GALLIPOLIS — Animals, snow cones and balloon fun were what visitors found at the Bossard Library Saturday.
The event, featuring the BARKer Farm and the Mark Wood Fun Show, as well as free Kona Ice, was open to the public and also served as the finale to the summer reading program.
“We believe the library does belong to the community, so we love giving back,” Debbie Saunders, library director, said. “Giving community members community things to come out to… It just really gives us the opportunity to give families different opportunities in terms of animals, crafts, we have such a myriad of programs… We just like a whole variety of different type of activities so people can have these types of activities in their hometown.”
Saunders said BARKer Farm has visited for previous library events.
“They have a myriad of different farm animals for a petting zoo,” Saunders said. “We love to have the opportunity to get the community back out.”
From a camel and a porcupine, to a cow and llama, with a little in-between, BARKer Farm had a variety of animals for children and their families to learn about. The farm also provided cups of feed for each child.
After an up-close experience with the animals, visitors had the opportunity to hear a few jokes and see a few tricks as Mark Wood made each kid their own balloon animal.
“We also have Kona Ice, because on a day like today, this hot, it’s good to have snow cones for the kids,” Saunders said.
The library also had novelties for the kids to take home, as well as a calendar of events to keep up with the library.
Promoting and encouraging reading, the library had sign-ups for the Imagination Library.
“A representative from the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is here,” Saunders said. “Signing up kids ages birth to five, they can register for that free program and it provides that child a book of their very own in the mail each month. By the end of those five years they can have up to 60 books in their own personal library.”
Saturday’s event was expecting several hundred visitors throughout the day.
Saunders said Sept. 1 starts National Library Card Sign-up Month and the library will have new opportunities for visitors.
For that month, children who have never had a library card before, ages four to 12, signing up for their first library card can come in and get a River City Leather wallet, while supplies last, Saunders said.
The library is also offering something special for families in September.
“We also have something for families, maybe there’s kids that already have library cards or maybe they’re coming in to get that first card,” Saunders said. “One per family starting on Wednesday, while supplies last, we have COSI science kits — which is really something for everyone.”
Saunders said the library and staff encourage everyone to get a library card and take advantage of what it offers.
“We really want to encourage, both adults and children, to sign up for their library card because it does open up a world of opportunity,” Saunders said.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (740)444-4303 ext. 2555.