Santa Clara County Library District’s 2018 Summer Reading programming, “Reading Takes You Everywhere,” saw record participation by children, teens and adults, according to a Sept. 11 announcement.
Morgan Hill and Gilroy libraries—both of which saw a significant increase in participation over this summer—are part of the SCCLD network.
In addition, SCCLD’s “Lunch at the Library” initiative set records of its own by feeding the minds and bodies of children and their caregivers in South County, according to the report.
A new goal was set and surpassed with an inaugural community reading goal of 100,000 books.
“Summer Reading is one of our signature programs, and I am delighted to see the increased numbers of Santa Clara County residents who have taken part,” said county librarian Nancy Howe. “Our libraries and Bookmobile program expertly deliver fun and educational programming for participants of every age, be it special guest performers, games or numerous prizes for participation.”
Dozens of programs were held at all eight county libraries this summer, from early June through August. Participation in this year’s reading challenge surpassed 32,000 people, a 30 percent increase over last year. The community reading goal of 100,000 books was nearly doubled with patrons logging close to 179,000 reads.
Kids and teens who read five books received special prizes and were entered into prize drawings.
This year, SCCLD partnered with the San Francisco 49ers, who provided incentives for readers. SCCLD also had the continuing support of the Tech Museum of Innovation, Gilroy Gardens and, for the first time, Monster Jam at SAP.
Lunch at the Library, a program that offers free, nutritious meals to children during the summer, served 5,783 meals, 42 percent more than last year. The Bookmobile staff hosted twice-a-week programming at San Martin-Gwinn Elementary School, with guest speakers, interactive games and healthy meals each day. They saw a nearly 250 percent annual increase in attendance. Gilroy and Morgan Hill libraries each saw increases of more than 20 percent.
In addition, through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank and the YMCA, SCCLD was able to offer lunch to the accompanying caregivers.
“This has been a great summer for book lovers and to have fun at Santa Clara County Library District events,” said County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, board chairman of the Library Joint Powers Authority. “The library’s programs have been entertaining and memorable.”