Summer Reading Program 2019

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The Summer Reading Program is over until the summer of 2020.
We hope you enjoyed a Universe of Stories!

Read about the program below:

One Year, Four Months, and Eight Days of Reading

This summer the community really blasted off with reading 709,906 minutes! That’s well over the 500,000-minute challenge the library proposed at the beginning of the summer. Kudos to you!

Just how long is 709,906 minutes? It comes up to one year, 4 months, and 8 days. Over sixteen months of reading every day, all day. Now that’s a lot of reading, ideas, brainpower, and imagination.

The library gave out 60 grand prizes, each were $20 gift cards to local area businesses. It was fun to give out more prizes and support local businesses in the process.

Many readers also filled out a summer reading program survey. Thank you so much for the feedback! Two big changes we had  this summer were moving to an online tracking system for reading and activities – a choice we made. And then there is the construction – not a choice we made, but we are looking forward to the improvements and especially the new crosswalk in front of the library.

In the surveys there wasn’t a lot of input regarding the online program, but the input weighed in more heavily on the side of favoring the online tracking of minutes instead of disliking the change. I did hear several verbal comments that it was more difficult to remember to log the minutes read without the visual paper reminder. If you have comments or thoughts for how the program would work better for you, let me know. We are working to evaluate this year’s program in the hopes of making next year’s better.

What else do the participants say about the reading program in surveys they completed?

73% of adults learned something new, 77% read more often, and 86% want to use the library more. Following are several quotes from adults in the reading program:
“I hadn’t read a book in years. And I signed myself up and am on my third book!”
“You allowed adults to have fun, too. Thank you.”
“This program got me reading again. More than just reading to my kids. I’ve finished more books this summer than since I was in middle school.”
“You are the best library and most convenient for me (I have several libraries I attend). Your personnel are fantastic – helpful and kind!! The best.”

What about kids and teens? 92% learned something new, 84% read more often, and 96% want to use the library more often. Those are some numbers to celebrate! What are some of the comments about favorites from the reading program?
“Free ice cream and prizes”
“I started reading more often and enjoy it more.”
“Getting my own library card and picking out my own books”
“Reading to an animal at the library.”

When caregivers filled out surveys for their children, 90% said the child learned something new, 72% said the child reads more often, and 85% says the child uses the library more often. What are some of the favorite things about the program?
“My baby loved the prizes. She also enjoyed having her older siblings read to her.”
“Going to the star party and winning prizes”
“My son has a very hard time reading. He attended summer school for four weeks, so I had a hard time pushing him to read at home. He uses the library more and checks his own books out now.”
“Going to library programs! Especially the puppet show.”

I would love to talk further with several people after reading the comments from the survey. If the summer reading program made a difference in your life or in the life of a loved one and you are open to talking about it, please contact me (Laura) at the library. Stop in, call 319-334-2470, or email I look forward to hearing from you!

Written by Laura Blaker, Library Director

Four Programs - Summer Reading is for Everyone!

We offer the following summer reading programs:

  • Baby Program  (0-23 months)
  • Children's Program  (2-11 years old)
  • Teen Program  (11 - 17 years old)
  • Adult Program  (18 years and older)

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Thank you to our Sponsors!

Viola McMorris Summer Reading Endowment
Dairy Queen
Independence Public Library Foundation
Friends of the Independence Public Library
Bill's Pizza and Smokehouse
Burger King
Pizza Ranch