''Wiggle your magic fingers,'' said Mr. Paul, comedy magician at the Girard Free Library last month.
On command, the room filled with 6- to 12 year-olds raised their hands and wiggled their fingers to make the magic happen.
With the help of the children's ''magic fingers,'' Mr. Paul made multi-colored sponge balls disappear, commanded a rubber duck to tell the future and encouraged children to read their favorite books as part of the library's summer reading program, ''Make a Splash - Read.''
Elizabeth Carpenter, 8, of Cortland, makes magic happen with comedy magician Mr. Paul at the Girard Free Library June 30. Mr. Paul was at the library as part of the ‘‘Make a Splash’’ summer reading program.
Incorporating books and reading, the magician advised children, ''between F for fiction and N for non-fiction, is U and that spells FUN.''
Reading is fun, he told the group who sat diligently on the floor, laughing at his jokes and missteps and quickly raising their hands in hopes of being called to the front as a participant in the show.
The summer reading program is one of the many services still provided by the library, which has had to cut some programs due to funding cuts that forced area libraries to tighten their budgets.
''This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library,'' said library director Rose Ann Lubert. ''If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be able to do this,'' she said.
One of the programs cut for the summer was the children's storytimes, which included separate activities and storytelling for children of all ages and adults.
Storytimes are expected to resume the week after Labor Day beginning Sept. 13.
The Friends of the Girard Free Library sponsor many fundraising activities. Annual dues are $5 individual; $10 family; individual lifetime, $100; club, business or association, $25 and individual patron, $25. Printable membership forms are available online at www.girard.lib.oh.us or at the library, located at 105 E. Prospect St.
Library hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m. to 4 p .m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
For more information on the library, its services and the summer reading programs, call 330-545-2508.