Ralston Library

In the name of family fun, six community libraries are coming together to host a special event.

Ralston’s Baright Public Library, Papillion’s Sump Memorial Library, La Vista Public Library, Gretna Public Library, Springfield Memorial Library and Bellevue Public Library have all teamed up to create a memorable night for families.

On Aug. 23, Jim Gill, a musician and author, will put on a free concert for families at 6 p.m. at La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road.

Gill, who is known by youth librarians and educators across the country, is also a child development specialist who emphasizes family togetherness.

During the performance, Gill will encourage families to sing, dance and play.

“I think this is a fun program for families,” said Connie Manzer, library director at Springfield Memorial Library.

Tickets are not required for the event and though it is geared for families with small children, everyone is welcome.

Julie Dinville, library director of Bellevue Public Library, said she is eager to see Gill interact with the children.

“He has a great approach to getting kids to move and learn at the same time,” Dinville said.

Krissy Reed, Gretna library director, said she is happy to be able to provide this program to the communities.

“I’m excited to see families jump around and be silly together,” she said.

She also said that big events like this are possible when the libraries work together.

Last year, the libraries had an event geared more toward adults when Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, held a meet and greet with attendees.

This year, Dinville said, the directors wanted a more inclusive event.

In addition to the performance, there will also be a workshop with Gill Aug. 24 from 8:30 to 11 a.m., also at the La Vista library.

During the workshop, which is aimed to serve early education professionals, Gill will share examples of his work including books and songs. He will also discuss the importance of inspiring young children and educate them through song, dance and play.

Bailey Halbur, director at Baright, said she believes those who attend the morning session will gain a lot from the experience.

“Early childhood professionals are going to pick up a lot of good learning tools from him,” Halbur said. “It’s a lot of new content for them to use in their own storytimes or schools.”

Through the workshop, attendees have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.

The session is $10 per person which covers the cost of materials and breakfast. Tickets can be found at https://bit.ly/2JHBlyt.

By working together to host the event, Manzer said directors from across the county and Ralston had the chance to learn from each other’s successes and struggles.

“It’s a really good idea to get to know the other library directors,” she said.

“It’s advantageous of us to work together for our communities and provide opportunities for entertainment and education.”

Dinville said it also allows them to serve the community as a whole.

“We are all committed to developing programs that are available and enriching to all the folks in Sarpy County,” she said.

For more details, contact Springfield Memorial Library at smlibrary665@gmail.com or call 402-253-2797.

Email: ashley.quintela@bellevueleader.com Phone: 402-537-4849

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