WAIMEA — Ben Moffat didn’t realize where he stored his magic wand — until he sneezed at the Waimea Public Library Thursday.
Moffat, a storyteller from Honolulu with the Hawaii State Public Library System, needed the magic wand to create a magic ship on which to navigate the River of Dreams.
He plied his magic of telling tales to a large group of keiki and their parents and grandparents, utilizing skills in puppetry, stilts, magic and music to enhance his search for the cuddle wumpus in a 35-minute presentation.
“This coincides with our library’s storytime and play group,” said Michelle Young, the Waimea Library branch manager. “We got to choose him from a list at the Hawaii Public Library System. Normally, we use the separate room for storytime, but it is getting crowded so we tried using the main population floor.”
The stilts which form the centerpiece of a phase of his saga are used by drywall installers, Moffat said.
“Hawaii doesn’t allow these here,” Moffat said. “But they’re available on the Mainland. I started stilt walking for theater in 1988 and used these same types drywall installers use to work on ceilings.”
Lois Catala watched the presentation from the back of the room.
“This place is starting to come alive,” Catala said. “We have some really good programs for everyone. Programs like this, and the Lego program on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. are really popular with the young people.”
Young, taking over the head librarian spot last August after tours at the Lihue and Princeville public libraries, said the goal is to make the library a more friendly place.
“We want to makes this a friendly place for families — especially those with young children,” Young said. “We want people to start learning about the library from an early age so they can enjoy the many things the library has to offer them.”
She doesn’t need a magic wand to do that. Instead, Young has started several programs geared for younger people as well as the more mature audience who scoured pages of newspapers while Moffat plied his storytelling magic.
Young said every Monday through July is movie night, starting at 6 p.m. in the library’s utility room where light snacks are also served.
“We even have a Friends program now,” said Catala, a board member of the Friends of Waimea Public Library. “We have an oshibana class for people of any age on the first Monday of the month, and the library has some of the oshibana cards on sale. The library has some really good programs, now. We’re working on our Christmas book sale.”
Catala stops by the library on a daily basis.
“This is just like my living room,” she said.