The Bookmark: Busy Summer rolls into Fall

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By JIMMY BASS, Coweta County Public Library System

Summer is over and the living was great! Coweta libraries experienced a post-pandemic resurgence and we thank all of you who attended a program, signed up for summer reading, or checked out items. 

Overall, more than 150 programs took place in June and July with over 3,200 children attending even with limits on attendees. Nearly half of all children (46%) who signed up for summer reading totally completed the program, which is a very high number not only here but statewide. Educators will tell you that the summer layoff creates a reading chasm which many young readers fall into and never fully surmount. The kids who completed the challenge and came close (many did) will stay on level ground if not higher by exercising their brains and reading good books. 

Circulation for June/July was over 79,000, which was the highest in three years. We saw increased statistical action in all ages and groups with our children taking the lead. This does not happen without parents, siblings, grandparents, and others teaching little ones that reading is fun and worth it. While I am on the topic, sign-up for “1000 Books B4 Kindergarten” either online or in person and get your favorite young reader into the program. We have graduation ceremonies at least once a year and they are a blast!

As we roll into the Fall, I am pleased to introduce a new digital service that has been requested numerous times by library customers and now it is a reality. After Labor Day, Kanopy will be on our website and anyone with a Coweta County Library Card can sign in for free videos. Kanopy is an award-winning video streaming service providing access to more than 30,000 independent and documentary films. It also features an excellent children’s section called Kanopy Kids, which can be accessed for longer time periods than regular videos. More information will be available as we get nearer to the official launch, but I believe this is a service that many will want to visit frequently. 

While I am mentioning digital services, please check out Hoopla if you have not tried it yet. Hoopla is a web and mobile library media streaming platform for digital audio books, comic books, and eBooks. We have hosted Hoopla on our website for over a year, but I invite you to try it out if you have not or if you cannot find a title on our other book streaming service, OverDrive. While I am still a print person at heart, all the above-mentioned services are the top of their class and available to anyone with a Coweta County Library Card. 

If you take time out from reading a good book or visiting our digital platforms, please take a night or afternoon to visit the Kiwanis Coweta County Fair.  It is indeed a fun date night or family trip, and proceeds go back into our community thanks to the members of the Newnan Kiwanis Club. See you at the library or at the Kiwanis Coweta County Fair!

Jimmy Bass is director of the Coweta Public Library System. He also plays a mean guitar and sings at local venues.

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