A story and a stroll: Tonganoxie library, historical society team up for what’s hoped to be 1st in ongoing series of bookwalk events
A book came to life this past weekend at the Tonganoxie Community Historic Site.
And it’s hoped more will do the same in the future.
Tonganoxie Public Library and the Tonganoxie Community Historical Society recently collaborated to created Every Barn Tells a Storywalk on the TCHS campus.
There were 15 stations situated throughout the campus that highlighted the book “Barn Dance!” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, with illustrations by Ted Rand.
The various stations encouraged visitors to do various activities, from comparing their wingspan to that of an owl to hopping over pumpkins.
Susan Ibarra, adult and children’s programmer with the library, said the story walk idea originated a few years ago with libraries in the northeast part of the country. Ibarra reached out to TCHS members and the event became a reality Saturday and Sunday. Soggy grounds and uncertainty of inclement weather postponed the event on Friday, but it still was held for two nights as originally planned, but Saturday and Sunday instead of Friday and Saturday.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Ibarra said. “I couldn’t think of a better spot, honestly.”
The event attracted a few families during the two nights, but Ibarra is hoping to offer the book walk again. Organizers now have all the materials to set up the same book walk or add others in the future.
There were about 10 people who visited during the two nights, but Ibarra said the folks who did make it out “really enjoyed it.”
She said the various stations also help children use story imagination as they bounce from station to station.
The library and historical society have been teaming up for other programs and activities as well. The Tonganoxie Public Library has an ongoing Facebook video series called “To Tell the Historical Truth.” Viewers watch Tonganoxie-area volunteers give three descriptions of an item at the historic site — but two are false and one is the actual story about the item.
The true story is revealed later in the video. TCHS member Perry Walters creates the video and then Max Wirestone, office administrator and circulation desk supervisor at the library, adds to the video production and posts the finished product on social media.
Library and historical society staff and volunteers also had planned to offer a history camp at the THCS campus during the summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted those plans, at least for 2020.
Ibarra said she hopes to continue to collaborate, not just with the historical society, but other groups in the Tonganoxie community.
“I just would love to continue to come up with things to do together,” Ibarra said.