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Haxton Memorial Library

June 28, 2019 - 1:55pm

Kim Gibson, library manager at Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield, shows a chain which children will receive as part of the library’s summer reading program. Children will receive a bead to put on the chain for every 20 minutes of reading they do.

OAKFIELD -- Haxton Memorial Library’s Summer Reading Program got off to a rousing start with a kickoff carnival Thursday in Triangle Park. 

Library Manager Kim Gibson said the summer reading program has been such a success, and the 125 children who attended the kickoff are a testament to that.

“With parents and friends, we had at least 250 people here,” Gibson said.  

There is no mistaking Gibson’s love of her job and her passion for promoting reading in the community. Gibson has been at the library for 18 years – eight as children’s librarian and 10 as library manager.

“This event gets the word out and tells the community what we’re all about,” Gibson said of the kickoff carnival.

Children who attended the carnival received an entry in a drawing for entrance to the New York State Fair. They also received a ticket to each of the stations set up in the park, which included cotton candy, popcorn, games and face painting.

There were also balloons and animals from the Buffalo Zoomobile.

Most importantly, the carnival gave Gibson, library staff and her volunteers the opportunity to promote the summer reading program, which is in its fourth year.

The theme this year is “A Universe of Stories” and it runs from July 1 to Aug. 9.

The program features ongoing contests and prizes, movies at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, story time at 10:30 a.m. Mondays and a family activity every Thursday at 7 p.m.

A new feature this year which Gibson is excited about is a chain, which every child will receive. Children are encouraged to read at home and for every 20 minutes of reading documented, they receive a bead for their chain. When they reach two hours of reading, they get a “brag tag” for the chain.

“I got the idea for a couple of other libraries, where it’s been very successful,” Gibson said. “They can come in whenever we’re open and give us their times, which we will keep in a folder.”

She said children will be on their honor in recording their reading time. 

“If they want to read the same book over, that’s OK, too,” she said. 

Gibson said the summer reading program is so important because it gets children in the library, and it’s free. 

The summer reading program includes special activities for all the family, from young children to adults, such as making robots and rockets, space-themed craft nights, a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt and two nights of Brush Strokes read and paint. Early registration is necessary for Brush Strokes, because it fills up fast, Gibson said. The idea of Brush Strokes for children 2 to 12 is to read about something, such as a llama, and then paint it.

For the adults, there is a basket raffle. For every book they take out they receive an entry to win one of the theme baskets, put together with items donated by the community. At the end of the six weeks, the number of books taken out is tallied up and the top reader receives a gift card. 

“We are trying to encourage reading across the board – from young children to adults,” Gibson said.

Gibson said the summer reading program is accomplished with the help of wonderful volunteers and donations from many businesses in the community. She said the children’s clerk, Hayley Lown did a lot of work preparing for the program.

“This event takes a lot of planning and a lot of hard work, but in the end it’s worth it,” Gibson said. “We are very fortunate to have so many dedicated staff and volunteers. We have some regular library volunteers and others from the Oakfield Betterment Committee. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Gibson said she knows everyone is busy in the summers, and it’s wonderful to see so many children who want to read.

The summer reading program will conclude Aug. 9 with an ice cream party, thanks to a local individual who donates the ice cream.

“I love the library,” Gibson said. “It’s been a huge part of my life and it’s so exciting to see kids come in and take books out. I see so many kids who used to come in to my story hour in the children’s library, and now they are graduating.”

Gibson said there aren’t many places for kids to go in their small community, and this is the library’s way to give back to the community.

Information on the summer reading program can be found on their website at www.haxtonlibrary.org, by calling the library at 948-9900 or visiting them at 3 North Pearl St. 

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Jill Klotzbach, whose daughter Hayley Lown is the children’s clerk at Haxton Memorial Library, carries balloons to Triangle Park for a carnival Thursday night to kick off the summer reading program.

Kim Gibson, left, library manager at Haxton Memorial Library, and Board President Ann Engel, sign in children Thursday night in Triangle Park for the kickoff carnival for the summer reading program.

