Library shifts gears heading into January

Matt Gardner
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As its holiday programming wraps up, the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library is looking ahead to a variety of winter programs for children and parents.

Registration has begun for a variety of winter story time programs for different age groups at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library. Parents may register their children for the programs online or by calling the library at (306) 763-8496.

Recent weeks had seen the library focus primarily on showing family films, which attracted sizeable audiences over the course of the holiday season.

“We had a movie every day at 2 o’clock, and we were averaging about 60 people per movie,” program services supervisor Kim Bear said.

To the delight of children who attended, most of the films shown were new releases, including titles such as Monsters University, The Croods and Planes.

Bear indicated that the library’s emphasis on films over the holidays was in part a recognition of seasonal realities.

“We can’t hold too many programs where there’s registration or even drop-in, because we just don’t know if we’ll get the attendance that’s needed -- because a lot of people go away for the holidays,” she said.

Yet Bear noted the library actually becomes busier during the holiday season, as it experiences an influx of children enjoying their time off school with parents in tow.

In that context, the films are a popular option for families looking for something to do together over the holidays.

“We have the movies mostly because it’s cold out and families want to get out of their house,” Bear said.

She added, “It’s not a major thing to bundle up their kids for a movie, whereas some other kind of program, they’d have to phone in to register. So it’s just kind of an easy family thing to do.”

With the holiday season now coming to an end, the library is preparing to shift gears back to its usual eclectic mix of activities.

Currently taking centre stage are the library’s winter story time programs, which start next week. Registration for the programs began on Friday.

“What we have are all-different age groups … People can phone to register their children for any of those programs,” Bear said.

All of the programs go beyond merely reading stories for the children.

“A story time would consist of maybe a finger puppet play, a story, a song, something like that, and then maybe a craft at the end,” Bear said.

People can phone to register their children for any of those programs. Kim Bear

Four different story time programs each cater to different age groups.

Bring Your Babies is a 20-minute program suitable for infants under two years old accompanied by an adult, which takes place on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 11 p.m. and includes stories, rhymes, bounces and songs.

At the next level is Time for Twos, which is targeted at two-year-olds and their parents and takes place on Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

“They’re here for a little bit longer than the babies, about half an hour, and they obviously get a book to read,” Bear said.

“They get to do colouring at the end, and of course we dance and do one or two finger plays with them (using) little puppets.”

Preschool Story Time is a 45-minute program aimed at children aged three to five. It includes stories, finger plays, songs, colouring, crafts and other activities and takes place on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m.

Finally, an afterschool program for older children, Four O’Clock Fun, takes place on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. Suitable for children aged six to nine, the program includes more advanced activities such as crafts and experiments.

A drop-in story time that does not require registration is also available for children aged two to five years old.

In addition to the winter story time programs, other events at the library in January include a family drop-in craft session on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m. involving the creation of tissue paper snowmen, as well as the Read with the Raiders club meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Parents may register their children for the winter story time programs by calling the library at (306) 763-8496 or by registering on the online programs calendar at

Each program lasts nine weeks, with the last week of story times for the winter session taking place the week of March 3-7.

Organizations: Monsters University

Geographic location: Planes

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