Kids got the chance to learn about and even touch sharks at the Enon Public Library Wednesday. The program was brought to the library by the Wave Foundation at the Newport Aquarium.

Real sharks, magic, dancing among activities at Clark County libraries

Summer has begun. School is out and the kids want to take off in four different directions. But what can we do when the weather is too wet for the planned summer fun?

Local parents have a terrific free option that is perfect fit for a rainy day or a sweltering day that is challenging your air conditioner. And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. It is called the public library. And we have two in Western Clark County.

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New Carlisle has its own public library at 111 East Lake Ave. Its phone number is 845-3601.

The Enon Library at 209 East Main Street, Enon, is a branch of the Clark County Public Library system. The Enon number is 864-2502.

As any teacher will tell you it is important to keep your children reading during their summer break from school. This is the glorious time of year when the kids can read what they want.

If your son or daughter wants to read nothing but sports stats it is okay. Next step might be a rule book to better understand a call or a sports biography. I know one young softball player who always tries to get uniform number 42 after reading Jackie Robinson’s biography. Knowledge can be fun.

The best way to figure out what they want to read is to spend a couple of hours at the library, just browsing. It is important to have their smart phones turned off, because it defeats the whole purpose to let them stay connected with friends during a browsing session. This time is for library exploration not snap chat. Although it might be good to let teens send a snap chat when they leave. Let them tell their friends that they survived.

New Carlisle and Enon both have lovely sections for young folks. There are displays with a focus and book shelves cheerfully and creatively arranged. Allow them to be so “bored” that they will break down and crack open one of the books. Maybe they will visit with old Seuss friends or escape in a nature book that is all photos. Let them explore. There are also magazines and the last time I checked magazines are reading also.

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It is also possible to download books, check out movies, and read an actual printed newspaper. They will see that people of all ages can enjoy spending time in the library.

Each of our libraries is just starting their Summer Reading programs. Kids will see that reading a certain number of books makes them eligible for some rather fantastic prizes donated by our communities. What a great incentive to read.

The libraries also have great programs planned with science experiments, live animals, magicians, dancing, and jugglers. Anyone can visit the library for these special programs. Just be sure to call to sign up ahead of time.

It is great to keep their brains working even though it is summer.

This summer the New Carlisle library is trying a couple of cooperative activities with the Clark County Park District. After hiking with Naturalist Donna Lewis and a professional photographer, Andy Grimm, participants should know how to take some wonderful photographs out at the park. Another cooperative event involves star gazing.

To see the New Carlisle Public Library event schedule go to www. Newcarlislelibrary.org. or stop in for a printed list.

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The best part about events at the Enon Library is that sometimes the event is repeated at one of the other Clark County Public Library branches at the later date. For example if you cannot make it to see the real sharks at the Enon Library at 11 a.m. today, June 12 you might be able to catch them at the Main Library at 2 p.m. Or maybe you can get a free ticket to see the stingrays on June 21 at Park Branch or African Penguins at the Village Branch on June 25 Just call 328-6903 to see if there are still any seats available. Tickets and reservations are required for this event. They can be picked up at 201 South Fountain.

Libraries are there for us all to use for free. No longer are they musty stacks of old books. Libraries can be exciting, or relaxing, or a friendly home away from home and there is something of interest for all of us.

Best of all you don’t have to wait for bad weather to enjoy libraries.

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