Slew of programs offered this summer at library | News, Sports, Jobs

Slew of programs offered this summer at library |  News, Sports, Jobs

‘“Mad scientist” Professor DoDad does his thing at the North Fort Myers Library to the thrill of an audience of kiddos and helpers who “made scense” of the madness. Photography by Lee County Parks & Rec

The North Fort Myers Library offers great alternatives to beat the warm summer heat of Southwest Florida with programs and activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Youth Service Programming Coordinator Amy Jane McWilliam said the new North Fort Myers Library was built in 2019 with limited services beginning in July 2019.

A ribbon cutting was held for the 26,000-square-foot facility on Aug. 5, 2019 with the grand opening community celebration taking place on Sept. July 7, 2019.

“We were only opened maybe six months until we had to shut everything down for COVID. It’s brand new. It’s beautiful inside,” she said. “The great thing about this location is the children’s area and the teen area. They are separate from one another, but they are also enclosed.”

Once a patron enters the library, to the right is the adult area and straight through is a really “vibrant, funky and cool teen space with diner booths for teens to hang out and a gaming area,” she said.

Magician Joey Evans and his volunteer assistants amaze at a North Fort Myers Library program. Photography by Lee County Parks & Rec

To the left there are doors that close, providing families with the opportunity to be families in the library in the children’s area.

“We recognize the fact that some people do need quiet time. You don’t have to worry about a baby crying and giggling,” McWilliam said.

The library also includes a patio area featuring a life sized Connect Four and corn hole.

Since last October the library has gained its footing as children’s services opened again for the public.

“Their storytime’s are so large they began doing it in the bigger meeting rooms. They are really building community at that branch,” McWilliam said. “They are really on a roll. They are gaining momentum. They are right next to the Rec Center and they just built a children’s playground. It’s a great morning . . . go to the park and the library and then it’s nap time.”

This summer the library system is back in full swing as they were in the summer of 2019 with in-person programs and drop-in activities.

“We are seeing a lot of families coming back,” McWilliam said.

Although the Summer Reading program goes until Aug. 1, there are an assortment of programs well into August for patrons to enjoy.

One of the highlights is FGCU’s Water School providing a presentation for youths 12 to 17 and graduating high school seniors. McWilliam said the presentation will include information about the water school, its purpose and impact on Southwest Florida, and the local environment.

“When we have speakers come in for teen programs, we ask them to talk to our teens about potential career paths. If they are interested in environmental topics perhaps they can learn more about how to get into that career,” she said. “Any extra space is available, if there are adults that want to come, they can for this particular program.”

Youngsters also will have the chance to learn about different cultures through Oceanography Down Under, an Australian themed show that is very high energy and audience participation.

Another fun program is a bubble dance party for birth to 5 years old. The fun event will include bubble blowing, dancing and music. Kids are welcome to dress as their favorite water character.

There are also baby playdates for the youngest patrons, birth to 18 months old, full of activities to promote social, motor and early literacy skills.

There are also events for the entire family, such as a family movie night that will feature a favorite forgetful underwater fish.

“In August we start going back to traditional programming for children and teens,” McWilliam said.

A “really cool program” offering for teens, which requires registration, will take place on Aug. 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm for those 12 to 17 years old. She said it’s teen after hours fun in the library with activities, games, crafts and a movie.

“Teens will have access to certain parts of the library while no one else is there,” she said.

Some of the other August activities include craft programs, Kids Read Down Fines and Read to Dogs. McWilliam said the Read to Dogs program is a really cool program for all ages of children, birth to teens. Those who wish to participate have to set up a time to read to the therapy dog.

“It helps improve literacy because dogs are so forgiving,” she said.

Storytimes will resume after Labor Day.

Individuals are encouraging to check the online calendar,, or drop by the branch to pick up the monthly flyer for a list of programs and to register.

The library is at 2001 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.


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