Library encourages patrons to chill with winter reading

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 9, 2018

The new year means it’s time for a new winter reading program.

According to Jason Groth, Sterling Heights Public Library public relations and programming coordinator, this year’s winter program will be expanded in outreach and open to more age groups.

“Last year we did ‘children only,’ and it went fairly well,” Groth explained. “It’s not as big as summer reading, but I believe we had a little over 400 participants.

“So this year we’re doing a very similar program for the kids again, but we’re also doing a program for grades seven and up, and that’s also for adults.”

The older readers will need to finish five books between the start of January and the end of February, Groth explained. The participants may write down the book titles on a slip of paper to be turned in at the information desk. Then those entries are entered into a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card, he said.

Meanwhile, the younger readers in the children’s program are given a winter reading sheet that the kids can color upon finishing reading goals. Upon completion, they can turn the sheet in to the library between Feb. 19 and 28 to earn a prize, Groth said.

Groth explained the purpose behind running the program.

“We want to encourage reading year-round … particularly for the younger generation,” he said. “We want adults to read, of course, too. But we know that early literacy has very close ties with educational success.”

Librarian Stephanie Fair gave a few examples of books popular among older readers at the library recently. One example is “Uncommon Type: Some Stories,” by actor Tom Hanks. She explained that the book’s appeal lies in his fans’ curiosity about it.

“They’re all fictional works written by Tom Hanks, and it’s a collection of 17 stories that are all threaded together,” she said. “It seems like it’s a pretty popular one. It’s continuously on our hold list.”

Another popular book, Fair said, is “Before We Were Yours,” by Lisa Wingate. 

“I feel like with this author, she is a pretty good storyteller, and she can really keep her readers engaged,” Fair said. “(Her writing) usually ends with a feel-good ending.”

Find out more about the Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, by visiting www.shpl.net or by calling (586) 446-2665.