his week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Laureen O’Handley about the upcoming Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Bash , a free children’s event celebrating the late author.
Educational/professional background: Bachelor’s degree in French and master’s degree in library and information science; employed in libraries for 35 years and has been the head of children’s services for 14 years
Title: Head of Lackawanna County Children’s Library, Scranton, and event planner
Q: What was the inspiration behind having a Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash?
A: Dr. Seuss is a much-loved author. Children celebrate him, his silliness and his books in school. As a library, we also celebrate his birthday, which is March 2, and the Read Across America initiative takes place every year on Seuss’ birthday. Our hope is to inspire children and parents to read and come to the library.
Q: How many years has this been a tradition?
A: The Dr. Seuss Day has been a library tradition in various forms for at least 14 years or maybe more. It’s been a birthday party, reading and activities program, even music and dance.
Q: What else will be on hand?
A: There will be a variety of activities for the families. There will be stories and interactive games, such as “Cat in the Hat Says” and “Match the Fish.” Make-and-take projects will be available in the lobby as well as some Dr. Seuss STEAM activities. The students of CaPAA of NEPA will share highlights of their musical, “Honk!,” based on the books by Pamela Duncan Edwards.
Q: Why is it important to host free, family-friendly events?
A: The library never charges for programs. It’s important for us to host these free, family-friendly programs so that families can have the advantage of quality programs at no cost. The Friends of the Scranton Library sponsors Sunday programs for the children’s library. We have had reptile shows, magicians, bats, birds of prey and even a dinosaur dig. To go to zoos, museums and shows might be hard for families. The entry fees and transportation can be costly. We bring the programs to the library.
Q: Why is community support so important to your cause?
A: Community support is important for us because we serve and support our community. The library is a community center where we connect people to information and connect people to people. We level the playing field, serving people of every age, income level, ethnicity and background by providing a full range of information resources and programs needed to live, learn and grow.
If you go
What: Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Bash
When: Saturday, March 7, 2 p.m.
Where: Lackawanna County Children’s Library, 520 Vine St., Scranton
Details: Admission is free, but registration is required; call 570-348-3000, ext. 3015, or visit lclshome.org.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. Additionally, Laura curates events online and copy edits print editions of the Life&Times and Weekend Times sections of the newspaper. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228; @laurarysz