If the first two shows were any indication, the Summer Reading Program at the Escalon Branch Library will be playing to sold out crowds.
Never mind the fact that they are free, the programs are designed to entertain while also encouraging a love of reading.
Magician Magic Dan kicked off the program series on Wednesday, June 10 and kept a capacity crowd entertained for a roughly 45-minute show. Traditional tricks such as making something disappear, having objects move from one spot to another and more kept youngsters and adults alike enthralled. He also did a little mind reading, determining the card an adult volunteer picked from an imaginary deck, deciding herself what the card was. Magic Dan was able to pull the real card she was thinking of out of a deck – choosing the right one.
Having youngsters use their own personal magic wands – also known as their index fingers – to help with some tricks kept them involved in the show and he also made sure to work in the benefits of having a library card, encouraging them to read throughout the summer.
On Thursday, it was the return of a popular show, Rebecca Niles, the Bubble Lady, who came in with a huge assortment of household items, from rubber bands to string, fly swatters to funnels and hula hoops, to create bubbles of all shapes and sizes.
She kept up a steady stream of back and forth banter with the audience and also used music as a backdrop to keep her show moving along. Several children had the chance to help her with the show as well, many getting covered with bubbles in the process.
It was another filled to capacity scene in the Ekholm Meeting Room for the Bubble Lady’s program, and she entertained – simply by creating bubbles – for nearly an hour.
Upcoming shows for the Summer Reading Program include: Bonnie Lockhart, Heroes and Heroines in Song, today, June 17 at 2 p.m. and Sparkles the Clown at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24.
July shows scheduled include Python Ron’s Reptile Kingdom on July 1, 3 p.m.; Show Off Your Superhero on Thursday, July 9 at 10:30 a.m.; Tony Borders “Peter Pan: Hero of Imagination” on Tuesday, July 14 at 3 p.m. and Brian Scott, “Biblio Spectacular” on Wednesday, July 15 at 2 p.m.
The Escalon Branch Library is at 1540 Second Street and, effective Wednesday, July 1, will have additional operating hours.
Librarian Jamie Turner said all branches in the county, under the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library system, benefited from more money coming in from county property taxes, with each branch getting five more hours.
New hours for the Escalon Library beginning in July will be Mondays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, noon to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.