By Mary Capobianco, Chair of the Thomas Memorial Library Foundation Story Committee.
August is the month that all of my grandchildren come to visit and enjoy Maine’s beautiful summers. Last year the week following the Beach to Beacon was exceptionally hot and humid. My five little granddaughters, ages two years to eight years of age, spent many hours looking for hermit crabs and sea glass along the shore at Crescent Beach. The youngest would search the shore squealing as she lifted little hermit crabs up on her plastic shovel and dropped them into sand pails. By lunch time, they all were tired and ready for a cool, outdoor shower followed by lunch. As the summer humidity continued to increase, their Mom suggested that maybe they would stay home from the beach and stay out of the sun for the day. Loudly, I could hear all the girls complaining that it was not too hot, and they wanted to find the hermit crabs again.
Quickly I checked the Cape Courier for the Thomas Memorial Library schedule for the week. “Girls”, I yelled up to them. “Let’s get dressed and go to story hour today at the library. It is air-conditioned, and we can play with the new toys that the TMLF helped purchase in the children’s section.” Within a few minutes, we were at the library and sitting crossed legged on the floor listening to fun stories by Rachel Davis, the children’s librarian. When the Mother Goose program ended, all five girls ran into the children’s section and right to the kitchen-center filled with pots, pans, and plastic food. As I sat in air-conditioned comfort, all of the girls concocted desserts and fancy coffees for me. Next, we put puzzles together and played with puppets as they retold stories they had heard that morning. When I looked at my watch, it was past lunch so we chose some books for bedtime reading and headed home.
The next day the hot, humid weather had subsided and again I could hear their Mom encouraging them to get your bathing suits on so we can get to the beach to see who can find the most sea glass. But instead of the usual flurry of little legs into polkadot swim suits followed by the lathering of sunscreen, I heard instead a chorus of voices, “No, can’t we go to the library? I want to play with the puppets; I want to bring back my books and get another piggy book and Grandma needs her cappuccino!”
Maine might offer great beaches, hermit crabs, sea glass, and sand castles; but the Thomas Memorial Library offers a wonderland of books, toys and puzzles for young minds. As a grandparent of nine little ones, I am so grateful for the opportunities that the library provides to the children. As one of my grandchildren told me, “This place is cool Grandma”.
Many children have played with the toys purchased through funding from the Thomas Memorial Library Foundation. While the toys and story hour make the library “cool,” the children also learn to love reading and develop new skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Do you have a personal story to tell or an idea how the TML made a difference for you or someone you know? If you do, we want you to contact the Thomas Memorial Library Storytelling Committee so we can hear your story. You can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our story tellers will contact you to help edit your story and arrange for you to share it on our webpage or in the Cape Courier. It’s a great way to encourage young people to share their stories too.