December 21, 2014

Area libraries ready to splash into the summer

Kevin Drescher
2 1/2-year-old Marshall Brandt, pets Sampson, a 7 1/2 foot long boa constrictor, Thursday afternoon at the Mary Johnston Memorial Library in Standish. Samson was brought to the library along with many other reptiles for a 2 p.m. show by R.E.P.T.I.L.E. Inc.
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STANDISH — The appearance of Sampson the red-tailed boa constrictor in the AuGres and Standish branches on Thursday helped the Iosco-Arenac District Library slither its way into the start of the “Make a Splash 2010 Reading Club.”

With shows at both libraries, REPTILE Inc. owner Michael Brophy brought many other cool-looking animals, along with the estimated 7.5 foot long snake, to kick off the libraries’ long list of educational adventures that will visit all branches this summer.

“They are fun. It’s new stuff this year. (We have) three new programs this year,” said Lynn Bigelow, Iosco-Arenac District children’s and teen services coordinator. “The reptile guy we have had before, and he is great.”

Children will have the chance to learn about things like dinosaurs and the art of paleontology with the dinosaur adventurer PaleoJoe on June 30, while magician Doug Scheer will amaze young and old with his family fun show “Aqua-Kadabra” on Thursday, July 8.

Michigan native Kevin Devine brings his musical circus to both towns on Thursday, July 22.

Shepherd-based nonprofit group “Live Birds of Prey,” swoop in with owls and hawks on Thursday, July 22, while partygoers in the city by the bay, and Standish get to enjoy a “Rock and Roll Beach Party” on Thursday, July 29.

Even though one event has already past, Bigelow said that there is still plenty to come and see.

“PaleoJoe is well known, (and) he’s going to have a T-Rex tooth. Aqua-Kadabra, he is so good, (because) he teaches you things that you didn’t know. Kevin Devine, he is new, (but) he grew up in Michigan,” said Bigelow. “Live Birds of Prey have been in the area. We just have never got them to the library.”

Last year the library had a “Rock and Roll” party, but Bigelow said while that was fun, this year could be better.

“Last year we just had a “Rock and Roll” party. This time it is going to be a Beach Boys songs and the boardwalk,” she said. “(Last year) My face actually hurt because it was so fun.”

Though the reptiles slithered through both libraries on Thursday, Bigelow said that they could only hope that people show up like they did that day.

“In Standish yesterday, we had over 71 kids and 28 adults. The reptiles were huge,” she said. “All of our performers are from Michigan, except the Rock and Roll Beach Party. I think the Birds of Prey will be popular.”

District Library Director Stephanie Olson also hopes that those young at heart come out to see the educational acts.

“My thing is that they are professional performers, and they’re so good. If you can’t make it, check the program and maybe you can catch it at one of our other branches,” she said about the library, which has branches in Tawas City, AuGres, Standish, Whittemore and Plainfield. “They are in your backyard, and they are for free.”

Even though she would like to see everyone come out for the summer programs, Bigelow said that she just wants to see children come in and spend time at the library.

“I just really want the kids to get to the library,” she said. “We have almost everything; if not, we can get it for you. The library is free to anyone at any age.”

“Make a Splash 2010 Summer Reading Club” program Schedule:

PaleoJoe Dinosaur Adventurer: Wed., June 30, 10:30 a.m. at AuGres and 2 p.m. at Standish

Aqua Kadabra Family Fun Show: Thursday, July 8, 10:30 a.m. at AuGres and 2 p.m. at Standish

Kevin Devine’s Musical Circus: Thursday July 15, 10:30 a.m. at AuGres and 2 p.m. at Standish

Live Birds of Prey: Thursday, July 22, 10:30 a.m. at AuGres and 2 p.m. at Standish

Rock and Roll Beach Party: Thursday, July 29, 10:30 a.m. at AuGres and 2 p.m. at Standish

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