Every week, local kids gather around the reading area of Chandler Sunset Library for hands-on crafts, story time and educational entertainment.
On June 18, more than a dozen kids ages seven and up, along with their parents, passed around buckets of earthworms during an event called Worm Drive the Musical, where children spent the time learning about the biology and impact of earthworms.
“The kids have so much fun with our presentation,” said Ron Wright, the event’s creator. “They learn a lot with the hands-on aspect.”
Multiple events like this take place every week at the Sunset branch library, in addition to a variety of other adult and teen reading programs, Administrative Librarian Sue Hoffman said. Story times for kids are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening on Tuesdays.
“The summers are usually crazy,” she said. “We have reading programs, and we also do art mural story times.”
A “read-your-way-to-the-ballpark” reading program, sponsored by the Arizona Republic, is offered for both kids and teens until July 31, during which kids can earn weekly prizes for reading a certain number of minutes. The final, bonus prize is a baseball ticket voucher to a Diamondbacks game.
Lillie Molnar, a south Tempe 17-year-old volunteering to help with the program, said she is busy handing out prizes all day long.
“They get motivated to read, and that’s really important,” she said. “I always encourage kids to read, because reading opens up a whole new world.”
Hoffman said kids are encouraged to read daily for prizes, including stickers for the younger adolescents and larger prizes for the teens, such as an Apple iPad.
Adult book clubs also meet regularly at the branch.
“The goal of our programs is really just to get people reading,” Hoffman said.
A glance around the library’s entryway gives patrons a quick look at the large area dedicated to computers with high-speed Internet access. Members can use computers at any time, provided the work stations aren’t already occupied.
A mix of middle school students and adults frequently use the computers for school and work purposes, says Hoffman. With a large number of companies requiring employees to apply online, the Sunset Library staff helps many residents with online applications.
“Right now, we have a lot of people job-hunting,” Hoffman said. “We’re always helping people with their resumes.”
Whether patrons are using computers or checking out books, there is always a community of support at the Sunset branch.
“All of our patrons are awesome,” Hoffman said. “The community is very supportive of the library, and people are generally pretty happy.”
For more information on upcoming events, go to www.chandlerlibrary.org .
Chandler Sunset Library is located on the northeast side of Rural and Ray roads, and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.