The Fourth was with them

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 10, 2024

Kids celebrate Star Wars at Ironton Library

In the children’s section of the Ironton branch of the Briggs Library, children were being trained in the way of the Jedi — how to avoid laser beams, lightsaber training and how to build a droid or two.

Why all the Star Wars activities on a Saturday?

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“Because it is May Fourth,” said Rebecca Lyles, the childrens program coordinator. “May the Fourth be with you!”

What started as an internet joke has spilled into many real worlds places, including libraries, using the day to celebrate Star Wars and get kids into reading.

Lyles said they looked into doing a May the Fourth event before but with more room in the childrens section of the library and since it was a Saturday, it was the perfect day to have it.

With heavy rains, the event wasn’t as well attended as they would have liked but the kids who did come enjoyed getting through yellow crepe paper that represented lasers, trying their luck at bowling down some stormtrooper pins, a galaxy run through hoops, learning how to use a lightsaber to keep a balloon in the air and pin the tail on Yoda. Kids could also assemble either an R2-D2 or BB-8 paper droid or just read the many Star Wars books in the library.

Among the mothers watching their kids have fun was Hannah Lantz, an English teacher at Chesapeake High School, brought her daughter, Piper, to the Ironton Library for the event.

“Mostly, we came down from Huntington to hang out with friends at the library,” she said. “It seemed like something fun to do and Piper really likes all the Star Wars stuff. She’s a big fan of baby Yoda.”

Lyles said that they may have another May the Fourth event when it falls on a weekend.

June 1 will mark the library’s Summer Reading program and kids and adults can read books to win prizes. There will be a kick-off party from 1–3 p.m. at the Ironton branch with games, crafts, a chance to learn about community resources and a visit by animals from the BARKer Farm. Adults can learn to throw axes.

Refreshments will be available.

In the under 11 age category, kids keep a log of time spent reading books read and get small prizes. Kids who read 1,800 minutes by July 27 will get a T-shirt.

In the 12–18 age category, kids get a punch card and if they read eight books during the program, they get a T shirt. Those that check out library materials and attend library events, they get tickets and could win an instant prize. The non-winning tickets are entered into a drawing for prizes to be given out at the end of summer.

Adults who read seven books from the library will get a T shirt. After reading seven books, readers are entered into a gift basket giveaway.

“Each week will have a different adventure,” Lyles said. “We are going to be exploring traveling, we are going to have Shark Week, we will be doing adventures in STEM, we are going to be doing adventures in imagination.”

Patrons can also do geocaching, a treasure hunt at each library branch where clues are followed to a treasure box and then a riddle must be solved to open it. Those who find all five geocaches before the end of the summer reading program will get a limited-edition button. Summer reading participants get a ticket for a prize drawing.

“The prize is an Ohio State Fair pass,” Lyles said.

To learn more about library programs and events, go to