Library's summer programming tapers off but reading logs keep going until Aug. 18

Kolleen Taylor, Director, Bertha Bartlett Public Library
Special to the Herald
Bertha Bartlett Public Library's Tween Team works on an ice cream project.

This is the last week for the Teens and Tweens to meet in person at the Bertha Bartlett Public Library with our Tween/Teen Coordinator, Caitlin Hodnefield. It’s been a great summer with food, color and activities that center around the library world. This week the two groups combine to explore crime solving as the ISU extension team presents “A Crime, a Clue and Biotechnology.” This final program will include educating us about fingerprinting and will provide opportunities to “solve” a mystery.

The Preschool Story-times on Friday mornings and the KOOL (K-4th: Kids Of Our Library) on Thursdays will continue to meet for two more weeks with the final programs on July 30. Then there will be a break in programming until after Labor Day weekend, with most of our usual programs returning for a fall of fun!

But the reading logs are not due until Aug. 18 for any of the groups. Whether you have an Infant, KOOL, Tween or Adult reading log, you can continue to read to earn credit for the time you have spent, and you can bring your logs to the library to enter into grand prize drawings. As of this past week, in Story City we had 180 register for the children’s program, nearly 70 teens and tweens in their program, and more than a dozen in the adults and infant programs. 

I always say it’s never too late to start reading, and this year is more true than ever. The logs were designed so that all the small incentives were given at the beginning of the summer, not incrementally along the way. But the grand prize winners are determined by the entrees based on the total number of minutes read during the summer, so be sure to bring in your logs by Aug. 18 to get those entries in! Reading up to the last day is encouraged, not only for the prizes, but for the ease of returning to the classrooms in August. Our program is designed to help curb the summer slide, encouraging reading on all levels, for fun, to build reading skills and to learn about topics impacting our world.

Bertha Bartlett Public Library's Tween Team works on a tie dye project.

With the pandemic factored into our programming incentives, we needed more small incentives than ever before in addition to larger grand prizes. We would not have been able to accomplish this without the wonderful partnerships of our business community and the individuals who own and manage them. Remember this when you visit any of these businesses and thank them for their support of reading in our communities.

The sponsors we had this year included: 3M, Blank Park Zoo, Casey’s, Chick-fil-A, Story City Dairy Queen, Story City McDonalds, North Grand Cinema, Perfect Games of Ames, Van Wall Equipment in Story City and Wells Fargo. In addition, the ISU Extension provided STEM kits throughout the spring and summer, and helped us with some of our programs. 

Encouraging your children to read and to find books that truly intrigue and inspire is a mission that helps library staff experience the value of what we do each day. As we purchase, repair, shelve and share the books of our library, we are able to direct great reads into the hands of our patrons.  It’s exciting for us when a much-loved book is returned and we are begged for more of the same.

Helping become a well-educated community is a goal for us all, as we face the problems and challenges ahead of us. The first steps are always about finding information in the best sources, and we want those tools to be in the hands of young and old alike. Your library can help you do that, and it’s a joy for us to be able to do this on a daily basis.