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Library plans new programs for community

Phyllis Bagaley, left, of Gibsonia and Dorothy Brooks, center, of Saxonburg play their weekly game of mahjong with Phyllis Bobeck of Sarver at the South Butler Community Library in December.

South Butler Community Library officials are hoping new and creative activities planned will safely entertain and connect those in the Saxonburg area, book enthusiast or not, during the cold winter months.

Michelle Lesniak, library director, announced the programs Monday.

Virtual storytimes on Facebook and Youtube for toddlers and preschoolers will be offered, as they were last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Families can pick up craft kits at the library that correspond with the virtual storytimes, Lesniak said.The library's Elementary Explorers program for children in kindergarten through sixth grade once again will be held through take-home challenges, which can be picked up at the library on Main Street in Saxonburg.Adults, families and veterans in the library's large coverage area also will be afforded opportunities to participate in winter programs at the library.“We want to have a broader appeal to the community, and we are trying to get them to know each other and interact,” Lesniak said.A new Community Wall will offer a rotation of themed displays, which will include photos, artistic arrangements, personal collections and the opportunity for the public to share feedback on displays to grace the wall.For January, Lesniak has chosen “We Love Pets — Pet Parade” for the Community Wall.She said residents can draw or print a photo of their pet, write the pet's name, the owner's first name and a fun fact about the pet, then submit it to the library by Jan. 18 for display on the wall.“People love their pets, and the pet parade in town was canceled last year,” Lesniak said. “We're hoping people will be creative.”Another new activity is a pine cone winter village to be set up in the large front windows at the library.Residents are invited to create people, animals, buildings and other features out of pine cones and give them to the library for the village.“It's a great chance to take a walk and gather a few pine cones for your project,” Lesniak said.Pine cone creations will be accepted until Jan 29, and the village will be on display from Jan. 31 through Feb. 12.The library will host veterans who are seeking employment assistance from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24.The event is the result of the library's new partnership with PA CareerLink, which will have a representative on hand to assist veterans, Lesniak said.The Puzzle Exchange that has been ongoing at the library for a couple of years also will continue this winter, from Jan. 24 through Feb. 5.Residents can bring in a jigsaw puzzle they have completed and pick up a new one from those donated.“There are over 100 puzzles ready to go, with the selection changing daily as new puzzles are donated and exchanged,” Lesniak said.She looks forward to the new programs and hopes all area residents will participate.“We want to be more interactive with everyone, even beyond books,” Lesniak said. “We're excited to try and find the people in the community who may think the library is not for them and have them try it out and say, 'Hey, the library offers something I'm interested in.'”The South Butler Community Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, and from 9 a.m. to noon Fridays and Saturdays.More information on the winter programs is available at southbutlerlibrary.org or by calling 724-352-4810.

Library youth services leader Bridget Weleski, left, hands a book to Kimberly Siemer at the South Butler Community Library walk through window in last month.