For those who dream of galaxies far, far away, the Ignacio Community Library has the adventure they’re seeking – “Explore: Space, A Cosmos Journey” runs one more week.
The exhibit, sponsored by the American Library Association’s StarNet, will visit eight libraries across the country. Ignacio’s library is the only Colorado host.
The exhibitOn entering, patrons see panels full of space facts, including the history of how man has learned about the cosmos and information about black holes, galaxies, nebulas and other structures in the universe. A touch screen offers fun activities such as space golf as well as educational offerings. A space capsule shows how cramped early missions were, while a telescope provides the opportunity to “see” constellations in the sky.
“Schools have used it for their science classes,” Library Director Marcia Vining said. “We’re getting kids in here who’ve never been in the library before. It’s fun to see people just stand there and read the panels.”
The library was awarded the exhibit after facilities manager Dixie Cook and technology coordinator Lucas Gass wrote a grant application. The award included $1,000 for the library to create at least 10 programs.
One remaining program, “Model Spacecraft,” will be held Saturday.
“We’re here every Wednesday,” said Lisa Ruybal, watching her daughter, Kennedy, 8, investigate the touch screen. “She loves space, and she loves the library.”
Kennedy’s not the only space fan in the family.
“This one loves the space capsule,” Ruybal said of her other daughter, 2-year-old Abigail.
Community hubThe Ignacio Community Library has 5,900 card holders, and recently added two additional book clubs. The Great Stories Book Club is for at-risk teens facing significant challenges.
“We choose books that show how people took control of their lives, transformed them,” Vining said, “It meets year-round.”
An American Library Association project, the theme for Great Stories is “The Art of Change: Creation, Growth and Transformation.”
Inklings, for third- to fifth-graders, also started meeting last week, joining the Mystery and Daytime book clubs, writer workshops, English as a Second Language classes, a knitting group, children’s story times and painting lessons on the calendar.
“I can’t believe how many more programs we have now than five years ago,” Vining said.
“We’re open on Sundays now, and it’s so popular. That’s particularly significant now we’re heading into winter, when people will be outside less and looking for places like this.”
The library just rolled out its Ignacio Voices oral history program, after more than 20 people trained to be interviewers. In June 2017, a poster exhibit featuring the participants will go on display.
“People talk about it being the hub of the community,” Vining said. “There’s so much variety, it’s not just a place to get information, it’s a place where people are connecting.”