ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (ABC7) — When their pet rabbit recently died, Liza Skinner and her daughter Lula painted watercolor portraits of him to assist them in their healing process.
"We wrote 'We love you' on them and my daughter had him eating a favorite treat," Skinner said.
Azlan had been in Skinner's family for 10 and a half years.
One of the hardest parts of losing him was sharing the news with her 6-year-old.
"It was the first time I would have to tell my own daughter something like this. I knew the Healing Library would be a perfect way to continue that conversation and navigate our grief together," said Skinner.
The Healing Library kit is offered by Anne Arundel County Public Library.
"It includes a lot of the resources that a family might need to get started with the grieving process after they have experienced the death of a loved one," said library associate Laura Namovicz.
Each kit contains eight books with discussion guides to assist caregivers in tackling their loss.
Therapeutic activities like painting or planting and acts of kindness suggestions provide ways for families to positively express grief.
"There's also a sensory bag for children who might find that sensory items help to express themselves and a lot of these items are meant to be kept by the families," she said.
Skinner sees the resources as a gift to herself and Lula.
"It created a conversation for my daughter to be a comfort to me, which I didn't expect. So, she'll come in and check on me. 'How are you feeling today? Mommy do you miss Azlan? I miss him too!'," Skinner said.
Library users can borrow the Healing Library kits for three weeks and renew them if needed.
After a week of limited service, Anne Arundel Public Library has opened one more set of doors.
The Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library opened Wednesday, a project Library CEO Skip Auld touted as 20 years in the making.
A video ribbon-cutting featuring Gov. Larry Hogan and Speaker of the House Del. Adrienne Jones honoring her late predecessor was released on social media to avoid crowding and potential spread of coronavirus.
As patrons lined up outside, 6-year-old Jaxon Giordano was ready to do the honors as the library’s first patron. Giordano used the self-checkout kiosk to take out a stack of picture books including “Crown: an ode to the fresh cut,” “When the beat was born: DJ Kool Herc and the creation of hip hop” and “Hair Love.”
“Can I take out more?” Jaxon asked his mother, before giving library mascot Sneaks, a giant fuzzy yellow cat, a high-five.
The $24 million building is modeled after the New York Public Library, boasting 85,000 books and materials, a maker space, tech zone and teen area, expanded children’s area with fluffy cloud lights overhead, an outdoor play space, six collaboration spaces and two meeting rooms.
The limited capacity for social distancing is 65 patrons at a time inside the 32,500-square-foot building.
“Please stay safe 6-feet apart” signs marked the floor, a digitized map of the Chesapeake Bay. Auld proudly pointed out the Annapolis Harbor section flowing into the library system’s first in-branch vending cafe — though no eating or drinking is permitted while masks are mandated.
The branch, like all Anne Arundel Public Libraries, is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours will start in September. Contactless curbside pickup will start Monday.
Library To Open In Riviera Beach Shopping Center This Summer
Officials with the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) today announced that a storefront in the Riviera Beach Shopping Center will serve as the temporary location for the Riviera Beach Library while the facility is being rebuilt. Starting in late summer, the library will be located at 8485 A Fort Smallwoood Road, next door to Geresbeck’s Food Market.
The new 20,000-square-foot library, to be constructed on the same site as the current facility, provides almost twice the amount of space. Much anticipated features include an expanded children’s area, a large public meeting room, four individual study rooms, a teen area, cafe and prominent outdoor views.
“The design of the new Riviera Beach Library allows us to respond to community needs in a way that hasn’t been possible before,” said AACPL CEO Skip Auld. “The new building’s elegant spaces and dedicated areas for customers of all ages will give members of the community even more reason to come and enjoy the library.”
The Riviera Beach Library will close its current location in late summer 2020 with the new facility slated to open in early 2022. Visit the library's special project webpage to learn more details throughout the process.