SIBLEY—The Sibley Public Library will be the home base of several activities for community members of all ages this summer.
The summer reading program is one of the main ways the library helps bring the community together during the warm weather months. The library also does community outreach initiatives to reach people unable to come to the library.
“We’re always trying to reach new people over the summer and all year,” said library assistant Alexandria Walton.
She said more than 200 children in kindergarten through the sixth grade are expected to take part in this summer’s reading program, the theme of which is “A Universe of Stories.” The library will hold activities for the program every day this month starting on June 10, with different days reserved for different age groups.
In keeping with the space theme, participating children will complete reading “missions” where they must read for certain amounts of time. Once they complete a reading task, they put a sticker in booklets to track their progress for each mission.
When they finish a mission, they will receive a space-themed button to put on their fanny packs or “space belts.” With each mission, they also will get to add a slip with their names on it in a drawing for a bigger prize.
“So the more you read, the more chances you get to win one of the big prizes,” Walton said.
On Tuesdays during the summer, the library also hosts programs for day-care groups. Walton said the day-care program in the summer differs from during the school year, when the library’s youth services coordinator, Rachel Galvin, goes to the day-care center every other week.
Those with children between 6 months and 3 years old can bring them to the library’s Toddle On Over summer program, which will take place Monday afternoons in June.
Each week of the reading program will end with a Friday movie screening in place of reading sessions. Walton said the tentative movie lineup for June is “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and “WALL-E.”
The library will have a separate summer program for teenagers, where they can come into the library each day and receive a scratch ticket.
The ticket either wins them an instant prize or gives them points they can accumulate to use at a silent auction at the end of summer. They can receive extra tickets by checking out and reading books, Walton said.
Twice during June, the library also plans to hold science presentations that will be open for all ages. Walton said the presentations will be put on by staff from the Waterloo-based Grout Museum. The first presentation will focus on combustion while the second will be about nitrogen.
Aside from the summer reading program, Walton said the library has found other ways to reach out to the Sibley community.
For example, Lillian Berry, one of the other librarians, regularly visits homebound library patrons and those living in nursing homes.
Berry brings them books, movies and audio books she thinks they will enjoy or that they request. Berry said she also stays and keeps them company so they do not feel isolated from the rest of the community.
She said the outreach work has helped her connect with the community since Berry had moved to Sibley in 2010 after working at a library in Illinois for 17 years.
“It’s the favorite part of my job,” Berry said. “I talk to people who share their life experiences.”
She recalled one woman she used to visit who had not regularly read books until she started living at a nursing home. Berry said that was because the woman had never been able to find the time to read because she had been busy living on a farm.
Berry said the library had been doing the outreach work long before she came to the library and that she inherited the position from the person before her.
The library also partners with groups like the Sibley chapters of Rotary and Kiwanis to put on events and programs. Walton said the Sibley Kiwanis chapter gave the library a grant to fund this year’s summer reading program.