Library starts new chapter in 2016

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 27, 2016

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The Sterling Heights Public Library has turned the page to 2016 by anticipating new programs and promoting new books.

According to Jason Groth, library public relations and programs coordinator, the library issued 3,669 new library cards in 2015, and 382,918 patrons visited throughout the year. Visitors checked out a total of 543,250 items, and 18,957 attended library programs, according to library statistics.

Groth added that the five most frequently circulated books in 2015 were the following:

1. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth,” by Jeff Kinney (225 checkouts).

2. “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins (183 checkouts).

3. “NYPD Red 3,” by James Patterson and Marshall Karp (158 checkouts).

4. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw,” by Jeff Kinney (157 checkouts).

5. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J.K. Rowling (155 checkouts).

Although the library typically holds its most prominent reading programs during the summer months, Groth said the library’s first major literacy program in 2016 will occur in March, and it will be a Dr. Seuss reading contest.

“March is National Reading Month, and we want to celebrate by encouraging young children to read several Dr. Seuss books,” Groth said in an email. “Any child can get a bookmark for recording the titles they have read. When they complete the bookmark, they can turn it in for a chance to win a prize.”

A second, larger project, “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” is planned for this summer, Groth explained. Parents will receive a booklet that helps them track the first 1,000 books that their child reads.

Although Groth said kids may qualify for a larger prize upon completing the booklet, they don’t have to reach it right away in order to benefit from the program. Young readers can earn smaller prizes upon hitting milestones such as 100 or 200 books, Groth explained.

“We are hoping this will encourage early literacy, which has a strong link to educational success,” he said.

Meanwhile, librarian Abby Gruber said some of the most popular books among adult library patrons that are in circulation are the following:

• “Rogue Lawyer,” by John Grisham.

• “See Me,” by Nicholas Sparks.

• “Cross Justice,” by James Patterson.

• “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams,” by Stephen King.

• “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto,” by Mitch Albom.

• “The Guilty,” by David Baldacci.

• “Ashley Bell,” by Dean Koontz.

•  “Tom Clancy Commander in Chief,” by Mark Greaney.

According to Gruber, what these books have in common is that they are written by big-name authors.

“These authors have huge followings that will always land their books on the best-sellers list,” she said in an email.

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

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