All New Orleans Public Library locations will be closed Saturday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

The first week of July is the midway point of the summer reading program, and this week there are many fun and free events scheduled. For the full schedule of events, visit

TEEN CRAFTS: Shrinky Dinks are the craft that you design and then, when heated, they shrink to one-third of their original size and become nine times thicker. Teens will have the chance to design and make their own Shrinky Dinks artwork at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, at the Children’s Resource Center Library, 913 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans.

AQUAVAN: The Audubon Institute’s AquaVan will be visiting the Mid-City and East New Orleans Regional libraries, allowing children to explore the natural treasures of a tropical rainforest, discover an ocean teeming with life, and even meet some animal neighbors from their own backyards. The AquaVan will be at the Mid-City Library, 3700 Orleans Ave., at noon Wednesday, July 1. It will be at the East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd., at noon Thursday, July 2.

ZOOMOBILE: The Audubon Institute’s Zoomobile will be visiting the Keller and Alvar libraries, offering children an opportunity to learn about all types of animals. From rainforest animals in need of protection due to habitat loss to threatened species from around the world, children learn that animals of the world are important and need our help. The Zoomobile will be at the Keller Library and Community Center, 4300 S. Broad St., at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 1. It will be at the Alvar Library, 913 Alvar St., at 11 a.m. Monday, July 6.

BRUSHBOTS: Teens will learn how to build BrushBots and then race them at 3 p.m. Monday, July 6, at the East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd. BrushBots have toothbrush heads as their bodies, with bristles as legs. The hundreds of nylon bristles twitch and vibrate to make the “bot” bounce along like a nervous little insect. A tiny pager motor and coin cell battery provide the get-up-and-go. BrushBots are great for working with basic electronics, and thinking outside the box in minimalist robot design.

DANCE WORKSHOP: The staff of Dancing Grounds will hold a dance workshop for teens at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, at the Keller Library and Community Center, 4300 S. Broad St. Dancing Grounds supports a diverse community of New Orleans dance students, teachers, artists, and audiences.

To stay informed about library events, sign up for weekly event listing emails at or like the Facebook page

Charles Brown is the executive director of the New Orleans Public Library.