Library Lego play entering the virtual world

  • Isaac Morris carefully arranges his bricks for a creation.
    Isaac Morris carefully arranges his bricks for a creation.
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    Murphy - Every few months, children of all ages gather at the Murphy Public Library for Lego Club. Children sanitize their hands, get a scoop of Lego bricks from the big bin and await Bridget Wilson’s instructions. Meanwhile, toddlers gather in one area and build with the larger Duplo bricks.
    Wilson, youth services librarian for Nantahala Regional Library, gives the children challenges on what to build – an animal, vehicle, fantasy creature – using just the bricks they collected. The kids have the hour to create, then place their finished creations on a table for display.
    As the May Lego Club dates approached, Wilson had a challenge of her own. At the end of April, she realized the libraries would continue to be closed, and restrictions would still be placed on gatherings for a while. She would have to cancel upcoming events or figure out a way to make them virtual. “I figured Lego Club would translate well,” she said.
    Most kids who participate do have Lego sets at home, Wilson figured, and it would be a good event to test virtual programs.
    She decided to hold the event through Facebook and announce challenges through the event’s page. Through their caregiver, children could post photos of their creations to the group page.
    “It’s a way to engage the kids even though I can’t see them right now,” Wilson said.
    For the May meeting, challenges were build one creation using one color, build a vegetable, build a favorite animal, use 15 pieces exactly for a creation and freely build any other creation.
    Sally Morris’ children enjoyed getting to participate from home.
    “Lego Club is one of my kids’ favorite activities that Miss Bridget plans for the kids at the library,” Morris said. “While of course it wasn’t the same, the kids still had a lot of fun building and fulfilling the challenges. I’m grateful that Bridget was able to still host this event, even if virtually.”
    Although the event is scheduled for one day, Wilson planned to keep the event up for a week to allow more time for the photos to be posted.
    She’ll use what she learns from the Lego Club events for all the branches – Andrews and Murphy in Cherokee County, as well as libraries in Clay and Graham counties – to fine tune plans for a summer reading program.
    The national summer program theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Wilson is using it to share fairytales, her favorite stories to share with children.
    “It won’t be like a true story time,” she said. “I’m really sad that I’m not going to get to do in-person story times.”
    Wilson envisions creating a closed Facebook group for each library branch and posting videos weekly. She will also provide packets for families to pick up with activities to go along with the stories. Once all plans are set, she will announce the reading program on each branch library’s social media page.

Sharing Center
allows more visits

    Murphy – Thanks to an overwhelming amount of contributions to the Cherokee County Sharing Center, clients will be able to visit the food pantry twice a month starting June 1.
    The Sharing Center is open 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Local churches like Friendship Baptist, Murphy First Presbyterian, Murphy First United Methodist, Reid’s Chapel, Ranger United Methodist, Shepherd of the Mountains and St. William Catholic provide volunteer workers in addition to
donations.
    The Sharing Center receives assistance from MANNA and the Emergency Food Assistance Program, as well as community donations of funds and items. For details, call Sande Kimball at 835-7274. Donations may be sent to Cherokee County Sharing Center, P.O. Box 692, Murphy, NC 28906.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by phone, 837-5122, Ext. 24; or email, scoutingaround@cherokee-scout.com.