Ladybugs take flight at local library

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

CHINA GROVE — The color for the day at the South Rowan Public Library in China Grove was red as they were celebrating ladybugs on July 6.

As part of the day’s events, the staff and families who attended took part in the release of 3,000 ladybugs. While this was not the first time for Children’s Librarian Melissa Gephart to do this program personally, it was the first time for it to be held at the Rowan Public Library.

A large crowd of children and adults filled the children’s area where Gephart welcomed everyone and told them how happy she was to see such a great turnout.

Prior to their going outside, she explained to the children that they would be releasing 3,000 ladybugs and asked if they had ever seen that many. 

This brought some oohs and ahhs and a reply of no, that they had not seen that many at one time before. She then showed the packages of ladybugs they would release after the storytime.

The two books that Gephart read were titled, “Are You a Ladybug?” by Judy Allen and “What the Ladybug Heard,” by Julia Donaldson.

As she read the title of the first book with the question, are you a ladybug, a small voice from the crowd said, “I’m a ladybug.”

The song that was sung reinforced the color of the day noting red, “because we love ladybugs,” Gephart said, but it also talked about red strawberries, stop signs and apples.

When it was time for the release, she told the children that everyone would get a chance to see the ladybugs up close and if they wanted to hold them they could; however, if they chose not to hold them, that was perfectly fine.

She did instruct them all about the proper way to handle them, reminding each that they are living creatures and to treat them with respect, so not to crush or throw them and and let them fly when they wanted to, among other things.

While some chose not to hold one of the bugs, many wanted to hold them and watched them fly off.

One of those, Emma Marie Warner, was celebrating her birthday on this day at the library and watched as ladybugs crawled around on her hand and her parents, Hali and Jacob Warner. She said it was going to be fun doing this on her special day.

Others, like Kaloni Wilder and Jalah Cathcart, and Sabrina Mishak and Abigail Duncan all watched them crawl on their hands and some went back for more when their ladybugs flew away. 

Along with Gephart, Chelsea Espy, one of the library associates, was assisting during this special event by either helping them get ladybugs or other tasks as needed.

Gephart said she was very pleased with the response they received from their patrons.

“I had a lot of kids, and parents, asking questions about ladybugs. I think it’s vital to teach children how ladybugs play an important role in our food production as pollinators,” she said. “I always love doing this program. I’m sure we will repeat it.”