According to the staff in the Children's Library ("make sure you tell people we are really good with kids"), this Summer's Reading Program--which ended July 20--was 25% higher in registration compared with their similar program in 2011. (In 2012, the format was considerably different so a comparison doesn't apply). The librarians note that this year, as in 2011 and previous years, incentives were used and, particularly important, were the free pass incentives to Breakers WaterPark. Another key to the higher registration was the emphasis on this year's program as a "family event". For example, when a teen sibling brought in younger siblings, the librarians signed up the teen right on the spot for the teen reading program.
I cannot give a loud enough shout out to our public library (all branches) and the able staff. I am a dedicated lover of books and reading but the knowledge each of the librarians I have worked with at the "downtown" (i.e. Joel Valdez Library) have more book titles in their brains than I could ever hope to download onto my computer!! They are patient with all ages of children and willing to assist and encourage book reading from board books to tomes such as Harry Potter. One librarian stressed to me that "we want kids to learn how to hold a book in their hands, turn the pages and take care of the book." Another words (no pun intended), ebooks are fine but they do not replace the golden glow of a book.
So thank you Public Library for generating another summerful of new and continuing readers!