Stillwater Public Library mobs downtown for National Library Week event April 18

NLW x(STILLWATER, OKLA. / April 3, 2014) – YouTube is filled with videos of flash mobs across the country showing random groups of people congregating to do everything from dancing, singing or shopping to protesting.  On Friday, April 18, the Stillwater Public Library will hold its own Reading Flash Mob and the entire community is invited to take part.  The event begins at 11:45 a.m. at Ninth and Main in Downtown Stillwater.

“The Reading Flash Mob is our way of celebrating National Library Week this year,” said Lynda Reynolds, library director.  “We want to create a fun event celebrating reading while also benefitting Downtown businesses and shoppers.”

The library’s Reading Flash Mob is being held the day before the Stillwater Arts Festival.  It is a day when Downtown Stillwater traffic is typically blocked off to prepare for the festival.  This year while the normal traffic is blocked off, businesses will provide discounts to shoppers who come down to support the library’s event.

“We were very excited to take part in the Reading Flash Mob,” said Amy Jo Frasier, business improvement district coordinator.  “The library’s event is not only promoting community reading, but also helping bring people to fill Downtown businesses and create excitement for the Arts Festival events which start Friday night.”

At the sound of Stillwater Fire Department’s fire engine siren, participants will read together for ten full minutes until the fire engine siren signals the end.  Books will be provided by the library and will be available to pick up from the library outreach van before the reading begins.  Firemen and special guest Mayor John Bartley will be available to read to children. 

The public is invited to stay downtown after the event to eat and shop at participating restaurants and merchants.  Lists of participating businesses will be distributed after the reading event and anyone who flashes a library card in one of the businesses will be eligible for the discount.  A full list of participating merchants is available at

“Participants will want to come early and stay late for all of the festivities,” said Reynolds.  “Students from the Art of Dance and the OSU Hip Hop Dance Crew will start off with a dancing flash mob and several cartoon characters, including Eskimo Joe and Buffy, will be on hand to take pictures and read with children.”

The full schedule of events includes:

  • 11:45 a.m. – Dance flash mob and distribution of books
  • Noon – Introduction to the event by Mayor John Bartley
  • 12:10 p.m. – Stillwater fire truck sirens announce beginning of the flash reading mob
  • 12:20 p.m. – Reading ends, pictures with cartoon characters and distribution of Downtown Stillwater discount lists
  • The event will be covered by Stillwater Radio’s Hot 93.7

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April as a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers.  This year’s theme is “Lives Change @ Your Library.”  

“We work hard to make the library one of the hearts of Stillwater,” said Reynolds.  “Our librarians commit their lives to creating a trusted home where the community can gather, connect, learn, grow and change their lives.” 

Throughout the month, library users can pick up a butterfly at the southwest entrance.  Visitors are asked to write down on the butterfly the ways in which the library has changed their lives.  All of the butterflies will be mounted on the front glass wall to illustrate how the library has helped people grow.

People without library cards are encouraged to come by the library before the Reading Flash Mob to apply for a card.  Anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Payne County is eligible for a free card.  

For more information about the Reading Flash Mob or getting a library card, visit the library website at or call 405-372-3633 x8106.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Library programs are co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library and KOSU.