SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library is currently hosting an adult winter reading program, which is one of the library’s many annual programs designed to encourage more leisure reading among Sheridan residents.
Sheridan County Fulmer Library Director Cameron Duff said the library has been hosting summer reading programs for decades but noticed that the participants were mostly children and students.
“Parents, myself included, get very involved with the kids in the summertime and we want to support their education and literacy,” Duff said. “But sometimes we don’t have enough time for ourselves.”
Because of parents’ busy summer schedules, Duff said the library saw hundreds of kids participate in the summer reading program and only about 20 adults. With that in mind, the library began offering an adult reading program last winter and saw more participation.
Participation in the latest winter reading program has been similar to last year’s program, Duff said, which is still nowhere near the student participation it sees during the summer. Adults are busy no matter the time of year.
“It’s never going to be 500 people involved, I don’t care what time of the year it is,” Duff said. “It is hard to go ahead and focus on yourself, and that’s what we’re trying to do; let adults just have fun reading and enjoy literacy for themselves.”
The library has designed a number of events and programs to encourage adults to make more time for books, however.
In addition to the winter reading program, the Sheridan County Library system hosts book discussions at all of its branches in the fall and spring as part of its Claire Yorks Book Discussion Series.
“We always have a good strong attendance at those,” Duff said.
Duff added that the library also assists independent book discussion groups by sometimes allowing them to use library meeting rooms or helping to order books for the group.
To participate in the library’s winter reading program, library patrons have to submit a reading log with the titles of five books they have read during the winter and make use of one of the libraries hundreds of online resources.
One of those resources is NoveList, an EBSCO database that compiles reviews, summaries and other resources for books as well as suggest similar authors and titles. Duff said the database has helped younger readers and adults develop more enthusiasm for reading by helping them discover new books that correspond to their interests.
At the end of the contest, the library will award three random participants with a gift basket. Zola Shockley, the library system’s program coordinator, filled the baskets with reading accessories.
“It’s a bunch of things that make reading cozy,” Duff said.
The program ends Feb. 22, but the library will continue hosting programs and events designed to promote literacy among all age groups year-round.