By Linda Dillman
The dinosaurs are coming! The dinosaurs are coming!
A trio of prehistoric creatures will call the atrium of the Columbus Metropolitan Main Library, 96 S. Grant Avenue, Columbus, their home from Aug. 16 through Oct. 31 and the library is celebrating with special programming and activities.
“We want our Main Library to be a destination,” said library media specialist Ben Zenitsky. “We’re always keeping our eyes open for engaging attractions. We’re excited to welcome these awe, and reading, inspiring dinosaurs as we head into the fall.”
A Megalosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops comprise the three-dinosaur display created by Billings Productions—also known as The Dinosaur Company—which creates animatronic dinosaurs, giant bugs, and primal predators for zoos and museums across the world. The company is considered a world leader in the design and development of animatronics that focuses on life-size, educational designs.
Although the dinosaurs at the library are a static display, their Dinosaur Company moving counterparts can be found at the Columbus Zoo on Dinosaur Island now through the end of October. They appeared previously at the zoo in 2018 and 2019.
“Our animatronics run on air compressors which would be a little bit noisy for a library,” said Ande Davidson, marketing and customer relations manager for Billings Productions, Inc.
While details are being finalized, Zenitsky said the Main Library’s children’s team is planning a number of engaging staff-led programs and customer-led activities intended to inspire and excite.
“Everything we do ties back to books and reading, so you can expect our shelves to be stocked full of books about dinosaurs,” said Zenitsky. “As always, our hope is that children bring their curiosity with them to the library and leave with a big stack of books in their hands.”
Adults are not immune to the allure and charm of prehistoric behemoths, much like their younger counterparts. Zenitsky said adults transform back into children when in the presence of dinosaurs.
“Of course, we’ll have books ready for every reader of every age,” said Zenitsky.
Once the dinosaurs are created in Texas and ready for their journey to central Ohio, Billings Production workers will load them into a 53-foot truck and drive them to Columbus where they will be unloaded and placed on display in the library’s atrium.
“Visitors should expect to see an amazing and educational display of dinosaurs,” said Davidson. “The library staff will be there to share facts about the dinosaurs and help teach people about their prehistoric lives.”
Other upcoming library events
From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the library is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with book displays, reading lists, and special programs.
As part of its Carnegie Author Series, the library is welcoming Kirk Wallace Johnson on Aug. 28 and Rumaan Alam on Oct. 23.
In conjunction with a Speak Up / Speak Out: Conversations About Race series, the library is exploring Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, “Between the World and Me,” with three virtual events in September, October and November. All of the programs are free and open to the public.