Open letter to the community:

I would like to express sincere thanks and gratitude to the dozens of library staff, volunteers, board members, patrons, performers, and community supporters who made our science-filled summer reading program at the Middletown Public Library so successful this year.

This year we had 300 children and approximately 50 teens and 50 adults participate. We only hope to increase these numbers each summer as we seek to encourage a love for reading, early literacy, and community involvement.

Our summer reading program ran for a total of 8 weeks. During those 8 weeks we held one summer kick-off event, 16 story times, 16 science workshops, 8 large group programs for all ages, 3 teen nights, 3 adult programs, and one large summer celebration picnic with nearly 150 adults and children attending.

And none of this would have been possible without the dedication of our staff and volunteers. While I only work part-time, they are here more often than I am. They helped design programs, created flyers, posters, and handouts, face-painted children, moved tables & chairs, cut out crafts, made copies, shelved books, distributed prizes, managed crowds, read books, taught science programs, and more. In general they did anything I asked of them and more for our patrons and summer reading participants. I simply could not function without them.

Our patrons also deserve a thank you for registering their children, teens, or selves for our program. Thank you for bringing your kids to story time, encouraging them in their love for reading, volunteering on a moment’s notice, and providing much needed encouragement to me on long days. I was happy to recognize most of the attendees at our picnic and see how the library has impacted their families in positive ways. It’s wonderful to see that our community supports literacy and learning.

Last, a huge thanks to our community supporters who donated the funds to operate the summer reading program and the prizes for our participants. A special thanks goes to the George Frey Trust for their faithful and much appreciated summer reading donation. Thanks to the Press & Journal for their consistent support and advertisement of our events. Thank you to Kiwanis Club of Middletown and the MAHS Key Club volunteers for preparing and serving the food at our summer picnic, as well as an annual monetary donation. You deserve more accolades than I can possible give. Our summer picnic could not happen without your enthusiasm and dedication.

For anyone I forgot I apologize and thank you as well. Many of you have made an impact on my summer at the library and I am grateful. I love my job and the people I meet each day. I hope to continue to serve the community and its’ children for many years.

See you at the library!

Beth Wagner
Youth Services – Middletown Public Library