Bath’s Patten Free Library is shaking things up this winter with more children’s programming, designed by new hire Mary Randall.

Previously employed by Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth and Lewiston Public Library, Randall became head of children’s services at the Patten Free Library in December.

“I am so excited to continue the programs that PFL patrons hold dear, including our all-ages story times and Lego club, while adding in some new engaging events,” said Randall in a news release.

Current programs have 80 weekly participants, but Randall hopes that number will grow as she adds more options to the schedule.

On Feb. 1, the library will host World Read Aloud Day, where librarians will “pop up” throughout the children’s department and read aloud from their favorite books.

Feb. 4 is Take Your Child to the Library Day, giving parents and children a chance to use resources the library offers besides books. Randall said the library has a telescope, American Girl dolls and board games for children to enjoy.

Starting in March, kids will have a chance to engage in some healthy competition during March Madness — not to be confused with the college basketball competition. Randall has constructed a list of popular characters from children’s literature and will challenge readers to vote for their favorite. She said the competition will encourage the children to read more and partake in a “healthy debate.”

“There is so much fun to be had at the library, and I want kids to always feel a sense of joy and wonder when they visit,” Randall said.

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