The Jake Epp Library hosts a large variety of events that each occur once a month.
Typically, libraries are known to be quiet places to find a book, read a book, and leave, but Jake Epp Library is a place that encourages not only reading, but connecting with others.
Stephanie McLean, Program Coordinator at the Jake Epp Library, says it’s amazing to see everyone form friendships through the different programs they offer.
"Families meet each other, their kids become friends, so those are just super special moments.”
Some of their most popular events are the Book Clubs. They have Book Clubs for all ages and reading levels, from elementary to adult.
McLean says she enjoys Book Clubs because she loves to see little kids get passionate about reading.
Their youngest Book Club is ages kindergarten to grade 3.
"It's a read-aloud circle, and they put up their hand and read to the group, and every time a kid comes for the first time you can tell they're a little scared of that, so they often are an observer,” she says. “But seeing them grow in confidence and want to read in front of a group is such a heart-filling moment.”
Book Club and the rest of the events at the library, such as Board Game Night, are great places to meet people and make friends with similar interests as you.
“We have kids who just love board games, and maybe their friends at school don't share that same passion or have other activities they do in the evenings,” she says. “So these kids get to play board games together and they absolutely love it, they thrive, and so it's really neat seeing kids connect.”
Currently, their Book Club for teens is reading through the Harry Potter series. Every month they read through a different book in the series.
The library also hosts a spin-off of Book Club for preschoolers called Story Corner.
“Our preschoolers get to come and read stories as a big group. We put them up on the projector in the library and we read stories and do some games, music, and stuff like that.”
McLean also notes that their Movie Night is back. Once a month they choose a movie, gather in the children’s area, and project the movie onto the wall.
She says the library is always full of people reading, socializing, and having fun.
“Every weekday evening our multipurpose room is full with different events.”
McLean goes on to say it is important to make programming accessible to kids who may not be able to afford to do activities elsewhere.
She is glad the library can be a place for both kids and adults to connect and learn.
"They have access to our library and the events we offer. All of our programs are free, and everything ties back to learning, socializing, and incorporating literacy into everyday things.”
Although the library hosts lots of events, they provide nice quiet nooks throughout the library for those just looking to read in silence.
They can close off their multi-purpose room from the rest of the library for events during the day, and once the library is closed, they can open up the wall and have their evening events in the large open space.
McLean says another interesting program is Astronomy Night.
They bring their telescope out to Abe’s Hill Park and learn about the different stars and planets throughout the sky.
"It's all kind of tied back to that learning and literacy, but it's very hands-on. All of our events are aimed to be very hands-on, very practical, and lots of socializing.”
She notes that adult events are actually 16+, so if your teens are interested in astronomy nights, they can attend those alongside other teen and adult events.
For details on all of the programming offered at Jake Epp Library, visit Jake Epp Library’s website.