Bob Ross painting classes, Jeff Evans magic shows, firefighter storytime and more: Twin Cities libraries hosting summer events for all ages


The Centralia Timberland Library and the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library are gearing up to host events for all ages as part of the summer library program, according to Muriel Wheatley, who manages both libraries.

Wheatley gave a presentation during the Tuesday, June 11, Centralia City Council meeting to preview some of the upcoming events going on at both libraries this summer.

“(Summer library program) kicked off on June 1 and it runs throughout the summer until August 31. We are doing more programming between our branches than we have done ever,” Wheatley said.

After getting her start at Centralia’s library in 2017 and becoming the library manager in Chehalis in 2022, Wheatley started managing Centralia’s library as well last February.

She told the council on Tuesday that before becoming the manager at both libraries, she already had her sights set on expanding programs at each library.

“Now that I’m working both branches, I’m able to work even closer with program staff as well as lead community engagement throughout the Twin Cities,” Wheatley said.

This increased engagement seems to be working, as Wheatly told the council the Centralia library has seen an increase in book circulation of just over 4%, an increase of computer sessions at 24% and an increase in pages printed of 27% from 2022 to 2023.

“It’s been a huge resource for our community, and I think we’re just going to continue to see it grow,” Wheatley said.

As for what’s going on this summer, events for teens and adults include a Bob Ross Joy of Painting class with certified Bob Ross instructor True Leah on Saturday, June 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Chehalis library and from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Centralia library.

Registration is required to attend either class, and though registration for both classes is already full, a waitlist for those interested still if a spot opens up is available to sign up for on the Timberland Regional Library’s event website.

Also geared toward older library patrons, a Japanese calligraphy class with professional artist Chiyo Sanada will be held at the Chehalis library from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, and then at the Centralia library on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Space in both classes is limited and registration, which opens up on July 1, is required. To register, visit the Timberland Regional Library’s event website and find the calligraphy class event.

For parents looking to keep their kids entertained during the long summer months, award-winning magician Jeff Evans will be performing kid-friendly reading magic shows at both libraries on Friday, June 21. Evans will be in Chehalis from 11 a.m. to noon performing and in Centralia from 2 to 3 p.m.

On Thursday, July 18, April Jackson, also known as the Reptile Lady, will be at both libraries with snakes, lizards and more for children to interact with. Jackson will be in Chehalis from 11 a.m. to noon with her animals and in Centralia from 2 to 3 p.m.

While book babies events, along with toddler and preschool storytimes, will all be going on weekly through August, a special firefighter storytime with local fire departments will be held in Centralia on Thursday, July 11, from 4 to 5 p.m., and in Chehalis on Saturday, July 13, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Then,on Thursday, July 25, the Pegasus Puppet Theatre will be performing Stellaluna — a 1993 Janell Cannon children’s book featuring the story of a young fruit bat who becomes separated from her mom but then is adopted by birds — from 11 a.m. to noon in Chehalis and 2 to 3 p.m. in Centralia.

The Centralia Timberland Library is located at 110 S. Silver St. in downtown Centralia, and the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library is located at 400 N. Market Blvd. in downtown Chehalis.

For a full list of summer library program events at the Centralia Timberland Library and the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library, visit

To see what is going on this summer throughout the other Timberland Regional Libraries in Lewis and South Thurston counties, including branches in Winlock, Toledo, Salkum, Randle, Packwood, Tenino, Oakville and Yelm, visit and select a specific library from the menu on the left side of the page.

The Timberland Regional Library has a total of 30 library locations spread out over five counties in Southwest Washington. Additionally, several library kiosks are available, along with a mobile “Anywhere Library.” For more information, visit