Preparing for Winter Break at your local library

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Schools around Western New York may be closed next week for Winter Break, but there are plenty of opportunities for your whole family to learn together.

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system has a full schedule of activities planned across its 37 branches.

MORE | Click here to see the complete schedule.

“We have story times, and we have movie hours, and we have craft programs, we have entertainment coming in, we have local authors speaking in our libraries, the list just goes and on and on,” said Mary Jean Jakubowski, the director of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system, “and every one of our libraries has a little something different going on.”

At the Central Library in downtown Buffalo, for example, one of the big Winter Break draws will be Engineers Week, which features daily hands-on activities for kids. Click here to see the Engineers Week schedule.

Of course, people of all ages can get lessons in STEM and STEAM in the Makers Spaces at several library branches. The Central Library’s Makers Space, called the Launch Pad, includes 3D printers, laser cutters, and two recording studios, among other things. One popular station there allows visitors to convert their family’s home videos and films to digital versions and DVDs.

“Libraries are here for our communities and when our communities ask us for things, we find a way to make those things happen,” Jakubowski said.

The library is meant to be a go-to resource for your entire family, where you can get lost in a good book or spend time together learning something new.

And those learning experiences are accessible to everyone, regardless of whether you are a library card holder.

“That’s what your public libraries are here for. We provide those activities and resources for free for anyone who wants to use it,” Jakubowski said.

The library system teams up with organizations like the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to make some of the activities accessible. You can borrow snowshoes, soccer kits, and lacrosse kits from the Isais Gonzalez-Soto branch on the West Side, as part of the Play Down Your Fines program.

You can find a full list of activities at all 37 branches of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system here.

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