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Folding paper at the public library

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

The library lady up front has a large square of paper and she's folding it. She holds the paper up for everyone to see and she grabs a corner and folds.

Landon Richardson, 4, has his mouth hanging open as he watches from a table in the back.

"Turn it over," says Bea Mengel, at Clayton County Headquarters Library, 865 Battle Creek Road, and she turns the large piece of blank paper over. Richardson, with a smaller square of blue scrap paper, is watching closely and he flips his paper too.

"Hold it down," says Mengel, and Richardson holds it down.

"Turn it over," says Mengel, and Richardson turns it over.

"And turn the other side up," the librarian says, and the 4-year-old follows the instructions exactly. He holds up an origami bowl. Mengel says it can even hold water, though it might get a little soggy, but Richardson decides it would make a better hat, so he puts it on his head.

On Thursday afternoon, about two dozen children gathered in the library's reading run to try their hand at the art of folding paper into interesting shape. The library hosts a wide variety of education and entertaining programs during the school district's spring break and also during the year, after school and on weekends, and over the summer.

Richardson's mother Jenna says she tried to bring Landon and his 7-year-old brother Sequoyah to as many of these programs as possible, printing out the library's online calendar of events every month.

Johnnella Terrell says she brought her 6-year-old daughter Arie and invited along friend Claire Cohen and her 6-year-old daughter Brenna because it was spring break and because origami seemed like a fun thing to do.

"Both girls enjoy folding paper," says Claire Cohen, who drove up from Fayetteville for the class, "and we're not very good at it, so it's good there's a class to teach them. I can see what's going to become of dinner napkins now."

For more information about the public library and upcoming events visit http://www.claytonpl.org