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One for the books: Scarborough Library celebrates addition of 500 children’s, young adult books

By Staff | Jul 26, 2019

Shepherdstown Middle School seventh grader Felix Alexander reads Rick Riordan's "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard," one of the 500 new books added to Scarborough Library's collection, as his mother, Eva Olson, of Shepherdstown, reads beside him on Friday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherdstown Middle School seventh grader Felix Alexander relaxed against one of the beige sofas in the Scarborough Library on Friday afternoon, as he began reading one of the 500 new children’s and young adult books in the library’s collection.

The books, bought with a three-year grant through the Scarborough Society, range from fantasy books about dragons and parallel worlds to nonfiction books about beekeeping and solar power. For Alexander, the selection already made him want to come back another day, because it included the books of his favorite author, Rick Riordan.

“It’s a really good selection. We’ll probably come back now to check more books out. When I heard they were going to open up a new section of kids books here, I thought, ‘yay!'” Alexander said, as he glanced up from his book, “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.” “I mostly like fiction books — I just like magic and myths and stuff. I don’t even know what’s going on around me, when I’m reading a book.”

Alexander came with his mom to the library’s third celebration of its new selection, the first two of which celebrated the addition of fiction books for younger age groups. Friday’s event featured Martinsburg-based children’s book author Erin Mackey, as she read from one of her two young adult fiction books and talked about her writing process with event attendees.

A fourth and final event will be held on Aug. 16, from 1-3 p.m., celebrating the new nonfiction books in the children’s department with special speaker, Shepherd University Physics Professor Jeff Groff. Groff, who is a beekeeper, will bring a hive from his home for attendees to study, and will also discuss the benefits of solar power, as he helped apply for a grant to purchase solar panels for the library. The solar panel installation on the library roof should be completed this week, according to Scarborough Library Coordinator of Collections Rachel Hally.

Children's book author Erin Mackey, of Martinsburg, discusses her two young adult fiction books at the Young Adult Fiction Discovery event at the Scarborough Library on Friday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

Hally, who was in charge of purchasing the new book selection, said the next two years with the Scarborough Society’s grant will allow her to continue buying books to expand the library’s collection.

“Because we have such a big education major, we’ve always had a children’s section. In our English Department, we have many writers who are interested in writing young adult fiction books. Having this grant was a super opportunity to expand what we are able to offer them and the community — it was time to buy more books from contemporary authors,” Hally said, mentioning she consulted with Shepherd’s professors to determine which books to purchase, to keep and to donate.

At the Aug. 16 celebration, the books the library is not keeping in its children’s department will be available for community members to take home for free. The remaining books will be donated to The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc., a 501(c) non-profit charity.

“In order to make room for all of these new books, we’ve had to remove some older books that haven’t been circulating,” Hally said. “While we bought 500 books this year, we’re not getting rid of quite that many, because we had room to grow.”

Anyone with a West Virginia driver’s license or proof of residence can get a library card at the Scarborough Library. To learn more, visit 301 North King Street or call 304-876-5421.

To learn more about Mackey, visit www.erinmackeyauthor.com.