So the bookworm title is pretty negative, but I will get to that later, let’s start with good things first.
Summer Reading Program is finished. That also sounds negative, you know, in the way that I just mentioned we would talk about good things.
We are always ready for SRP to finish, we are usually worn out, this year is a little different. The weariness is actually more of a sadness. This year was planned with great things in mind. We had received a grant for $9766 and we were so excited to have paid performers for story time. The grant was still used, but as you know already, this was not our typical SRP. We marched forward, Brittany and Kelly went ahead with their story times, Kate learned to be a fierce videographer and I spent our grant money.
I want to use this bookworm to highlight all the great aspects of SRP and all the wonderful people that made it happen; different as it might have been.
We were able to advertise for SRP in a variety of ways, from banners and flags to ads with our local radio station and newspapers. The grant money for advertising went back into our community and that makes me feel pretty good. In 2017 we used grant money with one printing company, this year we were able to use the money with our other local printing company. The newspaper allows me to write the bookworm every week at no cost and our local radio station shares our events weekly on their community calendar, again at no cost. A little over $4000 worth of grant funds were used.
We offered 20 different story time events, 7 of which were provided by paid performers; Johnathon Shoff (a children’s librarian from St. Charles Library), Bright Star Children’s Theater (a theater company from North Carolina), and Jim Weiss (a professional storyteller with over 30 years’ experience from Arizona). Grant funds covered the cost at $1995. We also offered 3 different writing workshops and 15 writing prompts for adults and teens. Nationally, bestselling author, Laura McHugh led one of the workshops, Jim Weiss conducted the last one, and yours truly led the other one. Grant funds covered the cost at $500.
We supplied our patrons with around 1000 activity kits, from weekly crafts for kiddos and monthly crafts for adults to monthly STEAM and LEGO kits. We also had 4 different Story Walks at the Stover and Versailles City Parks. Grant funds covered the cost at around $2000. This year was the first year we offered offsite pick up locations, don’t tell me you didn’t know this, seriously we advertised it everywhere.
$500 worth of children’s books were added to the collection. $500 of Hi-Lo books were added to the adult collection for reluctant, ESL or beginning readers. Around $400 worth of digital items were added to offset waitlists on OverDrive. All of these were funded by the grant.
Local funding from Dr. Dear, Teeple Insurance, Bank of Versailles, Citizens Bank and Changes in Time help fund some amazing prizes for those who completed their SRP reading record and incentive challenge. Brenda Steffens donated books so that we were able to give out over 800 books to kids that participated in our online Story Times. Weekly prizes were made available with donations from B&B Drive In, Dari Kup, Emme’s, Pizza Hut, Sonic and Vonda Greenwalt American Family Insurance.
My staff did a great job in this dystopian world we are living in. If you only could have seen the behind the scenes work, you really have no idea how challenging virtual programming can be, and on that note, back to my title. Virtually Non-Existent. This came out of patron’s mouth this week after they asked for our monthly calendar. Really?! You can’t win for losing. Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. Be kind. All the things that should be said; most not appropriate for the bookworm. The upside of this kind of negativity is the bonding and support that grows amongst those who practice being kind. Support from our community to make SRP the best we could, patrons that tell me they will act as a bouncer if I have any problems with people, staff that speaks up and schools the patron that spoke with virtually no positivity, and another staff member that buys me a shirt that sums it up. “We can endure much more than we think we can.” – Frida Kahlo Yep, I can, with a staff like I have, and a community that is not represented by one rotten apple.
Upcoming Events: 8/5 Story Time at 10am, 8/8 STEAM at 10:30am – both events will be shared on Facebook