Last summer, one of the library's most popular programs was a visit from the animals of Bring the Farm to You. Nearly 400 people of all ages petted rabbits, sheep, ducks and goats and visited with a large turkey named Bob.
The Farm to You folks will return to Worthington Libraries this month for a three-week chick-hatching program.
During the introductory "Chat about Chicks" sessions at 11 a.m. March 18 at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St.; and 2 p.m. March 18 at Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, Columbus, all ages can learn about the fuzzy fowls, from what to expect from hatchlings to how they live on the farm.
Throughout March, stop by the children's departments at both libraries to check on the chicken eggs, which will be kept in an incubator until they hatch. Once hatched -- sometime during the first week of April -- the chicks move to a brooder, where patrons can watch them grow until they go to their permanent home with the other Bring the Farm to You animals.
The program, which has been held at central Ohio schools and libraries, has received rave reviews.
One teacher remarked on the "great experience," noting that, during the hatching, her students witnessed both life and death.
A student said the opportunity "showed us how to care for something other than ourselves."
Before starting Bring the Farm to You, Christa Hein spent 15 years as education director at the Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware. While there, she saw that parents respond favorably to events that teach children about food and educate them about animals as a source of both food and fabric.
"I went from bringing people from the city to the farm -- and now I bring the farm to the city," she said. "I love showing people that farming is a state of mind that can happen anywhere."
In addition to chick hatching and farm-animal events, Bring the Farm to You also offers sessions in apple cidering and maple sugaring, beekeeping, spinning and worm composting.
Hillary Kline is a communications specialist at Worthington Libraries.