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Summer readers earn books for hospital patients


PHOTO PROVIDED Rachel McCabe, Deanna Evans, Shane Swartz, Margaret Mohundro at the Sanibel Public Library with the donated books for the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

During the summer, children read “for others” in the Sanibel Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Program. Children received books based on the hours they read and from completing challenges.

The great thing about the program is that participants earned not only books for their personal collection, but also books for the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. In 2020, readers earned 605 books for themselves and 1,400 for the hospital, based on one book per hour read.

“Children earn books for their peers, who may not be able to participate in summer reading programs due to illness,” Sanibel Public Library Foundation President Ken Nirenberg said. “The library foundation is proud of our readers for carrying on the tradition of generosity that is such a part of our island.”

Rachel McCabe and Shane Swartz, educators at the hospital, use the donated books to supplement lessons for young patients. Since its inception in 2012, program participants have helped to contribute more than 11,000 books to the hospital. New books are needed each year because the books are given to the patients and cannot be shared because of the possibility of spreading illness.

The foundation, along with the Joan Hunt Cory Children’s Fund, underwrites the annual program. The Children’s Fund was established in 2008 to honor longtime volunteer and supporter Joan Hunt Cory.

PHOTO PROVIDED Yari and Isla Mendez pick out books at the Sanibel Public Library.

The foundation also provides, supports and supplements library services and assists in the promotion of reading and literacy. Since 2006, it has provided close to $1 million to fund the Library Author Series, the annual youth Summer Reading Program, a TeenSpace Room and technology initiatives, including cutting-edge computer hardware and software, early literacy computers, small business development eBooks, genealogy research stations, children’s eBooks, Sanibel Public Library mobile app and more.

Brainfuse is the latest pilot project funded in part by the library foundation.

Brainfuse provides cardholders access to live online tutoring, whether attending school in person or working from home. The service is available from 2 to 11 p.m. each day of the week for students. In addition to a variety of homework help in math, science, reading and social studies, Brainfuse offers PSAT/SAT, ACT, AP and state standardized test prep.

Patrons can submit essays and other forms of writing to Brainfuse’s Writing Lab for constructive feedback. There is also a Foreign Language Lab and Spanish-speaking support when you login to.

You can use it on a computer or download the app in the Google Play Store or App Store.

The library continues to offer daily newspapers for patrons to read inside the facility. Cardholders can also keep up to date on current events from home with RBdigital’s PressReader app. It offers online access to U.S. newspapers, plus publications from around the globe. Hundreds of periodicals in many languages have recently been added to the app, including many selections for children.

“With remote access, patrons can get news content they’d normally find at the library, while they’re at home,” Executive Director Margaret Mohundro said. “News buffs use it to stay on top of current events. Students can use it for their research. Others like to read their hometown newspapers.”

In addition, the library’s contact-less curbside service continues, with hundreds of bags going out each week. It has been used 6,000 times since it was introduced in May. To use the service, patrons place items on hold online or make requests by calling the library at 239-472-2483. You will be notified when your items are ready for pickup. Patrons will have three days — excluding Saturday and Sunday — to pick up items. Hours for the curbside pickup are Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m.

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. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is closed on Sundays.

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

The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road, Sanibel.