2018 Summer Reading, Lunch at the Library Program Set Records for Participation

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2018

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The Library provides community service far beyond books

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. –September 11, 2018– Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD)’s 2018 Summer Reading programming —Reading Takes You Everywhere— saw record participation by children, teens and adults. In addition, Lunch at the Library, set records of its own feeding the minds and bodies of children and their caregivers in South County. A new goal was set and surpassed with a first ever community reading goal of 100,000 books. Finally, the Summer Reading Program welcomed the San Francisco 49ers and the Monster Jam motorsport event as sponsors, bringing excitement and a whole new set of fans to SCCLD.

“Summer Reading is one of our signature programs and I am delighted to see the increased numbers of Santa Clara County residents who have taken part,” said Nancy Howe, County Librarian. “Our libraries and Bookmobile program expertly deliver fun and educational programming for participants of every age, be it special guest performers, games, or numerous prizes for participation.”

Dozens of programs were held at all eight libraries this summer, from early June well into August. Participation in this year’s reading challenge surpassed 32,000 people, a 30% increase over last year. The community reading goal of 100,000 books was nearly doubled with patrons logging close to 179,000 books. Setting a community reading goal was important for two main reasons:  1) to avoid the “Summer Slide” for school age children; and 2) reading keeps the mind active, healthy and engaged at any age. Kids and teens who read 5 books received special prizes and were entered into several drawings for prizes, provided by our many sponsors.   

This year, the Library District was fortunate to have the San Francisco 49ers as a key, new community partner. They graciously provided incentives for readers, including the Grand Prize, which went to one lucky Morgan Hill family who are both fans of the library and the 49ers. SCCLD also had the continuing support of the Tech Museum of Innovation, Gilroy Gardens and, for the first time, Monster Jam at SAP.

Lunch supervisor and student interns at Gilroy LibraryThe other major community intiative was the continued growth of Lunch at the Library. The program offers free, nutritious meals to children during the summer, while school is out. The library staff, volunteers, and paid student interns served 5,783 meals, 42% more than last year. The Bookmobile staff went above and beyond with their twice a week programming at Gwinn-San Martin Elementary School, having guest speakers, interactive games and healthy meals each day.

They saw a nearly 250% annual increase in attendance. Gilroy and Morgan Hill libraries each saw more than 20% increases. Finally, through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank and the YMCA, SCCLD was also able to offer lunch to the accompanying caregivers. Lunch at the Library is one more way the Santa Clara County Library District is supporting the entire community with important services you wouldn’t expect from a public library.

“This has been a great summer for book lovers and to have fun at Santa Clara County Library District events,” said County Supervisor and Library Joint Powers Authority Board Chairman, Mike Wasserman. “The library’s programs have been entertaining and memorable.”

More information about Summer Reading can be found at www.sccl.org/summer2018 .

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Sourdough Sam of the 49ers and kids at Gwinn-San Martin Elementary School's Lunch at the LibraryAbout the Santa Clara County Library District

The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work. In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2016, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2016, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 270,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.3 million visitors who borrowed 9.1 million items.

Nancy Howe/Diane Roche/Erik Sanjurjo
Santa Clara County Library District
(408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3080/3014