Coordinator plans new programs

Shelley Merrell, youth services coordinator at Huntingdon County Library, has a variety of programs and activities planned to encourage interaction and exploration for kids.

The Huntingdon County Library has welcomed Shelley Merrell of Huntingdon to its staff as youth services coordinator.

Merrell is enthusiastic in her mission of sustaining and organizing programs to engage youngsters and get them involved in a wide variety of activities at the local library.

“I think our library has changed quite a bit over the years,” Merrell said. “It’s really an interactive space where there are building materials and play areas for kids.”

Quite corners and nooks for reading are ever-present, but the library also offers programs which promote active minds and active bodies.

“We have ways for kids to do hide and seek searches in the library,” she said. “It’s a space where they can come and have a good time and learn about the great books we have there.”

Programs gearing up in February include the return of the Preschool Story Time and Toddler Time programs. Toddler Time will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Preschool Story Time will continue to be offered at 10:30 a.m. Mondays.

A new activity to be added to the roster is “After-School Artists,” an art club to be held from 6-7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month.

“It will run while Art Walk Huntingdon is going on,” said Merrell. “It will be for school-age kids, kindergarten through fifth grade.”

The ever-popular Lego Club will also continue, but will convert to a once-a-month schedule.

“I think the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs that have gone on in the past have been pretty enjoyable and I think the art club will be something kids will like to do. It’s something different that hasn’t been offered before. I thought it would be nice to have the kids come down to participate.”

All events at the library are listed on the website at huntingdonlibrary.org.

“We’re already thinking ahead to the summer reading program, which will be ‘A Universe of Stories,’ with lots of STEM projects,” she said. “We’re planning to do an event with the Isett Community Swimming Pool and a few things with Juniata College as well.”

Pop-Up! Library events will continue to be scheduled in the future.

“It’s really important for kids to know they have this space to learn and grow in the community,” she said. “My goal is to really hear from the kids about what they want to see at the library and facilitate involvement for them.”

April can be reached at afeagley@huntingdondailynews.com.

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