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Signs of spring at the New Durham Library


April 01, 2021
NEW DURHAM — Spring is an exciting month, and just as the buds begin to open, so will the New Durham Public Library.

"We have a lot of activities taking place in April," Library Director Cathy Allyn said, "but we're thrilled the most about people coming inside to browse or use the computers."

For months now, the library has been loaning Chromebooks to patrons who needed a computer, and shortly after the 2020 lockdown, began offering porch pick-up service.

"Throwing open the doors is totally different, though," Allyn said.

Since this is the Covid-era, however, throwing open those doors will progress slowly and safely.

Fifteen-minute appointments to enter the library will begin Monday, April 19. Time between appointments will allow staff members to ensure everything is safe for the next appointment.

"Safety for our patrons and staff has always been paramount," Allyn said, "and will continue to be so."

For the remainder of April, appointments will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays. In May, that will extend to other days. Porch pick-up service will continue.

"Spring Rocks!" a new community-wide activity to bring color to the library and to brighten up the garden also begins in April.

All ages are invited to stop by during porch pick-up hours beginning April 5 to either grab a pre-assembled rock painting kit to check-out or to paint on the spot at the library.

"After everything everyone has been through, we want the place to explode with color and life," Allyn said. "This project will continue throughout, and include, the summer reading program."

She said this year's theme, Tails and Tales, lends itself to rock painting. "Kids can paint tails of all varieties on rocks or portraits of their own pets."

The rocks will be prepped and ready to go, and all materials will be supplied. Dotting tools and stencils for rock mandalas and acrylic markers may be checked out. The finished rocks will be sprayed with sealer to last for years.

They will also provide decoration for a new "addition" to the front yard.

"As we move a lot of our services outside, we'll need spaces and shade," Allyn explained. "The Friends of the Library have been planning to build a pergola and perhaps add benches and small tables for laptops."

Staff members will be painting words and phrases on rocks for patrons to arrange into haiku while they relax in the shade. Other rocks will be displayed in planters.

"The pergola will be a big project, but it's something we've needed for years."

A Seed Swap is taking place in the library lobby. Anyone who has left-over seeds is asked to put them in the small plastic tote on top of the bookcase. All are welcome to take or swap the seeds.

As part of National Library Week, the library is encouraging patrons to participate in citizen science. A list of fun and important projects to get involved in is available at the library and in its e-newsletter.

The library's digital branch is open 24/7 for downloads of books, audiobooks, and magazines at newdurhamlibrary.org, and the lobby is open six days a week (Monday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday 3-7 p.m., Wednesday 2-6 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.) for pick-up of reserved items, or to check out items via a staff member. Call 859-2201 or email newdurhamlibrary@gmail.com for a temporary library card or with questions.

Martin Lord & Osman
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