by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for fun and free ways to enjoy this Halloween season why not check out your Fresno County Library! Branches throughout the area are providing fun events for Halloween this year from crafts, to scary movies, to costume swaps and much more.
Two of the local libraries that are having the most Halloween events are Orange Cove and Sanger. Orange Cove Librarian Michael Rieker has been doing Halloween events at various libraries for 13 years. Halloween is one of his favorite times of the year and he enjoys planning fun events for the kids and decorating the library. Some of the events Orange Cove will have are Halloween movies every Wednesday, Library Clue, and the Haunted Library. While the first Halloween movie has passed, the remaining ones are Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, and The Haunted Mansion.
Michael’s favorite event is the Haunted Library. “What I call the Haunted Library started at Fig Garden Library in 2000 as the haunted meeting room set on the Sunday before Halloween and included crafts, games, and more.”
He believes that having events like this is important for the community. “It is part of the library’s mission and helps to foster creativity and gives kids safe and fun activities to enjoy.”
Sanger Librarian Terrance McArthur has been doing Halloween events at the library for 15 years. “I’m a bigger kid than any child who comes to our programs! I have so much fun telling stories, designing crafts, and watching the looks on faces.” Halloween is his second favorite holiday, “right after Christmas (although it becomes my favorite in October!). When I was younger, I used to haunt my parents’ house for Halloween. You could tell how successful I was by how much candy was left on the lawn by running children. For several years, I had a Halloween makeup service, decorating faces for parties and trick-or-treating.”
Sanger’s events include SpookyStuffmania, which is making origami bats, decorations and other cool things; Glue and Go Costumes, which is a how to demo on making costumes from easy to find materials–three costumes will be given away; the 2nd Annual Costume Swap, where you bring your gently used costume and get a voucher for a new to you costume; and the Spooky Story Concert.
Cindy Greenhaw, a library assistant at the Sanger Branch, will also be doing Halloween papercraft and cardmaking. “I’m looking forward to her program,” continued Terrance. “It’s on my night off, so I hope there will be enough space for me.
Terrance is also a storyteller, and his favorite Halloween event is The Spooky Stories concert. “I get to spend the evening storytelling and trying to scare people. I used to call them ‘scary stories,’ but modern children grow up on a diet of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and the evening news. Unless they see it in gory color, they have trouble imagining it. I can tell the most disgusting, revolting, spine-tingling story I know and they’ll look at me and say, ‘That’s not scaaaary.’ I usually manage to sneak one of my original stories into the show, too.”
He too believes it’s important to have events like this available for the community. “The library is more than just a building with books; it should be a center for the community. Our programs bring people in, giving them a chance to see all the resources we have for them to use…and it’s FREE!
“I’ve been a fan of libraries since I was a child; maybe that’s why I wound up as a librarian. The library gives me a chance to use my talents and explore new areas of interest. Visit the library! You may not become a librarian, but interesting things are bound to happen!”
For a listing of all the Halloween events going on at the different libraries, check out their event calendar on the Fresno County Library website.
Other libraries with Halloween events include Fowler, Parlier, Gillis, Woodward Park, and Sunnyside. Many branches, including Sanger, will also have a Halloween slant to their pre-school story times. So if you are looking for great, free, fun and safe things to take the kids to for Halloween this year (and I think some of the big kids would enjoy many of these as well) head out to the library! You can also check out more info on many of these events on KRL Halloween at the Library event page.
Special Note: One event not yet listed on the Library calendar is Library Clue. This event will be taking place at the Orange Cove Library, 815 Park Blvd., on Saturday, October 19 at 11 a.m. It is an event the entire family can enjoy. Be a detective and search for cleverly hidden clues to solve the mystery!