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Sanibel library wraps up Summer Reading Program

Building reopens to public


PHOTO PROVIDED Dawson Liebetrau met his summer reading goals.

This year’s Summer Reading Program theme at the Sanibel Public Library was “Imagine Your Story,” with a focus on fairy tales and folk stories. Each participant got to add their name to a brick on castle towers, which bookended books to be earned by the readers, at the entrance to the Youth Department.

Youth Services Librarian Deanna Evans registered 188 readers, who logged 1,395 hours of reading. The majority of participants read 10 or more hours, earning a certificate and their photo displayed. Babies and young children listened to stories from their caregivers, and participants up to age 18 listened to audiobooks or read a variety of material to take part in the program.

“This year, in light of COVID-19, we offered participants the options to stop in to pick up materials or adults could pick up items at curbside, posted online video programming, provided crafts-to-go, plus the Beanstack app to track reading,” Evans said.

Those who achieved their reading goals were entered into a drawing to win prizes. Loretta Oliver, of New York, was one winner from the Summer Reading Program. The other winners are Ava Gish of Kentucky, Ford Jefferson of New Jersey, and Finn Kauffold of Sanibel. They each read all the hours in their age range to be entered into the drawing The prizes were a short stack of books and stickers.

“Despite social distancing and no in-person story times, we enjoyed smiles as families stopped by, and I was able to recommend some really awesome books along the way,” Evans said.

PHOTO PROVIDED Loretta Oliver with her Summer Reading Program prize.

As in years past, participants read to earn books for their home library and the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. For every hour of reading, the Sanibel Public Library Foundation matched each book “earned” with a book for patients at the hospital. Since the program’s inception in 2012, participants have helped to contribute close to 10,000 books. The program is funded in part by a grant from the foundation’s Joan Hunt Cory Children’s Fund, which was established in 2008 to honor the longtime library volunteer and supporter.

On Aug. 17, the library’s building reopened to the public after a clean and sanitization.

Precautions are in place to help protect staff and visitors from COVID-19. Patrons have to maintain social distance inside the building and wear masks, except for those under age 6. Staff has implemented safety and sanitation protocols consistent with the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines.

Contact-less curbside service is continuing, with about 40 to 50 bags going out to patrons each weekday; call or go online to place a hold. At this time, no overdue fines are being assessed.

The library’s “Fill-A-Bag for A Dollar” book sale will continue until inventory is depleted. The books will be restocked daily and can be found in the library’s puzzle area, as well as main entrance areas.

The following youth programs are available online:

– A “Storytime with Ms. Deanna” video, featuring Youth Service Librarian Deanna Evans, will be posted on the library’s youth page, which are replaced each week with a new story read aloud.

“Baby Storytime Bounce” videos will be available on the library’s youth page. It is a fun session to help to build motor and literacy skills through stories, song and movement.

For more information, visit https://sanlib.org/children.

Youth crafts and activities to-go bags are still available for pick up in the Children’s area.

PHOTO PROVIDED Staffers Melissa Balthaser and Duane Shaffer prepare bags for curbside pickup.

Library cards are available to residents of Sanibel and Lee County at no charge.

Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee.

The Sanibel Public Library is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call 239-472-2483 or visit online at www.sanlib.org.

The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road.

PHOTO PROVIDED Youth Services Librarian Deanna Evans offers Baby Bounce videos online.