Hussey Mayfield Memorial Public Library Successfully Kicks Off 2022 Summer Program

Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, a Class B library in Boone County, recently hosted a record-breaking kick-off party for their Summer Reading Program.

An estimated 2,000 people attended the opening event in the Hussey-Mayfield parking lot.  Library staff were able to give out more than 1,300 free Kona Ice treats to patrons who registered for Summer Reading, thanks to the HMMPL’s Friends of the Library and Plutus Marble.

The staff led board games, outdoor games, sidewalk chalk activities, and a prize wheel, where over 975 patrons stood in long lines for a chance to win Library swag. The new HMMPL Bookmobile was also on hand for patrons to browse and check out materials. The main event of the party was a spectacular Water Show on the Library lawn. Both children and adults went home soaked and happy!

Twenty-one staff members and nine Extreme Teen Volunteer Corps members came together to pull off this amazing event.

Meanwhile, in the first four weeks of their Summer Reading Program, HMMPL had nearly 2,500 individuals read at least one hour. This included roughly 1,700 youth, 300 teens, and 500 adults, reaching or exceeding pre-pandemic participation levels in nearly all categories. Readers have left more than 475 reviews in Beanstack, and at the end of week four, nearly 450 participants had already reached the program goal of completing 15 hours of reading.

The staff decided to streamline this year’s program to simplify it for patrons in the hopes of increasing participation.

“We’ve always had summer reading programs for kids, teens and adults, but this is really our first combined all-ages reading program,” said Laura Gangstad, HMMPL Youth Assistant Department Head and chair of our Reading Program Committee. “It’s a lot more inclusive, and we’ve taken away many barriers for adults to participate. What’s really neat is that the adults–even grandparents–are reading with the kids and are being good role models.”

In partnership with local schools, Hussey Mayfield Memorial PL also adapted their summer reading program to help prevent “summer slide.” Students who record 15 hours of reading over the summer will receive a special prize from their schools when they return in the fall. The library is also encouraging participants to read throughout the summer by offering prizes for weekly reading in addition to rewarding overall participation.

“If students read consistently all summer they will be ready to learn when school starts in August,” Gangstad explained.

To encourage more engagement with teen and adult library users, the reading program committee decided to offer one prize market for all ages, rather than divided by age group, and to move the combined market into the teen and adult department. As a result, teens and adults are claiming more prizes, and children have enjoyed the opportunity to visit a part of the Library they don’t normally see.

The prize market is open about 28 hours per week and is staffed by one or two Extreme Teen Volunteer Corps members plus a staff member for each shift. As of the middle of week five, statistics show teen and adult readers have earned 1,704 prizes and youth readers, 3,195 prizes. A total of 2,700 prizes have been picked up already!

“After a great start to this year’s Summer Reading Program, we’re looking forward to an even bigger and better program in 2023!”