A box was delivered to the Cherokee Public Library last week with bright blue t-shirts and supplies for the summer reading program. It's always fun to see the shirts as the staff spends a lot of time wearing them through June and July.
At least this year they are a color that we all like. The summers we wore harvest gold and neon orange were not favorites.
When I think back over the years and look at the stack of t-shirts sitting in my dresser drawer, I can tell I have been here a long, long time. This will be SRP #28 for me, and although I have not been in charge of one for the last 20 years, this time of year brings back memories.
My first summer reading shindig was in 1984.
When I began my job as children's librarian that April, I inherited a program in the works. Rowena Steinberg had decided to use the Family Circus cartoon motif with the theme "Reading is Keane." Following years brought programs concerning animals, rainbows, circus, bears etc. with my personal favorite being "Silly Dilly Summer."
That year Betty Forest, Donna Henrich, Kim Allen and I performed a puppet play about Peter Piper's Pickle Patch at all the schools. Some of the now thirtysomething participants may remember the decorated pickle contest and crazy hat day. I have pictures from those events that make me smile, especially when I see the wild turquoise eye shadow I was wearing.
Those were days before Nintendo games appeared and long before computers were a household item. Kids were excited about books, enjoyed the novelty of a film shown at the library and found simple things like grasshopper jumping and cricket races entertaining. How things have changed!
Summer reading programs are different now. They are made up of bigger events with outside expertise being brought in to attract attendance, fewer reading requirements and a shorter time span. ButÖ whatever it takes to bring the kids into the library is what we have to do. I encourage all parents and grandparents to make this summer's "Dream BigÖ Read" a priority for the children they care about. Details will soon be available. Don't miss out!
Pick up a newsletter at the desk or in the children's department to keep track of what's happening at the library. It has a schedule of events, lists of new books and DVDs and other news items people need to know. Call 225-3498 with any questions.