Make libraries a part of your summer routine

What can one say about 48 visiting kindergartners from the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville district? They swarmed like locust and chattered like magpies during a recent library visit. It was wonderful having them. The noise level rose a few decibels and that is OK; their enthusiasm was invigorating.

We talked about getting a library card and taking care of the books that they borrow. I always issue a dire warning about the most dangerous enemy of books; no, it is not cats or dogs, but rather babies! They gnaw, they tear and yes, sometimes the diaper fails! That story always brings lots of laughter.

After we shared a couple of books and the call and response story of “Let’s go on a Bear Hunt,” the kids broke up into circles and enjoyed some Look and Find books as each group then took a turn picking out a gift book to take home and make a part of their personal libraries. The gift books were provided to us by the Mohawk Valley Library System. MVLS serves the public libraries in Fulton, Montgomery, Schenectady and Schoharie counties.

After leaving the library they were off for fun and lunch at the park playground and would end their day enjoying a yummy ice cream cone at Parkside Drive-In. The air rang with good byes and thank yous as they made their way out the front door and down the sidewalk.

Please moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, and related adult caregivers, make the library a regular part of your summer routine; if not St. Johnsville, then the closest library in your neighborhood. Not only does reading over the summer keep skills sharp for when children return to school in September, but visiting the library is also a way for children to practice their manners and gain confidence interacting with other people outside of their immediate circle.

The strength and longevity of our society depends on our ability to communicate directly and civilly with each other. That is a lesson no child is ever too young to learn and is so easily demonstrated when chatting over the circulation desk as we send a child on their way with an armload of page-turners that have the capacity to both entertain and teach.

DAWN LAMPHERE, director

Margaret Reaney Memorial Library

St. Johnsville