Charles Town Library planning talks, other events

CHARLES TOWN – August is over and students have returned to school, but we are still singing the praises of our summer readers. Our theme this summer was “Dig Into Reading” and our young readers really “dug into” the challenge!

Our program included five Wednesday programs for children ages 6 to 12. Our presentations covered a wide variety of topics revolving around the theme, such as the life of worms; digging into family history; safety with strangers; how banks work; and the importance of saving and digging up history through archeology.

We appreciate Mary Beth Grove from the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, Trooper Philip Kennedy from the West Virginia State Police, Karen Burkhart from Bank of Charles Town and Mia Parsons from the National Park Service for the time they spent planning and presenting these programs.

Farmer Forrest Pritchard will speak in Charles Town on Sept. 12.

Farmer Forrest Pritchard will speak in Charles Town on Sept. 12.

Younger children were invited to attend storytime on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. all summer long. There were also two “Craft and Storytime Saturdays” for this age group to enjoy.

However, the main focus of the Summer Reading Program was to keep children reading throughout the summer. Readers of all ages were encouraged to take home reading logs and strive for consistent daily reading. If a weekly reading log was returned with five out of seven days of logged reading, then the reader was able to “dig” for a prize at the circulation desk. A large barrel filled with pirate tokens revealed which prize the child had won. Prizes ranged from glow-in-the-dark bugs to pop-up books and small stuffed animals. Everyone seemed to have a great time digging for their reward!

The end of our summer reading concluded with a “Can you dig it?” 1960s-themed party. We did ’60s dances and made psychedelic bookmarks, love bead bracelets and spin-art. We feasted on tie-dyed cake and rainbow goldfish. Certificates, books and peace sign necklaces were given to all children who returned reading logs over the summer.

The program was highly successful and we hope that our readers had a good time learning and reading. In all, we had 108 children registered for the program who turned in 246 reading logs and logged 682 hours and 43 minutes of reading!

Congratulations to all of our readers. We hope that you will continue to visit the library throughout the school year and that next summer you will remember to invite all your friends to the library for more reading fun!

Coming up

For the month of September, the Charles Town Library is continuing its “Thursdays @ 7” programs with a book talk by local farmer Forrest Pritchard on Sept. 12.

His book, published this spring, “Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm” was named one of the best books of the summer by the publishing industry’s magazine, Publishers’ Weekly and National Public Radio’s weekly radio program about food, “The Splendid Table,” named it the best book of summer 2013.

Described as part memoir, part how-to book, “Gaining Ground” is the story of how Pritchard, recently graduated from college, set out to save his family farm in Berryville, Va. In a funny and deeply touching style, Pritchard writes about sustainable agriculture, its relationship with the land and ultimately the learning process.

Frank Surdu, a Civil War enthusiast, will entertain us with his knowledge of Civil War uniforms at 7 p.m. Sept. 19. Surdu will talk about the types of uniforms, the problems with the uniforms and equipage for both sides and will show visuals of unique and colorful uniforms from the Civil War.

On exhibit

“A Boy’s Interest Becomes a Man’s Obsession” is currently on exhibit at the Charles Town Library Gallery. It tells the story of a little boy who travels by trolley and then bus all over Washington, D.C. with his mother (who happens to be a third-generation Washingtonian).

Conversation is encouraged between boy and mother about the ever-changing landscape of D.C., and so begins the obsession. Spanning several decades, the exhibit of books, buses and trolley cars allows the viewer to examine the changes to our nation’s Capital through different types of travel and transportation memorabilia.

Accompanying the exhibit are printed directions on how to visit D.C. using public transportation, including a few suggestions on how to tour one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.

If you are a collector of artifacts or an artist and would like to exhibit at the Charles Town Library Gallery, please email the director at a description of your collection or art for consideration.

LEARN MORE: Visit the Charles Town Library at 200 E. Washington St., call 304-725-2208 or go online to

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