Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch hosts evening story times | ParkRecord.com

Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch hosts evening story times

Alice Altschuler, 3, and Bean Altschuler, 5, front from left, reach their arms to the sky during an sing-along dance at the Summit County Library's Evening Story Time Thursday evening, January 4, 2018. The siblings were joined by their parents Sarah Altschuler and Walt Wehner. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

The Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch offers story times for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents during the day throughout the week, but sometimes parents can take the time off to bring their kids in.

So Youth Services Librarian Kirsten Nilsson decided to host a weekly evening story time for families at 5 p.m. every Thursday. The story times will continue through the middle of May.

"The reason why it started is because a patron emailed us," Nilsson said. "She told me she couldn't come during our daytime story time with her child, and asked if we had anything in the evening."

Nilsson had been thinking of starting an evening story time for quite a while.

"I was a little reluctant to do it because it would be held during dinner time and I didn't know if anyone would be interested," she said.

The librarian decided to give it a try and held the first a few weeks ago.

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"We had 15 people attend," Nilsson said. "The week after that, we welcomed 25 people. Those were considerable amounts of people who wanted to come to the library on a weekday evening."

Many of the participants were families Nilsson had not seen at the daytime story times.

"That was pretty exciting for me," she said.

The evening story times follow the same format as the daytime sessions.

"We read books, sings songs and do a craft," Nilsson said. "The difference is that it's geared to all ages, rather than just toddlers or preschoolers."

Nilsson, who is known as Ms. Kristen during the story times, usually thinks about four- and five-year-olds when she puts the programs together.

"Then I add songs and other elements for younger kids," she said. "I make sure we have books and stories that will be appropriate. So if one book doesn't work, the next one will. Now, a librarian has to be flexible because if families with only two-year-olds show up, I have to do something just for two-year-olds."

One of the highlights for Nilsson is the crafts.

"I love to watch kids and parents work together," she said. "They have a lot of fun."

The craft is based on a theme and has a connection with the stories.

"A few weeks ago, we had a story time about cookies, so for the craft we cut out paper gingerbread cookies and had the kids decorate them with all kids of glitter and sparkles, some of the things that parents don't want to clean up at home," Nilsson said with a laugh. "The crafts are easy, because we need to make sure little fingers can do them."

Offering an evening story time is one of the ways the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch has adapted to the needs of the community.

"While there are still many moms and dads who come with their kids during the day, there are families that are interested in coming during the evening," Nilsson said.

A free evening story time will be held at 5 p.m. every Thursday at the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch, 1885 W. Ute Blvd. Kids can join Ms. Kirsten for picture books, finger plays, puppets, dancing and all kinds of library story time fun. The event is open to all ages and family members. For information, visit http://www.thesummitcountylibrary.org.