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To the Editor:

When planning the Oak Bluffs Public Library’s annual summer reading program, I had five major goals in mind:

  • Motivate children to read
  • Develop positive attitudes about reading and books
  • Offer opportunities for children to maintain their reading skills over the summer months
  • Encourage regular use of the library
  • Attract new users to the library

Now that our summer reading program has ended, I can confidently say that our library has reached and surpassed each of these goals. 

A successful summer reading program is not possible without a tremendous amount of support from the community, and we would like to thank our generous sponsors for motivating and encouraging all of our young readers. The following local businesses all made generous donations to our summer reading program: Ben and Bill’s Ice Cream Emporium, Good Ship Lollipop, Ryan Family Amusements Game Room, Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, Back Door Donuts, Barn Bowl & Bistro, and Giordano’s. Readers were able to enjoy treats from their choice of one of these businesses, free of charge, as a reward for completing summer reading milestones. The library and its summer readers are so grateful for these donations. Thank you for being such a large part of our summer reading program, year after year. 

The following businesses and organizations directly supported our summer programs: The Black Dog Bakery Cafe, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, Flying Horses, Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, and the Oak Bluffs Police and Fire Departments. These programs provide participants with fun experiences, new knowledge, and they promote summer reading. Thank you for supporting our library programs.

Finally, the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs showed unwavering support for our summer reading program and accompanying programs. Their dedication to the library and to the Island community is evident in their involvement and encouragement of children’s and family programs. The Library Friends provide nearly all of our programming, from paper and paints to pizza and T shirts, all the way to the grand prize book giveaway. We are so fortunate that we have their full support each year.

To complete our summer reading program, children must read for at least nine hours throughout the summer. This year, we had a 45 percent increase in participant completion compared with last year. This means that kids are reading, using the library, and learning.

This annual endeavor would not be possible without our little, yet enormous, Island village. To the local businesses and organizations, the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs, and any individual who had a hand in supporting our summer reading program: thank you! Please know that your support benefited hundreds of appreciative children and their families.

Caitlyn Clark, children’s and young adult librarian

Oak Bluffs Public Library