Summer readers reach ‘4,010’

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 28, 2003

When one thinks of childhood summers, images of running through sprinklers or July Fourth fireworks often spring to mind.

But how often does an image of a library come into focus when reminiscing about summers gone past?

For many Selma youth, the library will be a powerful memory due to its summer reading program. According to Selma Public Library Director Becky Nichols, the program’s current incarnation has existed since 1976.

The 2003 program concluded Thursday as library staff unveiled the total number of books read by participants over the summer. Carrying numerals cut from colored paper, staff members positioned the number &uot;4,010&uot; as children and adults present began to applaud.

Nichols said she wanted each child to have his or her own reading goal and assigned 20 books per child.

The summer reading program began June 4 and finished July 24. That gave children eight weeks to complete 20 books. A number of children exceeded that goal; one read 300 books.

During the course of the program, library staff and volunteers held a number of events for children including a visit from the McWane Science Center, a magic show and singer Jim Aycock as the finale on Thursday.

According to Nichols, all activities were designed to get children interested in reading.

And that community is growing. Nichols pointed to the number of books read last summer &045;&045; about 3,500. The number of books read and the number of children coming to the library is rising and that means so is Selma’s community.

Nichols said she doesn’t plan to slow that growth just because the summer reading program has ended. There may not be a structured event every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but the library is still Selma’s place for school reports and projects.