Ohio County Library Celebrates the Little Ones

The Ohio County Public Library children’s department is marking the second anniversary of its involvement with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library by hosting “Toddlerpalooza” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 23.

“This is just a fun day for the kids and a chance to get the word out there about Imagination Library,” said Lee Ann Cleary, director of children’s programming.

The event will take place on the lower level of the library at 52 16th St., Wheeling. It is free and open to the public, with activities geared toward children 5 and under.

Activities will include:

– At 11 a.m., a Kindermusik demonstration with certified instructor Judy Bischof, owner of Kindermusik by Judy.

– At noon, a 45-minute puppet show titled “ABC Sillies,” performed by Pittsburgh Puppet Works.

– From 12:45-2:30 p.m., face painting by Natalie Hawthorne.

– At 1 p.m., an appearance by characters from “Super Why!” sponsored by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

In addition to the activities, information booths will be set up by local businesses and agencies that serve children, including WV Birth to Three; Northern Panhandle Head Start; Poison Prevention; OV Parent Magazine; Women, Infants and Children; Wheeling Park day camp; Centre Market; the library, and more.

Imagination Library is a free book service started by country music star Dolly Parton several years ago. Since 2012, any child in the county who is 4 or under can register to receive a free children’s book every week through the program. As of March 1, Cleary said, 1,346 children in Ohio County were registered.

“There are 2,449 children in the county who are eligible to receive free books, which means only 55 percent of eligible children are registered,” Cleary said.

Registration will take place at Toddlerpalooza but also can be done at any time at the library.

For information, call 304-232-0244.