By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
SOUTHBOROUGH – Children’s Librarian Kim Ivers, aka Miss Kim, is currently spending much of her work time this summer on the lawn of the Southborough Library. There, she’s leading Outdoor Story Time and overseeing other programming with this year’s summer reading theme “Tails and Tales.”
In response to 2020’s pandemic restrictions, Ivers began reading stories weekly via Zoom and Facebook Live. In April 2021, she moved the storytime outdoors. Subsequent children’s programming continued outside into the summer.
“We had a lot fewer restrictions on outdoor events than indoor events,” she noted.
Ongoing outdoor events
Outdoor Story Time consists of reading stories and a craft based on a weekly theme. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs.
Ivers scheduled the first outdoor event to coincide with April school vacation.
“It was about 35 degrees with a wind chill,” she recalled. “People were bundled up in their down coats, mittens and hats. They had to chase their craft projects across the lawn because of the wind.”
The following week, Mother Nature was again uncooperative.
“I got halfway through the first story and it started raining, so I passed out the craft to take home and called it a day,” Ivers recounted. “After that, we had a whole stretch of beautiful weather.”
The library welcomed patrons inside by appointment in May and opened its doors for walk-in visits in June. Meanwhile, children’s programming continues outside.
Upcoming Outdoor Story Time sessions are Wednesdays, July 28 and Aug. 4, from 4 to 4:45 p.m.; and Aug. 11 and 18, from 11 to 11:45 a.m.
Another ongoing outdoor activity is Read to a Dog. Children ages five and over with some reading ability can read to a certified therapy dog. Registration is required and capped at four children per session.
“Dogs don’t judge, so it’s a good way for kids to improve their reading skills,” Ivers explained.
Future Read to a Dog outdoor sessions are Thursdays, Aug. 5 and 17, from 5 to 6 p.m.
Entertaining and educational programs
Several other entertaining and educational programs are also held outdoors.
On Tuesday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to noon, Wingmasters will show attendees how live owls use their sight, hearing and flight to survive and thrive. It’s recommended for kids ages six and over.
Kids of all ages can hear award-winning storyteller Diane Edgecomb on Friday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to noon. She’ll share stories about animals’ antics in her interactive presentation.
Returning for a second time this summer is David Garden in concert Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 11 a.m. to noon. A Southborough native now residing in Shrewsbury, Garden has made countless appearances at the Southborough Library. This time, his musical show is geared for young children.
“So many people in town know David,” said Ivers, a Southborough native herself. “He’s a really great musician and a great person.”
On Thursday, Aug. 12, from 4 to 4:30 p.m., family yoga is scheduled for kids ages six to 12 with their grownups. Leading the session is Alexandra DeCollibus, founder of Sweet Pea Yoga. This program, which requires registration, is sponsored in part by a grant from the Southborough Cultural Arts Council.
Outdoor programming concludes Thursday, Aug. 19, from 3 to 4 p.m., with a magic show performed by Ed Popielarczyk.
“He’s silly and makes kids laugh,” Ivers said of the magician. “It’s a fun way to wrap up our summer programming.”
Library’s supportive friends
All of the presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library.
“We’re so grateful to the Friends for everything they do to support the library community,” Ivers added.