Here at the West Orange Public Library, we work hard at providing services and information to everyone. Each season, we offer a variety of programs for residents of all ages, including family and youth programs. As autumn begins, we will once again be offering many of the fun activities that your family has enjoyed from our past storytime sessions and book clubs.

Faith Boyle, the head of Youth Services, will be running Book Bingo once a month for children in grades K-5. Book Bingo, the literary version of the classic game, will give children an opportunity to build their literacy skills and learn about classic and new titles offered at the library.

Our pajama storytime program will continue to be on Monday evenings at 6:30pm, but will only be offered once a week instead of six times in a row. By offering this change in our Monday evening program lineup, we are hoping to reach out to many more families with a variety of programs.

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Another big change that you will notice is our new selection of STEAM programs being offered for children ages 8-12 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. STEAM focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math learning. According to Amy Koester’s article, “Full STEAM Ahead: Injecting Art and Creativity into STEAM,” STEAM taps into children’s natural interest and facilitates informal learning. Koester also explains that having these programs in the library gives children the opportunity to explore and experiment.

At the library, we will also be offering a Tech Club and a Do It Yourself (DIY) craft once a month for these older children. Tech Club will offer basic coding projects, graphic design and animation projects beginning on Thursday, October 16 at 4:00pm. For each DIY craft, children will be provided all materials needed to complete their craft and then take it home. Each month, we will be focusing on a different craft suitable for boys and girls. Our first craft is a recycled toilet paper owl. The DIY craft program will kick off on Wednesday, October 22 at 4:00pm.

As usual, the library will continue to have its storytime programs on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays for infants through 3rd graders. A change that parents might see is that we will be offering our Preschool Page Turners twice a week starting October 13 for six weeks. The second session will be on Mondays at 3:30pm for children ages 3.5 through 5. Preschoolers have a chance to hear stories, sing songs and play games with their peers in this program. We will also be continuing our youth book clubs: Speaking of Stories, Yakety-Yak and Read N Chat, which will be held monthly and feature a different book each month.

Another youth program highlight is our weekly chess club, Check it Out Mate!, with experienced chess player Eric Greenebaum, which will continue in the beginning of October and run through November 20. Our chess club will give children from novice to advanced-levels chance to play the game.

We will also be hosting the annual Meet and Greet with the West Orange Fire Department on Saturday, October 11 at 12:00pm as part of National Fire Prevention Week. Children will have the opportunity to meet the firefighters, learn fire prevention skills and see a fire truck.  

For a complete list of children’s programming, please visit us online at www.wopl.org. We’re looking forward to sharing the season with you and your families.