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Library hosts ‘spook-tacular’ fun

Children are framed by books as the make crafts during the 2010 Troy Public Library Spooktacular. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

“It’s wild, isn’t it?”

Troy Librarian Teresa Colvin squeezed through a riot of cowboys, Iron Men, Batmen, Supermen, and no fewer than six Spidermen — including two Spidergirls, in sparkly spider skirts. They all came up to her waist, or maybe her knees.

For 16 years Colvin has hosted Troy Public Library’s “Spook-tacular” event to celebrate Halloween and get children interested in the library.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the kids settled on the floor around a plush chair to hear spooky stories. Due to space, Colvin had to cap the number of children to 25 this year. Even so, they crowded, scuffled and pushed between the shelves for games and crafts.

“I always have organized chaos,” Colvin said.

Some children threw rings onto octopus tentacles, while others bounced eyeballs into metal cups.

At three tables, they colored bookmarks and coloring books and scratched faces onto paper jack-o-lanterns. In one corner, a Mario Brother and Superman huddled inside a canvas hut.

“You can’t come in,” Mario said.

Colvin said special events foster a sense of community and introduce children to the joys of reading –even when they’re still in diapers.

“You’re building that bond with literacy early on, and teaching them the library is fun,” she said “You get some of the parents in here who might not normally come.”

Library Director William White said he’s eager to move into the library’s newer building on Elm Street, so they can host larger events year-round.

“This is one of the funnest things we do,” he said. “These are the types of programs we want to do when the new buildings are completed.”

The new library will hold about 200 kids, a far cry from the cozy yet cramped space that filled up so quickly with costumed tots.

But it is a lovely mess, Colvin said.

“Laughter is the best sound in the world,” she said. “I love creative learning.”

Outside, 8-year-old Colin Slawson held a pile of books and treats from the event. An avid collector and history buff, Colin is dressing up as Thomas Edison for Halloween.

“I loved it,” he said. “I did the bean game and rang the witch and colored a bookmark.”