday for Tweens" from 5 to 7 p.m.

"They get to watch a movie from before they were born," Shonhai said of "Good Burgers."

Wallace said she has asked Shonhai and Sarah Allision to plan two events every quarter that are family related.

"I want those two entities to come together and do a collaborative program for families. That is something kind of new that we are moving towards, more family involvement," she said.

The first of the family programs was held on Nov. 4 for an International Games Week: Family Game Night.

There are many programs offered for adults, many of which are based around technology. There is a Word and Excel Basics program from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, which requires preregistration.

A social media basics program will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 and a NaNoWriMo: Come Write In from 6 to 7 p.m.

A Download Drop-in program will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, Nov. 25. Wallace said adults bring in their personal devices and receive help on such topics as downloading eBooks, movies, music, as well as using their OverDrive and Hoopla accounts.

"You don't have to register for that. They can get hands-on assistance with these different things," Wallace said.

The Friends of the Library Book Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. The last 30 minutes to an hour a managers special will be held, which will not be revealed until that day.

"We are asking our community to come out," Wallace said. "All of the books that are sold are gently used books from our collection. We have movies, DVDs, books on CD and hard copy printed books. They are in great condition. We ask that our community come out and make those purchases. The Friends take those dollars and reinvest those in our programs here at East County Regional Library."

In addition, for those who would like to find out more information about the Friends of the Library are invited to attend their meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. The membership fee, for those who would like to join, is $5. The meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month.

"We want people to come out and join and listen in on the meetings. They are very beneficial. They enjoy what we are doing at the library and they support us. It's a wonderful partnership," Wallace said.

In addition to all the programs, Wallace said there have also been some upgrades completed at the library. She said they had a 70-inch monitor installed, new sound system, wireless microphone, which also helps with announcements in the Youth Services area.

"We are tickled pink about the new upgrades," Wallace said.

The meeting room is what received the improved sound system with the theater type viewing screen.

"It is amazing. Everything has been made simple. There is a surround sound in there with a control panel where staff has easy access when teaching big programs to our kids, or our adult population, or our families. We are so excited that we have this new technology put into place," Wallace said.

If that was not enough, the library also has new carpet with different colors highlighting the different sections.

"We have new carpet and our carpet has a message behind it," Wallace said. "We chose blue and charcoal gray because we want our adults to feel relaxed in a soothing atmosphere when they come into the library."

Once patrons venture into the Youth Services section they will see a sun burst of orange with a hint of gray and white.

"It is a bright radiant color. It's not overpowering. It's very upbeat and uplifting for our youth," Wallace said.

The teen area has earthy greens with a hint of gray and white because they want teenagers to start thinking about the earth.

Wallace said they also wanted to open up their youth area with a new look and will be asking their patrons to vote on their favorite new entrance to the area.

With all the new improvements, she said their door count, in regards to the number of patrons visiting the library, "are off the charts."

"We used to say we get about 100 to 150 teens a day. We have thrown that number to the side," Wallace said, adding that now they get around 250 teens on a daily basis.

The number of tweens visiting the library has also increased, due to this demographic having their own brand new space at the library.

"We keep growing. It's phenomenal. The people are coming to their library and that is what we want to see," Wallace said.

The three R's of East County Regional Library are "reliable, relevant and robust."

"We want Lehigh to know that the people here at East Lee County Regional library enjoys serving them on a day to day basis," Wallace said.

East County Regional Library is located at 881 Gunnery Rd. For more information, call (239) 533-4200, or to see a complete list of the programs visit www.leegov.com/library/programs.

 
 

 

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