Summer Library Program breaking records with all ages

Jenny Gessaman
A woman poses at the end of a row of prizes aimed at children, including interactive books for toddlers and teen book series packaged in ribbon.

Youth Service Librarian Danielle Buehler stands next to some of the 47 youth prizes kids can win with the Lewistown Public Library’s Summer Library Program.

Photo by Jenny Gessaman

The Lewistown Public Library may only be halfway through the Summer Library Program, but its already logging record-breaking participation.

Danielle Buehler, youth services librarian, explained the program is broken into four age groups, with three encompassing infants to 17-year-olds and the fourth group welcoming ages 18 and up. She has seen a rise in program attendance by kids, while overall participation doubled in the adult program.

“A lot of our participants are families, and we’ve had lots of adult program participants come in on their own,” Buehler said.

She pointed to several possible causes, including community help. The Summer Library Program is structured around week-long intervals, with six available tasks each week. Most weeks include an activity, some sponsored by local businesses. Buehler used the Lewistown Hoppers demonstration as an example, saying it drew 50 kids and 20 adults.

“We’re lucky because we’ve got great community partners like the Hoppers,” she said.

Buehler also thought this summer’s theme drew participants. Kids are encouraged to “Get in the game,” and adults are working to “Exercise your mind.” The library wanted to help patrons see how it could still be part of a season dedicated to recreation, according to Buehler.

“We tried to marry the idea of an active summer with reading,” she explained.

Buehler added programs on bird watching and the national parks were popular.

“Being active in the summer, I think that’s a thing that’s really drawn people in,” she said.

Buehler is excited for both participants, who can place a ticket in prize raffles for every activity they do, and for the library. She hopes adults and kids take away a new view of Lewistown Public Library.

“It’s not just a house for books, it’s a community space for people to come in and use,” Buehler said.



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