Library kicks off summer programming, sees big participation

Kolleen Taylor, Director, Bertha Bartlett Public Library
Special to the Herald

The first weeks of the 2021 Summer Library Programming has shown us that many of our residents were anxious for our programming to start up again! With over 120 signed up for the K-4th grade reading program, 50 Teens and Tweens, and dozens more adults and infants, it feels like old times!

We had dinosaurs, ice cream and Marvel comics, scavenger hunts, sidewalk chalking and colors just about everywhere! Our kids are even invited to write letters, color and send pictures to our troops, all tying into the wonderful theme “Reading Colors Our World.” Story County Conservation met with our K-4th graders at North Park, and ISU Extension came to the library on the hottest day of the year to share the joy of bubbles!  Nearly 400 youth and adults participated in 81 different programs held in Story City and Gilbert library locations in the first few weeks of programs. 

It’s been a grand few weeks and we have just begun! The reading program runs all summer long, and we are excited to help our youth explore new authors, new subjects and learn new things throughout the summer. It’s been a long time since we have seen so many smiling, happy faces in the library!

Programming during the summer has several purposes. It was always designed to bring people into the library and expose our community to the many different aspects of library use, teaching our young people how to find books they will enjoy. It also gives our kids incentives to read during the summer, so the slide experienced during the summer months is minimized. For some, these incentives help them find topics that they want to learn more about, and their reading skills are enhanced as they explore non-fiction, developing an understanding on a wide variety of topics. Summer reading is designed to be fun and even though some of our programs are not in the building, we expect to see children checking out books, exploring new authors and enhancing their reading abilities … without having to worry about tests and teachers.

As we get back into the swing after a long dry spell, some of our standard activities are beginning to be more open. The Bartlett Book Club which meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the library is back to meeting in person, after over a year of Zooming their discussions. Our Knit Pickers are talking about re-emerging from behind their skeins of yarn and thread, and the first of our evening Adult programs will be held on Monday, June 29, with tips on preserving your fruits and vegetables.

“Preserve the Taste of Summer 101” will be presented by the ISU Extension to teach about how to preserve your excess garden produce. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., this is a session to learn some basics, providing research-based recipes and learn about the latest recommendations. This session will cover canning, dehydrating and freezing.  You’ll also get a chance to see various food preservation supplies and equipment that will be on display.

This session does need pre-registration, so please call the Story County Extension office at 515-337-1601.This program will give us the basics we need to take care of our garden harvests this summer. If you need more information, contact the library at 515-733-2685. And don’t forget out Tween programs at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Teens  at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, K-4 at 1 p.m. on Thursdays and our preschool storytime at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays! Come see us and Color Your World with exciting new books!