Our public libraries in the Umatilla County Special Library District (UCSLD) provide wonderful, inspiring and enlightening programs for all ages all through the year. They are perhaps best known for the Summer Reading Program, which keeps kids reading and involved in literacy and learning themed activities when they are not in school. And, there’s so much more.

Nationally, programming in public libraries is increasingly important. The article, “The 2017 Public Library Data Service Report: Characteristics and Trends,” by Ian Reid in the September/October 2017 issue of Public Libraries Online, showed increases not only in the number of programs offered at public libraries nationally, but more importantly in the attendance at the programs. They used baseline numbers from FY 2012, and by 2017, the number of programs offered increased by 6.3% and attendance at programs by 4.0%. This upward trend continues into 2019 in our public libraries in the UCSLD.

During the winter holidays, library staff members go above and beyond! From holiday-themed story times and gift-making craft times to Christmas parties with refreshments and Santa, there is something for everyone in your community. All events are at the public library unless noted otherwise:

•Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m. — Holiday Preschool Story Hour, Helix

•Dec. 3, 4 p.m. — Letters to Santa Storytime, Adams

•Dec. 5, 4 p.m. — Winter Carnival Fundraiser, Umatilla. Support the library and enjoy carnival-style games and fun prizes, popcorn, nachos, cotton candy and a potato bar.

•Dec. 5, 5 p.m. — Snowflake Ornaments, Adams

•Dec. 8, 4-6 p.m. — Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa Visit, Athena Public Library and Main Street. Write a letter and take a picture with Santa, and create a natural ornament to hang on the city Christmas tree.

•Dec. 9-19, all day — Elfie Selfies, Helix

•Dec. 10, 4-6 p.m. — Santa @ the Library, Weston

•Dec. 12, 5 p.m. — Popsicle Stick Ornaments, Adams

•Dec. 12, 6 p.m. — Book Club/Cookie Exchange, Helix

•Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. — Make Your Own Sugar Scrubs, Adams

•Dec. 16, 4 p.m. — Last Minute Gift Making, Helix

•Dec. 16, 7-8 p.m. — Holiday Pajama Storytime, Athena. Gather around the fireplace for cookies, cocoa and stories. Wear your jammies!

•Dec. 17, 3:15 p.m. — Make a Friendship Bracelet, Weston

Dec. 18, 6-7 p.m. — Children’s Christmas Party, Milton-Freewater. Refreshments, crafts and pictures with Santa.

Dec. 19, 5 p.m. — Cookie Decorating, Adams

Other programs:

•Every Tuesday, 5-8 p.m. — Crochet Night, Ukiah. Gather with friends and complete those Christmas gifts.

•Dec. 7, 10 a.m. — STEAM Lab, Umatilla — First day of Session 2, fun with 3-D pens, snap circuits, painting and more.

•Dec. 10-13 — Celebrating Computer Science Education Week, come and learn to code, Athena — Hour of Code: Dance Party (Dec. 10, 3:30 p.m.); Hour of Code: Star Wars (Dec. 11, 3:30 p.m.); Code with Robots (Dec. 12, 3 p.m.); Hour of Code: Minecraft (Dec. 13, 3:30 p.m.).

•Dec. 6, 13, 20, 10 a.m. — Preschool Storytime, Weston

Find more information at www.ucsld.org

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Erin McCusker is the district director of the Umatilla County Special Library District. Read her column, Libraries Provide – Countywide!, the last weekend of the month. Contact McCusker at 541-276-6449 or director@ucsld.org.

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