published Thursday, May 15th, 2014


Chattanooga Public Library entices young patrons with Doctor Who, Yoda, Jag the Reading Dog

Kids expect they can find a book to read at the Chattanooga Public Library. But do yours know they can also play chess, learn to sew and try out a 3-D printer? By the end of summer, they could even create a robot.

In the past couple of years, the Chattanooga Public Library has established itself as more than a place for research and storytime. But with school drawing to a close and hours of free time looming, it's time to get back to basics, old and new, with the summer reading program.

This year's theme, "Make. Play. Read. Learn," is designed to address all the activities in store at a modern library.

"Since literacy is not just about reading books ... we decided to approach our summer reading program from a different angle," says Justin Hoenke, manager of the second floor/teen librarian.

"Whenever you come into the library or come online, there's going to be different activities that go with the theme of reading, playing, making and learning," he says. "It lasts throughout the summer, with a whole lot of programs for all different age groups."

While reading logs can be maintained online, Hoenke is hoping kids will come in for some of the extracurricular activities.

"We'd love to have a chat with them and hang out with them," he says.

The fun starts Saturday, May 17, at all area branches. Here's a look at what's in store for the kickoff.

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

  • photo
    The Doctor Who bash for teens and tweens at the Downtown Library will feature a TARDIS-style photo booth.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


1001 Broad St.

What's planned: Games, challenges, crafts, activities and a few science experiments from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plus, teens and tweens can enjoy a Doctor Who-themed bash to build a bow tie, fashion a fez, pose in a TARDIS time machine/photo booth, play Don't Blink with a Weeping Angel and drive a Dalek.

Special guests: Visitors from Chattanooga Zoo will be on-site at 11:30 a.m. for a Fizz Boom Read program with wild animals. At 4:15 p.m., Jag the Reading Dog will be hanging out in the department.

Info: 423-757-5310.


5705 Marlin Road

What's planned: Games, crafts and activities, playtime on the Wii and gadgets to see in the new Teen/Tween area from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special guests: Visitors from the Creative Discovery Museum will present "Rockin' With Rocks (and Minerals)," for primary-grade students, at 2 and 3:15 p.m. The programs explore the properties of rocks and the minerals that make them up.

Info: 423-855-2689.


278 Northgate Mall Drive

What's planned: The NG Kids group will have a day of crafts at creation stations, games, face-painting, science experiments, wacky challenges and a disco dance party from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The NG Teens can make buttons and bracelets, play card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh and learn to grow plants from seeds. The library will provide soil, pots, seeds and water.

Special guest: WDEF-TV chief meteorologist Patrick Core will make a weather presentation at 2 p.m.

Info: 423-870-0635.


925 W. 39th St.

What's planned: The regularly scheduled Baby Bounce starts the day at 11 a..m., followed by the newly introduced Duplo Maker Club at 11:30 a.m. and the beginning of the monthly tween Origami Yoda Book Club (see box), which focuses on Tom Angleberg's popular series. Participants will learn to fold their own Yodas and proper techniques for doodling.

Special guest: Local balloon sculptor Patricia Balloona visits at 2 p.m.

Extra challenge: The South Chattanooga Library is asking kids to fold an origami Yoda (or 10) to help reach the goal of 1,000 to decorate the new children's department. Prizes will be awarded at an end-of-summer party for helpers. Make sure your name is on at least one of your creations and deposit in the drop box.

Info: 423-825-7237.


The Origami Yoda Book Club starts Saturday, May 17, at the South Chattanooga Library and will meet from 3 to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. Designed for children ages 7-12, the club is not strictly for Star Wars or origami enthusiasts, but rather for anyone who likes to doodle and draw. Activities are inspired by Tom Angleberger's New York Times best-selling Origami Yoda series and will feature readings from the books, discussions, origami puppets and many other activities. Registration is not required.

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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