Sunday, June 23, 2024

Othello Public Library Children’s Day celebration a success

Staff Writer | April 23, 2024 4:46 PM

OTHELLO — The Othello Public Library, one of the branches of Tri-Cities-based Mid-Columbia Libraries, hosted a special celebration Saturday for El día de los niños/El día de los libros, otherwise known as Day of the Children and Day of the Books, celebrating children and children’s literacy.

Branch Manager Georgia Reitmire said the event, which took place at the branch’s location on East Main Street during the branch’s normal storytime, was very popular.

“It went really well,” Reitmire said. “We all kind of feel like we just don't have enough space. It got pretty crowded, but all the kids seemed really happy and the parents were happy … We probably had about 120 or more people here in those two hours.”

The event featured various activities and tables full of parents and children working on numerous different arts and crafts projects.

“I heard lots of really positive comments like, ‘This is so much fun,’ and ‘Thank you for doing this,’ and the one comment that I really liked a lot was that they loved how diverse the group was,” Reitmire said. “Overall, it was a success.”

The library also utilized its old bank vault — the building was formerly a bank – as a photo booth studio, which Reitmire said went well. 

“The photo booth was a hit too,” she said. “We had a photo booth in the vault, with a backdrop little paper mustaches and that kind of stuff for the kids, so parents were taking pictures.”

Reitmire said the raffle prizes were also a hit, and that the children were very respectful about not winning and celebrating the other winners.

“We had two scooters, two bikes for smaller kids,” she said. “We had a couple of LEGO sets and we had a gardening basket for adults and we had a fishing kit.”

Reitmire said the library paid for the prizes and other event purchases with a $1,000 grant from the Department of Commerce and a $1,000 donation from J.R. Simplot’s Othello location. 

“Each child got to choose a free book, and that was a big hit,” Reitmire said.

Othello resident Tyler LeClaire, who was attending the event with his daughter, Elena, said they come to the library every week and that Elena is a big fan of arts and crafts and was having a lot of fun at the event.

“It’s going very well,” LeClaire said. “I think it's a very cool day. This day is celebrated all around the world, especially in Spanish-speaking countries. We lived in Colombia for seven years and kids day, in English, (or) día del niño, is huge down there so it's cool to see that they're bringing that to here.”

According to Reitmire, the library is on track to host the event again next year.

“We had considered doing the event at one of the parks, but … I made the decision, I said, ‘No, let's get people into the library who might not have come to the library,’” she said. “So, it worked. We were successful. We did make some new library cards for people who had never had library cards. But we realized quickly that when we do this next year, we'll probably need to do it at the park.”

Reitmire discussed some of the ways the library might expand on the celebration for next year’s event, such as bringing in more informational booths and vendors.

“I would invite (Opportunities Industrialization Center) again, we'll invite (Columbia Basin Health Association), we’ll invite WorkSource, we’ll have more tables, more people from other organizations,” she said. “I think if we do it outside we'll have beanbag toss and we might do some water balloons or something like that, just more activities.”

Above all, Reitmire said she considers the event a success.

“We're really happy how it turned out,” she said.

Gabriel Davis may be reached at

    Parents and children work at one of the arts and crafts tables at Saturday’s Day of the Children event at the Othello Public Library

    Children drew while parents watched at the pictured arts and crafts tables at the Othello Public Library’s Day of the Children event Saturday, which celebrated children and children’s literacy.

    Drawings and chalk art outside the Othello Public Library from children attending the library’s Saturday Day of the Children event.