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Library offers fun and learning for spring break

By Jimmy Isaac
March 14, 2017 at 12:09 a.m.

Cameron Nunley, 8, concentrates during the "Super Smash Bros." tournament at the Longview Public Library on Monday.

Kilgore mom Lakettie Starling didn't think watching her sons play video games could be so much fun for her, too.

On Monday, gaming was the first of eight free activities at the Longview Public Library through Friday — all part of its annual Spring Geek Week.

"We want the community to see that we offer fun, free events, a safe place for families to come and have fun together," said Jenna Yeakley, interim youth services supervisor.

"Yes, we are about resources, we are about books, but we are more than that," she said. "We're trying to show the community that you can see the library as a fun place to come and gather together, and that's why we offer video games."

It came as a surprise to Starling, she said after watching son Desmond win a round of "Super Smash Bros." in the library's Moeschle Room. The victory allowed him to wear the crown for a round and when his mom adjusted it onto his head, Desmond smiled as bright as the room.

"He's an outgoing person anyway, but he has epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, so this is helping him with the hand, motor skills, everything doing all of this," Starling said. "He has a slower time picking stuff up."

One week every March, the library schedules free activities each day for children of all ages. Calling it Spring Geek Week, library staff strive to provide area children a safe place to have fun and learn with friends.

"A lot of families don't have the funds to go on those big spring break trips together," Yeakley said, "so we wanted to offer a free week of activities that kids of all ages can enjoy, so they don't feel they're going to have a less fun spring break than other kids in the community."

Spring Geek Week continues at 10:30 this morning with Storytime, and afternoon family bingo starting at 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, magician Brett Roberts performs two shows — at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Thursday activities last most of the afternoon, beginning with a showing of the movie Moana at 2 p.m., with free popcorn. After the movie, weekly family game night returns to the library from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

A full day of activities awaits young guests Friday. An all-day LEGO-athon starts when the library doors open at 10 a.m. and lasts until 5:30 p.m.

By 6 p.m. Friday, a teen after-hours party begins for youth ages 13 and up until midnight.

For more information, call the library's children's department at (903) 237-1345.

"I love coming here," said Starling, who doesn't allow her sons to play video games on days in which they have school work.

"We come here and get books anyway," she said, "but whenever they have an event, we try to make them, too. I do appreciate that they're giving something to do, and (children) get to talk to more kids and stuff, have fun."

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