By Joy Sharp Maxwell

Mountains Branch Librarian

Mountains Branch Library has several new programs to get excited about this spring for our patrons of all ages.

Zoey the therapy pug with owner Tammy Wood

In February we began offering young readers a chance to read with Zoey the Pug during PAWS for Reading. Zoey is a Certified Therapy Dog, trained to help lead children into a love of reading. Paws for Reading is an interactive student reading program aimed at encouraging students to read aloud without criticism.

Zoey will visit the library on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 3:30 to 4:30. Families who wish their child to have special one on one time with Zoey should call the library ahead of time.

March begins our “Lunch & Learn” programs on the second Friday of each month. “Lunch & Learn” is a chance to socialize, share a meal together and get helpful information. We begin the series with featured speakers from Vaya Health in Asheville. The Vaya Health Geriatric and Adult Mental Health Specialty Team is a multidisciplinary group which includes nurses, clinicians and mental health professionals discussing some of the challenges we face with aging, and providing positive tools to help deal with those challenges.

Our March 10th “Lunch & Learn” will focus on dealing with dementia. The program starts at 12:00, and participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch to enjoy during the program. Drinks will be provided.

The library will be closed for Good Friday, April 14, so our second program, “Substance Use in the Older Adult”, will take place on Friday, April 7th at noon.

For patrons of all ages, we offer Game Days on the last Friday and Saturday of each month. Games are set up throughout the library all day, and include many classic and new board games. Snacks are provided, too! And don’t forget, these games are available for check out.

Finally, we will celebrate the birthday of our beloved Dr. Seuss at the library on Thursday, March 2nd at 3:30. We’ll be getting very silly while we enjoy some delicious Green Eggs & Ham!

Our Mountains Branch Friends of the Library were thrilled to host best-selling author, Cassandra King at their February Books & Bites event at the Lake Lure Inn. Cassandra, who is also the wife of the late writer, Pat Conroy, delighted her listeners with stories about their work and life together. Books & Bites are fundraisers for the library. Also in February, we shared a little love with our kids’ Afterschool Valentine’s Day Sweet Treats program. We made four different “heartfelt” crafts and enjoyed heart shaped brownie, strawberries and punch.

Keep reading!