Usually we find that the weeks after the Fourth of July the attendance at our library programs and door count in general slows down a bit, but this year has proved to be the exception. The past two weeks, the library has continued to see large numbers in the library: attending programs, bringing in reading logs, and of course, checking in and out materials they had borrowed from the Bertha Bartlett Public Library.

We are thrilled and hopeful this continues through the next two weeks of programming and throughout the summer until school starts. We have offered special reading programs for all age groups in addition to the special programs for our youth. This summer we offered both a Teen and Tween each Wednesday that has had great participation as Tweens met in the morning with Shelly and Teens met in the afternoon with Ema. But both programs will conclude this week for a summer break as historically many families start taking vacations during the last weeks of July and August before school starts.

The KOOL kids programs on Thursdays have also had good participation all summer, in addition to the pre-school storytimes on Fridays. These programs will continue for one additional week, but then there will be no programs from July 29 until after Labor Day on Sept. 2.

It has made the library a bit bouncier, a little louder on our programming days, and we all leave the library wishing for a bit more of the vitality that our youth demonstrate. But we are happy sending books home with families that challenges them a little bit more that we feel they will enjoy. We all cross our fingers when we introduce new authors to our young readers who are trying to find some type of reading material that truly excites them. This is always our goal and our challenge.

But the library has also been full of adults checking out materials, printing out paperwork, researching family or local history, reading newspapers and magazines, applying for jobs, looking for housing, conducting interviews and studying for tests. Once our doors open, we find there are a multitude of reasons why people come through our doors, and we are thankful that we are able to serve their needs.

The library is an important part of our community, and we hope it always will be so. As we move forward into the second half of the year, we hope we are able to provide the information, materials and assistance our population needs.