Library afterschool

Student Ashley Hurt enjoys the quiet atmosphere of the Hancock Branch Annex to study and complete assignments.

Afterschool programs designed to entertain and engage middle and high school students launched earlier this month at the Hancock Branch Annex of the Twin Lakes Library System (TLLS) located at 127 E. Hancock St. 

The programs provide activities from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We're happy to provide space for our community's young adults in our new Hancock Branch,” said Houser. “As one of many services that the branch was designed for, the young adult programming that we provide every weekday afternoon is an important aspect of fulfilling our library's mission to improve and enhance the educational, cultural and recreational life of our community.”

According to Dabney Kinser, young adult librarian, the newly opened annex is perfectly designed to hold activities because of its wide-open space and unique accessories, including built-in risers for lounging that have electrical outlets for charging electronics, comfortable overstuffed couches for long hours of studying or socializing, a vending machine with suggested favorite snacks, and a water dispenser to refill reusable bottles. 

“With approximately 50 to 75 students daily taking part in craft activities, studying, and socializing,” Houser said, “seeing the space so well-utilized makes the work that went into renovating that space all the more worthwhile." 

Kinser said the annex opened just in time for the launch of the children’s summer reading program and the teens’ programs. The new space offered a larger space to hold programs such as the magic show that drew more attendance. She said that the summer crowd represented all the county schools, private and public, and homeschool groups as well. 

“The current afterschool programs are well-attended with dozens of kids doing homework, checking materials out, socializing with others, and simply interacting with the space,” said Kinser. “We have crafts, board games, movies, and computer games — all to benefit the local youth.” 

For student Ashley Hurt, the wide-open space of the annex, along with its quiet atmosphere, is the reason she chooses to bring her out-of-the-classroom work and hang out at the Hancock Branch. 

“It’s very quiet most of the time, even when the afterschool program is happening, with dozens of students around. I can still find a place to charge my phone or laptop and study,” she said. 

Past movies shown on the large drop-down screen on Thursday afternoons include “Captain Marvel,” “Five Feet Apart,” “Shazam!,” and “A Silent Voice.” 

Crafts available to make include bead bracelets and necklaces, buttons and magnets, and picture stands, just to name a few. 

Kinser does not plan the next month’s specific activities without consulting the young participants on what they want to watch, make or read. Schedules, including the featured age-appropriate movies of the month, can be found on the Twin Lakes Library calendar posted online at www.

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