Most of the library was as quiet as a library should be, but on the other side of the glass windows, inside the children’s room, it was another story.
Families, with the help of volunteers, were having fun creating Christmas-themed scrapbook pages, cards and ornaments on Saturday at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library.
“It’s a good way to encourage children’s creativity and to do things in the arts,” said community volunteer Christy Gutierrez, of Killeen. Donning a T-shirt reading “Be Calm and Scrapbook On,” she is an avid scrapbook and card creator and enjoys sharing her skills with others.
“Volunteering is a good way to give back to the community,” said Gutierrez, who has lived here for 18 years. She encourages her kids in volunteerism.
The children’s librarian said programs often rely heavily on volunteers.
“We usually cannot throw some of our large events without a whole army of helpers to make sure the day goes smoothly,” said Amanda Hairston, children’s librarian.
She added that the volunteering spirit of teenagers is in demand.
“We have found, in general, that children really love playing with teenagers,” Hairston said. “Our philosophy for our teen volunteers really focuses on the idea of them being like camp counselors.”
Gutierrez said making scrapbooks is also a good way to encourage happy memories, especially at Christmas when families get together and take pictures.
It was the second year the library organized the program, Hairston said. Library programs often emphasize “maker” ideas that encourage children to think outside the box as they construct unique items when given an array of materials.
Of course, it’s also family time.
“We like having events that a whole family can come out for and participate in,” Hairston said.
One mother of two brought her toddler daughter and her 2-year-old son to make scrapbook pages. She takes her children to as many library events as possible.
“It keeps my kids busy, and they learn how to put things together,” said Claudia Clas, of Killeen. “It’s also a good way for my son to have less screen time.”
Alexa Lam, Killeen High School student and volunteer, also noticed that scrapbooking was good for kids. “I like how everyone makes something different” when given similar supplies to start with, she said. “It brings out who you are and it’s always fun.”
One thing is for sure: Kids go crazy over stickers.
Gutierrez’s daughter, Isabella, 5, lost her breath with excitement when her mother brought out the stickers for her scrapbook page.
“It’s the more the better for kids, while grown-ups tend to be stingier,” Gutierrez said with a smile.
Her daughter proceeded to lavish Christmas stamps on her page, all smiles.