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Twin Lakes system returns to full-service in-person programming – The Union-Recorder

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Updated: April 22, 2022 @ 5:26 am
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Local young people take part in STEAM time at the library. The last STEAM time program for the school year will be held at 3:30 p.m. on April 26, and will feature a special guest speaker. 

Local young people take part in STEAM time at the library. The last STEAM time program for the school year will be held at 3:30 p.m. on April 26, and will feature a special guest speaker. 
While libraries within the Twin Lakes system have been back to functioning at their regular service hours for quite some time since the pandemic, the number of in-person programming offered continues to grow and expand. 
Particularly exciting is the fact that the popular Summer Reading Program will return to hosting the in-person activities that local families have come to know and love in just a few short weeks. 
“We have not had in-person programming for Summer Reading Program for two years, not since 2019…,” said Dana Portwood, branch manager of Twin Lakes Library.  
This summer, though, programming will include magicians, weekly story times, weekly craft times and more. 
“This is the full Summer Reading Program. We’re all in,” Portwood said.  
Sign-up for the Summer Reading Program will begin at the end of May, and the program will run from the first week of June through the end of July with prizes awarded for all ages. 
“The big change this year is that instead of counting the number of books read for prizes, we’re going to count the number of hours read for prizes,” Portwood said. 
In addition to the Summer Reading Program, all three of the libraries within the Twin Lakes system are fully back to in-person programming, including all children’s programming like storytimes and We Read Wednesdays.
“And we have our adult programming, our tech tutorials, our after-hours book club that meets once a month. All of that is fully back in swing. We’re offering all of our services,” Portwood said. 
Teen programs are in full swing over at the Hancock Branch every afternoon from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Open to anyone ages 13 to 19, it features popular activities like crafting, an anime club, movie day, game day and more. There are also two public meeting spaces in the building. 
At the Lake Sinclair Library, programming has been expanded to offer Saturday game activities for all ages, including a chess station each Saturday where patrons can play or learn to play, and during summertime, multiple board games will be set up each week. 
“And they are planning on doing some story circles starting in the summer as part of our Summer Reading Program,” Portwood said. 
At the Mary Vinson Memorial Library, aside from the children’s, adult and young adult collections, there are 28 public workstations that patrons have access to with their library card, and staff is trained to assist with basic computer questions.  
“So, if they have trouble downloading, or if they don’t know how to attach something to an email, or if they’re not sure how to find a website, we can assist them with that,” Portwood said.  
The library also offers faxing and scanning services, a local historian who offers assistance with genealogy, revolving book displays, a public puzzle, personalized book recommendations and much, much more. 
“I think that a lot of people don’t realize just how welcoming the library space is,” Portwood said. “You don’t even have to have a reason to be in here. We’ve got a gorgeous view with these comfortable chairs to sit in, and people can come in and just read and be quiet for a little while.” 
And in addition to all that is offered in-person, many residents may not realize that there is a digital library available featuring books, magazines, television shows and music. 
“All of that is available to them with their library card, so they don’t even have to come into the library to make use of library services,” Portwood said. “They can do it right from home.” 
Regular hours at the Mary Vinson Memorial Library are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Hancock Branch is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and The Lake Sinclair Library is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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