Fostering a sense of imagination in its new image, the Elkin Public Library has reopened its doors after a three-week hiatus for needed interior updates.
During the record-breaking cold snap in January, the library suffered damage when two water pipes broke, ruining its carpeting in areas, said Martha Smith, branch librarian.
Rather than replace the carpet immediately, the decision was made to hold off to secure funding for other much-needed upgrades to the facilities interior, she said. So for three weeks in August, the library closed its doors to patrons and encouraged them to keep visiting libraries by going across the river to Jonesville.
“We have new ceiling tiles, new LED lights, new paint, new window blinds and new carpet,” said Smith, who explained that the old carpet pattern was no longer available so they had to replace all of the carpet not just the portion ruined by water damage.
The carpet and installation was paid for with insurance carried by the town of Elkin and the Northwest Regional Library system. The other work was paid for by the Garland Johnson Fund for the benefit of the Elkin Public Library, which is an endowment held by the Winston-Salem Foundation to be used on physical enhancements to the facility.
The library reopened Aug. 28 with its new look, sparkling white walls featuring a blue line that circles the main room and occasionally includes quotes, inspirational thoughts, the outline of a tree or a kite, and other features reminiscent of the story, “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson.
“The carpet pattern has a blue line in it, so we used that to create the line around the wall and then that moved on to remembering the book,” Smith said.
“Harold is a little boy who draws on the wall,” she said, explaining that the purple crayon used by Harold creates stories of his imagination and he ends up going on an adventure finding a tree, a boat, going on a picnic and many other places until he ends up back in his bed. “It was all a trip of his imagination. That’s where we got the idea of line drawings on the wall.”
Unless someone was to count, they might not notice a few less shelving units in the upgraded library, but Smith said that was done in hopes of creating private tutoring areas in the future.
With the reopening of the library comes a busy fall schedule as it coincided with the end of summer vacation season. Last week, the children’s weekly reading programs for toddlers and preschoolers began again. Book Babies, for birth through 18 months and a caregiver, will be Thursdays at 10 a.m. through Dec. 13 and features stories, songs and movement. Friday Story Hour is held at 10 a.m. for Toddler Time of 18 months to 36 months, and at 11 a.m. for Preschool of 3 to 5 years on Sept. 14, 21, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 30 and Dec. 7 and 14.
Also, on the second Tuesday of each month, a new LEGO Builders Club is being hosted, where first- through sixth-graders can go from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and use their own creativity and the library’s LEGOs to build. To register, those interested should call the library at 336-835-5586.
Not to be left out, the Teen Book Club meets occasionally as well, with its next event scheduled for Sept. 27 from 4 to 5 p.m. to discuss Battle of the Book title, “Everlost” by Neal Shuslerman. Snacks are included, and those attending should RSVP to Amber at 336-835-5535.
Also, a Teen Free Paint event is scheduled for Sept. 19 from 4 to 5 p.m. for those ages 11 to 17, with all materials and a snack provided.
The other library activities include a catfish workshop by Kevin Hining of North Carolina Wildlife Commission, which will include a teaching session on catfish and fishing in the state, followed by a chance to go fishing in Elkin Creek with rods and reels provided for those who don’t bring their own. The workshop will be held Sept. 17 fro 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the library, and those interested should register by contacting Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 336-835-5586.
Activities for adults also are scheduled for September, with the Co-Ed Book Club at the Pub meeting Sept. 18 at Fiddles Pub to discuss “The Kill Artist” by Daniel Silva, and the Women’s Book Club meeting Sept. 20 at Dirty Joe’s North to discuss “Night Over Water” by Ken Follett. To sign up, register at the library’s front desk, call 336-835-5535 or email email@example.com.
Other events for adults include the acoustic string band jam session Sept. 17 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Vaya Health: Anxiety Disorders learning session for free Sept. 19 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
September is the month celebrated as Library Card Sign-Up Month, and anyone signing up for a card at the Elkin Public Library will be put in a drawing for a bookbag and mug.
Also, the Friends of Elkin Public Library will host their annual used book sale beginning Sept. 22. Preview night for members of the Friends of the Library will be Sept. 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with memberships available at the door for $15. The public book sale will begin Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will continue through Oct. 6 during library hours.
While Smith said she is thankful for donations for the sale, she said due to limited storage space no more donated books can be accepted until Nov. 1 and encouraged donors to either hold on to them until that time or donate them to other nonprofits in the region.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.