Wipe out your library fines or join an interactive art project as the local public libraries celebrate National Library Week over the coming weeks.

Wipe out your library fines or join an interactive art project as the local public libraries celebrate National Library Week over the coming weeks.

Technically, National Library Week spans April 9-15 with a theme of “Libraries Transform” recognizing how “our nation’s libaries transform lives by providing fee access to collection materials, computers, information literacy, programming and community engagement for everyone,” said Nancy Brockman, director of the Gulf County Public Libraries last week.

“Libraries of all types are evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve,” Brockman added in remarks to the Board of County Commissioners.

Gulf County Libraries provide a spotlight to that evolution, from the growth of history and genealogy resources to the broadening of reading and resource materials across platforms.

In addition, a host of programs for all ages, including informational meetings, musical performances and storytimes take place each month at the libraries.

Volunteers have recently completed training to be ESL (English as a second language) classes in Port St. Joe and the summer reading program helps students stay on track during vacation.

The libraries have sponsored classes in writing computer code and in the near future the Port St. Joe branch will be offering robotics classes and public access to a 3D printer.

And, that, literally, is just a sampling of all that is going on at the library.

The county libraries will be operating two main programs during the month of April to celebrate National Library Week.

The first is “Food for Fines” which will run April 10-21.

Patrons can get $1 off current overdue fines for every non-perishable food item brought to the local library.

(The library can not accept open packages, re-packaged or out-of-date food items or glass containers. This also for current overdue fines, not lost or destroyed books)

Those items donated in Port St. Joe will go to the food pantry at the Community Resource Center while in Wewahitchka items will be donated the Ministerial Association.

And, hey, if you are faithful patron who has no overdue fines, consider donating to this year’s food drive anyway, Brockman said.

The other project unfolding during April is an Art Quilt.

Patrons and visitors can come in and color individual an square or two, or three, of paper that will be ultimately turned into a quilt for the Children’s Area in the library.

“It is an interactive, passive art project,” Brockman said.

April’s other events:

April 22: Adult Art Class: Upcycled Book Art, 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. ET. Space is limited so please register to hold your space.

April 25: Tips for Growing and Preserving Dooryard Fruit Want to learn more about how to care for your fruit trees? Want to learn about making preserves? Please join us for a lecture on fruit trees. Find out what varieties will grow best in the Panhandle, the TLC needed for your fruit trees to thrive, and how to preserve and enjoy the fruit harvest. Event is presented by Gulf County Extension Agents, Ray Bodrey and Melanie Taylor. Tuesday from 2 – 3:15 p.m. ET.

Recurring events:

Library Book Club: April 17: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Book club meets at 10:30 a.m. for an hour. Coffee or tea and a fun discussion provided.

Tuesday Tales: Join us each Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. for stories, songs and movement. This adult/child shared time is geared towards young ones from birth to three years old.

Stories & More: Fridays at 12:30 p.m. for ages 3-5. Includes a mixture of reading and science with Science Seed on April 21.