Junie B. Jones and company to visit Elizabethton library next Tuesday

Beloved children’s book characters will be visiting the Elizabethton/Carter County Library next Tuesday, in lieu of the Johnson City Community Theater’s production of “Junie B. Jones the Musical.”

Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams said the meet-and-greet is a chance to meet with some of the cast and interact with them before the official performance in two to three weeks.

“They will perform a snip bit of the play, and there will be a book giveaway,” Williams said.

The play is a recent addition to the theater’s production lineup, she said, and several cast members, including the girl playing Junie B. herself, is a patron of Elizabethton’s library.

“It is an iconic book series,” she said of the franchise. “So many kids start with her books.”

She said this level of popularity is part of what led her to set up the meet-and-greet.

The event will also be part of the Carter County Drug Prevention’s monthly Book Buddies program, which will be participating in the event as well.

“I saw several of our kids playing parts there, so I thought it would be a good fit,” Williams said.

She said events like these are part of her ongoing mission as children’s librarian.

“I want children to enjoy coming to the library,” she said. “A lot of times, children see the library as a place they need to go. They do not want to come here.”

She said programs like the meet-and-greet are ways to make reading interesting, which, in turn, will get children to stay in the library and continue reading.

“We do not want them to dread coming here,” she said.

The meet-and-greet will start at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the public library, located at 201 N. Sycamore St. Those who attend will also have the ability to purchase tickets for the musical itself, which will run from Friday, April 26, through Sunday, May 5, at the Johnson City Community Theater.

“I love seeing the kids get excited about reading,” Williams said. “If we can find one book they like early, they will continue to read.”

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