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Augusta library holds back-to-school event

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Zanaiah and Jadon Billups sat at a round table in the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library on Wednesday, quietly reading books.

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Thirteen-year-old Quendella Dawson (far right) sits with a group of people and listens as Susan Del Rosario speaks about an online tutoring program at the Augusta Richmond County Library.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Thirteen-year-old Quendella Dawson (far right) sits with a group of people and listens as Susan Del Rosario speaks about an online tutoring program at the Augusta Richmond County Library.

Around them, parents talked to representatives from area after-school programs, children played and Susan Del Rosario demonstrated a tutoring service, all while music played near a makeshift dance floor in one corner of the library’s second floor.

The 10-year-old Billups twins attended the Wednesday Wind Down at the library with their older sister, 12-year-old Damaris, who was volunteering at the event as a member of the library’s youth advisory board.

The back-to-school event offered information on area youth programs such as Cutno School of Dance, the Morris Museum of Art, the Jessye Norman School of the Arts and Provost Academy.

“This is an opportunity to bring the community in,” said young adult librarian Kristin Eberhart. “We really want the community to start to use this as a resource for middle and high school aged students.”

One important resource Eberhart wanted parents to learn about is, an online service that is free to library card holders.

Del Rosario, a representative for the site, demonstrated the program for children and parents.

Users must have a library card number to log into the site, but it is accessible anywhere, including from home computers, tablets and smartphones, she said.

Students can interact with live tutors, who have had rigorous background checks, Del Rosario assured.

“That’s important for parents to know. It is safe,” she said.

Wednesday’s event also offered an opportunity to show off a revamped young adult section.

The large, open area is tailored to appeal to kids ages 11-17 and features areas for studying, lounging, playing video games and watching movies, as well as arts and crafts.

As a member of the youth advisory board, Damaris Billups helps to plan activities that are interesting for her age group and are open to the public.

“I enjoy coming to the library. I like all of the events here,” she said.

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Gary Ross
Gary Ross 08/08/13 - 01:06 pm
Educational or playful?

Children played, music played, youth programs of art and dance, lounging, playing, video games, watching movies... Only 2 mentions of ANYTHING that has to do with education.

Kids are clearly getting the wrong message. And you want to throw more taxpayer money into schools because they are failing?

Riverman1 08/08/13 - 06:01 pm
The Library Disconnect

A big expensive building with tomes stacked to the ceiling while serious academic research is going on is how libraries were originally intended. Now we have a play place for kids. There's something wrong there. If the purpose of libraries is to get books in the hands of people they are a failure. Those kids were having a good time is all.

Libraries should be online where they could lend books online to everyone without them having to come to the library. This could be done at a fraction of the cost of a brick and mortar staffed library. Community centers of various kinds can supply the games, movies and crafts.

Gary Ross
Gary Ross 08/09/13 - 08:16 am
I miss those real libraries!

I miss those real libraries!

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