By: MADDY BELLMAN
Programming at the Granville Public Library is for everyone in the community, from children to adults, and the library is an engaging, inviting environment for all sorts of activities. This includes book clubs, tai chi and yoga, lectures, destressing walks, urban sketching walks, trivia nights and spelling bees.
Annually, GPL decides on a target age group to focus on and to engage through programs and community outreach. This year’s target age group? Fourth through sixth graders and young adults.
Julia Walden is the community engagement librarian for GPL and is noticing an increasing trend of library use over the last three to four years by Denison students.
“When I started [eight years ago], I was reference librarian upstairs, and we didn’t see students very much,” Walden said. “And then suddenly, somehow, the word got out that we had study rooms, and people could come and study and their friends wouldn’t find them.”
There are three separate study rooms Denison students can take advantage of, and the library is making a concerted effort this spring to increase evening access to high school and college students who need a place to study.
“For the Spell of It” is the spelling bee hosted by GPL on Feb. 6 where teams of up to six can enter to win a Broadway Pub gift card valued at $75. Walden states that she hopes Denison students will unwind, have fun and join in for a night of spelling.
“Maybe you want to just do a spelling bee one night and try to win seventy-five bucks of free food at Broadway,” Walden said. “It isn’t too shabby.”
At GPL, a new book club was created around Young Adult literature for an adult audience to come and discuss, and Pop Con, a themed event about pop culture, focuses on break out groups for shows like The Walking Dead and Sherlock.
With a blossoming young adult program, the GPL is finding it difficult to increase awareness of events among the groups it’s targeting, especially on Denison’s campus.
“We’re trying to figure out how to break onto campus to get the word out. How we leave newsletters, how we announce things, posters, all of that. That’s the next thing we’re going to figure out,” Walden said.
Program ideas by students are always encouraged because Walden genuinely wants to increase community participation in events that young adults find interesting. As always, all events are free.
Events centered on arts and crafts and Do It Yourself projects are very common in GPL programming as well.
“We’re doing DIY cosmetics in April where it’s just all about how to make your own natural, organic cosmetics, and it’s more for young adults,” Walden said.
Metal stamping jewelry is another project on the upcoming agenda.
Granville and the surrounding areas are busy with activities, but the library right in town provides free and fun entertainment for the entire community. For Denison students, a swipe will give them access to events specifically tailored to their demographic.
“There’s stuff going on in this community all the time. Any topic, anywhere, all the time,” Walden said. “But we always like to boast that we’re the ones [who] can give it to you for free; you just need your student ID.”
With an increase in young adult-oriented programming, the GPL extends its invitation of participation by high school and college students in Granville.
“It’s a warm invitation. We want students to know they’re welcome,” Walden said.