By Jan Pease
We’re ba-a-ack! OK, I liked the movie, “Independence Day,” so I just couldn’t resist. Yes, today marks the return of the Litchfield Library column after a sabbatical of nearly three months. We experienced a very busy summer and a very busy fall.
This month Pioneerland Library System came out with its end of summer report. There are 32 member libraries in our system, and the theme this year was “Read For the Win.” 580 preschool children registered to participate in summer reading. 2,093 elementary students ages 5-12 registered, and 355 tweens and teens, ages 11 and older registered. 210 story times were presented, with an attendance of 4,908.
In Litchfield, 348 young people signed up to participate in the summer reading program. I’m very pleased with that number. 67 children from that number could be identified as preschoolers, who had a completion rate of 52%. 25 readers could be identified as teens. Their completion rate was 36%, but I’m just happy that teens were using the library. Our target audience, elementary students was very involved. 256 kids registered, and 53% of them completed it. Of those who completed the “reading game,” most kids brought in their reading records every ten days. That meant an amazing amount of reading was taking place.
The library presented 18 story times. 466 children and parents attended. Story time is so much fun, and I’m continually surprised by the maturity of three and four year old children.
One highlight of the summer program was borrowing a new room at Litchfield Christian Church to present Professor Marvel. He brought his program, “Library Olympics” to Litchfield. If you’ve attended his programs in the past, you’ve been part of a standing-room-only crowd. We had more than 200 children and parents attend, and next year I hope to have 300 or more. It is so handy to have a large, very nice space so close to the library.
On Wednesday afternoons we had a smorgasbord of activities for students in grades 1-3. Some days we had Fun with 4-H, some days we made things, some days we played board games, and one afternoon we tested our sense of taste. I think we’ll offer something like this in the summer of 2017.
Mariah began an interesting activity in May for students in grades 4-8. She calls it Art Journaling, and they get together on the second Monday of each month to make art journals using different supplies and techniques. This great program will continue throughout the school year.
Other library programs that will happen throughout the school year include Toddler Time Wednesdays at 10:15, Preschool Story Time Fridays at about 10:00, Beginner Book Club for grades 1-3 on the third Thursdays of the month at 3:15, and Brickheads for ages 4-14 every Thursday evening at 6:30.
Finally, I’m so happy to announce that Litchfield Library will welcome Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, to 2nd Saturday Story Hour on Saturday, November 12, at 10:00. They will read from their children’s book, The Invisible You, and celebrate uniqueness in everyone. I hope to see you there!