OUTLOOK: Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library brings ‘Oceans of Possibilities’

Published 4:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2022

It was an exciting day at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library on Tuesday as a closing event was held for children who had participated in the summer reading program that ran from June 1 until July 8.

The celebration included a science presentation by Stormin’ Bob Swanson, and certificates of achievements were awarded to those who had logged in the most reading minutes.

Pint-sized participant Jim Williams, who noted his formal name was James, walked away with the top honor. The home-schooled 7-year-old had 2,900 minutes of reading time.

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“I am so happy that I have won the top reader and we have all had a great time at the library in the summer library program,” Williams said.

Williams said he liked reading because it was fun, and listed the “Octonauts” and “InvestiGators” children’s series as some of his favorite books to read.

He also said he liked reading, “Because I can learn things.”

With his younger brother by his side, Williams said there are times he reads to him.

“I do read to him sometimes and that is a big help to my mommy,” Williams said.

Marie Cunningham, who serves as the children’s librarian, said the turnout for this year’s summer program was unmatched.

“This is the largest turnout we have ever had since I have been here, and I have been here eight years. We had 287 registrants,” Cunningham said. Cumulatively, more than 1,000 children were in attendance.

Cunningham said weekly events had been held, which included guest speakers, entertainers and artists focusing on the library’s summer theme, “Oceans of Possibilities.”

On Fridays, children had the opportunity to watch episodes of the BBC’s “Blue Planet II” documentary, which focuses on underwater creatures and discoveries, all while enjoying popcorn.

Additional programing included “passive programs,” Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library director Katrina Stokes said.

“This is an activity where we ask simple questions like ‘What’s your favorite sea creature or your favorite seafood,” she said, and from the weekly questioning, collection management librarian David Scott said they have received more than 100 responses weekly.

A scavenger hunt was also held. Cunningham said around 170 children participated in it and 36 children participated in constructing dioramas.

Two of the 36 were twin sisters Melanie and Naomi Floyd. With the library’s summer program having an underwater theme, each girl created a scene that reflected their interpretation of the ocean. The sisters, who are students at Agape Montessori Christian Academy, have been participating in the library’s summer program for more than eight years, their mother Susan Floyd said.

With the success of the summer library program, Stokes said she feels confident it will increase visits to the library and encourage more people to get library cards.

Also, Stokes said since the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library decided to go “fine free” at the beginning of the summer, she hoped this would be an added incentive for people to come back knowing that they would not have to worry about any late fines, since they would be forgiven.

“We hope this would help them to renew their accounts and possibly get their children signed up for library cards,” she said.

Those eligible for a library card are ages five and older.

“We encourage people to sign their children up because it’s just something very special about having your own card and being able to check out your own books,” Stokes said.

For more information, follow the Warren County-Vicksburg Library on Facebook @WCVPLibrary for announcements about services and hours.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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