MARQUETTE - A visit to the library doesn't always have to be quiet one, according to Sue Danielson, children's librarian at the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library.
It can be a silly visit, a playful visit and a colorful visit, all in one trip to the children's section, nestled in the lower level at the library.
Danielson spent more than 20 years as the librarian at Birchview Elementary School in Ishpeming and when she retired from that position she took the part time position at the library for the fun of it. It has given her opportunity to reach more children and cultivate more lifetime readers.
Sue Danielson reads the story “Where the Wild Things Are” to a group of children dressed in their pajamas. (Journal photo by Claire Abent)
"My main aim was to reach the reluctant readers and help them love books," she said. "I'm doing everything here on a bigger basis."
Through programs like the Tot Tuesdays, weekly preschool story hour and weekend puppet shows, Danielson has been doing just that, creating an atmosphere of fun and learning for kids of all ages. Each craft, puppet show is based around a children's story or book.
"We revolve everything around books," Danielson said. "It's about having fun with the library and having fun with books."
Recently, the library held a Wild Rumpus Pajama Party in honor of the new year and based on the book "Where the Wild Things Are." Children dressed up in their pajamas, held a parade and dropped balloons to celebrate. They made hats and played with noisemakers and watched a puppet show based on the book - a fitting celebrating indeed.
It is these type of events that help bring in young children to the library.
"They (children) thought it was boring. They didn't realize it was fun here," Danielson said. "It's not a quiet library. The kids always ask if they can keep things and they always ask if they can make noise in the library."
Parents enjoy the space too.
"The parents are so thrilled to have a place to bring them and to have some education and a little fun," she said.
Kendra Anderson, an 11-year-old from Ishpeming, enjoys coming to the library because it allows her to have fun and help out with the puppet shows that Danielson puts on.
"I like that Mrs. Danielson was our old librarian at Birchview and I was sad when she retired," she said. "She is different than any librarian I've ever met."
During February, the theme will be Valentine's Day and there will be a Valentine's Day Teddy Bear Picnic on Feb. 12 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., complete with puppy show and party treats.
The entire month of March will be spent celebrating the birthday of author Dr. Suess. Celebrations will take place and children will be served traditional green eggs and ham as well as birthday cake.
In April, spring will come a little early to the library as it turns into a tropical paradise. Children are encouraged to wear shorts and other warm weather clothes. Based on the book "Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise," everyone visiting will go on a little "imagination vacation" Danielson said.
The Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library is location at 317 N. Main St. in Ishpeming. The Children's Library is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 906-486-4381 or visit www.uproc.lib.mi.us/ish/.
Claire Abent can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.