Wednesday, May 12, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 11

Santa Maria Sun / Spotlight

The following article was posted on October 14th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 33

Lompoc Public Library staff members are working hard to give local kids a goblin good time this month

By Malea Martin

Why are ghosts such terrible liars? Because you can see right through them! 

The Lompoc Library is getting kids outside this fall season by placing Halloween-themed rocks around town. Kids who find rocks will be entered into a drawing for gift cards, but this is just one way to have a chance at winning.

How can you tell a vampire likes baseball? Every night he turns into a bat! 

What do witches use on their hair? Scare spray!

Everybody loves a good pun and, as much as the Sun would love to take credit, the Lompoc Public Library is the real ghoul behind these Halloween jokes. 

Every day during October, the library posts a new animated “howler” on YouTube for local kids to enjoy. But the howlers are just one piece of the Lompoc Public Library’s month-long Halloween programming this year. 

Thirty-one Dreadful Days of Terrifying Treats is aimed at kids ages 4 to 12, and it all leads up to a drawing for 10 gift cards to Five Below—every kid’s dream store—at the end of the month. 

“Of course, because of the pandemic, kids aren’t going to be able to do the normal Halloween activities, so they won’t be able to do trick-or-treating and things like that,” said Librarian Rachell Frazian. “So I wanted to put together an online program where kids would have something to look forward to. The program is made to be very interactive: The more the kids interact, the more entries they get into the drawing.”

After signing up for a free Beanstack account—a website used by libraries for reading challenges and programming—kids can submit the codes found at the end of daily, interactive videos posted by the library. Participants can score extra points by submitting reviews, drawings, photos, memes, jokes, or any other artistic creation. For every submission, kids are given another entry into the end-of-the-month gift card drawing.

The library posts a new video each day of the week that sticks to a certain theme. On Sundays, it’s “The Ghastly Kitchen,” where “one of our staff members makes something yummy in the kitchen,” Frazian said. On Mondays, kids can hear some “Strange & Startling Storytimes.” On Saturdays, participants can make some “Cryptically Creepy Crafts”—and the list goes on.

Kids who watch through the whole video are rewarded with a code which, when entered into Beanstack, results in another entry for the gift cards.

“If they want to do more, they can go ahead and do their own version of the craft,” Frazian said. “The crafts are all low- to no-cost, so it’s things you can easily either find at home or get out at the store. If the craft inspires them to make a meme or write a joke, or they wanted to take a picture of something that reminded them of the craft—all those things count, and they can post those for another entry into the drawing.”

As of six days into the program, the library had already received 158 entries from local kids.

And the programming isn’t limited to the computer screen: Frazian and the Lompoc library team is getting creative to get kids outdoors by hiding painted Halloween rocks around Lompoc for kids to find. Whoever finds a rock gets another entry into the contest.

Pokémon GO is still pretty big for a certain age group, and there’s a lot of Poke stops around town. So as an added fun thing, we’re aligning the rocks with Poke stops,” Frazian said. “Every Thursday, we’ll announce where we’re going to be placing rocks, and then we post it online [on Facebook] and the kids can go and try to find the rocks.”

While the pandemic might have thrown a wrench in the library’s typical fall programming, Frazian said the 31 Dreadful Days of Terrifying Treats wouldn’t have happened if the virus hadn’t hit.

“Usually we would have themed crafts that might be once a week, and the kids would come into the library. But this is something that is every single day,” Frazian said. “We’re also giving the kids the opportunity to win prizes, which we don’t usually do.”

With the flexible and easy-to-use submission system on Beanstack, Frazian said the fun is more accessible than ever. 

“We’re trying to make it as empowering for kids as we can,” she said. “So whatever it is that they can do, they can do that and get an entry into the drawing.”

Beyond the spooky month of October, the Lompoc library also offers a Fall Reading Challenge until Nov. 30. The challenge operates through Beanstack too, but those without internet access can call the library to log their reading at (805) 875-8781.

Frazian hopes that the 31 Dreadful Days of Terrifying Treats, or #31Dreadful, can help restore some Halloween normalcy to local kids’ lives.

“Because Lompoc is such a small town, it’s just another dimension of adding to that community closeness,” she said. 


• The Cabrillo High School Aquarium announced that it will be hosting virtual tours to allow elementary school students worldwide to “visit” the facility and learn about the marine life that dwells there. Each tour will be held on Zoom and led by student guides, who will “narrate a walkthrough of the aquarium,” according to aquarium staff. At the end of each tour, the students will host a live question-and-answer session. Each tour is grade-appropriate and supports Next Generation Science Standards, according to the aquarium. Students will also have access to pre- and post-tour activities designed by Cabrillo High School Aquarium students. “While nothing compares to an in-person visit, (especially following our recently completed interactive tide pool renovations), we are excited to begin sharing the aquarium with visitors virtually,” aquarium officials said in a statement. For more information on the virtual tours, visit m

Staff Writer Malea Martin wrote this week’s Spotlight. Send news tips to

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