Summer reading succeeds in Lyons

Summer reading succeeds in Lyons
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Summer reading succeeds in Lyons

Director: Best turnout in the past three years

By Steve Metsch

“Reading on the Railroad,” the summer reading program at the Lyons Public Library, has been deemed a success.

Library Director Dan Hiker said the program was the most successful in his three years at the helm.

“We’re pleased with the results. We don’t have concrete numbers yet, but we had nice attendance all summer long,” Hilker said.

“You start off good, fall off a bit usually at the start, but we are pleased overall,” he added.

The intention behind summer reading programs is two-fold.

One, is to offer kids something fun to do in the summer with a variety of presentations brought into the library.

The other? “Have kids stay in shape (with their reading) over the summer,” Hilker said.

“The thinking behind bringing in the mascots and performers is to get kids feeling comfortable with the library and to enjoy coming here. And, we want to build up a good reputation,” Hilker said.

The library was able to often use its new pavilion on the side yard to the south of the building.

And it wasn’t just kids in the summer reading program that attended events, either. Quite a few adults attended an event presented by a model railroading club which had set up trains inside the library.

“We tried to offer a program on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. Folks learned that at 10 a.m. those days, there could be up to 175 kids in the building,” Hilker said.

Some of the most popular programs was an Abe Lincoln re-enactor, the train exhibit, a joint visit by Elsa from the “Frozen” movie and Spider-Man, Hawaiian dancers, and visits by sports mascots like Southpaw of the White Sox, and Skates of the Chicago Wolves.

“A lot of the sports mascots offered discounted tickets, which is good for families,” he said.

Hilker thinks the program also let kids know they can use the library for studying in the coming school year.

“They can come in to use the computers, watch movies, find buddies who may be here, too,” Hilker said. “The library is a place where they get away to study where it’s clean and quiet.”

Prizes will be given to the top readers in the summer program based on various age brackets, but, as Hilker noted, “It’s not about the prizes, it’s about the reading.”

— Desplaines Valley News

Steve Metsch
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