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Seaford Public Library inspires children to read

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The Seaford Public Library’s children’s room was busy with young readers and families coming and going on May 4 for the library’s Children’s Book Week.

“Everyone was doing a little something,” said Jacqueline Lopez, the head of children’s services at the library. “They were checking out books.”

As families approached the children’s department resource desk, they likely first noticed a plush Grogu, or “Baby Yoda,” from the television show “The Mandalorian.” Library patrons had the chance to take it home in a raffle to celebrate Children’s Book Week May 3-8.

But “Baby Yoda” wasn’t the only prize for the young readers. Nearby was a big jar of crayons that children could win by guessing their number.

The day’s events also included two scavenger hunts in which participants had the chance to win $25. The Indoor Spring Scavenger Hunt encouraged young readers to explore their local library’s children’s room, and the Get to Know Your Library Scavenger Hunt involved challenges throughout the facility.

“We were trying to get a lot of the kids to participate in Children’s Book Week to celebrate books and enjoy reading,” Lopez said. “It was nice to see the kids and the parents helping them.”

According to library Director Frank McKenna, Children’s Book Week dates back to 1913, when Franklin K. Matthews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, proposed its creation while touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s books.

“I agree with Frederic G. Melcher, the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly, who worked along with Franklin Matthews, in originating Children’s Book Week,” McKenna said, “that ‘a great nation is a reading nation’ and that ‘children’s books and literacy are life-changers.’”

He added that, as always, he was proud of Lopez and her staff for creating a series of fun and engaging events to celebrate the week. “We’ve seen a steady stream of kids and their parents come into the library to participate,” McKenna said, “and that makes us all happy.”

The children’s room has plenty to explore, from graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction to picture books. The library has been open for limited browsing since last summer.

And librarians are encouraging Seaford’s kids to embark on another reading adventure with them through the Summer Reading Program, which starts in June. The library also offers virtual programs and “take-and-make” crafts, which have become increasingly popular among children and their families.

To see activities for children, teens, adults and seniors, go to www.seafordlibrary.org.