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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director

First week under our belt, and it went pretty well…. it was relatively quiet, but it helped us see how things would flow when more people felt comfortable coming into the libraries. Of course we were happy to see people with bags of books as they wandered out, and it felt good to be able to talk with our regulars, recommend some of the new books that came in during the shut down that they might like, and just get caught up in all things ‘library’. Our hours remain limited, feel free to call ahead to confirm. Ripley 10-4 Monday-Friday, Russellville 10-3 Monday-Thursday, 12-4 on Friday, Aberdeen 1-6 Mon/Wed/Friday, 3-8 Tuesday/Thursday.

Now we hope to continue to get back to some sense of normalcy, and to that end, I want to remind parents, grandparents and guardians that we will be having our summer reading program for kids 3-17 and you can start now! There is a deep concern among educators that the ‘summer slide’ is going to be worse this year due to the closure of the schools, and it is so easy to get out of the practice of reading, and makes the beginning of the school year so much harder if everyone has to get back into the rhythm of reading.

Our reading program is easy and fun—we don’t ask the kids for reports, we don’t tell them they must read a certain book, we just want them to rediscover the joy of reading—the escape, the adventure, the importance of reading someone else’s point of view, the enrichment of vocabulary without studying for a test—it is one of the best ‘free’ activities in the world. You can sign up over the phone, in person or on-line on our website. If you do stop in, you will receive a bookbag and a log—we hope that you will wander in to browse and select some books, but if you want us to grab a bundle for you, we will happily do so. If you are ‘stuck’ to your tablet or smartphone, downloading books from our online collection will count as well, and the online collection continues to grow, and there are quite a few juvenile and young adult titles now in the collection. (Can do this from our website www.ripleylibrary.com, or download the Libby app—just need your card and pin number)

We’ve added lots of children’s/ young adult books while we were closed—a few titles that come to mind that I think should be popular are Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, a continuation of the Hunger Games series, and The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate, a sequel to the award-winning One and Only Ivan, the book about the gorilla that was in a shopping mall for decades, and the power of friendship. Many more on display and ready for checkout—just have to stop by… See you soon.