By: By Lisa Bowden - Contributing columnist

Endings are new beginnings.

I love that phrase, and it certainly applies to the Youth Services Department at the Robeson County Public Library. Our regular program season is wrapping up for the summer, but as everyone knows our Summer Reading Program is about to start. This is our busiest time of the year and I’m still so surprised that more people aren’t taking advantage of it. Let me share with you some of the highlights for this summer as a way of enticing you to bring out the children.

This year we have our ever-popular storytimes. Every branch will be visited, and we will present a free storytime to keep children reading. It’s important for children to experience reading when they aren’t at school. This builds fluency, and the exposure to stories just for the joy of it builds a true interest. The children that read all summer go back to school prepared to grow and not just spending time “warming up” for their academic year.

Also this summer we have special programs and guests to get children into the library and see how fun the library can be. Our theme this year is Libraries Rock, so what better way to kick off the summer program than with a rock-painting party? Come to the library June 23 from 10 a.m. to noon for a fun time full of painting and music.

Our first guest is the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences coming June 20 to our Pembroke and Lumberton locations. They will be presenting their popular reptiles and discussing what we’re likely to see in our own state. But we also have two new programs coming and I’m truly excited about them.

A library can’t rock without some music, so we’re hosting a rock ‘n’ roll concert for children of all ages. Big! Bang! Boom! will be singing some of their most in-demand tunes for us. They will perform in our Pembroke and Lumberton locations and this concert will blow the rooftops off! Come dance and sing along with us. This program is especially planned because of the state’s Libraries Rock summer reading theme. Don’t miss this one.

Our second new program is Hawk Manor Falconry from Lillington. Because animals seem to be what children love, we planned this special program focusing just on birds of prey. Chip Gentry is a master falconer who will introduce us to owls, falcons, and hawks and educate us about how they live in North Carolina. What do they eat? Where do they sleep? How do you train a bird of prey? Come and ask him questions and be ready to duck!

Our summer reading programs start June 18 and run through Aug. 4. We will be having our reading program for the kids with a reading log and fun prizes when the log is completed. If you can’t make our spectacular programs, you can certainly come by and get a reading log and keep up with that reading.

If you want to know about times and locations, please see our website, www.robesoncountylibrary.org or call the Youth Services Department at 910-738-485, Ext. 310. Many of our programs will reach capacity so please call and let us know that you want to come.

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By Lisa Bowden

Contributing columnist

Lisa Bowden is the Youth Services librarian at the Robeson County Public Library.

Lisa Bowden is the Youth Services librarian at the Robeson County Public Library.