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Working -- Susan Farrell

-- Story by Bryce Alderton, photo by TKTK

SHE IS:

Batty about books.

EXPANDING HORIZONS

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Each Tuesday night and Wednesday morning Susan Farrell reads books,

sings with the children and has them do crafts.

This past Wednesday morning Farrell, the children’s librarian at the

Laguna Beach Library on Glenneyre Street, sat cutting out paper legs, a

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face and a tail of a cat. The children would then color and glue it to a

brown paper bag, which acted as the cat’s body.

Crayons sat in three bowls, glue sticks stood at the ready, just

waiting for those fingers to grab them.

The Anaheim Hills resident has been coordinating the story times since

September after she was hired in June of last year.

TOPICS TO CHOOSE FROM

She picks a different topic every week, selecting a book and choosing

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an appropriate song and craft. Past topics have included bears, baking,

cows, bunnies to celebrate Easter, animals, snow and scarecrows.

The children, which she said range in age from 3 to 6, have made

leprechauns and sheep. She has read books by Rosemary Wells and Eric

Kimmel.

Her goal: to get children excited about reading and encourage them to

go a library.

“I love books, I love children,” Farrell said. “It’s wonderful to see

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them like to read. Reading is so important in your whole life."Farrell

also maintains the library’s collection of books, weeding out old, rarely

used books and ordering new ones from the county system.

THE MEETING PLACE

Sessions begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Wednesday and can range

from 35 minutes to 50 minutes.

“It depends on what attention span the kids will handle,” Farrell

said.

Final story time sessions for this year will be held the week of June

17, at which time Farrell shifts gears toward the library’s summer

reading program, titled “Wrapped Up in Reading,” with an Egyptian theme.

The eight-week program will give children the opportunity to win books

for every five hours of reading. Children have the opportunity to earn

four books.

Performers such as magicians and jugglers take the place of the story

times during the summer, which can attract as many as 200 people to the

library, Farrell said.

PAST PLEASURES

Working at libraries is nothing new to Farrell. She worked at Palos

Verdes Public Library and a theology school before getting married and

having three children, when she took time off from the libraries.

Before coming to Laguna Beach Library, Farrell worked at the reference

desk at Placentia Public Library.

“For a year I got my feet wet back in the library system,” Farrell

said. “And then this is where I decided to come. One of my favorite

things is reading to the kids. When they get involved it is a great

reward.”


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