We did it! We have survived winter with snow, ice and frigid temps; library renovations; busy weeks with programming around construction — Breakfast with Santa and Dr. Seuss-Read Across America — and spring break programs.

The library is a great location for community resources. We have some amazing collections of materials both inside the library and online. This spring do stop by and check out what’s new at the library, get a card, learn how to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks with your device. The library is really looking good and things are moving around to their locations.

The teen area is beautiful with lots of color. We have been moving the teen collections to the new area. I think teens will be excited to see some new furniture and shelving, as well as a new study room, computer station and soon-to-be gaming area. The Makerspace and Digital Lab look great. We will use these areas for our Makerspace-STEAM programming for all ages. We are really looking forward to the 2019 Summer Reading Programs with the theme (for all ages) being “A Universe of Reading.”

The children’s area is looking springy and we are preparing for the summer reading program flyer, decorations, and programming with lots of universe, rockets, space and even a few aliens tossed in. We are going to a new summer reading program software called BeanStack that is very user-friendly and it has a cool app.

Our plan is to work with all of the schools, getting the word out and let everyone know parents can sign up their children early for their summer reading accounts. People of all ages will be able to take part. Everyone will be able to begin recording their reading minutes at 6:30 p.m. May 23.

This year you can do a save-the-date on your calendar for the summer reading kickoffs for all ages, kids, teens, and adults, which is 6:30 P.M. May 23, and the same kickoff the next day (May 24) at 10:30 a.m.

Folks from Mad Science will be here with their program “Walking on the Moon.” This show is about the principles of space travel, with an emphasis on the 50th anniversary of the landing of the first man on the moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission. The show highlights the Apollo mission spinoffs Earthlings have gained from research into space exploration. Audience participation is a must for this wonderful celebration.

We are also encouraging all schools to have their own reading competition amongst themselves and the library can keep track of their reading minutes with BeanStack. The library will give out reading incentives kids can pick up at the library, such as a free kid’s meal for their first prize. We will give out a special grand prize for the school with the most readers and/or an over-all drawing for prizes. We are not doing the traveling trophy with schools competing against each other this summer with the hope we can get more kids to read.

Spring is a great time to read with your little ones. We are working with Humanities Nebraska right now with Prime Time Family Reading and a new program is our first Preschool Prime Time Family Reading. You can check out the pictures at https://www.facebook.com/gilibrary/ .

You can call to get on the waiting list for either program-for elementary or preschool ages at (308) 385-5333.

The horrible flooding and the devastation it left across the state is what is on everyone’s mind. Our hearts go out to our friends across Nebraska who are struggling right now. Nebraskans are a hearty bunch so I know that things will get better, and we encourage everyone to help-out in any way they can.

Celine Swan is the youth and family services librarian for the Grand Island Public Library. Email her at CelineS@gilibrary.org.

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