MIDLOTHIAN

In the midst of a spring cleaning, the A.H. Meadows Library has reorganized for summertime fun.

The end result will rollout over the last weeks of May and beginning of June — a brand new makerspace.

Librarian Terry Moore said the library is receiving new furniture to display a more collaborative area in the makerspace. This zone will be available for Midlothian High School students and the public.

“A lot of the makerspace equipment is expensive and is sort of impossible to keep an eye on and control of in the back corner, and it gives our kids a bigger space to work," Moore explained.

The nonfiction section will relocate toward the back left area of the library. The new nonfiction section will be more compact and more manageable for visitors to browse through.

In addition to the makerspace, the library offers a Cricut decal machine, t-shirt press and a 3-D printer. All of these devices are available to the public. The 3-D printer costs 10 cents a gram when the final product is weighed. Moore said the average cost is fewer than 10 dollars.

The current nonfiction bookshelves will be uninstalled from the walls, creating a larger space, and the three double-sided shelves will be removed, but only two of them will be relocated to the back.

This past month, Moore weeded out the nonfiction section, removing hundreds of books that are outdated, not been checked out, archaic or sometimes used offensive language.

“This had not been done in several years. Really, we wanted to get rid of the stuff people were not using anymore,” Moore justified.

The five-year librarian is working toward a leaner and more modern selection of books — and three empty bookcases show how needed the weeding was.

“We want to give the good material a chance to stand out and to shine and our new material. I think some of it was getting lost in the volume we had,” Moore elaborated.

Over the summertime, all genres of books besides young adult will be weeded out. The Midlothian High School Librarian Julie Post will handle the weeding of young adults books since her students utilize them the most.

Moore shared that the library receives new books monthly.

The makerspace will open on June 9, but, not all of the equipment will be available.

SUMMER READING FUN

Moore is also the mastermind behind the “Libraries Rock” summer reading program that kicks off June 12. Day one of the program includes kid-friendly activities such as balloon animals, face painting, and every child will receive a goody bag with a reading log.

Moore will offer incentives for children, teens and even adults to fill out their reading logs over the summer. Children who finish three hours of reading will win a prize. Teen reading is weighed by minutes, and adult reading is separated into a checklist such as "tell a story to your child while driving," "take your child to a museum" and so on.

“We want to instill a life-long love of libraries,” Moore emphasized. “So, we want the kids to have fun experiences when they come. Kids lose so much over the summer — they can really go backward in reading. By having these fun activities to bring them into the library, we can then get them to read.”

The Texas State Library Association provides this program and theme “Libraries Rock.”

During the summer, the library is open Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays. And, every day an activity or guest speaker will be going on from June 12 until the end of July.

“We really want to give a place for kids to come,” Moore expressed.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings Moore booked acts that range from magicians to a man with every kind of saxophone, and the Midlothian Fire and Police Departments will read. A group from Dallas called Zooniversity will bring endangered and rare animals for the children to meet. Also, a mobile dairy from Wichita Falls will come and allow children to milk a cow and learn how milk is processed.

The two men who won Midlothian’s Got Talent will perform too.

Every Monday the library is hosting a Marvel Monday Matinee and will kickoff showing “Black Panther.” On Wednesdays, they will show the best-animated films from 2017.

Every Saturday, starting June 9, Ashley Freeman a part-time library aid will host a Percy Jackson themed craft-based activity. Last year the theme was Harry Potter.

To wrap up the summer reading program the Midlothian High School band will perform. Moore said the group is always energetic and gets the kids spirited.

On opening day, the library staff is preparing for more than 100 people.

For more information on the “Libraries Rock” summer reading program, visit the library’s Facebook or website at http://www.misd.gs/domain/420.

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450