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Feline Friends Stir Up Smiles At Local Library
Local youngsters Elijah Poovey, 10, and Colton Crawford, 9, take the opportunity to visit with a kitten being handled by Debi Scoles, as she and other volunteers with the ASTRO, Animal Shelter to Riverbank and Oakdale, made a stop at the Escalon Library on Thursday, June 8. Marg Jackson/The Times

Traditionally known as quiet places, the Escalon Library operated a bit out of the norm on Thursday, June 8 when a slew of cats and kittens invaded the Ekholm Meeting Room.

Brought in by ASTRO, the Animal Shelter to Riverbank and Oakdale, the collection of a few older cats and several adoptable kittens was a big drawing card for youngsters. The library is in the midst of its Summer Reading Program, Come One Come All, and is hosting several special programs and activities as part of the program.

There is also the opportunity for all library patrons to sign up for the reading program and qualify for prizes for reading throughout the summer months.

Along with meeting and greeting the furry felines on Thursday, those stopping by the library for the ‘kitten convention’ could also enjoy a craft where they made a cat toy and had the chance to decorate a cookie to eat there or take home.

Summer reading is just one of the many programs going on at the Escalon Library, and it runs through July 31. Prizes being offered in drawings for every completed reading log turned in include Squishmallows, a Kindle Fire, hover board, bike, Nintendo Switch Lite, Little Tikes sports, gift baskets for adults and more.

Additional activities throughout the month include storytime on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.; a Cookbook Club for adults, Hooked on Crochet class and a Book Club Café for adults.

The Cookbook Club meets the first Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. to share recipes, food and make new friends; the next Get Hooked on Crochet class is set for Wednesday, June 21 at 4 p.m., open to ages 10 to adult. The Book Club Café meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m., and is an adult library book club to meet new friends, drink coffee or tea and read great books; bring a book to share, there is no assigned reading in this casual club.

The visit this past week by the cats and kittens wasn’t the first time four legged friends have graced the library, either; there is also the regularly scheduled Read with Paws 4 Friends program, offered once a month. Kids can practice their literacy skills, reading to the therapy dogs, with the next session scheduled on Monday, June 19 at 1:30 p.m.

Also coming up, a Scholastic Book Fair will be hosted at the end of June, as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Escalon Library organization. Scheduled from Monday, June 26 through Friday, June 30 in the Ekholm Room, hours will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday hours are to be determined.

On Monday, June 26 there will be an early bird preview at 9:30 a.m. and Monday through Thursday they will offer a special book fair storytime at 10:30 a.m.

People can also order books from the fair online from June 26 through July 9. Visit the webpage for the fair:

Hours at the library, 1540 Second Street, are Monday and Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Sunday.

A special program offered at the Escalon Library on Thursday gave kids and adults the chance to interact with several cats and kittens, with adoptions being offered. Here, volunteer Maddy McKinsey works with Ruby Hepstall, 3, to put together a cat toy. Marg Jackson/The Times
Several events and activities – such as the Thursday visit by ASTRO with adoptable cats and kittens, are being put on this summer to encourage visits to the library and participating in the 'Come One Come All' Summer Reading Program. Marg Jackson/The Times