Spark their imagination

Published 1:34 am Sunday, February 22, 2009

When you’re a kid, everything seems bigger. Unless, of course, you have scale models to play with. If you happen to be a girl, a dollhouse will suffice.

But even the boys seem intrigued by the new dollhouse at the Chilton/Clanton Public Library. It was purchased recently with memorial funds for Jean Thompson Miller, a schoolteacher who supported the local library.

“We felt like that was such a good usage of our money because it draws children here and allows parents to get on a computer, fill out a job application, or look for a book,” Library Director Jo Abernathy said. “It’s also a learning tool for the kids.”

As soon as they enter the library, girls are drawn to the little open-room house with its miniature furniture and characters. They are able to enter their own world and create stories to act out.

The boys seem more interested in the pieces themselves. They like to take the furniture out and rearrange it, Abernathy observed.

“The only downfall is they don’t want to leave,” she laughed.

Other items at the library also were purchased with memorial funds. The Thomas the Train table was bought with Johnnie Smith’s fund, for example. Smith was another local teacher who believed in the library, and was instrumental in acquiring the funds to build the library in the ‘60s.

“Both of these women (Miller and Smith) were very big advocates for the library,” Abernathy said.

Many people, instead of buying flowers to honor their deceased loved ones, donate money for the purchase of books and other items. This goes hand-in-hand with a primary goal of the library — to enhance the education of all children that enter its doors.

“Kids will eventually pick up a book and ask the parents to read it,” Abernathy said.

The library hosts Story Hour for children ages 3-5 every Tuesday from 10 until 10:45 a.m. This consists of musical activities, interactive storytelling, movies, games and other fun activities.

“Story Hour is a wonderful opportunity for people with children to introduce their children to books and get them in the habit of a structured thing, which helps get them ready for school,” she said.

Meanwhile, the library is seeing an increased number of wireless users bringing their laptops in to work. However, the facility is in need of more space, Abernathy admitted.

“We need more computer space. We need a computer lab,” she said.