Immersive education was taken to another level during a five-week morning program in May where llamas visited Henderson County’s rural libraries: the branches in Etowah, Edneyville, Mills River, and Fletcher, and the Green River branch in Zirconia. Instead of traveling to a farm, toddlers and preschool-age kids had the charismatic pack animals come to them, while the llamas’ handlers talked to them about how the animals are fed, cared for, and a little about their unique personalities.
The llamas come from Country Walk farm, owned by Hank and Vickie Balch of Edneyville. The couple has devoted their retirement to caring and showing their gentle, inquisitive charges. It’s not many farm animals who are fit to walk through the doors of a public institution and interact with small children.
“The llama programs are very popular with library patrons and staff,” confirms Loree Kelly, branch coordinator at Henderson County Public Library. Despite a general rush of excitement from youthful attendees, the “herd” of two kept its composure, exemplifying the kind of library manners than would put even some two-legged patrons to shame.
For more information about programs sponsored by Henderson County Branch Libraries, contact Loree Kelly, branch coordinator, at 828-697-4725, ext. 2314. For a full schedule of events, check out the library page at www.hendersoncounty.org.