The Voorhees Branch Library offers a large calendar of events for children up to age 18

The Voorhees Branch Library offers a large calendar of events for children up to age 18 to get involved with peers, their community and just have fun.

“The Youth Services Department puts together a full calendar of events each season that covers our birth-18 age range. Librarians Christen Orbanus, Liz Campbell, Wendy Ensor and I, as well as support staff Kathy Mahony and Joann Stepler, tackle different age ranges and interests,” said Emily Moore, head of youth services.

Activities include story time and arts and crafts sessions for young children. Moore said getting involved in these younger activities is one of her favorite things to do.

“I always have fun right alongside the kids! One of the department’s favorite story time songs is called ‘Tootie Ta.’ The kids follow the instructions in the song on how to stand (thumbs up, elbows back, knees apart, bottoms up, etc) and by the end almost everyone is rolling on the floor laughing at how silly we all look,” Moore said.

Other options available for older youth include video games, Lego clubs, science experiments and sewing.

“I’m especially excited about our Dystopian Lock In for teens in grades six to 12 on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. after the library closes,” Moore said.

This past Saturday, Oct. 11, the library hosted its 2nd Community Play Date. Youth Services took over the first floor and set up sensory activities all around — perfect for kids ages 1 to 3 — including the very popular shredded paper pool. ShopRite of Lawnside provided snacks and expertise with Registered Dietitian Jessica Molinaro.

“It was fabulous to see families come together to watch their young ones explore and build up those early development skills,” Moore said.

A list of other events, along with special events, can be found online at the library’s events page at Registration is required for most programs, and is normally open three weeks before the date of the program until it fills up.

At these events, Moore said kids can expect, first and foremost, fun. It is also very likely they will make friends and maybe even learn something.

“For our young friends, it’s one of their first opportunities for interacting with other kids. It’s really fun to see kids learning to share for the first time. For our elementary aged kids and teenagers, attending library events gives them a chance to make more friends and explore their interests,” Moore said. “We also offer volunteering opportunities for our teen patrons, giving a chance to be an active part in their community.”

Parents are invited to be involved in many of the programs. For children through age 7, parents are required to attend, while for children ages 8 through 12, parents are welcome. Middle school and high school events are only for the teens. That doesn’t mean parents can’t get in on the fun at the Voorhees Branch Library. The library does host events for adults, including guest speakers, book clubs and arts and entertainment.

The Voorhees Branch is also hosting its Big Fall Book Sale this weekend, from 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 through Saturday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. There will be 75 tables with 50,000 books, music and movies — all 50 cents to $3.