Concerts, cookies and crafts are all part of National Library Week -

Concerts, cookies and crafts are all part of National Library Week

Patrons of Alle-Kiski Valley libraries this week can buy a cheap bag full of books, build a stuffed bunny, listen to a teen singing sensation and satisfy their taste buds with homemade cookies.

And maybe even check out a good book.

The libraries in Harrison, New Kensington, Leechburg, Plum and Fox Chapel, among others, will host programs away from the ordinary to mark National Library Week.

“Libraries are places to get connected to technology, and they also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas and classes – in addition to books,” said John Kristine, adult program specialist at the Community Library of Allegheny Valley in Harrison.

“Most importantly, libraries also connect communities to each other.”

Launched in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and observed across the country each April to spur a love of reading.

At Plum Borough Community Library, a used book sale is the big event planned to draw people in to the site along Center-New Texas Road.

From 9 am to 1 pm Saturday, visitors can stuff a bag full of books for $ 10.

“Whatever you can fit into a brown paper bag or a plastic grocery bag, it’s yours to take home,” said library director Pam Calfo.

The book sale is a twice-a-year event and brings people in droves to the library – which is the mission of Library Week, she said.

“We also have a variety of programs happening next week, and they’re all a way to get people inside the building and see what we offer,” Calfo said.

For elementary-age children, there will be chess lessons on Wednesday; on Thursday, students in fifth grade and above can help build a time capsule to be opened in 2032; and aspiring bakers can take home cookie cutters and cake pans in a new lending program.

Also scheduled for Wednesday is a special concert by Burrell High School singer Elliana Koulouris. The freshman, who is skilled on piano, guitar and ukulele, will play an acoustic set.

Peoples Library, which has locations in New Kensington and Lower Burrell, will introduce a new program during the week. The first family craft time will start at 1 pm Wednesday at the New Kensington library, 880 Barnes St., library director David Hrivnak said.

The monthly program will alternate between New Kensington and the Lower Burrell branch at 3052 Wachter Ave., he said.

“We try to showcase things that are valuable and important every week,” Hrivnak said. “Public libraries play a very important role in our society. It’s nice once a year when a focus and attention can be placed a little extra brightly on it.

“We try to keep those values ​​and beliefs and importance in mind every day we come to work and do our jobs. It’s clearly very important to our public, and we take what we do very seriously. ”

In Harrison, library leaders are celebrating the week with a special raffle, library-themed story times and other programs at the site along Broadview Boulevard.

The children’s librarian will read “Library Mouse” and “A Trip to the Library with Sesame Street” while offering related crafts. Patrons will get the chance to win books with free raffle tickets available at the front desk.

The events will culminate Thursday with a class on how to use the Libby app to borrow and download e-books and audiobooks. The class will be in-person and on Zoom.

“Libby is very convenient. You can search for a book on your phone to listen to or for reading on-the-go, ”Kristine said. “It’s also good for travel since you can borrow up to 20 materials on it.

“While I love a good paper book in my hands, I’ve found that, using Libby, I can listen to an audiobook while working on something else and still enjoy it.”

At Cooper-Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel, patrons will be treated to homemade baked goods while they turn the pages of their favorite reading material.

Executive director Jill McConnell said an interactive survey will also be offered so the staff can learn how to make the site a better place to visit for all ages.

At the Leechburg Public Library, clerk Patti Klasnick said a schedule chock-full of family-friendly programs will fill each day.

“We have preschool story hour on Tuesday and Friday, a Girl Scout scavenger hunt on Wednesday and a make-your-own bunny class on Thursday,” Klasnick said.

“We like to keep things interesting all the time, not just next week,” she said.

The library along Market Street outdoes itself with a movie night on the third Thursday of each month. Disney’s “Encanto” is this month’s selection.

Last month, while viewing “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” participants made edible teacups with cookies, ice cream cones and melted chocolate. A broken pretzel rounded out the handle.

“We built a boat like the one that they sail on the chocolate river in the factory,” Klasnick said, laughing. “We go over the top. But it’s all for the love of getting people interested in the library. ”

Murrysville Community Library along Sardis Road will mark the occasion with a clever contest called Bookface.

Participants can select a book with interesting cover art and line up their face or body to look like it’s meshing in with the photo on the book cover.

People can enter five times by email to by Friday, April 15.

Winners will receive a $ 25 gift card to Completely Booked. They will be announced May 2.

At the Norwin Public Library, the staff plans to promote National Library Week through a series of posts on social media.

Director Diana Falk said each of the dozen or so staff members will post a photo of a book that represents their personality.

Falk chose “This is Happiness,” while the children’s librarian chose a book about Australia in advance of an upcoming overseas trip.

“It’s something to promote the variety of the collection and to let people know a little more about us,” Falk said.

The library, along Caruthers Lane in Irwin, has more than 80,000 items to serve patrons. There are e-books, computers, genealogy research tools and audiobooks.

“We want to make people aware through these posts that there are a lot of ways the library can assist people in addition to books,” she said.

During the week, patrons can test themselves with a self-guided scavenger hunt throughout the site.

“They will pick up their first clue, and it will lead them to the next, making several stops in different parts of the library,” Falk said. “It’s just another way to promote the diversity of all the things we offer.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 724-226-7726, or via Twitter .

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