More than 240 readers ranging from just months-old to 17 years were enrolled in the 2018 Sanibel Public Library’s Summer Reading Program (SRP). As in years past, kids read to earn books for themselves and for patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Children who participate in the SRP can receive books they can keep for their own personal library. The Sanibel Public Library Foundation matches each book “earned” with a book for the Children’s Hospital.
The Sanibel Public Library Foundation, along with the Joan Hunt Cory Children’s Fund, underwrites the summer reading program. The Children’s Fund was established in 2008 to honor longtime library volunteer and supporter Joan Hunt Cory. During the past 10 years the Foundation has provided more than $75,000 for Library programs, services, and technology specifically for youth.
Youth Services Librarian Deanna Evans said, “Summer reading helps prevent the “summer slide” which is the loss of words, or the loss of gains the kids have made during the previous school year.” She added, “Local readers as well as visitors from all over the world participated.” Locals and visitors logged reading time and activities via paper or online with Beanstack; which is now offered as a smartphone app.
Margaret Mohundro, Executive Director of the Sanibel Library said, “We are so proud to be part of the team of volunteers and supporters who make the program possible. Each summer, young readers enthusiastically carry on the spirit of giving that we see on Sanibel. During the past five years the children have helped to contribute more than 6,000 books for young patients at the hospital.”
Many of the SRP events were relocated due to the Your Library Reimagined project. The renovations to the building included overhauling the 25-year-old mechanical, fire suppression, electrical, and plumbing, plus upgraded WiFi and air conditioning systems. Larger windows maximize the natural water views and energy efficient LED lights are brighter than the old lighting. “Re imagining” includes new study rooms, a new Archives Room with digitization capabilities and larger outdoor reading porch, and room for a Think Tank makerspace. Activities will be planned during season to reintroduce the community to the updated Library.
The Sanibel Public Library Foundation provides, supports, and supplements library services of Sanibel and assists in the promotion of reading and literacy. Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has provided close to $1 million to fund Library Author Series; the annual youth Summer Reading Program; a TeenSpace Room; and technology initiatives including cutting edge computer hardware and software; youth early literacy computers; small business development eBooks; genealogy research stations; children’s eBooks; Sanibel Public Library mobile app; and more.
For more information about the Foundation or to make a donation, call the Library at (239) 472-2483.