Martins Ferry Library welcomes visitors for summer program

T-L Photo/CARRI GRAHAM Children gather around Oglebay Good Zoo handler Kaitlyn Workman as she answers questions about the pancake tortoise.

MARTINS FERRY — The Martins Ferry Public Library hosted a few curious critters as apart of its Summer Reading Program on Tuesday.

The library welcomed a handler and a few animals from the Oglebay Good Zoo for this week’s program. Event organizer and children’s librarian Anessa Keifer said she has been planning the event since last year.

“It usually gets a good turnout and the zoo has been really good to us. We’ve had them every year in the past, and it’s gone over really well,” Keifer said.

More than 100 children and adults were in attendance Tuesday for the free, one-hour program.

Oglebay Good Zoo handler Kaitlyn Workman presented and explained three unrelated animals to attendees: a giant African millipede, a pancake tortoise, and a Virginia opossum. After each introduction, she took the animal around the room so that each child, and adult, had the opportunity to view and pet all three creatures.

Each animal was a bigger hit than the one before it. Children eagerly waited their turn to encounter and touch each one.

Workman then answered all the children’s questions about the animals.

One curious child asked about Max, the Virginia opossum.

“I believe he is 3 years old. We’ve had him since he was a baby,” Workman responded. “His mother got hit by a car and someone found him in his mom’s pouch and brought him to us, and we’ve had him ever since he was a baby.”

There will be another one-hour Summer Reading Program at the Martins Ferry Public Library from 11 a.m. to noon next Tuesday. The library will host the Shrader Center for “Stories of the Stars.” The event is free and open to the public.