Summer program off to good start
The temperature isn't the only thing on the rise this time of the year. The Webster Parish Library in Minden is experiencing some soaring numbers, as well.
The library kicked off their summer reading program at the beginning of the month, and the turnout has been better than expected.
"We have had a bigger turnout than in past years," said Jennifer Heard, Children's Coordinator for the Minden branch. "In fact, our book checkout numbers and library visit numbers are even higher than this time last year."
According to Heard, 257 children signed up at the Minden library for the Summer Reading Program and more than 800 children have visited for story time or art attacks that are offered free through the program.
"Last year, we had 7,135 children's items circulated from May 24 to June 21," Heard said. "This year, we are at 8,531 children's items from May 23 to June 21."
Heard attributes some of the increase to grandparents.
"I see a lot of grandparents bringing kids in to read," she said. "They are really emphasizing the importance of reading. I just love it. I think it's great."
The kids think it's great, too.
"Story time is just so much fun," said five-year-old Dale Irving.
On Wednesdays, the library offers story time at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. for preschoolers, but older kids are allowed, too.
On Fridays the library offers Art Attack for children ages 10-12 at 1 p.m. Heard wants the community to know the events are free.
"Parents call and ask how much everything is. They are shocked to know it's free," Heard said. "Even on days we don't have planned events, we have things for children to do. We encourage parents to bring their kids in to see what we can offer."
Another perk for everyone – library, kids and parents, alike – is that more visits to the library and more checkouts at the library mean more state and federal funding for the library.
That funding can go to repairs, updates, more books and even more free events in the future.