By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

GRAPELAND – In Grapeland, the local library is more than just a place to borrow a book.

The Grapeland Public Library also is the place where children can enhance their love of learning and reading, a resource to find needed data or genealogy information, a place where the public can use one of 11 computers to access the Internet, or even borrow one of 500 DVDs.

Grapeland Public Librarian Ashley Corns is particularly excited about a few of the upcoming events planned for children this summer.

TEXAS A&M CHEMISTRY ROAD SHOW FOR KIDS

The library will sponsor a “Texas A&M Chemistry Road Show” at noon Friday, June 2 at Grapeland Elementary School gymnasium.

“It’s a free event and we really hope to see all the kids in Grapeland. It’s going to be fun,” Corns said. “It’s a great chance for kids to learn about science while being entertained.”

While the goal is to educate and entertain the children, Corns said the chemistry road show is more like a “chemistry magic show.”

SUMMER READING CLUB

A Summer Reading Club also is planned for area children with activities set June 13 through July 3. This year’s theme is “Building A Better Future.”

“We will be using lots of Legos™ to make Legos™ crafts,” Corns said. “We also will do a Kindle Fire™ giveaway.”

The Summer Reading Club is a “first come, first serve” program open to children ages 2 to 9 that will meet one or two times a week.

“We will do 30 minutes of reading or have a guest speaker and the rest of the time we will use to do crafts,” Corns said. “We have some really cool crafts planned using the Legos™.”

Examples of some of the crafts planned include building landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, racing cars made from Legos™ and racing them, and making a Lego™ man to go down a zipline.

“Whatever our craft will be, our book will be geared toward it,” Corns said.

Only 15 spots are available for the Summer Reading Club, which currently have been filled. Parents interested in signing up their child can have their child’s name put on a waiting list.

“If those who signed up don’t show up, we will start calling the waiting list,” Corns said. “We do ask parents who have children younger than 5 years old to stay with their child during the Summer Reading Club.”

WEEKLY PROGRAMS

At 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday, the library hosts “Wiggles & Giggles” for pre-school aged-children and under, geared toward those age 2 to 4.

“We do reading and a craft. It lasts about an hour,” Corns said. “We encourage parents to bring their children.”

Every other Tuesday, a genealogy class is held at 2 p.m. at the library. The next class is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 9.

Free guitar lessons are offered at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. To sign up, call or visit the library.

BOOKS

Currently, the Grapeland Public Library has 9, 592 books available for patrons to check out. This includes an estimated 2,500 fiction books, 2,700 children’s books, 200 books about Texas and about 500 DVDs.

Some of the newest additions to the library include the following books: “The Devil’s Triangle” by Catherine Coulter, “Vicious Circle” by C.J. Box and “Orbiting Jupiter” by Gary D. Schmidt. New children’s DVDs include “Trolls” and “Storks.”

“We are always trying to stay current as we possibly can. We are constantly adding new materials as long as we have the funds,” Corns said.

The library recently received a $5,000 Tocker Grant that can only be used to purchase library materials.

“If you have a suggestion for something we should get, please contact us at the library. We are open to suggestions,” Corns said.

If there’s a book that a patron wants that is not available at the library, Corns said the library can either get the book through an interlibrary loan or by purchasing the book.

LIBRARY CARD

Library cards are free to the public. Those with a library card can check out the 10 library items at a time. Books can be kept for two weeks, while DVDs can be kept for five days. Patrons do not have to be Houston County residents to get a library card.

“Just come in and fill out a library card application. It takes about 10 minutes,” Corns said.

Books can be reserved online via the website www.grapelandlib.org or the library’s new app, which features an online catalog and a place to make online donations to the library via Paypal.

COMPUTERS

The library has 11 computers with Internet access that the public can use for free.j

“They don’t need a library card to use the computers, though we prefer them to get a library card. There is no time limit on using the computers,” Corns said.

COPIES

The library also allows the public and its patrons to make copies and to fax documents. Black-and-white copies are 10 cents a page, while color copies are $1 a page. The cost to fax a document is $1 per page.

MEETING ROOM

The library offers a board room for groups that need somewhere to meet for a small donation to the library, according to Corns.

HISTORIC DONATION

A new display at the library is a 1901 copy of the Grapeland Messenger newspaper, donated by Scott and Connie Owens. The couple found the historic newspaper on their farm in a barn.j

“We have it framed. We also have made copies of the pages and will be putting it in a folder for the public to view,” Corns said.

BOOK & GARAGE SALE

The library will hold its Memorial Day Weekend Book & Garage Sale on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27 starting at 8 a.m. each day at the library.

OTHER EVENTS

The library will sell hot dogs as a fund-raiser on Saturday, May 6 at the International Barbecue Cookers Association’s Cook off & Car Show. The event will be held at the Grapeland City Park.

The library will be one of the non-profit organizations that will have a booth during the event, expected to draw out-of-town participants.

The Grapeland Chamber of Commerce will hold the opening day of the Grapeland Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13 on the library grounds. The event will feature live music.

The Farmer’s Market will continue each Saturday through June 17 on the library grounds from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

DONATIONS

Donations to the Grapeland Public Library can be made in person at the library, by mailing Grapeland Public Library, P.O. Box 879, Grapeland, Texas, 75844, or online at www.grapelandlib.org/ via Paypal.

HOURS

The Grapeland Public Library is open from 10 a.. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday with additional honors on Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. The library is located at 212 N. Oak St. in Grapeland. For more information, call the library at 936-687-3425.

“The library is housed in a historic building, previously a Methodist church and now transformed into a library. It’s like a piece of art,” library board member Linda Reed told the Messenger.

The library also is the “hub of the community.”

“We are the new beauty shop in town, if you want to know what’s going on, come to the library,” Corns said.