Berryville Public Library plans COVID-safe Halloween events

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

By Haley Schichtl

The Berryville Public Library is keeping the community entertained with different kinds of activities for all ages, although that has looked a bit different during the pandemic.

Library director Julie Hall said the adult book club had stopped meeting in person because of COVID-19, but it has started again in the gardens behind the library to social distance in the last couple months.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the book club will meet at 6 p.m. to discuss the book Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford.

“We are part of the Arkansas State Library book club program, so we get 12 copies of whatever book is that month’s read, and people can come in and check it out for free,” Hall said. “At the beginning of each year, we get to peruse all the book boxes they have and put some preferences in. … This year because of everything that’s happened, they’re just sending us out a book that their records show our book club has never had … so it’s really random.”

She said the good thing about getting a random book means that the club gets to read something they otherwise might never have picked up.

“All are welcome; you don’t have to have read the book. We discuss the book we just read, and then we hand out the next book,” Hall said. “If you don’t like the book, you don’t have to finish it. You can still come discuss what you didn’t like.”

The book that will be given out at the next meeting will be All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Hall said that to be part of the club, all a person has to do is show up. Since the pandemic, the group has only had two to four participants per meeting, Hall said.

“It is a diverse group of people, who might not meet and have a discussion about various topics normally, so you get to hear a wide range of perspectives,” Hall said. “Since the book selections are chosen randomly, we don’t get stuck in a rut of one type of book or one small group’s preference of reading material. It’s a way to explore, and it’s a very friendly setting.”

The library also has a grab-and-go teen book club, and it has been holding virtual events and giving out grab bags for crafts and science experiments for the younger kids. This month’s book for the teen club is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Hall said the library will host its third online family trivia night at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, for all sizes of families. To participate, use the entry code 57112 on The winning family will get a $50 Pizza Hut gift card.

“It’s 21 questions, 30 minutes at the most,” Hall said. “You have a limited amount of time to answer, and it keeps a scoreboard so your family can see how you’re doing.”

She said the library has been holding the trivia night every other month during the pandemic, and the theme of this one is “Fall is Fun,” so all the questions will be about fall.

“There will be questions that younger people may know and older people may have no idea about, and vice versa,” Hall said.

Hall said the library has also started a program giving out family movie night packs this month.

“You check out the movie from the library, and with it comes a bag you get to keep full of props, and a script,” she said. “As you watch the movie together, the script tells you what to do with the props. It’s a fun way to liven up movie night at home.”

The movies for this month are The Addams Family and Finding Nemo. There will be two movies available each month through winter, Hall said.

As part of the library’s “Creation Station,” there will be a Halloween costume video challenge toward the end of the month. The video will be posted on Facebook on Wednesday, Oct. 21, and participants will create a costume out of household items. Then, if participants bring their costume into the library between that day and Halloween, they will receive a treat.

“Pre-COVID times, those were in-house programs, where we’d have all sorts of materials we’d bring out to encourage kids to invent away,” Hall said. “That’s really hands-on and requires a lot of shared tools and materials, so we can’t do that right now.”

Hall said the library also has a couple of in-person programs for teens coming up: POP Pictionary at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, and Dead Man’s Teen Party at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30.

“Both will be held outdoors, weather permitting, and socially distanced,” she said.

The Dead Man’s Party is a Day of the Dead themed celebration, where the teens will be learning about the kinds of patterns used on sugar skulls, and then painting their own plastic skulls.

For more information on any of the library’s events, visit Berryville Public Library on Facebook or call 870-423-2323.

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