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Summer library activities kick off at gazebo

By Abigail Chalmers

The Albert Lea Public Library hosted an outdoor event, Music & Movement, on Thursday morning. Many parents or guardians and their children gathered at the Fountain Lake Gazebo to partake in the activity led by children’s librarian Patty Greibrok.

Greibrok kicked off the event with Five Elephants in the Bathtub before reading “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle and “If You’re Happy and You Know It: Jungle Edition” by James Warhola. She showed the children how to mime the actions of the animals described in the book and encouraged them to join her.

The music portion of the activity featured “The Chicken Dance,” “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” and “I Know a Chicken,” and Greibrok and the participants sang, danced and shook egg maracas along to the soundtracks.

After getting active in the 90-degree heat, Greibrok and a helper handed out fruit snacks and paper fans to the children.

The library began its summer activities on Monday and Tuesday with Storytime at the gazebo. According to Greibrok, 72 people joined them on Monday and 82 on Tuesday.

“I am so happy with the numbers,” she said. “This is a growing year because a lot of the kids have aged out of Storytime and Music & Movement. So, to have that many come, it tells me people are looking for things to do. People need to get out.”

Greibrok also noted that there are more opportunities to get involved with the library during the summer in addition to the Storytime and Music & Movement activities, which take place at 10:30 a.m. each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

There are two book clubs: one for third and fourth graders and the other for fifth, sixth and seventh graders. The younger group meets on Tuesdays and the older on Mondays; both meet at 2 p.m. at the gazebo. A registration form is available on the library’s website. Space is limited.

Virtual events will also be held this year and viewed on the library’s YouTube page, AlbertLeaPubLib. A new book will be read for virtual Storytime, and the video will be released each Monday. There will also be a pet parade, composed of submitted photos and videos, available for viewing during the week of June 28. Submissions are due by Sunday, June 20. A magic show by Greg the Great will be viewable from June 21-27, and the Reptile and Amphibian Zoo video will be up during the week of July 12.