NASHOBA PUBLISHING/JULIA KACMAREK
Ayer Community School children attend Ayer Library for the end of summer reading. Pictured, from left,
front row: Alivia Kennedy, Eliana Laham, Dhruv Patel, Lizzy Arnold, Paige Anderson, Griffin Berlinger, Jac Cormier, Brody Hanss; back row: Douglas McDonough, Mikayla Keyes, Erica Cormier, Emily Arnold.
By Julia Kacmarek
AYER -- The Ayer Public Library finished its children's summer reading program with an ice-cream party and bouncy house, celebrating the library's busiest summer yet.
"This was the first time circulation downstairs outnumbered the circulation upstairs," Library Director Mary Anne Lucht said.
With a summer calendar filled with activities ranging from concerts to movie showings to even a Pokemon party, the children's room has been consistently busy since school let out.
Children and their parents spent the morning in a Mini Motions class where children learned to move in creative ways through music and imagination. The follow-up ice-cream celebration was donated by A.C. Moore.
Lucht said the enthusiasm of her staff creates an energetic environment in the children's room each day. "People are now looking beyond just a bunch of books at their library, and they want us to step it up. That's what we try to do," Lucht said.
Over 200 children signed up for this year's summer reading program, and with every child comes their family.
Carol Horgan has been bringing her children and now her grandchildren to the Ayer Public Library for years. "This year was much better than years before," she said. "There was a magician one week and an illustrator the next. The program is just fabulous!," she said.
Lucht said adults, too, like things to do at the library. This August, "Blind Date with a Book" began where each staff member chose her top three or four books of all time. The books were wrapped in paper and adults were able to choose the one they wanted, without being able to see the cover.
"This got people out of their comfort zones and into a book that they normally wouldn't read," Lucht said.
Teens benefited from the summer programs at the library, too, which young adult librarian, Samantha Benoit admits, is not always an easy task.
Benoit works to create a place that kids, ranging up to 15, like to come back to. Events included movie nights and Duct Tape Palooza, where attendees learned how to make Duct tape roses.
Aside from scheduled events, there is also a teen room filed with age-appropriate novels, computers and games.
"I work to make sure I have the resources they need in order to study," Benoit said. When Benoit was hired three years ago, there was only one shelf of young adults books. "My job was to fill the room, and now we have about triple the amount of what we used to have," she said.
As the summer comes to an end, the library is working to create fall and winter activities for children and adults. Activities and events may be found at www.ayerlibrary.org.
Follow Julia on Twitter and Tout @JuliaEKacmarek, and Like her page, "Julia E Kacmarek" on Facebook.