It’s that time of year again when children head back to the classroom with their school supplies and new shiny shoes. New pencils and crayons prepare them for the creativity they will use and literacy they will develop. Backpacks will carry their projects home they’ve worked so hard on.
The Cooke County Public Library offers an additional school supply that isn’t on your list – a library card!
Library cards are now available in two formats. A library card will give access to all of the physical materials in the library while a newly offered digital card will give access to the abundance of digital materials now at the library.
Most of the elementary schools in Cooke County encourage or require their students to read some of the books recommended by the Texas Library Association and included in their reading lists. Members of the reading list committees, who are all teachers and librarians, read hundreds of books each year before they put the best ones on the list for children across the state to enjoy. These lists include:
• 2 x 2 Reading List, which is intended for children beginning at age 2 and extending to second graders who are reading independently;
• Texas Bluebonnet Award, which is directed to readers in grades 3 to 6;
• Texas Lone Star Nominees, which is a list for readers in grades 6 to 8.
The Leon and Winnie M. Liddell Library Fund and the Rosenstein Fund allow the Cooke County Library to purchase all of the books on these lists so local students have access to them. In the spring readers across the state who have read at least five of the Texas Bluebonnet Nominees will be allowed to vote for their favorite resulting in a winning book which is announced in April.
For older readers, ages 15 to 18, the library purchases books that are included in the Teens Top 10 Nominees list. This list is created based on nominations from teen readers. Readers then vote for their favorites narrowing the list down to 10 books. This list is curated by YALSA or the Young Adult Library Services Association.
The library offers multiple apps that make books and other materials available without entering the library. Several books from the reading lists mentioned previously, award winners and classic novels are also available in eBook or eAudiobook format:
• Libby is our newest and most popular app for digital materials. With this one app patrons can access eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital magazines. Here you will find bestseller titles from your favorite authors. Content is available for all ages;
• Freading offers eBooks for all ages. While you’ll find fiction and nonfiction, there is an abundance of material that is helpful for students including SAT or ASVAB test prep;
• Freegal is a one stop music app. Music can be streamed for three hours a day and five songs a week can be downloaded for free.
Classes for pre-schoolers, toddlers
In-person weekly children’s classes have resumed for the families looking for daytime routines with toddlers and preschoolers while the school kids are away. Each Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., children are invited to participate in interactive picture books, movement songs and crafts. We incorporate learning topics such as colors, shapes, and even sign language.
The classes are held on the south side of the library on the lawn. Bring a towel or blanket and join us. Weather conditions and the current health status of the county will be reevaluated to determine when classes are brought back inside.
Art and STEM
Along with bringing back in-person children’s classes, the library had success with in-person Art in the Stacks and STEMed Up classes this summer and plans to continue these classes into the school year. These classes are offered once a month, on an alternating basis, and are directed to children ages 8 to 12. Art in the Stacks is planned for September to introduce the participants to aboriginal art. There will be a colorful leaf painting while discussing warm and cool colors. This class will be Sept. 27 at 4:30 p.m. and will require preliminary sign-up.
Whatever your need this school year, the Library is here to guide you through your educational journey. Our hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 940-668-5530 or email@example.com. Curbside services are available during open hours.
Kimberly Reiter is the Associate Director and Children’s Class Coordinator at the Cooke County Library.