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LIBRARY OFFERS BEDTIME STORY HOUR

She's new on the job but already has made herself very comfy, throwing a pajama party at work every Monday night.

"Wait until I get into my slippers," said Lorraine Yaeger, the new children's librarian at Lewiston Library.

Yaeger, who started in the job last month, recently began offering a family bedtime story hour on Monday nights and invites children and even parents to come dressed in pajamas and slippers . . . and to wear tights on their heads.

Yaeger and her co-host for the evening, Paul Thomas, have dubbed the evening the "Do Your Ears Hang Low Club" and start with the silly camp song by letting children put tights on their heads and use the dangling stockings as ears when they sing.

Thomas is a local actor who has performed in the Greater Niagara Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" for the past 17 years as Herr Drosselmeyer. The former Texan with a handlebar mustache volunteered for his first library program a few weeks ago, performing as Pecos Bill. But he said he wanted to do more because he loved working with children.

He uses his penchant for funny faces and voices to entertain and engage the children. They laughingly oblige as Thomas asks them to do cheek wobbles and tongue push-ups.

"Bring your tights every time you come," Yaeger said Monday.

"We have daytime story hours. I started this program because I wanted to create something the whole family can come to, including working moms and dads and other siblings," said Yaeger.

"I feel for young families. It's so hard to create that quality time that creates memories. Books help you talk about things," she added.

Teachers Kelly Burnham and Amy Teal, who spend a lot of their days with other people's children, said they appreciated the chance to come to an evening story hour with their preschool children.

"I think it's adorable. The kids get a kick out of coming out to the library in their PJs," said Burnham.

Margaret Nawrocki, another full-time working mom, said she has been asking the library to consider an evening program and appreciated the chance to watch her 4 1/2 -year-old son as he learns.

Several dads also were able to join in.

"While I'm at work, I wish I was able to experience different things with the baby. This is a great opportunity," said Mario Violante, who was sharing the story hour with 16-month-old daughter Sophia and his wife Pamela.

Yaeger said she hopes families come to the library for a time to leave behind the distractions of telephones and bills and come to a different environment for some playfulness.

Family Bedtime Story Hour is free and continues from 6:30 to 7 p.m. every Monday. Registration is in the children's room.

The library also offers daytime story hour programs and programs for young people.

Information is available at www.lewistonlibrary.org.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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