JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --
A new journey begins at the Harriotte B. Smith Library aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Ordinary boys and girls become knights and damsels, ladies and lads and kings and queens. Dust is blown off books and stories filled with adventure and magic come to life with every page turned.
The library launched the start of it’s annual Summer Reading Program, A Midsummer Knight’s Read, with a medieval themed event, free and open to authorized Department of Defense patrons, June 18.
The town criers with Marine Corps Community Services announced the arrival of white horses, bringing knights who displayed their swordsmanship, clashing weapons and shields. The enchanting sounds of Celtic harps played through magical boxes called stereos, and the library offered games with prizes for children to enjoy.
Patrons of all ages gathered to register for the SRP, as performers from Barony of Raven’s Cove, the Society of Creative Anachronism, entertained and educated readers about medieval history. The medieval re-enactors were there at the request of the library.
“It’s just fun doing what we do,” said Dianna Fillpot, marketing assistant with MCCS and member of Barony of Raven’s Cove. “We talk about the clothes that we’re wearing and weapons and armor that we have displayed. It gives (everyone) a chance to learn a little history and have fun doing it. We’re happy to be able to provide entertainment for (everyone) attending the event.”
Department of Defense libraries on 270 military installations launched the program with hopes of bringing back the bookworms that have strayed away and encourage families unfamiliar with the program to join in on the reading. It’s the second year the DOD has implemented the worldwide program, which started June 18 and ends Aug. 5.
New and exciting events have been added to this year’s SRP, such as guest performances from Flow Circus, magician Jeff Jones and a sandcastle building competition.
In addition to the list of fun events, the library will be collecting forms with the list of books read each week for a chance to win a $25 restaurant gift card.
If a free meal isn’t enticing, perhaps a chance to win a paid vacation for four people to one of 48 destinations sponsored by Delta Vacations will lure readers to register for the program.
The library is always looking for new ideas for events and programs, so patrons can have a fun outlet and support.
“We’re here to provide great events and programs for service members and families,” said Jana Guitar, a programs supervisor library technician with Harriotte B. Smith Library, MCCS. “That’s why we’re here and it really is the heartbeat of this library. We want to promote and have programs that benefit the families, from children to parents.”
The heroes with the base library seemed to have done well hosting the event, with all the smiles and laughs shared by everyone there.
“There’s one child here that was dressed up like knight,” said Guitar. “We’re really thrilled and it makes our hearts warm when we see the kids enjoying themselves, particularly when we have a neat theme this year, with knights and dragons. It really means a lot to us to know that we’re meeting a service for the families, particularly those that are overseas serving the country.”
For more information, visit mccslejeune.com/libraries or call 451-3026.