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'We're all kids at heart' at libraries

Photo by Gretta Stark This is one of the prizes kids can put their names in to win through the summer reading program at the Roberts library. The prizes are displayed throughout the library.1 / 2
Adults enter their names into a drawing for a prize after logging 10 hours of reading.2 / 2

In summer many kids come to the Hazel Mackin Community Library in Roberts with sheets of paper logging time spent reading. For every two hours they spend reading, kids get to enter their name in a drawing for a prize. They put their name in a pink box located under one of the many prizes displayed throughout the library.

But, says Brenda Hackman, library director, adults are coming in just as often with their own neon green reading logs.

"They come in and they'll take two or three of these (reading logs) home and bring them all in with the kids' and ask for more," added Krissa Coleman, youth services director.

The Roberts library's adult summer reading program began in 2010 with around 30-40 adults, said Hackman, and it has grown every year, with 75 signed up this year.

"Anything that makes reading fun should be for all ages," said Hackman. "I think we're all kids at heart, and it's fun for everybody."

Coleman says seeing their parents with their own reading material can also be a good example for children.

Every time an adult spends 10 hours reading, they can bring their reading log to the library, turn it in, and have their name entered in a drawing for a prize. However,that doesn't mean participating adults need to spend all 10 hours reading books, if books aren't their thing Hackman said. Adults can read magazines or even cookbooks.

"If they're reading to the kids, it counts for the kids and for them," Hackman said.

At the end of the summer, prizes are given out for the adults who read the most. However, Hackman says adults can still win prizes even if they can't be there for the final event, or when their name is drawn.

"One of the things that we really pride ourselves on with our summer reading program is it's very flexible,"Hackman said. "You can do as little of it or as much of it as you would like."

The Roberts library isn't the only library with a summer reading program. Hammond Public Library director Michelle Johnson says the Hammond library asks adults to fill out a book review form, and enter one of several grand prizes that will be drawn for in August.

The Hudson Library has a similar program. In addition to asking for book reviews, Thyra Bednarczyk, library assistant, said the Hudson Library also has three programs per month for adults.

The River Falls Library has a very simple program, according to director Nancy Miller. Adults put their name and the name of a book they have just read into a bowl, and a name is drawn for a prize each week.

All the library workers said the goal is just to get people reading, and having fun while they're doing it.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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