Children enliven season

Published 4:00 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cicero remarked that “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

If Cicero had ever found his way into Pelham’s library, he would have discovered great souls in the rooms full of books and the people he would find there.

Some of my best memories of my own children’s preschool days have Pelham’s library as their setting. Library Director Barbara Roberts orchestrated all of them.

When my oldest child, Georgia, was very small, Santa Claus horrified her. However, Georgia loved the Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus couple that visited the library. Santa at the mall was simply too big and loud for my little girl. Like so many small children, my daughter needed a quieter, less crowded visit with Santa and our library in Pelham is still providing that more serene environment.

Children’s librarian Mary Campbell reveals that visits with Santa are her favorite Christmas activity at the library.

“I love that we get to be a part of the Christmas tradition of so many of our city’s families,” Mary said. “We have to provide two opportunities to meet with Santa now in order to accommodate all of the kids.”

Pelham Public library offers brunch with Santa on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. and an evening with Santa at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18.

Another Christmas tradition at the library is building gingerbread houses. Roberts said the event has become incredibly popular.

“Parents begin asking about the gingerbread house building dates as early as August,” Roberts said. “The great thing about the gingerbread houses is that no two are ever quite the same. We love seeing what the kids create from the basic pieces and decorations that we provide.”

Gingerbread house building sessions this year are Dec. 4 at 6 p.m., Dec. 6 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required, so call the library at 620-6418 right away to reserve your child’s spot.

My favorite part of visiting the library is always spending time with those who care so much about creating more than a center of knowledge and information. In her tenure as director, Roberts has managed to surround herself with a talented staff who have helped her transform Pelham’s library into a community gathering place that provides, not only books, but magic to everyone who visits.

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at