Hazel ParkSeptember 18, 2013
Hazel Park library unveils fall programming lineup
HPML reaches out to community as programs draw people in
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
As the Hazel Park Memorial Library reels people in with free programming, it also reaches out to the them with the Little Free Library bins. The brightly painted bins, like this one pictured above, are popping up around town, at the Art Garden on John R. People are free to take books to read, or leave books they’d recommend to others.
All offerings listed below are free unless otherwise specified. Hazel Park Memorial Library is located at 123 E. Nine Mile Road. Normal library hours are noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1-5 p.m. Friday; and noon to 4 p.m Saturday. For more information, call (248) 546-4095.
• Every Friday through Dec. 6 (1:15-2:15 p.m.): Tiny Tales: Preschoolers and their siblings enjoy stories, songs, flannel board presentations, crafts, snacks and a musical parade. Homeschoolers are welcome. There is no program Nov. 29.
HAZEL PARK — Keeping its rep as the hub of the community, the Hazel Park Memorial Library has announced its fall lineup, full of free events that run the gamut from game nights and movie screenings to workshops and presentations.
“There have been so many new friendships formed as the result of these programs — not just the kids, but with the adults, too,” said Corrine Stocker, library director. “That’s why it’s important to me that we continue to offer programs for people of all ages. It’s something that sets us apart, and one of our greatest strengths. So as we move forward with our shoestring budget, that’s a high priority, to continue offering these programs.”
One new event this fall is Detroit Coney Night @ The Library, from 6-7:45 p.m. Oct. 17. Suggested by Liz Colombo, the reference librarian, and inspired by similar events at other libraries, the event will serve up grilled coneys, Faygo pop and Better Made chips — all connected to Detroit — while Joe Grimm, co-author of “Coney Detroit,” talks about the history of local coney islands. Space is limited and registration is required, so it’s recommended to sign up soon.
“Liz (Colombo) has always been interested in local history, and she’s a real foodie — she’s always been a coney aficionado,” Stocker said. “Some years ago, she had a surprise birthday party for her husband at the Lafayette Coney (Island), I believe, right downtown. It’s just a gem, a piece of vintage Detroit, one of those things you can count on to never change. He (Grimm) will talk about the history of it all. And you can’t spend an hour talking about coneys without eating some!”
A recent addition, “Read with Rover,” has proven to be a hit with patrons and will continue this fall, 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24, Oct. 29 and Nov. 26. Children register in advance for the opportunity to read books to trained therapy dogs. They can bring their own books or check books out at the library.
“The people with their dogs are doing this on a voluntary basis,” Stocker said. “We prefer the kids sign up in advance, which helps us plan better and maximizes our time and space. But if someone walks in, we’ll make every effort to pair them up with the dog.
“It’s a great literacy builder,” she continued. “It gives children who are new, emerging or struggling readers a chance to read to a dog that is nonjudgmental and friendly and enthusiastic. So it’s a very fun environment for the kids to learn and build their confidence in their reading skills. When the dogs are here, everyone gravitates to the Monroe Room.”
So the library has covered coney dogs and therapy dogs, but it’s not stopping there. There are game nights, pizza and movie nights, book club meetings, yoga, crafts, knitting and stitching, trick-or-treating, and more. See the sidebar for the full lineup.
Parallel to all of this, the library continues public outreach efforts that bring HPML to housebound individuals and pedestrians on the street.
The Little Free Libraries — refurbished newsstands that have been vibrantly painted and filled with books — are now located at the Hazel Park Recreation Center, the Art Garden, Tuski Park and Scout Park. The books inside are free to take and read, and people can leave books inside that they’d recommend to others.
Then there are the trips that the library staff makes each month to the senior living communities at Hazelcrest, American House and Hazel Park Manor, bringing a selection of books requested by residents. Some of them can’t reach the library easily because they are homebound, while others weren’t familiar with the library’s offerings but have since become regulars at popular events, such as book bingo.
“They call us the book mobile,” Stocker laughed.
The library also continues to focus on the needs of its younger patrons. Chris Walny, the teen reference librarian, has designed an array of programming for teens and tweens over the months.
Her latest creation is Fun Friday, which takes place immediately after school gets out and thus has different times depending on the Friday: 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, Oct. 4 and 18, Nov. 1 and 15, and Dec. 6; and 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 27, Oct. 1, and Nov. 8 and 22.
“I’m hoping that since their schedules are so crazy, and since they’re constantly asking me what’s planned any given week, this new routine will help them plan better,” Walny said. “And I’m going to have some sort of surprise each week. We’ll rotate through the best of everything we’ve done in other programs, from anime and crafts to the (Nintendo) Wii and Just Dance.
“Some of the kids who come here tend to be a bit shy, so the library programs are a way for them to connect with others and make new friends,” she added. “That’s the exciting part of this for me. I wish I could do it every day for them.”
Hazel Park Memorial Library is located at 123 E. Nine Mile Road. For more information, call (248) 546-4095.