Pelham Public Library — More than books

By BECKY J. BEALL / Community Columnist

Pelham

Most people think of books immediately when you mention a public library, but Pelham is abundantly blessed with resources far exceeding pages on a shelf. The Pelham Public Library offers a myriad of entertainment, information and, of course, resources designed for children, teens and adults. After all, learning never stops!

The Library is a breath of fresh air with a new building strategically located right next door to Pelham Park Middle School on Pelham Park Boulevard. With two floors of inviting space, the Library is a haven of programs and books, along with technology-driven elements for those who are interested.

Mary Campbell is the Director for the Pelham Public Library and she is passionate about all that it offers. “The public library is an important part of a community’s social infrastructure. In an age when people spend so much time online, it is even more important that people have physical places to gather with their neighbors. Personal interactions are what tie communities together, and the public library gives people that place,” Campbell states.

Campbell also offers tremendous insight on other library functions. “New parents who spend most of their day at home with a little one can come interact with other new parents at a storytime. Elderly people interact with our staff on a regular basis giving them something to do and getting them out and about. Middle school students walk over after school and start gaining some independence from their parents in a safe environment. The public library still provides books and access to good, accurate information, but more than ever, the library is about building community and belonging.” Well said.

Children and Teens

Chock-full of preschool activities, take a peek at the Library calendar online at www.pelhamlibrary.com/ and plan to bring the little ones in for reading and beyond. Storytime is a crowd favorite with interactive resources from singing and movement to finger plays, even snacks and craft time. Families can enjoy nighttime activities as well like PJ storytime and family game nights. The Summer Reading Program will have your kids begging to head to the Library for fun (and free) events like movies, jugglers, magic, animals and the like. Groom the kiddos early to appreciate and love reading by allowing them to search for and check out books to read at home.

And, don’t forget tweens and teens! The Teen Department is a great place to gather information for school assignments, get involved in a video game tournament, enjoy a movie night or participate in summer reading contests. Parents you can also reserve rooms at the Library for private tutors or other needs your child may have, plus keep the Library in mind as an awesome spot for homeschooling groups (the 4-H Club meets regularly).

Adults

Don’t worry, the Library isn’t just for kids! There are many assets accessible at the Library that are paramount for community needs, involvement, assistance and enjoyment. There are fantastic opportunities for free computer classes, monthly meetings of the Page Turners book club and other special programs like the knitting club and free ESL classes. The Library is wonderful about continuing to bring new and exciting programs to the facility for those interested in topics like gardening, yoga, history and fashion, just to name a few.

When searching for leisure activities or a place to print something from the internet, the Pelham Public Library is that place…and it all starts with a library card. Have you got yours?

Photo: The new Pelham Public Library opened in the spring of 2018. The facility is 10,000 square feet split between two levels at a cost of $4 million.