The 2014 Summer Reading Kickoffs started with a BOOM on June 2 at the Batesburg-Leesville and Chapin Branch Libraries. At the Gilbert-Summit Branch, the children celebrated our summer science theme by making batches of slime and having their photos taken with the mad scientist photo display. Irmo Branch prepared for the big day by sliming their meeting room! Youth Services staff were busy drawing, cutting, gluing, and hanging decorations until the entire children’s area and meeting room were slimed and “science-ified” from Einstein to signs of the elements hanging from the ceiling.
On June 4 the party moved to the Main Library where, per custom, the Library hosted the popular attractions: games; food; face-painting; a bounce house and slide; and, for the older youth, a rock climbing wall. The day concluded with the “After Party, Party” featuring the high energy performance of Story Squad. This wonderful event, which marks the “official” beginning of summer for so many families in our community, was made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Lexington Main Library and by many community partners including Air Fun Rentals, Kmart, Fatz Cafe, Donut Guy, Jimmy Johns, and Chick-fil-A.
Gaston Branch hosted their kickoff on June 5. There were five stations manned by our volunteers where children could make an ocean in a bottle, salt paint, color, have their face painted, and grab a snack. For the grand kickoff finale there were two science experiments. The first one was a coke and mento geyser, and the second experiment was learning how a balloon could inflate with soda. The kids used pop rocks and three different types of soda to see which one would blow up a balloon the fastest. Everyone had great time and laughed at Ms. Stephanie when she got all sticky in the name of science.
Cayce-West Columbia followed with their kickoff on June 5. This year’s event included something for all ages. Story Squad performed Once Upon a Time Remixed for the younger patrons, DNR set up an inflatable archery range for the teens, and Willie Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass performed for the adults. We also offered a gadget gallery for patrons to explore and ask questions about our downloadable services for eBooks, audio books, and magazines. The Friends of Cayce-West Columbia Branch Library sponsored the event and manned a membership and t-shirt sales table. One of the highlights of the evening was when the band called up our Jr. Volunteer Ella Thomas to play along with them. She and her family frequently play at Bill’s Pickin’ Parlor who graciously helped us in arranging the music for the event.
The turnout at all of our branches was wonderful! South Congaree-Pine Ridge, Swansea, and Pelion Branch Libraries brought our Kickoff celebrations to a close by June 7, and patrons are on their way to filling out those reading records! We look forward to seeing everyone throughout the summer months.