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World’s Largest Storytime rocks

“Miss Joan”, aka Joan Johnsen, read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at the World’s Largest Storytime.

More than 200 kids of all ages rocked, rattled and rolled at Tower Park Amphitheater in Fort Thomas for the World’s Largest Storytime on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

CCPL was proud to participate in the event, which was part of the Childhood Literacy Initiative, sponsored by the United Way, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Simultaneous storytimes were held at other locations in the area. In Fort Thomas, morning rains gave way to glorious, albeit hot and steamy sun just in time for a big crowd.

CCPL Children’s Librarians revved up the youngsters, who were supplied with free maracas, with singing and dancing to kick things off. Then Newport Children’s Librarian Joan Johnsen, who is retiring this month after 14 years, led a raucus reading of Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and illustrator Lois Ehlert’s children’s classic, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The youngsters joyfully supplied the “boom booms” during the reading.

The party continued with a reading of Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat by Carrico/Fort Thomas Children’s Librarian Laura Stanfield.

Balloon artists from Cincinnati Circus Company entertained parents and children and, of course, presented kids with creatively crafted balloons. There were also plenty of activities for the kids, including bookmark coloring, tattoos and book giveaways.

And perfect relief from the heat was provided by cool refreshments, courtesy of Kona Ice.

Campbell County Public Library thanks everyone who came down to Tower Park and made this special day a big success. Thanks also to those who donated new or gently used books, which will be used to strengthen literacy and overcome educational barriers in childhood poverty. In addition, thanks to our partners, the City of Fort Thomas, for providing the venue, and Blue Marble Books, 1356 South Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas.

Here are more photos from the event:

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August “Connections” newsletter

Click image above to read newsletter online.

Click image above to read newsletter online.

This month in “Connections“:

Happy trails, Miss Joan

Joan Johnsen – or, as we all know her, “Miss Joan” – is trading her longtime role as Children’s Librarian at our Newport Branch for a full-time role as grandmother when she retires this month.

Miss Joan as Willy Wonka.

Miss Joan as Willy Wonka.

In her 14 years with the Library, Miss Joan has helped a generation learn the joy of reading from story times and special events, such as Summer Reading Kickoff and Early Literacy Fair.

We will have one more opportunity to say thanks on a grand stage when Miss Joan joins our other children’s librarians at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 10 at Tower Park in Fort Thomas for the World’s Largest Storytime. We will be reading “Chicka, Chika, Boom, Boom” at noon in a fun, festive event that’s part of the Childhood Literacy Initiative.

Miss Joan is a cool cat.

Miss Joan is a cool cat.

The difference Miss Joan has made is evident by the love and joy her children and their parents feel for her. “Years ago, my mother-in-law was a teacher at Dayton and Joan had come to her school to promote the library. She started taking another grandchild there and told me how good Joan was. I started taking my oldest daughter, who is now 12, there and was so impressed by Joan. Her love of books and her energy kept the kids’ attention and mine too. She made that 45 minutes so entertaining for the kids. I have no doubt she loved what she did and it showed everytime. She always had a smile on her face. The Library is very lucky to have had her as well as the community,” parent and patron Karen Sower told CCPL.

Best of luck in retirement, Miss Joan, and don’t be a stranger!

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