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North Valley Public Library offers in-person programming
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North Valley Public Library offers in-person programming

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The North Valley Public Library in Stevensville has exciting programs for adults, teens and children, including Summer Reading and SpectrUM Summer of Science.

Teen & Youth Services specialist Emily Sandersfeld has been working for the library for over a year.

“I started right when COVID happened and we didn’t have any program, but now we are doing in-person programming,” Sandersfeld said. “We had to get a little creative during COVID and we did take home maker kits. I learned lots of library tasks but now that we have in-person library programs again I can do what I was hired for.”

Sandersfeld brings her love of books and caring for youth to Stevensville. She worked for the Flagship program in Missoula and before that at a nonprofit offering after-school programming for at-risk teenagers in Portland, Oregon.

“I’ve worked with teenagers for a long time,” Sandersfeld said. “I love working with teenagers, they are awesome.”

She has lived in the Bitterroot valley for eight years.

“It is nice to have a job in the valley,” she said. “I enjoy working closer to home and feel like I’m giving back to the community I live in.”

She reads many young adult fiction books for her job, but that carries over to her personal life.

“I am a bibliophile and I read everything,” she said. “I like people to suggest books for me to read. I read about a book a week.”

Sandersfeld does the purchasing for the children’s books and young adult books and appreciates receiving suggestions from readers on what they want to read.

“We have a unique selection for being such a small library,” Sandersfeld said. “We have a good variety and a lot of popular books.”

The North Valley Public Library is still in the partner system to get a book in any library from Darby to Whitefish.

“If it is not anywhere in our partner system we can get an interlibrary loan,” Sandersfeld said. “We can get it from any library in the country.”

Summer programming has already been happening with teen summer workshops where they made marble paper journals with bookbinding lessons, as well as Manga/Zines.

Upcoming is 3D printing to make and paint mini-figurines from 2-4:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 20. This program is suitable for ages 12-18. Register on the library’s events calendar on the website, stop by the library or call 406-777-5061.

Another favorite offering at the library is a “book bundle program,” where young library patrons go to the library website and take a survey of what kind of books they like to read. Then the librarians put together a selection of books for each patron.

“So, if they don’t know what to read next we can put together a book bundle,” Sandersfeld said. “And that is for any kid, ages 0-18. I think that is pretty cool and pretty unique and something you would only get at a small library. Personalized book recommendations for any aged kid.”

The University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area and the Bitterroot STEAM Advisory Group is sharing exhibits and activities that explore problem-solving. Free, hands-on activities and exhibits will be offered at the library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19. Registration is required.

The library has a summer reading challenge for kids and teens, ages 5-18, through Aug. 7. Spend the summer reading great books and win amazing prizes! Record what you’re reading on a Summer Reading Challenge Card. Cards are available at the library, print one anywhere or fill out one on the library website.

There are role-playing games for teens, ages 13-18, online or in person. Create a character and join the world of Dungeons & Dragons in-person or online via Zoom on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. No experience is necessary.

The Rubber Duck Reading Club is a program for ages 0-4 with fun early literacy activities and prizes. Register on the library’s events calendar on the website or stop by the library. This program is suitable for ages 0-4.

North Valley Public Library is located at 208 Main St., in Stevensville. For safety, the library reminds patrons to practice social distancing and wash hands. For more information visit northvalleylibrary.org.

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