School's out and you know what that means, right? S U M M E R - R E A D I N G! That's right. We are inviting you, you and you to our Summer Reading Kick-off events! Why not start off the summer with fun activities, food, and goals to set throughout the season? This is something you don't want to miss! You will also be able to sign up for our summer reading program while at one of these events. Click below to find the kickoff at your own branch. So water you waiting for? Be there or be square! Click to see when your library is holding their event.
Looking for something to make these long summer days more entertaining? Come join us at the library for this year's Pioneer Library System Touring Programs! We have tons of awesome events that are perfect for everyone. If you can't make the event at your local branch, you're welcome to attend at another branch!
Kids can learn and have fun at the same time with programs like Dino O'Dell, Ironscientist Triathlon, and Minecraft Redstone Challenge. Teens can get fit with SMO Crunch Time or save humanity with SMO Saving the Universe. Adults can have a night of relaxation with SMO Bath Lab 2.0 or test their culinary skills with An Excersice in Taste. There are many more programs to choose from. Click below for the full list, including locations and dates! We can't wait to see you.
In a summer of being all about healthy inside hometown libraries, it makes sense that Oklahoma’s favorite “sugar free” band is part of the festivities.
For 15 years, the Sugar Free Allstars have made family-friendly music fun and have kept bowties being cool. They’ve also become regular visitors to the Pioneer Library System and its Summer Reading Program, where they will return for a tour of hometown libraries in June, performing a Family Funk Dance Party in each community at the following times:
June 6 - 10:00 AM - Noble Public Library
June 6 - 2:00 PM - Norman Public Library Central
June 6 - 6:30 PM - Norman Public Library Central
June 7 - 10:30 AM - Purcell Public Library
June 7 - 2:00 PM - Moore Public Library
June 7 - 6:30 PM - Moore Public Library
June 8 - 10:30 AM - Blanchard Public Library
June 8 - 2:00 PM - Newcastle Public Library
June 9 - 11:00 AM - McLoud Public Library
June 9 - 2:00 PM - Tecumseh Public Library
June 10 - 2:00 PM - SOKC Public Library
June 14 - 10:00 AM - Shawnee Public Library
June 14 - 2:00 PM - Norman Public Library West
The idea for the Sugar Free Allstars actually began several years before the band officially hatched, when Chris “Boom” Wiser and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin were music majors at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. They worked together on several projects and in musical groups before going their separate ways after graduation.
The pair found their way back together in 2001 and began putting their musical styles together into what has become a distinctive sound they like to refer to as “Family Funk.”
Rachel Hendricks’ career in dance began at age 5, and her first dance shows were for other kids around the Ada neighborhood where she grew up.
“I would make the flyers and tickets, we’d have different themed shows in different places,” she remembered.
Today, Hendricks is an instructor with Norman-based Modern Dance Arts and for a second time will share her talent with teens around the Pioneer Library System as part of a summer tour.
While a lesson lasting an hour or so in a library program may not seem like a long time to learn much, Hendricks has seen a difference in teens who have participated.
“They actually are a little nervous at first, but you can gradually see them learning and see their confidence grow as they see they really can do this and really are dancing,” Hendricks said. “By the end of an hour I see them having a different appreciation for it.”
Hendricks added to her knowledge by spending parts of the past two summers working at an international dance festival in Brasilia, Brazil, where she taught dancers from all around that country and beyond.
“I worked with some of the best of the best in the whole world and was able to learn so much from the other instructors,” she said. “I didn’t speak their language, but it was interesting to see how universal the language of dance is.”
As a teacher, she works with all ages, from children as young as 3 to adults who may just be learning themselves.
A big part of her goal is to spread the passion she has for it to students, a particularly important goal in her mind for the teens she crosses paths with this summer as something they may be able to apply to areas of their life they mind have passion about.
“Dance is really a social art form. And I’m so passionate about it that I hope that rubs off on them and they can see that and get something from that,” she said.
“It helps me feel young. All my dance friends tell me their age and I think ‘wow’ that can’t be, because they all look so young still also.”
Be Wild for Art has invigorated hometown libraries the past two summers with its painting classes for adults, giving artists or would-be artists a chance to show their creativity in a festive environment of camaraderie.
The group takes its talents outside its Norman studio again for this summer’s tour of the library to add to what they’d guess is thousands of individual paintings since its opening in 2010, all of them unique.
“People all come in and pretty much they’re all frightened,” said owner Desiree Cashman. “But by the end of the class they all are having fun and find they’ve really learned something.
“At the end what they’ve painted may not be identical to what I’ve done but you always expect that. I can paint the same thing seven times and have seven paintings that all look a little different.”
This year’s library event will be for teens ages 12 to 17, who will begin from a sample design that will be displayed for all to see and then work on their own canvas. Class size will be limited to 20, not only so enough materials are available but also so staff members are able to help artists with tips for their new creations.
The staff at the studio also have seen a variety of interesting requests from visitors to the studio for projects they’d like to try. One family asked to do a painting based on a photo of the house of a beloved grandmother who recently had passed. And they came to the studio, some 70 strong, to use painting as a way of honoring their family member.
“And it was great, because everybody had a different remembrance of Grandma’s house,” Cashman said. “It was really a way they were able to celebrate her.”
Be Wild for Art has moved forward in remembrance in the past year also, as Desiree’s sister and co-founder of the business, Cyndy, died last summer after a battle with cancer.
The staff has remained strong and the studio moved earlier this year, down the street from its longtime site to a new Norman address, 480 24th Ave. NW No. 142, a location that will allow them more flexibility on the sizes of programs they will offer.
But for a third year in a row, some of those programs will be headed on the road and throughout the Pioneer Library System.