By NewsLine Staff

Mondays have changed dramatically at Southeast Regional Library.

Loud roars echoed in the children’s area as youngsters provided the dinosaur sound effects for storytime, designed for children between the ages of six and 12. But the roars weren’t as surprising to many as was the fact that the library is now open on Mondays.

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“Customers are just starting to realize that Mondays have been added to the library calendar,” said Beth Friederich, youth services librarian. “They ask me, ‘When did you open on Mondays?’ ”

As of Nov. 14, additional funding from the City of Jacksonville allowed the Jacksonville Public Library to add hours at a number of area libraries including Southeast Regional Library, which gained a full day of services every Monday.

To the children roaring to the book Dinosaur vs. Santa, Monday afternoons have also added Building with Books, an idea Friederich developed from her desire to incorporate STEAM—an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics— into a school-age literacy program.

“This storytime is for kids who may not be read to as often as younger children. And I try to select fun books that might not be part of a school curriculum,” Friederich said.

After reading a story, Friederich brings out several boxes of Lego® building blocks for the children to create something from the story. She believes building is akin to engineering and science to kids, with an artistic element.

Several parents watched as the children built trees and dinosaurs and talked with one another about their creations. As David, 7, worked on a large candy cane, his mother Marissa said they were new to Jacksonville but have enjoyed visiting the library for activities and books.

Friederich encouraged David to experiment and make some additions to his candy cane. “Can you add another row to the top?” she asked.

“Why are you testing my Lego® building?” David asked.. “I have lots of Legos® at home. I’m a professional.”

Friederich said she lists upcoming programs like this one on the calendar on the library’s website,


Photos courtesy Jacksonville Public Library

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