It may be March, but it's never too early to start planning for the holidays! Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, Pa. has partnered with the Downtown State College business organization for more than 20 years to provide a holiday event that is now a second-generation tradition for local families. Nearly 2,100 children and adults attended our 2012 "Polar Express" event, held in the library neighborhood for two consecutive weekends in December.
The event begins in the library with a reading of the classic story, Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, performed by library staff and community volunteers. Children receive a small bag with a bell and coin as a special souvenir. They then board a trolley for a short ride around downtown State College and disembark at a Santa Shop where they can trade their coin for a small gift.
Numerous community volunteers, including Penn State University students, area teens and library customers enjoy the social benefits of participating in the weekend, participating as readers, assistant "elves" and store managers. Downtown merchants and restaurants benefit from the traffic, and some provide special discounts to participants.
Polar Express is one of our signature programs unique to the Schlow 'brand.' It brings volunteers, businesses and families together to enjoy a special literary experience at a wonderful time of year.
Is your library known in the community for a favorite annual event?
Tags: libraries, operations, reading