The Huntley Farmside
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Volume 40 No. 43 Your hometown newspaper Thursday Oct. 26,2000 I 2000 Press-Republican Newspapers Laurel ofthe library Huntle/s wizard by Sheri Battles Correspondent Laurel Mellien, probably better known as the storytime lady to children who visit the Huntley Area Public Library, is one of those lucky people who loves her job. The joy she derives from her work shows in her quick smile as she tacks up posters on the library walls, and in the half-skip in her step when she walks to the main desk to retrieve a book. She can't even name the aspect of her job she likes most because she con¬ tends she enjoys it all. On a weekly basis, Mellien's job at the library is reading stories to children ranging in age from new- bom through 5 during her baby, toddler, and preschool storytime. She also hosts "Bedtime Stories with Ms. Laurel" in front of the library fireplace, when the chil¬ dren who attend wear their paja¬ mas as part of a pajama party theme. Mellien said this theme began as an effort to encourage more children to visit the library in the evenings. Parents attending don't wear their pajamas, although "I sometimes wear mine," Mellien exclaimed, laughing. "I very much like to encourage imagination in children because I feel that that's something that needs to be exer¬ cised and cultivated." In addition to her storytime groups, she cultivates children's imaginations through various pro¬ grams she devises for the library. She held a clown day during which younger children wore clown makeup and hats, while older children creamed willing parent's and each other's faces with pies. very own of 'ahs' Before Mother's Day, Mellien also organized a mother-daughter tea party for girls 4 and older The library's storytime room was adapted into a make-shift salon where the girls were treated to make-up and hairstyles by a local Girl Scout troop before the tea party. After the beauty treatments, women from the community served daughters and mothers chocolate milk and tea in the library's meeting room. She pro¬ vided the crystal and hand-embroi¬ dered cloth tea napkins for the party and there were no accidents, so all of the crystal was returned to her in perfect condition. Mellien's mind constantly per¬ colates with new ideas for pro¬ grams. She's currently coordinat¬ ing an event designed to introduce library patrons to some local ghost stories. Tonight Mellien wall act as tour guide for "Ghost Story Tour" in the library's darkened meeting room. Tours will start every half- hour between 6:30 and 8 p.m. Mellien said fellow employees KeUy Boehning and Scott Lindsey, along with community members Katie Fitch, and Mellien's husband Ricky will be acting in the tour. Although Mellien suggested parental discretion for children under the age of 4, she stressed that the tour will be family orient¬ ed. "It is not going to be an intense¬ ly scary program. There's not going to be blood and gore of any kind...I wanted to do kind of like a haimted house, but a little classier." Families attending the tour will meet the ghost of a young actress, leam about local Indian lore and hear the legend of a haunted house. Mellien visited and pho- • tographed all of the original sites Laurel Mellien cooks up some "Stone Soup" for children attending the Huntley Area Public Library's "Fun with Food" program. of the ghost stories. She plans to exhibit the photos in a wrap-up ses¬ sion after the tour in order to show everyone "what these places look like today." While she asked that photos not be taken during the program,^ she said the audience could photograph the costumed actors when she introduces them during the wrap- up session. Mellien researched the ghost stories in "Oddball Illinois - A Guide to Some Really Strange Places," by Jerome Pohlen. "We have it as a new release here at the library, and it tells all the interesting - not exactly all ghost stories - but just oddball stuff in Illinois," Mellien said. She admitted she likes visiting weird, quirky oddball places. "If there's a big ball of string some¬ place, I'm gonna go see it." Although she enjoyed all of her research, Mellien said she espe¬ cially liked viewing the ghost story sites. "That was a lot of fun, to actual¬ ly go see these places after reading about them in the book," she said. "Of coiurse, my 7-year-old was up all night because he just visited three places that are actually ghost stories. I assured him that the ghosts liked where they're haunt¬ ing, and would not come and follow him to the house." Besides researching the stories, photographing the sites, and writ¬ ing the scripts, Mellien is building the scenery and making the cos¬ tumes. She laughingly referred to herself as "chief cook and bottle washer," when describing the work required of her in planning the tour. While this is a first-time event for the library, coordinating it isn't imfamiliar to MelUen, who has cre¬ ated haunted houses in her garage for neighborhood trick-or-treaters. She does the house every other Halloween, since the project is too big to do on a yearly basis. This year, she's transforming the library's meeting room into a haunted house of sorts by using these same decorating talents. Since her arrival, the meeting room has undergone many trans¬ formations - from clown college to haunted house. Responding to a conmient to this effect, Mellien said, "Oh, yes, the minute I saw this meeting room I had all kinds of ideas for ways I wanted to use it." Griiming devilishly, she added, "They never know exactly what I'm about to do." Ghostly tour to haunt Huntley Ubrary tonight Join in the Halloween festivities at the Huntley Area Public Library! A haunted "Ghost Story Tour" will put a tingle in your spine tonight. Drop in at the library, located at 11000 Ruth Road, to take a "Ghost Story Tour." Thirty-minute tours will be given on the half hour beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the last tour beginning at 8 p.m. Costumed actors will illustrate some of the area's most famous ghost stories in the darkened meeting room.
|Title||The Huntley Farmside|
|Creator||The Huntley Farmside|
|Coverage||Huntley, Illinois, United States|
|Description||Weekly Newspaper from the Huntley Area Public Library Collection|
|Rights||This material may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code).|
|Publisher||This Collection was digitized and loaded into CONTENTdm by OCLC Preservation Service Center (Bethlehem, PA) for the Huntley Area Public Library.|
|Source||Reproduction of library's print newspaper archives|