Much More Than Books


Families enjoy the children’s section at Canyon Area Library.

I grew up in a very rural Oklahoma community. There certainly was not a public library. My school had books in each classroom, but I was quickly bored with the selection that suited my tastes. My mom worked in a somewhat larger town, and she took advantage of those resources. She would check out books from the school library for me and take me to the public library.

I can still remember the distinct smell of that small public library, which was in the same building as the police station, so I had to be careful which door I used. While small by many standards, that library opened an entire world for me. I found a variety of reading material, but also games, puzzles and friends. It was a much needed resource for me and I’m sure many other families.

Canyon Area Library located at 1501 3rd Ave. in Canyon.

Libraries are a vast resource just waiting to be explored, and Canyon Area Library is no exception.

While the library offers a large selection of books and other reading material for all ages, it also offers so much more. It’s a hub of activity any given day of the week.

For adults, the library offers a few regular events. Knit Night is from 6-7:30 p.m. every Monday. One can bring his or her supplies, practice patterns and meet other knitting enthusiasts. One can crochet, too! Grown up coloring is certainly a big trend right now, and the library has caught on to that. Adult coloring pages are laid out with other coloring supplies all day on Mondays and Fridays. Tweens, teens and adults are welcome. The third Thursday of each month from noon-1 p.m. is the Lunch at the Library Book Club in the Hull Room. A different book is discussed each month, and that selection is usually available for check out at the library. Once a month, the library also offers a Monthly Movie Madness in which a classic movie is shown in the afternoon. Times, dates and details can be found on the library’s website or on the Canyon Area Library Facebook page.

One area in which the library shines is the children programming. There are events for tweens, such as Pictionary and snow globe making, as well as teens, such as Minute to Win It Games and painting bookends for the youth section. A public story time for children is held twice monthly. In this 30-minute program, children enjoy stories, songs, games and crafts. Munchkins in Motion is held once a month and kids can explore the power of movement through dancing and singing together to fun songs.

The West Texas A&M University Storytelling Class performs for area children.

During the fall and spring semesters, the West Texas A&M University Storytellers, led by Trudy Hanson, perform funny, unique stories with props and narration for children.

A few times a year, the library also holds 1-2-3 Play with me! Families register in advance and infants to 5-year-olds learn through play and bond with their caregiver. Free parenting resources and child development experts are available.

Of course the library also offers numerous resources. Library tours are available for any group wishing to obtain a better understanding of the library’s services. Tour groups include public and private school classes, Scout troops, childcare groups and more. Special tours are also arranged to cover a specific topic or area. Tours are available with reservations.

Free tutoring is offered from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Saturday, unless the library is closed for a holiday. One can get help with math, English, social studies and more. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. One can send an e-mail to or for full information.

The library also has access to Pronunciator, a free way to learn 80 languages with self-directed lessons, live teachers, movies and music.

For items that the local library does not own, one may request and borrow from another library. Upon approval of an interlibrary loan request, the item will be shipped free of charge to the local library. The Canyon Area Library provides this service to Canyon cardholders in good standing only. Currently, interlibrary loans are available for books, audio books, VHS, DVDs and CDs. Apply for an Interlibrary Loan by filling out a request form and turning an application in at the front desk.

Canyon Area Library offers a 3D printer for public use at a minimal cost.

The 3D printer at Canyon Area Library is a lot of fun! To use the 3D printer, contact the library to get on the list. One can then download Cura software to a compatible device. It is recommended to download to a computer so a mouse can be used. Find a design to print. One can find pre-made models or make his or her ow. Download the model to the Cura software to change it as needed. The size of model is limited to the dimensions of the printer. Save the file of the model to an SD card in an STL format. Many models are already in this format but if it’s not, the Cura software will convert it. Bring the SD card to the library, where a staff member will view the print model for approval. Upon approval, one can pay for the print, which varies, depending on how much material is used. The print will be entered into the machine and staff will notify one when it’s ready for pickup. The library staff understands that using a 3D printer can seem challenging at first, but one you prefers to do this process with a staff member, he or she can come to the library between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Friday for assistance.

The staff at Canyon Area Library can assist with a number of services.

To obtain a Canyon Area Library card, one must be a resident of Randall County outside the city limits of Amarillo, as least 16 years old, have a photo ID and proof of residency, such as a personal check, utility bill or vehicle insurance card. If one is not a Canyon or rural Randall County resident, there will be a $15 yearly fee. For those under 16 years old, a parent or guardian must also sign.

That’s a small glimpse of what Canyon Area Library has to offer. Come by at 1501 3rd Ave. in Canyon. Information can also be given by phone at (806) 655-5015 or online at One can also text a question to the library. To do so, text “ASKCAL” to 66746.

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