Libraries swarm with activities

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s the heat, maybe people just want to be entertained – whatever the reason, folks are flocking to libraries this summer.
In addition to checking out books, movies and computers, folks are watching movies, making tie-dye and petting snakes at their hometown libraries.
“We have been busy. The computers are staying full, people are checking out books and DVDs and audio books for vacations,” said Annette McGregor, branch manager at the Pontotoc County Library. “We’re just extremely busy.”
The summer reading program, which lasts a full eight weeks, has been popular at the library this summer, she said. The library also screens children’s films.
“The kids bring in their sleeping bags and lay around on the floor, and we give them popcorn,” she said.
It’s special programs like these that are bringing in extra patrons to the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library, said Dotsy Fitts, head librarian.
Splatter painting, puppet shows, morning movies, Mad Scientist Day, tie-dying and programs about water safety, bugs and reptiles are just a few of the programs the library has featured this summer.
At the Lee County Library, Paws for Reading – an event for kids to read to dogs – and the summer reading program have been hits, said Director Jan Willis.
All librarians reported a jump in computer use this summer.
In light of the recession, some folks have done away with their computer or Internet connections and are taking advantage of the computers at the libraries.
Some are doing research, some are working on online classes, some are filling out online job applications.
Whatever the patrons’ reasons for coming in, libraries are glad to see more faces.
“When we open the doors, we have people waiting to come inside,” Fitts said. “The summer has been exceedingly busy.”
Contact Sheena Barnett at (662) 678-1580 or shenna.barnett@djournal.com.