Archived Story

Niles Library lends books to kids from wagon

Published 10:56pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It’s like an ice cream truck — only with books. It’s like a bookmobile — only on foot.

Throughout the summer, the staff of Niles District Library will walk the surrounding neighborhoods during the early evening, pulling a wagon filled with paperback books and offering them for loan to children. Children who bring the books back to the library will be entered into a raffle for weekly prizes.

By the end of the summer, neighborhood children will be hooked on reading and using the library. Library staff will get fresh air and exercise; they will get to know their neighbors and books will be delivered with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this year, the staff at Niles District Library brainstormed on how to reach people who live in nearby neighborhoods.

“I walk to work every day, and I pass by dozens of children playing in their yards,” said Nancy Studebaker, library director. “It occurred to me that the best way to reach out to them would be in person. When I first talked to staff about it, I was worried they would think it was the craziest idea I’d ever had. But they were all very enthusiastic. About the same time, I learned about the Better World Book grant opportunity.”

She applied for the grant and found out last week her library was one of three selected from more than 50 applicants. The $4,700 grant includes $500 worth of paperback books from BWB. “We have lots of plans and ideas for how to get the kids interested.” Studebaker said. “One week, we’ll be bringing the bubble machine.”

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