OUTLOOK: Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library offers a plethora of programs for children

Published 4:00 am Sunday, August 13, 2023

There is a place in Vicksburg where adventure is abundant for children; a place where little ones can experience animals and creatures of all types coming to life and where educational opportunities abound.

This place also offers parents the opportunity to share in all the fun and the chance to aid their child’s education.

So where is this place located? On the lower level of the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library, better known as the children’s section of the library.

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On the children’s floor of the library, patrons will find a plethora of offerings from a large print collection of fiction and non-fiction books to audiobooks on CD to Box Books and Wonderbooks.

“Box Books and Wonderbooks are books that talk,” WCVPL children’s librarian Marie Cunningham said. “They present the book, and they will tell you, ‘When you hear this sound, turn the page.’”

For some books, Cunningham said, the sound reflects the subject matter. For instance, in the case of the truck book, it has the sound of a truck horn when it’s time to turn the page.

The children’s section of the library also offers Playaways.

“(Playaways) are pre-loaded audiobooks. So instead of being on a cassette tape or CD, you have to listen to them with headphones, earbuds or you can do an auxiliary cord and run it through the stereo,” Cunningham said.

Box Books and Wonderbooks are audible without headphones, but Cunningham said they do have an input for readers who may want to use headphones or earbuds.

New to the children’s section of the library is the Playaway launchpad, which is a preloaded learning tablet with apps, games, comics or videos that can be accessed anytime, Cunningham said. The launch pads were first introduced at the WCVPL this past spring.

Additional resources include an electronic catalog with websites that offer a variety of programs — one of which is the Accelerated Reader BookFinder. AR BookFinder not only has more than 170,000 books available for children, but it also has a how-to video guide for people needing help in using the resource.

The children’s department of the library is also home to the Parent Resource Center, which is supported by the United Way of West Central Mississippi and Excel By 5.

Cunningham said the PRC was created in 2018 and provides parents in the Vicksburg community access to educational materials for their children from birth to age 5.

Batesville Manufacturing, a locally owned business, partnered with the UWWCM to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to the WCVPL. Founded in 1995 by country music icon Dolly Parton, the program mails free, high-quality, age-appropriate books to enrolled children from birth to age 5.

Another offering for children and youth is Reading Rangers. This program is sponsored by the Vicksburg National Military Park in partnership with the WCVPL. Reading Rangers, VNMP Chief of Interpretation, Education and Partnerships Brendan Wilson said, is geared towards subjects relevant to National Parks, American History, Outdoor recreation, natural history and historical places and objects.

And for participants who log in for 500 minutes or more of reading about these subjects, Wilson said they will receive a certificate and t-shirt.

To enjoy the resources at the WCVPL, all it takes is a library card.

Cunningham said it is free to sign up for a card and those 18 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to receive a card.

The WCVPL was founded in 1916 with the help of funds from Andrew Carnegie and was first housed in a building at the corner of Monroe and South streets. The library was moved to its current location, 700 Veto St., in 1979.

For more information about the WCVPL and a calendar of events, visit https://warren.lib.ms.us or its Facebook page, WCVP Library.

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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