For the Chronicle
What’s all the rage about Transformers? Our local libraries were transforming individual lives and entire communities long before the modern movie superhero variety came along. And in observance of National Library Week, April 9-15, libraries across the U.S., including those in Citrus County, will be reminding their communities of just how they have been — and still are — transforming lives on a daily basis.
Whether through providing job-seeking resources, educational programs, or via the power of simply reading, local libraries are a force to be reckoned with.
“You can become an expert at anything of your choosing,” said Citrus County Library Communications Facilitator Ben Kampschroer. “And, we are here to help you find the tools and resources to do it.”
On a normal week, the Citrus County Library System can be counted on to provide a wide range of helpful and educational, and even physical, activities: From Tai Chi classes and instruction on growing or cooking with herbs and vegetables, to using a smart phone, woodworking or getting a high school diploma.
During National Library Week the focus will be shifting from programing to simply increasing awareness, Kampschroer said.
Of course awareness is a two-way street. As residents become more aware of the tools and resources their libraries offer today, libraries become aware of the ever-changing needs of the community and gear their strategies for the future.
In this vein, during National Library Week, Kampschroer said, local library branches will be highlighting some of their services and asking the community to share stories about their own experiences in the library.
“We want to hear stories from those in Citrus County about how the library has changed their lives,” Kampschroer said. This interaction will be achieved via forms available at all library branches and through various social media sites.
For example, on Facebook the library might pose the question: What do you use your library for and how has it helped you in the past? Those wishing to respond can simply click on the ”comment” button and then write away.
“People can use Twitter or Facebook to tell us their stories by using the hashtag #citruslibraries,” Kampschroer said. “They can also participate in the nationwide discussion by using the hashtag #librariestransform.” Or they can use both in the same post.
“One of the key messages that we are trying to communicate is that libraries are not just about what we have for people, but what we do for and with people,” Kampschroer said.
“One of our best transformative programs currently available is a free online high school program for adults 19 and over. Those ready to transform their lives and get their high school diploma, please take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible. The deadline to apply for the program is May 30. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/l8t8nac.
In addition to regular activities, the Citrus County Library System has scheduled a variety of special events at various branches during National Library Week and in observance of Easter, as follows:
* The Coastal Region branch in Crystal River will hold a meet-and-greet for adult patrons with the Friends of the Library at 10 a.m. Monday, April 10.
* The Homosassa Library will hold a Stampin’ Up greeting card-making class for adults, with Dana McClelland, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 11.
* The Coastal Region Library will hold an adult class on transforming sheets of tissue paper into decorative flowers from 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, April 11.
* The Floral City Library will hold a pre-school Egg-stravaganza, featuring an Easter egg hunt along with egg-themed stories, songs and activities, from 10:30-11:15 a.m. Wednesday, April 12.
* Coastal Region Library will have a young adult Tween and Teen Easter card-making class at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 12.
* Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills will present an adult program covering the latest information and research on autism, in observance of Autism Awareness Month, at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 13.
* At Lakes Region Library in Inverness, children can make bookmarks during a Make and Take Craft session at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13.
* The Homosassa Library will host a Poetry Party for young adults at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 13.
All library branches will be closed Friday, April 14, in observance of Good Friday. Normal hours will resume on Saturday, April 15.