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Courtney Theofilactidis is pictured preparing for the 25 Days of Reading at the Falconer Public Library. Submitted photo

FALCONER– A local library is adding literary fun to the holiday festivities this year with their “25 days of reading” program.

Falconer Public Library will begin its virtual reading program on December 1 with various community members and leaders reading holiday tales and Christmas stories through December 25. The videos will be posted on the library’s Facebook page, as well as the Falconer Rotary Facebook page.

Guest readers include library staff, Falconer Rotarians, village staff, the village mayor and village administrators, and various owners of Falconer Village. Village board members and Rotarian Falconer Alan Gustafson Jr. videotap and edit to prepare for production for airing.

Laurie Becker, director of the library, said the project had been underway for a few months. A simpler schedule took place last year due to COVID-19, where Santa Claus read various Christmas stories.

“Santa couldn’t come out and see the kids, and it was just a good way to make that connection,” Becker said. “Our director of history, Ashley Nelson, had also done her mostly virtual history hours. We kind of took the idea and thought it would be good this year to involve community members as well as Rotary, and have another person read a children’s story during the 25 days of Christmas.

Becker said she hopes the program brings some joy to the holiday season, but also highlights the importance of reading in the lives of children and adults.

“I think children should understand that reading is important from the start” she said. “I just think when they see community members and the face they can see in a store or business – when they see that person reading a children’s book, I just think in some way or a other, that has to inspire them. It’s important, it’s fun and I just like the idea of ​​crossing the bridge, I guess, between the young and the old generation and just bonding them together. “

Becker said that a very special guest will be joining the playlist this year: Santa Claus.

“As far as I know he will (read) the 22nd, 23rd and 24th”, she said. “We give him three days. Then on the 25th we actually have Reverend Tim Phelps and he’s going to be reading a book for Christmas Day.

All of the books that will be read throughout the program will be Christmas-themed, Becker added. Before planning the program, she said they had to visit each publisher for each book and get the publisher’s permission for the books they would read on video. Becker said Nelson and library clerk Sandra Thies were instrumental in this process.

“It’s been quite a process,” Becker said. “It’s been a few months since it is being prepared.”

She said her favorite vacation story is the “The night before Christmas.” To this day, Becker has said that she gets together with her daughters and reads the story on Christmas Eve.

“I used to do the story time program here, and I always made sure that was part of it”, she said.

Beginning December 1, participants are invited to visit the Falconer Rotary library or Facebook pages where they will have access to each video. A video will be posted every day, until December 25. However, if readers miss a video, they will be able to come back and watch it, as the videos will still be available on Facebook.

For more information, visit falconerlibrary.org or call 716-665-3504.

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