Here’s something you’ll probably hear less at Timberland Regional Library branches this summer: “Shh.”
Instead, expect to hear giggles, kazoos, singing and steel drums.
The five-county district has scheduled dozens of concerts, magic shows, story times and other events to help entice families into the library as part of its summer reading program.
“All of them are free,” said Ellen Duffy, Timberland’s youth services coordinator. “These are your tax dollars at work. We just love having people come through our doors. We love doing outreach.”
So far, the programs are off to a great start, she said. By June 30, 10,849 people had signed up for Timberland’s summer reading program, which includes reading and activity logs, a special events calendar, booklists, coupons and prize-drawing entry forms. That’s up 1,621 from the same time period last year, Duffy said.
Timberland’s special events area is busier than usual too.
“They had over 900 people for the Reptile Man on July 2 (in Lacey),” Duffy said.
An additional 600 folks showed up for his show in Centralia, and about 475 people attended the performance in Tumwater, she added.
Comedian and one-man band Eric Haines is slated to perform at several branches. He performed last week in Yelm.
Haines, 48, of Everett, said he grew up thinking he’d become a journalist, until someone paid him $10 to juggle at a child’s birthday party.
“I was a sophomore in high school,” he recalled. “I realized I could make money doing that instead of mowing lawns and shoveling walks.”
And Haines has been playing to avoid real work ever since, he jokes.
Haines, who grew up in Missoula, Mont., studied choreography and performance in college. He became a full-time entertainer in 1995, according to his website.
In addition to private events and comedy clubs, he performs at community fairs and festivals. He tours an average of nine states a year.
In addition to comedy and juggling, Haines does a one-man band shtick with a banjo, bass drum, high hat, horns, bike whistle, bells and kazoos.
“The bulk of the show is original songs,” he said.
But even as a one-man band, Haines said he’s often upstaged by his co-performer Giuseppe.
“There’s a lot of curiosity about the monkey,” he said. “Giuseppe is a marionette that I carved, and he does handstands and talks to the audience.”
Haines is slated to perform at several library branches. He said he hopes kids walk away from his shows realizing “there’s no limit for the job they can create later on, and if they want to learn to do anything, they shouldn’t be afraid to try it.”
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/edblog