The air is chilling; the leaves are falling, and the Hillsboro Public Library is getting into the spooky October spirit.
“October is such a fun month,” said interim circulation supervisor Sarah Davidson. “Fall is in full swing, plus you’ve got all the fun of Halloween. We wanted to embrace all of that with different programs and contests.”
There is something for all ages, Davidson said, starting with the annual coloring contest in the children’s department. Kids sign up to receive a pumpkin, which they can decorate any way they want with any medium. Entrants will be displayed throughout the month. Winners will receive a prize.
There will also be a special story time on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The theme — diet and exercise — will be presented by Dr. Singh from Highland Family Healthcare. Story time starts at 11 a.m. for children ages 2 and under, and at 11:30 a.m. for ages 3-5.
Lego Club will have a Halloween building contest on Oct. 16 from 5:30 – 6:30p.m. Patrons can vote on their favorite creations in the display case downstairs. Winners will be announced at the Oct. 30 meeting.
Children’s Department Manager Gabrielle Pitzer added that the library’s Christmas Reading Program also begins on Oct. 1. The theme is Santa’s Christmas Carnival. The program is for ages 2 through sixth grade. Patrons can sign up at the children’s desk to receive a reading log. For every 10 books read, the child will get a golden ticket, with the opportunity to earn five tickets. Our Christmas Carnival is Saturday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be games and crafts. Also, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available from 1-3 p.m. for pictures.
“It may seem early to be starting to the Christmas reading program before Halloween, but this allows the kids 10 weeks to read up to 50 books for the challenge,” Pitzer said. “It also allows the kids time to read all sorts of holiday books, starting with Halloween.”
Upstairs, teens can sign up for a fall-themed art contest. “Participants can make a project using painting, sculpture, photography, collage, or any other medium they’d like to show what fall means to them,” Davidson explained. “Entries will be displayed in our museum cases and featured on our Facebook page. Voting will determine the winner.”
And, for adults, scary movie and scary book bingos are available.
“This is the perfect time of year to be reading and watching stories that give you chills,” Davidson said. “Every time a bingo card is completed, the patron will be able to choose a prize. Each returned card will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize.”
The library is also hosting an all-ages pumpkin decorating contest. “We will have prizes for kids, teens, and adults in four different categories: scariest, most colorful, most literary, and best of show. We can’t wait to see the entries!”
“We had a lot of fun picking out prizes for these contests,” Davidson added. “We have a variety of different items that are perfect for the season.”
All contests, except for the kids’ coloring contest, must have entries turned in by Thursday, Oct. 18. Winners will be announced the following Monday.
“We wanted to give winners the chance to use their prizes before the Halloween season was over,” Davidson said. “So we picked the week before Beggar’s Night as our deadline.”
The kids’ coloring contest ends on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
In addition, the library is hosting three different programs this month. The first — “Beekeeping 101” — is set for Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. It will be hosted by the Brown County Beekeepers Association.
The following week, on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m., Jim Kleefeld will give a presentation entitled “The Spirits Speak.” In it, he will demonstrate and explain the different ways fake spiritualists of the past tricked believers into thinking they were really communicating with the dead.
The month’s festivities will end Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 6 p.m. with a Halloween Trivia Night. Teens and adults can preregister for this chance to prove they are Halloween experts. Spots are limited.
Davidson added that the library is also going to host computer skills classes for adults. These will start on Monday, Oct. 22, at 11 a.m. The classes end at noon.
For more information on these classes, the programs, or the contests, call the library at 937-393-3114, or search for “Highland County District Library of Ohio” on Facebook.
Sarah Allen is a Highland County District Library employee.