FBCL Outdoor Storytime Puppets

Puppets will be given away as prizes at the Missouri City Branch Library. (Contributed photo)

In-person events, which are free and open to the public, will return to the Fort Bend County library system next month. 

 All FBCL branches fully reopened to the public on June 4, most of which had been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Beginning July 10, Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) will welcome families back with “Tails & Tales from Around the World,” a storytelling event held outside the Missouri City Branch Library at 1530 Texas Pkwy. The event is slated to run from 10-10:45 a.m. 

 The program is designed for children of all ages and will feature multicultural stories, songs and rhymes from North America, Africa and Asia. 

 Those who attend the FBCL event will be entered into a drawing to receive one of five puppets the library system is giving away from Folkmanis, a California-based manufacturer of hand and finger puppets ranging from animals to Disney characters.

 Children who attend will also receive materials to craft their own elephant puppet at home. 

 Families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets to sit on, the library said in a news release. Tents will be provided for shade, according to FBCL. 

 On July 31, the Jodie E. Stavinoha Amphitheater at Richmond’s George Memorial Library will host acclaimed storyteller Toni Simmons from 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m. 

 Sandy Johnson, FBCL’s marketing and communications manager, said Simmons will entertain attendees with multicultural folktales, and library staff will share stories as well.

 Simmons is a touring artist for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA), and she was designated as an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts. Johnson said a TCA grant allowed the George Memorial Library to host Simmons.

 In the event of inclement weather, FBCL said in a news release that the programs will be rescheduled.

 If families are unable to attend either event in person, they can watch it on the Fort Bend County Libraries' Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/FortBendCountyLibraries

 “The past year has presented some challenges for our library programming,” said Christina Tam, FBCL’s adult services programming librarian. “Since people were not able to attend programs, classes, and events in person, we needed to adapt to a format that would enable our communities to continue to have social interaction, meet their educational needs, and help them cope with being “stuck” at home during trying times.” 

 Tam said many patrons have appreciated the virtual event format, while others prefer attending in-person programs.

 Johnson said the county’s library system plans its events months in advance, so the summer will still be light on in-person programming, while retaining its virtual options throughout the summer and fall. 

 “Come fall, we are planning on easing back in and bringing back some in-person programming,” Johnson said. “In about a month, more events are going to start popping up on our calendar, at our events page, at our different locations.” 

 For more information, visitors can access the FBCL website at www.fortbend.lib.tx.us or call the Missouri City Branch at 281-238-2100 or the George Memorial Branch at 281-342-4455.

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