Orinda Library Offers New Programs to Inspire Reading

(Charleen Earley, Photographer)
(L-R) Michael Beller and Orinda resident, Alain Chan, are excited about the newly installed, six-person study carrel at the Orinda Library. Chan uses the library on a regular basis and said this new hexagon-shaped carrel with electrical plugs is perfect for his needs.

    Senior Community Library Manager, Michael Beller, refuses to whisper when it comes to sharing his excitement about the many changes coming to the Orinda Library. Some are in place and others just around the corner.
Study Carrels
    Let’s start with what arrived, assembled and is in use. Beller said it might sound boring to some, but for others, it’s genius. A six-person study carrel.
    It’s like a cubby, similar to the four study carrels lined alongside the fiction wall, only it’s hexagonal, serving six people.
    Made possible through generous donations from the Friends of the Library, each station has an electrical outlet to plug-in computers, phones; you name it.
    “They’re pretty popular because they provide a degree of privacy. During school time, we have everybody from middle school to college, coming to study,” said Beller. “These carrels are going to be very welcome and used additions to the library. In fact, they already are.”

Spanish/English Bilingual Storytime
    The Spanish/English Bilingual Storytime is new and will be held Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Toddler Storytime in English is Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
    “Our Storytimes are already very large and I think this is going to be a big hit,” said Beller.
    “We are also starting a regular ESL (English as a Second Language) conversation group and a book club for new(ish) mothers,” Beller added. “Those aren’t yet on the schedule, but I think we will start them soon. Exciting times at the library.”

    Another addition is the delivery of 24 story-walk signs, made by Storywalk Solutions. They hold pages from one children’s picture book, placed in a frame and installed along an outdoor path. “We’re working with the city to select sign placements,” said Beller. “Most likely they’ll be at the Wilder fields, probably stretching along the fields and maybe going all the way up to the Wilder Art & Garden 
    Beller said the selected stories will generally come from their most fun and active picture books, everything from Pete the Cat to Where the Wild Things Are.
    “It will also include some of our fabulous, local storybook authors,” said Beller. “We’ll likely change out the books bi-monthly or quarterly; it’ll depend on staffing.”
    The signs are a collaboration between Orinda Parks and Rec, Friends of the Orinda Library and the Library. Beller hopes more partners will join their installation efforts.
    “I’m hoping other groups might be interested in collaborating with us, for example, the Eagle Scouts, who might be making us a little free library to be placed up there, stocked with board books from the Friends of the Library,” he said.
    “This will be great for the community, because it adds an active element to learning to read and becoming excited about reading,” said Beller.

More to Come
    But wait, there’s more on the horizon.
    “Another big thing in the pipeline, possibly two to three months out, is a laptop kiosk where patrons can check-out laptops for an hour or so,” said Beller. “These are in addition to the desktop computers we have, but offer the ability to take a computer to a more comfortable, private seat, like the new study carrels!”

Charleen Earley can be reached at editor@theorindanews.com.

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