By Leah Williams
Memorial Park became a haven for younger readers this Monday, June 10, when the Nashville Public Library held its annual kickoff party for the summer reading program.
Several area children played games and jumped on bounce houses during the carnival event while also getting their materials for the beginning of the program.
Library Director Kelsey Schaepperkoetter said this year is already off to a resounding start, with nearly 100 participants enrolled.
“This has definitely exceeded our expectations,” Schaepperkoetter said. “Last year we had 30 to 40 participants, and this year, we have over 100. We have more than doubled, which we did not expect but we definitely appreciate.”
Schaepperkoetter said the library expanded its age limits this year by also including pre-school, teen and adult participants.
“We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the community, and we love that,” she said. “It’s a good start. It’s a promising start. We wanted more people, because we want everyone to benefit from our programming.”
For the young readers, Schaepperkoetter said the theme this year is “It’s Showtime At The Library.” The idea is to focus on works of literature that have been turned into movies in hopes of turning on imaginations that inspired the works on screen.
Schaepperkoetter said the events planned for teens and adults include a variety of exciting options. On June 21, the library will host a history of St. Louis event with wine to be served. Schaepperkoetter said the idea behind these events is to make the library a calm and relaxing place to visit after work and other errands.
There are also plans to include an “I Vote” workshop, where local representatives will discuss the importance of voting in the democractic process.
“It’s going to be a very busy six weeks,” Schaepperkoetter said. “I look forward to people coming into the library and them experiencing the kind of fun that could be had at the library.”
Schaepperkoetter also said she is in hopes that the community will realize that the Nashville Public Library is able to serve them in a number of ways.
“We want people to realize that we are there or them if they ever need any kind of help or assistance,” she said. “If we don’t have the answer, we will do our best to find the answer.