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Area libraries showcased, encourage participation in summer reading programs

Staff WriterMay 25, 2019

BELLE FOURCHE — The Tri-State Museum and Visitor held its monthly Family Fun Day on Sunday. Entitled “Fairytales and Folktales,” it offered visitors a chance to see a film of a folktale, make a royal goblet, participate in a book drawing, and enjoy refreshments. But it was an especially festive event, with appearances by some literary “celebrities” from the area: Librarians from Belle Fourche, Whitewood, Sturgis, and Sundance, Wyo.

Each librarian had a table filled with colorful books, posters, pamphlets, and signage promoting the summer reading theme, which is “A Universe of Stories.” The theme keys off of the fact that this is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Mission, and outer space was uppermost in the minds of the librarians.

Whitewood librarian Rea Weyrich delighted parents and children by making a presentation on behalf of her library while dressed in full astronaut gear. The Whitewood Museum will feature a cool space station and “rocket” for kids to explore, as well as a dark room with glow in the dark items, including lava lamps. Space-related reading events go on throughout July as well as an event called Waffle Wednesdays and Bingo.

Sturgis librarian Kathy Dykstra explained that her library’s summer reading program will be augmented by an Apollo presentation at the Sturgis Community Center, during which participants can listen to audio of the historic moon landing. The Journey Museum’s planetarium will also be at the Sturgis Community Center on June 20.

Belle Fourche librarians Wanda Nelson and Betty Casper — dressed in “Universe of Stories” T-shirts — provided information about their summer program, including the fact that there will be a theatrical production, “My Mother the Astronaut,” performed by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company on July 11 at the Belle Fourche Area Community Center.

The Crook County Libraries include branches in Sundance, Hulett, and Moorcroft, Wyo. Sundance librarian Bonnie Stahla presented at a table arrayed with books and information about her library’s summer reading program, including events such as “Shoot for the Moon” activity for preschool-kindergarten students on June 12 and a “Soaring Spaceships” activity for children of the same age group, on June 19.

All librarians encouraged people from any community to visit and participate in their programs; for further details contact the respective libraries.

After their presentations, the four librarians and museum staffers each chose a storybook to read aloud and took up places in the museum for families and sit and listen.

“Museums and libraries are natural collaborators,” said Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center Director Kristi Thielen. “We hope this is just the beginning of cross-promotion and opportunities for these libraries and the Tri-State to engage in mutually supportive programming.”

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