Gathered in a circle of comfortable couches parents and sons intently listen as the librarian, Gina Miller, explains the book-related activity: they are going to create their own spiderweb with written messages, just like Charlotte from E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Webb.” Using different colored yarn, the children, and a few parents, weave in and out of the furniture to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art and a one-of-a-kind memory that’s linked to the Madison Library and to a classic book. These unique activities and programs help make the Madison Library special for my family and so many families in the Rexburg area. They help us connect with literature, connect with friends, connect with the librarians, and connect with each other.
The love of literature starts young in our family. My wife always has a book in her hand and together we make sure to consistently read to our children from the moment they are born. The connection to books grows as we take them to Story Time at the Madison Library, enroll them in the Summer Reading Program, participate in “On the Same Page,” pick up STEM kits, enter (and sometimes win) contests, read the monthly books and prepare for the “Mother Daughter Book Club” and “Books for Boys.” The librarians masterfully create activities in each of these programs, giving our children memorable experiences related to books. These experiences help them deepen their love for literature and find likeminded friends.
Whether it is our oldest daughter connecting with the teen group on Discord or our youngest daughter tuning in to story time over Facebook Live, each member of the family appreciates the programs because they are fun, but also because they meet new friends and see old friends. During “Books for Boys” discussions and activities I have time to catch up with friends. My daughter reaches out to friends over the Discord teen channel. My sons eagerly await to see if their friends also read the month’s book and will attend the book discussion and activity. When their friends do come, they enjoy spending time with their friends and the librarians talking about a new favorite book.
None of these programs would mean a thing without the librarians who spend countless hours preparing the activities, snacks, and upcoming events. We know them by their first names. We see them in our churches, schools, and in the community. They always greet us with a warm smile and often know our names. They are what help make the Madison Library special!
The books, the programs, the librarians, all of them are great. They really serve one purpose, however, and that is to help us connect with each other. The memories we have made reading books together, participating in activities connected to the books, and enjoying the resources at the Madison Library has only helped us grow closer together as a family. I think the Madison Library and its programs were created just for families like mine. We have taken advantage of the programs at the library for nearly every age group. Because of these programs and the library, they have helped us connect with each other in a way I believe all families should consider.