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Murray Journal

Stop in for Stories

Aug 25, 2016 05:49PM ● By Alisha Soeken

Lilly and Jack Miller enjoy a day at the Murray Library. -Alisha Soeken

For more than 105 years the Murray Library has opened its doors for readers creating a space for learning and community. It also shelves thousands of what author Stephen King called “portable magic.”
“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean,” Anne Lamott, an American novelist, said of books.
Murray City understood the importance of Lamott’s statement and in 1911, with donations from Andrew Carnegie, became one of the few municipalities in Utah to have their own library.
Teresa Mcleod has been a part of that great history. For that past seven years she reads books to children in a program called Stop in for Stories.
This free program is held at the Murray City library and includes reading books, singing songs, doing action rhymes and crafts with children ages two to seven. They come with excitement and their families enjoying 30 minutes of reading and education.
“I love the kids. I love interacting with them, seeing their expressions and seeing how involved they become in a good story,” Mcleod said.
Two of those children are 7-year-old Jack and 5-year-old Lilly Miller. During the summer their mother Adrianne brings them to the library every week.
“I love the crafts that they do after the story,” Jack said. And Lilly agrees.
“I like that when we come to story time my kids are learning and listening. They love doing the songs and games and getting to interact with the librarian,” Adrianne said.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all,” Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said.
Mcleod not only agrees with that statement but is a part of its implementation.
“Reading to kids is very important. It helps them recognize words and develop early literacy skills. Even learning how to open a book that’s not upside down or backwards is important,” Mcleod said.
Lilly and Jack will learn those skills and benefit like hundreds of other children from Mcleod and from Stop in for Stories. But more importantly they learn that in a world of turbulence a library helps to anchor, serve and make better its community adhering to the words of T.S Eliot: “The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.”
So tomorrow when the Murray Library doors open yet another day in its 105-year existence, take note from a man just slightly its senior.
“The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library,” Albert Einstein said.