Cone Park offering interactive programs

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.

The Cone Park Branch Library will provide fun and interactive educational opportunities for children and teens at "Slime and Scales" and "Teen Tech Week."



What: “Slime and Scales” on animals for children and Teen Tech Week for teens.
When: Slime is 3:30 p.m. March 12; Tech Week is 4 p.m. March 14.
Where: Cone Park Branch Library, 2841 E. University Ave.
Information: Call 352-334-0720.

Slime and Scales for children ages 5-11 will offer an interactive look at snakes, frogs and other amphibians and reptiles, while Teen Tech Week for children ages 11-18 will offer a hands-on look at the technology we use every day to teach teens how to become better and safer users.

Held in conjunction with Morningside Nature Center, Slime and Scales will be held at 3:30 p.m. March 12 outdoors at the Cone Park Branch Library at 2841 E. University Ave. Teen Tech Week will be held at 4 p.m. March 14, also at Cone Park library.

"These programs are designed to make learning fun," said Heather Sostrom, manager of the Cone Park library.

She said teens are encouraged to bring their own devices, such as cell phones, smart phones, iPods, or iPads. She also said there will be an iPad and iPhone available for participants to explore during the event.

Sostrom said Teen Tech Week will serve to open a dialogue about what is safe and not safe to put in Facebook, Twitter and other Internet sites. She said "Slime and Scales" is a good way to introduce children to live snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and other reptiles and amphibians.

"It's a good introduction and they will learn to separate facts from fiction, like ‘Do toads cause warts,'?" said Sostrom. "Reptiles and amphibians are critters that live alongside us," Sostrom said. "Not all snakes are slimy or dangerous."

She said this is the third program held in conjunction with Morningside. In January, the program centered on prescribed fires, which are controlled burns sometimes used in forest management. In February, the program centered on the Florida Black Bear.

Nationally, Teen Tech Week runs from March 10-16 and is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. Sostrom said Cone Park and other libraries will showcase outstanding technology and services offered, such as online homework help and digital literacy-focused programs, including e-books, movies, music, audiobooks and databases.

"Teen Tech Week is a way to show teens that libraries are still relevant," said Sostrom, adding that library staff will show teens to be evaluators and users of tech tools while offering specific examples, like how to change privacy settings and preferences on social media networking sites.

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