Virtual ‘Polar Express’ to premiere Dec. 17


Though our Delaware County District Library branches are operating on a drive-up and curbside-only basis for the time being, that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with the holiday and winter season.

Last week I shared some details about the Winter Reading Club for all ages, which kicked off this week and runs through Jan. 31. You are probably already working on some great books to fill your bookmark. Next, let us help you decide what virtual programs may be a good fit for you and your family.

This Monday, Dec. 7, take a drive to our Orange Branch Library and ask for a Winter Take Home Craft Bag at the drive-up window. These fun bags will be filled with supplies and instructions for simple craft projects designed for adults. Projects in each bag include a book page ornament, DIY holiday cards, hanging card/picture holder, wine cork snowman, and snowflake door hanger. Bags are available on a limited first-come, first-served basis.

A holiday favorite around the library has been Mr. George’s “Polar Express” program. This year, we’ll have kids come all aboard our virtual Polar Express. Enjoy an online family adventure with stories, music, and lots of interactivity. Your journey will be guided by Mr. George the Librarian, the conductor, a mysterious ghost, and a silly engineer, all while learning what is truly important this time of year: kindness. The program premieres on the library Facebook page on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. It’s only viewable for a short time, so be sure to catch the train before it vanishes.

Book clubs are back in a virtual way. Grab your blanket, some tea, and cozy in to read Alice Hoffman’s “The Red Garden” or “The Bark Before Christmas” by Laurien Berenson. Both clubs meet in the evening on Tuesday, Dec. 22, through Zoom. Be sure to register in advance on the library’s website,, for either of these fun groups.

I’m always pleasantly surprised when friends tell me that they’ve recently discovered one of our digital resources for audiobooks, ebooks, movies or digital magazines. Though we’ve had many of these platforms, like Kanopy, Hoopla or Libby, for quite some time, it’s no less exciting for someone to find them anew. “Free Streaming Entertainment” will be a live, virtual program on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 6 p.m. for digital newcomers interested in learning more. Sign up in advance and be sure to have your library card nearby so you can get started streaming right away.

Finally, one of our staff’s favorite activities on New Year’s Eve isn’t seeing the ball drop at 11:59 p.m. It’s actually seeing another (much smaller) disco ball descend at 11:59 a.m. as kids countdown to “Noon Year’s Eve.” This year we’re presenting a news-style program on the library’s YouTube channel, Tune in for a special report at 11:30 a.m. as our hosts create milk fireworks, provide fun games, read a story, sing songs, and end with a countdown to noon.

Pick up your Winter Reading Club bookmark to fill with books and programs at any local Delaware Library, or download your own from Any of these titles in the Christian Fiction genre will surely warm your heart during the holidays.

• “Noel Street” by Richard Paul Evans. Third in the “Noel Collection,” this book stars Elle, a waitress in a small mountain town, a widow whose husband died in Vietnam, and the mother of a mixed-race son; and William, a recently returned Vietnam POW working as a mechanic. Taking place in 1975 Utah, Elle, who’s estranged from her family, begins a friendship with William after he works on her old car.

• “An Amish Family Christmas” by Shelley Shepard Gray. It’s a freezing cold December evening in Charm, Ohio when Julia Kemps locks herself and her young daughter Penny out of their rental house. Luckily, neighbor Levi Kinsinger passes by and helps. Julia and Levi work together on a Christmas surprise for Penny, and as Christmas grows closer, so do they — but both have secrets and pasts they’re trying to forget. If you like this heartwarming 4th in “The Charmed Amish Life” series, try the author’s “The Gift,” or Cindy Woodsmall’s “A Christmas Haven,” which are both Amish Christmas romances.

• “The White Christmas Inn” by Colleen Wright. Join us in Vermont’s picture-perfect Evergreen Inn, owned by Jeanne and Tim, who have grown apart amid financial troubles. They are helped by Iris, the elderly former owner, and Luke, her visiting grandson. Other guests include: Hannah, who’s been coming to the inn since she was a girl, whose groom cancels their Christmas wedding; her best friend, Audrey, whose military husband can’t get there due to the snow; and more. Fans of Hallmark Christmas movies and charming romances featuring multiple couples will sip this like warm cocoa.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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