The animals, ranging from an alligator, boa constrictor and even a tarantula thrown in for good measure, will be a part of Ken Panse's Reptile Wrangler program aimed at children. The show will be held Thursday at all three library branches -- the Cartersville Public Library at 10:30 a.m., the Emmie Nelson Public Library in Euharlee at 1 p.m. and the Adairsville Public Library at 3:30 p.m.
"People have been asking us about that one -- all the little kids have been asking, 'When are the snakes coming?'" said Thomas Shalin, Youth Services coordinator for the library system.
The Cartersville branch will play host later this month to some more common, domesticated animals. Children can come Monday, July 26, at 2 p.m. to the "Working Dogs" program, which will feature Sue Hopkins, who will talk about dogs who help others, while Ray Figueroa will speak on police dogs -- both will bring a four-legged friend who serve in those respective roles.
While visits from animals can draw young people to the library, Shalin said such programs also can tie into the goal of getting children to read more.
"Animals are just really neat, they can do amazing things. If you're talking about birds, birds can fly. Dogs, of course, has their reputation of being man's best friend," he said. "Kids are just fascinated with creatures.
"We'll pull books out for the performer that day, and the performers usually will also make reference to, 'I learned these things from my library,' 'Here's some things you can get from books,' 'Check out a book about snakes,' those sort of things. A lot of the performers will very much stress the impact that books can have on learning," Shalin added.
Among events offered to teens is Tommy John's Magic Workshop, to be held Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Cartersville branch. Attendees will be able to learn a few tricks that can amaze and/or fool their friends.
Another teen event, which is also open to adults, is the library's third-annual AnimeCon, which will feature a cosplay fashion show, anime screenings, an art contest and a video game tournament. Attendees also will be able to enter an anime identification contest that will feature characters that can all be found in the materials in the library's Teen Department.
Colleen Knight, Adult Services coordinator for the system, said last year's AnimeCon drew about 100 attendees. This year's offering will be held Saturday, July 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cartersville library.
Adults also will get to hear from two authors with local ties amid the programs offered to them this month. The first visiting author will be Larry Stephens, who will discuss the Civil War and local history at the Cartersville branch Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. Stephens recently republished an updated, expanded version of "Hold the Fort...I am Coming," which covers the Battle of Allatoona Pass.
"Yes, he's doing an author visit, but his is very unique in that he's going to be portraying a Confederate soldier [in full uniform] that fought in the Battle of Allatoona, so it's going to be more of a 30-minute one act, with a question-and-answer session afterward," Knight said. "That one actually sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and an very interesting way to get the information across."
Joe Dabney will visit the Cartersville branch later this month to share his new offering, "The Food, Folklore and Art of Lowcountry Cooking," a cookbook that also shares the histories and stories of several foods. His visit, set for Thursday, July 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., also will feature samples of some of the foods contained in the book.
Knight said the visits present an opportunity to both those who know and those who are not familiar with the two writers.
"It introduces these authors to a new audience, but also their old audience gets to a chance to read their new materials," she said. "Both of them have strong ties to the community -- Larry used to be a librarian in here, and he now works at Georgia Highlands' Rome campus as their librarian, and then Joe has the Euharlee ties."
A complete list of summer events for children and adults can be found on the library system's website, www.bartowlibraryonline.org. Event listings also will appear in The Daily Tribune News throughout the summer.