Riley D’Alba gives cotton candy to Brooklyn Esten, 5, during the carnival Thursday night in Triangle Park to kick off Haxton Memorial Library’s summer reading program.

Lily Davis, 12, volunteered to pass out balloons to children who attended the carnival Thursday in Triangle Park to kick off the summer reading program.

May 30, 2017 - 3:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, Oakfield, Haxton Memorial Library, news.

This information is from a press release provided by Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today proudly announced that the Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield will be receiving a state grant to install security cameras.

Hawley fought vigorously during this year’s budget negotiations to restore proposed cuts to library aid made by Gov. Cuomo and secure $95.6 million in total aid, including a $5 million increase for capital projects. 

“Libraries like these are a staple of our community and offer myriad services to local residents, such as free books and movie rentals, high-speed Internet and research services,” Hawley said. “My colleagues and I worked diligently to fight Gov. Cuomo’s proposed cuts to library aid and I am proud to announce that we actually secured an increase in funding for public libraries to undertake capital projects and improvements.

"Libraries are a gateway to a world of knowledge and enlightenment through reading and research and they will always have my unwavering support.”

Hawley also noted that Le Roy's Woodward Memorial Library received a state grant to renovate its Children's Room. For previous coverage on that project, click here.

June 11, 2010 - 7:31pm

It appears that when Mother Nature heard that "Make a Splash at Your Library" was going to be the theme of the Haxton Memorial Library's upcoming summer reading program, she took it a bit too literally.

Interim Library Director and Children's Librarian Kimberly Gibson met with a surprise when she came into work on Monday morning. She went downstairs to the children's room, followed by a group of youngsters eager for story hour...only to find the place flooded up to her ankles.

She called in Warren's Carpet Cleaning Service to take care of the problem -- which was no easy task.

"It took two full days to to dry the place out," Gibson said. "And they had to use 10 huge blowers and two humungous dehumidifiers."

The water extended from it's point of origin (which is inside the room slightly right of center, behind the table) all the way to the carpet used for story hours and also sideways to where the stairs are located.

The Warren's employees on the job told Gibson it was lucky she contacted them when she did, because the humidity was already at a very dangerous level.

"We probably would have lost all of our carpeting and everything if we'd waited much longer," Gibson said.

Things could have been a lot worse, and the place is steadily drying out. The saddest part of this whole ordeal for Gibson, though, is that she had just purchased 22 ocean-related books for the summer reading program, and 13 of them were completely ruined.

"I don't think we're going to be able to salvage them," she said. "It's crushing, because I worked so hard to plan these programs, and I bought these books because I thought the kids would really like them. In fact I was just getting ready to put them on display."

The flooding resulted from this past weekend's continual torrential rain -- which, according to Library Trustee Ann Engel, Oakfield residents are saying amounted to about two and a half inches.

Gibson said the same thing happened six years ago.

"We've been lucky not to have anything happen in six years," she said. "But this time it was worse than before."

In spite of this misfortune, Gibson has tried to remain upbeat and to keep her leadership mentality all along. After the initial shock of discovery on Monday morning, she immediately resolved to "just stay focused and get things taken care of as soon as possible." 

"She's a trooper," another library trustee said of Gibson.

Still, Gibson, the library's two other staff members, and the board of trustees would gladly accept any assistance the community would be willing to provide. Gibson said that monetary donations would be especially helpful.

"We have a small budget here at Haxton, and this is obviously going to cost more money than we had planned on spending. With the cost of the books [that were ruined] and the bill for Warren's services, we would certainly welcome any monetary assistance."

The Haxton Library has basic insurance, but they are hoping that they will not need to turn to that to pay for the damages.

"We have a $2,500 deductible," Gibson said, "so we don't want to go to our insurance unless we have to. We don't know what the overall cost will be yet, but hopefully it won't exceed that. Plus, I'm not sure if flood damage is covered, since that kind of thing is fairly unusual in this area of the country."

Gibson arranged for all children's activities to be held upstairs this week, but she hopes to have the children's room open to patrons again on Monday.

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