Prehistoric fun at the Siuslaw Library

Oregon’s Dino-Story makes stop in Florence

July 26, 2022 — Inflatable dinosaurs and fossil activities greet kids entering the children’s section of the Siuslaw Public Library. Dino-themed game stations answer questions such as “What makes a dinosaur a dinosaur?” “When did dinosaurs live?” or “Why are dinosaur fossils so rare in Oregon?” Kids can use brushes to uncover fossils, compare their shoe size to a dino footprint and take a dinosaur selfie to round their visit. The library’s mini museum gives kids the chance to travel back in time and learn about history along the way.

“Oregon’s Dino-Story,” curated by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History through the University of Oregon, is a traveling museum exhibit. It consists of around six activities focusing on the prehistoric history of the state.

“They were designed so that the exhibits could travel through rural places where people can’t necessarily get to the museum to see things on their own,” said Gayle Vinchesi, the Youth Services Librarian and Assistant Library Director.

Florence is only the second location to receive the display on its tour of libraries and other community organizations across the state, “which is very exciting for us,” Vinchesi added.

The exhibit was funded by a Library Services and Technology Act (LTSA) grant after the Museum of Natural and Cultural History selected the Siuslaw Library’s application.

The museum shipped it directly to the library, who unpacked and displayed it for kids to enjoy.

“It engages the whole family,” Vinchesi said. “Sometimes we do programs with it. Sometimes it’s a standalone exhibit that you study on your own.”

Wednesday, July 27, the library is hosting a summer reading “grand finale,” in which the dino exhibit will be out in full swing, including some bonus activities. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., kids can see real fossils or make their own out of clay.

In Mapleton, The Summer Reading Grand Finale, “Read Beyond the Beaten Path,” is Thursday, July 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the library parking lot, 88148 Riverview Ave. in Mapleton.

For all dinosaur fans, make sure to visit the Florence exhibit before it packs up on Aug. 4, when it will be sent to its next temporary home.

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