February 18, 2018

Summer Reading Programs Set Records in Ohio

By Lynn Blumenstein

The Toledo-Lucas County (OH) Public Library’s 2002 Summer Reading Club
All-Star Reading Team broke its all-time attendance record, attracting 15,218
participants, a 20-percent increase over the previous year’s 12,144.

The reading club chose baseball as its theme, inspired, no doubt, by the
Toledo Mud Hens, the local minor league affiliate that plays at the new downtown
stadium. Children’s librarian Nancy Eames agreed to make good on her promise: if
at least 12,000 kids signed up for the reading club, she and a local DJ had
pledged to dress up as human hotdogs and allow members of the reading club to
toss toppings on them during a live radio broadcast. Last year, the library
system started offering free rides to any public library through the Toledo Area
Regional Transit Authority, making participation in the reading program much

The Columbus Metropolitan Library, Southwest, and Worthington, OH, public
libraries signed a record 62,690 children in their summer reading clubs. Of the
total registrants, 54,331 signed for the “Land of Read-a-Lot,” designated for
readers under the age of 12. The participants earned incentives based on the
amount of time they spent reading, such as zipper pulls, books donated by
sponsors, coupons for food and entertainment, or a lunch bag