“Reading through the Ages,” the Summer Reading Program at the Morris Area Public Library, has come to a conclusion. The theme of this year’s program took on a historical perspective of what reading has meant throughout time. Six special reading groups were available during the summer for all ages to take part in.
The youngest group had an average of 73 children attend Lapsit, a story-reading time for infants and toddlers. Ninety-four preschool-aged kids registered for the “Read-a-Saurus” Read-to-Me Club. There were 234 children in Kindergarten through 5th grade that read for the “Time Travelers” group. Some of the programs offered to children included a bus trip to Lyons Farm, a JJC theater production, science experiments, crafts, “Dinosaur Discoveries,” and a magic show.
One-hundred and thirty-five teens and adults participated in the Summer Reading Program in which weekly drawings for prizes took place. Teens and adults were invited to a variety of programs this year including: “Today and Yesterday”— The Historic I&M Canal, “Waltzing Australia,” the Vintage Craft series, movie nights, “Houdini — His Life and His Legend,” a tie-dye craft for teens, a geocaching program for teens, “Desperadoes: Notorious Outlaws of Early Illinois,” a bicycle maintenance class, “The Essential P.T. Barnum,” and “The Devil in the White City—Magic, Mystery and Murder at the 1893 World’s Fair.”
If you stepped into the library this summer, you would have noticed a bit of a change. The Children’s Department was decorated by the Morris Woman’s Club for the fourth year. Giant dinosaurs congregated in the South Lobby. A fairytale land took over the picture books section, while the shelves of the chapter books were turned into a covered wagon. Victorian and Steam punk décor along with silhouettes of notable people throughout history reading were staged in the Adult and Teen departments.
All artwork for the decorations in these two departments was designed by Rose Nowak. The decorations were finalized by Sarah Snyder and Rose Nowak. In addition, Tina Sokolinski of Hometown Graphics donated her time, effort, and supplies by providing window graphics as well as T-shirts that staff wore throughout the summer.
To signify the end of the Summer Reading Program, hundreds of participants attended an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social held in the North parking lot of the library on Saturday, July 20. Among the attractions were carnival games, an All Occasion photo booth donated by Pam Simpson of Pam’s Academy of Dance, a fire truck from the Morris Fire Department, the Corn Festival kids’ train and Jason Kellum, a stilt walker and juggler. The Mudcats provided fun and catchy New Orleans music for all to enjoy.