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Bugs And Summer Fun Invade Escalon Library
Escalon Library Assistant Amanda Clifford, at left, helps parents and young participants bounce the balloons off the parachute as part of a recent Storytime session hosted at the library. Marg Jackson/The Times

Bugs were everywhere you looked on Thursday at the Escalon Library … but they were in books, on the storyboard and in the form of some puppets, as youngsters enjoyed a creepy crawly-themed Storytime session.

New Escalon Library Assistant Amanda Clifford has taken over the weekly Storytime events and planned a fun one for kids this past week, introducing them to spiders, butterflies, ladybugs, honeybees and more.

Clifford, who had served as a substitute in Escalon before, is happy to be here on a more permanent basis.

“I’ve been a sub with the Stockton-San Joaquin County Library for about a year and I have been all over the system,” Clifford explained. “I’ve been in Manteca, Ripon, Mountain House, Tracy.”

She came to Escalon as its new assistant in mid-June.

“Do I have to choose one?” she said, laughing, when asked what she enjoys most about her job.

“I love a bunch of things about it,” she continued. “This is a great community and I love getting involved, getting the different programs going.”

She also likes to be creative with the weekly Thursday Storytime, sometimes keying in on a holiday or, as was the case with the popular ‘bug’ theme, working on a general topic.

The library’s Summer Reading Club is rapidly coming to a close and the end of the summer party is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 4 at 2:30 p.m., when they will have a pizza party, discuss some of the books read and also have some prize drawings.

Librarian Jamie Turner said they had 240 signups for the summer reading program in June alone, which included children, teens and adults. Each had a specific program to follow.

“They can turn in their reading logs and be eligible for prizes,” Turner said.

The library also has its ongoing book sale, hosted by the Friends of the Escalon Library. Offered during regular library hours, hard cover books are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents, with children’s and teen’s hard cover books available for 50 cents and paperbacks for a quarter.

Clifford said she wants to make sure the library has something for everyone, whether it’s the 10:30 a.m. Thursday Storytime for the younger set or activities for older children.

The library this week is hosting an event for older kids, as they offer a Pokémon Go activity on Friday, July 29 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Those interested are invited to come and catch some favorite Pokémon and stock up on eggs and items at the Escalon library Poké Stop. Games and crafts for all ages will be featured in the Ekholm community room and all fans of Pokémon are welcome.

Escalon Library, 1540 Second St., is open Mondays and Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed noon to 2 p.m.); Fridays noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.