Celebrating Dr. Seuss at the library

Published 4:24 pm Friday, March 3, 2023

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The Albert Lea Public Library threw a party Thursday afternoon honoring the birthday of Dr. Seuss, popular children’s author.

Patty Greibrok, youth services librarian, said Seuss would have been 119 years old.

Celebrating his birthday is something the library has done since she started working there 23 years ago.

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“Mostly it was Read Across America,” she said, referring to the nationwide reading celebration created by the National Education Association to “get children reading.” Read Across America is always on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

To commemorate his birthday, the library threw a party complete with birthday cake.

“We celebrate with games like pin-the-bow-tie on Cat in the Hat, we did the egg race, we do lots of different crafts,” she said.

They also made a Thing One headband, elephant ears, a Dr. Seuss hat and a red-and-white beaded necklace.

There was also story time, where children took a pledge to read every day.

And there were takeaway activities, a book drawing and a guessing game.

“That’s always an interesting thing is to tell children what a raffle is, cause they’re used to everybody gets something,” she said. “But when it’s a drawing not everybody gets a prize. That’s hard.”

And while the library does different activities for different authors, Thursday’s event was slightly different.

“Because of Read Across America, it’s a national endeavor through NEA, that’s why,” she said. “It’s just been that for as long as I know.”

Planning for the party started last fall, and Greibrok, who has been holding these birthday parties for years, had her cart ready weeks ago.

During planning, she got crafts for Thursday ready, while also trying to let the public know what was happening.

New this year was a bingo dauber, something Greibrok said kids loved.

“This is fun for kids,” she said.

And there was birthday cake.

According to Greibrok, the last time the library hosted the party, almost 90 children attended. But that was on a Sunday, and she didn’t expect that many children this year.

“The last few years we’ve done a take-home bag,” she said. “They got a bag with the elephant ears and some different projects that they could do. And a little bag of Goldfish.”

Doing this allows her to interact with children — something she loved.

“Most kids love listening to books,” she said.

Doing this for so long has taught her that children were the same across time periods and wanted to learn and have fun.

Natalie Cramer attended because she thought it was a small, safe place for her nephew and her co-worker’s son. She also brought her niece.

Nicole Morrison brought her daughters, Clara and Nina, to the party, something she described as fun and creative, and said she attends storytime at the library frequently.

“I’ve always enjoyed the program and the people that manage it,” she said. “I think it’s a great learning opportunity for my girls so I continue coming.”