By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — For the 56 children and 21 adults who attended the Colfax Public Library’s Summer Reading program July 15, the Nature Connection’s reptile handler was quite heroic.
“Our theme this year is Super Heroes, and we encourage the kids to read all summer long. The kids receive little incentives or prizes for their reading efforts. Jolene (Albright, children’s librarian) also hires some performers to come for Summer Reading, like the woman today who brought her reptiles,” said Lisa Ludwig, director of the Colfax Public Library.
The Colfax library typically holds the summer reading program outside in Tower Park next door to the library.
Having that many kids outside for a program can be challenging though, Ludwig said.
“Jolene and I were really nervous this morning because of the threat of rain, but then the rain clouds dissipated by the time we held our program … Every year, we hope and pray for no rain or storms and cool temperatures. We’ve held many summer reading programs outside in Tower Park when it was 90 degrees,” Ludwig said.
And as anyone who has spent time in Tower Park knows — there is a tremendous amount of vehicle traffic on Main Street during the day, and the rumble of trucks often is loud enough to drown out the voice of a speaker.
Unfortunately, the library itself does not have room to accommodate 80 children and adults, and the basement of the building is not useable because of water and mold problems. In addition, the basement and the auditorium are not handicapped accessible, Ludwig noted.
On a somewhat humorous note, besides all of the outside noise on Main Street, someone came to mow the lawn behind the municipal building during the summer reading program, so that not only were voices drowned out by traffic, but the mower added to the noise, Ludwig said.
“We can’t win!” she said.
Still, in spite of the noise and threatening weather, the summer reading program on July 15 was a great success, Ludwig said.
Continuing with the theme of “Every Hero Has a Story,” the Colfax Public Library’s Summer Reading program July 22 will feature community heroes: the Colfax police chief, a local veterinarian, a dietitian and a nurse.
The last program on July 29 will feature “Doug the Juggler.”
The Colfax Public Library’s Summer Reading program begins at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and runs until noon.