The story time train at North Carroll Public Library will have a new chief engineer in 1993.
Maria Toomey, head children's librarian, has taken her train south to the new Mount Airy branch that will open Jan. 8. Until the library introduces a new head librarian, the regular staff of children's librarians will continue to lead this year's story time trains.
Under Mrs. Toomey's lead, in four years the train has brought a lively, sometimes zany program to the library. Wildlife and pets such as snakes and birds came to spur interest in books. There were puppet shows, Waldo treasure hunts, birdhouse building, the crew from Star Trek and even the Cookie Monster, alias Mrs. Toomey, who munched through dozens of cookies in a contest and exchange by the children.
This winter, an expanded holiday story time was introduced to meet the demand of hundreds of children. This was in addition to a full schedule of morning, afternoon and evening story times that brought toddlers and whole families to hear books, jump and stretch, and make a craft or color a picture.
"I'm going to miss everyone," Mrs. Toomey said on her last day at the North Carroll branch. "I've watched some of the children grow up in the last three years. There will be lots of wonderful children in Mount Airy, too. I keep telling myself that."
This week, she'll help pack up the old Mount Airy branch for its move to the expansive new building on Saturday and be ready to meet her new children Jan. 8.
"It will be fun to start another new branch like I started this one," she said.
Library director Hampton "Skip" Auld, who has been her boss during her years in the ever-expanding children's program, said, "She does a good job of pulling together the department and provides some really good programming. She's really good at it. She'll do a good job in Mount Airy, too."
* The North Carroll Senior Center in Greenmount appreciates the volunteer help that makes the center one of the most active in Carroll, according to Dorothy Houff, site manager. The Volunteer Recognition Dinner honored everyone yesterday, particularly those 39 volunteers who teach crafts, help in the kitchen, model clothing at the annual fashion show, and make apple dumplings for the Senior Festival.
Special mention was given to 10 volunteers "who've worked all ** year for the Christmas program," said Mrs. Houff. "They have been outstanding in the past year, making articles for the Christmas bazaar. They met faithfully every Tuesday and made lovely things. The bazaar was very nice."
The North Carroll Senior Center shares a building with the North Carroll Public Library. This union inspired librarians to produce a Christmas skit for the seniors. All That Glitters, a traveling dance troupe,put on a holiday show.
Anyone over 50 can join the center. Members will begin their annual hand-sewn quilt in the next month or so, and in May will produce hundreds of apple dumplings.
"We're right famous for our apple dumplings," said Mrs. Houff.
In July the seniors will produce their special brand of comedy fashion show, "Second Hand Rose."
The Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department is chasing the winter blahs with another All Night Bingo on Jan. 15. Doors at the fire house on Main Street will open at 5 p.m.
The $20 ticket includes a home-cooked dinner served from 6 p.m. until the games begin at 8 p.m. With 92 different games and an expanded jackpot, the fun lasts until the wee hours.
-! Call 374-2424 for tickets.