Library News

CHARLES TOWN – Librarians at the Charles Town Library regularly offer a roundup of upcoming events and news.

The library at 200 E. Washington St. in downtown Charles Town is open six days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; from 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For more information on any of the library’s offerings, call 304-725-2208 or go online to

‘Haunted’ on Saturday

Local author Ann Khiel Fern will delight us with new ghost stories not featured in her 2010 book, “Charles Town, West Virginia: A Haunted History.” Her book will be for sale and Fern will be available for signing at the event, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. She also will entertain questions from the audience.

Fern is the tour guide for the popular attraction, Charles Town Ghost Tours. For more, call the library or Fern at 304-724-6741.

Book Club to meet

The Charles Town Library’s Book Club meets from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, anyone can be a member of the Book Club simply by reading the month’s book and joining in the discussion. Regular and consistent attendance is not required. April’s book is the critically acclaimed “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson.

It is an account of the life of the Rev. John Ames and that of his father and grandfather, in the form of a letter to his 6-year-old son. The novel is a reflection of a life and meditations on faith, capturing life’s universals of strength, struggle, joy and forgiveness. It is a beautifully written novel and one that will set the reader to musing about his own life.

National Library Week

This is National Library Week, a time to celebrate the nation’s libraries and in particular, the Charles Town Library. It is a good time to come to the library, see what’s new and to think about the impact libraries have had on your own life.

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month – a time to celebrate poetry, poets and the art and craft of writing poetry. Poetry can transform our ways of thinking and being. Drop by the library and “check out” our poetry display. We have a somewhat idiosyncratic collection of poetry, but it is all top-notch. Also, take a look at the website, It is a treasure-trove of information about poets and poetry. You can listen to poets read their poetry and hear them talk about poetry, read the poem of the day, and access poems from the site.

Avoid the ‘summer slide’

Summer learning loss can be devastating to children, especially those children who have already fallen behind in the classroom. Without summer reading, a student will lose up to a month of instruction and be that much farther behind at the end of the summer break. Summer reading programs foster reading habits which provide the foundation for both academic and life success. Research studies indicate that the more a child reads, the better a child will write and spell; have a larger vocabulary; and have better control of complex grammatical constructions. As the old saying goes, “Readers are leaders.”

The library is an institution supportive of self-discovery through reading. Books can provide children and their families with access to new worlds, to diverse cultures, and to alternative views of thinking about the world. The Charles Town Library has a large collection of books geared towards children of all ages. We continually add new books to the collection and we are happy to order any books we may have overlooked.

The theme for this summer’s reading program, geared primarily for youth from kindergarten to 8th grade is, “Elect to Read.” Additional information will appear here, at the library’s website and on our Facebook page.

Young adult novels

Young adult novels are not just for young adults. Some of the very best writing produced today can be found in the highly imaginative and adventurous novels written for young adults. Note “The Hunger Games.” Many of the young adult novels published may not be quite the sensation, but they are beautifully and sensitively written. They tell captivating stories which can be compelling reading for adults.

Reading boundaries

The Charles Town Library has four categories of books for youth — picture books, early readers, middle school books and young adult books. One of the great difficulties of placing children’s books into these four categories is that a book often crosses over these boundaries. For example, there can be early readers that are also picture books. There can be middle school books that are intended to be read to a much younger audience. In addition, children read at very different levels. A third-grader might actually be reading at a sixth-grade level. When browsing for books for your children, don’t hesitate to look in multiple areas of the children’s section; or, ask the Librarian for reading suggestions.

Farming and the library

The Charles Town Farmers’ Market opens Saturday across the street from library. When you visit the Farmers’ Market, one can easily drop in to library, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

We have materials on local agriculture, sustainability, raising chickens in your own backyard, cookbooks, highlighting locally produced foods. We also have many useful and inviting books on gardening. The Farmers’ Market and library together — what could be better?

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