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Library summer reading program concludes Saturday

Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:58 a.m. CDT

From a romanticized Victorian England to a tie-dyed hippie era, the 2013 Summer Reading Program stayed true to its historical theme.

The program, “Reading Through the Ages,” touched on the Civil War, showman P.T. Barnum, and the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

It all culminates today with the Summer Reading Program Finale — a party outside the library that will feature ice cream, a stilt walker, a Morris firetruck that kids can climb on, and music by The Mudcats, a New Orleans-style jazz band.

“It’s just a way to celebrate [participants’] accomplishments throughout the program,” said Kyla Waltermire, library director.

An estimated 400 children and adults participated in the program this summer. It marked the library’s centennial, which gave the program its historical flavor.

Some of the events included a “steampunk” kick-off party, a T-shirt tie-dye event for kids, and discussions on books like “Devil in the White City,” which was attended by 65 people, according to Waltermire.

The events were fun for attendees, but also for the library staff who planned them.

“It certainly is a chance for our imaginations to run wild,” Waltermire said. “It’s also a way for us to connect with the people who are in here every day.”

The reading program featured prize drawings and other incentives during its six-week duration.

The biggest reward for participating, though, was that gained from engaging with literature.

“Literacy is something you need your entire life,” Waltermire said. “Literacy doesn’t end when you graduate. It’s something you can use forever.”

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