Cheat Lake Public Library hosts rock-painting class

MORGANTOWN — Libraries are not just for reading anymore. With the passing of a recent levy, the library can now offer more programs to the public. Supplemented by tax payer money, Colleen Caldwell, branch supervisor and program director, wants to see the library integrate new programs. Monday May 21, at the Cheat Lake Public Library, she hosted an adult rock- painting class.

“We want to give more back to the communities and the tax payers by offering more programs,” Caldwell said. “Libraries are becoming more than just books. They’re becoming learning centers, and we are a little bit behind in our libraries. And we’re trying to catch up a little more.”

The library always held programs like story time for children and summer reading programs. This year, the library will  hold some teen programs for the summer and try to  offer adult programs throughout the year.

“That’s kind of my inspiration, to get some new things out there, and I’m starting out with things that I can do and show, and I’m open to other groups coming in and presenting things,” Caldwell said.

In recent months, WVU held a nutrition program at the library. Last weekend, the library hosted a rock-painting class for children at the West Virginia Botanical Gardens. The first off-sight program for the branch, Caldwell mentioned had a larger turn out than expected.

“We’re offering a whole lot more,” she said.

Their theme this summer is “Libraries Rock,” so, appropriately, they’re offering rock painting.  Around the country and the world is a trend called “Kindness Rocks” where people go out and leave painted rocks. They’ll even take them to other countries, or on vacation.

“The idea is that it’s art that could cheer somebody up. It might speak to somebody. It’s an easy thing to do, to reach out and leave your mark somewhere,” she said.

The themes of the rocks are universal. Some are book themed, like Dr. Seuss, or kid-based things, like Sesame Street. Art books and Pinterest pages inspired and sparked all kind of subject matter.

Caldwell said the library might start a rock- painting club if it gets enough interest. Some communities are very involved on social media where people find the rocks and are asked to post them and where they find them. She can the rocks can be picked up or moved somewhere else. Also, the library tags the rocks so people can know where they come from. Rocks can be left in landscaping or along walking trails in public places.

The library plans to hold programs through the summer months, many are child-oriented. Recently, the library started utilizing social media to promote their programs, and Caldwell said you can check their Facebook page to see what’s going on at the library.

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