It’s not unusual for fans to camp out overnight so they’re among the first in the theater for a movie début.

But a library opening?

“This is way better than any movie opening or video game release,” says Jennifer Mitchell, one of the two Yakima moms who wanted their children to be among the first to experience the West Valley Community Library.

The new library, the second largest in the Yakima Valley Libraries system at just under 10,000 square feet, opened Aug. 13.

The campers arrived around 7:30 the night before the grand opening, staying through the ribbon-cutting ceremony and long enough to check out a few books.

They didn’t build a campfire or even bring a tent, rolling out their sleeping bags in front of the library’s double doors at 223 S. 72nd Ave.

“We homeschool our children, so we’re at the library a lot,” says 38-year-old Mitchell. “We love it so much we wanted to be the first ones to go in. We wanted to support the library.”

Both Mitchell and Heidi Brown homeschool their children. There are nine between the two families, ages 4 to 14, four in one, five in the other.

What did they do while they were camping out, waiting for the library to open?

Of course, says Mitchell, “They read books.”

-- Adriana Janovich