Get a double-dose of fun and learning with the Stillwater Public Library's "NEA Big & Little Read" programs

Get a double-dose of fun and learning with the Stillwater Public Library’s “NEA Big & Little Read” programs

(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / October 27, 2021) – The Stillwater Public Library (SPL) is packing in a weekend of fun for kids and families as the "NEA Big & Little Read" series continues! The weekend starts on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 1-3 p.m., with a mini kid camp at Lake McMurtry featuring survival and nature art activities. On Sunday, Nov. 7, at 11 a.m., SPL is hosting Oklahoma Shakespeare in the library's courtyard. Both events have limited space available and require registration.

Conner King, Lake McMurtry's outdoor recreation and education director will present "Kids Survival and Art" alongside other McMurtry staff. Participants will learn about water purification, fire building and shelter building. Additionally, kids will get to use their creative side to create nature art, including a constellation viewer.

The program is being held at Lake McMurtry’s east pavilion. Attendees will not need to pay parking costs. Registrants will receive driving directions and parking details prior to the event.

Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Murray is excited to have a children’s program at the lake so they can learn and explore.

“Kids learn and remember so much better when they have unique, hands-on experiences. I hope this session inspires appreciation and respect for the natural world,” Murray said.

Then on Sunday, the library will provide a fun and enriching program of a different kind with a theatrical performance from Oklahoma Shakespeare, a year-round, not-for-profit professional regional theater. The group will present “Professor Spillsby Hunts for Treasure!” which is part of their “Classics for Kids” series.

In this Shakespeare-inspired play, the main characters travel through Italy searching for treasure and receiving help from many of Shakespeare’s female characters from some of his most famous plays, including “Romeo and Juliet,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” Twelfth Night” and “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Those who have read the library's "NEA Big Read" selection, "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel, know Shakespeare plays an important role in the story. Murray thinks bringing Oklahoma Shakespeare to do an all-ages family show is a perfect tie-in for families participating in the Big and Little Reads.  

“This is a great opportunity for parents to discuss what they are reading with their older kids and a fun way to introduce Shakespeare to younger kids,” Murray said.

For a comfortable experience, we encourage attendees to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Complimentary snacks and drinks will be provided by the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library. As an added bonus, there will be a door prize drawing for a Shakespeare themed book for both kids and adults!

Staff encourages participants to be COVID-19 safe by wearing masks, not attending library programs if they have any symptoms and keeping social distance. 

The library has free copies of "Station Eleven" to give to individuals who sign-up to attend a librarian-led book discussion. Discussions occur throughout Oct. and early Nov. at various outdoor locations throughout the community and online. Kids can also participate in the library's first-ever "Little Read" featuring "Blackout" by author and illustrator John Rocco. Children can get free copies of the Little Read title while supplies last. 

Sign-up for “Kids Survival and Art,” “Professory Spillsby Hunts for Treasure!” and all other "Big & Little Read" events, including book discussions, online at or by calling the Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106.

In case of rain, the library will attempt to reschedule both events for a later date. The library will post updates on its website and social media channels. Anyone who registered for the events will also receive emails about cancellations and rescheduled dates and times.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Additional funding for "NEA Big and Little Read: Stillwater" is provided by the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, the Stillwater Public Library Trust and the OSU Library.