Library Notes: Summer Reading 2023 farewell

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2023

By Paul Birkhead
Rowan Public Library

As we typically do in August, Rowan Public Library staff exhale deeply from all the exertion of Summer Reading. Of course, at the same time, we can’t help but smile when we reflect on the fond memories we’ll carry with us. This year’s Summer Reading theme was “All Together Now,” and it certainly was a season full of exciting events we all shared.

Time has just flown by since Summer Reading registration opened and we held kickoff events in May. There’s been scavenger hunts, storytimes and take away kits for children, teens and adults. How did you participate this summer? Did you register online so you could log your reading hours for a chance to win prizes? Did you decorate a paper bird to add to the Neighborhood Birds display? Perhaps you attended the Citizen Science program and learned how to make a birdseed cake. Or were you one of the puzzlers who helped us work on a community puzzle at your local branch?

Rowan Public Library’s Children’s Rooms were very busy places this summer. There were Books & Babies programs, Mother Goose on the Loose Toddler Time, Spectacular Storytime for those a little older, as well as For the Love of Birds and SugarBear Family Storytimes. There was even a Bilingual Storytime. Of course, there was the very popular Big Show series which featured Grey Seal Puppets, Amazing Teacher Steve Somers, Imagine Circus, the Ro and Mo Show, Dare Devil Dogs and Lee Street theatre. When asked her thoughts on the children’s programming this summer, Wendy Campbell, youth services supervisor for RPL, said “I enjoy the opportunity to meet so many children and families. While I am thankful for the positive connections with individual families, I am also grateful for the unique opportunity RPL’s summer program brings to partner with local non-profit camps. I am pleased that we partner with these community-minded organizations, and I look forward to working with camp directors and counselors. This year we partnered with 18 local organizations with weekly educational shows, library visits and book checkouts. One outstanding summer highlight for me is building relationships with campers, learning about their interests and seeing their ready smiles of recognition when we meet weekly.”

Teens were a big part of our programming as well this summer. There were numerous afternoon programs and Tabletop Roleplaying Game nights. Many teens participated in the Coloring Quilts Community Project and earned raffle tickets by submitting reading hours. All this culminated in a Teen Summer Reading Finale which took place as a Lock In at RPL’s South Branch on Friday, July 28. Amanda Brill, RPL teen librarian, reflected on her summer and said “Teen Summer Reading was so fun and we learned new crafts like wood burning and friendship bracelets as well as played games like Capture the Flag and Human Battleship. All Together Now was the perfect theme for a summer of making new friends, showing kindness toward others and joining together as a community to celebrate all things reading.”

Summer Reading isn’t just for children and teens. Adults were encouraged to participate as well by logging their reading hours, signing up for a take away kit and attending various programs such as: a genealogy workshop, a group hike and food drive, Pinterest Club programs on Map Coasters and Crochet for Beginners, a recipe swap and a book club. A podcast, a puzzle competition and the Community Connections Expo was also offered during the summer.

All of the children, teen and adult programs would not have been possible without the support of our community partners and sponsors. A big thank you to Stewart-Haas Racing, Food Lion Store #2263 (Cleveland), Carter Designz, F&M Bank, South Main Book Company, KaressNmee Beauty & Wellness Spa, Inspiru Apparel, Cheerwine, Dairy Queen, Cornell Lab: Celebrate Urban Birds, The Forum, Civic Federal Credit Union, and of course, The Friends of Rowan Public Library. Individuals also contributed, so thanks goes out to Cyndii Owen, Anna Danner, Gavine Pitner, Randy Lassiter, Jane Gamewell, Jayne Hubbard, Sandy Goodman, Phyllis Bodnar Tonseth, Dottie and Geoffrey Hoy, Barbara and Darryl Corriher, Jennifer Hubbard and Steve Cobb, Deborah and Dyke Messinger, Florence Peck, Pamela Misenheimer, Lorin Oden, Genny and Phil Mozolak, and Judy and Tom Childress.

As we bid farewell to Summer Reading 2023, thank you for participating and making this a summer to remember at Rowan Public Library. “We’ve had lots of fun activities for children, teens and adults,” said RPL East Supervisor Sydney Smith Hamrick. “Although we’re sad to see Summer Reading end, we’re ready for a break in August so we can get prepared for even more fall fun.”

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