by Lisa Tome
Now that school is back in session, it's time to hit the books.
Many locals renew their relationship with the local library while others have been turning out at the branches all summer long.
"Summer reading was fantastic and intense," said Barbara Jannaman, Children's Library Associate at the North East Branch. Over the summer, the numbers looked good. Children read 47,351 books during the Summer Reading Program. They also logged 10,188 hours of reading.
Jannaman oversees summer reading for students at Bay View and North East elementary schools. "I am proud of those students who registered and finished. We had an increase in children who finished," she said. "They did a stellar job. They were working hard." And there will be no time off. In the coming weeks, there will be an outreach program for kindergarten students. The Bookmobile will visit schools and students will apply for library cards.
"The library card becomes a key to lifelong learning," said Jannaman. "That's the first step to being a lifelong reader which is what we want."
She and Branch Manager Betsy Schroeder said more students will be turning out at the library. Young children use the computers to play learning games. Older students use the internet to complete assignments.
"We have programs for school age children once a month and an extra every other month," the women said.
Drew Keim is a teacher at North East High. He is also the band director; leading the school's Blue Crew. He was at the branch last week, touching base with the staff. Band members helped coordinate a library program last week. But he said the library is also important to teachers.
"This is a supplemental source of unlimited knowledge. A solid public library system is a great resource," said Keim. He said it is important that the library and the school work as partners.
Jannaman said the library can also help obtain resources for students and teachers if they aren't available at the branch. There is an inter-library loan program where materials can be obtained and arrive in as little as a few days.